Squarespace is an all-in-one solution that helps you build your online presence with its four, well-defined features. You can create a website, sell products and services, build your brand, and acquire a domain for your e-commerce business.
The SaaS platform is one of the most intuitive and easy-to-use website builders that has gained popularity for simplifying the website building process, ideally suited for solopreneurs or small businesses wanting to enter the e-commerce space. Squarespace is a feature-rich platform that lets you get started with your online journey without much fuss.
Because Squarespace comes with a plethora of built-in apps, you don’t need to go hunting for third-party service providers. But it does have limited scope for customization and is not the most SEO-friendly.
Looking for the best e-commerce platform for your business? We at Digital.com have reviewed the top players in the market. And Squarespace features among the top contenders.
|Squarespace standout features|
|Uptime||99.99% (Based on a 2-week performance analysis)|
|Best for||Small businesses and solopreneurs|
|Promotion||14-day free trial|
What Are the Pros and Cons of Squarespace?
Squarespace’s design-centric approach to website building and drag-and-drop builder are quite a hit among users with limited know-how and knowledge of the process. But the platform does have its share of hits and misses. While that’s true of almost every e-commerce store builder, including big names like Shopify and BigCommerce, let’s find out how Squarespace stacks up.
Pros of Squarespace
- Purpose-driven templates: Squarespace lets you adapt any of its 140 templates with features that cater to your requirements. All templates are optimized for responsiveness, so you get the best of both form and functionality.
- Unlimited storage and bandwidth: A standout feature of Squarespace is the unlimited storage and bandwidth in all its pricing plans. It’s a great option for e-commerce business owners who want to start small and scale up since it provides ample storage.
- Multichannel selling: Squarespace offers easy integrations with social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to support multichannel selling.
- Built-in email marketing tools: Squarespace’s built-in email marketing feature, an absolutely stellar feature, saves you the trouble of having to depend on third-party apps. Plus, you can send automated emails.
- Excellent customer support: Ran into a roadblock? Squarespace’s live chat will come to your rescue. Although you can also raise a ticket through email, or utilize the extensive resource bank, I found the highly responsive 24/7 live chat to be the best way to resolve queries.
Cons of Squarespace
- Limited customizations: Because Squarespace is built for those without technical know-how of website building you cannot ramp things up with code changes as you could in a provider like BigCommerce. That limits the extent of customizations you can do here.
- Average SEO support: Although Squarespace covers all bases like Google indexing, custom URLs, and 301 redirects, you’ll need a strong knowledge of SEO to use these features to your benefit. But the platform doesn’t offer built-in A/B testing.
- Expensive pricing plans: When it comes to website builders for beginners, a crucial factor worth considering is its value for money. Squarespace offers four types of pricing plans, but you don’t get useful features unless you opt for the Business or Advanced Commerce plans. Even then, these plans are more expensive than those of direct competitors.
Squarespace may be the best e-commerce platform for: Small businesses who want to build an attractive online presence and establish their brand.
|Price||$199 per month||$299 per month||$399 per month|
|Best for||New users|
Large brands with warehouse systems
|Point of sale (POS)||X-Cart POS||X-Cart POS||X-Cart POS|
|Transaction fee (None, as X-Cart doesn’t process payments)||Handled by payment processor||Handled by payment processor||Handled by payment processor|
Squarespace has blogging roots and excels in offering beautiful content displays that blow other e-commerce providers out of the water. It walks you through different personalized themes depending on which category you identify your blog with. This is a good starting point for blogging beginners.
To optimize your blog, Squarespace has a feature-rich customization panel to ensure that your blog is click-worthy, SEO-friendly, and has standout UI design including email marketing features to connect with your audience.
Building storefronts is as easy as pie, thanks to Squarespace’s drag-and-drop editor, supplemented by layouts and ample customizable themes. However, the one thing that sticks out like a sore thumb is the lack of an autosave feature.
What I found absolutely frustrating was that I had to manually save every change I made to the storefront design, every single time. And that does get tedious, especially since this is only the first step in a long process.
But the one good thing about Squarespace is that you can preview your template even before you start editing it.
The user interface (UI) is clean and crisp — you have access to everything from selling and marketing tools to your inventory and POS on a single dashboard. You don’t need to keep shifting between tabs or go back-and-forth to get your store designed.
You can also edit your templates in full-screen mode, cutting out all forms of distraction. That’s a smart trick, in my opinion.
Now let’s talk about adding products to your store. Squarespace lets you auto-preview how your listing looks while you’re creating it: I found the split-screen feature handy.
You can also duplicate a product listing and simply update the picture if you’re selling similar products — very convenient for sellers with multiple product variations.
There is an option to save your listing as a draft if you want to make further changes, publish it immediately, or schedule it for later.
