The Best Ecommerce Website Builder

The Best Ecommerce Website Builder

Want to jump straight to the answer? — The best website builder for ecommerce for most of us, is Shopify.

If you want to start selling online, you’ll have lots of different options when it comes to ecommerce software.

For those of you who are creating a new ecommerce site from scratch, an ecommerce website builder will be the best solution.

Using a website builder for your online store is just easier. Alternatively, you could create your site using another CMS and add a plugin or extension with ecommerce capabilities. But that’s too much work. I’d only recommend that option to people who already have an existing website.

There are tons of different ecommerce platforms and website builders on the market. So which one is the best? The answer depends on the specific needs of your website.

I’ve reviewed the best ecommerce website builders below. You can use this guide to finalize your decision.

The Top 8 Ecommerce Website Builders

All of the options on my list have a website creation and ecommerce functionality built-in to a singular platform. So you can build a new website from scratch and start selling without any third-party installations.

While there are lots of great ecommerce platforms on the market today, the list is a bit more limited in terms of ecommerce website builders.

There are really only eight choices that I’d recommend for this category.

I’ll explain the top features, benefits, prices, and specific use-cases for the platforms below. I’ll point out any potential downsides or drawbacks as well.

#1 – Shopify

Price starts at $29/mo
70+ themes
Built-in payments gateway
24/7 customer support
Get a 14 day free trial

Shopify is one of the world’s most recognizable ecommerce platforms. More than one million online stores are powered by Shopify. Over the last several years it’s been growing at an impressive rate, and for good reason too.

Out of the box, it’s probably the best ecommerce website builder on the market today. This web-based CMS comes with everything you need to set up and manage your online store.

To get started, choose from one of Shopify’s 70+ free and premium themes.

Shopify Themes

Each theme has settings that allow you to customize everything to your liking. Add features and functionality to your store by installing apps from the Shopify App Store.

One of the best parts about using Shopify is that all payments are handled directly through the platform. With Shopify Payments gateway built-in to your plan, you won’t need to connect any third-party processors to accept payments. So you can start selling immediately.

With that said, you can always use another payment gateway by choosing from one of the 100+ payment processors that integrate with Shopify.

All plans come with web hosting, unlimited email forwarding, unlimited bandwidth, and a content delivery network for optimal performance. You’ll also benefit from marketing and SEO tools, mobile optimization, and insightful analytics.

Shopify offers 24/7 customer support via phone, email, and live chat.

With Shopify, you have the potential to set up dropshipping, customer accounts, target abandoned carts, POS software, and manage your shipping rates.

Here’s an overview of Shopify’s plans and prices:

  • Basic Shopify — $29 per month
  • Shopify — $79 per month
  • Advanced Shopify — $299 per month

Consult with a Shopify sales expert if you’re building a high-volume ecommerce shop and need an enterprise-level solution. You can try Shopify free for 14 days.

#2 – Squarespace

Price starts at $12/mo
Beautiful designs
Drag and drop site builder
Sell products, subscriptions, and digital goods
Get a 14 day free trial

Squarespace is an industry leader in the world of website builders. It’s also one of the most popular ecommerce platforms in terms of global market share.

That’s because Squarespace has ecommerce functionality built directly into its plans, which is not the case for most traditional website builders.

Squarespace is an ideal for solution for creatives who prioritize beautiful designs. Anyone can build a modern and visually appealing ecommerce store using Squarespace, regardless of your technical ability.

Every element of your pages can easily be customized using the intuitive and highly-responsive drag and drop builder.

squarespace

Squarespace has award-winning templates that are specifically designed for online stores. Whether you’re selling products, services, subscriptions, or digital goods, Squarespace has a solution for your needs.

The Squarespace mobile app allows you to manage and edit your website on the go. You can also use it as a POS solution if you have physical locations.

Squarespace has built-in SEO tools, blogging tools, analytics, and anything else you’d need to make your online store a huge success.

There are hundreds of apps built-in to Squarespace. However, there is not an app store or marketplace for one-click installations. So if you want to install a third-party app that’s not already built-in to Squarespace, you’ll need to use a code injection.

