If you’re DIY’ing your website, chances are you’re trying to do things on a bit of a budget.
(No judgment here. You’re literally talking to the queen of budgeting and price-shopping. So cheers to you, and I’m 100% toasting your efforts! *clink*)
But whether you’re a solopreneur or you run a pretty big show, you want a virtual storefront you can be proud of, and a site that works as hard as you do for your business!
Of all the investments to make for your biz, your website is pretty up there, so you don’t want to scrimping on the features and trying to limp along on a site that doesn’t really do what you need it to.
That said, do you really need to be paying for allllll the things?
In this post, we’ll take a look at Squarespace’s plans, pricing, and features to see which tier fits what you’re currently up to (and where you’re headed) in your biz!
Hoping to start a personal blog? Creating a virtual save the date for your wedding day? Look no further. You’ll probably be able to get by with the personal plan (a.k.a the babiest of Squarespace plans).
You won’t be able to run a legit money makin’ biz on this plan anytime soon, but so long as you’re cool with that, you can post up and swap out basic content like images, text, buttons, and forms to your heart’s content.
They’ll even throw in some basic Squarespace website analytics, so you can track just how often your mom – *ahem* your followers – are tuning into you and your cat’s adventures.
24/7 customer support
One thing I absolutely love about Squarespace is their super knowledgable and helpful support team. There is nothing worse than having to dig through outdated forums, and go round and round in circles with useless chat bots to try to get answers to your question. Thankfully, you get access to round the clock support the minute you upgrade to any paid plan.
Squarespace is known for being more secure than other website building platforms, and this handy little feature is what keeps hackers from impersonating you, or using the back-end of your site to run a drug business.
(Crazy, but it legit happened. I can’t make this stuff up.)
Google does not want to be responsible for sending visitors somewhere where their information could be compromised, so if you want to rank at all, SSL is a must.
Up to 1000 pages of mobile responsive website content
You want visitor’s first impression of your site to be a good one, no matter which device they are using, so Squarespace automatically optimizes all your content for desktop and mobile (and every screen size in between).
Want to bring on another blogger? Or get help managing your site? With the personal plan, you can give one other person permission to view and edit the back of your website, without having to give away your personal login deets.
Basic site analytics
Squarespace Analytics is the platform’s built-in way of helping you learn about your visitor’s behavior and the overall performance of your site. With the basic plan, you can check out things like who visited certain pages on your site, where they’re coming from both geographically and link-wise, what search terms landed them on your site, and which content seems to be most popular.
Just starting out?
This is where even the smallest of businesses will want to start their search. If you plan to make any money (and I assume you do), the business plan is your first step to getting your online storefront set up for success!
What’s different from the personal plan?
In addition to what you get in the Squarespace personal plan, here’s a few extra exciting features that get unlocked at the business plan level:
Custom email address
Your Hotmail email from your MSN chat days isn’t going to cut it. If you want people to take your biz seriously, you’re going to need a profesh and on-brand sounding email address.
The business plan gives you this, as well as a one year subscription to G Suite for free.
Got a whole team of people BTS? You can give them access to help you manage your site, and more importantly, control what they can and cannot edit. (Because no matter how well-meaning that new intern is, you don’t need them accidentally deleting your whole blog.) ♀️
Want to sell your products or services online? And maybe start accepting payments there too, so you can stop relying on sketchy e-transfer apps or waiting on a check in the mail (do people still write those?)
Heads up: not all commerce features are included in the Business plan. There are a few capabilities reserved for the next tiers up, so keep your eyes peeled for where I mention those!
Basic e-commerce analytics
Now that you’ve set up shop, you’re going to need a way to track those sales and other important site metrics.
(If you don’t know, metrics is just a fancy word for measuring how successful your site is!)
Not sure which stats you should be tracking, exactly? Check out How and why you should track your website stats.
Access to Squarespace Premium Features
I’ll be giving you the complete run down on what’s included in this list later on in this post, but Squarespace premium features are basically what take your site from simple > completely customizable, and turn your website into the ultimate team player and tool for your business.
You’ve already got access to e-commerce with the business plan, so why pay to upgrade?
At the business plan level, there is a 3% transaction fee for every sale you make in your online store. Not a big deal if you are only selling a couple hundred dollars in product or services each month.
