The Ultimate Showdown: Squarespace vs Shopify

The Ultimate Showdown: Squarespace vs Shopify

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. The First Screens of Squarespace and Shopify
  3. Page Editor Comparison
  4. E-commerce Features
  5. Shopify's Innovative Features
  6. Website Templates Comparison
  7. Theme Customization
  8. Pricing Plans
  9. Costs and Upsells
  10. Conclusion


In this article, we will delve into the differences between Squarespace and Shopify, two popular website builders. We will begin by discussing the importance of opening scenes in films and how they relate to the first screens of Squarespace and Shopify. Then, we will explore the various features, pricing plans, and customization options offered by both platforms. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of which website builder is the right choice for your specific needs.

The First Screens of Squarespace and Shopify

The first impression is crucial in both films and software. Just like the opening scene sets the stage for a movie, the first screens of a website builder give us a glimpse of what to expect. When it comes to Squarespace, the first screen is simple and clear. The website is elevated above the interface, creating a subtle signal that users are meant to create something beautiful and elevated. On the other hand, Shopify's first screen is a newsfeed showcasing what's happening in your store. While the website is still important, Shopify aims to provide a unified back-office for stores, managing inventory, sales channels, analytics, and orders.

Page Editor Comparison

Squarespace offers a visual drag-and-drop page editor, allowing users to easily add content blocks and customize their website. The editor is intuitive and allows for seamless editing and arranging of elements. Shopify, although not as robust as Squarespace's editor, provides a WYSIWYG editor, similar to Microsoft Word, allowing users to place images and videos within the text. While Squarespace's page editor takes the lead in terms of functionality, Shopify prioritizes dynamically generated e-commerce pages instead of static pages.

E-commerce Features

Squarespace is a good choice for small stores and simple e-commerce websites. It provides a range of features suitable for basic online selling. However, if you're looking for a powerful e-commerce platform, Shopify is the clear winner. With a focus solely on e-commerce, Shopify offers a wide range of features that cater to the needs of online stores. It has overtaken competitors such as Bigcommerce, Volusion, Magento, and WooCommerce over the years due to its relentless dedication to launching innovative features.

Shopify's Innovative Features

One of Shopify's groundbreaking features is Shopify Payments. Unlike other website builders that require integration with third-party payment processors, Shopify has its own payment processor, simplifying the process for users. Another standout feature is the Shopify App Store, which offers a plethora of apps catering to various e-commerce needs. From customer support to SEO and shipping, the App Store covers the remaining 20% of features not covered by Shopify itself.

Website Templates Comparison

When it comes to website templates, Squarespace boasts modern and beautiful designs. With 70 templates, all provided by Squarespace, users can find a visually appealing theme that suits their needs. In contrast, Shopify offers ten free themes that are fresh, modern, and perfect for showcasing product photography. If users desire more variety, they can purchase themes from third-party developers, although Shopify does not provide support for these themes.

Theme Customization

Squarespace takes the lead in terms of theme customization. With its powerful yet intuitive customization options listed in the sidebar, users can easily make specific changes to their website's design. Squarespace even provides style options for specific elements when clicked, making customization a breeze. Shopify, on the other hand, requires editing the CSS code of the official theme to achieve deep customization, which might not be as user-friendly for beginners.

Pricing Plans

In terms of pricing, Squarespace's Personal Plan at $16 per month is the cheapest option, but it does not include e-commerce functionality. For serious e-commerce, Squarespace's Basic Commerce Plan at $30 per month is the recommended choice. Shopify's Basic Plan also starts at $29 per month and offers robust e-commerce features from the get-go. Both platforms offer a 14-day free trial without requiring credit card information.

Costs and Upsells

While Squarespace includes all features without additional costs, Shopify's costs can add up. Custom themes usually cost around $150, and many apps in the Shopify App Store have monthly fees. Squarespace eliminates the need for these upsells, making it a more cost-effective option. However, Shopify's comprehensive e-commerce features justify the additional expenses for online stores with complex requirements.


In conclusion, Squarespace and Shopify are both excellent website builders with unique strengths. Squarespace excels in creating beautiful websites with its easy-to-use page editor and customization options. It is a great choice for small stores and those who prioritize content alongside e-commerce. Shopify, on the other hand, prioritizes providing a unified back-office for stores, making it the go-to platform for serious e-commerce. With its innovative features and robust e-commerce functionality, Shopify outshines Squarespace in this regard. Consider your specific needs and budget before making a decision, but for most online stores, Shopify is the recommended option.


  • Squarespace focuses on building beautiful websites, while Shopify aims to provide a back-office for stores
  • Squarespace's page editor is superior, but Shopify prioritizes dynamically generated e-commerce pages
  • Shopify excels in e-commerce features and provides unique innovations such as Shopify Payments and the App Store
  • Both platforms offer visually appealing website templates, but Squarespace has the edge in customization options
  • Pricing plans differ slightly, with Squarespace offering cheaper options but Shopify justifying its higher costs with powerful e-commerce features


Q: Which platform is better for small businesses? A: Squarespace is a good choice for small businesses looking for a simple e-commerce website alongside content. Shopify, however, offers more robust e-commerce features and is recommended for serious online stores.

Q: Can I customize the themes on Squarespace and Shopify? A: Yes, both platforms allow theme customization. Squarespace offers an intuitive sidebar with various customization options, while Shopify requires editing the CSS code of the official theme for deep customization.

Q: Are there additional costs with Shopify? A: Yes, Shopify offers custom themes and a wide range of apps in the App Store, both of which may incur additional costs. Squarespace, on the other hand, includes all features without upsells.

Q: Can I try Squarespace and Shopify before making a decision? A: Yes, both platforms offer a 14-day free trial without requiring credit card information.

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