Square vs Squarespace 2023: The Ultimate Comparison
E-Commerce website builders have the tools you need to create and grow your web store as quickly and easily as ever. A few elite platforms will help you grow a business while allowing you to forget technical intricacies and focus on increasing sales like Square and Squarespace.
These top-tier tools will help you promote your products, track orders & conduct shipping, process payments, offer special discounts to customers, and more.
But, what is unique in each tool, and are they aimed at you?
Read on and determine whether you should choose Square or Squarespace to build a thriving web store and a reputable brand.
Square vs Squarespace Overview
What is Square Online?
Square allows users without prior technical knowledge to customize stores, and beginners can easily track all stock levels in different locations. Square is the ideal store builder for the less-experienced small business owners who want a user-friendly eCommerce website builder with basic commerce and extra features to start selling online.
Square Online is best known for being one of the best POS software, but they provide a feature-rich eCommerce platform. It is an excellent eCommerce store builder best-suited for existing brick-and-mortar businesses or smaller businesses getting into selling online.
With easy-to-use software similar to Weebly, Square especially shines if you're already using Square as your in-store POS system. Square helps you keep your customers happy and prevent overselling as you will keep your inventory synced and oversee your stock in real-time.
Square lets you be flexible with customers and easy to reach, as the platform lets you sell on social media, your website, or through pickup & delivery. You will set up your store in no time and require no technical knowledge to start.
What is Squarespace?
Squarespace is your ideal site builder if you want stylish templates, advanced commerce & marketing tools, and outstanding customer support. Squarespace is perfect for growing online stores and businesses looking to sell products while creating a unique brand without help from a web developer.
Squarespace is best known for its gorgeous template designs, but the software is highly intuitive and responsive so that anyone can build a reputable online business and start selling online.
Along with stunning templates, you will get a simple tool to start, superb marketing tools, flexible payment choices, and even easily-embeddable maps. Squarespace can help you raise customer retention rates through additional relevant product suggestions and incentivize them to explore your store.
Squarespace is a reasonably-priced web store builder with deep eCommerce functionalities, sleek designs that accommodate mobile screens, and a fantastic interface perfect for promoting aesthetically-dependant content and selling online.
Ease of Use
When you feel comfortable using the tools for building online stores, you will be able to take full advantage of the eCommerce features and increase your sales. Let's see who takes the ease of use round in the Square vs Squarespace battle.
Square Ease of Use
When we compare Square vs Squarespace, it is clear that Square delivers a more straightforward dashboard. Square wins by highlighting the sidebar menu with useful information like products, categories, weekly sales, page views, and more.
Square's intuitive interface makes setting up your online store extremely easy, and you can manage your inventory on the backend, sell event tickets, and accept donations so all your customers can be exposed to your products in the fastest time.
Square doesn't require intense practice or guidance to master, and then you have a tool that enables you to accept purchase payments anywhere without needing to use the traditional register.
Squarespace Ease of Use
Both Square and Squarespace have made the signup process as quick and effortless as possible. Squarespace gives you the advantage by providing helpful setup guides earlier in the process than Square. Once you select a template in Squarespace, the tool takes you through a mini-guide for using the template editor.
Squarespace is known as an all-in-one solution with stunning templates, but it also provides a wide range of features through a clean interface and a ton of editing options. You can manually configure the layout and the background images, as well as the color scheme. Also, you get a live view of the changes you make in the backend so that you can see the final result instantly.
While using Squarespace doesn't require a lot of coding knowledge and customization options, Square takes this round as I have found it to be more beginner-friendly.
Pricing, Paid Plans & Value for Money
If you are looking for a cheaper website building tool, Square is the better option. One of the key differences between the separate companies is that Square offers cheaper basic plans, which can be great if you are satisfied with its features.
Square is one of the rare online store builders that allows you to build, publish, and sell in its free monthly plan. The free subscription can be a good solution if you don't mind the ads displayed on your Square online store. Also, you will need to upgrade to a paid plan to use a custom domain.
With the cheapest Professional plan, you will remove the Square ads and receive the custom domain, as well as custom font uploads, password-protected pages, and a free domain for one year for just $12 per month.
The Performance plan will allow you to unlock some stunning template designs and marketing features, along with abandoned cart recovery, advanced reporting, product reviews, gifting options, PayPal payment processor, and more for $26 per month.
In the Premium plan, you will get low processing rates and real-time shipping, among many features, for $72 per month.
