Best ecommerce website builder for your small business (Ultimate Guide)
It is very crucial to choose the right ecommerce website builder platform when you want to sell products online. From easy store management to secure payment processing, a quality platform will provide you features, like order and inventory management tools, tracking systems, marketing and analytics tool, flexible payment gateways, and more.
In this guide, I carried out in-depth research to discover the perfect ecommerce website builder for small businesses. I ranked and reviewed the 11 top ecommerce platforms that can help you meet your goals.
What are the benefits of using website builders for ecommerce?
Website builders allow you to create professional websites within a very short time, so there have numerous benefits to using them for your online store. You don't have any coding knowledge to create a website using a builder and you will be able to adjust your site later depending on your needs.
A drag and drop builder will provide you a lot of flexibility and options, so beginners can be benefitted immensely from starting a small business.
As a cost-effective solution, you can scale up your business easily according to your current position. Ecommerce functionalities are crucial when you want to sell your product. You will get everything with a quality platform.
It is not so easy to create professional-looking content as a beginner, but the quality ecommerce platforms have a lot of tools to customize your content professionally. They allow you to adjust your font size, style, color, background, format, and also multimedia.
You will get a number of pre-made templates to choose the best ones, which are also optimized for any device to look good.
In my opinion, ecommerce website builders can help you to start your business like a professional entrepreneur, which will lead you to an unbeatable journey.
What are the best ecommerce website builders for small businesses?
Here are my top picks of ecommerce website builders that can help you to grow your business from the starting day.
Top ecommerce website builders1. Shopify - Best overall ecommerce site builder 2. BigCommerce - Best for multistore sites 3. WooCommerce - Open-source WordPress site builder 4. Magento - Free open-source ecommerce CMS 5. Ecwid - Suitable for existing websites 6. Squarespace - Attractive and professional website 7. Weebly - Good value for your money 8. Volusion - Easy to use for beginners 9. Jimdo - Cheapest ecommerce site builder 10. OpenCart - Best for multiple online stores
What are the best ecommerce website builders for small businesses?
Unlike usual CMSs, ecommerce website builders have some extra functionality that is very necessary for ecommerce sites. Again, not all ecommerce site builder platforms are suitable for small businesses.
Here I listed the top 11 company and also added necessary discussion that hopefully help you to choose the best one according to your desire.
1. Shopify - Best overall ecommerce site builder
Shopify is one of the popular online store builders with over one million merchants, which started as a personal project in Canada. A young German man used to sell snowboards while living in Canada. Today there are thousands of employees working to manage their merchants.
It is suitable for both large and small business owners because of its flexibility. The developer team is still upgrading its new features and making them up to date with time.
Through Shopify’s native partner integrations, you will be able to sell products through your ecommerce shop and across multiple marketplaces, like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy.
To make an online store as a beginner, Shopify could be the best choice for its amazing features. Let’s see the key features and read the necessary discussion.
Key features of Shopify
All in one online store:
Shopify offers almost everything you need to start a business, from a website to apps and payment gateways. They allow you to build an online shop without any coding skills or a large amount of budget.
You will get a built-in mobile commerce shopping cart, so customers will be able to buy products using a mobile device or tablet along with a personal computer. A blogging platform will help you to your story and connect with more customers.
Search engines will love your website because Shopify builder has a number of options to get in touch with search engines.
As the website will be built with HTML and CSS, you will get an extra opportunity to customize your website exactly the way you want. You will enjoy the drag and drop functionality that can help you to create new pages and customize your product pages.
Different apps are also available to assist you to generate landing pages, for instance, Buildify landing page builder. It has 50 + free page templates and 80+ widgets like media, icons, comments, buttons, analytics, and many more to customize easily.
You don’t have any coding knowledge to build up your ecommerce website, but it will be great if you know programming languages like mine.
Flexible payment gateway:
The payment method allows your users to make payments easily through online transactions. More than 100 payment gateways and options are available to get payment around the world. A fraud analysis system is included to prevent vulgarity.
I am just amazed to see the flexibility while you can easily manage your sales globally by taking advantage of currency conversion and implementing local payment methods.
Custom pricing gives you greater control of your international pricing strategy by setting specific prices for products in each market.
More than 100 professional ecommerce themes are available on Shopify, which are designed and developed by world-renowned creators, including Pixel Union and Happy Cog.
All templates are created under high standards and that is why each of them is responsible for every device like PC, mobile, tablet, etc.
Shopify POS system:
Shopify Point of sale (POS) allows you to sell your products in person. It helps you to track your orders and inventory through your locations, online shop, and other channels of sales.
Shopify app store has more than 6,000+ apps that integrate directly with Shopify ecommerce. You can add features and functionality to your virtual shop, where apps include Marketing, Sales, Store design, and Customer support tools.
As a small business owner, you will get a bunch of advanced tools that can help a business grow quickly. But you have to choose the perfect tools very precisely.
Customer re-arrangement tool:
It is an amazing tool to remind customers about their abandoned carts and let them know about the upcoming sale with automated email reminders. Shopify online store creator also helps you to market your product also using such tools.
