From themes to editors. The two most popular site builders have crucial differences.
I get you! It’s a choice many people have doubts about. And I’m here to help you understand the differences, so you can make the choice that’s best for you!
You found the right page. I’ve built and analyzed over 300 websites built with Shopify and Squarespace, and I’m here to share my experiences with you.
My work is supported by affiliate commissions. Learn more.
My name is Ralph de Groot. I’m the founder and author at My Codeless Website. Wake me up for a great web design!
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Shopify vs. Squarespace at a glance
1. Two most popular website builders
Shopify and Squarespace are the two top-rated website builders! Combined, they have over 1 million websites up and running.
2. Aggressive feature releases
Both Shopify and Squarespace have been releasing new features at the speed of light. It’s clear that they’re going head to head to become the most popular website builder. That being said, when one of them releases a popular feature, it won’t be long until the other releases it as well.
3. Main difference between Shopify and Squarespace
Shopify is only for eCommerce websites, while Squarespace is for ANY type of website. Simple as that!
4. Incredible templates
Shopify has over 100 pre-built themes—both free and premium, while Squarespace has 113. That being said, I’m sure you’ll find a beautiful one with both of them!
5. Disadvantages Shopify ❌
- Monthly charges pile up
- No email hosting provided
- It doesn’t let users post blogs or vlogs (pure eCommerce only)
6. Disadvantages Squarespace ❌
- It’s impossible to get custom solutions from support
- They don’t offer a one-time pricing
- The customer support isn’t amazing
#2 How to install Shopify or Squarespace
Installing Shopify or Squarespace is actually super easy! Just follow my steps, and you’ll have everything set up in less than 5 minutes. Pinky promise!
I split it up into 2 phases.
Phase 1 is for Shopify, and Phase 2 is for Squarespace.
Phase 1 – How to Install Shopify
Step 1: Go to Shopify’s website and try their 14-day Free Trial.
Step 2: Start your free trial by answering the needed information.
Enter your email address, password, and preferred store name. Make sure to think of something catchy to the eyes!
Step 3: Answer some questions about yourself and your business.
Step 4: After answering the needed questions, you’ll be redirected to your own Shopify profile.
Step 5: Add the items you want to sell.
Step 6: Make essential pages for your shop.
Step 7: Choose a theme and personalize your online store.
It’s time to unleash your hidden creativity!
Step 8: Configure your shipping options.
Step 9: Set up your tax settings.
Step 10: Configure your payment system and rewards.
Step 11: Get your store ready for launch.
Step 12: Open your shop.
Congratulations! It’s time to sell!
Phase 2 – How To Install Squarespace
Step 1: Go to the website of Squarespace and click on Get Started.
Step 2: Choose a template.
Once you press Get Started, you’ll be prompted to choose a template.
On the Squarespace website alone, there are already more than 100 visually appealing templates to choose from.
It may be time-consuming and stressful to decide which option is the greatest match for your website, even while it is good to have so many alternatives. To make your job easier, check out the type or topic options to filter. You can also select a blank page.
Step 3: Look like a professional by setting up a domain.
Step 4: Create a style for your website to establish your brand’s tone.
Step 5: Add the pages you need and delete the ones you don’t.
Step 6: Configure SEO.
The marketing section of your toolbar includes an SEO option where you can import your keyword list for ranking purposes.
Step 7: Prioritize analytics!
Data analytics is significant since it allows you to improve your performance. You can also utilize data analytics to make smarter decisions and monitor customer patterns and satisfaction.
Step 8: It’s time to party!
Your Squarespace website is ready for use!
Shopify has sleek and customizable themes that will help you convey your brand! You can choose from over 100 pre-built themes—both free and premium to your heart’s desire.
Varied themes feature different aesthetics and layouts, and each provides a unique experience for your clients!
Take a look at these excellent examples to see what they have:
Shopify Theme 1 – Dawn
Shopify Theme 2 – Giallo
Shopify Theme 3 – Impulse
Things you should know about Shopify Themes:
Shopify has over 100 pre-built themes—both free and premium, allowing you to customize and adjust your work to your liking.
All themes in Shopify are mobile-friendly, which increases your chances of converting on-the-go customers.
A free Shopify theme is ideal for people who are just getting started selling online. However, in comparison to a premium theme, the layout of a free theme is relatively basic.
If you decide to use a premium template in the future, you may need to contact the developer who made it for assistance and inquiries.
