How to Decide Which Squarespace Plan is Right For You
I absolutely love Squarespace; in fact, it’s one of the primary platforms I offer services for in my web design business. I think this platform offers plenty of incredible options for bloggers and business owners alike; BUT it can be a little overwhelming when it comes to choosing the right plan for your online brand. If you choose to DIY your own site, you have 14 days to upgrade and choose your plan, so it’s important that you take a close look at your options.
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Squarespace offers four different types of payment plans, and the option to be billed annually or monthly. The features and prices of each plan vary, and it can be a little confusing to sift through all that each plan has to offer if you’re not super familiar with building websites. So which plan is right for you? Let’s break it down.
First let’s take a look at the features that are offered across all for plans:
Free Domain Hosting: Every plan offers free domain hosting if you sign up for annual billing, so unfortunately free domain hosting is not offered to users who sign up for monthly payments. If you take advantage of their free hosting however, this means your domain name (ex: www.yoursite.com) will be hosted through Squarespace. The perk of hosting with Squarespace is all of your billing is in one place, so you won’t have to look for a third-party to host your domain name. If you currently have a domain name, but want to transfer it over to Squarespace, you can find more information here. They make it so easy! Whether you choose to host with Squarespace or not, I highly recommend purchasing a domain name so your website URL is more professional and isn’t listed as www.yoursite.squarespace.com.
Mobile Optimization: All platforms optimize your website for mobile devices, meaning your site will automatically be formatted to look and function properly on phones and tablets. Depending on which template you choose for your site (and whether or not you customize further with CSS), you may need to do a bit of tweaking if you want your content to look a certain way on mobile, but Squarespace takes care of a lot of this for you, saving you a lot of time, frustration and stress.
Amazing (and fast) Customer Service, Plus Awesome Security: In my early days of Squarespace design I contacted customer service A LOT. Even as I gained more experience, I found myself continuing to take advantage of their 24/7 customer support for more advanced tweaks, troubleshooting, and very specific client needs; every time I walked away extremely pleased with their quick response, support, and overall communication. That’s not something you find everywhere!
Option to Add Contributors: This feature is extremely helpful if you run a business (or blog) with someone else or if you outsource the work to a designer. The number of contributors you can add to your site varies from plan-to-plan, but even the most basic option allow you to have up to two contributors. This means that your team member(s), virtual assistant or partner can have access to the backend of your site too. You can control how much they are able to access and edit, which is another great feature that comes with each plan.
Access to Analytics: While you can certainly use Google Analytics to track your site performance, it’s helpful to have quick and easy access to your website metrics in one space. There is also an app you can download to your mobile device just for viewing analytics, which is great if you like to keep a close eye on your traffic.
Unlimited Storage: You’ll never have to worry about running out of storage on your site; regardless of the plan you choose, you won’t be limited in any capacity — all plans come with unlimited storage.
Pre-Enroll in Build It With Squarespace: The Essentials to learn how to launch your site in as little as one week!
Different Plans, Different Features
Here’s where things start to get a bit tricky. I’ll break down the different options for each plan so you can start thinking about which one is right for you. You can also download the free comparison chart I’ve created for you here.
Option One — Personal Website (Website Plan)
You’ll get all the features I outlined above. This is ideal if you are simply producing content, or displaying a portfolio, with no intent to sell any products or services. The personal plan is perfect for creators who need a simple, functional site, without the extra bells and whistles. It’s also the least expensive option, so it’s great for people who are on a tight budget, but want to create a beautiful site.
Option Two — Business Website (Website Plan)
This selection is a step up from the Personal Website plan. This option is for you if you’re a business owner or blogger who plans to sell products or services on your website, as this option comes with full e-commerce functionality that allows you sell unlimited products/services. You can also create a customized email address via G Suite (ex: email@example.com), to make it easier for your future clients, customers or readers to contact you. Squarespace offers one year free of G Suite, so it’s a great deal to take advantage of. After your first year, you can continue you with your G Suite account for as low as $6/month.
This plan also offers unlimited contributors, which is great if you have a team involved with your business. When it comes to accepting payments from future clients or customers, there is a 3% transaction fee to consider when you integrate your Stripe or PayPal account.
Additional features include a mobile information bar, promotional pop-ups, $100 Google Ads credit, an announcement bar, and advanced website metrics. There is also the option to ingrate Acuity scheduling, which is helpful for business owners who schedule calls or appointments with clients. This is the most popular plan with my personal clients.
Option Three — Basic Online Store/Commerce Plan
In addition to all the features of the Business Website plan, users who choose the Basic Online Store option have access to a few additional features. One of the biggest differences between the Basic Online Store plan and the Business Website plan, is this one comes with zero transaction fees. It also allows you to integrate Xero (an accounting platform), Ship Station (a program for label printing), and set up product tagging on Instagram so your followers can shop from your social media. You can also provide future customers or clients to set up their own accounts via your website. This plan is ideal for more established businesses, and is a step above from the Business Website plan.
Option Four — Advanced Online Store/Commerce Plan
With all the features of the Basic Online Store and Business Website plans, the Advanced Online store plan is ideal for businesses that want all the bells and whistles. This plan has more advanced features like customer/client subscription services, abandoned cart recovery, gift cards, flexible discounts, and advanced shipping options.
So what is your potential investment?
Personal Website $12/month on the annual plan (about $144/year) OR $16/month, every month
Business Website $18/month (about $216/year) on the annual plan OR $26/month, every month
Basic Online Store $26/month on the annual plan (about $312/year) OR $30/month, every month
Advanced Online Store $40/month on the annual plan (about $480/year) OR $46/month, every month
Keep in mind these prices may vary depending upon your domain name host and email provider. If you choose to host with a third-party for your domain name, you should factor that in to your projected costs. Domain names on Squarespace vary from $20-$70/year; most domain names that I’ve worked with, however, fall at the lower end of that range.
If you intend to sell anything on your website, I highly recommend going with the Business Website plan. If you plan to ship physical products and want to integrate some third-party accounts like Ship Station, Xero and Instagram, then the Basic Online Store plan is a great investment. Make sure you know what you’re looking for in an online store or consult your web designer (if you’re using one), for their recommendations. If you need some guidance, always feel free to reach out and I can help you choose the best plan for your creative brand. As a member of Squarespace circle, I provide all clients who choose an annual plan (of any kind) with 20% off their first year. If you want to sign up for a free consultation, find out more information, or get on my client list, you can get in touch with me here.
If you want to go the DIY route and learn how to build your own site with Squarespace, you can pre-enroll for my Squarespace essentials course to unlock the first three modules and grab the course for over 40% off before it launches at the end of the month!
Which plan fits the needs of your brand?