eCommerce

Squarespace Pricing: What is the True Cost to Run An Online Store?

We examine the truth about Squarespace's pricing. We’ll also look deeper into what it costs to run a Squarespace store & how you can work around some costs.
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Squarespace has grown to become one of the most popular website builders, with over 2 million websites hosted on the platform. The service allows you to seamlessly create, build, and maintain a site, without touching a single line of code.

In this guide, we will look into Squarespace pricing tiers and what they offer. We’ll also answer some critical questions about the service and how it works.

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What is Squarespace?

Squarespace is an online website builder with a difference. It takes site creation to a whole new level with its stunning templates and easy to use tools.

Anthony Casalena created the platform in 2004, initially conceived as a content management system. It has grown beyond that into a website builder used by millions of bloggers and online stores. With Squarespace, you’re only limited by your creativity and imagination.

Squarespace Homepage
Squarespace Homepage

How Squarespace Works

Squarespace functions primarily as a do-it-yourself website builder. It has a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface that allows individuals and businesses to create beautifully designed websites and e-commerce stores.

It also provides tools that business owners would need to effectively manage their websites, including SEO, payment, domain registration, and more.

The service also comes with a mobile app that allows you to make edits to your website from your phone. Bloggers can publish posts via mobile, and e-commerce site owners can update their products and run their stores seamlessly.

Squarespace has some great looking templates
Squarespace has some great looking templates

Squarespace Pricing: What Does the Platform Offer Users?

Currently, Squarespace has four plans, including two website plans and two online store plans. They are the Personal, Business, Basic, and Advanced Commerce Plans.

Squarespace Pricing Plans
Squarespace Pricing Plans

Each one of these plans comes with a 14-days free trial period, so you can test run before committing to anyone.

1. The Personal Plan

Pricing:

  • $12/month billed annually
  • $16/month billed monthly

The Personal Plan is Squarespace’s basic plan tier and cheapest. This plan is best for individuals who own personal websites. However, you can’t use it to sell products or services online. You’ll have to switch to the Business Plan to do that. However, the plan still offers access to the same website editor, templates, SSL security, and 24/7 support that you get with the other plans on Squarespace.

In general, here are the features that the personal plan on Squarespace provides:

  • A free domain name – this lasts for a year
  • An SSL security certificate
  • An extensive list of templates for your website
  • Unlimited bandwidth and data storage capacity
  • Optimal SEO features
  • Space for two website contributors
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Squarespace extensions
  • Mobile optimization for the website
  • Website metrics

Limitations of the Personal Plan

This plan provides access to only two contributors, no built-in custom email address service, email marketing integration, and basic analytics.

2. The Business Plan

Pricing:

  • $18/month billed annually
  • $26/month billed monthly

Up next is the Squarespace Business plan. This is Squarespace’s most popular plan. The Business plan allows you to sell online, thus making it an excellent option for small merchants starting in the e-commerce space.

This plan is suitable for those who are new to marketing and don’t plan to scale early. It’s also not the best for those who plan to sell digital or physical products often on their site. Squarespace charges an additional 3 percent in transaction fees off every sale you make. So, if you sell often, this plan might not be cost-effective.

Squarespace’s Business plan allows you to sell an unlimited number of products. If you have a website that’s already up and running, you could upgrade your plan and access sales functionalities directly through Squarespace.

These are the perks that you get with the Squarespace Business plan:

  • All the features available on the personal plan
  • Unlimited website contributors
  • Advanced website analytics
  • Donation functionalities
  • Professional Gmail address
  • Premium integrations and template blocks
  • Full website customization with JavaScript and CSS codes, for people with experience in programming
  • Pop-up and banner functions for ads and promotions
  • Google AdWords credits worth $100
  • No limits on the number of products you can sell

Limitations of the Business Plan

This plan offers a lot of features missing in the Personal Plan, but it comes with a 3% transaction fee on every sale.

We recommend going for any of the Squarespace’s Commerce plans if you plan to sell more products through your site without incurring transaction fees. Another issue with this plan has to be the G-Suite integration renewal. The free G-Suite integration covers one year. Once it expires, you’ll have to fork out the monthly cost of $6 per user.

