In this guide to Squarespace pricing, I take a look at how its fees structure works and discuss the pros and cons of each plan.
If you’re thinking of using Squarespace as your website builder or online store, you’ll know that there are several different pricing plans to consider — and you might be wondering which one is the best fit for your business.
So, in this post, I’m going to look at Squarespace costs in depth, taking you through each of the plans, and highlighting all the aspects that make one plan better than another.
By the end of this article, you’ll know which Squarespace pricing plan is best suited to your project — and what alternatives are available if you feel that the product isn’t quite right for your needs.
But first, a key question: what is Squarespace?
What is Squarespace?
Squarespace is a website builder tool that is aimed mainly at small business owners and ‘solopreneurs.’ It’s a ‘hosted solution,’ meaning that it runs on its own servers and you don’t have to install software on your own computer to use it.
Squarespace lets you create a website or online store in a web browser without coding, and edit it easily thanks to a user-friendly content management system (CMS).
You pick a Squarespace template, click on the bits of the design you want to tweak, and then adjust controllers in the style editor to change them.
For example, you can click on some text and apply a new font; click on a background and change its colour; and so on (the screenshot below gives you an idea of how this works).
Squarespace is a software as a service (‘SaaS’) tool – this means that you don’t own a copy of the software but rather pay a monthly fee to use it.
And speaking of which…
Squarespace pricing — the available plans
There are four Squarespace plans available: ‘Personal,’ ‘Business,’ ‘Basic Commerce’ and ‘Advanced Commerce.’
These vary slightly in cost depending on your location and/or currency, but the features of each remain consistent (I discuss these shortly).
If you pay on a monthly basis for these plans, the costs are as follows:
- Personal — $16 per month
- Business — $26 per month
- Basic Commerce — $35 per month
- Advanced Commerce — $54 per month
Paying on an annual basis brings a sharp reduction in fees:
- Personal — $12 per month
- Business — $18 per month
- Basic Commerce — $26 per month
- Advanced Commerce — $40 per month
This represents a saving of 25% on the ‘Personal,’ ‘Business’ and ‘Advanced Commerce’ plans, and a 30% saving on the ‘Basic Commerce’ plan; accordingly, if you have the budget, it makes sense to go for the annual pricing option.
However, if you do, you should take note of Squarespace’s refund policy on it — you can only avail of a full refund when you cancel an annual website subscription within 14 days of commencing it.
(You should also note that your subscription will be set to autorenew — this is something you can disable if you prefer, however).
There is also a free Squarespace trial available, which helps you get a sense of which of the above set of costs works for you.
In addition to the basic plans, there are some paid-for extensions / add-ons available, which I’ll come to later in this post — but right now, let’s dig into the features of each of the Squarespace plans.
The Squarespace ‘Personal’ plan
At $12 or $16 per month (depending on whether you go for annual or monthly pricing respectively), the ‘Personal’ plan is Squarespace’s cheapest offering.
It gives you the following core features:
- Free custom domain (yoursitename.com etc.).*
- Unlimited bandwidth and storage.
- Approximately 120 templates.
- Blogging features.
- 2 contributors.
- Support via email and live chat.
- Ability to install ‘extensions’ (apps that add functionality to your Squarespace site).
* Annual plans only.
The key omissions from this plan
With the ‘Personal’ plan, the omissions are arguably more important than the features: there are three key things that you can’t do with it.
First, you can’t sell anything with it — so if you need e-commerce features, it’s definitely not for you.
Second, you can’t make use of several key integrations — you won’t be able to hook your Squarespace site up to key services like Mailchimp, Opentable or Zapier, and you won’t be able to add a Facebook pixel (used for tracking the effectiveness of Facebook ads) to your site.
Is the Squarespace ‘Personal’ plan for me?
With the ‘Personal’ plan, the clue is in the name — it’s generally not suitable for business applications. Rather, it’s geared towards individuals who want a very simple website with a minimum of cost or fuss.
For creating something like a wedding website or a site to promote a birthday party, it’s great. It’s also a reasonably good option for those looking for a simple blogging tool.
If that sounds like you, you can try the Personal plan for free here.
Now there is one business application where the ‘Personal’ plan can be of some use — portfolio sites. If you’re a photographer or artist needing a platform to showcase your work, the ‘Personal’ plan gives you lots of ways to present your content in attractive ways.
You might also get away with using the ‘Personal’ plan for a simple music website (so long as you don’t want to sell any CDs or downloads from it).
But if you need to sell products or monetise your site in other ways, the ‘Personal’ plan isn’t really a great option: you’ll need to go for one of the other Squarespace plans that give you access to more business and e-commerce features.
