Square Online vs Carbonmade: Comprehensive comparison guide for 2024

Final verdict


Square Online and Carbonmade cater to different needs, making them suitable for distinct user bases.


  • Square Online (Overall Grade: 7.2/10)

    is a comprehensive website builder tailored for businesses, particularly those in retail, restaurants, and services. It excels in ecommerce functionalities, offering robust tools for product listing, inventory management, and payment processing. With its seamless integration with Square’s suite of tools, Square Online is ideal for businesses looking to manage their online presence and operations efficiently within a single ecosystem. However, it may lack the design flexibility that some users seek.

  • Carbonmade (Overall Grade: 4.4/10)

    is designed specifically for creatives who want to showcase their work online without needing coding skills. It offers fully customizable layouts and a range of features tailored for photographers, illustrators, and other creative professionals. While it excels in providing an easy and fast way to create and manage online portfolios, it lacks ecommerce capabilities and extensive customization options, making it less suitable for businesses looking to sell products online.

Best for ecommerce

7.3
0


Verdict

: Square Online is the clear choice for ecommerce, offering a comprehensive suite of features tailored for online sales, while Carbonmade lacks any ecommerce functionalities.


  • Square Online

    : Square Online is designed to help businesses create professional online stores with ease. It offers robust ecommerce features such as product listing, inventory management, integrated payment processing, and marketing tools. This makes it an excellent choice for retailers, restaurants, and service businesses looking to transition from brick-and-mortar to online sales. Its seamless integration with Square’s suite of tools ensures efficient management of online presence, sales, and operations.

  • Carbonmade

    : Carbonmade is tailored for creatives who want to showcase their work online. It provides customizable layouts and pre-designed templates ideal for photographers, illustrators, and designers. However, it does not offer any ecommerce functionalities, making it unsuitable for businesses looking to sell products online.

Best for informational & business websites

7.4
5.9


Verdict

: Square Online is the better choice for businesses looking to create professional, fully integrated websites with a focus on e-commerce functionalities, while Carbonmade is more suited for creatives wanting to showcase their work in a simple, visually appealing manner.


  • Square Online

    : Square Online scores 7.4, making it a strong contender for businesses needing a comprehensive website builder. It offers a range of customizable templates, easy drag-and-drop tools, and seamless integration with Square’s suite of payment processing and business management tools. This makes it particularly attractive for retailers, restaurants, and service businesses looking to manage their online presence efficiently.

  • Carbonmade

    : Carbonmade, with a score of 5.9, is designed specifically for creatives such as photographers, illustrators, and designers. It provides an easy and fast way to create and manage online portfolios without the need for coding skills. While it excels in simplicity and visual appeal, it lacks the extensive business functionalities and integrations that Square Online offers.

Detailed comparison

Design functionalities & templates

Design FunctionalitiesRepresents how well each platform allows for creative design and customization of websites.Score Components:

  • Template Variety (30%): Range and quality of design templates.
  • Customization (30%): Flexibility and options for design alterations.
  • User Interface (20%): Ease and intuitiveness of the design process.
  • Responsiveness (10%): Adaptability to different devices and screen sizes.
  • Innovation (10%): Unique design features and tools.
7.4
7.3

๐Ÿ†

Winner: Square Online.

If you’re looking for a platform that offers more comprehensive e-commerce functionalities and a variety of design options, Square Online is the preferred choice.

Square Online offers a flexible website builder with a focus on e-commerce, providing a variety of design options through integration with platforms like Weebly. Users can customize their sites extensively, choosing from themes and preset styles to best represent their brand. While the exact number of templates available directly from Square is not specified, the integration with Weebly provides about a hundred themes, including 15 for online stores, emphasizing professional design and mobile responsiveness.


Square Online Themes

Square Online templates
Square website template

Compared to Square Online, Carbonmade does not have templates; the platform creates a personalized portfolio website based on the inputs of the users. Carbonmade offers a specialized platform for creatives to build personalized, professional portfolios with a wide range of features tailored to showcase their work effectively. The website builder supports responsive designs optimized for all devices, allows unlimited uploads of images and videos, including 4K content, and provides various premade blocks and layouts for customization without the need for external templates or platforms.


