MoonClerk Recurring Payments vs. Squarespace Recurring Payments
September 26, 2023
Squarespace is one of the most popular website builders on the market. We have a lot of customers who use Squarespace for their websites and it’s a great tool. We even have a tutorial on our blog showing how to use MoonClerk with Squarespace.
Because Squarespace has now added some recurring payment features, many businesses and organizations might investigate using Squarespace for that purpose. We built MoonClerk from the ground-up with recurring payments in mind. Because MoonClerk’s sole focus has always been recurring payments, as opposed to recurring payments just being an add-on for us, there are often advantages to using our system – both from a functionality standpoint as well as a usability standpoint.
We’ll try to cover some of the differences in the two systems here.
With MoonClerk’s Payer Portal, you can choose to give your payers the option to view and make self-service updates to most every aspect of their recurring plans.
With Squarespace, your customers have limited options to update their own information, none of which can be enabled/disabled by you.
MoonClerk’s monthly fee starts at $18. Similar to Squarespace, we don’t charge an additional per-transaction fee.
With Squarespace, if you want to accept recurring payments, you’ll need to subscribe to their Commerce Advanced plan. Their Commerce Advanced plan costs $40 – $46 per month, plus tax.
MoonClerk allows you to create unlimited design themes and style the checkout experience to match your site and brand.
On Squarespace, once you arrive at the checkout page, you’re limited to their default checkout design.
MoonClerk works well for donations and we have many nonprofit clients.
Squarespace doesn’t allow recurring payments for donations.
MoonClerk allows you to accept recurring and one-time payments via ACH / bank accounts as well as credit/debit cards. The transactions fees for ACH payments are drastically lower than card payments, making them a great option for large volume transactions.
Squarespace doesn’t offer ACH payments for either one-time or recurring payments.
Decided at Checkout
MoonClerk allows you to let your payers choose at checkout: the amount, frequency, start/recurring day, and duration of their recurring plan. You can set these options yourself but you can also let your payers set them.
Squarespace doesn’t allow your payers to determine these parameters and it doesn’t offer some of these parameters, regardless of who might determine them – you or the payer.
MoonClerk allows you to accept one-time upfront payment amounts that are different than the recurring amount. These upfront payments can be charged right when a customer checks out or in the future if the recurring plan is scheduled to start in the future.
Squarespace doesn’t offer upfront amounts.
MoonClerk allows you to set an open amount for a checkout where your payer can choose what they want to pay. We also allow you to list “suggested” amounts at checkout.
With Squarespace, you always have to set the specific amount or amounts that your payers will pay at checkout.
With Squarespace you can set shipping fees and taxes based on certain parameters; however, Squarespace does not allow for any optional fees.
Recurring and Start Days
MoonClerk offers the following options for the start day and recurring day:
– The day the payer checks out (default)
Squarespace only offers the option for recurring payments to start and recur on the day the payer checks out.
Address Verification and Limitation
If you choose to ask for an address at checkout, MoonClerk allows you to also choose to verify that the address is a valid USPS physical address. If you’re shipping internationally, you can also choose which countries you want to appear as options at checkout.
Squarespace doesn’t offer verification of US-based addresses or a way to limit the list of the countries at checkout.
With MoonClerk, you can use coupons for one-time and recurring payments. When you create a coupon code with MoonClerk, you have the ability to choose a wide variety of parameters for the coupon.
Squarespace doesn’t allow the use of coupons for recurring checkouts.
Programmatically Passing Data to Checkouts
With MoonClerk, you can programmatically “seed” checkouts with a name, email, or a specific amount by passing through a query parameter to the payment form URL. You can also track a known user from your site through the MoonClerk checkout by passing a custom ID to the checkout.
Squarespace doesn’t offer the ability to programmatically pass data to checkouts or track known users through the checkout.
With MoonClerk, you can limit payment forms so that your payers can’t check out on them after a specific date or after a specific number of successful checkouts.
You can’t place limitations on checkouts in Squarespace.
Payer Account Creation
MoonClerk doesn’t require payers to create accounts but still gives every payer a secure method for updating their recurring plans.
With Squarespace, payers must create an account in order to complete a recurring payment checkout.
Skipping and Pausing Payments
With MoonClerk, you can skip recurring payments for your payers by moving their next recurring day to a day in the future. You can pause recurring payments because whenever you cancel a recurring plan in MoonClerk, you can restart it with the click of a button at any time.
Squarespace doesn’t allow for skipping payments or pausing recurring plans.
Editing Plans after Checkout
With MoonClerk, we allow you to edit almost every aspect of your payers’ specific recurring plans even after they checkout. You can take actions such as changing the amount they pay, the frequency, the duration, and the recurring day (which also allows you to skip payments). You can also apply account credits and debits, update the name, email, and update the custom field information your payers entered. You can go in at any time and charge the card you have on file for them. You can also take actions like manually retrying unpaid invoices (in addition to our automatic retries), and forgiving old ones.
With Squarespace, after a payer has checked out, you aren’t able to change any of these parameters or take any of these actions. Instead, with Squarespace, you will need to cancel the payer’s recurring plan and then have them check out again for a new recurring plan.
With Squarespace, your payers are always able to cancel their own recurring plans.
However, whether you or your customers have canceled their plans, with Squarespace, you are not able to restart those canceled plans. With MoonClerk,k you can restart any canceled recurring plan.
MoonClerk and Squarespace both send email notifications to you and the payer but the types of emails vary. However, MoonClerk offers a wide variety of recurring payment-specific email notifications. For example, with MoonClerk you can choose to send yourself or your customers a notification about upcoming payments. Squresapce does not offer this notifications. Additionally, whenever one of your customers updates their name, address, email, etc. MoonClerk sends you a notification. No such notifications exist in Squarespace.
MoonClerk also offer a number of other non-customizable emails such as password resets, payers portal log-ins, etc.
Squarespace does not offer a way for you to view your subscribers in a dashboard. You will need to keep track of those yourself. You would need to create an export then manually perfom your own filters in a spreadsheet. MoonClerk's dashboard allows you to view all of your subscribers and filter them based on a wide variety of factors.
With Squarespace, all checkouts on the 28th, 29th, 30th, or 31st of any given month will eventually bill on the 28th of every month. They eventually defeault to the last day of each month and never revert to their original date. With MoonClerk if someone checks out on the 28th, 29th, 30th or 31st of the month, they will always bill on that day (unless there are lesser days in the month, in which case they will bill on the last day of the month and then revert back to their normal date after that.)
Squarespace does not use Stripe's subscription system. They only store the card information for each of your subscribers in Stripe. Squarespace has their own recurring software infrastructure. MoonClerk is built on top of Stripe's recurring software infrastructure.
If you would like to make the move from MoonClerk or any other system to Squarespace for recurring payments, one key item to consider is that Squarespace doesn’t allow you to migrate your existing customers or recurring plans onto Squarespace. You’d need to cancel all of your recurring plans in the other system and then have those payers check out again on Squarespace.
However, if you are using Squarespace's recurring payment system and would like to migrate to MoonClerk, we would love to talk with you. We can help you manually import your Squarespace subscribers (using your existing Stripe account with Squarespace) to MoonClerk. Just send us an email at [email protected]
At MoonClerk, we’re always trying to improve our recurring payment system. We love getting feedback and look forward to hearing from you. If you have any questions about MoonClerk, let us know!