Squarespace or Shopify, which one to choose?
Deciding which platform to choose for your new website can be tricky (we get it!). You’re looking over at Squarespace and seeing stunning designs, you’re glancing around at Shopify and catching sight of outstanding shops, but which one will serve your business best? Worry no more! We’ve compiled the main differences between Squarespace and Shopify to help you decide. Oh, and we’ve removed all the techy slang - you’re welcome!
First, let us give you a brief overview of both, Squarespace and Shopify!
Squarespace is an all-in-one platform allowing anyone to create a visually stunning website. It comes with hosting, ready-made design templates, and various tools that enable further template customization. It is the best tool to easily create a personal brand website, professional services website, a simple members area, or a small online store.
Shopify is the most powerful e-commerce platform on the market that allows you to sell, market, and manage your online store, all in one place. Providing you with everything from customizable templates and e-commerce tools, through a variety of unique apps and payment processors, to blogging, reporting, and marketing tools.
As you can tell Shopify and Squarespace are two very different platforms, so let’s dive into the main differences between each of them!
1. Design and Content Management
Squarespace is a great choice to create a personal brand or professional services website easily. The platform offers hosting, ready-made, pro-designer-level templates, easy editing, and various tools and integrations that allow you to expand its functionality with further features.
Shopify is a great choice to set up an advanced e-commerce shop. It's self-hosted and comes with a whole range of integrations that can allow achieving advanced functionality that a large e-commerce store might need. It comes with a set of basic templates that allows you to achieve decent designs.
2. E-commerce Features
Squarespace e-commerce tools are decent, but we would only recommend them for small shops (up to 20 products). When trying to sell more products, you’ll most likely need to filter by more than 2 criteria (such as color, size, weight, origin, etc) and Squarespace’s own tools won’t let you do that. You’ll need to integrate various ad-on in order to achieve functionality such as advanced search, wish list, or waitlist.
Shopify stands out as a leader in the e-commerce space today. Its features are super advanced, allowing to build complex stores with thou8sands of products that can be filtered through a multitude of criteria. Shopify easily extends its functionality through its in-built tincturations, however, you need to be careful as some of them cost quite a lot extra.
3. Design Editor
Hands down, Squarespace has the most intuitive, easy-to-use, and user-friendly design editor. There is a huge range of design features available, and you can easily add and move design blocks around, drop images, videos, quotes, or edit text. If you’re a more advanced user, you can access template customization tools that will allow you to input custom colors and fonts, and also manipulate the thickness, length, size, and positioning of design elements such as header menu, text blocks, picture cards, and so on.
Shopify’s design editor is rather limited. The design templates that come as standard are only a few, and in most cases are lacking features. Shopify offers upgrades to its design templates, which allow for more customization options as described in the Squarespace example, however, we’ve found that those add-ons come at a rather costly monthly subscription which is a disadvantage for an early-stage business owner.
4. Payment Providers
Squarespace only has two payment provider options, Paypal and Stripe. Those are both very safe and globally recognized processors; however we’ve found that they don’t operate in selected countries (For Paypal, Turkey, Cuba, and Lebanon among a few others. For Stripe its Germany, Israel, and Panama among a few others. For a complete list, check this page for Stripe and this page for Paypal). Also, both have a strict policy for not supporting businesses that sell illegal products or services, so if you’re trying to launch a CBD brand, you won’t be able to sell your products on Squarespace.
Shopify offers a massive range of payment providers, so you’ll be able to sell anything, in any geographical location. For an up-to-date list of payment providers, visit this page.
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