Squarespace has four different plans, three of which have fully-integrated ecommerce capabilities:

  • Personal — $12 per month
  • Business — $18 per month
  • Basic Commerce — $26 per month
  • Advanced Commerce — $40 per month

Online selling starts with the Business plan. Although I’d recommend the Basic Commerce option as the bare minimum for most of you.

This option has 0% transaction fees, POS, ecommerce analytics, customer accounts, and other features you’ll want at your disposal once you start selling online. It’s well worth the extra $8 per month.

As your business scales and you want more advanced features, you can always upgrade to the Advanced Commerce plan. But you may not need that on day one if you’re starting a new store from scratch.

All plans come with 24/7 customer support. You can try Squarespace for free with a 14-day trial.

#3 – Wix

Price starts at $23/mo
100% commission free
Great for beginners
Drag and drop site builder
Get a 14 day free trial

Wix is a top website builder for beginners. So if you’re creating a new ecommerce site without any experience, the simplicity of Wix can make your life much easier.

Your Wix website will be SEO-friendly and fully customizable with its drag and drop builder.

Wix has specific plans made for ecommerce websites. All of the ecommerce solutions have unlimited bandwidth, $300 in advertising vouchers, a free domain for one year, and visitor app analytics.

It’s also worth noting that all online payments from your Wix store are 100% commission free.

wix

Here’s an overview of some of the top features and benefits you’ll get with a Wix ecommerce plan:

  • 500+ templates
  • SEO tools
  • Mobile optimization
  • Wix chat
  • Multiple payment methods
  • Global shipping
  • Coupons and discounts

Your store manager makes it easy for you to track orders, inventory, and your product pages. You’ll also be able to add a blog and design your own logo without any third-party integrations.

These are the price points for Wix ecommerce solutions:

  • Business Basic — $23 per month
  • Business Unlimited — $27 per month
  • Business VIP — $49 per month
  • Enterprise — $500 per month

Truthfully, I wouldn’t even consider the Business Basic plan. For just $4 more per month, you’ll get an extra 35 GB of storage, double the video hours, and a professional logo.

To save some money, you could always sign up for an entry-level Wix plan without the ability to accept online payments. You can build a personal website with Wix for as low as $13 per month and then upgrade to an ecommerce plan once you’re ready to start selling.

If you’re not happy with Wix, you can always cancel within 14 days to get a full refund. Try Wix for 14 days free.

#4 – Weebly

Price starts at $12/mo
Drag and drop site builder
Add product search to your store
Integrates with PayPal, Square, and Stripe
Try Weebly for free

Weebly is another well-known website builder that offers a free forever plan. In fact, this plan made my list of the best free website builders on the market today.

Unfortunately, the free plan doesn’t include ecommerce capabilities. But you can still use it to test out the Weebly platform before you upgrade to a paid subscription.

This option paired with the low-cost price points for the ecommerce plans makes Weebly one of the most affordable ecommerce website builders that you’ll find.

weebly

You can accept payments with popular gateways like PayPal, Stripe, and Square.

Weebly makes it easy for entrepreneurs to establish an online presence and expand with ecommerce. So if you already have a small or local business, I’d recommend Weebly as the best solution for you.

Since Weebly is powered by Square, it’s very easy to integrate the Square POS with your online sales system as well. You’ll be able to manage your products and inventory all in one place.

The drag and drop site builder allows you to launch your store with minimal effort and no coding.

You’ll get tools for email, SEO, site stats, shipping, inventory, and more. Help your customers find what they’re looking for by adding Weebly’s product search to your online store. Add badges to products when items go on sale or when availability becomes limited.

These are Weebly’s prices for online stores:

  • Pro — $12 per month
  • Business — $25 per month
  • Business Plus — $38 per month

The Pro plan is pretty basic, but it’s affordable if you don’t need any complex ecommerce features. It’s essentially just a shopping cart with the ability to accept payments.

If you want to get the most out of Weebly, you’ll need a Business plan at a minimum.

Try out Weebly’s free forever plan and use it as an extended free trial before you officially launch your online store.

