Looking for a way to choose between Squarespace and Shopify? Make sure you’re aware of these crucial distinctions. I’ve used both Squarespace and Shopify for a variety of websites, and they’re both fantastic platforms— but there are some key differences. This post will outline the important differences so you can decide whether or not to utilise Squarespace vs Shopify.
The most crucial thing to remember is this:
- Squarespace is for all types of websites, while Shopify is only for ecommerce.
- Squarespace may be used to create an ecommerce website, as well as a church website, a portfolio, blogs, wedding websites, and more. Shopify is the only platform that allows you to create an ecommerce website.
When it comes to websites, this results in significant differences:
Squarespace provides a visual page editor with drag-and-drop functionality. It’s quite simple to use. A WYSIWYG editor is available on Shopify. WYSIWYG editors are text editors that allow you to include images and videos in line with the text, comparable to Microsoft Word.
Squarespace is well-known for its attractive templates. Around 70 stunning, modern website themes are available. You won’t need to edit code because templates are so easy to customise. There are ten free themes available on Shopify. Hundreds of third-party themes are also available for download. It’s hit or miss when it comes to customising your Shopify theme. You’ll need to modify CSS code from time to time.
Squarespace is more user-friendly and suitable for small businesses, whereas Shopify offers far more complex eCommerce options. In fact, when it comes to eCommerce, Shopify is in a different league than Squarespace. Many prominent eCommerce stores, such as All Birds, Kylie’s Cosmetics, and MVMT, use it.
BigCommerce, Volusion, Magento, and WooCommerce, among Shopify’s competitors, are more like heavyweight e-commerce builders.
What Is Squarespace?
Here’s how I’d describe Squarespace to a friend over a cup of coffee. It has the following features:
- A drag-and-drop page editor that is simple to use.
- Templates that are beautiful and adaptable.
- An all-in-one website builder that can be used to power a wide range of websites.
When comparing Squarespace to Shopify, the third point is very crucial because Shopify exclusively powers eCommerce websites, but Squarespace can power a wide range of websites. A Squarespace website can be used as an online store, a church website, a portfolio, a blog, a wedding website, and more.
Squarespace provides a visual page editor with drag-and-drop functionality. It’s quite simple to use.
Each page consists of two parts:
1. Content Blocks
Forms, maps, restaurant menus, buttons, audio players, photo galleries, charts, and many other content blocks are available to add to pages:
Sections are vertically stacked content chunks on your website.
You can either create a section from scratch or select from a library of pre-designed sections:
Squarespace is well-known for its attractive templates. Around 70 stunning, modern website themes are available.
They have the best templates of any website builder, in my opinion—which is subjective, but not nearly as subjective as some people believe.
It’s Easy To Customize Squarespace Templates
Customizing Squarespace layouts is a breeze. To modify the colours of your website, for example, simply edit this Color Palette:
This colour scheme is applied to your entire website by default.
So, what if you don’t like the way the colour has been applied? Squarespace, on the other hand, allows you to make those particular adjustments if you wish to:
If you’re deciding between Squarespace and Shopify, you’re probably interested in learning more about ecommerce.
Squarespace is my go-to platform for small businesses since it includes more than enough ecommerce tools (subscription payments, custom notifications, taxes, shipping integrations, digital products, and so on) to power a tiny business.
Squarespace, on the other hand, isn’t (and probably never will be) as powerful as Shopify. This is by design: Squarespace is for all types of websites, whereas Shopify is only for eCommerce sites. As a result, Shopify will continue to add new features.
In the Key Differences section, I go through this in greater detail.
What Is Shopify?
Here’s how I’d describe Shopify to a friend over a cup of coffee. It’s:
- Everything you need to know about ecommerce.
- The most powerful and user-friendly ecommerce platform on the market.
- There is a learning curve to it.
A WYSIWYG page editor is available on Shopify. WYSIWYG editors are text editors that allow you to include images and videos inline with the text, comparable to Microsoft Word.
Using a WYSIWYG editor to create layouts can be a hassle. Moving items can have unintended consequences, and there is no way to change spacing or add columns. It’s difficult to create visually appealing pages with it.
Shopify provides you with eleven free themes to choose from. Each is vibrant, contemporary, and sophisticated:
Themes by Third Parties
Third-party developers have built hundreds of Shopify themes.
These themes are expensive and rely on a third-party developer for support, yet there are numerous instances of live Shopify sites that are stunning.
There are two types of third-party Shopify themes: verified vendors and unverified providers.
Verified (70 themes) — Available for purchase in the Shopify theme store. All providers are evaluated to ensure that they provide enough support— nothing is more aggravating than a theme that is a year old!
Unverified (900 themes) – For sale on Theme Forest and other marketplaces. Shopify has not validated this.
Shopify has a tool for tweaking themes called Customizer:
Unfortunately, depending on the theme, the Customizer tool can be hit or miss.
The only way to change the colour of the navigation text, for example, is to edit CSS code.
Here’s my rule of thumb: You won’t be able to create a bespoke Shopify theme without occasionally diving into CSS code or hiring a Shopify theme expert.
This is where Shopify really shines.
Shopify is the most advanced and user-friendly ecommerce platform on the market. They provide a slew of unique features that make it easier to start and grow an online store.
Two of the most important features are as follows:
1. The Shopify App Store
Ecommerce websites have their own set of requirements. Gift wrapping, inventory linkages, product ratings, and up-sell recommendations are just a few examples.
Rather than putting all of these capabilities into the Shopify core, the company created an app store where users can add functionality as needed.
It’s tough to exaggerate the significance of the Shopify app store. In every Shopify website I’ve ever created, I’ve used the Shopify app store.
Shopify was also the first ecommerce website builder to establish an app store, with significantly more apps than its competitors today:
2. Shopify Payments
A payment processor is required for online stores. Most store builders work with a third-party payment processor such as Stripe or Paypal.
Shopify Payments, their own payment processor, was established in 2013. This meant that new Shopify users could start accepting payments right away, without having to employ a third-party payment processor. Everything just fell into place.
This is an excellent example of Shopify’s efforts to remove another another barrier to launching an online business.
I believe there are two compelling reasons to choose Squarespace rather than Shopify:
- Squarespace is more user-friendly – For example, modifying your theme with Shopify will almost certainly necessitate editing CSS code, whereas Squarespace does not.
- Squarespace has a page editor that you can drag and drop — Squarespace has a page editor that you can drag and drop. Shopify is not one of them.
When I’m establishing smaller web stores and want to be able to customise the design, I prefer Squarespace over Shopify.
There is one compelling argument to choose Shopify over Squarespace: it is far more powerful.
For example, Shopify includes an app store with over 3,000 third-party apps that may be used to enhance your store’s functionality. Squarespace features a total of 24 add-ons.
This makes sense: Shopify is designed exclusively for eCommerce websites. Squarespace is a platform for creating general-purpose websites. As a result, Shopify’s focus will always be on eCommerce functionality.