Squarespace vs Etsy

Squarespace vs Etsy

Starting an online store can be a thrilling journey, and choosing the right platform is a crucial step. Whether you're leaning towards a fully customizable website on Squarespace or considering the vibrant marketplace of Etsy, each offers unique benefits for different types of sellers.

This guide will help you navigate the pros and cons of these popular options in the field of e-commerce and online stores, ensuring you make an informed decision that suits your business needs. Let's venture into the details and compare what Squarespace and Etsy have to offer.

Pros and Cons: Is Squarespace or Etsy Better for Your Business

When deciding whether Squarespace or Etsy is better for your business, it's essential to weigh the pros and cons of each platform based on your business needs, the nature of your products, and your goals for growth and customer engagement.

Pros of Using Squarespace

Customization and Control

Squarespace offers extensive customization options through its website builder, allowing users to design their site according to their branding and aesthetic preferences. This control extends to the layout, color schemes, fonts, and overall site functionality, which is ideal for businesses looking to establish a unique online presence.

Integrated Features

The platform provides integrated features such as SEO tools, analytics, and e-commerce capabilities, which are crucial for businesses aiming to scale and track their performance without relying on third-party apps.

No Transaction Fees

Squarespace does not charge transaction fees on sales, meaning businesses keep more of their profits as long as they use Squarespace's commerce plans.

Cons of Using Squarespace


Squarespace might be more expensive than other platforms, particularly for small businesses or startups. The cost includes not only monthly fees but also the need for potentially higher-tier plans to access certain e-commerce features.

Learning Curve

The breadth of customization options can also be a drawback as it comes with a steeper learning curve compared to more straightforward platforms like Etsy. This might be a barrier for those who are not as tech-savvy.

Less Built-in Audience

Unlike Etsy, Squarespace does not have a built-in marketplace, which means businesses must invest more in marketing and SEO to attract traffic to their independent websites.

Squarespace vs Etsy - Squarespace interface

Pros of Using Etsy

Built-in Audience

Etsy provides access to a large, established customer base specifically looking for unique, often handmade or vintage items. This can significantly lower marketing costs and the effort needed to attract initial customers.

Ease of Use

Setting up a shop on Etsy is straightforward, making it accessible for beginners and those who prefer a simpler, less technical approach to online selling.

Community and Support

Etsy has a strong sense of community and provides various forums and support channels where sellers can connect, share experiences, and get assistance.

Cons of Using Etsy


Etsy charges listing fees, transaction fees, and payment processing fees, which can add up, especially for businesses that operate on slim margins.

Limited Customization

While Etsy simplifies the process of setting up a shop, it offers limited options for customization. This can make it challenging to stand out in a vast marketplace where many products might look similar.

Dependence on Platform

Sellers are largely dependent on Etsy’s rules and algorithms, which can change, affecting visibility and sales. The reliance on a third-party platform also means less control over customer data and interactions.

Choosing between Squarespace and Etsy depends on the specific needs of your business. If branding and design autonomy are critical, and you are prepared to drive your own traffic, Squarespace might be the better choice. On the other hand, if you are starting out or prefer a community-driven, less technical approach, Etsy could be more suitable.

Flexibility and Scalability: Squarespace vs Etsy


Squarespace's robust infrastructure supports scaling, making it suitable for businesses expecting to grow. Users can upgrade their plans as needed, which allows for expanding product lines, increased traffic, and enhanced functionalities without switching platforms.

Domain and Hosting

Squarespace users have the advantage of obtaining a custom domain and hosting as part of their package. This not only enhances the professional appearance of the business but also simplifies the process by keeping these essential services under one roof.

Squarespace vs Etsy - a digital artwork featuring a person contemplating the choice between Squarespace and Etsy

Market Saturation Challenges

One potential downside for sellers on Etsy is the challenge of market saturation. With many sellers offering similar products, it can be difficult to gain visibility and sales without additional marketing efforts or niche positioning.