There are huge numbers of features included in this website builder, more features include Shopify 24/7 support, Unlimited products, Sales channels, Discount codes, Gift cards, Free SSL certificate, Marketing automation, Customer segmentation, Unlimited contacts, and more.
It also includes 14 days free trial where you don't need to use any credit card.
Drawbacks of Shopify
However, lots of essential apps are available, but you have to choose the right one and it is a bit complex to find the exact app quickly. After finding the app, you need to set it up to get the desired feature, whereas some ecommerce website makers like Squarespace and Wix have these sales options built-in.
I found another disadvantage about imposing transaction fees, while users do not use their own payment gateway called Shopify Payments.
Additionally, you may add extra costs while trying to use apps to add features like online appointments, prepaid bookings, donations, and others. The blogging platform has basic blogging functionality compared to some other builders like WordPress.
|Code used||HTML, CSS, Liquid, Ruby|
|Support medium||email, live chat, and phone|
|Staff accounts||2 - 15|
|Inventory locations||4 - 8|
- Almost everything is available to make and manage an ecommerce site completely, from quickly building a website to getting orders, shipments, and payments.
- Huge numbers of apps and customizable responsive themes are available, and lots of wizards plus drag and drop functionality help you to do things professionally without knowing codes.
- Marketing apps and social media channels enable social commerce via Facebook Shops, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram.
- Analytics and tracking system are available on the complete Shopify POS solution.
What I like
- Very simple and easy to use
- Much flexible and scalable functionality
- Big innovative community
- Many apps include in it
- Reliable customer support
- Easy to learn and manage everything
- Themes are highly customizable
What should improve
- More built-in features should be added
- Additional transaction fees should lessen
- Very few themes are available
- Shopify is the best fit for beginners and brands with SKU counts of less than 50.
- Small business owners who don’t want to spend much initially.
- Business owners who want to make their online store on their own without getting the help of developers and within a short time.
- Who wants to get more additional functionality when the business starts growing.
You can learn a lot about the procedure to use Shopify very quickly, as it is easy to get everything. However, you don’t have to learn programming languages, coding knowledge will give extra advantages to customizing your themes.
More than over 800,000 ecommerce store owners are using Shopify for their online business. It is a good platform for startups because it seamlessly combines your web hosting, product and order management tools, sales and marketing tools, and a lot more.
2.BigCommerce - Best for multistore sites
BigCommerce was founded in 2009, and it dominating the market for a long. This ecommerce platform serves its service from Australia and it has undergone significant development.
Merchants of BigCommerce are getting the benefit to generate a huge amount of sales. It helps to grow around 100,000 online stores, and more than 500 employees currently working at BigCommerce.
There are some features that make the BigCommerce shop builder stand out strongly, let’s take a look.
Key features of BigCommerce
Ease of Use:
I recommend BigCommerce for your business store because of its less complexity and comfortability while using. It includes all the essential features which you need to get started with your ecommerce site.
If you don't have even a high technical knowledge, hopefully, you won't face any notable problems on the BigCommerce dashboard. A beginner-friendly interface is designed with proper navigation systems
Point of sale or POS is a free app that allows you to sell your products online in multiple virtual stores. You will be able to sync products, manage inventory and orders, and get paid.
BigCommerce is using a cloud-based POS system that allows your users to get electronically generated receipts while making transactions.
You will get 12 free themes along with 100+ paid themes on BigCommerce. If you want to start your business immediately, just start with a free theme because you can change or customize it at any time.
BigCommerce multi-channel option will give you an opportunity to manage product-related content on different platforms simultaneously. They offer Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon, and eBay integrations to sync your inventory.
You will be able to sell products directly on Walmart Marketplace, which allows you to start your ecommerce as quickly as possible.
Abandoned Cart Recovery:
Sometimes customers add products to the shopping cart and leave the page without finishing orders. BigCommerce has an option to notify them by sending automated emails to continue them back to their purchase.
To implement your marketing strategy for your small ecommerce business, you can personalize the emails and include discount codes to attract your potential customers. Personalized email success rates are very effective than regular ones.
Product and order management:
Product management and order management are very easy on BigCommerce. They allow you to add unlimited product listings, different categories, SKUs, and more.
You will be able to track stock levels by individual products or by product variant according to SKU. Some cloud base apps are available for inventory management, multi-channel listing, order fulfillment, and so on.
WordPress is a popular and efficient content management system platform but not fully suitable for online shopping, so BigCommerce is a great solution here.
If you want to start your store with WordPress CMS, you can add ecommerce functionality just by implementing BigCommerce and enjoy full back-end platform enablement.
There are lots of other features include, like Sales channels, multi-currency support, Powerful Analytics, drag and drop customization, 24/7 customer support, Coupons, discounts, gift cards, customizable templates, WYSIWYG editor, Unlimited products, and more.
Drawbacks of BigCommerce
It is important to recover abandoned carts by mailing potential customers to grow sales. I found that BigCommerce has included this feature only for the cheapest plans unlike Shopify, which also included their cheapest plans.
BigCommerce's mobile app is enough good to use, but some improvement is required to ensure a better user experience.
|Themes||12 free and 100+ paid|
|Support medium||email, live chat, and phone|
|Abandoned cart support||Limited|
- B2B-specific features include quote management, pricing rates, customer groups, and custom price lists.