- Mobile-Friendly Websites
- 100+ Templates
- Free Custom Domain
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- 2 Contributors
- Ecommerce Functionality
- Unlimited Products
- 3% Transaction Fees
- Custom Code (CSS & JS)
- Unlimited Contributors
- 0% Transaction Fees
- Point of Sale
- On-site Checkout
- Product Reviews
- Facebook and Instagram Selling
- Abandoned Cart Recovery
- Advanced Shipping
- Advanced Discounts
- Subscription Selling
- Commerce APIs
When comparing Square and Squarespace, it is not enough to state that Square provides a cheaper solution, mainly because Squarespace provides better value for money. Squarespace's powerful built-in features are higher quality when compared to Square's cheaper plans.
Squarespace's cheapest offer is the Personal plan at $16 per month, but the plan doesn't allow you to sell services or products directly from your site. You can connect with third-party services and generate payment processes this way.
The Business plan is $23 per month, ideal for small businesses selling a few products. The tool sets a 3% fee for every purchase. You will receive a free custom domain, unlimited bandwidth, product management, SEO, templates for blogs & portfolios, inventory management, and some basic website metrics.
The Advanced Commerce plan builds on the Basic subscription with advanced discounts & shipping, commerce APIs, subscription selling, and abandoned cart recovery for $49 per month.
You can save from 25% to 30% by purchasing the annual subscriptions, and there is a 14-day free trial, with no credit card required.
While Square provides a free option and cheaper basic plans, you will eventually need to upgrade for better features. Once you upgrade, there is not too big of a price difference, and Squarespace outshines Square. Both tools offer free trials.
Key eCommerce Features
The best eCommerce platforms allow you to focus on selling without worrying about the backend intricacies of running a website.
A comprehensive solution must provide omnichannel sales support, extensive payment processing options, POS integration, great designs, and strong SEO.
Let's see what Squarespace and Square have to offer.
Square Key Features
Square makes building online stores easy and requires no technical knowledge to employ the store builder. You can even customize your business logos in desired fonts and colors.
Square allows you to track and underline all stock changes like received goods, recounts, restocks, lost stock due to damage & theft, and more. The inventory features come free with all Square accounts and are super simple.
Through your Square account, you can ensure the most accurate shipping rates for customers based on weight and destination with carriers like FedEx, USPS, and more. Square provides a flat rate, order weight, order total, item quantity, free shipping options, and an automatic shipping cost calculation feature in the Premium plan.
The Square Professional plan equips you with website pop-ups, discount promo codes, and order information emails, and you can even make announcements or verify users' age.
You can send personalized branded emails to confirm orders and notify customers of shipped, refunded, and canceled items. Set up recurring automated campaigns and bring back lapsed customers, send birthday wishes, and abandoned cart reminders. The automatically-configured emails and pop-up templates help you increase traffic and sell online more.
Get a 360-degree view of your customers through this CRM tool that gives insight into your customers' site interactions and purchasing habits, allowing you to create custom groups. Integrated with Square Marketing, the customer directory syncs sales across all channels for you to track attributed sales & coupon redemption.
Google Reviews integration
Perform better in the Google ranking and set up automatic email & text campaigns to collect Google reviews after sales at no additional cost. You can even post positive reviews on Yelp, Angie's List, and other review platforms.
The tool automatically accounts for the tax calculations for U.S. stores and cross-state transactions. Square automatically adjusts the 5% tax rate for shipments from the U.S. to Canada. Square supports price-inclusive taxes in the U.K., the U.S., and Canada.
You can display several different item types on your Square online store and organize your online products separately from the ones in POS. The modifier functionality enables customers to customize their products, which is extra useful for personalized notes and gifts.
Optimize your items and categories for the best search engine results and add SEO information to your Square online store to achieve a better ranking. Square helps you improve your search ranking and get indexed in the search engines through a comprehensive SEO guide you can find on their site.
If you want to customize your automatic Square sub-domain, you can do so. Also, you can purchase a new domain from Square in its paid options. Connect an existing domain name to your Square online site by connecting or transferring your domain to Square. The tool lets you browse and register a domain in your dashboard.
Unlimited sales & categories
Enjoy unlimited sales & product listings in all its plans. You can list all your products without restrictions and keep your products organized with categories and item badges. The platform provides layouts for physical & digital products, memberships, and services, and you can select item types.
