Squarespace - Website Builder Review

By Skye Schooley,
business.com writer
| Updated
Feb 24, 2020
Image Credit: demaerre / Getty Images

Squarespace is a versatile web page design software service that goes beyond simple blogging to create attractive websites that look good on both mobile devices and desktops. Users can benefit from Squarespace's easy-to-use templates, unlimited storage and bandwidth, and advanced e-commerce capabilities. It has tools to get your site noticed by search engines, plus Squarespace's analytics help you track your website's popularity and growth. 

Squarespace - Website Builder

Squarespace - Website Builder

The Best Website Builders and Design Services of 2020

The Verdict

Squarespace offers robust hosting and a website design program suitable for beginners but complex enough to satisfy the needs of expert designers.

View all of our recommendations for website builders and web design services on our best picks page. 

Squarespace Pricing and Plans

Squarespace offers four plans that you can pay for annually or monthly. Users can test the software using the company's 14-day free trial. If, after purchasing a Squarespace plan, you upgrade or downgrade your plan, a pro-rated charge or refund will be granted based on your new plan. You can cancel your plan at any time – no questions asked – as well. 

Personal Plan

  • Cost: $12 per month if you pay upfront annually, or $16 per month paid monthly

  • Includes: Secure Sockets Layer security, unlimited bandwidth and storage, SEO features, mobile-optimized templates, access for two contributors, basic website metrics, Squarespace extensions and 24/7 customer support

  • Best for: Users who want a basic website 

Business Plan

  • Cost: $18 per month if you pay upfront annually, or $26 per month paid monthly

  • Includes: Everything in the Personal plan, plus access for unlimited contributors, Google email, premium integrations and blocks, CSS and JavaScript customization, advanced website analytics, a $100 Google AdWords credit, promotional popups and banners, integrated e-commerce, a 3% transaction fee on sales transactions, and the ability to sell unlimited products and accept donations

  • Best for: Companies that want a fully functional business website with limited e-commerce capabilities 

Basic Commerce Plan

  • Cost: $26 per month if you pay upfront annually, or $30 per month paid monthly

  • Includes: Everything in the Business plan, plus additional e-commerce tools like 0% transaction fees, point of sale (you can accept payments through Square), customer accounts, secure checkout on your domain, powerful e-commerce analytics, merchandising tools and the ability to tag products in Instagram posts

  • Best for: Companies that want a fully functional business website with basic e-commerce capabilities 

Advanced Commerce Plan

  • Cost: $40 per month if you pay upfront annually, or $46 per month paid monthly

  • Includes: Everything in the Basic Commerce plan, plus advanced e-commerce tools like abandoned cart recovery, the ability to sell gift cards and subscriptions, advanced shipping options and discounts, commerce APIs and limited availability labels

  • Best for: Companies that want a fully functional business website with advanced e-commerce capabilities 

Web hosting is included with each plan, and a custom domain name is free for the first year and roughly $20 to $70 after that. Squarespace transaction fees are 3% for Business plans, and free for Basic Commerce and Advanced Commerce plans. 

Squarespace Features

Squarespace's interface is streamlined and uncluttered; you can easily access tools to design an appealing site. With a full set of features, including numerous marketing features, particularly in SEO, Squarespace is a great website builder for the beginning web designer as well as an experienced one. Here's what we especially liked about Squarespace: 

  • Templates and customization: To create a Squarespace website, you can start by following the step-by-step demo to choose your template, panels, design and more. One particularly nice feature with Squarespace is that you have full control over image editing, including cropping or resizing images to make thumbnails. You can modify templates, or if you like the look of another template better, Squarespace retains your previous work so that when you convert to a new template, so you don't have to start all over again. If you are an advanced editor, you can create custom CSS and JavaScript code.

  • Web hosting and domain names: Squarespace plans come with fully managed cloud hosting. You can buy a new custom domain name with Squarespace (free for the first year) or transfer a domain name that you already own. Additional domains cost $20 to $70 per year. Every domain comes with same-rate renewal fees, SSL certificates, WHOIS privacy, a spam-free parking page and easy DNS management. Custom Squarespace domain names can be transferred between Squarespace sites or to a new provider. You can also purchase custom email addresses through G Suite by Google.

  • Storage: Squarespace plans come with unlimited storage, webpages and bandwidth. This is especially helpful for businesses that garner a lot of traffic or that have an image-heavy website.

  • Analytics: Squarespace has comprehensive analytics – you can see how your site is performing and gain insights on where you can improve. Analytics include traffic, page views, unique visitors, geographic locations, keywords and referral links. Squarespace's e-commerce analytics help you track sales data like revenue, orders, products sold, abandoned carts, order volume, top-selling items and conversion rates.

  • Mobile responsiveness: Squarespace has responsive websites that can easily adapt to smartphones, tablets or desktops – whatever devices your readers are using to visit your site. When you are creating your website, you can toggle back and forth between desktop and mobile views to get a real-time, accurate look at how your site will appear.

  • E-commerce: If you want to create an online store, Squarespace provides one that can handle an unlimited number of products, pages, bandwidth and storage. You can integrate platforms like Apple Pay, PayPal, Stripe and USPS. Business plans incur a 3% transaction fee, but Squarespace's Basic Commerce and Advanced Commerce plans do not charge transaction fees.

  • Additional features: To help you promote your business, Squarespace offers a $100 credit good for Google AdWords for applicable plans, and it submits your website to search engines. You can input metatags and images to improve your ranking on search engines. 

Pros of Squarespace

One of the biggest pluses to using Squarespace is its robust, scalable platform. It is a very comprehensive one-stop-shop for building a website. You can create any site your business needs – whether that be a company website, blog or e-commerce store. Its scalability allows you to upgrade or downgrade your plan. This is especially beneficial for small businesses that anticipate expanding their operations. 

The other plus in Squarespace's favor is its great analytics. Not only does the website builder offer overall website analytics, but you also get e-commerce analytics specific to your online store. Having access to very specific website data allows you to modify your website and your products/services to fit the needs of your target audience. 

Cons of Squarespace

Squarespace has a couple of minor drawbacks that you should be aware of. For example, custom domain names cost anywhere from $20 to $70 per year, and custom email addresses cost extra, too. Although domain name and email address fees are common among website builders, it is something to factor into your budget if you want these two elements.  

Another downside is Squarespace's transaction fee. Business plan users incur a 3% transaction fee for online store transactions. If you plan to have an online store, consider upgrading to the Basic Commerce or Advanced Commerce plans – there is no transaction fee for those plans. 

Customer Support

Squarespace provides multiple customer support options, including FAQs and free online webinars. We found its two best help tools to be the tutorials and community forums. 

Every plan comes with 24/7 customer support. The best way to reach a representative is by email. Live chat is another option, which is available Monday through Friday, between 4 a.m. and 8 p.m. EST. When you use live chat, a chatbot will notify you of your position in the queue. 

Squarespace - Website Builder

Squarespace - Website Builder

The Best Website Builders and Design Services of 2020

The Verdict

Squarespace offers robust hosting and a website design program suitable for beginners but complex enough to satisfy the needs of expert designers.

Skye Schooley is an Arizona native, based in New York City. She received a business communication degree from Arizona State University and spent a few years traveling internationally, before finally settling down in the greater New York City area. She currently writes for business.com and Business News Daily, primarily contributing articles about business technology and the workplace, and reviewing categories such as remote PC access software, collection agencies, background check services, web hosting, reputation management services, cloud storage, and website design software and services.