- The extensive sales channels help you to sell through Social networks, Google Shopping, eBay, Amazon, and POS.
- It is not a very beginner-friendly ecommerce website builder because of lots of extra advanced features.
- You will get easy customization functionality and flexible payment gateways as well as multiple language support.
What I like
- Customizable SEO tolls for URLs, metadata, and so on
- Eye-catching and well-organized themes
- Functionality for WordPress sites
- Multi-currency and multi-language support
- Multiple data centers store backup data
- Cross-channel commerce with marketplaces
What should improve
- The abandoned cart tool is a bit expensive
- Currently has limited mobile support
- If you are a business owner with good technical knowledge
- To Implement a cross-channel online store
- Businesses that need to scale precisely
- While needing lots of stuff access through multiple accounts
WooCommerce is a little bit different from some other platforms. You can add any WordPress site to create your online store using its plugin. This plugin generates much popularity among WordPress developers. For such popularity, the mother company of WordPress, Automattic, bought WooCommerce for over $30 million.
Since WooCommerce and WordPress are under the same roof, you can find your best solution just by managing your hosting plan. Both WooCommerce and WordPress are self-hosted open-source solutions.
Key features of WooCommerce
Open-source site builder:
Open-source means the original source code is shared freely that anyone can use or modify according to their needs. Basically open source software requires no cost, but sometimes you may pay for that.
As open-source software, BigCommerce is free to use. But you need to add many plugins and extensions to use properly.
Lots of plugins and extensions:
A huge number of plugins and extensions are available on the WooCommerce app store. Some plugins are free, but the majority of the software are paid versions.
You will get software for Shipping Solutions, Marketing, Payments, Launching Store, Content Customization, Delivery, Inventory management, Customer Service, and more.
You will get a 30-day money-back guarantee with all of your paid purchases from WooCommerce. So you don't have to worry when you just want to try any product without taking any risk.
You will get almost 45 paid customizable themes along with free themes from the WooCommerce theme store. To run your business you can first try free themes first and then go for paid themes later while growing your business.
As it is a free online ecommerce store builder platform, you can select free themes and make customization to reduce costs initially.
I like the WooCommerce Mobile App system, which allows you to operate your virtual shop from anywhere worldwide. Mobile Apps are available both for android and iOS, so download them from online stores.
The advanced feature impressed me the switching between stores using a single app. This app will give you almost every facility, like Add Products, Manage Orders, and Track Status.
You will get push real-time notification on your screen, and you will have enjoy dark mode if needed.
As a web developer, I like WooCommerce for its developer friendliness. This store builder is built with a REST API. WordPress integration makes this online shop creator more renowned.
There are lots of other features that make this website builder more unique and reliable for small business owners. More features are Scalability, Global Community, Mobile-friendly stores, Good customer service, Safe and secure online payment, and so on.
Drawbacks of WooCommerce
I appreciate WooCommerce for its open-source and free features, but you need to purchase lots of plugins and themes to run your business properly.
This platform could be considered a WordPress plugin, which is only designed for WordPress sites. After setting up your site you need some extensions that require a subscription, which means you need to pay every year.
|Themes||48 (3 free)|
|Code||HTML, CSS, PHP (Open source)|
|Fully integrated payments||Available in 18 countries|
- It is an open-source platform that basically designed for WordPress websites.
- You can extend WooCommerce features with thousands of WordPress plug-ins, and it will charge an extra cost.
- This software will give you the opportunity to manage inventory, tax, payments, shipping, and more.
- It has a large user base and community worldwide, so you can interact with them easily.
What I like
- Advanced features and best fitted with WordPress
- Options for SEO help to grow organically
- Highly customizable plugins
- Reliable customer service
- Risk-free money-back guarantee
- Includes geolocation support tool and tax calculator
What should improve
- Not so easy to use some advanced features
- An additional development cost is a little bit high
- Business owners who want to run an online store with WordPress
- If you want to customize a lot to implement your own choice
- To manage multiple payment methods for global customers
- While you want to operate your business through the mobile app
Magento is a popular eCommerce platform and more than 250000 website owners use this software to grow up their businesses. It is holding 1.4% of the market share in the field. As open-source software, it is totally free of cost to build up a website initially.
But if you want to upgrade later or add extra features, you have to pay a little amount of money. Magento is written in PHP language and it is much like WooCommerce.
Key features of Magento
Open source software:
Like WooCommerce, Magento is a free open source software for ecommerce websites. Open-source software refers to the software whose code is publicly shared and permitted to make modifications.
If you intend to market your product through multiple channels, like social media and marketplaces, then Magento could be a better solution for you with lower costs.
It is the prominent online shop builder for small and large business owners, as it is a product of Adobe.
You don't need to master programming while software gives you drag-and-drop functionality. Do everything professionally just by placing elements where needed.
It helps you to quickly create compelling content that can help you to grow your business easily and without paying developers a much.
Magento allows you to accept online payments, organize products, and manage customers. As a free eCommerce CMS, it is actually doing great. For these kinds of reasons, the use of the Magento is growing up at a very respectable rate.
