Do you want to skip the read and get right to my winner? Squarespace is the Winner within this BigCommerce Squarespace comparison platform test.
Introduction: Which works better in 2021 – BigCommerce vs Squarespace?
Ecommerce site builders are a dime a dozen these days, what with people making the jump from physical storefronts to virtual ones. But, as with anything, not all ecommerce builders are made equal.
For this comparative report, the choice is between BigCommerce vs Squarespace. Honestly, we find this an exciting match-up as, over time, these two builders have gained quite a following within the ecommerce sector and have constantly worked to improve their software as a service (SaaS) platforms.
Pros and Cons of BigCommerce Squarespace:
If you want to get a more in-depth understanding of the showdown between BigCommerce vs Squarespace, you can click on these articles:
The tale of the tape in the BigCommerce vs Squarespace is as follows:
Since 2009, BigCommerce has specifically serviced the online business community. Headquartered in Texas where the “bigger is better” mindset prevails, the SaaS provider has been growing steadily for over a decade now and boasts of nearly 100,000 websites built with and hosted through it. That sounds modest compared to the competition, but you don’t mess with the provider from Texas when its client base includes several internationally renowned brands.
Squarespace has come a long way from its humble beginnings in founder Anthony Casalena’s dorm room at the University of Maryland. Starting off as a basic website builder, it has since grown into a 4.1 million website strong platform that currently hosts over 100,000 unique online stores.
Ease of Use:
We’ll be honest here: there’s easy, and there’s challenging. At the onset, BigCommerce falls into the challenging category. The learning curve is rather steep, so you need to sit down with it for about an hour or so to get the hang of the system and be able to navigate through the user interface (UI) without too many wrong clicks. Still, once you do get in sync with it, BigCommerce is a doddle to use.
Again: this platform also falls into the challenging category and you may find yourself wishing you’d taken on an easier-from-the-get-go SaaS. Like BigCommerce, Squarespace does take some time to learn – and it’s like an Easter egg hunt in the sense that some key features are buried deep within the UI and menu items are not quite where you would expect them to be. But when you finally get a hang of the drag-and-drop builder, it’s all systems go and you have numerous handy tools at your fingertips.
Winner – Draw! in this Ease of Use comparison between BigCommerce vs Squarespace.
Features and Flexibility:
Drag-and-drop UIs are de rigueur among ecommerce builders and it’s the UI you get with BigCommerce. As it’s an ecommerce-specific platform, it also comes with a variety of solutions to make store management easier, including tools for handling inventory, marketing, international currency conversion and language support, as well as shipping and delivery.
Even at its most basic, Squarespace has so much to offer. Along with an intuitive site builder, you get a custom domain, an SSL certificate (nifty to have for online security), an SEO tool suite, and even an analytics module to help you keep tabs on site traffic.
Themes and Templates:
Of 162 available templates, only twelve are actually free and you need to pay between $150 to $300 each for the premium ones. But here’s the fun twist in the tale: each template has three palette variations, enabling users to choose a colour scheme in keeping with their brand identity.
There’s a reason why the global creative community adores Squarespace despite the fact that it has less – currently 100 in total – themes to choose from. All those templates are easily customisable with one’s choice of colours, filters, and special effects to create a truly unique online storefront. For ecommerce users, you can even choose a template specific for the industry you’re operating in.
Two words: built in. You don’t need to download a secondary customisation app or plugin to customise your site as BigCommerce has all the bells and whistles you need to enhance the overall look and make the user experience (UX) easier and interactive.
Compared to BigCommerce Squarespace isn’t slouching in this category, either. As with BigCommerce, Squarespace’s customisation capabilities are built right into the UI. However, if you’re gunning for ecommerce-specific customisation options, you’ll need to check out the offerings from Squarespace Extensions, the platform’s proprietary apps market.
3rd Party Integrations:
Productivity is a big thing when it comes to BigCommerce, and the integrations it offers through its online apps market are a testament to that. You have scheduling apps like Trello and communication tools like Slack on board, along with MailChimp and a host of other options for online and offline marketing, payment integration with the likes of Stripe and PayPay, and numerous tools for everything from basic accounting to international currency and language support.
Get this: 3,000 third-party integrations in total, all of which are available via Squarespace Extensions. Along with productivity and marketing solutions, the roster runs the gamut from currency support to international shipping management. Social media integration is a breeze, as is comms support via apps like Messenger and WhatsApp.
Squarespace’s current tech partners include Google, Slack, PayPal, Stripe, Trello, and Square.
Thanks to hosting sites via the Google Cloud, BigCommerce assures its users of 99.99% uptime, as well as optimal online security. Cloud hosting is also the reason why BigCommerce sites load so quickly (and you’ll see just how fast in the pagespeed section.) The platform is also one of the few SaaS providers that are currently ISO/IEC 27001:2013 online service quality-compliant. Plus, being on the cloud allows the platform to offer unlimited bandwidth and file storage for its customers.
Squarespace was originally a freestanding site builder with its own hosting service. That said, this has evolved to become a data centre-redundant cloud-based service. Not a bad deal, but it’s best to check the plan you get to see how much bandwidth and file storage you’re getting.
