Shopify vs Squarespace: Choosing Between the Two for Your Website

by | Feb 24, 2020

When it comes to selecting the right platform (Shopify vs Squarespace) for your website hosting and design – there are a few things to consider before signing up for that account, picking a domain and getting to work.

Through this blog post, I will walk you through the different questions to consider to make the best decision for you and your business.

What’s the goal?

The first question you need to be asking yourself is – what is the goal of your website? By determining your main goal, this will help make your decisions a lot easier.

Ask yourself what functionality you need for your website. Create a wishlist of features and add-ons you want to include within your website design such as booking appointments, image galleries, online shop, blog, etc.

Will you showcase your services or sell products online?

Squarespace tends to be better for service based/brochure sites because you can design freely using content blocks to add images, galleries, contact forms, products and much more.

While Squarespace does have an ecommerce option and is great for stores with less products, Shopify is best for product based businesses. Shopify allows you to add thousands of products to different collections making it the more robust platform to handle ecommerce.

What’s your budget?

Be smart about this one and consider your business budget. Take a look at the numbers and see what is best for you.

Squarespace websites start at $12 per month and go all the way up to $40 for the commerce plan. Make sure when you are reviewing the costs, you are looking at the right plan for your business. Some features are unavailable on lower-level plans that you may need for your website design.

The basic plan for Shopify starts at $29/month and goes all the way up to $299 for large ecommerce or wholesale stores. Review their plan levels and features to figure out the best option within their pricing.

It’s always best to compare the Shopify vs Squarespace features you need to see which option is best for you. Keep in mind you may need to pay additional fees for third party apps and software depending on the features and customization needed for your site. Compile all of that information together to figure out your monthly or yearly costs involved with each option.

shopify vs squarespace website

Other Details to Consider

Commision/Referral Fees

If you’re a designer, there are incentives available when you utilize the platform for client projects and websites. Shopify offers a referral fee through their partners program, extended trial and commission payouts. With Squarespace Circle, you get an extended trial, 20% off your first year of hosting and there are even rumors of an affiliate program in the works.

Third Party Apps or Services Integration

Depending on the complexity of your sites needs you may need to use third party apps or integrations. While these apps and integrations can be really helpful to the functionality of your website, they can become expensive additional monthly costs.

Do your research to see which platform may offer the features you need in the base monthly price! For example, with Squarespace you can easily add subscription products but in Shopify you’ll need an app to apply this function.

Blogging

Looking to add a blog to your site? It is possible to create and update a blog on either platform. However, if you plan on having a content heavy blog then Shopify may not be the best fit. Squarespace offers a blogging platform that is robust and can handle custom content.

We’ve covered a lot of different areas to check out when selecting the right platform for your website! Be sure to review each item thoroughly. It’s better to do the leg work ahead of time before you get too deep into design and costs to realize the option you selected isn’t the right fit for you!

Still struggling to decide whether to use Shopify vs Squarespace for your new website? Or need some extra help creating a strategic Squarespace or Shopify website for your business? I’d love to help! See my bio below for more information on how we can connect.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hayley Fedders

Brand + Web Designer

Hayley Fedders is the owner of Three Feathers Design, a Santa Barbara-based design studio. She is dedicated to helping online businesses expand and grow their brand through strategic web design. Reach out to Hayley to connect or for more information on her website design services.

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