#5 – BigCommerce

Price starts at $29.95/mo
B2B selling tools
Multi-channel selling
Loaded with built-in features
Get a 15 day free trial

BigCommerce is another top option to consider if you’re in the market for a reputable and trustworthy ecommerce site builder.

I like BigCommerce because the platform is so versatile. It has B2B-specific features like bulk pricing rates, quote management, customer groups, and custom price lists.

BigCommerce also specializes in multi-channel selling. Every plan comes the ability to sell on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Shopping, eBay, Amazon, and POS.

So for those of you who want to leverage omnichannel sales, BigCommerce should be at the top of your list.

bigcommerce

BigCommerce is packed with lots of essential features right out of the box. Compared to other platforms on this list, it’s probably the most extensive feature list that you’ll find.

With that said, these extra features add some complexity to BigCommerce, which doesn’t make it the most ideal solution for beginners.

The platform is designed to help larger ecommerce sites scale quickly. So if you’re just starting out, you’ll most likely be paying extra for features that you won’t be using.

However, if you want the ability to have tons of ecommerce and website customization features at your disposal without paying extra for apps or extensions, BigCommerce will be perfect for you.

All BigCommerce stores benefit from enterprise-level security and high uptime rates. You’ll also get 24/7 customer support via phone, live chat, and email.

Here’s a look at the price points for BigCommerce:

  • Standard — $29.95 per month
  • Plus — $79.95 per month
  • Pro — $249.95 per month

These rates are almost identical to Shopify. While Shopify is a bit easier to use, BigCommerce comes loaded with more features. So if you’re deciding between those two options, you’ll need to determine which features are the most important to you.

You can try BigCommerce for free with a 15 day trial before you select a plan.

#6 – 3DCart

Price starts at $9.50/mo
200+ built-in features
No long-term contracts
30 day money-back guarantee
Get a 15 day free trial

3DCart is certainly not the most popular ecommerce website builder on the market, and it shouldn’t be. It’s not made for beginners, so the platform definitely ranks low in terms of ease of use.

However, developers and experienced ecommerce store owners can benefit from using 3DCart.

The platform has more than 200 features built-in, and it’s one of the best site builders for SEO readiness. Your store will be optimized for search engines right out of the box.

3DCart has 50+ free themes and supports 100+ payment processors.

3dcart

3DCart comes with features and benefits like:

  • API access
  • Unlimited products
  • Mobile-ready themes
  • Web hosting
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • No transaction fees
  • Built-in blog

Again, things like API access won’t be beneficial to an ecommerce beginner building their first site from scratch. But developers and experienced site owners may want that functionality at their disposal.

3DCart’s pricing is very transparent. There are no hidden fees or long-term contracts. You can cancel at any time and all plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

  • Startup Store — $9.50 per month
  • Basic Store — $14.50 per month
  • Plus Store — $39.50 per month
  • Pro Store — $114.50 per month

It’s worth noting that these are introductory prices for new customers. Your rates will double after your first year using the platform.

#7 – Volusion

Price starts at $26/mo
Drag and drop builder
Free themes
Optimized for large ecommerce stores
Get a 14 day free trial

As an ecommerce startup, Volusion probably offers more than you need initially. This website builder is made for larger ecommerce stores or sites ready for fast growth.

The website builder itself is fairly easy to use, although I wouldn’t rank it as high as Wix or Squarespace. But you’ll still be able to customize your layout with a drag and drop editor.

Volusion has lots of free themes for you to choose from as well. While these are suitable, they aren’t as modern compared to other choices on our list. I’d even go as far to say that some of the themes are outdated.

volusion

With all of that said, Volusion is an all-in-one ecommerce website builder. The platform provides everything you need to create and manage your online store.

From product pages to SEO and collecting payments, Volusion checks off all of the boxes.

There are four different Volusion plans for you to choose from:

  • Personal — $26 per month
  • Professional — $71 per month
  • Startup — $161 per month
  • Business — $269 per month

I truly don’t know many people that use entry-level Volusion solutions. If you’re in the market for this platform, you’ll probably jump straight into the Startup plan.

While this is definitely a higher price point compared to other website builders on the list, it comes with some added benefits like phone support and abandoned cart reports.

