8 Best and Free Online Store Website Builder

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If you are reading this article, it is likely that you are thinking about starting your own online business and like the idea behind ecommerce. Before you start anything, however, you need to choose the right online store builder to help you run your business.

There are many options available for you to choose from.

We’ve compiled a list of our top picks to help you sort through all the options. We’ll briefly discuss who they are, what their pros and cons are, how much they cost, and for whom they’re most suitable.

Do you find that sounds good? Fab. Let’s get to the point!

Shopify

Shopify has now exceeded one million merchants around the world in October 2019. It’s safe to assume that Shopify is one of the most popular and well-respected ecommerce platforms. Shopify is extremely easy to use and packed with useful features. These features provide everything you need to manage and run your ecommerce store.

Shopify also offers sophisticated tools like a social media button that you can use to promote your products.

Shopify is a solely ecommerce website builder.

Shopify Pros

It is fully hosted, so there’s no need to maintain your web server.

Shopify’s community is active and you can get help as well as learn useful e-commerce tips from them.

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Shopify allows multi-channel selling (online and offline),

Shopify’s interface has it all.

Shopify Cons

Additional transaction fees will be required to use third-party payment portals.

Shopify does not offer a free plan

Only you have the ability to customize the appearance of your store according to the theme that you select.

Shopify does not offer a B2B selling platform.

Shopify Features

SSL Certificate Free

Full platform for blogging

There are hundreds of themes to choose from for your ecommerce website

Search engine optimization support

Mobile commerce ready

Domain name

Payments by credit card

Shipping rates flexible

Dropshipping Access

Customers profiles and accounts

Who is Shopify’s Best?

Shopify is easy to use and recommended for those who are just starting out in e-commerce.

Shopify is perfect for those who don’t have any coding or graphic design skills. There are tons of templates available to help you build your online store.

Shopify is also a great choice for selling offline. Shopify also offers a robust POS system.

Shopify scales well, too. This is why Shopify is an excellent platform for growing your business. Shopify will work with you no matter what product you wish to list, how many customers you have, or how many sales you make.

What does Shopify cost?

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Shopify is a specialist in ecommerce. This is why it costs slightly more than other ecommerce platforms. Shopify has three pricing options that will suit your needs and budget.

The Basic plan (29 USD per month)

Shopify plan (79 USD per month)

Advanced Shopify Package ($299 per month)

Wix

Wix is best known for its easy-to-use drag-and-drop website builder. You can choose from hundreds of templates, and all packages include web hosting and a domain name.

Wix also offers an App Market that allows you to add functionality to your store.

Wix Pros

It boasts a site speed of 85% to 90%

Wix’s templates collection is impressive and all mobile-friendly

Drag and drop editor is extremely user-friendly

Wix App Market Access

Customer support of the highest quality

Wix Cons

You can’t alter a template once you have chosen it and started working on it.

Wix branding is all over the free Wix plan

To access analytics and tracking features, you will need to upgrade to a paid plan.

Wix sites can’t be transferred

Wix’s premium plans can only be used on a single site.

Features

Intuitive website designer

You can customize your themes

One-pagers

Optimized mobile view

Drag-and-drop Builder

HTML embed code

Blog support

Comment on Facebook

Social feed

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Email marketing

Communication tools

Site analytics

Who is Wix Best?

Wix has templates for almost any industry, so it doesn’t really matter what you are in. Just to name a few.

Wix is the best choice if you have a clear vision of what you want, and are not afraid to change a theme once you have used it. Wix’s intuitive editor, vast selection of templates and App Market are just some of the many perks that make it attractive for newbies.

What will Wix cost you?

Wix offers four paid-for options:

The ‘Business Basic Plan’ is $23 per month

The ‘Business Unlimited” program is $27 per month

The ‘Business VIP Plan’: $49 per month

The ‘Enterprise Plan’ is $500 per month

BigCommerce

BigCommerce has 32,977 websites across the United States, making it one of Shopify’s major competitors.

BigCommerce Pros

Transaction fees are not charged even if you use third-party payment gateways.

The entry-level plan includes a large number of features.

Use robust reporting tools

Product review built in

Excellent SEO features

The ‘abandoned wagon’ tool is superior to all others.

You can create as many accounts for staff as you wish.

Get access to coupon/discount tools

It also comes with a blog.