3. Basic Commerce Plan

Pricing :

  • $26/month billed annually
  • $30/month billed monthly

The Basic Commerce plan is appropriate for people looking to set up and operate a full e-commerce website. The plan provides several sophisticated features for selling online, including accounting, mobile-optimized checkouts, and the ability for customers to create their accounts on your store.

One of the most attractive features of this plan is the integration of social media platforms. With the Basic Commerce plan, you can sync your products with your catalog on Instagram and Facebook. This allows you to tag products in your social media posts, which links to your store.

This plan provides everything you have in the previous packages, including:

  • No transaction fees
  • Online checkout for the store
  • Merchandising tools
  • Dedicated customer accounts
  • Point-of-sale tools
  • Stronger e-commerce analytics tools
  • Social media integration

Limitations of the Basic Commerce Plan

The limitations on this plan revolve around abandoned cart auto-recovery, use of gift cards, subscription services, and discount code use. The most critical of these features have to be Abandoned Cart Auto Recovery. This feature allows you to send emails to customers who have visited the store in the past, added products to their carts, but didn’t checkout.

4. Advanced Commerce Plan

Pricing:

  • $40/month billed annually
  • $46/month billed monthly

Squarespace’s most expensive plan is the Advanced Commerce Plan. This plan comes with all the tools Squarespace has to offer, and it is targeted at helping to boost your sales through various channels. So, it provides you multiple features that will help your brand to engage better with customers. If you’re ready to overhaul your store and make it the top stuff, this is the plan for you.

This plan features a custom abandoned cart recovery feature. This allows customers to come back and recover items that they had added to their carts, perhaps in a previous shopping experience.

With the abandoned cart recovery tool, you send automatic Emails to customers who leave their checkout page without completing the purchase. The point is to help them get back to the page and finish the order.

The plan also provides features like customizable gift cards to reward your most loyal customers. You can create your subscriptions, and even set flexible discounts on different products. The shopping tools on here are also the premium stuff, so you’re not missing out on anything here.

When you pay for this service, the premium features you get include:

  • Everything you get with the other plans
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Gift card creation
  • Subscription sales
  • Advanced shipping features that calculate your customers’ shipping rates in real-time
  • Programmed discounts that Squarespace sends to customers who qualify based on pre-arranged criteria
  • E-commerce API integrations

Additional Squarespace Costs

Like several other content management systems, the use of Squarespace does come with some additional costs. However, they aren’t so significant.

Email Marketing

To be successful online, you need leads, and to build and nurture leads, you need an email marketing strategy. Squarespace offers beautiful email templates that are easy to custom and automate. The platform’s intuitive drag-and-drop builder is user friendly, which makes it easy to send email campaigns on Squarespace.

This email feature is an add-on to your subscription, and it would set you back for as much as $10 to $48, depending on how often you plan to send emails to your subscribers.

Squarespace Email Campaigns
Squarespace Email Campaigns

Squarespace email campaigns are great for those who value brand consistency and an easy-to-use interface, but it might not be suitable for you if you want more than the basics. You won’t find A/B split testing with this email feature. There’s also no way to organize email subscribers based on their actions. It’s great for basic use, but it still lacks some advanced features despite its cost.

Squarespace also comes with an all-in-one Email marketing platform known as Squarespace Email Campaigns. The solution allows you to access all you need to compose and send custom emails from your site.

Domain Name Registration

Your domain name is another important consideration for your business. Squarespace provides the opportunity to register for one.

But, is it worth it? Squarespace offers a free custom domain registration to every account subscribed to an annual billing plan.

Buying a domain name on Squarespace could set you back by $20 to $70 a year, which is way more expensive than you could acquire it from a Webhosting service like Bluehost.

If you do decide to buy a domain name from a third-party provider, you can easily transfer it to Squarespace and manage it on their platform.

Payments

For e-commerce clients, the payment processors accepted on Squarespace could be a deal-breaker. But, not to worry. Squarespace has covered the basics.

Squarespace has integrations with Stripe, one of the most popular payment processors in the world. Stripe allows you to accept payments for you and sends them directly to your bank account.

Squarespace Payments
Squarespace Payments

Some of the payment methods on Stripe include Visa, MasterCard, Diner’s Club, JCB, Apple Pay, and Discover cards.

Squarespace also allows you to add checkout options for PayPal and Venmo third-party payment processors like Stripe and PayPal will also take their share of fees from you.

Which pricing plan is best for me?