Square Online templates

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Ease of use

Ease of useReflects the platform’s overall user-friendliness.Score
Components:

  • Learning curve (40%): Quickness and ease of getting started.
  • Interface design (30%): Simplicity and intuitiveness of layout.
  • User guidance (20%): Quality of tutorials and support.
  • Flexibility (10%): Adaptability to various user skills.
8.4
8.3


๐Ÿ† Winner: Square Online

. With a score of 8.4, Square Online edges out Carbonmade, which scores 8.3. Square Online’s intuitive drag-and-drop interface and seamless integration with Square’s suite of tools make it particularly user-friendly for small businesses transitioning to online sales. Carbonmade, while also highly user-friendly, is tailored more towards creatives looking to showcase their work without needing coding skills.


Learning Resources


๐Ÿ† Winner: Square Online

. Both platforms offer high-quality learning resources, but Square Online provides a more extensive range of guides, video tutorials, and active community forums, making it easier for users to find the help they need.

For ecommerce

EcommerceMeasures the platform’s effectiveness in supporting online business activities.Score Components:

  • Ecommerce themes and templates (20%): Variety and design of templates.
  • Product management (25%): Ease of managing and organizing products.
  • Payment options (25%): Variety and convenience of payment methods.
  • Ecommerce features (20%): Features for managing an ecommerce store.
  • Integration (10%): Compatibility with external e-commerce tools and services.
7.3
0

Square Online is tailored for businesses looking to establish an online presence with robust ecommerce capabilities. It offers a comprehensive suite of features, including product listing, inventory management, integrated payment processing, and marketing tools. Carbonmade, on the other hand, is designed for creatives to showcase their portfolios and does not offer any ecommerce functionalities.

Square Online Logo

Ecommerce themes and templates

6.8

0.0

Product page customization

7.6

0.0

Payment processing and commissions

7.9

0.0

POS capabilities

9.0

0.0

Payment gateways

7.5

0.0

Product numbers

7.0

0.0

Additional ecommerce features

7.2

0.0

Square Online ecommerce features:

  • Product Listing and Inventory management
  • Payment Processing and POS features
  • Shipping and Fulfillment
  • Marketing features

Square Online add a product

Carbonmade ecommerce features:

Carbonmade does not provide any ecommerce features, making it unsuitable for businesses looking to sell products online.

Ecommerce themes & templates

Square Online offers a range of eCommerce templates designed to meet various business needs, enabling users to customize their sites to match their brand identity. It includes dynamic styling tools, personalized user experiences, and integrated payment solutions, including Square’s own payment gateway. While the platform emphasizes ease of use with drag-and-drop tools and pre-designed templates, it may offer limited design flexibility and payment processing options compared to other platforms. Overall, it’s well-suited for small to medium-sized businesses looking for an integrated solution with Square’s ecosystem.

Carbonmade does not have any templates for ecommerce as it is not designed for online selling.

Product page customization

In Square Online, you can add up to 250 variations per item, like different sizes or versions, through “Selectable Options” in the item details section of your online store. Additionally, “Item Modifiers” allow for further customization by letting customers choose options or input custom text, such as engraving names on jewelry, without affecting inventory levels. These features enable a wide range of customizable options for your products, enhancing the shopping experience for your customers.

Carbonmade does not have ecommerce capabilities, thus it’s not possible to have product pages.

Payment processing

Square’s website builder supports a variety of payment options including Square Pay, Apple Pay, Cash App Pay, Google Pay, and Afterpay, catering to diverse customer payment preferences. The platform charges a transaction fee of

2.9% + 30ยข

per online transaction for its free plan, with a discounted fee available on the Premium plan. Additionally, Square offers comprehensive POS capabilities, with a range of hardware solutions that seamlessly integrate with its online store and point of sale systems, ensuring a unified management system for both online and in-person sales.

Carbonmade does not have payment processing capabilities, making it unsuitable for ecommerce purposes.