Industry-specific templates & features
You can take advantage of online restaurant ordering, online & in-person inventory synchronization, and similar features to suit your needs. Whether you want real-time shipping quotes and rate discounts as a retailer or track your bookings through Square Appointments in the service field, Square has got you covered.
Square's App Marketplace will allow you to access hundreds of third-party apps for scheduling, eCommerce analytics, POS, and other functionalities. You can promote your online store, connect your payments with powerful forms, manage your item information, sync your inventory, and much more. Some of these integrations have additional fees.
Squarespace Key Features
You can customize your store & product detail pages with complete freedom, as Squarespace lets you configure the images, text alignment, and product navigation. You can easily navigate categories and set up on-sale, sold-out, and limited availability labels, deploy image zoom & hover effects, and edit your fonts & colors.
Upload and organize your product details while tracking your inventory through an app. Add unlimited products at once through bulk uploading, check the prices of items and how many products are available, manage your inventory through a mobile app, and activate the low-stock notifications.
The tool provides a powerful blogging feature that includes a search browser, archives, and built-in analytics. You can create excerpts and blog posts, categorize and tag posts, activate the specific SEO blogging features, edit meta titles and descriptions, push your posts on social media, enable comments, and more.
Website analytics tools
Utilize the tool's in-depth analytics with powerful insights into your visitors and how they interact with your content. Analyze where your sales and site visits are coming from, what keywords are leading the visitors onto your site, and get insight into referral links for press articles & posts that lead to sales.
Squarespace lets you access extensions to several social media platforms, with Squarespace providing the tools to display your social content on your website and enabling you to push content onto your social media. Utilize the built-in share option and push new content onto the preferred social media channels.
Unlimited storage & bandwidth
All of Squarespace's plans will equip you with unlimited storage and bandwidth. While both Square and Squarespace provide unlimited bandwidth in their cheapest plans, Squarespace also offers unlimited storage as Square requires you to pay additional money for more storage.
Squarespace's SEO tools help you manage titles and add alt text & keywords. There are guides with thorough SEO guidelines to help your page rank high in the search results and utilize mobile-friendly pages and keyword targeting. You can customize your website title so that it differs from the URL.
The platform equips you with a free domain for a year when you sign up for an annual paid plan. Squarespace includes renews at the same rate, SSL certificates, WHOIS privacy, a spam-free parking page, and easy DNS management. You can use a registered domain with a different Squarespace website.
Squarespace delivers a wide range of pre-built templates that are professional-looking and come with a description of features embedded in each template. You can create a stunning website with customizable font styles & color schemes, button styles, margins, and more.
Social media integration & abandoned checkout recovery
Take products from your Squarespace website and sell them on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Activate the abandoned checkout recovery in the Advanced Commerce plan and utilize the automated discounts for your customers.
Sell in a physical location and online and synchronize the product page with offline purchases. The collaboration between Square and Squarespace has enabled the stunning site builder to allow its customers to access leading POS technology. Make in-person sales and automatically sync your stock, customers, and analytics.
Create shipping options that apply to physical products at checkout automatically, and select from flat rate & free shipping, as well as weight and carrier-calculated options. Apply shipping options for specific regions, states, and countries with shipping zones, and import Etsy shipping profiles from an active Etsy account.
If you are from the U.S., you can use Squarespace's TaxJar extension to calculate the sales taxes automatically. Using its real-time sales tax data, TaxJar automatically calculates tax rates for cities, zip codes, states, and countries. You can set up the rates manually for tax rates outside of the U.S.
Squarespace is an all-in-one eCommerce site platform with exceptional templates, POS system, API functionality, and access to additional store-boosting functionalities like email marketing and blogging, which outweighs Square in this Square vs. Squarespace round.
Payment Options & Transaction Fees
The software allows you to accept credit card payments or accept payments through qualifying invoices with Square Installments. In its cheapest plan, Square allows you to choose from Square, Apple Pay, and Google Pay as your payment processor.
While using Square's in-house payment processor makes things a little easier for you, your customers will be more limited and have fewer different payment methods available.
Squarespace allows you to accept payments through Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Afterpay for the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand in its cheapest plan.
The website builder accepts all major credit cards regardless of the payment gateway. There is comprehensive security for all transactions as all payments going through Stripe are PCI-compliant.
While different payment processors charge different fees, you will have to pay your site builder the same payment processing fee on every transaction. Usually, the major payment processors charge 2.9% + 30c per transaction, as is the case with Stripe, PayPal, and Square.
