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Squarespace vs Square: The Ultimate Comparison in 2024

Ivana Shteriova Ivana ShteriovaWebsite Development Expert
Both Squarespace and Square Online offer an abundance of e-commerce features to start and grow an online business. At a glance, they seem to provide comparable features for a similar price, making it difficult to distinguish which option would work best for your business.

Square and Squarespace cater to different audiences. Unlike Square, which is only an e-commerce builder, Squarespace is a general builder with surprisingly impressive e-commerce functionality. I built fictional e-commerce websites with product galleries, review sections, and blogs to test each builder’s template customization, ease of use, e-commerce features, and support.

And the winner is… drum roll, please!

Squarespace is the overall winner. It scored higher in almost every category, from user-friendliness to SEO and marketing tools. But I found a few instances where Square Online might be a better fit. Keep reading to get an inside scoop on my testing process and results, and understand the key Squarespace versus Square differences.

Or if you’re short on time, I suggest you sign up for Squarespace’s 14-day free trial and see if it fits your needs.


Squarespace Is the Absolute Winner in the Template Category

Squarespace holds the throne when it comes to masterfully designed templates. There are 140+ designs, divided by type and industry. On the other hand, Square only has one option that comes in multiple colors. Both builders have mobile responsive templates.

Square Online template gallery
I was only able to choose a color variation of the same template for my Square website
That one template is clean and beautiful, but it holds no chance against Squarespace’s rich and diverse template library. Squarespace is also big on customization. Its comprehensive yet intuitive design panel allows you to customize everything – even down to your page margins and button styles. You can also add code to enhance your site’s design and functionality.

Square offers some advanced customizations like the ability to upload custom fonts and embed code, but they are available on the Professional/Plus plan and up. Still, you don’t get as much design flexibility as with Squarespace.

Square Online template gallery
Squarespace has professionally designed templates for every need, including online stores
You can experiment with as many Squarespace templates as you’d like without losing the edits on your previously installed templates. You can’t purchase third-party designs, but you can hire a Squarespace developer to create a one-of-a-kind version for you. Square has a partnership with 99designs for the same purpose.

Square’s template for building online stores might work if you’re trying to get online quickly and have a limited budget. But Squarespace’s designs can work wonders if you want to build a brand and differentiate your business.

Features and Ease of Use

Squarespace Is Beginner-Friendly Without Compromising Your Design Freedom

Both website builders are easy to use and beginner-friendly, but you might need to set aside an hour or two to get comfortable with everything Squarespace has to offer.

Square Online, on the other hand, is more straightforward simply because it provides less design freedom and features.

Squarespace website editor
Whenever I felt stuck, I turned to the Squarespace Assistant and searched the Help section
Squarespace’s quasi-drag-and-drop editor allowed me to choose the position of my site elements within a predefined grid that kept my design neat. If you’re looking for a next-level design that’s even more flexible than Squarespace, I think your best bet is going to be Wix. Read our in-depth review of Wix’s design capabilities and other features if you’d like to learn more.

Square Online’s editor uses pre-built site element blocks, which you can’t move. You can customize your site elements within these blocks by changing their background color and font, but you can’t change their position. My inner creative wasn’t happy with Square’s lack of design freedom, but it could work if you value simplicity over aesthetics.

This online store builder, however, made it easy to undo and redo my edits and automatically saved my work. You’ll have to manually save your work with Squarespace, which can hurt if your cat walks over your keyboard while you’re deep into editing a blog post. Meow-ouch!

Speaking of blogging, Square’s features are too basic – there isn’t a fully-featured text editor or an SEO tool to give you feedback on your performance. Squarespace has great blogging functionality. It’s not WordPress, but you can save drafts, schedule posts, and play with fonts, colors, and the layout in the same way you’d edit a page. Squarespace’s Video Studio and photo gallery are handy additions that can make your blog fancier with little effort.

Directly accessible from the editor, Squarespace’s handy video tutorials and Help section made me feel more supported during the onboarding process. Square Online offered one short video tutorial, but you’ll have to hunt down the rest of the guides from the homepage.


Both Builders Offer Plenty of Integrations, but Square’s Marketplace Is More Extensive

Squarespace can integrate with dozens of extensions in categories like Sales & Marketing, Shipping & Fulfillment, and more. You can access almost anything that’s missing from Squarespace’s built-in features via these third-party integrations.

Having said that, Square Online has a more extensive marketplace with 300+ apps across dozens of categories, including Booking & Scheduling, Loyalty & Rewards, and Payroll.

Square Online restaurant apps
You can find 27 apps specifically designed for restaurants on Square Online’s marketplace
It’s not surprising that Square Online’s site builder seamlessly integrates with its own products, including its point-of-sale (POS) system, appointment and restaurant booking tools, and inventory management tools. Square has plenty of booking and restaurant apps like BentoBox for online orders and Food Truck Pub, which helps food truck owners manage orders.