BigCommerce’s partnership to Braintree allows you to access lower-than-average Paypal fees

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Free 14-day trial

BigCommerce Cons

BigCommerce’s abandoned-cart functionality requires that you subscribe to their Plus plan.

There is a limit to how many sales you can make in a given month. You’ll need to upgrade to a higher-priced subscription if you exceed these sales.

BigCommerce does not offer a mobile app

The built-in blog does not support RSS feeds.

BigCommerce Features

Simple website builder

Access to marketing tools

Domain name for the business owner

Simple storefront

Products and merchandising

Shipping Support

Analytics and reporting

Marketing via social media

Hosting and security

Analytics and SEO

Inventory management and CMS

Who is BigCommerce best for?

BigCommerce is a great tool for expanding your online business, regardless of size. Web developers will love BigCommerce because it offers flexible APIs and webhooks. This allows for a wide range of customization options, which is great if you have the knowledge.

What does BigCommerce cost?

BigCommerce’s Standard plan costs $29 per month, which is the same price as Shopify’s Basic plan. BigCommerce, however, offers more value than Shopify. It has an inbuilt rating and review feature, real-time shipping rates, gift cards and professional reporting.

BigCommerce offers three additional paid-for programs after the Basic plan.

The Plus plan: ($71.95 per month)

The Pro plan: ($224.95 per month)

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The Enterprise plan: Contact BigCommerce for a personalized quote

Note: The Plus and Pro plans are calculated based on an annual billing price, which entitles to you to 10% off.

Squarespace

Squarespace, like the other options, provides all the tools you need to create an online store that looks professional.

Squarespace’s content management software is very easy to use. You simply select one of their premade templates and modify any bits that you need to change. It’s that easy.

Squarespace Pros

Squarespace offers a wide range of web fonts and templates to choose from.

Its interface is simple

Squarespace offers a great range of import tools. Transferring content from other platforms to Squarespace is easy.

It also includes a video background feature

It is easy to create and launch an ecommerce shop.

It is compatible with many popular third-party integrations. You can use it with Xero, Google Apps and Mailchimp.

Zapier integrations are available. This is ideal if you want to integrate with other apps.

App for logo design

You can sell digital products

Squarespace Cons

The ‘Personal Plan is extremely restrictive.

GDPR compliance is poor

There is no autosave (which can be a nightmare in case your internet goes down!)

Squarespace can only offer one level of navigation for its online stores.

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Its SEO functionality is lacking. For instance, it’s difficult to add and modify rich snippets.

Stripe and Paypal are your only options for payment gateways.

The VAT MOSS rates can’t be calculated automatically.

You can only edit Cover Pages to a very limited extent. Zapier forms are not allowed.

The Email Campaigns feature does not support single-opt in.

Features

Templates and themes that are modern

Drag-and-drop builders make it easy to use

Responsive image loader

Content downloading

Social links

Automated image scaling

Site annotations

Direct editing

Content downloading

Who is Squarespace best for?

Squarespace does not allow you to change the look of your website, so it is better for entrepreneurs who want to quickly get online.

Squarespace Pricing

Squarespace offers four paid-for plans, which we have listed below.

The Personal plan is $12 per month (save $48 when you sign up for an annual billing).

The Business plan is the most popular option at Squarerespace. It costs $18 per month, and $96 annually.

Basic Commerce Plan: $26 per month (Save $48 on annual billing).

Advanced Commerce Plan: $40 per month (save $72 when you subscribe to an annual billing).

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is an open source shopping cart specifically designed for WordPress users. WooCommerce is a free shopping cart that has been in operation since 2001. It boasts 48,000,000 downloads. WooCommerce powers around 30% of all online shops at the time of writing. Impressive, right?

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WooCommerce Pros

Your online shop can offer an unlimited number of products.

PayPal and credit/debit card payments are accepted

Four mobile-friendly templates available

Stock tracking

Support online for customers

It is an open-source solution so you can modify it as much as you wish (if your have the knowledge).

There are many integrations.

An active community of entrepreneurs, web developers, and WooCommerce pros exists.

WooCommerce Cons

Although the plugin is free, you will still need to pay maintenance and hosting costs as it is a self-hosted tool.

WooCommerce is a complex process that requires extensive learning.

To get started, you will need to have some knowledge of WordPress.

Features

Clean and modern interface

WordPress Content Integration

Currency default

Automated taxes

Reduce page loading

Shipping options flexible

Calculation of custom tax

Taxes that can be geo-located

Customer address

Analytics and reporting

CRM Store Management

Who is WooCommerce best for?

