Cargo Collective vs Squarespace 2024: Amazing Website Builder Comparison!💥

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When deciding on a platform to host my online presence, especially as a creative professional, artist, or designer, the choice often boils down to the type of website builder that will showcase my work in the best possible light. Cargo Collective vs Squarespace are two well-regarded options in the sphere of website builders, each with its unique selling points and user communities. I find that Cargo Collective appeals for its ease of use and niche appeal among artists and designers, offering an array of templates that stay true to their highly stylised aesthetic.

On the other hand, Squarespace stands out with its sleek, professional templates and a suite of powerful e-commerce and business features that can cater to a wider audience including photographers and small business owners. The usability of each platform is distinct; while Squarespace provides a more intuitive interface for creating full-featured websites, Cargo Collective has a charm for those who prefer simplicity and a more direct way of presenting their work.

Key Takeaways

  • Cargo Collective caters specifically to artists and designers with stylised templates.
  • Squarespace offers a variety of features ideal for building a professional or ecommerce website.
  • Both Squarespace vs Cargo Collective have distinct usability and design capabilities appealing to different user needs.

⏳ Do you want to skip the read and get right to my winner? Squarespace is the Winner within this Cargo Collective vs Squarespace creative website builder test.

Quick Comparison Table of Cargo Collective vs Squarespace

Feature🥇 SquarespaceCargo Collective
PricingGenerally considered to be cost-effectiveStandard sites at $99/year or $13/month
SpecialisationIdeal for a broad range of website typesMore focused on artistic portfolios
Template DesignProfessional, minimalist templatesHighly-stylised, unorthodox designs
Ease of UseUser-friendlyOffers tutorials for support
E-commerceStrong features for online storesCustomisable templates with e-commerce features
CustomisationExtensive site customisation featuresFlexibility in design options
Market PositionLeader in website builder for photographersContender in the same space
SupportComprehensive customer supportSupport for technical issues and tutorials

I've put together a brief chart comparing Cargo Collective vs Squarespace on several key aspects to help you decide which service might better suit your needs. Pricing is a straightforward matter; Squarespace offers a reasonable cost which is often seen as cheaper than Cargo Collective, although the latter's pricing is straightforward too, with a clearly defined annual or monthly rate.

For individuals and businesses looking for a more broadly adaptable website builder, Squarespace is often the go-to choice, while Cargo Collective appeals especially to creative professionals seeking to showcase portfolios with a unique flair. Squarespace's templates lean towards a polished, minimalist aesthetic, whereas Cargo Collective encourages bolder, more distinctive design choices.

Regarding ease of use, both platforms aim to be accessible, but Squarespace clinches the edge for user-friendliness, and Cargo Collective counters with supportive tutorials. For those looking to venture into e-commerce, Squarespace hosts a robust set of features, while Cargo Collective complements its artistic templates with necessary e-commerce capacities.

When you need customisation, Squarespace offers one of the most extensive arrays of options, and Cargo Collective provides great flexibility in design. Finally, if top-notch support is crucial for you, Squarespace's comprehensive customer service may appeal to you, but Cargo Collective also ensures you're not left stranded with both technical support and educational resources.

Overview of Cargo Collective vs Squarespace

In this section, I'll guide you through a straightforward comparison between Cargo Collective vs Squarespace, focusing on their primary aims and the audience they serve, as well as the core functionalities they offer to users. You'll find specific details on what sets each platform apart and how they cater to the creation of online portfolios with an emphasis on an intuitive user experience.

Purpose and Target Audience


Cargo Collective is designed with creatives in mind. My understanding is that this platform targets artists, designers, and other visual creatives looking for a streamlined way to showcase their portfolios. It's user-friendly, allowing individuals to quickly set up a personalised space to display their work.

cargo collective vs squarespace

On the other hand, Squarespace offers a broader set of tools that appeal to a wide range of users, from small business owners to bloggers and artists. It's known for facilitating a more comprehensive, feature-rich experience suitable for creating diverse types of websites, including online stores.