But before you go brushing off the more expensive plan in order to save a few doll hairs each month, it’s probably worth doing some predictions to see if your fees for your projected sales are going to end up being more than the cost to simply upgrade and be done with it.
Good news, I’ve done the math for you! (I’ll cover overall Squarespace pricing lower down in this post, but here’s a quick preview to help you decide between the Business plan and Basic Commerce plan.)
There’s an $8 difference between Business Website plan & the Commerce Basic plan.
(Assuming you’re paying in USD and are paying annually – which I’d suggest. If you’re paying in a different currency or monthly, this will be a teensy bit different.)
3% of $267/month = $8.
So basically if you predict you’ll make over $267/month in sales through your website, go for the Basic Commerce plan.
That’s the point at which it no longer makes sense to pay the 3% transaction fee on the Business Website plan and it’s cheaper to upgrade to the 0% transaction fee Basic Commerce plan which is $8 more a month.
Take everything that’s included in the personal plan, and everything that’s included in the business plan, and then add…
Custom checkout hosted on your own domain
With the business plan when someone checks out, they are directed to a Squarespace checkout page. With the basis commerce plan, you get to keep customers right where they are on your site so the checkout process is that much more on-brand and legit looking in the eyes of the customer.
Individual customer accounts
Want to make it easy for customers to serial-shop your site?
This plan lets your customers set up their own login deets so they can speed through that checkout process without 100 distractions.
(And without having to think twice about whether what you’re offering is worth the trouble of them having to get up and go into a different room to fetch their credit card. #TheStruggleIsReal)
Point of sale
You know at the Apple Store how they have all those “geniuses” running around in blue shirts taking your money with a little plug-in gadget (a.k.a Square) on their phone or iPad?
You can do that now.
Well, the collecting money in-person part…you prob shouldn’t go around taking strangers money at the Apple Store!
Products on Instagram
It can be a struggle to get people to cross the threshold from followers on social to actually visiting your site, so the ability to have them shop directly from Instagram could be pretty massive depending on your biz.
Advanced E-commerce analytics
A more in-depth, detailed look at your sales stats and all the metrics you’d ever need to make sure your online store is optimized to convert visitors into loyal, repeat shoppers.
Related product suggestions
This keeps your customers shopping longer, and can help you to automatically recommend other products or services they might be interested in from your shop.
This is especially useful the more listings you have, to make for a more customized shopping experience where customers are not having to comb through hundreds of products to find what they are looking for (or maybe didn’t know they needed until they saw it and had to have it!)
If you’re a small business on a budget, you probably don’t need to upgrade to the advanced commerce plan…but there’s a few handy features you might consider splurging for, even if it’s something you wait to do until down the road.
Here’s what’s included when you make the jump from basic to advanced:
Limited stock or availability warnings
I’m constantly saying this on repeat, but the most important thing you can do to generate sales in your business is to create urgency.
If something is always available for sale on your site, people will always have a bajillion reasons to put off committing. But if you let them sweat a little by thinking that they might miss their chance, you’re helping those fence-sitters to finally make a decision.
So if you run an online shop, limited inventory warnings are your friend.
Abandoned cart recovery
With the two previous plans, if someone adds something to their cart but then for some reason leaves your site, they are having to start from scratch the next time they visit.
With the advance commerce plan, those items will be waiting for them in their cart when they return!
Shipping and fulfillment automation
On the advanced commerce plan, shipping fees can be calculated based on where the customer is located, and if you want to get super techy, you can set up your site to work with third parties to automate order fulfillment, shipping, and inventory checks!
If you want people to sign up to continue receiving your paid products or services on a weekly or monthly subscription basis, there’s no way around it….you’ll be needing Squarespace’s beefiest plan.
But depending on how much you bring each month in recurring subscription sales, it could quickly make up for the few extra dollars you’d be spending to upgrade.
Custom discounts and promotions
With other Squarespace plans that offer e-commerce, it’s possible mark down the price of single products, but if you want to throw a site-wide sale, you’ll want to save yourself the work and upgrade to make use of Squarespace’s advanced discount feature.
These are the features that Squarespace deems most important for getting your business set up with an online home.
You will get access to all of these during your free trial, but if you want continued access, you’re going to have to pony up a few extra dollars each month and upgrade to the business plan or higher.
