The process of building a successful online shop is about not only Call-to-Action banners, payment options or shipping methods. It also requires a blend of creativity in term of design, marketing, and promotion.
This is where Squarespace and WooCommerce might come in handy. First of all, both deliver baseline eCommerce functionality. Secondly, they deliver enough extra kits to extend your business and grow the digital store online.
A Quick Snapshot:
Squarespace – is a full-cycle website builder that has already made a name for itself thanks to its stylish and flawlessly designed templates. However, users should also consider the fact that the platform has an enhanced eCommerce functionality integrated into each of its themes. Apart from being stylish and attractive, Squarespace templates come with integrated inventory management tools, automated marketing campaigns, etc.
WooCommerce – is a plugin for WordPress websites that want to sell goods online. Unlike Squarespace, it is not a website building platform. WooCommerce is a free app developed to manage products, launch promotions, and create full-cycle online shops with ease. The plugin is pretty easy to install and setup. Moreover, it offers some extra extensions that you may find beneficiary.
Our today’s rivals are well known among users across the globe. They serve the same goals, which is to sell products online. However, they do it in a totally different way. The comparison is to highlight the key features to let you decide which one is the best-matching solution.
1. Ease of Use
Comparing Squarespace and WooCommerce is the same as comparing a typical website builder with WordPress. The first one comes as an all-in-one kit with no need to take care of the domain or hosting separately. For this reason, such platforms appear to be the #1 choice for newbies who do not want to overcome additional technical obstacles.
The second option is a bit more complicated in terms of settings and management although it delivers a bit more flexibility. Users have a chance to select from various hosting offers or switch between them whenever needed. Moreover, such approach offers a bit more in terms of design. But first things first!
If you have zero technical skills or desire to learn new issues, Squarespace will be a better option. While being an all-in-one website builder, it has all features included in the plan. To get started, you need to complete several easy steps:
- Go to the Squarespace website and press “Get Started” button.
- Insert your project goals to choose from recommended templates or skip the step to choose a theme you like.
- Create an account using your Google or social accounts. Another way is to indicate your first and last name, email, and password.
- Edit the template, insert Product Block, and add products.
- Choose a plan, connect a domain, and publish the store.
The key Squarespace benefit is that it does not rely on third-party apps, although integration of side widgets is still available. It means that all templates already have built-in features that do not require fine-tuning or technical set up. All you need is to add the Product Block to the page and manage the inventory.
The situation with WooCommerce is totally different. It will take you not more than a minute to install and activate the plugin. However, the system will work only together with a fully operated WordPress website. To have the one, you need:
- Register a domain name separately.
- Find a server solution that meets eCommerce needs in term of performance.
- Install the WordPress CMS.
- Download and set up the theme for your future site.
- Install and activate the WooCommerce plugin.
All the manipulations should be done separately. Moreover, the plugin itself might also require a bit of prior fine-tuning. But once you have it installed, managing your products and sales will be a piece of a cake. Let’s have a look at the editing and product management tools available in both options.
Setting the Store
As we have mentioned a bit earlier, Squarespace templates come with built-in widgets and eCommerce features with no need to rely on third-party services. The platform is the official Stripe partner. It comes with already integrated payment options, inventory management tools, etc. However, you might want to make your future store more exclusive in terms of design. This is where a drag-and-drop editor might help.
The intuitive WYSIWYG interface makes it easy to move elements and blocks, media files, product photos, and videos for maximum customers’ engagement. To create a new product page, you simply need to click on “create a new page” button and pick a Product Block. It comes with integrated filter technology letting you sort out all items by price, color, materials, etc.
Users may also edit product descriptions, indicate actual prices, upload photos or even indicate package configurations. The block has a shipment summary with all necessary dimensions. The inventory management system delivers full control over the product assortment. Each item may be represented in multiple variations depending on the color, price, etc. to ensure the best customers’ experience.
WooCommerce is a simple plugin. All you need is to activate it in your WordPress dashboard and go to the plugin settings. We have great news for newbies. The extension has its custom Installation Wizard that will guide you step by step through all settings. They include several easy steps where you only need to type in some details about your future project.
During the installation process, you will be asked to indicate:
- Preferable currency;
- Payment options;
- Shipping requirements;
- Tax rates, etc.
