Squarespace vs. Magento

Looking for ecommerce software? Here's how Squarespace and Magento stack up.

Daniel Adams

Daniel Adams

Last updated 10o July 2020


Squarespace

4.5  Stackupp rating


Pricing from

$ 16.00 / month

Free Plan?

Trial


Best for

It’s best for small and medium retailers that don’t need extensive support for different languages and access to a large integration and extension library.

Magento

3.8  Stackupp rating


Pricing from

$ 2200.00 / month

Free Plan?

Yes


Best for

Magento “Open Source” requires development knowledge and is suitable for large enterprises. “Magento Commerce”, a fully-hosted version of Magento Open Source, available on a range of plans, catering retailers from mom-and-pop stores to global enterprises.

Squarespace or Magento: Which is best?

Can't decide between Squarespace and Magento?

Find the best platform for you with our side by side comparison of Squarespace and Magento. See how each platform stacks up across ease of use, design, support and value for money.

Let the comparison begin. Don't worry, we'll guide you.

Is Squarespace right for you?

Squarespace Commerce is an excellent choice for retailers that want to create and manage a stylish store. The platform is easy-to-use, includes a wide selection of features, and allows for unlimited products.

Squarespace Commerce is the “cool kid” of site-builder ecommerce platforms. Users have access to a powerful set of features - including unlimited bandwidth and storage, analytics, and POS - along with a library of sleek, professional templates.

It’s a fully-hosted solution, so you won’t have to take care of any backend tasks.

But while we like Squarespace Commerce, it’s not perfect. The editor does take a little getting used to. What’s more, the number of integrations on offer is a little limited.

Advantages

  • Easy-to-use site builder and management dashboard.
  • Stylish and professional themes
  • Unlimited products

Drawbacks

  • Promotion features only available on top plan.
  • Small number of themes.
  • Number of integrations is limited.

Use Squarespace Commerce if you’re looking for a platform that combines ease-of-use with the option to take advantage of more advanced features like POS, discounts and promotions, and theme editing.

Is Magento right for you?

Magento is an open-source ecommerce platform owned by Adobe which is offered in a range of formats. The best-known option is a completely free, open-source version called “Magento Open Source”. Retailers that want to use the platform while taking advantage of cloud hosting, customer support, and additional functionality, can opt for one of the paid options under the “Magento Commerce” banner.

Because of its extensive feature-set, scalability, high customizability, and popularity among developers, Magento is particularly suitable for retailers running larger stores. Medium-sized retailers that need a comprehensive and feature-rich solution will also be drawn to Magento.

For smaller retailers without any development experience, however, a more user-friendly and streamlined solution will probably be preferable.

Advantages

  • Open source version is free.
  • Powerful, feature-rich solution that scales easily.
  • Completely customizable.

Drawbacks

  • Paid plans are expensive.
  • Open-source version will be virtually impossible to use for retailers without in-house coding expertise.
  • Extensions are expensive.

If you’re a large retailer that needs a customizable, powerful solution through which you can manage multiple sites in different countries. Remember to take care of hosting, security, and troubleshooting yourself if you opt for the open source version.

Ease of Use

Our first comparison criteria, ease of use. Why? Because it’s the most important.

Think about it. You don’t want to invest a lot of your precious time setting up an online store and tweaking the design only to find out that it’s a pain in the butt to manage day to day.

We take a look at how simple the Squarespace and Magento platforms are to run.

How easy is Squarespace to use?

Rated 4.5/5 for Ease of Use

While the site-builder is very easy to use, it does take a little getting used to. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the basics, however, you’ll have no trouble changing everything from your logo to your color scheme.

The management dashboard, from where users manage listings, orders, and analytics, is intuitive and easy to navigate.

What Squarespace customers are saying...

Beautiful template designs, user-friendly features, website is loading well. Very well coded and developed.
Easy to use, hugely customizable, great templates.
I love Squarespace. I have built my entire business on Squarespace, to annual revenues of over 500K.

How easy is Magento to use?

Rated 3.5/5 for Ease of Use

While advanced development knowledge is required to run the open-source and paid enterprise version of Magento, the management dashboard itself is pretty intuitive. That said, Magento does have a very large feature-set, so there’s a learning curve for new users.

The small business version has a page-builder for ease-of-use and assistance is available for getting set up. Smaller retailers interested in Magento should try the free trial to see if it fits with their needs.

What Magento customers are saying...

"Powerful e-commerce platform - if you are willing to get your hands dirty.”
“It's a great and versatile eCommerce platform, which gives plenty of flexibility and has support for a vast amount of features and products.”
“I like the security features that Magento offers. It is one of the more secure options out there. The support community is very large so if you need help or have questions, you can usually find an answer quick.”

Squarespace is our winner for ease of use

Design

Powerful features are great, but we all know first impressions count. So, do Squarespace and Magento templates actually look any good? See for yourself. We outline each platforms design options, plus showcase a few real life examples.

How good are Squarespace's themes?

Rated 4.5/5 for Design

Squarespace Commerce strikes a rare balance for an ecommerce website builder by combining intuitive, accessible customization tools with the option to make more advanced code changes.

Because the site-builder has a lot of options, it does require a little familiarization. But once users have overcome that initial hurdle, an array of customization opportunities open up.

