Squarespace or Shopify? Confused? – We Settle the Score (2024)

Written By:Callum
Last Updated: March 09, 2024
Reading Time: 8 minutes

Have you ever felt like your business in Sydney is missing out on the online shopping gold rush? With over 2 billion people hitting “buy” from the comfort of their couch, it’s no surprise heaps of Aussie businesses are setting up shop online. But hold your horses! Just throwing up a website and hoping for the best isn’t going to cut it. Here’s the thing, mate:

We’ve all seen those online stores that look like a dial-up modem designed them. Yikes! But don’t stress. Creating a top-notch online store with a menu as easy to navigate as a slip ‘n slide is totally achievable, especially with the right platform by your side.

Now, you might be thinking: “Should I go with Squarespace or Shopify?” Well, let’s break it down. Squarespace is a terrific all-rounder (general website builder), perfect if you’ve got a smaller product line and want a website that looks like a million bucks (without costing that much). But if you’re an ambitious entrepreneur with a vision as big as the Outback sky and a growing inventory to match, then Shopify might be your e-commerce soulmate.

The bottom line? The best platform depends on your unique goals. So, tell me, what kind of online empire are you dreaming of building? Whether you’re selling handcrafted didgeridoos or the latest activewear, I can help you navigate the features of Squarespace and Shopify to find the perfect fit for your vision. Don’t let your ideal customers become online crickets – let’s get them clicking that “add to cart” button!

Overview of Shopify


Shopify is a leading e-commerce platform that simplifies online business for companies of all sizes. As a user-friendly, subscription-based software-as-a-service (SaaS), merchants can build, manage, and grow their online stores efficiently.

  • The platform is known for its ease of use, featuring drag-and-drop tools and customisable themes that require no coding skills.
  • It’s exceptionally versatile, enabling sales through online stores, social media, other websites, and in-person with its integrated point-of-sale (POS) system.
  • Shopify’s scalable nature suits new and established businesses, providing a reliable infrastructure for high-traffic volumes.
  • Its global reach is enhanced by features like multi-currency support and language translations, catering to a worldwide customer base.

The platform offers subscription plans, starting at INR 1,994 per month, with a “Starter” plan at INR 20 per month for basic selling needs. Additionally, Shopify boasts a thriving community and a commitment to innovation, regularly updating features to stay ahead in the dynamic world of online commerce. This makes Shopify an ideal choice for anyone looking to start or expand their online retail presence.

Overview of Squarespace


Squarespace is an all-in-one website builder and hosting platform renowned for its simplicity and elegance, making it an ideal choice for individuals and small businesses.

Launched in 2003, it has evolved from a blog hosting service to a comprehensive solution for building professional-looking websites without requiring any coding knowledge. Its intuitive drag-and-drop interface and a wide array of award-winning templates cater particularly to creative professionals like designers, artists, and photographers.

Squarespace stands out for its responsive web design options, e-commerce capabilities, and a suite of marketing tools, including SEO solutions, email marketing, and social media integrations. The beginner-friendly platform offers mobile-responsive templates and an all-encompassing toolkit for website creation and management.

However, it does have limitations in terms of customisation and might be pricier than some alternatives. Ideal for those who prioritise design and ease of use, Squarespace helps users create distinctive online presences without delving into complex technicalities.