Magento installation process is simple, and you can install it by using the one-click-installation method, or by using a manual process. To make your eCommerce website making experience great, install Magento and feel much freedom to build.
All your commerce at once:
Though Magento is preferred for B2B businesses, I found it also suitable for B2C or D2C businesses. This Adobe commerce lets you manage 10 different languages to operate your brand activities.
You can run multiple marketing and sales channels for all types of businesses. I prefer social media channels most because of their growing popularity.
You will get many other facilities, like data analysis, content creation, product recommendations, scalability, Creative Cloud help, Payment gateways, and more.
Drawbacks of Magento
|Suitable for||B2B, B2C, D2C business|
- Magento is free open-source software, but a paid version is available for enterprise users.
- You have to pay for development and management even for the free version.
- Built-in SEO options and customer support are not enough good, and you need good technical knowledge to handle advanced options.
- To get better themes, you need to browse third-party stores because Magento isn't providing ones.
What I like
- It can handle larger stores
- Includes marketing helper tolls
- Highly customizable and flexible to use
- Large community and well-reputed
- Proper navigation system included
- Insights to see business performance
What should improve
- Very difficult to use for some advanced options
- Development and maintenance need an extra charge
- Business owners who intend to invest in the development
- For medium-level brands or organizations
- Businesses that require a more advanced e-commerce system
- Who doesn’t need much customer support
Clearly speaking, Magento is completely free to download for free as open-source software, but it seems a trap to me.
Because you need to pay a huge amount for development and maintenance if you want to make a professional website with all essential functionality.
If you want to run an uncompleted website or intend to invest in development, then it is obviously a good option. Magento already acquired a large user base for a good reputation.
5. Ecwid - Suitable for existing websites
Ecwid was launched in 2009 to help small business owners to sell their products and services online. Since its launching time, over 1 million merchants have chosen Ecwid. It has also retained its popularity till now.
Ecwid stands beside those website owners who already have a website without e-commerce capabilities and wish to sell online. It is much like an extension that can be added to any website and make it a fully-featured online store.
Key features of Ecwid
Free plan forever:
You can start your online business using Ecwid for free. You will enjoy this free plan for an unlimited time, but you will get some limited features only that are actually enough to start a business.
You can start your free plan with a limited offer, and that allows you to create a small online store featuring 10 products for $0 a month.
Sell digital goods:
If you want to sell digital goods, then Ecwid can be preferable to you. You will be allowed to sell digital products by maintaining up to 25GB per file. There hasn't any limitation on bandwidth use, so it could be the cheapest builder for your digital products.
Instant free Site builder:
Instant site builder allows you to create a website instantly, and this functionality is included in any Ecwid plan even with the free one. This feature will give you a free built-in ecommerce website and everything you need to start, like hosting and maintenance service.
I found this feature amazing for business owners, who want to start selling online instantly.
Ecwid mobile POS feature is extremely beneficial to users who want to control their online store from anywhere.
If you are an iPhone user, you will be able to manage your virtual shop while selling in person using the mobile app and PayPal.
There is a number of options to control dropshipping business using Ecwid. Dropshipping is becoming popular day by day, where you will be able to sell products from merchants without taking hassle.
Easy payment system:
More than 50 payment processors are available on Ecwid ecommerce. While the system is compatible with different payment gateways, there are good chances your user will get it benefited along with you.
Some other essential features are Customer support, Add-ons and plug-ins integration, Gift cards, Discount coupons, Multiple selling channels, Automated tax calculations, Inventory Tracking, Advanced SEO tools, Multilingual integration, and so on.
Drawbacks of Ecwid
|Payment processors||50 +|
|E-product||25GB per file|
|Selling channels||e-shop, Facebook, Instagram, POS, Amazon, eBay|
|Mobile app||Android, iOS|
- You can add ecommerce functionality to your existing website to sell physical and digital products instantly.
- A lifetime free plan is available, but you need to purchase an advanced plan to get full support for your business.
- The system is easy to use and the instant site builder helps to make websites and sell products quickly.
- Supports multiple languages, multiple sales channels, and more than 50 payment gateways.
What I like
- Forever free version available
- Very easy and flexible to use
- Price is relatively cheaper
- Good to sell digital products
- Flexible payment methods
- Instant site builder functionality
What should improve
- Designs are limited
- Works only for existing websites
- Business owners who want to start an ecommerce journey instantly
- Who wants to sell a digital product, which size is up to 25GB
- Small to medium-sized businesses are suitable
- A business that needs multiple channels to sell products
6. Squarespace - Attractive and professional website
Squarespace was founded in 2003, and it has a 5% market share in the US. With its popularity, it helps to grow millions of websites worldwide. From the initial period, the New York-based company Squarespace is dominating the market, and still developing online store capabilities to sustain one of the top e-commerce platforms.
Squarespace is mainly used by creatives and artists, though it is an integrated platform that’s widely used by all kinds of businesses. It is also great for blogging websites and portfolio building, otherwise, Squarespace offers notable e-commerce tools that can help to grow online businesses.
When you think about a quality platform, you may not find a successful website builder like Squarespace.