So much trouble if you ask me when there are free themes to choose from. But then again, it’s your preference after all!
Let’s continue with some amazing Squarespace templates.
Squarespace provides a fantastic selection of templates.
Although aesthetics are subjective, I believe that no other website builder can compete with Squarespace’s clean, contemporary templates.
Just replace the placeholder content with your own and that’s it, you got a website. You can adjust elements to make them just the way you like it.
Squarespace template 1 – Personal
Squarespace template 2 – Photography
Squarespace template 3 – Restaurant
Things you should know about Squarespace Templates
Here are a few essential points to remember:
Templates are responsive, which means that they adapt to the size of the browser window, making them suitable for use on desktops, mobile devices, and tablets.
- Squarespace designs have a distinct appearance that includes bold text, white space, and ample website area to display photos.
- As of Squarespace 7.1, templates serve as starting points for new projects. Every template is a member of the same family and shares the same features and customization possibilities.
- Squarespace designs are intended to display photography. Even the most basic stock photographs will improve the overall appearance of a Squarespace website.
Definitely Squarespace! Through the years, their main asset is their use of templates. The amazing thing is, there are over 100 designs to pick from, and they appear both creative and modern.
Unfortunately, with the 7.1 upgrades, swapping from one template to another is no longer feasible. Nevertheless, its designs are now more versatile, making it easy to modify if necessary.
#4 The Editor
It’s tough to compare the user interface of Shopify and Squarespace, as it’s highly dependent on personal preferences.
There will be tons of people who think that Shopify clearly has a better editor. But then again, others will say Squarespace wins.
I’ll start comparing the two for you to see the difference:
The Shopify editor compared to Squarespace
Shopify’s editor is a breeze for its users. Being the #1 eCommerce platform doesn’t prevent you from enjoying it to the fullest. Its editor is drag-and-drop, which means you can click, drag, and drop visual elements anywhere on the website.
In addition, it offers an easy-to-use interface with visual hints, so you’ll never get lost when developing your online store.
The Squarespace editor compared to Shopify
Compared to Shopify, Squarespace’s sections and content blocks are the building components of its pages.
Content blocks are the various pieces that make up your websites, such as text, buttons, photos, maps, forms, and other features. In general, they are known as building blocks.
Sections are stacked vertically on your website and include content chunks that are linked together.
Even though you may build a part from scratch, you can also select from a library of pre-designed sections, such as the following:
Background pictures may be used in sections, which is essential for a contemporary, full-bleed image feel. The height, breadth, alignment, and colors of a section may all be customized, but you cannot go too much from this basic structure.
Squarespace it is! In my opinion, its simple template editor and user-friendly interface are difficult to match.
#5 Ease of Use
Shopify provides a straightforward approach to building an online store without the hassle. Because all the features are logically organized, the interface is solid, user-friendly, and accessible to all users.
On the Shopify website, you may also discover detailed documentation and video guides on using it. All you truly require is a marketable product.
Squarespace is a website builder geared for beginners that allows users to construct websites without knowing any code. Anyone may take charge of the construction process and develop a website in their spare time.
Furthermore, customers may choose a package that already includes a name and hosting, eliminating the need to independently maintain or purchase these items.
One downside, however, once you choose a template and edit it to your liking, it’s not easy to change to a different template. In fact, it means you have to start over.
On Squarespace, you can even build and fully complete your website before ever paying. This is super handy if you’re comparing different builders.
I believe that Squarespace’s UI is more streamlined and more straightforward to use than Shopify’s, particularly in terms of essential content management!
It may not be the most user-friendly website builder, but I feel it is one of the greatest products of its kind. I’ve been using it for years now, and I believe Squarespace provides the ideal balance of power, ease of use, and great design.
Can you use Shopify or Squarespace for eCommerce?
Yes, actually, they’re both perfect for it. Let me show you why.
Let’s start with:
Shopify is a full-service eCommerce platform that allows you to launch, grow, and operate a business. Anyone may set up an online store and market their products using subscription-based software.
Through the years, Shopify has made entrepreneurship more approachable to anybody seeking independence. It is designed for you, whether you’re just getting started or a legendary brand reaching clients all over the world.
Listed below are some of its eCommerce features:
70+ professional themes
You’ll enjoy how your website appears on Shopify, thanks to themes made by phenomenal designers.
Built-in mobile commerce shopping cart
Your Shopify online store comes with a built-in mobile commerce shopping cart.
