Shopify vs Squarespace: Comparing The eCommerce Leaders

Shopify vs Squarespace

The eCommerce market is increasing every day. More and more people are buying online, there's plenty of competition, and therefore, finding the right platform to build your shop around is very important.

Two of the titans in this business are Shopify and Squarespace. They're both massive platforms, ready to give you all you need to start selling online.

And although they have their differences, it can be genuinely difficult to choose between the two. That's what I'm going to help you with today.

So let's see which one - Shopify or Squarespace - is better for your store.

What is Shopify?

With a customer base of over 500,000 companies, Shopify is one of the biggest eCommerce platforms in the world. It offers all-in-one services, including a website builder, payment automation, web hosting, storage tracking and management, and POS (point of sale). There's also a possibility to connect Shopify with any hosting provider if you wish.

Shopify has both the experience and loads of customer input to ensure that its platform is optimized for online businesses.

Users can choose from over 100 professionally-designed theme layouts that work as well on mobile devices as they do on computers.

Shopify is a safe option. It will ensure that the impression left on customers is one of professionalism, reliability, and credibility.

Shopify vs Squarespace: Shopify homepage

What is Squarespace?

Squarespace was originally designed as a blogging platform offering a bunch of award-winning designs to make the websites stand out. Lately, they jumped on an eCommerce train and introduced features for creating online stores.

Now, Squarespace offers many eCommerce tools for payment, shipping, and tax automation, storage tracking, and marketing. Also, Squarespace does not pose any limits to the number of products you want to sell.

Still, many people see Squarespace as a platform used to create mostly blogs and business websites. Although I personally can see how these features can be used for the advantage of an online store.

Shopify vs Squarespace: Squarespace homepage

Shopify vs Squarespace: Too Different to Compare?

While Shopify and Squarespace are fairly different, both can be used to create a fully functional online store. The question is, which one offers better services for your specific needs.

So, let's compare their features, pricing, and performance.

Squarespace is cheaper but Shopify offers more

The cheapest Squarespace plan that includes eCommerce features starts at $18/month, while the cheapest Shopify plan is $29/month. 

Squarespace immediately gets an additional point, as with the Business Squarespace plan, you can create unlimited accounts for staff.

In the meantime, the Basic Shopify plan will limit you to 2 staff accounts. However, Shopify includes POS (point of sale) app so you can use it in physical stores to accept payments, manage storage, staff, etc. Squarespace does not have this option yet.

Squarespace has 2 other plans designed for online stores specifically. Basic plan costs $26/month and includes powerful commerce metrics to track your success, inventory, orders, and taxes automation and management system, possibility to add coupons, and Xero accounting app. There are no transaction fees too, and you can always upgrade to Advanced plan if you need more features.

Shopify vs Squarespace: Squarespace pricing

Recommended Shopify plan costs $79/month and includes 5 staff accounts, big discount for shipping, discount code integration, automation for payments, inventory tracking, and shipping. Most importantly, it includes a POS system which you can integrate with your physical location. The drawback is that Shopify charges a fee for credit card transactions.

Shopify vs Squarespace: Shopify pricing

All in all, if you don't have a physical location or don't need a POS system, Squarespace is not only cheaper but also less limited.

However, considering the fact of how pricey POS systems are, Shopify plan is more a better option, as POS is already included.

Shopify will not beat Squarespace designs

Currently, Shopify offers 71 professional templates designed for eCommerce. However, the best Squarespace templates absolutely win when it comes to design. 10 of the award-winning Squarespace designs are made specifically for online stores and can be customized according to your needs. But you can choose any of the existing templates to built your online store on.

All of the Squarespace designs are responsive as well, meaning, they will look good on any device. They have built-in features like Image SEO, meaning a bunch of high-quality images won't slow down the website loading times.

