9 Reasons Squarespace is an Untapped Resource for Ecommerce Businesses

9 Reasons Squarespace is an Untapped Resource for Ecommerce Businesses

Running a successful ecommerce business is no different from a brick-and-mortar store, with one exception: all of your transactions take place online. Knowing this, it’s critical to choose the right resources when building your online store. In addition to having great products or services, your success will be rooted in factors like your website’s design, usability, and how well you market your business. The platform you build your site on will also play a significant role in your success.

When looking at all of your options, designing your website with Squarespace is a surprisingly strong contender for creating the best ecommerce websites. If you haven’t heard of Squarespace, or if you’re thinking about switching over from WordPress, here are 9 reasons to use this awesome web builder.

1. Squarespace is affordable

Squarespace is affordable

Squarespace is a hosted web builder solution, which means you don’t need to get other accounts for your domain name and web hosting. The benefits to a hosted solution are vast, and we’ll get into that shortly. However, there are plenty of hosted platforms around and Squarespace happens to be one of the most affordable options.

While you can get a free plan from Wix or Weebly, you get what you pay for, which is not much by way of features. It’s fine if you only sell a couple of things and don’t need much else. However, if you’re serious about running a successful ecommerce store, you need a platform with more features.

Unlike some platforms, Squarespace has more paid plans to choose from and you can get your ecommerce business started at a lower cost. Most businesses only need the standard Commerce plan, which is $27/month after a 14-day free trial as of June 2023. This plan comes with a cool bonus: there are no transaction fees. The Business plan, which is one step down, is $4 cheaper, but requires a 3% transaction fee. It makes sense to go with the Commerce plan, especially since you also get merchandising capabilities.

If you need to build an ecommerce store fast, on a user-friendly platform that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, Squarespace is ideal.

2. Squarespace is a hosted platform

Unless you thoroughly enjoy the idea of learning HTML, CSS, and finding your way around databases, making mistakes in the process, you need a hosted web platform. With Squarespace, you don’t need to know any code, nor do you have to work with code. The entire process of building your website can be done in a visual editor. If you know HTML and want to make customizations, you can do that, but it’s not a requirement to launch your store.

Here’s the difference between a hosted platform and building a self-hosted store and why you’re better off with Squarespace:

Inconvenient requirements for a self-hosted ecommerce store:

  • A web hosting account. This can cost you anywhere between $10 and $200+ per month based on your needs. Shared hosting is cheaper, but if you plan on running a big store you’ll need more resources that require a dedicated server and/or cloud-based infrastructure.
  • An account with a domain registrar. To run your website, you need to acquire a domain name from a registrar like GoDaddy or Namecheap. It’s easy to register a domain, but it’s one more account you have to keep track of.
  • Set up your DNS. Although a domain registration is easy to acquire, you’ll be responsible for setting up your DNS through your registrar. You’ll need to enter your web host’s nameservers so your domain points to your website files. If you aren’t familiar with this process, it can be a little frustrating.
  • Create email accounts. Buying a domain name doesn’t automatically give you an email address. You’ll need to create all email addresses in the back end of your admin panel.
  • Install your own software. Once you have your domain name, you’ll need to install the software to run your ecommerce store. WordPress is fairly easy to install, especially if you use the pre-installed software that comes with cPanel. However, you still need to know how to create a database and user, and provide that user with all admin privileges. Then, you have to know how to connect your WordPress instance to your database during installation. Once installed, you’ll have to spend a few hours tweaking your settings.
  • Download and install your theme. After your main software is installed, you’ll need to buy and install your theme from a third-party website and go through the setup process, which can take several more hours. If you’re using WordPress, you’ll need to create a child theme or all of your customizations will disappear each time you update your theme.
  • Buy your own merchant account. To process payments, you’ll need yet another account with a merchant that will allow you to take credit card payments. This can get pretty costly.
  • You’re responsible for security. While security is a shared responsibility, you have more of a burden with a self-hosted store. For example, if you build your site on WordPress, you’ll need to take several specific measures to secure your store during installation, like hiding your admin login URL, setting an unpredictable table prefix, and setting your salts and keys.
    When managing your own software, there are several serious issues to be aware of. You have to keep your main installation and all plugins and themes up to date at all times. Unsupported, abandoned plugins become vulnerabilities quickly, and leave your site open to attack.
  • You’ll need to hire a developer for support. If you self-host, you’re on your own to get support, troubleshoot, or get answers to questions. Most themes come with six months of support, but that doesn’t cover your hosting issues, like setting up an SSL certificate or setting your PHP version through your control panel. If you don’t know your way around cPanel or Plesk, you’ll need a developer’s help, which means spending more money.

