Don't miss a thing.

get new posts sent straight to your inbox!

Samara Bortz Creative Blog

How to choose your Squarespace hosting plan

Design

rooted in

Let me paint you a little picture.

You’ve poured the blood, sweat, and tears into building your beautiful website to sell your creative work. OR, you’re working with a kick ass designer who is putting the finishing touches on bringing your website to life and now… it’s time to select your Squarespace plan.

Cue the:

  • Crickets
  • Overwhelm
  • Options with confusing jargon that you don’t really understand, but it sounds fancy, so you probably need it.

Anyone with me?

Options can be paralyzing, particularly when you don’t even really get what is being offered to you. Do not fear! I did the work for you! To help streamline your decision-making process and to ensure you’re getting the MOST bang for your buck, here’s a breakdown of exactly what each plan includes, and what the features do.

After reading this, you’ll have a better sense of which plan makes the most sense for your business. You’ll know where to invest in the quality features, and where to save your hard earned pennies.

A quick note, if you’re reading this, I’m going to assume your goal is to SELL your work/services, which requires collecting payment from clients, which requires an e-commerce plan. Therefore, this post will cover the three different e-commerce plans and won’t touch on the basic features included in the Personal plan.


BREAKDOWN OF THE SQUARESPACE BUSINESS PLAN FEATURES:

Cost: $18 per month USD, if you pay annually.

This is Squarespace’s most popular plan (apparently!) and I will assert that is because it’s a great value, particularly if you pay annually, and it gives you all the standard features you need to begin selling your products or services. One quick thing to note right off the bat – the Business plan DOES collect an additional processing feel per transaction. For every item you sell, Squaresapce takes 3% in addition to the charges collected by your processor (Stripe or Paypal). 

They are transparent about this, but it’s good to make a mental note as you’re thinking about the price-point of your products. For instance, 3% of $30 is a way different game from 3% of $10,000.

1. Professional Email from Google

This is a professional G-Suite account customized to your business name: i.e.: hello@samarabortzdesign.com as opposed to samarabortz@gmail.com.

Quick caveat: you get this G-suite account FREE for your first year of your Squarespace subscription. After that, you can choose to pay monthly or annually.

In my opinion, this is an awesome feature. When you’re just starting out and living that budget-business-life, sometimes a gmail account is the only viable option. I get it, I feel you. However, nothing says professional like using an email account customized to your business/domain. It’s like an instant level-up in the professionalism realm.

Who might need this: Anyone without a professional email!

2. Premium Blocks and Integrations

These are blocks that go beyond the typical things that you will need to build your site. Some are industry specific, like OpenTable for reservation bookings at restaurants. Most are great for marketing. For instance, adding promotional popups or a clickable announcement bar at the top of your page – these can really help with driving your site viewers to your specific offerings or calls to action. The last thing to note is that the code block is a premium integration. You would use this if you want to add any custom css, or ‘cascading styling sheets’ to specific pages on your website, to really customize the look and feel. This might not be super useful to you if you have no interest or skills in coding, but if you do, remember that you can only use this block feature on a business plan.

Who might need this: Anyone selling something who wants the extra marketing features to make sure your products, promos, or offerings are instantly seen by your site viewers.

3. Complete Customization with Javascript.

Similar to the custom code block, the option to add code injections to the entire website is only available on the business plan. Again, this might only apply to you if you have interest in making customizations through code.

Who might need this: Any skilled coders (or keeners who want to learn!)

4. Advanced Website Analytics

Squarespace’s basic analytic features for a personal plan are a good place to start for tracking website visits and geography. The more advanced features that come with the business plan are more geared towards your e-commerce page and/or form submissions. You can see conversion rates for sales and get a better understanding of which content or pages lead directly to purchases.

Who might need this: Anyone selling products or booking services with a keen interest in using analytics to build a marketing strategy.

5. Promotional Popups and Banners

As I mentioned before, this is a great feature for drawing your site viewer’s attention to whatever new thing you are promoting, without having to go into your site and redesign your actual content (text or images). Yes, popups can be annoying, but they’re really effective for converting visitors to subscribe to a mailing list (particularly when they’re given a valuable gift or incentive to do so!).

Who might need this: Anyone promoting a new product, selling a new service, or putting in the work to build an email list.

6. $100 Google Adwords Credit

This one is pretty self-explanatory. As a reward for buying a more expensive plan, you are given money to buy credits with Google Adwords (this helps with your SEO).

Who might ended this: Anyone looking to try out Google Adwords

7. Fully-integrated e-commerce

Sell your products or services and collect money! Sell as many as you like, there is no limit, the limit does not exist (Mean Girls, anyone?). That’s the gist of this feature.You also get straight-forward and easy-to-use tools for shipping options, tracking orders, and including tax on your sales.

Who might need this: Anyone selling something through their Squarespace website.