The downside - Squarespace does not have drag-and-drop editor to easily customize themes and it's sometimes required to edit CSS to make the site truly yours. Here's how some of those themes look like:

Shopify vs Squarespace: Squarespace themes

Shopify themes are also responsive and can be easily customized through the user-friendly website builder. Also, you will be provided with HTML and CSS editor to customize the site fully.

Shopify vs Squarespace: Shopify themes

So when it comes to the verdict, it's easier to customize Shopify themes. However, the beauty of Squarespace is difficult to beat. All in all, everything depends on whether you want beautiful designs or ease of use and perfect customizability.

Shopify offers the best eCommerce features

Though Squarespace is offering enough features to build a fully functional online store, Shopify definitely has more.

Everything Squarespace can offer - Shopify can match. And it has some more on top.

Here are all the features Shopify has - and Squarespace doesn't:

  • POS system to easily merge your online business with physical one (you can take orders, accept payments, manage storage and products).
  • 100 payment gateways including Skrill, Amazon Pay, and Paypal (Squarespace only has around 3 options).
  • Full dropshipping integration.
  • Over 1,400 top-notch apps designed to improve the functionality of your site.
Shopify vs Squarespace: POS features

No wonder why Shopify wins this one - it's designed for eCommerce and eCommerce only. At the same time, Squarespace is just getting started with online stores and has pretty great features already.

And while it lacks a few features, some companies might prefer, Squarespace is less complicated. That may be useful to some.

Squarespace is faster and Shopify is more reliable

Squarespace server response times are excellent. The American and British servers are reached in less than 100ms - that's lower than Google's recommended 200ms mark for online businesses.

Results in other parts of the world are very good, too.

Shopify vs Squarespace: Squarespace response times

Shopify is a bit slower. The US and UK, however, were just as good. But in Japan, Shopify simply wasn't good enough.

Shopify vs Squarespace: shopify response times

However, Shopify can be proud of their uptime. During more than 2 months of testing, they did not have any downtimes. For such a major platform with huge infrastructure, it is quite surprising.

Shopify vs Squarespace: Shopify uptime

Squarespace, on the other hand, had a few downtimes in the last 90 days.

Shopify vs Squarespace: Squarespace uptime

All in all, both Squarespace and Shopify offer reliable hosting that is better than average. But Shopify does a bit worse in the Far East, and Squarespace has more downtime issues.

Shopify vs Squarespace: Shopify Is Still King

Shopify is designed for eCommerce, and that makes it a more suitable platform than Squarespace. Powerful features, many payment options, high scalability and ease of use makes it best for online stores.

However, Squarespace is not far behind and might, just might overrun Shopify one day. It's a beautiful and more affordable eCommerce option.

So before you dive into Shopify, I would say, consider this when choosing between the two:

  • Shopify is a pretty pricey option if you are launching a small eCommerce store. Yet, it's a perfect choice for established businesses having a physical location.
  • Squarespace is an option that will not limit you and perfect for those who are just getting started. Also, your business will definitely benefit from breathtaking designs.

I hope this was helpful. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section down below!

Paul joined the Hosting.Review team right from the start as a content writer and marketer. He was the person responsible for establishing a trademark for in-depth web hosting evaluation and superb review articles. Before joining Hosting.Review, Paul was working on various projects as a freelancer. Paul spends his free time reading fantasy books and graphic novels.
Leave a Comment

  1. Janet picture Janet
    2018 August 6th

    Thanks for this helpful overview. I’m an SEO specialist and can share a few things…SquareSpace is a PITA (pain in the derriere) because it has flaws that the company is aware of but chooses not to fix, such as creating two URLs for most pages, one with and one without a trailing slash (/). Both URLs appear in the website data…as I said, a PITA! More importantly, SquareSpace does not automatically add schema, which is code that the search engines like to use to understand the details about a product. Shopify adds schema automatically. That’s worth $ you don’t have to spend trying to figure out how to add it yourself (or paying a developer) to add it. Schema code isn’t easy to understand so it’s easy to mess up. For search engine visibility, Shopify beats SquareSpace hands down.

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