The only downside is that, while the templates are beautifully-designed and mobile-optimized, only ten are offered. If you’re thinking about opting for Squarespace, check that one of the themes meets your needs before signing up to a paid plan. There’s a free trial, so you can take the platform for a test-drive first.

Squarespace Examples

  • 2 HR SET
    2 HR SET
Item 1 of 3

How good are Magento's themes?

Rated 4.5/5 for Design

Magento is arguably the most customizable ecommerce platform on the market. But there’s a big caveat. To make design changes to the open-source and enterprise solutions, development skills are a must.

Magento only comes with one built-in storefront theme but a range of third-party templates are available. The downside is that these can be very expensive.

Small and medium retailers that want access to a user-friendly site-builder and library of free templates will likely prefer solutions like Shopify, Squarespace, Weebly and Wix.

If, as a small retailer, you’re drawn to Magento because of its wide array of features, “implementation plans” are available.

Magento Examples

  • Kurt Geiger
    Kurt Geiger
Item 1 of 3

It's a draw!

How much do they cost?

Everyone’s favourite topic - pricing. Let's dive in to see if Squarespace or Magento offers better value for money.

How much does Squarespace cost?

Rated 4.5/5 for Pricing

All in all, Squarespace offers excellent value for money. The feature-set is extremely robust and includes unlimited products, multi-channel management (through the “Shopping Feed” integration), POS, abandoned cart emails, customer accounts, and more. It’s also possible to sell digital products and subscription services.

The only area where Squarespace falls is the limited add-on library. Compared to a solution like Shopify, Squarespace doesn’t offer smaller, less obvious features like countdown timers or personalized promotions.

To take advantage of all the features, you’ll need to sign up for the “Advanced” plan, but smaller retailers will get by happily on the “Basic” plan. The “Business” plan offers a limited feature-set and is designed for webmasters that want to sell a small number of products.

How much does Magento cost?

Rated 3.5/5 for Pricing

It’s always difficult to fault a free solution. What’s more, Magento comes with an extensive feature-set that would cost a significant amount of money on a similar plan from another provider. Open-source features include support for multiple languages, promotional tools, content management, order and shipping processing, customer service, and more.

But there are a few important points to keep in mind. For larger enterprises, the cost of maintaining secure servers and the need for an in-house development team will be high. And extensions often cost hundreds of dollars. Pricing for fully-hosted Magento plans is not published. The enterprise-level options, however, are reported to cost tens of thousands of dollars every month. Small business plans are advertised as “affordable”.

Squarespace is our winner for cost

Help and Support

If things go wrong (and they often do) you need to know someone’s there to help get you back on track. So, how does Squarespace's and Magento's support measure up?

How good is Squarespace support?

Rated 4.5/5 for Help and Support

The support package offered by Squarespace is excellent and users generally report high levels of customer satisfaction.

Customer support is available 24/7 via email and on Twitter. Live chat is available between 4 AM and 8 PM on weekdays.

Because Squarespace is a well-known and popular site-builder, a large community of users are active on the forums, which is another bonus.

How good is Magento support?

Rated 3.5/5 for Help and Support

Technical support is limited on all plans on Magento. Users that have subscribed to a paid plan can submit support tickets. Additional support options - such as the “implementation package” for small businesses and “Magento Services” for enterprises - can be purchased for an additional cost.

If you decide to run Magento Open Source, you will need in-house IT support or an outsourced solution with an agency.

Squarespace is our winner for support

The Bottom Line

The final say. Let's wrap up our thoughts on each platform.

Squarespace: Our Verdict

Squarespace is a popular ecommerce platform and site-builder with a loyal band of users. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use solution with a comprehensive and powerful set of features, then take advantage of the free trial and give it a test-drive.

One of the best aspects of Squarespace is its applicability to retailers with a range of coding abilities. Non-developers can take advantage of the feature-rich site-builder (which is easy to navigate one you’re familiar with all the options) and build a highly-customized site. Developers, on the other hand, can customize and alter a site’s code extensively using the “Developer Mode”.

So what about the downsides? While we’re big fans of Squarespace, it’s not all sunshine and roses. Although the feature-set is excellent - covering omnichannel listings, customer accounts, POS, promotion features, and email marketing - the integration library is a little sparse. Without coding experience, retailers will find it difficult to add smaller features, like countdown timers or personalization, without advanced coding abilities. If you want access to a large add-on library, a solution like Shopify might be preferable. Furthermore, while the themes on offer are superb, there’s only ten of them.

Magento: Our Verdict

Magento has an exhaustive of features. Enterprise-level stores should definitely consider it as a solution. Medium-sized retailers will also find Magento to be an excellent choice that scales as their store grows. The virtually unlimited scope for customization is another big plus.

Retail companies that don’t want to take care of hosting in-house can also opt for one of Magento’s paid plans. Just keep in mind that development knowledge is a must and that the cost of extensions and additional support packages can quickly add up.

For smaller retailers, there is a plan that provides full access to Magento’s features at a lower price. A free trial is available and well worth checking out. Just remember that simpler entry-level solutions - which are easier to use for people without any coding skills or access to developers - may be more viable.

Overall, we found Squarespace to be the better ecommerce platform.

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