Square charges 2.9% + 30c for each transaction in the Free, Professional, and Performance plans. The Premium plan decreases the fee to 2.6% + 30c per transaction, which is the same fee for contactless payments, swiped or inserted chip cards, and swiped magstripe cards.
Squarespace charges a 3% fee for each transaction in the Business plan, and there are no fees in the Basic and Advanced Commerce plans.
Squarespace enables you to process payments in more options in its cheapest plan and completely waives the fees in two of its plans.
Performance & Uptime
Several trustworthy tests have been conducted testing Square Online's uptime, showing that Square Online is a highly-dependable eCommerce tool with consistently-high uptime.
Also, dependable website monitoring tools have been used to track the uptimes and performances of websites created through Square. The results showed an uptime of 92.8% – 100% during several days.
Squarespace is an eCommerce platform renowned for consistently delivering high loading speeds and excellent reliability, which allows you to keep your website up and running, regardless of the volume of traffic coming in.
Winner: A Tie
Both Square and Squarespace equip you with the tools to create perfect stores that won't ever be compromised by incoming traffic or additional features you decide to add to your website.
Square and Squarespace are among the most trustworthy website builders that will provide foolproof security to your online store.
Square Online has an industry-leading security system that allows you to encrypt your customer's payment data during transactions.
The platform equips you with Level 1 PCI compliance, periodic security updates & patches, compliant data storage that prohibits the storage of card numbers & security codes on client devices, and robust cryptographic controls.
Square's comprehensive security suite ensures no checklists, assessments, or audits are required, and the hardware & readers have integrated end-to-end encryption with no configuration required.
Just like Square, Squarespace comes with SSL certificates that ensure your customers' payment information is safe by encrypting data transferred between your server and the customer's web browser.
The PCI-DSS compliance will ensure that all the policies and regulations designed to protect credit, debit, and cash card transactions are respected to prevent the misuse of personal information.
With HSTS security, Squarespace protects the content shared during sessions and enables only Squarespace customer websites to be accessed via HTTPS.
Winner: A Tie
Payment security is at the core of what both eCommerce platforms can bring to an online store. I have evaluated them equally as capable of ensuring you protect your customers' banking data with secure payment processes.
Whether you need assistance with building websites or product management, or you have a question about the user interface, you will need a responsive and knowledgeable team to help you find the fastest and most effective solution. How does Square measure vs. Squarespace when it comes to customer support?
Square's Customer Support
Any small business or a high-volume seller will benefit from a support team that is ready to find solutions for any issues, which is why Square provides top-notch phone support that operates from Monday to Friday from 6 am to 6 pm.
The expert team will assist you with setting up, updating, and canceling accounts, provide technical support & troubleshooting, offer assistance with connecting financial accounts to Square, and help with identity theft, fraud, hacking, and more.
Squarespace's Customer Support
Sometimes, the team will record screencasts, guiding you through the exact steps you need to take to resolve an issue.
If you want more problem-solving resources, Squarespace has covered you with 24/7 contact form/email support, community forum, help centers, paid designers, webinars & workshops, blogs, and the dev center.
Square takes this round by providing phone support to small business owners and larger stores and a 24/7 chatbot functionality.
Square and Squarespace Customer Reviews
Looking at other users' experiences with platforms can help you gain perspective on what you can expect from each tool. Below, I have shown some reviews from current and past users of the two sites.
Square Customer Reviews
Director of Sales in Canada
“Our customer used to sell physical gift cards through Costco and saw tens of thousands of dollars of cashflow and business through that channel. Covid 19 killed his physical gift card business. Not only did Square come to the rescue, it made online purchase a snap with their web portal and email fulfillment. We were able to generate tens of thousands of dollars in gift card sales and put the whole process into play within minutes. It was literally a money machine during the Christmas Season.”
“Square has been a game changer for me in terms of running my business. I worked with professional developers to try to come up with a website in which I could sell my artwork and it was impossible. Square has allowed me to have a great portfolio and shop that is affordable and simple to use. You're doing great, and I have been very happy with the incremental improvements over time.”
Squarespace Customer Reviews
“I cannot say enough good things about this program! I got the square reader for in person sales and have been learning about all the FREE features that come along with it! As a small business owner my budget is tight for accounting and record keeping. But squarespace keeps track of thay for me! Not to mention gives me a free online store. AND offering business loans based on your squarespace sales?!?!?! I am in love and will probably end of being a brand ambassador.”