Website Editors

Website EditorsEvaluates the platforms’ website building and editing capabilities.Score Components:

  • Customization tools (40%): Range and power of editing features.
  • Editor usability (30%): User experience within the editor.
  • Design flexibility (20%): Freedom in layout and design changes.
  • Update and maintenance ease (10%): Simplicity of updating and maintaining the site.
6.6
7.6

๐Ÿ†

Winner: Carbonmade

. Carbonmade, with a score of 7.6, offers a range of features designed for creatives to build personalized, professional online portfolios without requiring coding knowledge. Its editor provides responsive design across devices, 4K video support, unlimited image and video uploads, and premade blocks for customization. The platform also includes unique features such as private portfolios, a before/after block, gallery slideshows, and a talent pool to connect with other creatives and potential clients.

Square Online’s editor, scoring 6.6, is designed for businesses looking to establish an online presence with ease, focusing on e-commerce functionality. It offers limited customization options, aiming to simplify the design process, yet includes essential e-commerce and marketing tools suitable for a variety of business needs. The platform supports an unlimited number of products and integrates with Square’s payment processing, albeit with limited external payment options. While Square Online is user-friendly and efficient for quickly setting up a website, it may not cater to those seeking extensive design flexibility or advanced e-commerce features.

Square Online website editor

Mobile editor/app

5.5
0

๐Ÿ†

Winner: Square Online

. Neither Square Online nor Carbonmade offers a dedicated mobile editor app. However, Square Online allows users to manage and edit their websites through a mobile browser, although this comes with certain limitations. This feature provides some level of flexibility for on-the-go adjustments, making it a more versatile option compared to Carbonmade, which does not offer any mobile editing capabilities.

In summary, Square Online receives a higher rating due to its ability to support mobile website management through a browser, even with its limitations, while Carbonmade lacks any mobile editing functionality.

Product testing options

Product Testing OptionsAssesses the options for trying out platform features before commitment.Score Components:

  • Trial quality (40%): Extent and usefulness of the trial or free version.
  • Feature accessibility (30%): How many features are available to test.
  • Trial duration (20%): Length of the trial period.
  • Ease of transition (10%): Smoothness of moving from trial to paid plans.
7.8
7.2


Overall Result

:

Square Online wins

. Square Online scores 7.8, while Carbonmade scores 7.2. Square Online offers a 30-day free trial with the possibility to test premium features, although billing information is required. Carbonmade provides a trial period where all features can be tested, but it does not offer a free version.

Square Online Logo

Free Plan

Yes
No

Trial Duration

30 days
Yes

Testing Premium Features

Possible during 30-day trial
All features within the trial period

Price

PriceLooks at the cost-effectiveness and value for money of each platform.Score Components:

  • Plan value (40%): What each pricing tier offers.
  • Transparency and clarity (30%): Clearness of pricing structures.
  • Flexibility of plans (20%): Range of options to suit different budgets.
  • Hidden costs (10%): Additional expenses not included in the plan.
7.5
7.9


Carbonmade offers more affordable plans for creatives, while Square Online provides a range of options tailored for businesses, including a free plan and a premium plan for larger enterprises.

Square Online Logo


Offerings


Offerings


Free

Free ($0/month):

For businesses who want to start selling online fast. Online payments with 2.9% + 30ยข, basic-site layouts and design controls, tax calculation, unlimited items, SEO tools, blog feature, Facebook ads.

No offering at this amount.

$0-$10
No offering at this amount.

BEGINNER ($9/month):

8 Projects, Unlimited images/videos, Basic Blocks, Limited Support, 3 Navigations, SD Video, Audio Uploads.

Value for Price:


5.0


$10-$20
No offering at this amount.

PRO ($12/month):

50 Projects, More Portfolio Grids, Premium Blocks, Unbranded, Portfolio statistics, Custom Pages, Private Portfolio, Unlimited images/videos, 5 Navigations, HD Video & Audio, Priority Support.