I liked the freedom to decide when product listings go live. The listing scheduling feature is something even big players like Shopify and BigCommerce lack. In this regard, Squarespace scores brownie points.
You can also start a dropshipping business with Squarespace. It allows you to connect with several fulfillment services by using their fulfillment extensions. However, Squarespace only offers six third-party fulfillment extensions and contacting these providers falls outside their scope of support.
Abandoned Cart Recovery
Abandoned cart recovery is extremely helpful for all e-commerce sellers, and Squarespace doesn’t disappoint. But the bummer is that you get access to abandoned cart recovery only with Squarespace’s Advanced Commerce plan, which allows:
- Automated emails to your customers 24 hours after they abandon their cart/checkout
- The option of customizing each email you send to customers
The customizable feature of abandoned cart recovery emails makes a world of difference to me, but the deal breaker is that you don’t get this feature with the Basic Commerce plan. So, if your budget is tight, you will have no abandoned cart recovery support from Squarespace. Most other key market players provide this feature even with their basic plans.
With the Squarespace app, you can manage your inventory and get notifications whenever your products are out of stock. Simply download it on your mobile device and get all the details you need to manage your inventory, even on the go. You can also sell different versions of the same product (say a lampshade in color variations) as distinct units.
However, this built-in inventory management covers only the basics. You’ll need to consider a third-party app for better, more analytical end-to-end inventory management. You can consider integrating the following in the back end:
- Katana Manufacturing ERP
- inFlow Inventory
These are only a handful of the many third-party apps you can integrate to make inventory management an easy affair, though it will come at an extra cost.
Order fulfillment can be done using the Squarespace app. Every time a new order was placed or an existing one fulfilled, I got a push notification and an email about it.
I was also able to print shipping labels to fulfill orders using the app. The process is efficient, streamlined, and simple. I found this built-in feature to be fairly sufficient and didn’t feel the need to integrate a third-party service provider like ShipStation.
However, if you’re selling physical and digital products or have a large inventory, you might want to rope in an external service provider. The portal works best with ShipStation, Easyship, and Shippo. All three can be installed as an extension in just a few clicks.
Squarespace also lets you fulfill bulk orders from its orders dashboard. If you’re a wholesaler, this feature will be extremely helpful to you.
Another thing I really liked about the platform was that it lets you undo an order if there is any problem with its fulfillment and mark it as “Pending” on the orders dashboard. This will help you iron out any issues with wrong or misplaced orders.
Squarespace gives you four standard options for shipping your products:
- Flat rate
- By weight
- Carrier determined
- Free shipping
It’s up to you to choose the option that best suits your sales strategy, but you cannot assign different shipping rates for different items. Whichever rate you choose will apply storewide.
My advice would be to weigh all your options and compare the totals. Select the best shipping rate depending on how much you want your customers to pay.
If you want free shipping, it will apply to all orders, even international ones. That is, unless you create a “Shipping Zone” and assign a specific rate to all orders in that area.
While, at first glance, I though Squarespace’s shipping options were limited, the Shipping Zone feature gives you ample leeway to charge the fee you think suits you best.
Squarespace has partnered with Square since 2019 to offer its customers a seamless POS experience. It does not charge you anything extra apart from Square’s standard fee on both its e-commerce pricing plans.
However, if you’re using Squarespace’s Business plan, you will need to pay an extra 3% transaction on every sale.
I found ample sales and marketing analytics among Squarespace, where I could track sales, acquisition, and engagement. I was also able to add website extensions to measure key performance indicators (KPIs) for sales, marketing, inventory, shipping, and fulfillment records.
Despite extensive reports, I found Squarespace lacking in real-time updates, which can leave you in the dark if your website is seeing a sudden surge of visitors.
Squarespace excels at marketing support with a stellar built-in email marketing feature and a unique Video Studio App.
I enjoyed the convenience of the Squarespace Video Studio App, which picks up your best performing products and advertises them on your social media channels.
In a highly competitive e-commerce market where every seller is trying to make an impression on the customer, having your own in-house video generator is a boon. And as with all things Squarespace, the end result is visually stunning and attention grabbing.
Apart from that, you also get the standard banners, promotions, and social media integrations that come with most other e-commerce website builders.
If you ever feel like your online store is vulnerable to attacks, you can always submit a support request to get it inspected by the Squarespace team.
Need some help? Squarespace offers the following avenues to have your queries resolved:
- 24/7 email: Raise a ticket with your concern, and the Squarespace team will get back to you. Note that there’s a wait time of roughly 45 minutes to four hours, but this is by far one of the best in the industry. I experienced a wait time of one hour.
- Live chat: Fill in your name, email, and query to start a live chat with a customer support executive. You don’t need to add any codes to get started, unlike BigCommerce and Shopify, where the process is long and drawn out. I was able to chat with customer service instantly.