WooCommerce will process the data provided and adjust all the settings to your new digital store. All you need is to add products and start selling them online. The product editing tools is actually the same as the WordPress CMS. It lets you easily add new text descriptions, create new product pages, sort them out by categories, edit URLs, upload product photos and images, set attributes, and more.
Just like any website builder, Squarespace has a preview mode and the “publish” button. Check the overall website appearance and press that button to go live with your new online shop. Users will have a chance to preview the way their shops look like on mobile devices as well.
WooCommerce can be installed only in already published websites. It means you need to have an operating WordPress site to install and activate the plugin. No additional actions are required.
Squarespace vs WooCommerce: both solutions are very easy to use. However, Squarespace is a full-cycle website builder with integrated content editor and Product block with built-in features. WooCommerce requires an already operating WordPress site with a domain and hosting to meet your eCommerce needs. It calls for some extra actions that may take some time.
2. Features and Flexibility
Both platforms have a set of features to sell products online whether you have a small shop with only 5 items or a huge store that has over 200 products. The key difference is that WooCommerce calls for additional manipulations when it comes to product management. Moreover, users might need additional extensions to grow bigger.
From this point of view, Squarespace looks easier considering its integrated features. Not only they include advanced inventory and product management system, but also automated promotion and marketing features.
Squarespace comes with an ultimate Content Manager. It ensures full control over each item and its inventory. You only need to click on the product you want to edit and manage it across the entire store. Here you may upload new images, sort the products by categories, update prices, create new variations of the same item, add new ones, etc.
Squarespace Product Management
The system keeps an eye on the stock levels. It has an integrated automatic alert system. It sends notifications every time you are running out of particular product category. The website builder makes it possible to sell not only physical but also digital and service-based goods.
With WooCommerce you will be able to manage some baseline issues. Users may update product info as well as upload new images. However, if you need to create a new category or product page, you will have to do it manually. It may require some baseline technical skills or experience of working with WordPress.
WooCommecre – adding a product
Squarespace comes with already integrated payment options. They include Stripe, PayPal, and Apple Pay. Moreover, the platform is the official Stripe partner. All you need is to kink your valid banking account and receive payments directly every time a purchase is made.
At the same time, there is no need to add extra shopping cart widgets or hire developers to add it. Simply click on the “Connect to Stripe” button and follow the instructions. WooCommerce can be also integrated with PayPal and Stripe with no chance to connect any other payment option.
Apps and Add-Ons
This is where WooCommerce paired with WordPress wins. Users may benefit from thousands of different plugins and extensions. The marketplace is full of different offers to promote the store, boost SEO ranks, acquire customers, etc. The only problem is that you will have to find, install, set up, and update each of them manually.
Squarespace does not have the app market. It mainly relies on integrated widgets and services. On the other hand, the platform still offers some third-party integration capabilities. Users may connect different galleries, booking services, blocks for audio tracks and playlists, etc. The system is compatible with such popular industry names as SoundCloud, Zola, OpenTable, etc.
Marketing and Promotion
Squarespace users will benefit from an impressive list of marketing and promotion features. They include:
- Free shipping coupons;
- Personalized offers;
- Items over a set amount;
- Advertising pop-ups;
- Announcement promotion bars.
The platform has an integrated automated emailing system. You get a chance to design and send thank you letters, notifications, newsletters, new upcoming, etc. For example, a customer buys something from your shop and the system automatically sends “Thank you for your purchase” letter.
WooCommerce is initially a free plugin with limited functionality and zero marketing features. However, it has additional marketing extensions that include a tool to increase sales on social media platforms, smart coupons, integration with MailChimp, WooCommerce Points and Rewards, etc. The bad news is that those extensions will cost you up to $150, while Squarespace has its promotion features already included in the plan.
The website builder has a pack of additional tools that WooCommerce does not. Squarespace users will benefit from sales tax configuration system, integrate shipping options by carrier or type, CSV order export, detailed report overview with analytics, sales stats, conversion rates, the number of visitors, orders, and more.
With WooCommerce, you will need extra plugins to connect any of the above-mentioned. The process is hardly a challenge although the more plugins you have, the more time needed to manage them.