This is the best ecommerce store builder if you are an existing WordPress user. This is a great tool for anyone who has programming experience and wants to scale up their website.

WooCommerce Pricing

WooCommerce can be downloaded for free, as we have already stated. WooCommerce has zero transaction fees, which is a huge plus! You will need to pay for web hosting if WooCommerce is not installed on your computer. You will also need to pay an additional fee if you wish to use any WooCommerce add-ons.

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Volusion

Volusion is another popular e-commerce store building tool, used by over 180,000 entrepreneurs around the globe.

It does however impose sales and product limits of between 100 and 5k. Volusion does not charge transaction fees, so it’s all good.

Volusion Pros

Education built-in (access to howto blogs, videos tutorials and informative articles).

It is easy to use

There are over 300 templates available.

Simple reporting tool

Amazing customer service. Access help 24 hours a day with a live person via email, phone, or webchat. A dedicated account manager is also available.

There are 80 third-party apps that have built-in integrations.

There are no transaction fees

Volusion Cons

There is no built-in blog

Sales limits can hinder your ability to grow and scale your business.

Volusion users have found it difficult to use the platform.

Software bugs and other minor issues

Features

Builder of stores

Design

Marketing and ecommerce

Secure Hosting

SEO integrated

Customizable designs

Integration and social sharing

99.9% uptime guaranteed

Customer support

Refund and return processing

Who is Volusion best for?

Volusion is the ideal software for you if you are just starting your e-commerce business.

If you want to grow your business to something more serious, however, you will need to have the funds to upgrade to Volusions’ more expensive plans. Only then will you be able to handle larger orders and products as well as access more advanced features.

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Volusion Pricing

You have four options for paid-for plans (all are billed quarterly).

The Personal program: ($26 per month)

The Professional plan: ($71 per month)

Startup plan: $1161 per month

The Business Package: ($269 per month)

Weebly

Weebly is an excellent online store builder that small businesses can use.

The drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to create an online store.

Weebly’s pros

Weebly is easy to use

Unlimited storage

You can get a free plan

Your own domain can be connected

Analytics that track your website traffic.

There are many themes to choose from.

Weebly’s Cons

The ability to categorize content is very limited. Weebly is not the right tool for you if you plan on publishing large amounts of content and organizing them.

Images cannot be renamed for SEO optimization. Although renaming images is not an option at the moment, it is recommended to use the ALT text feature. This option is found under each image’s “Advanced” section.

When you design your website, there is no undo feature.

Features

Drag and Drop Site Builder

Templates that are responsive

eCommerce shop

App integration

Domain registration

Page editor

Support available 24/7

Subdomains available for free

Who is Weebly best for?

If you are an entrepreneur looking to start a simple online shop with a blog, Weebly is the best choice.

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What Will Weebly Cost Me to Get My Money Back?

These packages are based on an annual billing.

The ‘Free” plan: $0

$6 per month for the ‘Personal’ plan (which allows you to connect a domain of your choice).

The ‘Professional” program costs $12 per month (a better suite for a professionally designed website).

The ‘Performance Plan’ is $26 per month. This package includes integrated eCommerce features.

3dcart

3dcart offers a variety of services. This could be the right fit for you if versatility is your thing.

No matter if your business is just starting out and only making a few sales per week or if it’s a large company with thousands of dollars in annual revenue, 3dcart has the infrastructure and expertise to help you succeed online.

3dcart, like many other solutions on this list is also a fully-hosted platform. This is an excellent option if you have a limited time frame for going live.

3dcart Pros

There are many options for checking out

Hosting plans and a domain name are included

Unlimited storage

Zero transaction fees

A wide range of marketing tools available

3dcart Cons

You will be limited in the number of sales that you can process, and your bandwidth usage depending on which paid tier you have.

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The dashboard could use some visual enhancements. It isn’t very appealing and doesn’t have the same user-friendliness as its competitors.

There are a few templates that you can choose from.

Customers complain about poor customer service

3DCart Features

Support for backorders and waitlists

Low stock alerts for inventory control

Support for digital products

Bundling options

Manager of mailing lists

SEO tools

Support for gift certificates

Packing slips and invoices that can be customized

Certification PCI

There are no transaction fees

Who is 3dcart best for?

If you want to sell physical and digital products at any scale, this platform is a great option. You can also use the Starter package to get a great set of marketing tools.