There are many factors that you need to consider before settling with a plan. If you need a professional email address hosted on your site, you should select the Business Plan. An email list is paramount to the success of most businesses online.

If you plan on building and nurturing an email list for monetization in the future, a Personal plan would not be suited for this. A Business Plan will be better.

If you also plan to sell products or services directly through your site, you should consider one of the Commerce plans, notably the Advanced Commerce plan.

How to get a good deal on Squarespace

Sign up for the annual billing

This is the first and most straightforward way to save a buck or two on Squarespace. If you check through the list of plans, you’ll find that doing this will provide you significant savings in the long run than if you opt for the monthly billing plan.

Keep in mind that you can get a refund within the first 14 days of your first payment to the service. Getting a yearly plan will also help you to save time and money on bookkeeping – you get a single receipt instead of twelve different ones.

Find a voucher code

Several services and platforms allow you to get savings on Squarespace using their vouchers and coupon codes. Before you register, you can try finding any one of them.

Buy your domain name elsewhere

On Squarespace, you will have to pay from $20 to $70 per year for a “.com” domain name. While the cost isn’t so high, it still pales in comparison to some popular web hosting services.

If you want to optimize your spending, you might want to get a domain name from another service. All you have to do is get a free domain name on Squarespace for your first year, then move the domain to another service from the second year.

Get your Email from somewhere else

As stated earlier, Squarespace provides a free G Suite for users. It offers you access to a dedicated account on Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendars, and more. But, when it renews, you’ll have to fork out $6 per month/user. These costs can rack up rather quickly, especially when you need more than one account. You can find significant savings from third-party providers.

Squarespace vs. Wix

Wix is a simple to use drag and drop website builder that is beginner-friendly. It’s loaded with modern templates and is highly customizable. While Squarespace and Wix share a lot of similarities, there are still some significant differences between them.

In terms of the learning curve, Wix wins. Squarespace has a steeper learning curve than Wix. It’s not exactly a technical nightmare, but it requires more clicks to get the results you can quickly achieve with Wix.

Wix Homepage
Wix Homepage

For the web templates, Wix has over 300 free themes in its store, but most of them are not fully responsive. You need to tweak them a bit so they can be mobile responsive. Squarespace has fewer templates available for users. These templates are responsive to smartphones, saving you on time and money.

If you’re looking for a robust e-commerce solution, you shouldn’t even go close to Wix. Their e-commerce setup is extremely basic, and you can’t sell services or use the Abandoned Cart Recovery feature, which is a selling point on Squarespace.

Setting up an account on Wix is much cheaper than on Squarespace. Wix offers a Free plan, which allows you to use the platform for free with limited features.

Squarespace, on the other hand, offers a 14-days trial period to test run the platform and get acquainted with the services before paying. Both platforms have their upsides and drawbacks. In the end, the one you choose depends on the features you need.

Read our full comparison of Wix vs Shopify here.

Squarespace Pricing FAQs

How long are the contracts on Squarespace?

Plans on Squarespace run monthly and annually. So, it’s on you to decide which will work better for you.

Will I need to get a web hosting service?

A subscription on Squarespace comes with a fully-managed cloud hosting service. So, you don’t need to purchase any additional one.

Can I switch between Squarespace plans?

Yes, you can. Whenever you want to switch, just go to your website manager and implement it. Depending on whether you’re upgrading or downgrading your plan, you can access a pro-rated charge or a refund of the extra fees – especially if you’re on the annual plan.

Conclusion

Squarespace is an easy to use website builder with modern templates that are highly customizable regardless of a user’s coding knowledge. It does require a little learning curve, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary.

While there are several content management tools and website builders out there, Squarespace has managed to stand out with over 2 million users worldwide. Its ease of use and convenience are rather impressive generally.

The different pricing tiers on Squarespace offer website owners options to build websites and storefronts alike. You can choose, depending on your needs, budget, and the site’s purpose. Start exploring Squarespace features with a 14-days trial period now.

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Based in the UK, Jimmy is an economic researcher with outstanding hands-on and heads-on experience in Macroeconomic finance analysis, forecasting and planning.He has honed his skills having worked cross-continental as a finance analyst, which gives him inter-cultural experience.He has a strong passion for regulation and macroeconomic trends as it allows him to peek under the global bonnet to see how the world works.

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