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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. Which one is best for you?
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 building 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 need to install any software on your computer to use it.
Squarespace lets you create your website or online store in a web browser without coding, and edit it easily with a user-friendly content management system (CMS).
You get started with Squarespace by picking a template, clicking on the bits of its design that you want to tweak, and then adjusting 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 fees…
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.
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 pricing plans works best 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 includes the following core features:
- Free custom domain (yoursitename.com etc.)*
- Unlimited bandwidth and storage
- Access to around 140 web design templates
- Blogging features
- Basic web stats
- 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 the ‘Personal’ plan — so if you need ecommerce 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 ChowNow, OpenTable or Zapier, and you won’t be able to add a Facebook pixel (used for tracking the effectiveness of Facebook adverts) to your site.
Is the Squarespace ‘Personal’ plan for me?
With the ‘Personal’ plan, the clue is in its 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 or art portfolio.
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 using Squarespace’s ecommerce tools (you could still use PayPal buttons or a third-party selling tool to do so, of course).
In truth, to sell products at scale, or monetize your site in other ways, the ‘Personal’ plan isn’t really an option — you’ll need to go for one of the other Squarespace plans, which all give you access to more business and ecommerce 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 option to accept donations.
- The option to work with an unlimited number of site contributors (authors, editors etc.).
- Gift card functionality.
- Complete access to Squarespace’s premium integrations and blocks (ChowNow, Opentable, Zapier etc.).
- The option to add pop-up forms and announcement bars.
- A free Google Workspace account for one year (1 user, on annual plans only).
This plan costs $26 or $18 per month, depending on whether you pay on a monthly or annual basis respectively.
Ecommerce omissions in the Business plan
As with the ‘Personal’ plan, the key thing to watch out for is the omissions — in this case, particularly where selling tools are concerned.
With the ‘Business’ plan, whilst you do get quite a lot of ecommerce features included, you will miss out on quite a few important ones.
The key omissions are:
- 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 based in the United States of America, 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.).
- Product showcasing features (these allow you to show related products and let visitors join a product waitlist).
- Ecommerce analytics.
- The option to sell on Instagram.
- Advanced discount codes.
- The option to let your customers set up their own accounts on your website (this can be helpful for encouraging repeat purchases)
- 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).
There is also something else to watch out for on the ‘Business’ plan: transaction fees. On this plan, Squarespace charges you 3% on each purchase from your site.
If you are only selling products every now and again, this isn’t really something to worry about too much.
However, if you end up selling a lot of products with Squarespace, these transaction fees can end up amounting to a significant (and unnecessary) cost.
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 work with a lot of different authors and editors
- to sell products.
In a nutshell, this Squarespace pricing 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 slightly cheaper price point than key rivals Shopify or BigCommerce.
However, by comparison to the Squarespace ‘Commerce’ plans, the ‘Business’ plan’s selling features are rather underpowered, and anyone serious about ecommerce 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 ecommerce plans.
It contains all the features provided by the ‘Business’ plan — and does away with transaction fees. And, as the plan’s name suggests, it unlocks several important ecommerce features, namely:
- Point-of-sale (POS) features — these let you sell products in physical location via Squarespace and a card reader (note: POS is currently restricted to US users, and only iOS devices are currently supported).
- 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 their domain name (yoursitename.com etc.) rather than a Squarespace URL. This feature is important because it can add a sense of trustworthiness to your store, speed up sales and improve conversion rates.
- Ecommerce analytics — unlike the ‘Business’ plan, the ‘Basic Commerce’ one provides you with the full suite of ecommerce 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).
- Additional merchandising tools — these let show your store visitors images of related products, or let them join a product waitlist.
- Limited availability labels — these let your site visitors know that a product is low in stock (doing so can create a sense of urgency / scarcity, and lead to increased conversions).
While the above features do beef up Squarespace’s ecommerce functionality significantly, there’s one very 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 (when paid for on a monthly basis) it’s a bit more expensive than some competing platforms.
(Shopify, for example, provides a considerably more feature-packed ecommerce plan for $29 per month — you can learn more about this here).
You can access the free trial for the Squarespace ‘Basic Commerce’ plan here, but for me, the best-value Squarespace plan offering ecommerce functionality is its ‘Advanced Commerce‘ plan.
Let’s find out why.