Key features of Squarespace
Wide Variety of Templates:
Responsive templates are designed for modern browsers and all devices, which support all major content types, including pages, galleries, blogs, commerce, calendars, and so on. I like the broad range of categories that Squarespace offers.
All templates are designed for dynamic content that could definitely grow your business. Similar to Shopify you will be able to create and customize dynamic pages.
You will get pre-designed structures for specific purposes such as Contact, About, Blog, Portfolio, Products, and so on. Website Builder allows you to build portfolios or personal blogs along with online stores.
A bunch of design tools are available like flexible layouts, custom color palettes, Google and TypeKit fonts, images library, photo editing capabilities, background banners, video implementation, background art creation tool, and much more.
Assigning user role:
Multiple users can perform specific tasks by making single login according to their role. The role could be assigned as Administrator, Editor, Billing, Analytics, Scheduling Editor, Reporting, Campaigns Editor, Moderator, Store Manager, and so on.
Advanced SEO functionality:
This commercial website builder offers more advanced SEO functionality compared to some other companies like Magento and WooCommerce.
You will be able to create custom 301 and 302 redirects directly from their interface in case you want to redirect users from the old URL to the new URL. Custom CSS can be applied to any site through their built-in custom CSS editor.
Most similar to Google analytics and Search console, Squarespace website analytics will give you some essential data. You will get more detailed and real-time information through this analytics.
It is very important to know how your audiences move around your website and where they are from. To scale your business from day one, tracking audiences can help you to grow rapidly.
Apps are available for both iOS and Android operating systems to manage your ecommerce shop from anywhere. You will be able to integrate different apps that you want according to your needs.
Some other vital feature includes Comprehensive Support, Social media integration, payment, shipping and marketing tools, SSL Certificates, 14-day free trial, Integrated SEO Tools, Portfolio Options, Mobile editing, and more.
Drawbacks of Squarespace
I think it is one of the top site builders, so it should include some advanced functionality like an Autosaving system and More navigation options.
Customer support is good but I hoped for phone support which is unavailable right now.
While you are thinking about a website for small businesses, Squarespace offers a variety of websites. So you need to choose very precisely what you exactly want.
|Mobile app||Android and iOS|
|Code used||HTML, CSS, JS, Avocode, Runscope, and Trigo GmbH|
- A variety of professional customizable websites you can create using Squarespace.
- You will get unlimited bandwidth and storage along with marketing tools and social media integration.
- The mobile app editor allows you to customize themes and help to manage products and inventory.
- The free plan is not available, but you will get a 14-day risk-free trial period.
What I like
- Pre-build highly customizable templates
- Multiple contributors to perform the different tasks
- Customizable dynamic pages and customizable content layouts
- Custom redirection system
- Custom CSS to implement creative design
- Mobile apps to manage from anywhere
- Amazing marketing features and social media integration
What should improve
- Don’t give full customizability
- Need autosave functionality
- Who wants an attractive customizable website
- If you want to run a store immediately with a small inventory
- While you want to get a short trial period before starting
- Site owners want pre-built advanced SEO functionality
Unlike Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and Magento, which basically designed for ecommerce websites, Squarespace covers a variety of websites to build. This builder is easier to use, though drag and drop functionality is section-based compared to Wix.
I suggest this ecommerce website creator for your business because you will enjoy good scalability while growing.
7. Weebly - Good value for your money
Weebly, one of the great top website builders for ecommerce, was founded in 2007. It is stunning news that over 50 million people are now using it for creating an online store. The giant e-commerce solution Square acquired Weebly in 2018. Since the acquisition, nothing new happened much on it.
Key features of Weebly
Weebly is a drag-and-drop builder which allows you to use 40+ mobile-friendly themes. All of the themes are customizable, which means you can add or edit any part of the themes you want.
Themes are designed and optimized for every device. So that users can easily access your website easily with any device. Templates are not highly customizable, you will be able to change your website layouts and background easily.
Easy to use:
Using this easiest tool you can add or edit text, photos, maps, and videos just by dropping them. Weebly offers some functionality you need to create an online store and manage your business easily.
Build and manage your website on any device even mobile devices. Similar to Shopify and Squarespace mobile apps are available on Weebly. You will be able to use those apps on iPhone, iPad, and Android.
I found this thing beneficial because you can manage your online store from anywhere while using the mobile app.
Nowadays it is common among major ecommerce site builders to include SEO functionality, so Weebly is one of them. Like BigCommerce, Wix, and Squarespace, which are good for SEO, Weebly can help you to get you on search engine search results.
Scalability is the major factor among site builders, so I suggest you always keep your eye over here. What Weebly can assist you with is to grow your business from start because of good scalability.
While you just intend to start the website immediately, Weebly offers you a free plan with limited functionality. You will get 500 MB storage and a subdomain from Weebly with SSL encryption.
Some other essential features include an integrated shopping cart, secure checkout, an Inventory tracking system, a Filtered product search option, Free eCommerce hosting, a Mobile store, and much more.
Drawbacks of Weebly
Though Weebly offers drag-and-drop functionality, it is not highly customizable compared to some other site builders, like Shopify and Wix.
