When it comes to choosing the right host for your e-store, it can be overwhelming. There are seemingly endless options. A couple of those options are Woocommerce and Squarespace. Which one is the right choice for you? While both sites offer great features, in most cases Woocommerce is going to be the better option. Let’s take a look at why.
What is an eCommerce website?
An electronic commerce or internet commerce (ecommerce) website is a website dedicated to selling goods or services through the internet. Usually an ecommerce website will handle the transactions.
It’s an important distinction from an E-business that handles the entirety of business online. The ecommerce will conduct sales and transactions through the internet. One of the most famous ecommerce websites is Amazon.
For most small businesses, you’ll want to create an ecommerce website of your own that you can conduct sales through. That’s where hosts like WordPress or Squarespace come in. Woocommerce works really well with WordPress as a plugin and is often a favorite.
The benefits of Woocommerce and Squarespace
There are good reasons as to why both of these sites are the go-to for many users seeking to open an ecommerce store. The simple explanation is that these websites both offer great benefits.
Ease of turning your website into an ecommerce site
Your choice of which site to use is going to depend on where you began. For instance, if you already have a WordPress site, then the option is easy, go with Woocommerce. If you have yet to build a website, then the fact that Squarespace offers an all in one plan might be lucrative.
WooCommerce is a plugin designed to work well with WordPress, and it has been doing this for quite some time. That is why it has become the leader in the industry for creating an ecommerce store. The plugin also makes it capable to use with Squarespace, so even if you already designed your Squarespace site, you can still utilize WooCommerce. It works with nearly any host platform or domain.
Unlike WooCommerce, Squarespace’s ecommerce store is only going to work with squarespace domains and subscriptions. This means you’ll be limited to using Squarespace for your website domain, but if you’re already happy with your website, then it can be a simple and easy addition to your subscription plan.
Product sales limitations
Both services allow you to sell unlimited products, making them pretty equal on this subject.
Look and presentation of your store
When it comes to having a successful ecommerce website, you will want a design that stands out and is unique. However, you don’t want it so unique that it becomes hard to navigate. Finding the right design and style for your ecommerce website can be hard, but if you like unlimited options, WooCommerce is going to be the better choice.
Because WooCommerce is a plugin to WordPress, you have pretty much unlimited options for design and customization. Whatever you want your online store to look like, WordPress and WooCommerce work seamlessly together to give you the exact look and feel you’re going for.
Squarespace offers a large selection of stunning templates that will give your ecommerce store a sleek and familiar look. This can be great if you’re unsure exactly what you want your online store to look like. Their templates will take care of much of the hard and creative work needed to build a good looking store. Just bare in mind that you are limited to their templates.
Cyber security is a must of any online store. Even if you don’t make a massive amount of sales, you need to protect yourself and your customers. Luckily there are plenty of options available.
Because WooCommerce is designed as a plugin, it works seamlessly with most security systems. On its own, WooCommerce also comes with basic security features. However, it is recommended that you get your own SSL certificate, which will allow you to move from HTTP to the more secure HTTPS. You can also find a webhost that already has the SSL certificate built into it. This could be one drawback of WooCommerce. Beyond basic security, they leave to you to find and provide security.
Squarespace is going to provide SSL certificates and basic security features with their service. It will be more than what comes stock with WooCommerce, but you can still improve on the security through certain addons or plugins.
It costs money to make money. The cost difference between WooCommerce and Squarespace can range depending on your preferences and choice. This is where you will have to consider if you want to build it yourself or have it all packaged for you.
WooCommerce on its own as a plugin is free. Free is tough to beat. It plugs easily into your WordPress site with little hassle and for no cost. This free program will give you some of the best merchandise management available.
Still, it’s important to take a step back and reflect on the pricing that follows. It’s not completely free after the initial installation.
You’ll have to consider the costs associated with your host. You can make a free WordPress, but there are expenses getting the self-hosted domain through WordPress, which is required in order to operate the WooCommerce plugin. These prices range from as low as $5 a month all the way to $100 a month. Likely, you will end up around $25 dollars a month.
WooCommerce also has themes available if you would like to purchase one of them and use it for your ecommerce store, which is good if you lack the necessary time, skill, or creativity needed to create one from scratch. These range in price, but they are a one time cost.
The yearly cost for the domain is likely to be around $10 dollars as well.
Really, the price comes down to everything you build and put together. You have complete freedom to control your costs here.
Squarespace pricing is much simpler. Because it is a packaged deal, they have fixed prices that include what you need. They have a basic plan for $26 a month and the advance packaged for $40 a month. Keep in mind, that these are for annual plans. A month-to-month plan will run $30 for basic and $40 for advance.
Their packages are all inclusive, but you are limited to what they provide. Likely you will find most of what you need here. Depending on what you’re looking for and your own efficiency, you could still have a cheaper per month average working with WooCommerce. Squarespace just offers you the ease of providing everything you need in one place.
Ease of use
This could be one of the bigger determining factors when trying to decide between the two. What is your skill level? Ease of use doesn’t always mean better, but without the proper skills, even the best software is going to be wasted.
WooCommerce offers plenty of freedom and will work with nearly all host websites and domains. With this freedom also comes a requirement for specific skills. For example, if you’re going to use WooCommerce with a WordPress site, then it requires you to have intermediate to advanced knowledge of programming, plugins, and graphic design. WordPress has beginner tutorials, but there is a learning curve to overcome.
While WooCommerce does sell their own templates for themes, most of it will require that you do the setup and maintenance. This can be intimidating to those who lack the knowledge and skill set needed to make the most out of the system.
While Squarespace doesn’t offer the same freedom of WordPress, they do offer a friendly user interface that makes it easier for beginners to get started. This can be appealing for many new users trying to launch their websites and ecommerce stores. There’s no shame in not having the necessary skill set needed to create a stunning website on your own. We all have our strengths and weaknesses.
Squarespace works using easy to navigate templates, so even the most inexperienced user can still utilize their site. However, you will be limited in what you can do.
So which is better?
The answer to the question is going to be a subjective one. It all depends on your intended use and what best fits your needs. However, with the creative freedom and the benefits that come with using WooCommerce, it is the preferred choice for us.