Core Functionalities

Inspecting the functionalities of Cargo Collective, it's evident that the platform prioritises simplicity and ease of use. Users have access to an array of stylish templates that are fully responsive and easily customisable. This aligns perfectly with those who need an intuitive system for showcasing a visual portfolio without the complexity of extra features they may not require.

Squarespace stands out for its extensive features. The platform provides a multitude of website configurations, marketing tools, and e-commerce solutions, making it a go-to for users seeking more than just a portfolio website. Its interface is highly intuitive, allowing me to create professional-looking websites with ease. Squarespace focuses on delivering a comprehensive experience with a robust set of tools that meet a variety of businesses and creative needs.

Platform Usability

When comparing platform usability between Cargo Collective vs Squarespace, I focus on how each service enables users to create and manage their websites with as little friction as possible. The goal is to provide you with an understanding of how straightforward it is to interact with these platforms, particularly for those who may be new to building websites.

Ease of Use and Learning Curve

My experience with Squarespace has shown it to be highly intuitive, and many users find its interface to be user-friendly. The service simplifies the website creation process, providing a relatively shallow learning curve. Squarespaces's drag-and-drop functionality, as mentioned by SaaS Scout, ensures that I can place elements exactly where I want them without much hassle.

In contrast, Cargo Collective focuses on a niche audience that often prioritises creative layouts and design flexibility. Starting with Cargo Collective is quite simple—registration is straightforward, and selecting from one of the 75 responsive templates is a breeze. Still, due to the high customisability and unconventional design options it offers, the learning curve can be a bit steeper for users who are not as experienced with web design principles.

It's important to note that both platforms are designed with the aim of making web development more accessible. However, Squarespace tends to cater to users looking for simplicity and speed, while Cargo Collective meets the needs of users seeking a unique aesthetic and customisation options that might require a bit more time to master.

Design and Customisation Capabilities

In assessing the design and customisation powers of Cargo Collective vs Squarespace, I keep a keen eye on how they serve my creative needs. Both offer a distinct approach to presenting content on the web, yet they vary significantly in the customisation breadth and depth they provide.

Templates and Responsive Design

Both Cargo Collective and Squarespace provide a portfolio of templates that set the stage for any website’s design. Cargo Collective shines with templates designed to complement artistic portfolios, showcasing avant-garde and highly-stylised designs. Contrastingly, Squarespace templates lean towards a minimalist and professional aesthetic. Importantly, all of Squarespace’s templates are responsive, ensuring that my website looks seamless across different devices, which is a critical feature given how diverse the browsing landscape has become.

Customisation Options and Flexibility

When it comes to customisation, Squarespace stands out with its customisation options and flexibility. I find that it offers a more comprehensive suite of editing tools, allowing me to tweak nearly every aspect of the site's design without needing to code. This contrasts with the more straightforward customisation approach of Cargo Collective, which might suit those looking to build something more basic.

Fonts, Colours, and Layouts

Diving into the specifics, I observe that both platforms give me the ability to personalise my site’s typeface and palette. Squarespace offers a wide array of fonts and colours, providing me with the tools I need to ensure my site aligns with my brand identity. Cargo Collective also offers these features, but I notice that Squarespace’s layout options are more varied, giving me the freedom to create more complex site structures and styles.

E-Commerce and Business Features

In choosing between Cargo Collective vs Squarespace for e-commerce and business functionalities, my primary focus is on tangible offerings such as storefront capabilities, marketing and SEO tools, and third-party integrations that could enhance an online store.

E-Commerce Functionality

Cargo Collective shines with its customisable templates which are particularly suited for artistic portfolios and allows artists to seamlessly sell digital products. Their e-commerce features are robust, providing a platform for users to sell both physical and digital items without transaction fees. An additional upgrade enhances the site with added e-commerce capabilities.

In contrast, Squarespace offers an intuitive online store setup, equipped with enhanced checkout options and automatic tax computations, simplifying the complex aspects of running an online store.

Marketing and SEO Tools

Squarespace has an edge when it comes to marketing and SEO tools. My research indicates that it is the preferred choice for a website builder for photographers, likely due to its excellent SEO capabilities which help in showing off visual work to a broader audience.