Edit HTML and CSS
You have complete access to your store’s HTML and CSS, allowing you to alter every component of your website easily.
100 payment gateways
Shopify works with over 100 external payment methods worldwide, including bitcoin, PayPal, and iDEAL. Begin your free trial and take a look for yourself!
Squarespace eCommerce is a top-tier option for creating online stores. Listed below are some of its advanced features:
You may offer items that are regularly charged as subscriptions. This is something that eCommerce website builders are capable of, but I am not aware of a single website builder that is capable of doing so.
Email receipts that may be customized
This is a feature that far too many website builders overlook. Squarespace allows you to personalize the email receipts that consumers get after making a purchase. Customers’ email receipts provide an excellent opportunity to thank them or upsell them.
Product Variations of Superior Quality
You may develop several product variations, each with its pricing.
Using Squarespace for Digital Items and Services
You are not limited to using Squarespace only for physical products. You may also sell digital items or accept payments from clients for services you provide.
Incorporation of ShipStation
ShipStation is a widely used application for printing shipping labels.
Apple Pay Integration
Squarespace allows you to utilize Stripe as a payment provider, which enables consumers to pay you using Apple Pay on their devices. Apple Pay has been demonstrated to improve the number of successful mobile checkouts (it lets customers authorize payments with only Touch ID).
POS (Point of Sale)
In November 2019, Squarespace introduced a Point of Sale system that works with Square’s credit card reader and the Squarespace Commerce app.
Keep in mind that you can only start an online shop by choosing the appropriate plan. Plans for eCommerce are slightly more expensive than regular plans and start at $24. Squarespace eCommerce can run a fully-fledged shop, but competitors like Shopify may have more options to offer.
100% Shopify! It is truly one of the unique eCommerce systems available today, especially for larger businesses. It’s intended to assist users in creating their expandable online store, complete with hundreds of built-in features and applications.
Both Shopify and Squarespace have a lot of features. Honestly, I can’t think of any feature I would like to add to either one of them.
However, I can imagine you want to know more about what features are included. So here we go.
Try Shopify for free and learn about all of the tools and services you’ll need to launch, manage, and improve your business. Check out these awesome features to see what Shopify is capable of:
Online sales channels
Shopify allows you to sell online through a variety of channels. In fact, each channel is linked to it, allowing you to quickly monitor your goods, purchases, and customers across all platforms.
Manual order creation
You can generate new orders and provide payment information directly from the Shopify admin. 10/10 for this feature! Very helpful in my opinion.
Abandoned cart recovery
Customers who leave your store without finishing the checkout process are automatically emailed via abandoned checkout recovery (ACR). Go get that order!
You can examine an overview of your sales, transactions, and pending sales data by using the financial summary.
Unlimited bandwidth and online storage
You will not be billed based on the number of online visits to your store or the number of files or photos you upload.
Now let’s continue with Squarespace.
Excellent. In terms of blogging, Squarespace is the only website builder that competes with WordPress. If you’re a blogger looking for a website builder, Squarespace is a great option.
My only concern is this: Squarespace does not automatically save your submissions; you must link it to a source. Why can’t submissions be saved by default?
Squarespace has long been a favorite among artists and photographers, thanks to its stunning picture galleries.
Visitors can arrange and pay for visits using Appointment Scheduling. There is a monthly charge, and options begin at $14 per month.
While Google Analytics may always be added, Squarespace offers its own analytics that seamlessly integrates with current Squarespace capabilities to measure sales per product.
Members’ Only Area
Members Area, which allows you to produce and manage premium content for registered customers, was introduced by Squarespace in 2020. It does come at a cost (monthly plans start at $9) and a transaction fee.
Another round of applause for Shopify! It provides the most extensive sales and inventory management tools, as well as compelling marketing features.
Let’s talk about pricing. When comparing Shopify vs. Squarespace, price is an essential factor to consider. So, which platform is less expensive and which gives more value?
Let’s take a closer look.
When you use Shopify to build and maintain your online store, you’ll have access to sales channels, versatility, and many website features. The question is, how much does all of this charge you?
Shopify offers three main pricing options:
- Basic Shopify — $29 per month
- Shopify — $79 per month
- Advanced Shopify — $299 per month
If the three options don’t work for you, Shopify offers a low-cost alternative as well as an enterprise-level one. Check these out:
- Shopify Lite — $9 per month
- Shopify Plus — custom pricing.
