Squarespace vs Square Online Store: Which is Better in 2021?

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Introduction: Squareup vs Squarespace – What Sets Them Apart?

Two separate and competing site builders are taking the spotlight in this review. So, what's the tale of the tape where Squarespace vs Square is concerned? What is the difference between Square and Squarespace that goes beyond their names?


Pros and Cons for  Square Online Store vs Squarespace:

If you want to get a more in-depth understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of Squarespace vs Square, you can click on these articles:


Overview:

Before we start this platform comparison, what's Squareup vs Squarespace in a nutshell?

Squarespace:

The New York-based platform has grown into a service that has built and hosted over 4.1 million websites across the globe as of January 2021. Over 100,000 sites across the globe are specifically for eCommerce and online sales.

Square Online Store:

Square Online Store, also known as Squareup, has a more convoluted history. While Square is best known as a payment processing portal, it actually had its own proprietary site builder in the early 2010s. The company’s acquisition of site builder Weebly in 2018 fueled its current growth and prompted its rebranding. The acquisition brought over 50 million websites under the brand, of which many were already online stores – and the numbers are growing every day.


Ease of Use:

With respect to ease of use, let's walk through the difference between Square and Squarespace.

Squarespace:

Between Squareup vs Squarespace, Squarespace can pose a bit of a challenge at first: the learning curve is rather steep, and you’ll need to sit down with the platform for an hour or so to figure out the UI as some of the features are built deep into the system. Once you do get the hang of it, though, the drag-and-drop builder will help you establish an online store in next to no time.

Square Online Store:

One of the good things about Squareup’s acquisition of Weebly/Weebly eCommerce is a site builder that is easy to use from the get-go. More than that, Square Online's deviation from the original Weebly builder has a few fresh innovations that make it a delight to use even for first-time eCommerce users.

Winner – Square Online Store! within our ‘Ease of Use' Squarespace vs Square comparison.

Features and Flexibility:

Out-of-the-box:

Let's talk about the difference between Square and Squarespace in terms of out-of-the-box features.

Squarespace:

Along with a custom domain and an SSL certificate, all Squarespace users have access to unlimited bandwidth and storage, SEO tools, basic analytics, and access to Squarespace Extensions, a gallery of useful apps and widgets to help enhance site functionality. The blogging function further allows users to draw a larger audience.

Square:

Even under its free plan, between Square Online Store vs Squarespace, the former comes out punching with various tools to help users create an optimised web store. Building on what came with Weebly during the acquisition, Square Online Store offers its users an editing suite that allows users to test their pages in real-time before deployment and its own SEO management facility and a range of booking tools.

Themes and Templates:

Design-wise, let's find out the difference between Square and Squarespace.

Squarespace:

The platform offers 100 themes, all of which are optimised for both desktop and mobile use and viewing. For eCommerce-specific users, the platform offers several industry- and product-specific themes. The selection isn’t very extensive, but templates are customisable.

Square:

If you compare Square Online Store vs Squarespace, Square's theme selections are fairly extensive and are categorised by purpose rather than design or degree of complexity.

3rd Party Integrations:

What's the difference between Square and Squarespace in terms of third-party applications?

Squarespace:

With over 3,000 non-native integrations, Squarespace offers solutions for enhanced productivity, online marketing, language, and currency support, as well as measures for shipping, inventory management, and taxation. Among the big brands, it works with are Google, PayPal, Stripe, and – not surprisingly – Square’s payment portals.

Square:

If you compare Square Online Store vs Squarespace, the former also enables users to interface with several apps relevant to running an online business. The variety is quite surprising as the Square App Marketplace offers solutions ranging from third-party payment portal integration to human resource management.

Hosting:

Squarespace offers its own data centre redundant cloud-based hosting service to its clients. Similarly, with Squarespace vs Square, you don’t have to download anything or upload your site elsewhere with Square. It’s all hosted on the platform’s cloud servers.

Backups:

It’s easy to get complacent if your site builder/host is on the cloud, but for those who want to err on the site of safety, Squarespace offers users a series of practical pointers for manually backing up their online stores.

We’ve mentioned that, comparing Squarespace vs Square, the latter is also hosted on a cloud server. Unfortunately, unless you want to go through the hassle of exporting your product inventory and customers list to a spreadsheet, there are no ways to safely backup a Square site.

Migration:

Squarespace presently allows users to move sites from WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr. However the difference between Square and Squarespace is that with Square, those trying to move a site built on a different platform, migration is tediously manual. You have to upload your site information as *.csv files to your Square Online account.

