One of the latest website migration projects we have undertaken was to move a Squarespace eCommerce store to Shopify. We regularly get asked to move business websites from one platform to another and 90% of them are requesting to move over to Shopify. In the main, it is to make the life of the business owner easier. Shopify makes handling your own website much easier than many other platforms, particularly if you are not technically minded. A platform like Squarespace can be an easy place to start and their websites look fantastic. However when your stock list grows and orders and customers become more numerous you often need a simpler answer. Which is exactly what happened with this company. They have an offline high street shop front and want to sell more online.
What is Squarespace?
Squarespace is a website builder platform enabling you to quickly build a good-looking website with no need to understand code. You can select from a number of themes and add in extras like eCommerce and Booking systems. When you start a business and have a few pages with no depth in the navigation then Squarespace is a good tool. Perfect for small websites. When the menu system gets bigger that is where Squarespace can become a problem. It is also not a bespoke platform geared towards eCommerce. Adding the ability to do eCommerce was not something that was included at the start.
What is Shopify
Shopify is a subscription platform that lets you build an e-commerce website without any coding know-how. It is very similar to Squarespace as far as building a website goes, using themes and plug-ins. Where it differs is in that Shopify is a purpose-built eCommerce platform. Everything done by Shopify is aimed at selling more widgets.
How to move your website to Shopify
Moving your website to Shopify can be a fairly simple process if you know what you are doing. Where it gets difficult is if you do not know your way around Shopify. You need to plan the move according to what needs to be transferred to the new website. Do you need to keep the following:
- Blog posts
- Payment gateways
Once you know the answer to these questions, you can begin to plan the move. There are numerous migration plug-ins that are very good for this. There is also a built-in migrator with Shopify. You can find a better checklist to prepare for a migration by reading our latest blog on migrating from Magento to Shopify.
Why use an Agency to move your website
If you decide to use an agency it should save you a lot of time when moving your website. We don’t just say this because we are an agency but because we know from experience it is true. If you know how Shopify works you can ensure that the move is seamless and any issues will be easily fixed because they have happened before.
As a Shopify Partner Agency, we have access to the partner network platform. This means we can build your website without you incurring any charges from Shopify until you are ready. If you do the move, you will start paying for Shopify straight away and the move might take a few months.
Shopify vs Squarespace
To find out more about each platform you can read this excellent article by Style Factory Productions. Or you can check out our list of pros and cons below.
- Good for content
- Pay for extras like abandoned cart
- Slightly more expensive
- Easy-to-use page builder
- Access to all the code
- Compatible with lots of software
- Not the best for blogging
- Easy to build pages
- Thousands of plugins
- Quick Checkout
- High Payment Fees
- Restricted to the payment ecosystem
- POS affinity
- Free email system
How easy to use is each platform
Squarespace is known for its user-friendly interface, drag-and-drop editor, and beautiful templates. It’s easy to customize the design of your store and add products. Shopify, on the other hand, has a steeper learning curve and may take longer to set up, but it also offers more advanced customization options for those who want more control over their store’s design and functionality.
Both platforms offer their own payment processing solutions, but Shopify has an edge when it comes to payment flexibility. With Shopify, you can accept payments through over 100 different payment gateways, including popular options like PayPal and Stripe. Squarespace only allows you to use Stripe or PayPal.
Apps and integrations
Shopify has a much larger app store and ecosystem of third-party integrations compared to Squarespace. This means that if you need to add a specific functionality to your store, there’s likely an app or integration available on Shopify that can help you achieve your goal. Squarespace’s app store is more limited, but it still has some useful apps for ecommerce stores.
As Shopify Partners we are obviously biased. However we would conclude that you choose the right platform for your business according to your needs. If you are looking for an easy solution to building a content led website without the hassle of using WordPress then Squarespace is your tool. If you are looking to sell online then go for a platform that was built to do just that. Shopify for E-commerce and Squarespace for WordPress.