Value for Price:


7.0


$20+

Plus ($29/month):

For businesses looking to drive online growth and streamline operations. Includes all the features of the free plan, plus, free custom domain for a year, professional branding, custom embed code, manage multiple sites, pre-orders, abandoned cart recovery, free shipping and delivery progress bar, product reviews, discounts, website statistics.

Value for Price:


7.5


UNLIMITED ($22/month):

UNLIMITED projects/pages, Everything else, All features in PRO, Extra Karma.

Value for Price:


8.5

In some cases companies have different prices based on various components like a
location. As a result in rare cases the prices displayed here can differ from the ones you see on their
websites.

Hosting quality

Hosting
quality
Examines the reliability and performance of the hosting solutions.Score Components:

  • Uptime (40%): Consistency and reliability of website availability.
  • Speed (30%): Loading times and performance.
  • Bandwidth and storage (20%): Sufficiency of resources provided.
  • Data centers (10%): Quality and distribution of hosting infrastructure.
7.8
6.1

๐Ÿ†

Winner: Square Online

Square Online offers a more reliable hosting service with a 99.96% uptime, making it a better choice for businesses that require consistent online availability. Carbonmade, while offering unlimited storage, lacks transparency in uptime statistics and guarantees, which may be a concern for users needing dependable hosting.

Square Online Logo

Do they offer hosting?

Yes, with unlimited bandwidth

Yes, with unlimited storage

Data Centers:

Not disclosed

Not disclosed

Type of hosting:

Not specified

Managed Hosting

Uptime:

99.96%

Not disclosed

Uptime Guarantee:

No

No

Website Speed Optimization

Website Speed OptimizationEvaluates optimization of website loading timesScore Components:

  • PageSpeed Score (30%): Google’s score indicating performance optimization.
  • Loading Time (30%): The average time until a website is fully interactive.
  • Mobile Optimization (15%): Optimization effectiveness for mobile devices.
  • Resource Optimization (15%): Optimizing images, scripts, and other heavy resources.
  • CDN Usage (10%): Use of CDN to enhance speed across geolocations.
6.2
5.0


๐Ÿ† Winner: Square Online

Both Square Online and Carbonmade aim to provide efficient website performance, but Square Online has a more comprehensive approach to speed optimization.

Square Online Logo

Focus

Lazy Loading, Code Minification, Caching, Image optimization

Not specified

Performance Tools

Varies depending on optimization

Varies depending on optimization

Key Strategies

Lazy Loading, Code Minification, Caching, Image optimization

Not specified

Load Times

Varies depending on optimization and website complexity

Varies depending on optimization

Page Speed Scores Range

Varies depending on optimization

Varies depending on optimization

Core Web Vitals Improvement

Not specified

Not specified

Square Online employs several strategies to enhance website speed, including lazy loading, code minification, caching, and image optimization. These techniques help ensure that websites built on Square Online load quickly and efficiently, providing a better user experience. However, specific load times and PageSpeed scores can vary depending on the level of optimization and the complexity of the website.

On the other hand, Carbonmade does not provide specific information on its speed optimization features. While it aims to offer a fast and easy way to create and manage online portfolios, the lack of detailed optimization strategies may result in varying performance outcomes. Load times and PageSpeed scores for Carbonmade websites also depend on the level of optimization applied by the user.

In conclusion, Square Online’s comprehensive approach to speed optimization gives it an edge over Carbonmade in terms of website performance.

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Plugins and integrations

Plugins and integrationsMeasures the range and effectiveness of additional plugins and integrations.Score Components:

  • Variety of options (40%): Range of available add-ons.
  • Integration smoothness (30%): Ease of integrating plugins into the site.
  • Quality of plugins (20%): Functionality and reliability of the options.
  • Custom integration capabilities (10%): Support for custom or third-party integrations.
7.6
0


๐Ÿ† Winner: Square Online.

Square Online scores 7.6, offering a robust selection of app integrations that enhance its functionality across various business operations, including eCommerce, accounting, marketing, and employee management. This makes it a versatile choice for businesses looking to expand their online capabilities.

