On the surface, both Squarespace and Shopify offer to do the same thing; create a website to sell your goods or share your content. Dig a little deeper and you’ll discover the two have plenty of differences and are suited for wholly different purposes.
To understand these differences, it’s best to wind the clock back to the beginning. At the start, Squarespace was built with the idea it would serve as a conduit for building and maintaining beautiful content-first websites like blogs. Conversely, Shopify has had ecommerce in mind from the start, built from the ground up as a solution for online merchants.
In the time since, both have stepped into each other’s territory, blurring the lines for potential users. With their two tool sets becoming more and more alike, you can now use either to host a blog, online store, or just about anything else.
So, how do you decide what’s best for your business? Let’s start with some basic questions…
What’s the purpose of your website?
Are you in the blogging game, or looking to make some sales? Your answer to this question should be the foundation of your decision.
Building a Blog
If you’re looking to get into the content game, Squarespace offers easy design and intuitive content management options that are beginner friendly. The many templates on offer allow for a superior degree of customization, while photo editing and blogging are a breeze. You have two options to choose from: the ‘normal’ version, which is more than enough for your average user, and the developer platform, which allows users with a greater degree of technical proficiency to get under the hood and tinker with advanced settings. Word of warning: It’s best not to choose this option unless you’re comfortable with web development and coding.
It’s a fair comparison to say Squarespace is like using an Apple product. You’ll enjoy that same ‘walled garden’ feeling where everything just works, but things can get a little messy if you try to tinker too much. It’s easy to recommend Squarespace to those simply in the content game, but for those looking to leave ecommerce open to themselves, Shopify offers a wealth of options. Speaking of Shopify…
Building an Ecommerce Store
Simply put, Shopify is the gold standard of ecommerce platforms. It offers an extensive set of features that make selling online a breeze. For starters, it allows merchants to sell worldwide, almost anywhere and in most currencies. In fact, it accepts over 100 different ‘payment gateways’, which are third-party ways of processing credit card payments. Want to employ a one-stop solution for physical retail and ecommerce? Shopify can be connected to point of sale technology in retail locations through iPad or iPhone apps ensuring you stay on top of stock and can employ one unified solution.
It offers best in class reporting and analytics features, while its giant stature means it’s compatible with a wide variety of third-party apps like Quickbooks, Zoho and Zendesk. With business plans starting around $30 CAD a month, Shopify is your choice for building a robust and dependable ecommerce solution for your business. Need assistance setting up your online store? GD Commerce is a Shopify Partner that’s experienced working with English-speaking merchants around the world. Contact us and we’ll be happy to help!
Search Engine Optimization
Whether you’re planning a blog or a store, search engine optimization should be top of mind - After all, you want people to find your site! This is another area Shopify excels thanks to a built-in slate of automatic SEO functionality. For every product and page, Shopify will automatically handle the page title and meta description, acting as a fantastic starting point for your SEO efforts. Even if you do no further SEO work, Shopify has already given your site a solid foundation that will get you noticed. It also accounts for pages changing URLs, prompting users to create a URL redirect, meaning your site won’t be punished by Google for broken links.