It’s not a simple task to migrate any ecommerce store to WooCommerce. The process involves a lot of planning to prepare, setup, and launch a brand new store and still deliver an amazing user experience.
There are a myriad of reasons why merchants would decide to migrate from Squarespace to WooCommerce. The most common ones are a lack of competitive advantage, outdated or non-supported platforms, no functionality for business growth or scalability, incompatibility with a merchant’s business model, and more.
For every online store owner though, the main goal is to secure his or her store’s position in the market and the only way to do this is by using the best platform.
Squarespace is used by about two million or so online store owners because of its modernized and user-friendly drag-and-drop features, plus management of hosting and domain name registrations. However, it doesn’t meet their needs and objectives, has very limited ecommerce integration, limited themes and customization, and hard to extend functionality.
WooCommerce, on the other hand, is a highly customizable ecommerce platform and is a leader in the online selling industry. It works with WordPress CMS and offers beneficial functions to your business, plus multiple extensions.
This is why Squarespace users opt to migrate to WooCommerce to resolve the limitations and meet their business goals and objectives.
If you feel it’s time you made the move from your Squarespace site to WooCommerce, we’re going to show you how to migrate fully to the new and more flexible platform.
Why Choose WooCommerce Over Squarespace?
You’ve set up your online store and know your business targets; what’s left is to pick a platform that fulfills your potential, but how do you make that decision in the sea of options available?
As mentioned above, Squarespace offers a modernized platform with easy to use features, but not all its users are stoked about its ecommerce functionality.
With all its powerful benefits, it still doesn’t meet the requirements and objectives of online stores, which is why they consider migrating from Squarespace to WooCommerce to fill this gap.
Let’s compare the two platforms and see how they stack up against each other, and the beneficial peculiarities that would make you want to choose WooCommerce over Squarespace.
Squarespace vs WooCommerce: What makes each one unique?
Squarespace is one of the younger entrants in the ecommerce space, but it takes the crown for its ease of use and stunning themes. It began as a basic website builder, expanding later on into online stores so beginners could get a great experience with it if they’re looking to design beautiful sites.
However, to build and run a successful online store, you’re going to need more than just a good-looking site.
For a long time, WordPress users have used WooCommerce as their go-to ecommerce solution thanks to its customization options, light weight, and its support for small and big sites. It’s suitable for fast-growing ecommerce businesses as it’s scalable, allows you full control to customize your site, provides multiple payment options and extensions, and zero transaction fees.
What Squarespace offers for ecommerce
Squarespace offers a powerful platform from which you can grow your business.
Squarespace has easy to customize templates that let you create expressive online stores and showcase your products. This way, your visitors can browse your merchandise, add to cart, and check out efficiently and simply.
These templates are easily customizable, responsive, and mobile friendly. Most of them are designed with creativity, art, and blogging in mind, with a smaller category for ecommerce.
You can create a store and add rich product displays with image zoom and videos, too. It also manages your inventory automatically, so you can sell unlimited products – physical and digital – without hassles.
You can sell subscriptions, physical items, digital content like ebooks and music, and even collect donations via PayPal, Stripe, Apple Pay, and Venmo.
Flexible payment, checkout, and tax options
Squarespace has an integrated system that lets you manage your store logistics efficiently. These include the built-in tax tools for easier compliance, secure checkout, and you can offer gift cards and discount codes easily. It also improves abandoned cart recovery conversions.
Squarespace Commerce app
This app (Android/iOS) allows you to run and grow your business from your phone or mobile device by leveraging the best-in-class integrations on your website. You can manage inventory and product images from anywhere, offer discounts, and use an integrated barcode scanner for shipping labels.
Squarespace Analytics shows a clear picture of your revenues and visitor behavior. You can get advanced analytics with the basic and advanced plans and track total orders, conversions, and more metrics.
Squarespace also has a new add-on for email campaigns, which allows you to send up to 50,000 campaigns each month, after which it’ll cost $8.
Your site can rank higher, which means more clicks to your store and dollars for you. You can edit meta titles and descriptions, though you won’t get any SEO best practice advice when uploading new items.
It also offers full social integration, so you can connect via Facebook, Twitter, and other sites with your customers. There’s so much it can do – you can blog and add alt text to images, plus use Google Webmaster tools, and there’s an SEO guide to walk you through it all.
Its support options are limited, but you can get answers via live chat or use the knowledge forum for more solutions.
It’s worth noting that Squarespace offers brilliant blogging features, and a low entry price plan, but it has limited payment gateway options and has no app store.
Squarespace provides SSL security with all it’s plans, which is a 2048-bit SSL encryption – the highest online security standard. Plus, all payments via Stripe are PCI-compliant. This proves that it can handle high traffic volumes while protecting customer data.
