As an ecommerce store owner, you’re probably dreading the process of building your own ecommerce website. This blog post will answer your questions about ecommerce website builders and break down the pros and cons to help you gauge which one best fits your needs.
You’re probably asking questions like
- Do I need to hire a developer?
- What is the total cost of shifting my store online?
- Are these costs recurring or one time?
Yes, there’s a price tag attached to most of these website and webpage builders, just as the cost you would incur when hiring a developer. The real question is if the price tag matches the value you’re getting from the ecommerce website builder.
If you’ve been searching ‘how to build a website’ you’ve probably been through a handful of YouTube videos on building a website. These videos show that creating a website through their platform is the best option from the plethora of options you have available.
Hence, it’s important to know whether the platform you choose is a viable long term option, or would you need to migrate your website when your customer base starts increasing.
This brings us to the core purpose of this article. We’ll be covering some of the popular options in this article.
You can take advantage of many ecommerce website builders such as WooCommerce, Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce, and more to set up your online website. For example, a store owner can use an ecommerce site builder to create his/her digital presence to showcase his/her list of products and services to sell while accepting online payments.
In the same way, brick and mortar shop owners have shifted to online orders ever since the pandemic COVID-19. That’s because most health regulatory bodies emphasized the importance of social distancing to contain the spread of the virus.
To work with this drastic change, restaurants cut down on their physical space and invested in taking their store online. Not only did this help in working with the new laws, but it also pushed them to invest in an ecommerce website builder and expand their current customer base.
Source: La Catrina
Ecommerce website builders are a perfect solution for anyone who is looking to sell their products or services online. Anyone can use this presence to extend their business activities, while others just want to create a space where they can unleash their creativity.
With so many website builders and plugins, it gets difficult to choose the one that best fits your needs. Therefore, we have decided to help you find the best website builder for ecommerce stores that is not only a perfect fit for your ecommerce business but also helps you grow and scale with ease.
Let’s have a look at the ecommerce website builders comparison table
Ecommerce Website Builders Comparison Table
This table will give you a clear idea of all the viable options of ecommerce website builders you can choose from.
|Ecommerce Website Builders||Ease of Use||Ease of Setup||Pricing||Quality of Support||G2 Customer Ratings|
Connect Domain $4.09
|Big Cartel||4.1||4.1||Gold Free
|Square Online Store||4.3||4.3||Free||4.3||4.8|
*The prices have been quoted as of December 2020 and may be subject to change. The ratings have been compiled from g2.com
Why Do You Need an Ecommerce Website Builder?
If you are new to website creation and don’t know how to code, then website builders will help you create a website easily. Without these site builder tools, creating a website can be a daunting task. That said, let’s look at the pros and cons of website builders in detail.
Pros of an Ecommerce Website Builder
No programming experience required to start your ecommerce store
Easy to learn functionalities that you can use to create your website. You can implement all processes fairly quickly
Ecommerce site builders come with a full package. This means you will get themes, plugins, and even layout properly customized to many personas No more broken functionality, or compatibility issues You can use a site builder plugin for almost everything from a small business website to a full-fledged ecommerce store.
Cons of an Ecommerce Website Builder
No matter how flexible your website builder is, it will have some customization limits.
Most website builders come with a hosted platform. This means that users can’t select an ecommerce hosting solution of their choice. Another limit that they have to bear.
Similarly, a website builder that is open-source would require the services of developers. These will cost money, time, and effort to customize the websites.
List of Ecommerce Website Builders
We have mentioned the website builders. Now, let’s learn about ecommerce website builders that you can use to your advantage.
This open-source platform is free to use, and best of all is highly rated when it comes to user experience due to its mobile-friendly website capability. Though, you’ll need hosting that’s optimized for this ecommerce website builder to get the best user experience.
When it comes to WooCommerce, the developers here understand that stores are unique, and, as such, store owners require reports that fit their needs. With the admin panel available here, you can configure reports accordingly to your needs. Even if your access WooCommerce through your mobile device the dashboard will look the same
- Seamless integration for WordPress
- No transaction fees
- Very easy to set up
- Post-purchase one-click upsells
Shopify is one of the best ecommerce website builders available. With it, you can easily create an ecommerce platform with drag and drop options. Shopify is the fastest growing ecommerce platform and has already garnered over a million users. The only limitation with the Shopify platform is that it comes with certain customization limitations. You can’t use the platform to scale or modify your website.
