squarespace recurring payments

How to Use Squarespace to Accept Recurring Payments and Should You Be Doing It?

Can’t finish that stupid manuscript of your Game of Thrones-inspired novel and want to start a paid newsletter in the meantime? Squarespace might just be the right platform for you. It allows its users to create highly customizable websites, blogs, and even e-stores that do not require you to learn even a single line of code. Yes, website building with Squarespace is really as simple as designing your mom’s birthday party invites on Canva.

But what isn’t that simple, however, is setting up a payment plan that allows you to bill the subscribers of your newsletter a fixed amount each month. This requires you to juggle through some loops, some of which are due to the unavoidably complicated nature of setting up payment options, while some are, regrettably, due to Squarespace’s own offering of features that make it slightly challenging to implement recurring billing.

In the first half of this blog post, we will be going through a step-by-step guide on how to set up a plan for recurring billing on Squarespace. In the second half, however, there will be a debate on whether Squarespace is the best option for a website using the recurring billing model.

Read more: Unleash the Potential: Integrating Squarespace and Subscription Billing Platform for Maximum Impact

How to Set up Recurring Payments on Squarespace?

1. Select a Payment Processor

The first thing you need to do is to make sure to find a payment gateway that is affordable (especially in the long run), offers the features that your business requires, and, most importantly, is Integratable with Squarespace. The following is a list of popular gateways that Squarespace integrates with:

  1. Stripe
  2. PayPal
  3. Apple Pay
  4. Square
  5. Afterpay
  6. Klarna

Choose either of these six or some other payment gateway that is integrable with Squarespace to make sure that payments are smoothly transferred from your subscribers’ accounts to yours.

For reference, the image above shows the checkout page of a business website made using Squarespace and which uses the payment gateway of Afterpay.

2. Enable e-Commerce

This is where things now start getting interesting and so require your undivided attention. Choosing an e-commerce plan may be the most important step on this guide since it will ultimately decide two main things: how many of Squarespace’s features will you have access to when making your website, and as a result, how big of a drain will Squarespace be on your business’s resources?

Squarespace offers 4 pricing plans which are priced as follows:

  1. Personal—$16/month
  2. Business—$23/month
  3. Commerce (Basic)—$27/month
  4. Commerce (Advanced)—$49/month

There is no point in going over the first three pricing plans as they do not offer you the option of recurring billing. This is why you must only select the “Commerce (Advanced)” option when setting up your website.

After doing this, you must also enable “Customer Accounts” to make sure your customers are able to sign in to make their payments and that you are able to collect them on time. This can be done by following these steps: go to the Home screen, go to “Commerce > Customer Accounts,” click “Enable Customer Accounts” and then “Save.”

3. Connect Payment Processor

This is a simple step in which you need only follow these steps: go to your Squarespace dashboard, navigate to the settings, and choose the “Payments” option. Connect your chosen payment processor by following the instructions provided on the page.

Doing this will make sure that your payment processor is smoothly integrated into your system and so is able to handle all your transactions without any security risks or any other logistical hiccups.

4. Create Your Product/Service

While this is not a difficult step, it may be the most complicated one of the entire guide (to the point where we have divided it into two steps, the second of which is step 5). The simple way in which you can achieve this is by following these steps: in your Squarespace store, create a product or service that you want to offer through recurring payments.

The complexity, however, only arises when one considers that Squarespace was intended only as a place to sell products physically, which is why it does not have any templates for setting up your store if you are a service-based business. This is why you actually have to create a new product under the heading, “Subscription Product”. This is not a perfect way to do things, but it is the closest you can come to creating your own subscription-based product/service which you can later charge your customers for.

5. Enable Recurring Payments

From here on, and after adding product details as well, you will then be expected to find a billing system for factoring in recurring payments. Recurring payments in Squarespace will have to be included by you choosing the monthly billing option then setting a price that you wish your customers to pay each month. These steps in themselves are not complicated, and so should not pose as much of an issue.

6. Create Checkout and Payment Pages

The last step to do is for you to create checkout and payment pages. Squarespace will automatically add a shipping address for your business, so if you are providing a service, you will have to get rid of that by adding a separate product and selecting it as being a “Service”. You should also then add product details, particularly the SKU, to make sure that all details are correct before finally launching the product.

Read more: eCommerce Showdown: Comparing Wix, Shopify, and Squarespace

Should You Use Squarespace to Set Up Your Recurrently Billed Product?

But before going through all these steps, it may still be recommended that you reconsider using Squarespace for your recurringly billed service. The issue with Squarespace recurring payments is that Squarespace itself was not designed to be a tool that caters to subscription-based businesses which is why it might be better to also explore some of Squarespace’s competitors like Wix or Shopify that are more suited to subscription-based billing.

That said, if the aforementioned steps are easy to follow for you and you also are not bothered as much by the extra customization required for you to make Squarespace cater to your subscription needs, then the platform may definitely be the right fit for you and you should go ahead with it.