About Square Online

Category: Website Builders
Square Online is an intuitive, easy-to-use online website builder designed for small businesses to set up their websites in minutes with zero design and coding experience required. The platform is best for websites with integrated payment processing, reporting, tax, and responsive design templates.

Company: Square

Square Inc., is a San Francisco, California-based financial services and digital payments company. Its first platform was launched in 2010 by Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey. Since November 2015, it has been traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol SQ. Millions of companies use Square to take payments, manage staff, and conduct business in-store and online.

In-Depth Analysis

0 Overall
Price 5.0
Performance 3.0
Ease Of Use 4.0
Features 3.5
Support 4.0

Pros

  • Allows unlimited product
  • Excellent for small businesses
  • Feature-rich free plan

Cons

  • Comparably poor performance
  • Limited creative freedom

Square Online Comparisons

VS
VS
VS
Plans & Pricing

Square Online has the simplest pricing structure in the website builder industry with two main plans. The first plan is absolutely free. However, you have to cover the transaction processing fee. The Plus plan starts at a meager $29/mo.

I know $29 isn’t exactly meager but the features offered in this plan does compensate for the price. The Plus plan caters to retail businesses, restaurants, and professional service providers. For one, it allows you to print barcodes for your physical stores as well as advanced reporting.

Bigger organizations with more unique needs can opt for the custom plan. Here, you’d contact the sales team to build a suite of features that suits your business needs. The price varies depending on your needs.

Free
$0
/mo
  • Multiple websites
  • Sell on social media
  • Fraud protection
  • Payment processing
  • Tax calculator
  • Unlimited products
  • SEO tools
Plus
$29
/mo
  • Everything in Free
  • Accept PayPal checkout
  • Customer accounts
  • Native video embed
  • Advanced analytics
Custom
$79
/mo
  • Everything in Plus
  • Lower processing charges
  • Display real-time shipping rates

 

Performance

A good performing website is essential for every online business today. So, as a part of every website builder review, we test the performance of websites built using the tool to assess how well customers can interact with the online representation of your business.

After building with the Square Online website builder, the results of our performance assessment weren’t particularly impressive. Using Google’s PageSpeed Insights, here are some of the parameters tested.

Square performance result

Overall Performance

The performance of a website is greatly influenced by how users interact with the interface and the content in it. This user experience is a product of page load speed. Slow websites experience high bounce rates.

Testing the website that I built using the Square Online website builder, I received a performance result of 3%. This is because the website’s first content took longer than 5 seconds to load. Also, it took a whooping 16.6 seconds for it to allow real user interaction.

Typically, websites could lose up to 90% of its traffic if it takes longer than 5 seconds to load, according to findings by Google. So, this doesn’t look very good for many small businesses using the Square website builder.

Accessibility

Coupled with the poor performance score of Square-powered websites, my website test also reveals a pretty alarming accessibility score of 83%. Most industry-leading website builders offer accessibility scores above 90%.

SEO

Despite the not-so-good performance on other metrics, my Square-powered website showed very good scores on website best practices and search engine readiness. With an SEO score of 93%, my website is set to tap into the enormous organic traffic that search engines have to offer.

Uniqueness

A trusted payment processor with small businesses at the core of its activities, the Square Online website builder is built to help entrepreneurs keep the physical and digital aspect of their businesses in perfect sync, offering a full suite of website and ecommerce solutions for absolutely free with paid rooms for more creative and entrepreneurial flexibility.

Ease of Use

Another criteria to consider when choosing a website builder is how easy it is to get it set up and use. Very complicated builders can be a source of frustration for business owners with no technical background.

After working with several website builders, I can’t exactly say that the Square Online website builder is the easiest option to use, given its creative limitations. However, it has some perks right from setup through website publishing.

Setup

Setting up the website builder is very easy. After creating a Square account, you only need to answer 2-3 onboarding questions to get started with the website builder. These questions are meant to help the software understand your kind of business better and create suiting website template recommendations.

Once you finish the setup and selected a template for your website, you can quickly jump into customizing it by clicking the customize button on the top right corner of the page as shown in the image below.

Square website customize

Designing

Regardless of the size of your business, a brand identity is important and should be reflected on your website. Your branding should cut across different elements of your website including texts, images, buttons, and forms. A good website builder should allow you to take full control of how these elements look. Using the Square Online website builder gives a reasonable level of creative freedom in this regard.

Text Styling

While you customize your website on the editor, you can change the weight and size of the text on your website with ease. To do this, simply select the text that you want to style and a small window will pop open on the left side of the screen with options to change the text class (header or paragraph) as well as the font color.

Square text styling window

Form Customization

There are a few form templates within the editor, including several request forms, inquiry form, and contact forms. You can find these by clicking the “Add Section” button and navigating to “Forms”.

Squareup forms

You can add any of these forms to your website and customize them as you please. You can add and modify form questions as well as customize the content of the firm, including spam prevention and others. The video below shows a form customization process.

Button Design

Although most use cases are smooth for people that are a bit savvy, the button design option is pretty much limiting. There isn’t much you can do regarding the sizes of the button or the conture. The only button design options available is to switch between two size options (big and small), and a wide of colors. Here’s a picture to illustrate.

SuqareUp button design

App integration

There are a handful of third-party apps in the Square App Market. You can add any of them to your website by simply clicking the app and adding it to your website. Some apps may require you to purchase a paid plan before you can use them. And given that Square is a payment processor, there is a limit to the third-party payment gateways available on the App Market.

Customer Support

Square Online has a competent customer support system. With tons of resources for customer self-service, Square has made it very easy for small businesses to make the best of its website builder.