Here’s a list of all the crazy-useful tools you get when you upgrade to a plan with premium features:
Squarespace has teamed up with Mailchimp to help you with your email marketing and get building that email list.
Check out How to connect Squarespace to Mailchimp for help getting started with Mailchimp.
Announcement bars are a fab way to shout out your current sales, draw attention to your freebie opt-in gifts, or encourage visitors to book a consult call to get started with whatever it is you offer right away.
As I mentioned above, each plan has a little different spin on what’s included with e-commerce, so it’s worth revisiting that section before making your final decision!
You may find yourself annoyed from time to time with pop-ups on other people’s site and want to avoid using them on your own site…
But y’all. They. Work.
They are the best way to let visitors know about things they legit otherwise would have zero clue were going on in your biz!
This feature allows you to use your online shop to automate the sale, delivery, and redemption of gift cards making it superrrr easy for people to give the gift of what you do, or pay upfront to treat themself to a future product or service!
This is where the personal plan may not cut it, even if you aren’t planning on starting a business.
For example, if you are accepting “envelope gifts” only for your wedding (a.k.a straight up asking for money), donation blocks are a fab way to turn your wedding website into more than just an info page.
This is also useful for fundraising, or for non-profits looking to support their cause!
Pretty self-explanatory, but def the easiest way to go about adding a menu to your restaurant’s site. Also pretty handy if you run a spa or salon or something to that effect!
Other third party blocks + integrations
Squarespace has partnered with a few different companies to make sure that their software can be easily added to your site. Here’s a quick list of popular third party integrations or blocks available in plans with premium features:
Btw, Zapier is a major lifesaver in my biz because it’s basically what connects all the eleventy-million different software I use to run my business and helps them talk to each other. An automation lover’s dream!
Custom Coding & CSS
Want to track ad success with a Facebook pixel or Pinterest tag? You need code injection capabilities on your site!
Or, if you have a cute little widget or third party software you want to include, you’re going to need to take the little bit of code they give you and paste it into a code block somewhere on your site.
It’s also possible to use code snippets and custom CSS to create designs you otherwise wouldn’t be able to achieve using your normal Squarespace block option.
Want to learn how to create a completely custom, nothing-like-the-template Squarespace site without having to learn to code? My course Square Secrets has got you covered!
Squarespace rates change based on whether you choose to sign up for monthly Squarespace payments or you pay annually, so if you think you’ll be sticking around a while, you mayyy want to pony up the annual amount and snag yourself some major savings!
Here’s how that math shakes out…
Personal Plan: $16 /month (x 12 months = $192)
Business Plan: $26 /month (x 12 months = $312)
Basic Commerce: $30 /month (x 12 months = $360)
Advanced Commerce: $46 / month (x 12 months =$552)
Personal Plan: $14 /month (x 12 months = $168)
Business Plan: $18 /month (x 12 months = $216) Almost $100 less!
Basic Commerce: $26 /month (x 12 months = $312)
Advanced Commerce: $40 / month (x 12 months =$480)
So yah….def a major savings to be had by paying your Squarespace fees annually!
Oh, and as an added perk, when you pay annually, they’ll even throw in a free custom domain for one year!
Feeling like you could use a little break? I snagged you 10% your first year if you use my code PAIGE10. (Yup! That’s an affiliate link!) Pop that in at checkout and you’ll enjoy 10% off your first year of Squarespace!
Not sure where you stand? Let’s find out!
From your site’s home menu:
click settings > billing & account > billing
look under the subscriptions > website to see:
what plan you’re on
whether you pay monthly or annually
when your plan renews/will be billed next
Good news. You don’t have to lose hair over which plan to pick when you’re first starting out for fear of it limiting you in the future.
Say you start with the business plan (most do!) then decide down the road you’d like access to some of Squarespace’s more advanced features.
Squarespace makes it super easy to change your plan without even having to navigate away from your site (or wait on hold at some 1-800 number!)
To upgrade or downgrade your plan:
head to settings > billing & account > billing
select your website from the subscriptions section
scroll down to change plan.
Oh, and P.S. you’ll need to change your plan and billing cycle (monthly vs. annual) separately, so make sure you are happy with both of those settings while you’re in there so Squarespace knows exactly how to be billing you!