- Social media: You can drop a DM, tweet, or comment on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and wait for the team to answer. The response time depends upon that day’s query load.
- Webinars: I found the webinars to be a great resource to learn from; you can access these from Squarespace’s help page.
- Help center: This is the parent page for all kinds of customer support offered by Squarespace, and right off the bat, you’ll get to see an array of options to get your query sorted.
- Squarespace and Circle Forums: Want some advice from other Squarespace members? Join the community and circle forum. Insightful and helpful, I found golden advice from existing Squarespace users here that could help your business in the long run.
While Squarespace does not offer phone support, I still scored it a five because the team is extremely robust and prompt with responses. You don’t need to connect over a phone call.
Version 7.1 Is Now Live
The newest version of Squarespace gives you ample freedom and scope for customizing your storefront. You can now add animation to your website without tweaking the code from the back end. Further, editing individual pages is also easier.
This version is also better equipped to enhance your product pages. You can add a whole set of portfolio pages if you’re using Squarespace to showcase your work to the world.
But, if you’re already using Squarespace 7.0 and want to shift to its 7.1 version, you will have to rebuild your site. There’s no other way to upgrade your website. And this whole process can take away your motivation to make the change.
Fluid Engine makes designing easy
Like anyone who has used Squarespace in the past will tell you, building a store on the platform has a bit of a learning curve even though it does not require coding skills. However, the latest drag-and-drop editor, Fluid Engine, takes care of this.
I found it easy to design my store with blocks you can move around, edit, and customize per your requirements. It provides the much-needed flexibility that Squarespace was missing.
The bad news is that this feature is only available on Squarespace 7.1, and those who haven’t upgraded from version 7.0 can’t access the benefits of this otherwise nifty feature.
Compare Squarespace Alternatives
While Squarespace is definitely one of the frontrunners in website building and branding, how does it compare to other key players, including Shopify, BigCommerce, Wix, WooCommerce, Magento, and WooCommerce?
Let’s find out.
Frequently Asked Questions About Squarespace
What is unique about Squarespace?
What are the disadvantages of Squarespace?
The biggest shortcoming of Squarespace is that it cannot handle large e-commerce stores with high order values or extensive inventories. The platform suffices as long as you’re operating on a small scale and want to focus on building your online presence.
Squarespace is not the best e-commerce website builder for experienced professionals who want end-to-end customizations.
Its pricing plans are steeper than its competitors, including Wix, WooCommerce, and others.
How many pages can you have on a Squarespace website?
All four pricing plans currently allow up to 1,000 pages to be added to any website. However, Squarespace recommends adding up to 400 for the website to function optimally.
That said, there are differences between the total number of pages you can add depending on the version of Squarespace you’re using.
For example, Version 7.1 lets you add enough pages to house 10,000 products, while Version 7.0 only has enough capacity for 200 products.
Read the fine print and choose a plan that best fits your current and short-term requirements before investing in it.
What big companies use Squarespace?
Accenture, HBO, Turo, Wattpad, Discovery, and Focus21 Inc. are some big names that use Squarespace to power their websites.
This is commendable, given the company’s humble beginnings.
Is Wix better than Squarespace?
Is WordPress better than Squarespace?
If you want a stylish online storefront with lots of built-in features and back-end integrations, Squarespace is made for you. But if you want excellent SEO support, WordPress is undoubtedly the better of the two.
It all boils down to your preferences and requirements.
Does Squarespace take a percentage of sales?
Squarespace does not charge any transaction fee on sales in its Basic and Advanced Commerce plans. Since you will most likely opt for one of these, you don’t need to worry about paying a fee every time you make a sale.
However, if you go for its stand-alone Business plan, you will be charged a 3% transaction fee that’s non-negotiable.
Is Squarespace free to use?
Although there is a 14-day free trial, Squarespace is not free to use. Instead, you can choose from four pricing plans per your requirement.
The least expensive plan is priced at $16 per month, while the most expensive one is $49 per month.
However, you can avail a 25% to 30% discount on these prices if you decide to pay upfront annually. The discount you get depends on the plan you choose.
How much do professionals charge to design a custom Squarespace website?
If you hire a professional to custom-make your online storefront or website, be prepared to shell out anywhere between $75 to $125 per hour.
Per industry standards, a customized website could cost you $3,000 or more in addition to the plan you’ve chosen for yourself.
How long does building a website on Squarespace take?
How I Rated Squarespace
My rating process involves an in-depth evaluation of the various features offered by Squarespace. I contrasted Squarespace’s features with other significant e-commerce platforms in the market.
While I did a comprehensive overview, I gave more weight to certain parameters that I felt were paramount. These include ease of use, security, impressive customer support, flexibility, scalability, and, last but not least, the price.
Is Squarespace worth it? The answer is a big yes if you’re a small business looking to build a great online store with basic functionalities.