If you’re building a small ecommerce site with less than 10 products, Volusion isn’t for you.

But for those of you who plan to sell hundreds of products at scale, it’s worth trying Volusion free for 14 days before making a decision.

#8 – Big Cartel

Price starts at $0/mo
Cheapest paid plans in the industry
Best for small online stores
Limited features and functionality
Try Big Cartel for free

If you’re looking for a cheap ecommerce website builder, Big Cartel is the best option for you. They are the only legitimate provider that I can find offering a free ecommerce plan.

But Big Cartel is a prime example of the expression, “you get what you pay for.” The free plan is extremely limited, and only lets you sell up to five products. Overall I wouldn’t recommend it.

With that said, BigCartel has some of the cheapest paid ecommerce plans on the market.

bigcartel

You can sell up to 25 products for just $10 per month. Even the most expensive option is priced at a point similar to entry-level plans of other platforms on our list.

The cheapest Big Cartel plan still comes with features like:

  • Free themes
  • Real-time stats
  • Bulk editing
  • Shipment tracking
  • Automatic tax calculations
  • Discounts and promos
  • Inventory tracking

But all plans are limited to just five images per product. Overall, “limited” seems to be the best word to describe Big Cartel.

I’d only recommend this if you’re selling a handful of products and don’t need advanced ecommerce features. But if you want to sell 15 different shirts for as cheap as possible, Big Cartel can be taken into consideration.

How to Find the Best Ecommerce Website Builder For You

All of the ecommerce platforms mentioned above needed to fit a certain criteria to be considered on our list. You can use the same methodology that I used as you go through the decision making process.

I’ll break down the details of which features matter the most when you’re picking the best website builder for an ecommerce store.

Ease of Use

There are website builders. There are ecommerce platforms. Then there are ecommerce website builders. It’s important to understand the difference.

Not all website builders come with ecommerce functionality. Not all ecommerce platforms are website builders. Every platform on the list above is both, packaged as an all-in-one solution.

Beyond that, you need to look at the usability of each one. Does it have a drag and drop builder? How do you add products and manage your inventory?

Ease of use also relates to choosing themes, switching templates, and managing your site after it’s up and running.

Options like Shopify, Squarespace, and Wix are easy for beginners. While platforms like Volusion or 3DCart are a bit more complicated and geared towards people with more technical knowledge.

Built-in Features

Some platforms have larger feature lists than others. Some website builders have app stores or marketplaces that allow you add-on features or integrate third-party platforms.

It’s up to you to determine which is better for your situation.

If you want as many built-in features as possible, look for a platform like BigCommerce. If you’d rather add-on features as needed, go with something simple like Shopify.

Design

Every website builder will offer some templates or themes for you to choose from. But these are not all created equally.

If you want to build something that’s modern, visually appealing, creative, and beautiful, then you’ll want to consider a platform like Squarespace.

Other website builders, like Volusion, fall short in this category. But a modern design may not be important to all of you.

Value

I determine value based on the quality of the features and performance compared to the price. Some of you will have a tighter budget than others and don’t need to consider the higher-priced platforms.

But expensive ecommerce website builders still provide value to certain people. BigCommerce and Volusion might seem expensive compared to Big Cartel, but a cheap website builder won’t accommodate the needs of a larger ecommerce website.

To find the best value for your website, you need to determine your budget and identify which features are the most important to you.

Summary

If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution for building an ecommerce site, then look no further than the choices on this list.

I’ve included an option for every type of website below. Here’s a recap to see which category fits your unique situation:

  • Shopify — Most popular ecommerce website builder (and our top recommendation).
  • Squarespace — Best site builder for beautiful and creative ecommerce store designs.
  • Wix — Best ecommerce website builder for beginners.
  • Weebly — Best for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
  • BigCommerce — Best for scaling with omnichannel sales.
  • 3DCart — Best ecommerce site builder for developers and experienced store owners.
  • Volusion — Best for large ecommerce sites.
  • Big Cartel — Cheap plans for ecommerce stores with limited products.

These are the best choices for building a new online store from scratch.

For those of you who already have a website and plan to add ecommerce capabilities, then you can just install a plugin or shopping cart extension instead.