Carbonmade, with a score of 0, does not support any plugins or integrations, focusing instead on simplicity and ease of use for creating online portfolios. While this makes it accessible for creatives, it limits the platform’s extensibility compared to Square Online.

Square Online Applications

Square Online apps marketplace

Marketing Features

Design FunctionalitiesRepresents how well each platform allows for creative design and customization of websites.Score Components:

  • Template Variety (30%): Range and quality of design templates.
  • Customization (30%): Flexibility and options for design alterations.
  • User Interface (20%): Ease and intuitiveness of the design process.
  • Responsiveness (10%): Adaptability to different devices and screen sizes.
  • Innovation (10%): Unique design features and tools.
7.4
1.0

๐Ÿ†

Overall Winner: Square Online

. Square Online excels with its comprehensive marketing tools, making it ideal for businesses looking to manage their online presence and sales. Carbonmade, while excellent for portfolio creation, lacks many essential marketing features.

Square Online Logo

SEO Tools


โœ“



โœ—


Email Marketing


โœ“



โœ—


Blogging


โœ“



โœ—


Social Media Integration

Advanced integration for selling
directly on social platforms

Basic social network links

Analytics and Reporting

Comprehensive suite of analytics and reporting tools

Basic analytics with Google Analytics integration

Ads and Promotions

Comprehensive tools for ads and promotions


โœ—

Customer Support

Customer supportEvaluates the quality and availability of support options.Score Components:

  • Response time (40%): Speed of support responses.
  • Support quality (30%): Effectiveness and helpfulness of the support.
  • Availability (20%): Range of support channels (phone, chat, email).
  • Resource richness (10%): Quality of self-help and educational materials.
6.7
5.8


๐Ÿ† Winner: Square Online

. In the comparison of Square Online vs Carbonmade, Square Online takes the lead with a customer support score of 6.7. Square Online offers a variety of support channels, including phone, live chat, and email, with availability from 6 AM to 6 PM Pacific Time on weekdays and extended hours for account issues. Premium plan users also benefit from 24/7 phone support, making it a reliable option for businesses needing consistent assistance.

Carbonmade, on the other hand, has a customer support score of 5.8 and primarily relies on a ticket-based system for support. While response times are generally quick, the lack of live support options means users may experience delays in getting immediate help. This can be a drawback for users who need urgent assistance, making Square Online the more robust choice for customer support.

Security

SecurityLooks at the platforms’ security measures and data protection.Score Components:

  • Data protection (40%): Safeguards for user and customer data.
  • SSL and encryption (30%): Implementation of secure connections.
  • Compliance (20%): Adherence to industry security standards.
  • Regular updates (10%): Frequency of security updates and patches.
8.5
5.8

๐Ÿ†

Winner: Square Online

. Square Online excels in security, offering robust measures such as free SSL certificates, encryption, and compliance with GDPR standards. These features ensure that both merchants and customers are protected, making it a reliable choice for businesses that handle sensitive data and online transactions.

Carbonmade, while providing essential security measures, focuses more on the simplicity and ease of creating portfolio websites. It lacks the comprehensive security features found in Square Online, making it less suitable for businesses that require stringent data protection and security protocols.

AI Capabilities

AI capabilitiesMeasures the effectiveness of AI-driven features and tools.Score Components:

  • Automation efficiency (40%): Impact of AI on streamlining processes.
  • Personalization (30%): AI-driven customization for users or customers.
  • AI-Assisted design (20%): Role of AI in website design and functionality.
  • Data analysis (10%): Use of AI in interpreting user data and analytics.
7.4
0
Square Online Logo

Personalized Design







SEO Optimization







Customer Behavior Analysis







Sales Predictions







Inventory Management







Content Generation

AI-generated photo environments, email copy, website content




๐Ÿ† Winner: Square Online

. Square Online, with a score of 7.4, offers a range of AI-driven features designed to enhance ecommerce operations and streamline business workflows. These include personalized product recommendations, AI-generated content, and tools to improve internal communication and operational efficiency.

Square Online AI feature

Carbonmade, on the other hand, does not have any AI capabilities. It focuses on providing a simple and efficient platform for creatives to showcase their work without the need for coding skills.