Winner – Squarespace! within our ‘Features and Flexibility' Squarespace vs Square comparison. While there is a slim difference between Square and Squarespace features-wise, Squarespace beats its rival in terms of design.

SEO and Mobility:

Which is better for search engine rankings – Square Online Store vs Squarespace?

SEO:

Both Squarespace and Square Online Store have built-in SEO management tools that enable shop owners to make their sites (and individual pages) more searchable online, using relevant metadata in the back-end.

Mobile:

Squarespace:

Squarespace’s mobile app for Android and iOS (we haven’t seen a version for Windows Mobile, though) is seen as a gamechanger for the eCommerce sector: a way of enabling store owners to manage their shops even when they’re away from their workstations. The app’s functions include scanning shipping labels, customer contact in the event of issues, and inventory management.

Square:

While Square websites are all optimised to look and perform well on mobile, the platform does not – as of March 2021 – have a separate app with which one can

Pagespeed:

Squarespace sites load on a desktop at a respectable speed of 2.11 seconds on average. Meanwhile, Square is no slouch when loading its pages: 2.49 seconds is the platform’s current record.

Winner – Squarespace! within our ‘Features and Flexibility' Squareup vs Squarespace comparison.

eCommerce Tools:

Which of the two – Squareup vs Squarespace – offers better online store features?

Squarespace:

Along with a fully-integrated eCommerce platform that practically includes everything from multicurrency support and customized checkouts to social media marketing and shipping tools, Squarespace also has facilities for online merchants selling services rather than items. Among its offerings for this particular market are appointment tracker tools, location tracking, and even a mailing list builder to help users keep tabs on their clientele.

Square Online Store:

It pays to have a payment technologies firm as your parent company. Square Online Store users have various POS solutions at their fingertips, along with a fully-integrated shopping cart and a secure checkout facility.

Square offers industry-specific tools for those in the restaurant sector, service providers, businesses specialising in non-tangible goods such as ebooks or digital downloads, and even options to help non-profit organisations maximise their reach online.

Winner – Square! within our ‘eCommerce Tools' Squareup vs Squarespace comparison.

Support and Resources:

Squarespace:

The platform offers 24/7 support for users via live chat and email, along with an extensively researched and frequently updated knowledge base. Active learning comes in the form of webinars as well as a dynamic online community forum.

Square Online Store:

Square offers 24/7 support via email and through the in-software help widget. However, requests for technical support through phone and live chat can only be made from 6 AM to 6 PM PST on weekends and 8 AM to 5 PM PST on weekends. Nevertheless, the platform’s online resources include its regularly updated blog, help centre, and YouTube channel, which features many tutorials.

Winner – Squarespace! within our ‘Support and Resources' Squareup vs Squarespace comparison.

Pricing:

Squarespace:

Squarespace’s most basic eCommerce subscription will set you back by $18.00 monthly. Still, you get a free custom domain, built-in SEO tools, unlimited bandwidth and storage, multi-user collaboration, as well as a fully-integrated eCommerce platform. The price also includes promotional collateral like site banners and $100 in Google Ad credits. Additional functionalities are offered when you upgrade your account.

squarespace-pricing
squarespace-pricing

Square Online Store:

Here’s the clincher: online entrepreneurs can actually use Square for free – and what you get isn’t a trial version, but a fully-functional platform that enables you to build a store and start selling almost immediately (with minimal charges per transaction, of course.) So is it worth paying for a premium subscription? Yes, because the free version only gives you 500MB of storage, Square’s ads are all over your pages, and you cannot use a custom domain. Paying between $12 to $72 a month actually gets you a whole lot more.

squareup-pricing
squareup-pricing
Winner – Square! within our ‘Pricing' Squarespace vs Square comparison.

Comparison Winner: So Which is Better – Square Online Store vs Squarespace?

We can easily say that these are evenly matched, and we can call it a draw, but Squarespace just pulls away by the faintest of margins for the win. Faster loading speed, fully-integrated eCommerce builder, round-the-clock support on various channels, and a fully-functional mobile app just clinched it.


Conclusion and Recommendations:

What is Squarespace best for?

Squarespace works best for small to medium-scale businesses looking for maximum flexibility in design, functionality, and mobility.

What is Square Online Store best for?

Square is a great choice for start-ups and for micro-and small-scale enterprises, particularly home-based operations that are just breaking into the eCommerce scene. However, we have to admit it has potential for restaurants that are segueing into online delivery and service.

Final Word:

While we’ve crowned Squarespace as the winner in this particular bout, you would do well to shop around and compare other eCommerce building platforms to find one that suits your online business requirements.


That’s all for now:

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

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