Squarespace vs Shopify

So you've decided to build a website for your business! Yay! Now the real question, what platform should you be using? Picking the right platform for your business is important, and although both of these platforms are for website building. Only one really rules when it comes to selling online. So, which one is right for you?  In this post, we are breaking down the difference between Squarespace and Shopify.


Squarespace: Squarespace has plenty of themes to choose from and no "premium" themes where you have to pay extra to use them. The best thing about Squarespace is the fact that you drag and drop things around really easily and customize each theme even further.

Shopify: Shopify has a handful of themes to choose from that are completely free, but they also offer themes that you can pay a one time fee to install. Installing them is easy, it's just swallowing the $120-$180 fee that hurts. Shopify does allow customization but in a smaller fashion. They allow you to add or remove sections, change fonts, and colors, etc. However, dragging things around isn't an option...yet. Shopify also has the ability to connect to over 1,000 external apps related to accounting, shipping, SEO, marketing and so much more. Some are free, some you have to pay for. 

Digital Products

Squarespace: Yep, you can sell digital products. The file size max is 300MB.

Shopify: Yep, you can sell digital products. This is a common misconception. Many people think Shopify is only for physical goods. The file size max is 5GB, but Shopify offers some alternative apps that will help if your products are over the limit. 

Pricing (forewarning, this one's a doozy)

Squarespace:  Discounts are offered when you pay annually.

  • Personal Website - $16 per month (3% transaction fee)
  • Business Website - $26 per month (2% transaction fee)
  • Basic Store - $30 per month (0% transaction fee)
  • Advanced Store - $46 per month (0% transaction fee)

Each of them has the ability to sell products despite two of the packages saying 'Website' and not 'Store'.

Shopify: Discounts are offered when you pay annually.

  • Basic Shopify - $29 per month
  • Shopify - $79 per month
  • Advanced Shopify -$299 per month

Shopify has 0% transaction fees when your users checkout with Stripe, but if they use other payment gateways(discussed below) it varies per gateway. It's important to note that credit card processing fees apply to both platforms and there is no way around those. Both Squarespace and Shopify offer a seriously detailed breakdown off all fees and what's included in each package. We encourage you to check them out in details there. 

Gift Cards

Squarespace: Does not currently allow gift cards. 

Shopify: Offers gift cards, but only if you are subscribed to the $79 a month package. The standard package is $29 per month.


Squarespace: Yep, it's available! You can discount individual products and categories and even set thresholds for when a discount kicks in. Discounts include: free shipping, flat rates, and percentages.

Shopify: Yep, it's available! Shopify can do everything that Squarespace can do, PLUS two additional features:

1. You can set usage limits on coupon codes. Unlimited uses or cap it at a certain number if you only want to allow the first 10 people.

2. You can limit the customer to only using the coupon 1 time. (Tracked via email)

Payment Gateways


  • Squarespce: Allows integration with only Xero accounting software and only if you are on the Online Store Basic or Advanced plans. Their two cheapest plans do not integrate with any accounting software.

  • Shopify: Allows integration with Quickbooks, Xero and many others.

Point of Sale (POS) Technology

Squarespace: No offerings of a point of sale kit.

Shopify: Shopify offers point of sale technology which allows store owners to sell their products at pop-up shops or trade booths rather than just online. Shopify will even send you a free card reader that connects to your phone so you can start accepting payments!

So who is the winner?

Well, as much as you hate answers like this, there is no clear cut winner here. Both platforms have pros and cons. What it really comes down to is the items you are selling. If you are selling physical products like t-shirts or candles, Shopify is your BFF. If you sell services or have a blog or business that sells digital downloads, Squarespace is probably your best option. 

The good news is that both also offer a 14-day trial with no credit card required, so you can test them both out and see which you like best!



Need help setting up your Squarespace or Shopify store? We're experts! Hire us.