Which one should I use? Subbly or Squarespace

Squarespace is widely known and praised as an excellent website builder tool and is also very well known for the beautiful website templates most commonly used for building marketing and presentation sites for the photographers or artists for example. Their website builder is considered by many as the perfect mixture of simplicity and power. You don’t have to be a coder nor do you have to even consider yourself as reasonably tech-savvy. The Squarespacedrag and drop website builder will easily get you where you want to be when it comes to your site’s design. Since launching Subbly’s new version of the website builder in 2019, we’ve heard a lot of the same great feedback that Squarespace is known for and we’re incredibly proud of that comparison.  Squarespace is known first and foremost for their website builder while Subbly is known for everything else commerce and subscription related. 

Most people know what Squarespace can do as a website builder, so let’s instead compare Squarespace and Subbly in the context of running an ecommerce store. There are plenty of pros and cons for each - let’s take a look. 

Squarespace

Pros

It’s dead obvious really. The main strength of Squarespace is its very versatile website builder that’s been driven towards perfection over many, many years  - bet you didn’t know that Squarespace was founded 16 years ago! This is what makes Squarespace  perfect for anyone looking to start a blog, or to set up an artistic portfolio or for any business wanting to showcase their company online.

By browsing through a vast library of ready made templates which you can further customize to your liking, you can be up and running very fast. Squarespace also allows you to manage your site’s SEO through the dashboard and all templates and designs are already optimized for mobile view as well. And, if you’re skilled in JS or CSS, you can even get the backend access and to manually make edits to the code directly (this is only beneficial for very experienced users doing a fairly complex build). 

Like many of the large and well established website builder companies, Squarespace’s ecommerce capabilities are great for selling one-time products. Squarespace also easily integrates with many other platforms which makes the platform very powerful in some unique ways. For example, integrations with Facebook and Instagram allows users to easily convert their website into a FB or IG page. Plus, for users who already own a physical store, Squarespace has a partnership with popular point-of-sale hardware company, Square so you can integrate online and offline sales data. 

Cons

Although Squarespace is good for one-time purchases, the simplicity of their ecommerce features are limiting for those interested in selling subscriptions and recurring revenue. For example, subscription business owners will find that Squarespace isn’t very flexible; they only offer two different billing/shipping cadences - monthly and weekly. This limitation is too restrictive even for the least sophisticated merchants, let alone advanced merchants who want to test and offer various billing cycles. This is perhaps the main reason why Subbly is frequently contacted by Squarespace users who want to use their existing Squarespace website, but add Subbly to handle subscriptions OR switch to Subbly entirely because we offer both. (Speaking of which, please note that you are able to use Subbly integrated into Squarespace and HERE is how.) 

Pricing on Squarespace looks extremely affordable at first glance, but note that all subscription features are available only on the most expensive Squarespace plan (called the  Advanced Commerce which costs $46/mo vs. Subbly’s $39/mo). However, one positive is that the Advanced Commerce plan has a 0% transaction fee (but other payment gateway transaction fees still apply). 

Although Squarespace’s advertises offering 24/7 support, you’ll really only get access to the live chat support during the working hours, excluding weekends. Plus, most of the time you’ll be limited to an email support and a ticketing system to get an answer which can be a big turnoff especially if you’re looking to set up, go live and start selling as soon as possible.

Subbly

Pros

Best-in-Class Support

Get the help you need from our excellent support staff

Automate Your Business

Automate marketing, management and operations with no code using complex business models

Customizable Checkouts & Subs

Collect information from your customers, and even allow them to pick their products and configure their subscription.