Difference Between Squarespace and Shopify 

Aspect Squarespace Shopify
Pricing Offers a range of plans, generally more affordable, with less focus on e-commerce tools. It is more expensive but provides a comprehensive suite of e-commerce tools.
E-commerce Capabilities Basic e-commerce functionalities in lower-tier plans, suitable for light online selling. Extensive e-commerce features even in basic plans, are ideal for long-term online retail.
Content Management Strong focus on content with striking templates and user-friendly coding but limited marketing/SEO integrations. Adequate tools for content management, enhanced by numerous integrations.
Design Wide range of templates and advanced options for high-quality visual content. Professional design tools but less extensive template options compared to Squarespace.
Apps and Integrations Limited integrations and extensions, but allows custom-coded solutions. Expansive app marketplace with a wide array of integrations for various needs.
Core Focus and Functionality Catered to various websites, ideal for showcasing work or services with beautiful templates. Dedicated e-commerce platform with robust tools for online store management.
Strengths Excellent for creating visually appealing sites, intuitive interfaces, and affordable for basic sites. Comprehensive e-commerce tools, scalable for large catalogues, lower transaction fees.
Weaknesses Limited customisation and e-commerce features, higher transaction fees. Less intuitive design options for beginners, steeper learning curve, and higher subscription costs.
SEO Tools Ability to edit meta descriptions and custom URLs, built-in SEO best practices, Google Analytics for every plan. Generates page titles and meta descriptions automatically based on content, easy Google’s Core Web Vitals setup.
Blogging Built-in analytics, categories, comment moderation, tags, post scheduling. Tools for categories, comment moderation, tags, scheduling, bulk post removal.
Customer Support 24/7 support via email, social media, live chat. No phone option. 24/7 support via email, live chat, and phone. No social media option.
Backup and Storage Unlimited storage with manual website content backup required. Unlimited storage with manual website content backup is required.
Product Management Detailed data fields (Title, description, SKUs, barcodes, inventory policy, photo gallery). Easy to use, intuitive drag-and-drop, simple editing, image addition, SEO, and text formatting.
Design and Themes Over 500 themes, both free and paid options, offering unique customization. Limited design options, with a selection of standard themes, less variety than Shopify.
Expert Support Many approved experts in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, with transparent pricing and service scopes. Two Australian experts, clear pricing, no reviews, Google search for developers recommended.
Transaction Fees – Australian Cards: 1.75% + 30¢ <br> – International Card/AMEX: 2.9% + 30¢ – Domestic cards: 1.75% + 30¢ <br> – International cards: 2.9% + 30¢ <br> No monthly fees or setup costs.
POS System 2 built-in options: Shopify POS Starter & POS Retail. Additional credit card rates apply. 4 options from Square Online: Retail, Restaurants, Appointments & Point of Sale. No monthly fees with a free card reader.
Dropshipping Various selections of dropshipping apps are available. A few selections of fulfillment services are available.
Internationalization Multi-language support with multiple currencies. Multi-language support but only supports 1 currency.
Security SSL Certificates are available & Shopify handles the rest of the security concerns. SSL Certificates are available & Squarespace takes care of the rest of the security concerns. 

Squarespace and Shopify Pricing Plans 

Squarespace Pricing Plans

  • Squarespace offers four main pricing plans when billed monthly: Personal ($23), Business ($33), Commerce Basic ($36), and Commerce Advanced ($65).
  • Annual billing provides significant discounts, bringing the monthly costs down to Personal ($16), Business ($23), Commerce Basic ($27), and Commerce Advanced ($49).
  • A special Squarespace Enterprise plan caters to corporate users with custom pricing.

Key differences include:

  • The Personal plan does not support sales or site customization with CSS and JavaScript.
  • Business plan sales incur a 3% transaction fee.
  • Advanced e-commerce features, like abandoned cart recovery and subscription sales, are exclusive to the Commerce Advanced plan.
  • Google Workspace is free for a year starting from the Business plan.
  • Social media selling and point-of-sale functionality for US users are available only on the Commerce plans.

Shopify Pricing Plans

  • Shopify’s five plans include Starter ($5), Basic ($39), Shopify ($105), Advanced ($399), and Shopify Plus (custom pricing, usually around $2,000/month).
  • A 25% discount applies for annual payments on the Basic, Shopify, and Advanced plans, adjusting their costs to Basic ($29), Shopify ($79), and Advanced ($299) per month.

Key distinctions are:

  • The Starter plan offers basic product pages and social media selling but no standalone online store.
  • User limits vary significantly across plans, with the Basic plan allowing one additional user and the Advanced plan permitting up to 15.
  • Shopify Plus caters to large businesses, offering up to 10 stores and advanced features at a higher price point.