User Management

User ManagementAssesses the platforms’ capabilities in managing user roles, permissions, and accessibility.Score Components:

  • Role Customization (40%): Flexibility in creating and defining user roles and
    permissions.
  • Ease of Management (30%): User interface and tools for managing users.
  • Access Control (20%): Effectiveness of access control measures for different user
    levels.
  • Scalability (10%): Ability to manage a growing number of users efficiently.
5.2
2.8


๐Ÿ† Winner: Square Online

. When it comes to managing users, Square Online offers more flexibility compared to Carbonmade.

  • Square Online allows multiple staff accounts, providing the ability to delegate tasks and manage different aspects of the website. However, the platform does not specify the exact number of supported accounts.
  • Carbonmade, on the other hand, is limited to a single user managing and editing the website, which may be restrictive for larger teams or collaborative projects.

Both platforms support simultaneous editing, but the extent of user management capabilities varies significantly.

Square Online User Management:

Square Online allows multiple staff accounts, enabling businesses to delegate tasks and manage different aspects of their online store. This feature is particularly useful for businesses with multiple team members handling various operations.

Carbonmade User Management:

Carbonmade is designed for individual use, allowing only one user to manage and edit the website. This limitation makes it more suitable for solo creatives who do not require collaborative features.

Additional Features

Square Online Logo

SSL Certificate


โœ“



X


Custom Domain


โœ“



โœ“


Free Custom Domain Included


โœ“



X


International Domains


โœ“



โœ“


Mobile Responsive


โœ“



โœ“


Page Speed


โœ“



โœ“


Website Builder Mobile App


X



X


Convert a Website To An App


X



X


Website Analytics


โœ“



โœ“


Multilingual Sites


โœ“



โœ“


Multiple Users

โœ“

X

User Feedback

Square Online
16 reviews
4.3 out of 5 stars
Carbonmade
27 reviews
4.2 out of 5 stars

Users appreciate Square Online Store for its ease of setup, no initial payment requirement for registration, and dependable payment processing. The platform is lauded for its simple user interface, which allows for quick product sales and efficient inventory management. However, some users express dissatisfaction with the limited design customization options and the simplicity of the store layouts, noting that they do not match the design quality of competitors like Wix, Squarespace, or Shopify. Additionally, limitations in scheduled order processing and a desire for more advanced features and better support for custom HTML and SEO were highlighted.

Users appreciate Carbonmade for its ease of use, modern design templates, and no-code platform, which simplifies creating professional portfolios. However, some express a desire for a freemium plan and note limitations in customization and mobile site loading times. The platform is highly recommended for creatives, particularly illustrators and graphic designers, for its variety of design options and efficient customer service. Despite concerns over pricing, the overall sentiment is positive, with users finding value in Carbonmade’s ability to showcase their work effectively and streamline portfolio management.

The making of this blog

We followed a clear, step-by-step process to write and research this article.

FAQ

Which platform is better for ecommerce, Square Online or Carbonmade?

Square Online is the better choice for ecommerce. It offers comprehensive features like product listing, inventory management, and integrated payment processing, tailored for businesses. Carbonmade, while excellent for portfolios, does not support ecommerce functionalities.

Can I use both Square Online and Carbonmade for showcasing creative work?

Yes, both platforms can be used to showcase creative work. However, Carbonmade is specifically designed for creatives, offering customizable layouts and features tailored for portfolios. Square Online, while primarily focused on ecommerce, also provides options for displaying creative content.

How do Square Online and Carbonmade differ in terms of customization and design flexibility?

Square Online offers a range of ecommerce-focused templates and design options, but with limited customization compared to other platforms. Carbonmade excels in customization, allowing creatives to build personalized, professional portfolios with a wide range of features and layouts.

What are the major differences in pricing between Square Online and Carbonmade?

Square Online provides a free plan and various paid options tailored for businesses, with features that scale with business needs. Carbonmade offers tiered pricing plans specifically for creatives, focusing on portfolio features with no free plan but a range of services at different price points.

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