What WooCommerce Offers For Ecommerce
WooCommerce has a variety of tools, pieces of code, and plugins that make it easy for you to quickly resolve intricate tasks.
Freedom of use and access to open-source community
Its code is open so you or anyone else can modify it to your liking, add more functionality, and access help or documentation from its open-source community.
Squarespace lacks global control, so you have to depend on your service provider. Similarly, hosted carts don’t have the same functionalities as open-source carts, and may also lack some capabilities.
WooCommerce also offers free extensions you can try, while Squarespace’s options are limited. In fact, if you need more modules or extensions, you’d have to pay for them, which costs more in the long run.
Runs on WordPress
This is one of the main reasons why WooCommerce is popular among online store owners. If you want to build a sophisticated yet modern store, it’s a great choice. Squarespace offers a stylish and robust platform, but it’s limited in customization opportunities and payment gateway alternatives.
Full end-to-end design control
Compared to Squarespace, which is a closed solution with limits on customization, WooCommerce lets you enjoy its open source platform with full ownership and code access. You can customize and integrate any service, and even export your data.
In Squarespace, you only get two payment options or gateways and no dropshipping or point-of-sale options.
WooCommerce offers a variety of themes, marketplace of extensions for extra functionality for your store, integration with other apps like social media, and a variety of payment gateways.
No transaction fees
WooCommerce can be scaled or stripped back based on your budget. You can enjoy zero transaction fees and keep your costs low from the start.
WooCommerce is a free plugin, which means you get to download and install it, plus all store design tools and inventory management at no cost.
However, you’ll have to buy hosting or use a self-hosted WordPress site to run it, which means you’ll have to spend a little, especially if it’s a huge site. The cost of its plugins also tends to add up quickly as you keep updating them or adding them to your site.
If you need adaptability and flexibility for your new store, WooCommerce offers the customization options and plugins to get you there. Squarespace still has something to offer, especially for beginners and intermediate users looking to launch a beautiful site fast. With a little practice, though, they can use WooCommerce and the WordPress CMS easily.
Now that we’ve seen what makes WooCommerce the best platform for online stores over Squarespace, let’s look at the kind of data you can migrate.
Types of data you can migrate from Squarespace to WooCommerce
Before we look at whether or not you should make the switch from Squarespace to WooCommerce, and how to get it done, here’s the kind of data you’ll be able to transfer:
- Products: this includes all product names, short and full descriptions, statuses, pricing, meta descriptions/titles/keywords, product images, quantity, weight, stock availability, product variants, and even their special pricing information
- Product categories: this includes the name and description of the product, status, images, and meta titles
- Customers: here you can move information like the customers’ first and last name, email address, billing and shipping address complete with the Zip Code, and more
- Orders: this includes payment and shipping methods, order status, order data and products, subtotal pricing, discount and tax pricing, shipping, and total pricing
- Coupons: this includes the name, coupon code, discount type and amount, and the expiration date
- Blogs and blog posts: you can also move your blogs with their titles and SEO URLs, plus blog post titles, full or short descriptions, tags, blog IDs, SEO URLs, images, and comments
- CMS Pages: this includes the title, date created, description, URL, status, and content headings
With Squarespace, you can export your regular pages and blog content easily, but you can’t export your style changes, index, event, product or album pages, and some audio and product blocks.
Should you switch from Squarespace to WooCommerce?
The short answer is yes and no. Squarespace and WooCommerce don’t work together directly. The latter is an ecommerce plugin for WordPress so it works best if you’re using the CMS, while Squarespace offers built-in tools for online stores.
Both are great tools for building successful websites but they differ in the context of their usage.
Squarespace is great if you want a quick and easy to use tool to build your new site if you don’t already have one. Both the ecommerce tools and its content management features make it easy to use.
You also get good support and documentation so you can set up quickly and with ease. Hosting is also part of your subscription package.
WooCommerce, on the other hand, is great for users who already have WordPress sites and want to expand into an ecommerce site.
Similarly, if you want something more customized, you’ll get a ton of extra plugins (not all free) that can help you extend your site’s features. These include payment gateways, complex tax and shipping structures, plus, you can create recurring subscriptions.
However, using WooCommerce in WordPress requires more advanced knowledge in both coding and website design/development. Squarespace makes it easier for you to build and manage your website.
The choice to switch depends on which one works best for your business goals and requirements.
How to transfer your site from Squarespace to WooCommerce?
As difficult as it sounds, transferring your site from Squarespace to WooCommerce isn’t rocket science. The difficulty comes when exporting products from your Squarespace site to a CSV that you can upload to WooCommerce.
Squarespace doesn’t offer the feature for this, so you’re going to need a third party app to carry out the export. This is why it seems impossible, but it’s doable nonetheless, without data parsing.
Some tools let you transfer your data in an automated manner without needing tech knowledge to do so.