In terms of SEO tools provided by Cargo Collective, they may not be as extensive, but the platform does offer the essential features needed to help users optimise their site's visibility.

Integrations and Extensions

Integrations and extensions are crucial for expanding an online store's functionality. Here's where Squarespace steps ahead with a wide array of integrations that connect seamlessly with various third-party services. Everything from analytics to advanced marketing tools can be incorporated into a Squarespace site without much fuss.

Although not as extensive, Cargo Collective does offer necessary integrations and tools that serve its community, focusing on the essentials that creative professionals require to manage and grow their online presence.

Technical Aspects and Performance

In my comparison of Cargo Collective vs Squarespace, I’ve found that both have distinctive offerings when it comes to hosting and domain services as well as website performance and security, each with features that cater to different needs.

Hosting and Domain Services

Cargo Collective positions itself as a niche platform tailored for artists and creatives, offering hosting services that support a range of multimedia content. For those who require a custom domain, Cargo allows integration, but it's important to note that domain registration is not provided directly; users must procure their domain from a third-party registrar.

In contrast, Squarespace provides a more comprehensive hosting solution, with web hosting being a strong point. Users can purchase custom domains directly through Squarespace, which simplifies the process of setting up a website. Additionally, each Squarespace plan includes web hosting, thus taking care of both domain registration and hosting in a single service.

  • Hosting Platform:
    • Cargo Collective: Third-party domain integration supported; direct domain registration unavailable.
    • Squarespace: Integrated domain registration and hosting services.

Website Performance and Security

When discussing performance, Squarespace is known for its reliable infrastructure that generally ensures a smooth and responsive user experience. Regular updates and optimizations contribute to this consistent performance.

Security is another paramount aspect, with both platforms implementing SSL encryption to protect sensitive data transmitted through websites. This encryption comes as standard with both services.

  • Website Performance:

    • Both platforms offer robust performance tailored to their target audiences.
    • Squarespace demonstrates a strong performance consistency through its integrated services.
  • Security Features:

    • Cargo Collective: SSL encryption standard with hosting.
    • Squarespace: SSL encryption included along with other security measures in all plans.

Both Cargo Collective vs Squarespace serves my specific needs depending on the project's requirements. For users looking for a speciality hosting platform with a focus on creative content, Cargo is a great option, while those seeking a more all-encompassing service with performance reliability and security might find Squarespace to suit their needs better.

Customer Support and Online Resources

When comparing the customer support provided by Cargo Collective vs Squarespace, I find that both companies offer several support channels, but they implement these services differently.

Squarespace shines with a comprehensive set of support options. They offer 24/7 email support and live chat support during weekdays, which is quite handy for immediate assistance. Notably, they don’t offer phone support. My experience with the Squarespace support team has been generally positive; they’re responsive and knowledgeable, typically replying within an hour during support hours. The wealth of tutorials and well-documented guides on their official site is also impressive, ensuring users can often find answers without direct assistance.

In contrast, Cargo Collective takes a more minimalist approach. Direct customer support is available through email, and while they endeavour to respond promptly, it may take a day or so. The platform does not provide live chat or phone support. However, if you fancy diving into learning on your own, their online resources are quite helpful. The tutorials and FAQs cover a range of topics to help get you started and troubleshoot common issues.

  • Squarespace Support:

    • Email: 24/7
    • Live Chat: Mon-Fri
    • Phone: Not available
    • Resources: Extensive tutorials and guides
  • Cargo Collective Support:

    • Email: Limited hours
    • Live Chat: Not available
    • Phone: Not available
    • Resources: Tutorials and FAQs

From my perspective, while both services are competent, Squarespace has an edge in terms of the breadth and accessibility of their customer support and online resources.

Community and Resources

As we look at both Cargo Collective vs Squarespace, it's clear that community engagement and the availability of resource materials play a crucial role in user experience. These platforms provide diverse communities and a wealth of learning resources that cater to the needs of their users.