And speaking of which…
The Squarespace ‘Business’ plan
The ‘Business’ plan is the cheapest Squarespace plan that lets you sell anything.
In addition to the core features provided with the ‘Personal’ plan, you get the following key additions:
- The ability to sell an unlimited number of products.
- The ability to accept donations.
- The option to work with an unlimited number of contributors to your site (authors, editors etc.).
- Gift card functionality.
- Full access to Squarespace’s premium integrations and blocks (Mailchimp, Opentable, Zapier etc.).
- The option to add pop-up forms and announcement bars.
- A free Google Workspace account for one year (1 user; and on annual plans only).
This plan costs $26 or $18 per month, depending on whether you pay on a monthly or annual basis respectively.
E-commerce omissions in the Business plan
As with the ‘Personal’ plan, the key thing to watch out for is the omissions — particularly where selling tools are concerned.
With the ‘Business’ plan, whilst you do get quite a lot of e-commerce features included, you will miss out on quite a few important ones, the key ones being:
- Abandoned cart saving functionality (this lets you automatically send reminder emails to people who add something to their cart but don’t complete the purchase).
- Point of sale functionality (so long as you’re a US user, this lets you use Squarespace to sell goods not just online but in a physical location too — retail outlets, market stalls, pop-up shops etc.).
- Full e-commerce analytics.
- The option to sell on Instagram.
- Advanced discount codes.
- The option to let users check out on your domain rather than a Squarespace URL (the former is a more consistent, effective selling experience and one that encourages a sense of security).
Download our free e-commerce e-kit
For a limited time, we’re offering our readers some excellent free tools. Sign up free to immediately receive:
- a downloadable cheatsheet on how to create an online store
- our SEO, blogging and ‘how to start a business’ cheatsheets
- access to free trials of our recommended online store builders
- exclusive discount codes and extended free trials of essential business apps
- our latest tips on e-commerce and growing a business
There is also something else to watch out for on the ‘Business’ plan: transaction fees. On this plan, Squarespace charges 3% on each purchase through your site.
If you are only selling products every now and again, this isn’t really much to worry about. However, these transaction fees can end up amounting to a significant (and unnecessary) cost if you are selling large quantities of goods.
Is the ‘Squarespace Business’ plan right for me?
The Squarespace ‘Business’ plan is best suited for website owners who want
- the flexibility to connect their site to a range of third-party tools
- to be able to customize their site using CSS or Java script
- to work with a wide range of authors and editors
- to sell products.
In a nutshell, this plan is a good option for users who are in the early stages of starting a business. It’s a flexible, feature-rich plan that also facilitates basic online selling — and it’s priced competitively too, allowing you to create a standalone store at a cheaper price point than key rivals Shopify and BigCommerce.
However, by comparison to the Squarespace ‘Commerce’ plans, the ‘Business’ plan’s selling features are rather underpowered, and anyone serious about e-commerce will need to look at one of the higher-tier options.
Let’s take a look at the first of these now.
The Squarespace ‘Basic Commerce’ plan
The Squarespace ‘Basic Commerce’ plan is the first of two dedicated Squarespace commerce plans.
It contains all the features provided by the ‘Business’ plan, and does away with transaction fees.
Crucially, it unlocks several important e-commerce features, namely:
- Point-of-sale (POS) features — these let you sell products in physical location via Squarespace and a card reader (note: US users only).
- Customer accounts — these let your users create accounts that they can sign into for faster checkout (and increased conversions).
- Checkout on own domain — this lets users complete a transaction on your own domain name (yoursitename.com etc.) rather than a Squarespace URL; it is a feature that can speed up sales and improve conversion rates.
- E-commerce analytics — unlike the ‘Business’ plan, the ‘Basic Commerce’ one provides you with the full suite of e-commerce analytics, rather than just basic sales statistics.
- The option to sell on Instagram — this lets you make your Squarespace products ‘shoppable’ on Instagram (a pretty important feature given the importance of this social media channel).
- Limited availability labels — these let your site visitors know that a product is low in stock (doing so can create a sense of urgency and increased conversions).
While the above features do beef up Squarespace’s e-commerce functionality significantly, there’s one really important feature which isn’t included in the ‘Basic Commerce’ plan: abandoned cart recovery.
This feature lets you send an automated email to site visitors who go part-way through a transaction only to leave your site at the final stage of the purchase. It can boost sales by up to 15% — so its omission is potentially significant to merchants.
Is the Squarespace ‘Basic Commerce’ plan for me?