While you can get An OpenTable block for restaurant booking and Scheduling for online appointments at Squarespace, it’s hard to beat Square Online’s variety in these specific industries.

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Squarespace May Be a General Website Builder but It Has Impressive E-commerce Features

Both platforms make it easy to create a store, add products and product variations, and offer discounts, sales, gift cards, and subscriptions, and manage your business from their mobile apps but Squarespace allows more product customizations.

You can handle the tiniest details (like marking products as featured and customizing the checkout for each one) right when you upload them. This is a major time saver if you have plenty of products to add.

Square Online lets you sell on a free plan, which isn’t very common among e-commerce website builders. But its domain, branding, and ads will haunt your store until you upgrade. It also won’t allow you to publish reviews and accept PayPal, which could hurt your business’s credibility down the road.

Both platforms allow you to sell digital and physical products, but Squarespace is a better option for digital products because it offers automatic delivery. With Square Online, you’ll have to manually send the digital products to your clients, which can leave them waiting if you’re in a different time zone or sipping cocktails at a beach bar at the moment they order.

Square Online offers more extensive inventory management, which brick-and-mortar stores already using its POS system might find beneficial. Square’s inventory system will automatically sync your offline and online sales. Squarespace’s POS and inventory system work in a similar way, but this service is only available in the US, while Square covers more countries.

Squarespace Commerce section
Squarespace’s e-commerce features can easily compete with dedicated e-commerce builders
While both builders provide a few payment solutions, Squarespace offers a buy-now-pay-later option (depending on your location), which can break a sale if you don’t have it.

At a glance, Square and Squarespace might seem to offer comparable features, including social integrations, abandoned cart emails, and access to advanced stats on selected plans.

But diving deeper into the subject, I discovered that Squarespace gets the win as it has more built-in and higher quality e-commerce features. These include advanced audience management and discounting, a built-in video maker and the ability to checkout on your domain (so customers don’t have to be redirected to a third-party website). It provides a better overall value for your money and as a bonus, has better design, which could result in higher return on investment.


Squarespace Offers More Advanced Built-In Marketing Features, but Square Has More Apps on the Market

Both builders have access to plenty of built-in marketing features including banners, promotional pop-ups, and social media ads. Squarespace’s email marketing doesn’t offer as many features and integrations as a dedicated service like MailChimp (available as an add-on) but ensures consistent branding and compelling design across all campaigns. You can send up to three trial campaigns for free.

With Square, you can integrate Square Marketing and get a free 60-day trial to send emails to customers and drive repeat orders. It includes tools for automation, social media campaigns, and coupon redemption. Other marketing tools are available via Square’s app market. You can add apps like Kliken to showcase your products on Google and Ice Cream Social to turn your customers into brand ambassadors.

Squarespace has its own powerful extensions to connect with your audience. You can use Outfy to create compelling social media visuals and automate your social posts. With EZ Texting, you can promote your business via text and automated SMS campaigns.

With more built-in marketing features, plus plenty of extensions, Squarespace is a winner in this category. Its built-in URL Builder, for example, can help you create specific URLs to track the performance of your paid advertisement campaigns.


Major Win for Squarespace’s Built-In SEO Features

For a comparable price to Square, Squarespace offers better SEO tools. Both let you edit your meta tags and permalinks, but Squarespace’s dashboard includes a link to an SEO checklist that you can use to optimize your site. It will also automatically convert your image descriptions into alt text.

Squarespace Analytics allows you to track performance and trends. You can check which keywords drive the most traffic, where your traffic comes from, how visitors interact with your content, and more. These insights can help you identify popular content, top traffic sources, and direct more resources toward what works. You can also hire a Squarespace SEO Expert to improve your SEO.

Square Online’s SEO features are basic in comparison, and a major downside is that the Square e-commerce platform doesn’t offer many SEO apps, even if you’re willing to spend more money. I’d personally want to spend some time getting familiar with tools that will help me rank better and faster.


Squarespace Packs More Value for Less

Squarespace has one plan for personal use and three e-commerce plans: Business, Commerce Basic, and Commerce Advanced. There’s no free plan, but you get a 14-day trial to test the platform. Square Online offers one free and two paid plans: Plus and Premium.

Square Online is one of the rare builders that allows you to sell on its free plans. You can sell up to 25 products with 10 product variations, which would be an irresistible offer if you weren’t stuck with Square’s branding and ads all over your site.

The free plan could be an option if you just want to test how your first recipe book sells, but if you are serious about building a professional online business, the free plan will force you to upgrade right away or pretty soon.

Squarespace’s cheapest e-commerce plan is $23.00, and it comes with a free domain, advanced website analytics, professional Google email, CSS and JavaScript customizations, excellent marketing, SEO, and blogging features, and a fully integrated e-commerce platform. There’s a 3% transaction fee for every sale you make through your site.

Squarespace’s top-tier plans, $27.00 and $49.00, respectively, waive the transaction fee and offer additional e-commerce features like advanced discount and shipping tools, abandonment cart recovery, the ability to sell subscriptions, and more.