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 professional 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 lets you link your Squarespace site to postal companies (USPS, FedEx and UPS) 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 ecommerce 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).
Is the ‘Advanced Commerce’ plan right for me?
For me, there’s no doubt about it — if you’re serious about ecommerce (or even semi-serious!), the ‘Advanced Commerce’ plan is really 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.
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.’
The ‘Squarespace Enterprise’ plan
In addition to the standard Squarespace plans, there is another plan to consider: Squarespace Enterprise.
This plan basically provides you with more hand-holding — you’ll get a dedicated account manager, SEO consultations and design advice.
Pricing for this plan is negotiable — you’ll have to contact Squarespace to discuss your needs and they’ll provide a quotation.
Whether Squarespace truly amounts to a solution for enterprises is debatable — in my experience the main thing that enterprises need is very 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 learn more about ‘Squarespace Enterprise’ here.
Squarespace add-ons / integrations
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 and give you additional functionality for a monthly fee.
At the moment, the number of official extensions available is fairly small — there are 28 available.
Many of them focussing on inventory management and accounting, but recently a few dropshipping apps have been added to the selection too.
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 ecommerce 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 extremely 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 on Squarespace 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 3 newsletters to up to 500 recipients per month
- Core — $14 to send 5 newsletters to 5,000 recipients
- Pro — $34 to send 20 campaigns to up to 50,000 recipients
- Max — $68 to send an unlimited number of newsletters to 250,000 recipients
As with the standard Squarespace fees, you can reduce your costs significantly by paying for Squarespace Email Campaigns on an annual basis (if you do so, the above fees become $5, $10, $24 and $48 per month respectively).
Download our free ecommerce e-kit
For a limited time, we’re offering our readers some excellent free tools. Sign up free to immediately receive:
- our online store comparison chart
- a downloadable cheatsheet on how to create an online store
- our SEO, blogging and ‘how to start a business’ cheatsheets
- extended free trials and discount codes for essential business apps
- our latest tips on ecommerce and growing a business
Squrespace members’ area
The final ‘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 (when you pay annually, the costs for the above plans work out at $9, $18 and $35 per month).
Check out the video below for more information about this new feature, or read more about it here.
A feature available on all Squarespace pricing plans: the ‘Video Studio’ app
When you subscribe to Squarespace, you now get access to a new mobile app called ‘Video Studio.’
The idea behind the app is to give you a way to make videos that match the look and feel of your Squarespace site. This is done via ‘guided project templates’ that are designed to help you create professional videos by yourself. These can then be exported into various formats for use in various contexts (on your site, as social media ads etc.).
You get access to this on all Squarespace plans — but on the ‘Personal’ plan, you are limited to using four video templates.
(You should also note that this app is currently only available for iOS devices).
The sweet spots? The ‘Business’ and ‘Advanced Commerce’ plans
So, after all that, what’s the best Squarespace plan to choose?
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 ecommerce?
Content sites typically include:
- brochure sites
- music websites
And an ecommerce site would be:
- an online store
- a site selling subscriptions
If creating a content site is your 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 — meaning that if you do want to dip your toes into e-commerce, you are good to go with that on this plan.
If you want to use Squarespace for professional ecommerce 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 difference between this and the cheaper plans, and the other ecommerce 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 get 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.
Another option is to go down the ‘self-hosted’ WordPress route — our Squarespace vs WordPress comparison goes through the pros and cons of using this rather than Squarespace.
If the main goal of your project is to build an ecommerce 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 multilingual 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).
BigCommerce is also a very good option for building an ecommerce site with — for more information about this tool, do take a look at our review of the platform or watch our BigCommerce vs Shopify video below.
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.
More Squarespace and ecommerce 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 pricing FAQ
Can I use Squarespace for free?
You can avail of a two-week free trial of Squarespace. This lets you build a site and try out most of the platform’s features — however, you won’t be able to take payment or accept donations whilst your account is in trial mode.
What’s the best Squarespace plan?
If you’re building a content site (for example a blog or portfolio), the ‘Business’ plan is the best value because it unlocks all of Squarespace’s content management features and gives you access to basic selling features too. For professional ecommerce applications, the ‘Advanced Commerce’ plan is really the best one to choose, because it gives you access to ecommerce features that can really drive growth — abandoned cart saving, advanced discounts, API access and real-time carrier shipping.