The Squarespace ‘Basic Commerce’ plan is a reasonably well-specced commerce plan which gives merchants most of the selling tools they’ll need.
However, at $35 per month (paid on a monthly basis) it’s a bit more expensive than some competing platforms.
(Shopify, for example, provides a more feature-packed e-commerce plan for $29 per month — you can try this for free here).
You can access the free trial for the Squarespace ‘Basic Commerce’ plan here, but for me, the best value Squarespace plan offering e-commerce functionality is its ‘Advanced Commerce’ plan.
Let’s find out why now.
A way to save money on Squarespace
If you’re interested in using Squarespace, the company is currently offering 10% off its plans. This can amount to quite a saving, especially if you opt for one of its ‘commerce’ plans.
This discount is available for a limited time only – to avail of it,
- Go to the Squarespace website using this link.
- Enter the code ‘PARTNER10’ when purchasing a plan.
The Squarespace ‘Advanced Commerce’ plan
The ‘Advanced Commerce’ plan unlocks several key features that are very important to merchants, namely:
- Abandoned cart recovery — as discussed above, this lets you automatically message people who have left a purchase mid-way through, and is a vital tool for driving up conversions.
- The ability to sell subscriptions (physical products or services).
- Real-time carrier shipping quotes — this feature let you link your Squarespace site to postal companies and display accurate, real-time shipping charges from them at checkout.
- Advanced discounts — this lets you create discount codes that are limited in use, or automatically apply at checkout.
- API access — this lets you code your own custom e-commerce integrations with Squarespace, allowing you to create bespoke processes and automations for fulfilment, inventory management etc.
These features, coupled with Squarespace’s generally lovely approach to design and content management, make it by far the most attractive Squarespace plan on offer.
In terms of how this plan fares against those from competing solutions, whilst it’s not as fully-specced as the higher-tier plans from the likes of BigCommerce and Shopify, it comes in considerably cheaper than both, whilst offering a good range of selling features.
For example, the cheapest BigCommerce plan featuring abandoned cart recovery costs $79.99 per month; the cheapest Shopify plan featuring third-party real time shipping quotes costs $299.99.
(That said, these plans do offer other features which are not available in Squarespace at all, notably in the area of multi-currency or multi-lingual selling — see our ‘Alternatives’ section below for more details on this).
Is the ‘Advanced Commerce’ plan right for me?
For me, there’s no doubt about it — if you’re serious about e-commerce (or even semi-serious!), the ‘Advanced Commerce’ plan is the only Squarespace plan to go for.
Although the ‘Basic Commerce’ plan provides a decent enough range of commerce features, its lack of abandoned cart recovery tools, advanced discount codes and real time shipping quotes would definitely nudge me towards the ‘Advanced Commerce’ plan.
Of all these features, the ‘abandoned cart recovery’ tool is probably the most significant to potential Squarespace users. It provides the opportunity to drastically improve conversion rates — and I’ve found that in many contexts, this feature pays for itself and justifies the additional investment in the ‘Advanced Commerce’ plan over ‘Basic Commerce.’
Squarespace Select and Squarespace Enterprise
In addition to the standard Squarespace plans, there are two new plans to consider ‘Squarespace Select’ and ‘Squarespace Enterprise.’
‘Squarespace Select‘ costs $4,900 a year and basically provides you with more hand-holding — you’ll get a dedicated account manager, SEO consultations and design advice. In essence, you’re paying for premium support on this plan.
‘Squarespace Enterprise‘ takes this premium support up a notch, providing you with a ‘white glove’ level of product training and ‘high-touch’ tech support). Pricing for this plan is negotiable — you’ll have to contact Squarespace to discuss your needs and they’ll provide a quotation accordingly.
Whether Squarespace truly amounts to a solution for enterprises is moot — in my experience the main thing that enterprises need is bespoke functionality and advanced SEO optimizations; two things which I’m not sure Squarespace is yet equipped to provide.
For me, Squarespace shines more as a tool for small businesses and solopreneurs who need an elegant, simple tool for building a website — but if you are interested in more support, or using Squarespace in more advanced ways, you can read more about ‘Squarespace Select’ here, or ‘Squarespace Enterprise’ here.
If the core features included in your chosen Squarespace plan aren’t quite enough, you can add to them in a few different ways.
Squarespace extensions and plugins
Squarespace extensions are the equivalent of WordPress plugins or Shopify apps — they are typically developed by third parties, approved for use by Squarespace and give you additional functionality for a monthly fee.