Squarespace vs WooCommerce: Squarespace is a better option with a full pack with already integrated eCommerce features from inventory management to analytics and promotion. WooCommerce requires extensions and additional plugins to be installed.
Squarespace has made a name for itself as a website builder with outstanding templates’ design. All of the 90+ themes look really great. However, most of them refer mainly to content-based websites. If you go to the digital store section, you will come across only several templates for online shops. Despite such a limited option, they still look very stylish.
The good news is at the platform has a Cover Page Builder with up to 29 ready-made layouts. The tool works great whenever you need to create a catchy landing page and drive more traffic to a necessary product. Moreover, experienced programmers and coders will appreciate the HTML/CSS access to customize the available website mockups. The bad news is that only Premium subscribers have a chance to edit the source code.
Squarespace Cover Page Builder
WooCommerce is a part of the WordPress website. It is compatible with all WP templates available on the web. This fact ensures an endless choice of layouts and themes including digital store mockups. All you need is to pick a theme from the list and install it in your dashboard/download a zip file. Keep in mind that WordPress themes require manual settings.
At the same time, experienced web developers and coders will never be limited with the template’s layout, as they have a full customization freedom thanks to the open-source code. The bad news is that not all free WP themes are compatible with the plugin. You are very likely to search among premium templates that may cost from $29 to $300.
Squarespace vs WooCommerce: Squarespace lacks some versatility in terms of templates. WordPress users may benefit from a wider selection of themes. Nevertheless, Squarespace templates look very stylish and do not require in-depth customization.
4. Customer Support
Website owners may opt for various ways to contact Squarespace support team. Apart from traditional tutorials, guides, and tips, the website builder offers its blog with a selection of handy articles. In addition, users may contact the support managers directly using round the clock Live Chat. A traditional ticketing system is also available.
If you have any issue with the plugin, you may turn to the official WooCommerce.com website. It has contact from and a ticketing system to get in touch with the support team. However, it requires additional registration. The free plugin itself does not have a customer support team. Users may also find some useful articles from the local blog as well as come across endless YouTube videos, forums, and guides on the global web.
Squarespace vs WooCommerce: Squarespace offers a faster and simpler way to get in touch. WooCommerce requires additional registration on the official website although numerous materials are available with free access online.
5. Pricing Policy
Squarespace offers 4 major plans depending on your needs as well as online shop size. Users will always have a chance to switch to a more advanced package when growing their business. The plans are as follows:
- Personal Plan costs $12/month for content-based projects.
- Business Plan costs $18/month for small shops with several products.
- Basic Online Store costs $26/month for new eCommerce projects that only start their way.
- Advanced Online Store costs $40/month for complicated digital stores and growing business.
WooCommerce is a free plugin. However, its free version contains only baseline features. If you want to expand your business, you will need extra plugins and extensions. For example, Product Add-On integration will cost you $49, while WooCommerce Booking starts at $249. It means that the final price will depend on the functionality needed.
We should also consider the price of premium themes compatible with the plugin. They usually cost somewhere about $30-$50. In addition, you will need to pay for the domain renewal and hosting. As a result, a fully operated WP digital store with the enhanced WooCommerce functionality may cost you up to $500.
Squarespace vs WooCommerce: although WooCommerce plugin is initially free, Squarespace looks like a much more cost-effective solution to build a digital store with all eCommerce features in the pack.
The Bottom Line
Choosing between Squarespace and WooCommerce will depend on your goals. Whether you require maximum customization flexibility and have enough technical skills to handle it or you want a fully packed eCommerce solution with all features. Let’s sum up today’s review.
Squarespace – is an intuitive website builder with greatly designed although limited eCommerce templates with all built-in tools you may need to sell products online. You simply choose a relevant plan, add content, and start your digital store with a click benefiting from implemented marketing and promotion instruments.
WooCommerce – is for dedicated WordPress fans who want to make the most of customization and management freedom. The starting plugin version comes with only baseline functionality. You might require some extensions in future that are not free. On the other hand, the plugin serves its goals well.
You need to make up your mind whether it is fine to have a tiny digital store with baseline WooCommerce functionality but endless customization freedom or you need a fully-packed eCommerce solution. Squarespace is a more cost-effective option especially when it comes to growing and promoting while WooCommerce will require extra costs and additional manipulations.