Templates are also not highly updated and have some limitations in mobile optimization. There are relatively few themes are available on the Weebly store.
|Support||Chat and email|
- Weebly is powered by another ecommerce website builder Square Online, so you can directly go for that.
- This is customizable, but you need extra effort if you want to get advanced customization.
- You can make a personal blog along with ecommerce and business websites using Weebly.
- It is not ideal for larger businesses, only small business owners can benefit from it.
What I like
- The mobile app helps to manage the store from anywhere
- The complete solution to run an ecommerce website
- SEO functionality lets you manage metadata and title
- Drag and drop customization system
- Mobile-friendly responsive themes
- A free plan is available
What should improve
- Not highly customizable
- Themes are not highly professional
- Who wants to stay small with a small business
- If you need a few customizations on your site
- While priority is scalability over attractiveness
- To run a simple website not fully e-commerce
I recommend you to use this online shop website builder only for your small business. If you don't intend to grow big, then it is very suitable for you because of the cheapest price.
It has a drag-and-drop functionality but those are not enough good like Wix. It has limitations of attractiveness which is the opposite of Squarespace. This builder is scalable only while you run your business and it has good SEO functionality.
8. Volusion - Easy to use for beginners
Volusion is the earliest ecommerce website builder platform founded in 1999. Around 30,000 online stores were created using it and over 250 people working at Volusion. They offer similar services to Shopify and BigCommerce. But personally, I think they should improve a few issues.
Key features of Volusion
Their fully customizable themes adapt to any device, it could be phones or desktops. Without using any code you can create your content as you like because their rich content editor sets codes where needed.
If you are good at Website designing, then don't need to stack with a pre-designed website structure. Because Volusion offers you to show your creativity using their CSS Editor.
Navigator gives customers to explore their desired products easily and helps them browse with ease. A variety of navigation styles are available on Volusion.
To build your own ecommerce platform for your business, you need to focus on proper navigation. I like this builder for its amazing navigation features that can save your time and help you to do things properly
Easy and secure payment:
To gain users' trust, it is important to ensure a secure and easy checkout system. Volusion offers a PCI-certified secure checkout process.
A wide range of payment methods is included in thir system, and there have no transaction fees.
Advanced SEO functionality:
Like Shopify and Squarespace, which has good SEO functionality, Volusion also included options to make a better relationship with search engines.
You will be able to manage all of your metadata easily using SEO options. It helps you to optimize meta descriptions, title tags, URLs, and more.
The newsletter feature helps you keep customers and let them know about the latest or upcoming products. It also helps to run campaigns regarding particular offers.
There are many other options included like product suggestions that can enhance user engagement.
You will get a 14-day risk-free trial period, so you don't have to worry about usability. Just run an online store and take an experiment for your business.
Surprisingly there is no need to add your credit card information to get this trial version. You will get full features with this trial one for free.
Some other essential features include 24/7 customer support, Unlimited bandwidth, Responsive Themes, Free Themes, Site Editing Tools, Drag and Drop Tools, Built-in SEO Tools, Social Media Integrations, Import/Export functionality, and much more.
Drawbacks of Volusion
Though this platform is very suitable for small businesses, some areas should improve immediately.
For instance, there has no blogging option included on Volusion, whereas major online store builder, like Shopify, has this functionality. You won't be allowed to sell digital products here, and I hoped something like Ecwid.
If you want to get proper support, you need to purchase advanced plans because basic plans only let you get a few supports.
|Theme||11 free +34 paid|
|Products||100 - Unlimited|
|Staff Accounts||1 - Unlimited|
|Support||Online + Phone|
|Built-in SEO Tools||Yes|
|Social Media Integrations||Yes|
- Volusion is completely free for 14 days, and even you don't need a credit card to start.
- It has an official mobile app and also supports third-party 1,000+ apps through Zapier.
- You will be able to add 100 - unlimited products, but not support digital products
- They recently updated V2, which mainly focuses on user experiences.
What I like
- Mobile optimized responsive themes
- Secure checkout system
- SSL encryption
- CSS editor to edit and add custom CSS
- WYSIWYG editor to create professional content
- 14-days free trial period
What should improve
- Themes are not highly attractive
- The blogging and support systems are insufficient
- Not support digital product
- Who loves data over design
- It small business needs a variety of payment methods
- Beginners who want to manage and scale business easily
- While less support is enough for your business
If you want to start your ecommerce website immediately without regarding creative design, then Volusion would be the best because it provides necessary data.
Blogging is not mandatory for small ecommerce businesses, and Volusion also doesn't offer it. I found its payment method is much more flexible, and its built-in SEO functionality is enough good.
9. Jimdo - Cheapest ecommerce site builder
Jimdo is the cheapest ecommerce website builder to run a small business smoothly. Similar to Shopify and BigCommerce, Jimdo needs no coding knowledge. So you can consider it as an alternative if you have a budget limitation.
Their mission is to help to grow businesses, so you will get a bunch of necessary features in one place to start today.
Key features of Jimdo
You don't need any coding skills to create your ecommerce website with Jimdo. It allows you to customize the website design and color what you exactly want, and it is a very easy process.