Community Support and Inspiration

I find that Squarespace has a robust community, with a variety of forums and user groups where I can exchange ideas and seek guidance. There's a sense of camaraderie among users, which fosters a helpful environment for troubleshooting and sharing inspiration. On the other hand, Cargo Collective appears to have a more niche, but still highly creative user base, which is beneficial if my focus is on artistic and design-centric projects.

  • Squarespace Community: Offers a comprehensive user network, including professional forums, user groups, and involvement in social media channels.
  • Cargo Collective Community: Though smaller, it provides a tightly-knit community that's rich in creative inspiration for artists and designers.

Educational Materials and Tutorials

When it comes to educational resources, both platforms provide a wealth of tutorials and guidance. Squarespace impresses with its extensive library of help articles, video tutorials, and regular webinars that cover everything from website basics to advanced customisation techniques. This aligns with my need for a platform that supports ongoing learning and skill development.

Cargo Collective doesn't fall short either. It provides targeted support with step-by-step guides that facilitate not only website creation but also contributing to my understanding of how to leverage their platform's unique features to showcase my work.

  • Squarespace Tutorials:
    • Extensive video tutorials and help guides
    • Regularly updated webinars and live Q&A sessions.
  • Cargo Collective Tutorials:
    • Focused guides specific to portfolio creation and e-commerce setup.
    • Technical support through direct assistance and documentation.

By engaging with these platforms' communities and resources, I'm able to stay at the forefront of web design trends and enhance my digital presence effectively.

Pricing and Value for Money

When considering website builders like Cargo Collective vs Squarespace, I find it essential to scrutinise their subscription plans and weigh their offerings against the costs. My focus will be on the specifics of their pricing structures and the relative value for money they provide to users with various needs.

Comparison of Subscription Plans

Squarespace offers a range of plans, each escalating in features and price. The initial tier often suffices for individuals looking to establish a basic online presence, whereas the advanced plans are tailored for businesses seeking e-commerce functionalities.

  • Personal Plan: Approximate cost is around £10-£15/month, ideal for simple websites.
  • Business Plan: Roughly £15-£25/month, introduces e-commerce features with a transaction fee.
  • Commerce Plans: Starting from about £20-£30/month, enhanced e-commerce features, no transaction fees.

Conversely, Cargo Collective maintains a simpler, more streamlined approach:

  • Standard Plan: Generally around £8-£12/month, this plan serves creative professionals with portfolio needs.
  • Commerce Plan: When upgraded, costs could be an additional £5-£10/month, offering the ability to sell goods and services online without transaction fees.

Cost Analysis for Different User Needs

For a freelancer like myself, who prioritises showcasing a portfolio without the need for a commerce platform, Cargo Collective's standard offering might be more cost-effective. However, for individuals or small businesses that require a comprehensive e-commerce solution, Squarespace's higher-tier commerce plans, despite their greater cost, might represent a better value due to their robust set of features.

Conversely, Squarespace's free version can serve as a starting point for users new to website building, allowing them to experiment before committing financially. Cargo Collective, to my knowledge, does not offer a free version, nudging potential users towards an immediate paid commitment.

Both platforms offer the option to upgrade as a user's needs evolve, ensuring scalability and flexibility. This comparison illustrates that the ‘value for money' is highly dependent on the specific requirements and intentions of the user.

User Experiences and Findrscore

I've analysed both Cargo Collective vs Squarespace thoroughly to see how they stack up in terms of user experience. My findings concentrate on the ease of use, flexibility in design, and the overall satisfaction that users seem to derive from using these platforms.

When it comes to user experience, Squarespace is often celebrated for its intuitive interface. Users commend it for allowing even beginners to craft a professional-looking website without a steep learning curve. In particular, I've noticed that it's been hailed as a top choice in the category of Website Builder for Photographers, and a strong contender for small businesses.

On the other side, Cargo Collective provides a platform that is attuned to the needs of creatives seeking a more niche approach for their online portfolios. According to users' feedback, it's remarkably easy to get started—simply sign up, pick a name, and choose from an array of responsive templates tailored for artistic content.