Square Online’s cheapest paid plan costs $12.00, while the Premium plan is $72.00 – which is a ridiculous difference in price when you only get a slight drop in processing fees (from 2.9% + 30¢ to 2.6% +30¢ per transaction), and real-time shipping rates.

Like Squarespace’s plans, both come with a free domain, expanded customization, and advanced e-commerce features. But what’s unique is that all Square plans come with built-in restaurant features, and the paid ones have self-serve ordering with a QR code.

On the other hand, Squarespace’s most advanced plan is $49.00 and offers the same features, minus transaction processing fees.

Both builders offer comparable features on their paid plans, but Squarespace packs a higher overall value.

In the table below, you can see how Square vs. Squarespace’s similarly priced plans compare against each other.

Squarespace Commerce Basic
Square Online Plus
Starting price
Free custom domain for one year
Customer accounts & personalized ordering
Advanced merchandising tools
Website & e-commerce analytics
Sell on social media & third-party channels
Payment processors & transaction fees
Stripe, PayPal, Square, Apple Pay, Afterpay. No transaction fees
Square, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Cash App Pay, Afterpay. Transaction fees: 2.9% + 30¢


Squarespace’s Support is Faster, But Square Provides More Support Channels

Squarespace email support
I expected a more personalized answer, but appreciated the agent’s guidance and resources
Squarespace’s support is accessible via email (24/7) and live chat (Monday to Friday, 4:00 AM to 8:00 PM EST). I was immediately connected to a human agent via the live chat and got my questions answered within minutes. The email support blessed my inbox with a less personalized yet helpful email within ten minutes.

Square Online’s live chat support example
Square Online’s live chat support took longer, but was worth the wait
Square’s support is available seven days a week via chatbot, live chat, phone, and email, from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM CT. I wasn’t impressed by the chatbot, but no chatbot ever impressed me, so it’s nothing personal. The live chat support answered my questions within 20 minutes, and I was on hold for about the same time via phone support.

Both agents provided concise answers and even suggested the free plan as an option for me – I was surprised and appreciated they weren’t pushing me to upgrade. The email support took a little longer and gave me a more generic answer. The agent suggested that I compare the features of the plans and provided links to resources that could help me with the process.

Both builders have excellent support and extensive knowledge bases, but I’d give Squarespace a slight advantage. Being a decade older than Square Online, Squarespace can offer a greater abundance of blog posts, guides, webinars, and an active community forum.

Squarespace Has the Recipe for Online Success: Strong E-commerce & Design Features

Square wouldn’t let you sell online for free without getting something in return. The free plan is suitable for those looking to explore e-commerce casually, but you may quickly encounter limitations (hello, Square branding and ads prominently featured on your site!). Upgrading will entail a higher cost compared to what you would pay for similar features on Squarespace. Nevertheless, if you are already utilizing other Square products or require advanced food service integrations, Square Online remains a convenient choice.

For everything else, Squarespace is a better option. Its strong e-commerce features and meticulous attention to design make it perfect for all types of merchants, bloggers, creators, marketers, service-based businesses, and anyone looking to build a brand.

140+ free templates
Only one template
Features & Ease of Use
Drag-and-drop editor that’s easy to use
More beginner-friendly
30 extensions
300+ apps
Great features for blogging, including Video Studio App and free stock gallery
Very basic
Available on Business and Commerce plans
Available on every plan, including the free plan
Banners, promotional pop-ups, social media ads, URL Builder, email marketing, compelling marketing templates
Banners, promotional pop-ups, social media ads, email marketing
Advanced built-in SEO features, analytics, and resources
Very basic
No free plan, but best out-of-the-box design and affordable e-commerce plans packed with features
Free, but limiting e-commerce plan plus two paid e-commerce plans, but with fewer built-in marketing, SEO, and blogging features
24/7 email, live chat (4:00 AM to 8:00 PM EST, Monday to Friday)
Chatbot, live chat, email, phone (8:00 AM to 8:00 PM CT, seven days a week)


Which is better for e-commerce, Square or Squarespace?

Although not a dedicated e-commerce builder, Squarespace is better for e-commerce thanks to its impressive e-commerce features and professionally crafted online store templates. Squarespace offers comparable e-commerce features to Square for a lower price.

Is Square different from Squarespace?

Yes! Squarespace and Square are quite different. Square is a payment processing company best known for its point-of-sale system. The company offers a variety of business tools, including Square Online, which is an online store builder. Squarespace, on the other hand, is a general website builder that lets you create websites for both personal and e-commerce use.

Does Squarespace use Square?

You can use Square via Squarespace POS to process in-person cash and credit card payments, but you can’t use Square for computer checkouts. This service is only available in the US.

Is Squarespace free?

Squarespace is not free, but you get a 14-day free trial that you can extend by 7 days if you need more time to decide. Although not free, Squarespace’s pricing is reasonable given the abundance of professionally-designed templates and built-in features it offers.

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