Shopify has a simple interface that helps you focus on the work You can access your customer sales data. The thing to note here is that you can look at this data without the need of getting into understanding the technical knowledge of the website.
- The platform is very simple and intuitive
- Technical Support is available 24/7
- Wide variety of themes to choose from
- In-house Appstore
- Inbuilt SEO
- Completed Hosted
- No free option to use
- Limited Customizations
BigCommerce is another great ecommerce website builder for store owners who would like to take their store to the next level. It comes with layout options that allow one to create a store within seconds. BigCommerce also features a blog that store owners can integrate into their ecommerce store for content marketing activities. It is similar to Shopify but a lot more economical.
However, since BigCommerce is only an ecommerce platform, most of the features will be limited and you will not be able to use your BigCommerce store to create a full-fledged blog.
- Complete control of product details
- Full control of your customer’s database
- Extremely robust
- Steep learning curve
- The App is a little clunky
Wix is a hosted website page builder in its true sense. It is known for its simple and clear page editor. It automates the whole process. When users choose Wix, they can select the theme, layout, and design of their website. The website is live within seconds. Wix offers more than 500 themes coupled with many features.
When it comes to the user interface, Wix is greatly intuitive even for users that have a non-technical background. If you know how to operate Windows 10 or a Mac, you’ll easily figure out what’s what on this platform. They’ve placed tools right in the dashboard for users to find exactly what they’re looking for.
- Upgraded Design Templates
- Intuitive Interface even for non-technical users
- Add animations to your website
- Site Backup
- Expensive Pricing Plan
- Lack of template customizations
- Not the fastest loading speed (on mobile devices) compared to competitors
Weebly is the counterpart of the Wix ecommerce website builder. Just like Wix, it is also hosted, thus you will be limited to a platform when you start. There are a few customization options available on Weebly but these are only beneficial for beginners. People who have a sustainable business may not use Weebly as it doesn’t offer any rich customization options.
On the other hand, beginners can easily use Weebly to take their business to the next level. It also lets you add new features to your website such as language translation, memberships, etc.
- Optimizes Website Speed
- Design Flexibility
- Simple Editor
- App Center
- Limitations in Blogging Tools
- Pay additional for Technical Support
- Multi-Language Support Limited
The Squarespace website builder offers almost the same features for beginners. It comes with some quality add-ons, templates and tools, and a universal style editor to create your ecommerce website.
The Squarespace website builder is highly responsive and compatible with smartphones. It isn’t free and comes with a $12/month basic price plan. It has over 200 themes to choose from for creating a professional-looking website within minutes.
- Ready to publish templates
- Intuitive Dashboard
- Bundled Offers
- Strong Customer Support
- Expensive Pricing Plans
- Lack of Marketing Tools
- Lack of Third party Addons
- Not Ideal for Blogging
There’s a lot more behind this website builder than just creating a good looking site. In fact, when we’re talking about online businesses, Zyro has got you covered there as well.
If your website-building goals are specifically ecommerce related, two dedicated plans are available – ecommerce and ecommerce+. Best of all, these do come at quite affordable prices, considering.
With Zyro you get all the ecommerce functions you would want, including email notifications, discount coupons, complete order tracking, shipping and tax management, and a lot more. We’re not kidding when we say that this website builder is your all-in-one website building powerhouse.
- Website Speed Optimization with Cloudflare
- Responsive Design
- Simple Interface
- Webpage Building Grid Included
- AI Content Creator
- AI Heatmap
- Limited Customizations
- The interface can be buggy
- Technical Support response time can be improved
3DCart is one of the best ecommerce website builders available in the market and is trusted by millions. The prices start at just $19 each month, but the more expensive one can cost upwards of $200. It gives you access to a host of SEO tools and also helps you set up recommended products. Additionally, it allows you to easily interact with customers and visitors through follow-up emails.
Source: Liteextension Ashley
3DCart is intuitive and easy to use for users that lack a technical background. The inbuilt chat features help connect to the technical support which helps overcome complications that may arise when creating a website.
- Strong SEO optimization
- Simple to start an online store
- Strong shopping cart capabilities
- Easy to set up a blog
- Lack of Design Flexibility
- Not ideal for team collaboration
- Need for a developer for advanced functionality
Volusion is an excellent platform for building websites for small business owners. It’s one of the more reliable ecommerce store builders and is quite intuitive and also has a one-click checkout feature, which is guaranteed to improve conversions. It gives you metered bandwidth, however, so in case your traffic increases, you will need to pay over the top.