Jimdo lets you make a responsive layout which means your website will be shown perfectly on every device.
Custom domain name:
Jimdo allows a custom domain name for online business, that is how one can set domain names that match one's business.
But the free plan doesn't include a domain name; instead, you can use Jimdo’s branding subdomain. Unfortunately, this service is only available for personal blog sites.
Jimdos smart navigation, Categories option, galleries, and product variants make the online stores elegant, which are able to showcase your entire range.
Proper navigation always helps to do things perfectly within a short time.
Social media integration:
People are now becoming more and more active on social media sites, so it is definitely a great sign to get more audiences while you get social media integration system.
Flexible payment method:
Their payment methods make it easier for your customers to buy from you by using easy and convenient payment methods like PayPal, Direct Debit, and local or global payment methods.
Jimdo doesn't ask you for any transaction fees, that sounds great, whereas Shopify charges a fee for every transaction.
You will be able to manage all of your metadata easily using SEO options, which allow you to optimize meta descriptions, title tags, URLs, and more. If you want any support from experts, then you will get it within a short time on Jimdo. They will consult you to set up your business.
More essential features you will get like HTTPS security, Customer support, Product variants, Social selling, Contact forms, Mobile-optimized, Image library, Statistics, and so on.
Drawbacks of Jimdo
Unlike Squarespace, Jimdo has few tools to customize. They offer SEO tools but that seems to me basic, it should require improvement.
The customer support system is poor, it requires even days to get a response if you intend to use basic plans.
|Storage||10 GB - Unlimited|
|Bandwidth||10 GB - Unlimited|
- Jimdo is one of the cheapest ecommerce website builders, which also offers to create a personal website for free.
- It is perfect for small businesses, as it includes lots of essential functionality and templates at the best price.
- This builder is beginner-friendly, but you may wait for a long time to get a customer support response.
- You will get a free custom domain for one year, after that you have to pay for it every year. Instead, you can use a subdomain for your personal website, which is free forever.
What I like
- Convenient payment methods
- SSL encryption
- Social media integration
- Professional custom domain
- No transaction fees
- Easy to use for beginners
- Cheap price compared to others
What should improve
- Need advanced SEO functionality
- Poor customer support
- Those who have a budget limitation, but want to create a professional ecommerce site
- If you need a custom free domain, then you can consider it
- Business owners who don't like to pay any transaction fees
- Someone who likes a wide range of template variations
While you are thinking about a professional platform like Wix and Shopify to build an online store but have a budget limitation, Jimdo can definitely be the best alternative.
Jimdo has enough functionality to run a small business smoothly. Though there have some limitations like poor support and less customization, the available functionality creates exact value against money.
10. OpenCart - Best for multiple online stores
OpenCart is an open-source free business website builder with a shopping cart, which allows users to manage multiple stores simultaneously.
They started their journey in 2005 by registering their domain name, now they are powering more than 342,000 websites worldwide, which is much higher than Magento.
Key features of OpenCart
Open-source site builder:
If you looking powerful open-source site builder platform, then OpenCart is for you. Like Magento, OpenCart is free and open-source software, which means you don't have to pay for installation and modification.
OpenCart also allows you to operate multiple stores for your small business. You will be allowed to manage multiple stores from one admin panel, while products will be shown in different stores. They allow you to choose different themes for individual stores.
You will get a full overview of total orders, sales, customers, people currently online, sales analytics, and many more. You will also get all the important information in one place, and everything will be under your control.
User role management:
After assigning different tasks for a different person you need to set and control their access on the admin panel and that is what OpenCart actually offers.
It prevents unwanted mess while different people are assigned a variety of tasks because everyone can only get access to his/her assigned areas.
In terms of your marketing, you can set up your affiliate program using OpenCart. Where affiliate programs can promote specific products and you will get paid for this. Set different percentages and offer different payment options such as cheque, PayPal, and a bank transfer for affiliate marketers.
Set discounts, coupons, or special offers to get customers' attention and increase sales. OpenCart offers discounts, coupons, and specials to make marketing campaigns.
In case of emergency, OpenCart allows you to set up your own backups. It can help to update and edit a bulk amount of products, categories, and many things.
It doesn't mean that you lose your data during upgrading, I recommend you to keep backups for extra security.
As a free ecommerce website builder, it offers a lot more features like a Complete dashboard, Order management, Sales management, Unlimited Products, Customization features, Affiliate system, Discount, Coupon, Multi-lingual, and more.
Drawbacks of OpenCart
Though this software is completely free, you have to pay for development and maintenance. As open-source software, it is highly customizable but it is not so easy to make customization.
Customer support is not enough good, you may wait for a response. I found the marketing features are not enough to fulfill the demand.
|Code used||HTML, CSS, JS, PHP, MySQL|
- It is completely free to install as open-source software, but you have to pay for development and maintenance.
- OpenCart supports multiple currencies, multiple languages, multiple payment methods, multiple stores, and multiple user roles.
- A lot of themes are available to use, and you will get some tools for SEO and marketing.
- This platform allows you to sell both physical and digital products, you are allowed to add unlimited products here.