Unfortunately, BigCommerce doesn’t have an automatic backup function built into its UI, but relies, instead, on third-party backup apps to facilitate data retention. While there are a number of possible choices available through the BigCommerce app centre, platform users swear by Rewind as their backup app of choice.
Unlike BigCommerce Squarespace provides regular automated backups at regular intervals across all subscription packages.
BigCommerce does not offer full cross-platform site migration, but it does have a number of built-in tools for moving important information from a store built on another platform to the backend of your BigCommerce account.
The issue we have with Squarespace is that it has no provisions for moving either full sites or even piecemeal information from stores hosted on different platforms. You can, however, move your files manually by saving them as a *.csv file you can carry over to your Squarespace account.
Winner: Squarespace! – in this Features and Flexibility section of this BigCommerce vs Squarespace comparison.
SEO and Mobility:
How does BigCommerce Squarespace measure up in terms of search engine optimisation?
BigCommerce is fully SEO capable with metadata tools built right into the UI, as well as site-wide SSL certification for individual accounts.
SEO features for improving site visibility on the most popular search engines are built right into the Squarespace UI.
BigCommerce’s somewhat downsized SaaS is downloadable via both the Google Play Store for Android and the Apple App Store for iOS. This micro-sized app enables store owners to access all their stores with a single log-in, monitor store performance, and manage their catalogs, orders, and customer database wherever they may be and at any time. If you’re using BigCommerce for Android, you’ll see that it has more features than the iOS edition.
Available for both Android and iOS, Squarespace’s mobile app enables users to run their stores easily from any location and offers features like label scanning, customer contact, inventory management, and order management.
BigCommerce loads in as fast as 2.4 seconds.
Squarespace clocks in at the slightly slower but still respectable time of 2.49 seconds.
Winner – Draw! This BigCommerce Squarespace section is so well-matched feature for feature, that we are calling this section a draw.
Which between BigCommerce Squarespace can help you construct a functional online store?
BigCommerce truly skews towards the online retail sector with its extensive solutions for web sales. Tools allow users to create product rules, sell digital products like tickets and film downloads, an easy to use order process management system, a facility for creating bestsellers’ lists, and a frequent shoppers’ reward system.
Squarespace everything from multicurrency support and customized checkouts to social media marketing and shipping tools, as well as service solutions for merchants providing services and downloadable materials. Other inclusions are appointment trackers, GPS, and mailing list builders.
Winner – Draw! Again, we are calling this BigCommerce Squarespace battle a draw in this eCommerce category.
Support and Resources:
How does BigCommerce Squarespace help users navigate through their respective platforms?
The knowledge base for this platform is maintained and constantly being updated by an inhouse team of technical experts and development specialists. Paired with 24/7 customer service through multiple contact channels, and BigCommerce has a fairly solid support system for its clientele.
Squarespace offers 24/7 customer and technical support through live chat and email, bolstered further by a knowledge base that includes video tutorials and a regularly updates information blog. The platform also goes a step further by offering periodic webinars on new developments to the system or emerging trends in the fields of site building and ecommerce.
Winner – Squarespace! This would have been easy to call a draw between BigCommerce vs Squarespace, but Squarespace’s ongoing learning offerings take things a step further and earn it the win in this category.
$29.95 to 299.95 a month is the standard range for BigCommerce’s subscription plans. There is a catch, however: not all of them will have the full functionality touted on the platform’s website. Also, be sure to check your plan: at a certain revenue range, BigCommerce charges a 2% fee per transaction.
Squarespace’s most basic ecommerce plan – Business – will cost you $18.00 monthly. That’s a good eleven dollars lower than BigCommerce’s most basic, and it comes with an incredibly functional site building and store development platform with everything you need to get into business ASAP. On top of all that, there are tools for online promotion as well as $100 worth of Google Ad credits.
Winner: BigCommerce vs Squarespace pricing? We’re giving this match to Squarespace.
Comparison Winner: BigCommerce or Squarespace?
This was a tight race to call as both BigCommerce and Squarespace are strong contenders. But if we are going to go by numbers as well as features and functionality, Squarespace easily comes away as the winner.
Conclusion and Recommendation:
Wrapping up this BigCommerce vs Squarespace comparison;
We have tried as much as we could to deliver a review featuring an unbiased look at the two platforms presented in this article. However, if you have specific needs for your website, you would do well to do some shopping around to see which platform will work best for you.
For alternates you should also consider Shopify, be sure to check out articles around Bigcommerce vs Shopify vs Squarespace.
That’s all for now:
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Not only the best tea/coffee maker on the team Sophie is our Chief Editor. Skilled across multiple marketing skill areas Sophie is our all rounder and a great asset to the team. Sophie is a website building trainer and tech writer who takes pride in helping small businesses and startups build their websites and launch their eCommerce platforms. Sophie is also the practical joker of the team and always wears a smile on her face. In her spare time she likes to spend her time with family. She loves going on holidays and spending time with friends.