Small Business Owner
“ I love that this software allows you to edit you webpage, make items changes and updates, it give real-time updates on orders and you can even use the POS for in person sales. All balances go right to my debit card. It's so easy and efficient to have it all in one.”
Pros & Cons
- Affordable: The powerful features you get in the Professional & Performance plans more than compensate for the $12 and $26 prices. Also, a free subscription allows you to sell unlimited products.
- Beginner-friendly: The dashboard is straightforward, and you don't need any technical knowledge before using it. The platform helps you get started fast and grow your store quickly.
- Excellent inventory management: The centralized dashboard helps you keep track of all stock levels across different locations. The tool's comprehensive inventory management makes it extremely easy for you to always stay organized.
- In-house payment processor: By creating its payment processor, Square has made it easier for merchants to organize their sale system & transactions and eCommerce functionalities with the same company without depending on a third-party tool.
- Limited selection of payment processors: If you don't want to use the in-house payment processor, you will need to pay additional fees. The software doesn't accept Stripe or PayPal payments.
- Plain templates & limited customization: While the templates are responsive and neat, they will hardly catch anyone's attention. Additionally, there are few configuration options, so you are stuck with the ones on offer.
- Valuable features in the most expensive plan: Real-time shipping and low processing rates are included only in the Premium plan.
- Gorgeous templates: No other site builder offers as beautiful, functional, and customizable templates as Squarespace. The tool offers over 110 templates split into categories like business, wedding, photography, entertainment, and more.
- No transaction fees in most plans: Apart from a 3% fee in the Business plan, Squarespace charges no transaction fees in the cheapest plan or the Basic & Advanced Commerce plans.
- Integrated email marketing: Through Email Campaigns, you can send on-brand emails with the site logo & blog posts.
- Advanced SEO & blogging tools: You can modify content for a higher search ranking without changing the page content on the visitors' side. The customers can search, manage their cart, and pay without leaving your store.
- Mild learning curve: While not overly complicated, Squarespace requires you to take aside a couple of hours to familiarize yourself with the editor.
- No auto-saving: Squarespace doesn't have the auto-saving functionality for posts and pages, so it is sometimes impossible to recover content that you accidentally delete or lose connection.
- No phone support: While there is 24/7 support and you can speak to an actual person via live chat or email, there is no phone support if you have a query.
Square provides something Squarespace doesn't, which is a free version of its software. When comparing paid plans, you can see that Square has slightly cheaper lower-tier plans. These plans leave out some significant features, only available in the most expensive plan, while Squarespace provides them in the lower plans. This pricing structure shows that Squarespace offers more value for your money.
With exceptional design aesthetics and powerful features that you can unlock n the lower-tier plans, Squarespace is a perfect solution for anyone looking to sell through their own website and build a unique brand.
You can even manage your existing website on the go with a clean and powerful Squarespace mobile app. These, among many, are the reasons we pick Squarespace as the better eCommerce tool.
However, if you are looking for more advanced SEO tools, higher customizability, or less expensive, you can always search for the best Squarespace alternatives.
Weebly is a low-cost eCommerce solution for basic eCommerce sites that don't need advanced features. Weebly has a free subscription, affordable premium packages, and helpful SEO guides.
Wix is one of the most user-friendly eCommerce website builders. It offers a free plan for perfect smaller companies to establish their brand, an extensive range of eCommerce functionalities, and attractive theme designs.
BigCommerce is a comprehensive online store builder aimed at beginners, but it allows the more experienced users to navigate their HTML and CSS. The tool is feature-rich with amazing SEO tools and a great platform for international selling.
Square vs Squarespace: Which Online eCommerce Platform is the Best for Small Businesses?
Whether you are a beginner in online store development and are looking for a budget solution, or you have experience and are looking for a tool that will give you design flexibility, there is an eCommerce solution for you.
When you combine a powerful eCommerce solution and use the insight into the latest eCommerce trends & statistics, you will maximize your chances of reaching your store's full potential.
What is excellent about Square and Squarespace is that they can support various industries and businesses of all sizes.
But, how do they differ in what they offer, and who should you choose?
Square Online – Fast solution to get your store running, great for smaller sellers looking for a delivery capability, free plan, easy POS importing, and synchronization with other Square products.
Squarespace – Excellent online store builder for artists, bloggers, restaurants, and small-scale merchants looking for stylish templates, flexible pricing, and leading design tools.
After you have selected the one you like, take advantage of the pre-designed templates, robust drag-and-drop editors, and advanced marketing tools, and start growing your eCommerce store today.