What I like
- Open-source free software
- Allow multiple stores
- User Role Management
- Administrator Dashboard
- Back-up and Restore
- Affiliate and offer Management
What should improve
- Customization is not so easy
- Requires extra charge for development and maintenance
- Customer support is not enough good
- Small business owners who want to start immediately without paying initially
- Who is intended to pay for development and maintenance in future
- If someone wants to run multiple stores simultaneously
- Business owners who need a multilingual system and multiple payment methods
Among open-source ecommerce website builder companies, OpenCart is the best from my perspective. You can start your small online business today without spending, but you have to pay for development and maintenance in further time to get desired results.
Similar to Magento, OpenCart allows you to modify codes, but customization is a bit complex. Squarespace is definitely good for customization, but not very budget-friendly for new small business owners.
11. PrestaShop - Highly customizable open-source builder
PrestaShop has almost 30,000 merchants, and you can also be one of them. It is not a drag-and-drop site builder, but you can open your account to run your ecommerce business here.
This ecommerce website building company started its journey in 2007 in France. Now this company is growing too rapidly through more than a thousand contributors, who help to develop this open-source project.
Key features of Prestashop
PrestaShop allows you to create products quickly, create packs of products, create digital products, set a minimum quantity to purchase, set out-of-stock messages, and many other things.
You will be able to set shipping methods, offer payment methods, run geographical delivery zones, and secure the website and user experience.
Allow your customers to quickly create an account and display a summary of the shopping cart using PrestaShop. Let customers choose the addresses to select shipping and payment methods and display a confirmation page with related details after placing an order.
Receive notification of orders and view the current status. Print a delivery slip in PDF to send it with the shipment.
They let you make different product navigation systems that are how users can browse their desired product easily and comfortably.
A proper navigation system helps to do things properly within an exact time. Navigation can enhance user experience as well as helps to perform tasks on the control panel.
Create special offers like configure coupons, choose the discount mode, offer free shipping, and make special offers on the various basis (products, customers, or on order) with PrestaShop.
You can promote your specific product and also use a slider to promote. Product suggestions can help your customers to get the exact product they want.
Get an overview of products and track your progress. Get reports of traffic and sales. Get an overview of stock status and popular products. A lot of analytics data is also gathered here.
If you want to scale up your business, you need to analyze your business more clearly. I got PrestaShop analytics as a helpful tool to analyze things more deeply.
I was just amazed to see the larger community of PrestaShop where more than a million users help each other. You can share your experiences and ask any questions on the PrestaShop forum.
A huge number of contributors also contributed to developing this software more powerfully. More than 250 agencies are connected with PrestaShop throughout the world.
There are lots of other features on the PrestaShop ecommerce website builder, which include Store customization, 1-Click PrestaShop Installer, 24/7 technical support, Daily store backups, Free Lifetime SSL, Google Ads Credit, Free Domain, 9.9% Uptime Guarantee, and more.
Drawbacks of PrestaShop
You will get free support from the forum, but you have to pay for customer support if you want to meet an expert. Major platforms like Shopify and Squarespace also provide free support, whereas PrestaShop is expensive here.
Advance technical knowledge is required to develop and modify some functionality. As an open-source software you can download and modify it for free, but you may pay a good amount for development and maintenance in the future.
|Payment gateway||250+ providers|
|Support||Forum (Free), Paid support|
|Social media integration||Yes|
|Code used||HTML, CSS, JS, PHP|
- PrestaShop is an open-source free project, though they introduced PrestaShop Ready version which is limited to code customization.
- It is easy to use and highly customizable software, which supports 75+ languages and 200+ payment processors.
- There are lots of marketing tools available along with SEO functionalities.
What I like
- Product Navigation system
- Free open-source project
- Supports a wide range of languages
- A large number of payment methods are included
- Very easy to use for beginners
- Highly customizable builder
What should improve
- The support system is not fully user-friendly
- Development and maintenance cost is higher
- Those who intend to start a professional ecommerce site without much paying initially
- Website owners who don't need much support or are able to pay for premium support
- Small businesses which planned to make a large investment in future
- Business owners who need to add multiple languages and payment options
Like Magento and OpenCart, PrestaShop is advanced open-source software that is totally free to download and install. Compared to other open-source ecommerce builders PrestaShop is pretty good.
The only big downside I found is the support system, where you have to pay for premium support. But you can get support from the PrestaShop forum, which is a larger community.
Open-source projects need a higher cost for development; you can choose the pre-built version of PrestaShop to escape complexity.
It is a bit complex to find out the exact ecommerce builder that meets your business and overall requirements. In general, you have to look for usability, value, essential features, current technology implementation, and productivity.
From my perspective, Shopify is the best among all builders because of its plentiful of necessary features. There are numerous themes are available with proper customization functionality. The only thing I’m willing to resolve is the charge for transactions.
Obviously, other platforms are also good from different angles, and that is why I put them on my list.
E-commerce site builders are also a kind of CMS but it has some differences in their features and functions which are basically designed to maintain online stores.
Different builders have different options and different purposes, so you have to choose the best ecommerce website builder that can fulfill your small business requirement. I will be very pleased if this guide can help you in any way.