The FindrScore (fs), an aggregated score reflecting user reviews and other metrics, also sheds light on the comparative standing of these two services. Squarespace boasts a FindrScore that signifies confidence among users regarding its cost-effectiveness and feature set, which includes site customisation.

Here are some highlights:

  • Squarespace:
    • FindrScore (+61)
    • Top choice for Website Builder for Photographers
    • Strong in Website Builder for Small Businesses
    • Renowned for affordability
  • Cargo Collective:
    • Emphasis on customizable layouts suitable for artistic portfolios
    • Currently offers over 75 fully responsive templates

In a nutshell, Squarespace extends a broad appeal with a reasonable price point and a multitude of features, while Cargo Collective focuses on a niche audience with specific template customisation needs.

Comparative Analysis

When exploring the differences between Cargo Collective vs Squarespace, it's crucial to assess both the benefits and drawbacks of these website builders. Their unique features and limitations profoundly impact the user experience, suitability for certain projects, and overall website performance.

Pros and Cons


  • Pros:

    • Offers a wide range of high-quality, professional templates suitable for various industries.
    • Known for its robust eCommerce capabilities, making it ideal for full-featured online stores.
    • Simplifies site management with an intuitive drag-and-drop interface.
  • Cons:

    • Can be more expensive than some competitors, which might deter budget-conscious users.
    • Offers fewer creative opportunities for unconventional designs compared to some niche platforms.

Cargo Collective

  • Pros:

    • Favoured for its stylised templates and creative freedom, particularly appealing to artists and designers.
    • Generally more affordable, which might suit users just starting out or with limited financial resources.
  • Cons:

    • Has a steeper learning curve due to its customisation options.
    • Less known for eCommerce, potentially making it less suitable for online retailers.

Personal Experience

Having spent considerable time constructing websites both personally and professionally, I find myself quite familiar with Cargo Collective vs Squarespace. These platforms offer distinctly different experiences, catering to various user needs and skill levels.

Squarespace provides a sleek user interface that simplifies the design process. My experience with it has been largely positive; the range of templates and the drag-and-drop editor allowed for quick and easy crafting of aesthetically pleasing sites. The focus seems to be on efficient usability without needing extensive coding knowledge. Moreover, their pricing structure, while not the cheapest, aligns with the features provided.

  • Ease of use: Simple for beginners
  • Customisation: Broad but user-friendly
  • Templates: Modern design choices
  • User Interface: Intuitive

Conversely, Cargo Collective demands a bit more creativity and patience from its users. When I utilised Cargo for artistic projects, the freedom in design was significant. Notably, however, there's arguably a steeper learning curve if you wish to delve beyond the basics. For creative individuals who want a unique digital showcase and have some technical know-how, Cargo is quite compelling.

  • Design freedom: High, with a learning curve
  • Price: Free, with paid upgrades
  • Aesthetic: Ideal for portfolios
  • Technicality: Some coding knowledge beneficial

I've recognised that Squarespace is arguably more accessible for entrepreneurs and small businesses seeking a robust online presence with minimal fuss. On the contrary, Cargo Collective intrigues artists and creatives who are after a portfolio that can break the mould. Each platform has carved out its niche excellently.

Conclusion & Recommendation

In this comparison between Cargo Collective vs Squarespace, it's clear that both platforms offer robust features tailored for specific user needs. Making an informed decision requires examining key aspects such as pricing, usability, and design capabilities.

Who is Cargo Collective best for?

Cargo Collective shines for creatives seeking a high degree of customisation in showcasing portfolios. The platform rates highly for site customisation, making it ideal for artists, designers, and photographers who wish to reflect their unique style.

Who is Squarespace best for?

Squarespace suits individuals and businesses looking for ease-of-use without compromising on quality and design sophistication. Its modern website templates are perfect for entrepreneurs and small businesses aiming to establish a professional web presence quickly and effectively.


While these two stand out, there are other website builders in the market. For those prioritising e-commerce or requiring advanced SEO tools, alternatives like Shopify or WordPress might be a better fit.