At the moment, the number of official extensions available is fairly small — there are around 25 available, with many of them focussing on product fulfilment and accounting.
Another way to beef up your Squarespace site’s functionality is to make use of third-party ‘code snippets’. These are increasingly referred to as ‘Squarespace plugins‘ and let you do everything from format galleries in particular ways to adding e-commerce features.
Squarespace plugins are not ‘official’ add-ons — they can be developed by a wide range of third-parties — so it’s important to do some due diligence before adding them to your site. But they can be very good for adding interesting features to Squarespace sites.
Squarespace email campaigns
Squarespace isn’t just a website builder — these days, it’s technically an email marketing tool too.
For an extra monthly fee, you can host a mailing list and send e-newsletters to it. The number of email addresses you can host on your list is uncapped, but the following monthly fees apply to the number of emails you can send to it:
- Starter — $7 to send 500 emails per month
- Core — $14 to send 5,000 emails per month
- Pro — $34 to send 50,000 emails per month
- Max — $68 to send 250,000 emails per month
As with the standard Squarespace fees, you can reduce your costs significantly by paying for Squarespace Email Campaigns on an annual basis (the above fees become $5, $10, $24 and $48 per month respectively).
Squrespace members’ area
The final main ‘add-on’ to consider is the Squarespace members’ area tool.
This lets you charge users for access to a private area of your website, allowing you to sell courses, exclusive content and more to your audience.
The fees for this are as follows:
- Starter — $10 per month, 1 member area, 7% transaction fees
- Core — $20 per month, 3 member areas, 4% transaction fees
- Pro — $40 per month, 10 member areas, 1% transaction fees
Again, sizeable discounts are available if you pay upfront for a year for this service.
Check out the video below for more information about this new feature.
The sweet spots: ‘Business’ and ‘Advanced Commerce’
So, after all that, what’s the best Squarespace plan to go for?
Well, when advising clients on what the best Squarespace plan for them is, I always ask them this question: what’s your site for, content or e-commerce?
Content sites typically include
- brochure sites
- music websites
And an e-commerce site would obviously be an online store.
If creating a content site is the main aim, my advice would usually be to go for the ‘Business’ plan — the ‘Personal’ plan, with its restrictions on integrations, custom coding and popups, really is suitable for the most basic projects only. The ‘Business plan’ has the added advantage of facilitating basic online selling too.
If you want to use Squarespace for e-commerce purposes, then I would usually ignore all the other plans and head straight for the ‘Advanced Commerce’ plan. The bundled abandoned cart recovery tool will usually make up for the cost differential between this and the cheaper plans, and the other e-commerce features it provides are extremely welcome too.
Free trials and discounts
I hope this discussion on Squarespace pricing has helped clarified the costs of the product, and which plan is best suited to your needs!
If you’re interested in using Squarespace, a 14-day trial is available, and the company is currently offering 10% off its plans. This can amount to quite a saving, especially if you opt for one of its ‘commerce’ plans.
This discount is available for a limited time only — to avail of it,
- Go to the Squarespace website using this link.
- Enter the code ‘PARTNER10‘ when purchasing a plan.
The alternatives to Squarespace
No discussion on Squarespace pricing would be complete without a look at some of the alternatives available.
If your plan is to use a ‘hosted’ website builder to create a content-based site (portfolio, brochure site, music site etc.), it’s hard to argue with Squarespace; its templates are elegant, it’s feature rich and it’s easy to use. But if you do feel like looking elsewhere, you could consider Wix, Jimdo or WordPress.com (the hosted version of WordPress).
If the main goal of your project is to build an e-commerce site, then Shopify is probably the most obvious alternative.
Whilst Shopify’s template selection isn’t as extensive as Squarespace’s, and its non-commerce features (blogging, galleries etc.) are less impressive, it boasts an extremely comprehensive set of online selling tools that eclipse many of Squarespace’s.
In particular, Shopify is great for multi-lingual selling and selling in multiple currencies (Squarespace currently isn’t a particularly good fit for multi-lingual selling and doesn’t facilitate selling in multiple currencies at all).
More Squarespace resources
We blog regularly on web design, and in addition to this Squarespace pricing guide, we have a host of related resources available which you may find useful:
- Squarespace review
- Squarespace vs Shopify
- Squarespace vs WordPress
- Squarespace vs Wix
- Squarespace Email Campaigns review
- How to speed up a Squarespace site
- Squarespace SEO tips
Any thoughts on Squarespace pricing? Leave a comment!
Now: over to you. If you’ve got any queries or thoughts on Squarespace pricing, do leave a comment below! We read all questions and will do our best to help.