However, the company offers far more than customer self-service resources. It allows you to connect with a real expert, who will help you resolve any technical issues, as well as answer questions that you may have.

The company offers three primary ways to connect with real-time customer service, including phone, email, and live chat. The sellers community is also a pretty vibrant one.

With several available support channels offered by Square Online, these are some of the outstanding ones worth mentioning.

Live chat

Right within the Square Support Center, I found the chat button. Clicking on it connected me to a responsive chatbot, with a few well tailored resource recommendations. However, after choosing to connect with an expert, it presented three possible ways to connect with human support.

On selecting the “Chat with us” button, I had to wait in line for 3 minutes before a support expert connected with me. The conversation was smooth and my questions were answered comprehensively. The support expert also recommended a few resources that I should look at in my spare time. Those were quite helpful too.

Email

Sqaure email support

Contacting the Square team via email isn’t as efficient as the Live Chat option. It is stated on their support page that they typically respond within 24-48 hours. While this is a pretty long wait time, they do hold on to their promise.

After emailing them about an issue I encountered with the website builder due to certain location-specific restrictions, they responded to my email after about 37 hours. Also, it could be a problem resending your email since no specific email address is present on the support page.

To send them an email, you have to fill out a contact form, including your email address and they will reach out to you.

Phone

The Square phone lines are open for customers on weekdays between 6am and 6pm. Sadly, you can’t reach the team outside this window. Given that I work better at night, I had to wait till dawn to speak to a support person.

Nevertheless, I was quickly connected to a support expert when I placed a call at about 8am on Tuesday morning. I reached them on the official support number (1-855-700-6000).

Immediately after I presented my issues to the support expert on the other end of line, I was asked to call out my unique customer code. It’s usually on every customer’s support page. This is to ensure that they are speaking to someone in charge of the account. It’s a pretty good layer of security. I like it.

Square phone support

Thereafter, he explained why the service is restricted from my current location, given that I was overseas at the time. He offered to help fix the issue from his end and he did just that while we were still connected on the phone.

Seller Community

Square seller community

For a platform with over 200,000 online websites, the Square Seller Community is supposed to be a vibrant one. Sadly it’s not as vibrant as it should be. With several questions asked weekly, a significant proportion of those questions asked never get a response. Others are sporadically answered.

I asked a question in the community on Thursday about disabling the customer accounts feature on my website. I received a rather unhelpful response by Sunday. I guess I was lucky to have received a response at all, given that other questions in the community never really got answered.

24/7 Help & Support
24/7 Help & Support
Readily available resources for customer self-service.
Phone Support
Phone Support
1-855-700-6000
Live Online Chat
Live Online Chat
Connect with real human experts in minutes.
Email
Email
Start an email conversation within 48 hours.
FAQ
FAQ
Comprehensive answers to regularly asked questions.
Blog
Blog
Stay updated on financial tech advice with the Square blog.
Features & Functionality
Design

There are several features available on the Square Online website builder but here are a few standout offerings that you should know about.

Mobile responsiveness

The Square Online website builder was designed with mobile phones in mind. With a very responsive interface that sits excellently on the frames of both PCs, tablets, and mobile phones, small businesses do not have to worry about their websites looking distorted on any device.

Square mobile responsiveness

While building your website on the Editor, you can easily switch between the mobile and desktop interface to get a feel of what your customers will be seeing on both devices. Here’s a quick look at where to find the feature.

In-store pickup

Brick-and-mortar stores can transition smoothly into digital selling without giving away the human connection they have with the community. Square Online allows small businesses to sell products online and reserve it for pickup in their physical stores. This is particularly made possible because Square Online ensures that the physical locations of businesses are prominently displayed on websites for customers to find.

Online booking

Professionals don’t have to deal with cumbersome scheduling processes while using the Square Online website builder. Professionals, restaurants, and retail businesses can easily add paid or free booking and scheduling to their website for customers to see and use. This syncs with your calendar to ensure that there are no overlaps with other activities.

Inventory Management

With online and offline selling happening, it may be difficult to keep track of inventories, especially for fast-growing retail businesses. Alongside its Point-of-Sale hardwares, Square Online syncs physical in-store sales with online orders to ensure that inventories are tracked and reported in real time.

Features
  • 100+ Templates
  • Add HTML Code
  • Blog Templates
  • Portfolio
  • Drag & Drop Editor
  • Multi-lingual Website
  • Fully Customized
  • Mobile-friendly
Marketing
Features
  • SEO Tools
  • Social Media Integration
  • Widgets + Apps
  • Newsletter Tool
  • Monetization
  • Visitor statistics
Hosting
Features
  • Multiple Sites
  • Free Custom Domain
  • Unlimited Space
  • Unmetered Bandwidth
Multimedia
Features
  • Free Stock Photos
  • Video Plug-Ins
  • Audio Plug-Ins
Good For
Features
  • Blogging
  • Online Stores
  • Automatic Website Building
Verdict

Although the features and performance offered by the Square Online website builder positions the company more as a small business banking service provider than a website development platform, this tool is a pretty good option for small business to consider.

It is well suited for small-sized retail and restaurant businesses that are looking to put their physical store and online stores in perfect sync. This includes allowing customers to book sessions online as well as order products online and pick them up in-store.

Augustine Ojeh
Author: Augustine Ojeh
Augustine is a freelance writer with a focus on organizational productivity; diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI); marketing and sales; and startup ecosystems in developing economies. He plays 8-Ball Pool when stressed and Chess when anxious.

Square Online User Reviews

M
Mark C
11-50 employees
Used for: 6-12 months
09 Jun - 2021

Good system

We got everything we wanted from the system

Cons

Backend can be kind of slow