8. Accept donations

You can create a custom donate block which tracks your donations and sends the money directly to your Stripe or Paypal account. 

Who might need this: Non-profits or artists with wealthy benefactors 🙂


9. Sell gift cards

Again, not rocket science with this one. Sell a digital gift card in your e-commerce shop, which can be used for your products or services.

Who might need this: Anyone selling a product or service who wants to be wrapped up and sitting under a tree on Christmas morning.


BREAKDOWN OF THE SQUARESPACE BASIC COMMERCE PLAN FEATURES:

Cost: $26 USD per month, if you pay annually

This plan includes all of the features in the above plan, plus:


1. Point of Sale

This is a feature that is only really used if you are selling things in person. For online sales or businesses, you won’t really need it. Squarespace partners with Square for their Point of Sale feature, so if you already have one of those handy little square credit-card readers for your business (like if you sell products at a market, or sell tickets at a concert, etc), then you may consider this feature.

Who might need this: Anyone with a brick and mortar shop or who sells products/services in person in addition to through their website 


2. Customer Accounts

This gives your buyers the ability to create a personal account through your website and save their payment and delivery information. It’s super handy if you have a lot of repeat customers and definitely streamlines their shopping process.

Who might need this: Anyone wanting to give their repeat customers an easy shopping experience


3. Checkout on your own domain

All this means is that when your customer finishes selecting their products and is prompted to checkout, they are re-directed to a URL with your specific domain name included. For example: https://samarabortzdesign.com/checkout (not real link!)

The two good things about this are:

  1. It looks more professional (same as having a G-suite account with your business name)
  2. It gives more of a sense of security, because your customer sees YOUR domain, rather than a standardized Squarespace domain.

Who might need this: Anyone wanting to exude professionalism and security to their customers 


4. Merchandising Tools

This bundle of features has to do with what customers see as they are shopping through your online store. For instance, you can set up ‘Related Products,’ so that when someone is looking at a specific product, the page also prompts them to see items that are similar. You can also set up product ‘Waitlists,’ which means when a product sells out, customers can sign up for an email notification when the product is back in stock. This is perhaps not the most helpful feature if you only sell one-of-a-kind pieces (like paintings) or digital products (which can be downloaded unlimited times), but is great if you sell items that require restocking.

Who might need this: Anyone wanting to direct their customers’ attention to similar products OR anyone selling products that might ‘sell-out’ and require restocking.


5. Products on Instagram

It’s important to note that you need 10,000 Instagram followers in order to take advantage of this feature. All you micro-influencers, this one is for you. It allows you to connect your products to your Instagram account (I believe through your Facebook dashboard), and then you can tag your products in your posts and stories. These tags instantly direct people to your e-commerce store.

Who might need this: Anyone with a large Instagram following who often gets inquiries about products/services through their social media account.


6. Limited availability labels

This little feature allows you to mark a product or service in your shop as “only available for a limited period of time.”

Who might need this: Anyone trying to create a sense of urgency to motivate clients to make a purchase.


BREAKDOWN OF THE SQUARESPACE ADVANCED COMMERCE PLAN FEATURES:

Cost: $40 USD per month, if you pay annually

This plan includes all of the features in the above plan, plus:


1. Abandoned cart recovery

Did you know that abandoned cart emails recover up to 10% of customers? I googled it. This feature automatically sends a follow-up email to anyone who adds your product to their shopping cart and then doesn’t follow through with the order.

Who might need this: Anyone wanting to increase their chances of making a sale with interested potential clients or buyers.


2. Sell Subscriptions

This feature offers automatic charging and payment collection for selling a service. For instance, if you teach a music classes and have a membership program where your students receive a new video each month, for a monthly membership fee of $15. 

Who might need this: Anyone selling a subscription based service or product.


3. Advanced Shipping Options

This lets you go beyond offering shipping prices simply by flat rates or by weight. It actually calculates the exact Fed-ex shipping cost in real-time, based on the location of your customer. 

Who might need this: Anyone with nuanced shipping requirements.


4. Commerce APIs

This feature allows you to integrate your website with third-party systems using APIs (advanced programming interfaces). These commerce applications may provide more nuanced help with inventory, orders, and transactions. For most small businesses, creative entrepreneurs, or solopreneuers, these commerce APIs probably won’t be needed. 

Who might need this: Businesses with complex needs to fulfil orders, manage inventory, or track transactions.


5. Advanced Discounts

The business and basic commerce plans allow you to offer sales/discounts of percentages and dollar amounts to your customers. The advanced discount feature gives you more customization options, like to only give discounts to certain customers, or to limit the number of times someone can use a discount code.

Who might need this: Anyone using discount/savings codes as part of their marketing strategy and wanting to have more control or customization over who can use the discounts


There you have it! I hope this helps you to make a well-informed decision about which Squarespace commerce plan makes the most sense for where you’re at (or where you’re wanting to be!) with your business.

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read comments

Read comments