Subbly has been around for a little more than 6 years and has quickly built its name as the platform of choice for subscription first businesses (those businesses with a primary focus on building recurring revenue). While Subbly allows merchants to sell one-time products as well, all of our decisions are made with subscription revenue in mind. One of the main advantages of our platform is that we offer a very simple (and code-free) option to easily turn your existing website into a subscription store in minutes - and it’s only $19 per month! And yes, this works for any website, including Squarespace which is a favorite amongst some Subbly merchants. While Squarespace is a website builder first, Subbly is a full-featured ecommerce platform making it very versatile. This means Subbly offers more features that cover all aspects of running an ecommerce (and subscription) business, including: multiple billing/shipping cadences offered (ranging from weekly, monthly, bimonthly, quarterly, all the way up to annually - plus custom frequencies), automated workflows with if this, than that logic, checkout funnels with enabled/disabled gifting, trial periods, survey quizzes that modify the checkout based on the customers answers,), upsells, and that’s just be beginning. Subbly’s main strength is that it is a holistic ecommerce platform that puts subscription first - which just might be Squarespace’s biggest weakness.

Not only is Subbly one of the most feature rich platforms (especially for subscription ecommerce), but it’s also the most affordable. This has made Subbly a favorite for business owners of all sizes concerned about value and price: all the way from first time subscription entrepreneurs working from their living room to the established retail shop owners looking to create new revenue channels to huge multinational companies experimenting with new growth ideas to future proof their business. Every single business wants good value and Subbly delivers in this category. A big part of that value is Subbly’s industry leading support team which is available 24/7 and is more hands-on than any other platform of its kind.

The main Pro
Subbly – is a Team of Real passionate people who have been with us from the very beginning
Cons

Because Subbly is developed with a subscription-first approach, Subbly might not be a perfect fit for adjacent use cases such as:  collecting donations on a web page, blogging (without selling products), building a website to showcase your company (without selling products), selling digital services, or running a retail store and POS system. Also, if you have a one-time payment model and don’t have the need or desire to sell subscriptions, Subbly may not be the best solution for you (although it is possible).

Latest version of the Subbly’s website builder was launched in 2019. Because of this, Subbly’s library of themes and templates is not as vast as something like Squarespace. Although you can completely customize your website without using a template, many merchants prefer using a template as a starting point. With that said, Subbly’s template library grows and improves every month.

TL;DR

It’s very simple. If you’re only looking for the best platform to build your blog or company website that’s not related to eCommerce at all, you will get everything you need (and more) on Squarespace. However, you might want to consider trying Subbly’s website builder because it’s just so affordable. But if you’re reading this, it’s likely you’re looking for a full-featured ecommerce and subscription platform. In that case, Subbly delivers an incredible value: a feature rich ecommerce platform built with recurring revenue at the core of every decision. Plus it’s backed by industry leading support, has a website builder, and supports one-time purchases along with subscription. That’s why Subbly is trusted by major multinationals, solo entrepreneurs just starting out and everything in between.  

But...maybe the best part is having the best of both worlds; you can easily use Squarespace as your website builder and Subbly for everything subscription related!

When to use?

Squarespace

  • If you need to very easily build a blog or company website that doesn’t sell any products
  • If 1% in transaction fees are a deciding factor for you
  • If your business setup is not that complex and you’ll be fine with only a few of supported billing/shipping cadences

Subbly

  • If you need to very easily build a website to sell products, especially on a subscription
  • If you’re looking for affordable and scale-friendly pricing and reliable partner that will help you scale your business
  • If you’re after the solution that will cover some of the most uncommon business cases and will make growing your subscription base a breeze

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It really is built subscription first. Where you would need a lot of plug ins and connecters to get started on other platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce, it's all built right in.

Charmaine Merriweather
Founder & Owner of HUES Book Box

Before I found Subbly I never had the ability or finances to have a subscription business platform which could meet my needs and expectations. Subbly has been there for me every step of the way!

NATALIE SEATON
Founder and CEO @ BathBox

Everything was so straightforward, the support team are AMAZING, I would not have been able to launch without Subbly.

ALEXANDRA HARVELL
Founder and CEO @ Little Bakers Club

We’ve used the software for over 3 years and it keeps getting better. It has everything you need to easily run a successful subscription box business!

LIAM BRENNAN
Co-founder @ Buster Box

Subbly is straightforward and easy to use. Designing your site is simple and allows you to control your entire business from one place.

GEORGE KLEANTHOUSE
Founder and CEO @ Model Box