It is however, not the easiest platform to use. If you are new to online selling, expect to spend some time learning the software.

What Will 3dcart Cost You?

3dcart had a special deal running at the time of this writing. It would end on 31 January 2020. The following prices are available:

The ‘Startup Store”: $9.50 per month

The ‘Basic Shop’ is $14.50 per month

The ‘Plus Store”: $39.50 per month

The ‘Pro Shop’ is $114.50 per month

Ecwid

Ecwid is one the most user-friendly solutions available today. It offers a variety of features as soon as you log in to your dashboard. You can even see how far you have made setting up your website.

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It is easy to add new products and there are many ecommerce options that can help you get up and running. This is a great website builder option for those looking for simplicity and affordability.

Ecwid Pros

Simple to use

Get started with templates

You can use an existing website to create a store

Multichannel selling options

Ecwid Cons

Limited design features

For larger brands, there are not many tools

Performance of the basic plan is free

Features

Interface is user-friendly

Accept payments in tons different currencies

Multiple shipping options

Smart shipping calculator

Integrations with top tools

Customer address box

Track inventory

Compliance with Level 1 PCI

Selling for digital goods

Who is Ecwid best for?

Ecwid is an ecommerce plug-in that will allow you to elevate your website. This plugin is great for small businesses looking to expand their online presence. Ecwid offers a lot of functionality for a small budget.

What is the cost of Ecwid?

If you are looking to lower your initial costs, Ecwid is one of few eCommerce tools that you can get absolutely free.

Webflow

Webflow is another contender for the top ecommerce website builders. It has a simple backend with many great capabilities. Webflow has been around for many years and offers a visual CMS solution that combines ease-of-use with powerful code-free design.

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Webflow has thousands of customers around the globe and offers its own Webflow eCommerce service for store owners who want to expand.

Webflow Pros

There is no need to purchase a premium plan (free).

HTML, Java, and CSS all combined

Easy to use and responsive tools

Advanced SEO Management

Mobile optimization automatically.

Webflow Cons

Drag and drop functionality can’t be customized.

Wide range of users supported

Some users may find it costly

Features

Visually design layouts

You can add CSS wherever you want

Get dynamic design features

CMS backend management

Site management

Branding services

There are thousands of font families

Responsive functionality

Inbound marketing and SEO

Who is Webflow best for?

Webflow is a great choice for anyone who wants to create an open-source content management system in PHP. You will find a wide range of high-level templates and everything you need to create an ecommerce website.

What Will Webflow Cost You?

Webflow offers a variety of pricing options, including a free plan and a basic plan that costs only $15 per month. You can access a CMS-free website for $20 per month, or $42 per user for business plans. These include heavy CMS access.

How to choose the best online store builder

There are many options for ecommerce website builders and online store builders. Each one has its own benefits and features. Like choosing a new home or car, it is important to determine what will work best for you before you make an investment.

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You have many options when it comes to choosing a store builder that is successful. There are many options available, from basic Shopify to more advanced Shopify payment options to Wix, Magento, and other tools.

For your website building strategy, we recommend that you look for something with lots of advanced features and unlimited bandwidth. Even small business owners need to know what additional features you might require in the future. When building your website or wordpress site, there are some other important features you should keep in mind:

  • How simple is it to customize your web store? Are there a variety of templates and themes available? Or do you have to create your own code? Many business owners don’t have the programming skills to create a website without additional help.
  • Customization options and extensions can make it easier to be a store owner. Integrations can be made with your CRM systems to allow you to track customer conversations. You can also integrate with different analytics tools and email marketing software.
  • Customer service and support: Even though you have experience with eCommerce tools and website builders, it is possible that you need help building your store. Even if you have an email ticketing system, make sure you have access to support.
  • Content marketing and blogging : What are the best ways to get people to visit your website? Your site builder can help you create a blog, and add content to your website. What are the built-in blogging features?
  • Custom web design improvements: Plugins and add-ons can be used to enhance the functionality of your site. Are there ways to make your content stand out? This can be critical when selling online. Remember to take advantage of the additional features offered by your ecommerce builder.
  • Online and offline sales options: Some companies want to be able both to sell online through an offline point-of-sale, but also via the internet. This opens up many new possibilities for your company if you have access to an offline point of sale. This is where companies like Square excel.
  • Checkout cart Integration: How do you accept payments from your target audience? What shopping carts can your site connect with and what currencies are available? Is there any limit to what you can do?