PlatformKey FeaturesPrice (Basic Paid Plan)My ViewTry For Free
🥇 SquarespaceBeautiful templates, social media integration, SEO tools$12/month
Check Pricing
Squarespace is a great all-around portfolio builder with excellent design aesthetics.Try For Free
🥈 WixExtensive customization, large app market, ADI featureFree to start, paid plans from $14/month
Check Pricing
Best for maximum creative controlTry For Free
🥉 Adobe PortfolioIntegration with Creative Cloud, clean templates, automatic optimizationIncluded with Creative Cloud ($20.99/month)
Check Pricing
Ideal for existing Adobe Creative Cloud subscribersTry For Free
WordPress.comMassive flexibility, huge template selection, powerful blogging featuresFree to start, paid plans from $4/month
Check Pricing
Best for those who want maximum flexibility and blogging capabilityTry For Free
WeeblyUser-friendly, built-in SEO tools, advanced website analyticsFree to start, paid plans from $6/month
Check Pricing
Good for beginners with small portfoliosTry For Free
FormatClient proofing, online store, themes optimized for artists$6/month
Check Pricing
Format is great for professionals, offering client proofing and online store featuresTry For Free
SmugmugUnlimited photo uploads, eCommerce capabilities, privacy controls$7/month
Check Pricing
SmugMug is an excellent choice for photographers, offering unlimited photo uploads.Try For Free
PixpaE-commerce, client proofing, blog, custom CSS$7/month
Check Pricing
Ideal for creatives who need a blend of portfolio and e-commerceTry For Free
DudaCollaboration tools, excellent templates, widget personalization$14/month
Check Pricing
Great for collaborative portfolio buildingTry For Free
Check Pricing
ZenfolioClient access pages, built-in marketing tools, unlimited storage$5/month
Check Pricing
Best for professional photographers who want client access featuresTry For Free

Final Word

My recommendation is based on the unique requirements of the user. If high customisation and a distinctive artistic touch are priorities, Cargo Collective is an excellent choice. On the other hand, Squarespace offers a more user-friendly experience with a balance of beautiful design and practical features, which makes it the comparison winner here!

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, I aim to provide clear and straightforward answers to common queries regarding Cargo Collective vs Squarespace. These two platforms offer different benefits, and I'll discuss the specifics comparing templates, user experience, e-commerce, and SEO capabilities.

What advantages does Cargo Collective offer compared to Squarespace?

Comparing Cargo Collective vs Squarespace, Cargo Collective is often commended for its simplicity and focus on creative portfolios, allowing for ease of use and straightforward content management without overwhelming features that could complicate the creative process.

Which platform provides better templates for creative professionals, Cargo Collective or Squarespace?

Between Cargo Collective vs Squarespace, for creative professionals looking for unique and stylised templates, Cargo Collective often provides more experimental and unorthodox designs, catering to those wanting to make bold visual statements. In contrast, Squarespace's templates are professional and minimalist, making them ideal for a wide range of uses.

What are the benefits of using Squarespace over Cargo Collective for website building?

If you compare Cargo Collective vs Squarespace, Squarespace is praised for its affordability and its role as a leader in website building for photographers and small businesses. It offers advanced site customisation features, making it a strong contender when comprehensive functionality and flexibility are needed.

How does the user experience of Cargo Collective compare with that of Squarespace?

Cargo Collective might appeal to those who appreciate straightforward design and functionality, whereas Squarespace provides a more robust and dynamic user experience, due to its broader array of customisation options and features.

Can Cargo Collective's e-commerce capabilities stand up to those offered by Squarespace?

When it comes to e-commerce, Squarespace generally provides a more comprehensive set of tools suitable for creating a full-featured online store, which makes it a better option for those looking to conduct online sales at a larger scale.

In terms of search engine optimisation, how do Cargo Collective and Squarespace measure up against each other?

Both Cargo Collective vs Squarespace support basic SEO practices; however, Squarespace is often regarded as having more comprehensive SEO tools and better flexibility for optimising content for search engines.

That’s all for now:

If you've read our Cargo Collective vs Squarespace comparison up to here, we are grateful. Remember to always keep abreast of the latest developments on website builders, eCommerce, and other comparison articles, such as the ones below;


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