If you’re planning to import your content from Squarespace to a self-hosted WordPress site, you can use the WordPress importer, but your images may not tag along. That’s because they remain hotlinked to Squarespace so they’ll only reference to the original location without appearing on your site.
In this case, it is recommended that you import your content into the Wordpress.com version of WordPress, as this copies images to the WordPress servers. Once you import them, you can check and see that they’re all in the WordPress Media Library.
How to export content from Squarespace to WordPress
To export your content, take the steps below:
- Go to the Home menu and click Settings.
- Select Advanced.
- Click Import/Export and select Export.
- Click the WordPress icon (even if you’re not importing the content to WordPress).
- For multiple blog pages, you’ll see the Select Primary Blog message. This only lets you export one blog page.
- From the drop down menu, select Primary Blog.
- Click Export.
- Wait for the exporting process to start and complete (the duration depends on the amount of content you have on your site).
- You’re now ready to download the exported file. You’ll see the Download option.
- Click Download and save the .xml file or select Clear to erase it.
How to transfer your Squarespace site to WooCommerce
As mentioned above, you need a third party app to make the actual transfer of your Squarespace site to WooCommerce.
In this case, we’ll use Cart2Cart, but you can always find other options that work for you.
Take the steps below:
- Create a Cart2Cart account and sign in using your Google or Facebook account.
- Set up your Target and Source carts.
- From the drop down menu, select Squarespace as a Source Cart.
- Fill in the store URL and your Admin email and password.
- Go to the Target Cart.
- Type and paste the WooCommerce URL into the Target Store URL.
- Download the Connection Bridge.
- Upload it to your WordPress root folder.
- Select what you want to migrate – products/product categories, customers, orders, and more. You can use Additional Options to set up your site further.
- Export Squarespace orders and customers to CSV files.
- Upload the CSV files on the Migration Wizard.
- In a few hours, your online WooCommerce store will be ready to use.
So you’ve migrated your site from Squarespace to WooCommerce, now let’s see the steps you need to take to move your domain.
How to transfer your domain from Squarespace to WooCommerce
For Squarespace-to-Squarespace sites, the process is easier from your Domains panel, depending on where you bought the domain. Either way, you’ll just start on the site where it’s connected currently.
If you’re transferring your Squarespace domain to another provider, you have to observe the 60-day period between registration and transfer of the domain to Squarespace.
This can take about 7 business days to complete.
However, to move your domain away from Squarespace to a completely new platform like WooCommerce, the process is different as described below:
- Open the Home menu and click Settings>Domains. Click the Domain you want to transfer to WooCommerce.
- Scroll and uncheck the Lock Domain entry.
- Click Send Transfer Authentication Code button at the bottom. You’ll get a unique authentication code in an email sent to your domain’s admin contact. It may be different from the one you log into Squarespace with. Check for an email titled “Auth code for [yourdomain.com]” from firstname.lastname@example.org. If it isn’t there, check your spam or junk folders.
- Copy the code and send it to your new domain provider.
- You may get an email to confirm that the transfer is in progress, which includes a link for confirmation of the transfer once your new provider accepts it. otherwise it’ll complete within five business days if you don’t click on this link.
- If you want to keep the domain, go back and check Lock Domain in the Domains panel.
Note: If you didn’t get a verification request email from WooCommerce or new domain provider, check the Admin Contact email from the Domains panel to see if it’s correct. To do this:
- Open Home menu>Settings and click Domains
- Click the domain name you want to transfer
- Click Registration Information under domain settings
- Check the Admin Contact email. If it isn’t correct, click Admin Contact and go to the Email Address field to update it
Squarespace domain expired?
You can still transfer your Squarespace domain if it’s expired, but your website has to be active. Check with the new domain provider before moving as some don’t accept such transfers from expired sites.
Can’t edit Squarespace DNS settings?
You can’t edit your domain’s nameserver or DNS settings through Squarespace once the new provider accepts the transfer. If you try to update anything, you’ll get error messages, so wait until the transfer completes fully and follow the new provider’s instructions.
Domain cannot be transferred?
If the domain transfer isn’t accepted, check if you had it with Squarespace for a minimum of 60 days, as any domains that haven’t been active for that duration can’t be transferred.
Also ensure you unlocked the domain in Squarespace by unchecking the Lock Domain setting.
Domain hasn’t been transferred?
As mentioned, it takes up to 7 business days to complete the transfer, which Squarespace can’t control. In this case, contact WooCommerce for help.
Migrating your Squarespace site to WooCommerce is a lot of work. However, few things compare to the excitement you get when your new site is live and you’re experiencing a boost in sales and revenues.
Moving to WooCommerce also gives your online store new finesse as you’ll be affiliated with the most popular ecommerce platform in the world.
If you wish to get it done professionally, you can still contact a professional WooCommerce developer and get your online store looking new and attractive.