Shopify’s plans are pricey compared to other eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce. However, if you’re passionate about creating a successful online store, Shopify is a fantastic platform to help you get there.
Compared to Shopify, Squarespace offers four pricing options:
- Personal — $12 per month
- Business — $18 per month
- Basic Commerce — $26 per month
- Advanced Commerce — $40 per month
With only $40 per month, you already have access to Squarespace’s most powerful commerce features.
Meanwhile, you must spend at least $299 to receive the most advanced out-of-the-box functionality from Shopify, as well as various apps and add-ons for growing your business.
Come on, isn’t Squarespace the obvious answer? Shopify’s plans appear to be cheap at first glance, but as you look more deeply, you’ll discover that launching your eCommerce business with Shopify may be highly costly.
If you’re looking for a Shopify alternative, WooCommerce is the way to go. It provides all of the tools and capabilities that Shopify does but is more budget-friendly.
I’m going to keep this short. Both of them are great for SEO.
Shopify provides a fantastic set of SEO tools, covering all the fundamentals that an online company could want. As a user, you can optimize your content using Shopify’s built-in features!
Here are some of the SEO features that Shopify users may take advantage of:
- Manage and edit title tags, meta descriptions, and URLs.
- Edit or change the alt text for images.
All Squarespace designs are fully responsive, which means that your site’s design will simply adapt to look good on tablets, mobile devices, and desktop PCs. This not only makes your site more accessible to the masses, but it can also bring significant SEO value.
Here are some of the SEO features that Squarespace users may take advantage of:
- Squarespace allows advanced users to insert their own code. This will enable you to modify things exactly how you want and achieve the desired SEO results.
- Squarespace allows users to send indexing requests to Google.
- You do not need to manually add an XML site because the website builder will do it for you.
It’s a draw! Both are good for SEO if you ask me. In fact, I’ve seen several big Shopify and Squarespace websites with millions of visitors per month, all because of SEO!
#10 Domains & Emails
Shopify Email provides you with the resources you need to build your business, from pre-built layouts to tracking. With no prior experience required, you’ll appear to be an expert right away!
In addition, you can start with no charge at all! You can send up to 2,500 emails every month for free. Shopify makes it simple to get started with email marketing and will support you as you grow.
Squarespace’s email campaigns provide a one-of-a-kind solution for you to expand and connect with your audience while remaining true to your identity and style. The cool thing is, Squarespace has an email style for every audience and great website templates for every function.
Give it up for Shopify! As a platform, it provides more marketing options to assist in the growth of your online store than Squarespace. It has additional built-in email marketing features and gives you access to a vast array of marketing applications. 10/10 for your email needs!
Here is a collection of my favorite 49 Squarespace websites
Definitely have a look at both these examples to better understand what’s possible with each site builder.
Shopify website example – https://flourist.com/
Squarespace website example – https://www.fatchoynyc.com/
#12 Customer Support
Shopify places great importance on customer service. They are available 24/7, and the reaction time is very quick, ensuring that you’re never left in the dark. You can contact them by phone, mail, or webchat.
Squarespace’s customer service options are relatively limited. Most concerns are fixed by visiting their forum, which I believe is handy enough to solve your problems.
If you can’t find a solution in the knowledge base, there’s live chat available from Monday to Friday.
Both Shopify and Squarespace provide excellent customer service to assist you in resolving your concerns. However, Shopify triumphs this round as it allows for phone, email, and live chat support 24/7! What more can you ask for?
To be honest, I’m shocked that Squarespace performed so well in this evaluation. For a company that is famous for blogging, they’ve really stepped up their eCommerce strategy. Who knows what they’ll be able to accomplish in the next few years?
Should you use Shopify or Squarespace? Honestly, it depends on what you need.
Shopify is a more effective eCommerce platform, while Squarespace is a more effective website builder. End of story.
Which is faster, Shopify or Squarespace?
It’s a draw! Both of them function well with no interruptions, so you don’t need to worry about anything.
Is Shopify better than Squarespace?
No. Although Squarespace has accepted eCommerce as well, their primary purpose is different from one another. Shopify is a more effective eCommerce platform, while Squarespace is a more effective website builder. Don’t stress yourself too much.
Which is cheaper, Shopify or Squarespace?
Definitely Squarespace! If you’re on a budget, I recommend not choosing Shopify at first. However, if you want to go all-in, it’s your decision to purchase a plan. Best of luck!