Source: litextension Sophia
Volusion’s interface is very intuitive and helps its users take their store to the live version quickly. Order management is well organized and the technical support is within reach from within the platform.
- Improved salesforce
- User-friendly interface
- Good for generating reports
- Lack of customizability
- Lack of integrations
- Requires developer’s support
xi. Big Cartel
Most people don’t know much about Big Cartel, but the ones that do swear by it. Ideal for business store owners, Big Cartel is one of the more reliable ecommerce website builders, and has a clean aesthetic, and allows you to create an online store with minimal hassle. It has four different packages, starting from the free gold package, and going all the way to the Titanium package, which costs $29.99 a month and offers you support for 300 products.
Source: BigCartel Blog
With BigCartel you can easily upload images, including prices, descriptions, etc. You can choose a monthly plan that best suits your requirements based on the number of products you want to publish.
- Intuitive Dashboard
- Affordable Pricing Plans
- Extensive Website Templates
- Flexibility in tweaking site’s code
- Not developer-friendly
- Lacks search functionality
- Limited payment options on stores
x. Square Online Store
Square is designed for use for all types of customers. And if you choose their more expensive package, PayPal), this is for people who want a no-frills website builder to launch their online journey.
It’s easy to set up, and the company refers to it as an all-inclusive solution. It’s the best website builder for ecommerce store owners who want to get their business off the ground quickly.
The company is renowned for its PoS systems, but they are now branching outwards, and the Square Online Store is a fantastic choice for those who want a hassle-free solution.
- Reasonable Pricing Plan
- Intuitive Dashboard
- Inbuilt Marketing Feature
- Limited Customizations
- Limits to Square payment to avoid additional fees
- Not developer-friendly
Last but not the least, we have X-Cart, which rounds up our list of ecommerce website builders. It’s a versatile alternative to the many names on this list and gives you all of the functionalities that you need to launch your online store.
The user interface templates on offer by X-Cart are also incredibly intuitive, and it integrates really well with popular blog systems. On top of that, you can also integrate automated shipping systems, like HubSpot, Salesforce, and Bronto into your website.
- Easy Customizations
- Intuitive Interface
- Variety of integrations
- Multilingual and multi-currency options
- Expensive Pricing Plans
- Lack of modern templates
- Updates can make the interface buggy
- Technical Support has a price
Now that we’ve covered ecommerce website builders let’s take a look at some content management systems that work as stand-alone page builders. These CMS give you more in-depth control over the content of your webpages and help you create a wholesome experience on your ecommerce store.
We hope that this article has helped you in getting familiar with various free and paid website builder plugins. Now, you can make a better decision about which CMS or website builder best suits your needs. You can also get website templates if you don’t want to design everything on your own.
Remember that the best ecommerce website builders offer great help for novice individuals to create their ecommerce websites without hiring a developer.
As the world is moving towards a mobile-first world, this is the right time to use website builders for creating websites in a quick time.
If you are still unsure how to create a website for your online business using a website builder, feel free to contribute in the comment section below.
Q1. What platform should I use for my website?
It depends on your requirements. If you want to get a separate hosting platform, then choosing a self-hosted CMS will be a good choice.
Some of the best CMSes include WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. On the other hand, you can choose a hosted platform for your website if you don’t want to get into technical details. These include Shopify, BigCommerce, Wix, and Weebly. However, these hosted ecommerce website builders and platforms come with certain limitations.
Being a novice, you can’t customize them according to your needs. You can’t add new functionality to the websites and this can become a huge problem in the long run.
Q2. Should I choose a self-hosted or hosted website builder?
If you are just starting a website for the sake of creating a website, then choosing a hosted site builder will be a good choice. On the other hand, if you want to start a long-term business then choosing a self-hosted CMS or an ecommerce platform is the right move for business. Some of the best self-hosted ecommerce platforms include WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. The self-hosted ecommerce platforms allow users the flexibility to customize their websites according to their needs. They can also add new functionality and scale the website when needed.
Q3. What is the cheapest website builder in the market?
Some self-hosted ecommerce website builders are available for free as open-source platforms. These include WordPress, Magento, and Joomla page builders. You can customize these platforms according to your needs. For example, most people use WordPress website builders and then customize them to develop their web apps. Similarly, you can use the Magento ecommerce platform and customize its themes to suit your business needs.
Sajjad is an Ecommerce Community Manager at Cloudways. He loves helping out Ecommerce store owners, merchants and marketers in establishing their businesses and startups. Sajjad enjoys playing table tennis and cricket over the weekend.