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.

Payer Portal

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.

Read more about MoonClerk’s Payer Portal and what your payers can control. 

With Squarespace, your customers have limited options to update their own information, none of which can be enabled/disabled by you.

Startup Costs

MoonClerk’s monthly fee starts at $15. Similar to Squarespace, we don’t charge an additional per-transaction fee.

Visit MoonClerk’s pricing page. 

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.

Design

MoonClerk allows you to create unlimited design themes and style the checkout experience to match your site and brand.

Read about your options for styling the MoonClerk checkout process.

On Squarespace, once you arrive at the checkout page, you’re limited to their default checkout design.

Donations

MoonClerk works well for donations and we have many nonprofit clients.

Squarespace doesn’t allow recurring payments for donations.

ACH
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.

Learn more about using ACH with MoonClerk and its advantages.

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.

Upfront Amounts

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.

Amount Options

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.

Optional Fees

MoonClerk allows you to charge a fee (as a percentage or whole dollar amount) but also allows you to make the fee optional for your payers to choose 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)

– Set a fixed day of the week or month (ex. every Wednesday or the 1st of every month)

– A specific date in the future (ex. the 25th of January of next year)

– After a trial period of X number of days

– Whenever the payer decides as they check out

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.

Coupons

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.

Learn more about the options available for coupons with MoonClerk

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.

Checkout Limitations

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 frequencythe duration, and the recurring day (which also allows you to skip payments). You can also apply account credits and debitsupdate 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.

Plan Cancelation

With MoonClerk you can choose whether you want your payers to be able to cancel their recurring plans on their own or not.

With Squarespace, your payers are always able to cancel their own recurring plans.

Notification differences

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. You can choose whether or not to send these emails, and you can customize their content with dynamic data.

Learn about the emails that you can send to your payers with MoonClerk.

Learn about the emails that you can send to yourself with MoonClerk.

MoonClerk also offer a number of other non-customizable emails such as password resets, payers portal log-ins, etc.

Final Notes

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.

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, send us an email at help@moonclerk.com.