Simple requirements for building your store on a hosted platform:

  • Sign up for one account. With Squarespace, you’ll get your domain name and web hosting in one account. You won’t have to set your DNS or mess with complicated control panels to set up your email address. Everything is user-friendly and the setup time is fast.
  • Install your template with ease. You don’t need to buy a theme from a third-party site. Just browse the templates in the Squarespace marketplace and install the one you like best. You’ll need to adjust a few settings, but it will take you minutes rather than hours.
  • Add your products. Squarespace makes it incredibly easy to add products to your ecommerce store. Depending on how large your store is, you could be up and running in just a few days.

Squarespace is clearly the optimal choice when you need a website without the hassle of trying to host your own site.

3. Squarespace has beautiful templates

Squarespace has beautiful templates

To make your ecommerce website stand out, you need a stunning template that truly represents your business’ brand image. Your template needs to be clean, visually appealing, and easy to navigate. All of these elements are present in Squarespace templates.

You’ll probably want to customize your theme, and that’s easy with Squarespace. Most themes are built with a color selector that allows you to alter your color scheme with ease. You can change the color of your text, headings, background, and page accents with just a few clicks.

4. Reliable uptime

Squarespace is known for being a reliable platform with strong uptime compared to other hosted web builders. Uptime matters because if your online store goes down even for just a few hours, you’ll lose sales and customer confidence.

5. Free SSL certificate

An SSL certificate makes your site use the https protocol, which encrypts all the data your customers enter on your site, like credit card information. This is critical for maintaining security. Although SSL was once technically optional, it’s now a requirement to maintain customer trust. Even browsers will stop users with a warning page if your site isn’t using an SSL certificate and tell them it isn’t safe to proceed. When this happens, users usually just bounce.

6. Full support

Squarespace Help Center

Managing an ecommerce store is already a full-time job, and when you need support, Squarespace has you covered. You can email support requests directly to the company, engage a live agent in the chatbot, or search the self-help knowledgebase for information. All of these options are available to you 24/7, which means you won’t have to wait long to solve any issues you encounter.

7. Built-in blogging

You can’t have a web store these days without a blog. Squarespace has one of the easiest blogging features built right into every account. Blogging has many benefits and is one of the most important components in SEO. If you want your ecommerce store to come up in search results, you need a solid blog with strong features. Squarespace definitely has you covered here.

8. Support for digital products

Squarespace Support for digital products

One of Squarespace’s biggest competitors is Shopify, but if you sell digital products or subscriptions, you can’t use Shopify. Squarespace is ideal for selling digital downloads, online courses, and content for subscribers. If you’re one of the many online businesses that only sells digital goods, you’ll find Squarespace to be an excellent choice.

9. Squarespace comes with a free 14-day trial

If you like to try things before you buy them, you can do that with Squarespace for two full weeks. You can sign up for a free account and test drive the platform for 14 days without providing any credit card information. Once your trial is over, you’ll be asked to upgrade to a paid plan.

This is a better deal than other platforms that require a credit card up front and will bill you automatically at the end of your trial. Sometimes life gets busy and it’s easy to lose track of free trials. Squarespace gives you the opportunity to test out the platform worry-free.

Ready to launch your ecommerce store? We want to help!

Are you ready to build your online store and start generating sales? Whether you want to use Squarespace or any other platform, we’ll build your store from top to bottom and set you up for success.

Our team of expert developers can work with any platform, including Squarespace, WordPress, Shopify, BigCommerce, and more. If you like the features Squarespace has to offer, we’ll get you up and running quickly with a beautiful template that represents your brand and helps you generate sales. Contact us today to get started!

Timothy Carter
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