Squarespace VS Shopify Pros and Cons 

Advantages of Shopify Over Squarespace 

  • Shopify allows multi-currency sales with Shopify Markets or third-party apps, unlike Squarespace.
  • Shopify’s Point of Sale features are more comprehensive and globally accessible than Squarespace’s basic, US-only POS.
  • Shopify supports automatic tax calculations in many countries, whereas Squarespace only does so for US users.
  • Dropshipping options on Shopify are more extensive than those on Squarespace.
  • Shopify offers better and more affordable abandoned cart saver functionality.
  • It’s easier to comply with GDPR requirements on Shopify, especially regarding cookie consent.
  • Selling downloads to EU customers is more straightforward with Shopify due to automatic EU VAT calculations.
  • Shopify’s reporting features surpass those of Squarespace.
  • SEO features are stronger on Shopify, with Yoast available for SEO efforts.
  • Template switching is easier on Shopify compared to Squarespace.
  • A vast library of third-party apps is available on Shopify, extending functionality far beyond Squarespace’s offerings.
  • Shopify supports over 100 payment gateways, whereas Squarespace offers only three.
  • Creating multilingual websites on Shopify doesn’t require expensive third-party apps, unlike Squarespace.
  • Shopify provides more control over your website’s code.
  • Phone support is available on Shopify but not on Squarespace.
  • AMP versions of product pages can be created on Shopify using third-party apps, a feature not available on Squarespace.
  • Shopify’s email marketing tool is available for free.
  • Shopify offers the first month of service for just $1.

Advantages of Squarespace Over Shopify 

  • Squarespace’s editing page content and layout tools are more intuitive and powerful, thanks to its drag-and-drop editor.
  • For showcasing content, especially images, Squarespace is a superior platform.
  • Blogging features are better on Squarespace than on Shopify.
  • A wider range of free templates is available on Squarespace (168) compared to Shopify (12).
  • The quality of Squarespace’s templates tends to be higher, with more visual appeal.
  • Squarespace supports a higher default limit for product options and variants.
  • Built-in features for selling access to gated content or online courses are easier to use on Squarespace, though extra fees apply.
  • Product image management is superior on Squarespace, allowing for focal point adjustments without worrying about image ratios.
  • A free domain name is included with annual plans on Squarespace.
  • A free Google Workspace plan for a year is available through Squarespace.
  • Squarespace’s online help resources are more comprehensive, featuring images and videos.
  • The free trial on Squarespace is longer, offering more time to explore its features.

Shopify vs Squarespace – Which is Right For Your Business?  

Shopify is the preferred choice for businesses that:

  • Engage in selling and delivering products directly to customers.
  • Regularly post products on various platforms, including social media and other online marketplaces.
  • Generate sufficient revenue to benefit from Shopify’s lower payment processing fees and shipping discounts at its more advanced pricing levels.

On the other hand, Squarespace suits businesses that:

  • Schedule appointments.
  • Derive income from memberships or exclusive content offerings.
  • Have a revenue level where the lower payment processing fees and discounts provided by Shopify’s higher-tier plans wouldn’t offer significant benefits.

Both Shopify and Squarespace provide trial periods — Shopify for three days and Squarespace for two weeks. Taking advantage of these trials to build and compare e-commerce websites on both platforms can offer valuable insights into which service aligns better with your business needs and user preferences before you decide on a subscription.


Consider what you need when deciding between Shopify and Squarespace for your website. If you plan to sell many products online, Shopify is a great choice. It has many tools to help you with online selling and lets you customise your store.

On the other hand, if you want a website that’s easy to make and looks nice, Squarespace might be better for you. It’s great for people who aren’t tech-savvy but still want a beautiful website, like artists or small business owners.

Both Shopify and Squarespace are good, but they do different things. The most important thing is to pick the one that fits what you want to do with your website.

Expert web designers at Creato analyse how much you want to spend, what your website needs to do, and how you want it to look, and suggest the best website design platform that aligns with your needs and preferences.

Connect with expert web designers at Creato now to know more!

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About callum

Callum is the founder of Creato, a Sydney based design agency that specialises in creating holistic brands for Aussie businesses.

With a talent for crafting memorable and effective branding solutions, Callum has built Creato into a respected and successful agency. His work has been featured in various publications, including The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, and Entrepreneur.

If you re interested in working with Callum and Creato to bring your brand to the next level, don t hesitate to get in touch!

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