Flexibility in Operations

Etsy offers less flexibility in operations compared to Squarespace. For example, sellers cannot customize their checkout process or integrate with a wide range of external tools and apps, which may be limiting for businesses looking to offer a unique shopping experience or streamline their operations.

Marketing and Customer Reach: Squarespace vs Etsy

SEO and Marketing Tools

Squarespace provides advanced SEO tools that help in optimizing content for search engines, potentially increasing organic reach.

Additionally, the platform supports various marketing integrations, including social media tools, email campaigns, and advertising, which are critical for businesses looking to broaden their reach and engage with customers across multiple channels.

Promotional Tools

Etsy offers promotional tools such as Etsy Ads and the ability to offer coupons, which can help sellers attract and retain customers. These tools are integrated into the platform, making it easy for sellers to manage their marketing efforts alongside their sales activities.

Global Reach

Etsy's global marketplace enables sellers to reach an international audience without the complexities of setting up a multi-regional website. This is particularly advantageous for small-scale sellers or those offering niche products who wish to expand their market without significant upfront investment in localization and marketing.

Tailoring Your Choice to Your Business Goals

Selecting between Squarespace and Etsy should be guided by the long-term goals and operational style of your business. Squarespace is ideal for those who require a high degree of customization and have the resources to drive their own traffic and sales.

Conversely, Etsy is a strong contender for sellers seeking ease of use, community support, and access to a built-in audience, especially useful for niche products and smaller-scale operations. Each platform offers distinct benefits, and the choice ultimately depends on the specific demands and growth trajectory of your business.

Cost Comparison: Squarespace vs. Etsy


Plan Description Monthly Fee Annual Fee
Personal Foundational plan with access to fully customizable, best-in-class templates $23month $16/month (Save 30% annually)
Business Ideal for those looking to grow their audience and begin taking payments $33/month $23/month (Save 30% annually)
Commerce (Basic) Designed for individuals and businesses looking to sell products or services online. This plan includes a range of features tailored to help users easily manage and grow their online store with no transaction fees. $36/month $27/month (Save 25% annually)
Commerce (Advanced) Designed to cater to the needs of more experienced sellers who are looking for a comprehensive set of tools to manage and expand their online stores with no transaction fees. $65/month $49/month (Save 24% annually)


Listing Fees

Sellers are charged a fee for each item they list on the platform. This fee is incurred regardless of whether the item is sold or not.

Squarespace vs Etsy - Etsy logo

Transaction Fees

These are based on the sale price and shipping costs. Etsy charges a percentage of the total when a seller makes a sale.

Advertising Fees

Sellers can opt into Etsy's advertising services. These fees are only incurred when the ads lead to sales.

Subscription Fees

Etsy offers a subscription service, Etsy Plus, which provides additional tools and features for a monthly fee.

This model can be more cost-effective for sellers with fewer transactions or those just starting out, as initial costs are lower. However, as sales volume increases, the fees can accumulate, potentially making it more expensive than a flat-rate subscription in the long run.

The choice between Squarespace and Etsy largely depends on the scale of the operation and the specific needs of the seller. Squarespace might be more economical for sellers expecting high sales volumes or requiring more control over their branding and online presence.

Conversely, Etsy is potentially more budget-friendly for artisans and small-scale sellers focusing on crafted or unique items, especially when starting out.

Comparing the two, sellers should consider not just the direct costs but also the value of platform-specific features such as Etsy’s built-in audience of buyers versus Squarespace’s powerful customization tools. The decision should align with the seller’s business strategy, product type, and long-term goals for growth and brand development.

Conclusion: Squarespace vs Etsy

The decision between Squarespace and Etsy hinges on your specific business needs and objectives. If your priority is a highly personalized online presence and the ability to manage every aspect of your site, Squarespace offers the tools and freedom necessary for such customization.

Alternatively, if you're seeking ease of entry into the market with minimal setup and a supportive community, Etsy is an excellent choice, particularly for sellers with niche products.

Ultimately, evaluating both platforms in the context of your operational style, target market, and growth aspirations will guide you to the best choice for your online business venture.

Keep Reading

* Read the rest of the post and open up an offer