For some ecommerce entrepreneurs, Shopify is a perfect fit: a simple-and-easy way to build an online store, no coding or design skills necessary. But for others, that simple-and-easy approach is a little too simple. If you’re in need of different options or functionality than what Shopify has to offer, you may want to compare the best Shopify alternatives.

In this comparison guide, we round up the 7 best Shopify alternatives so you can find the perfect fit for you, based on pricing, features and your style of site management. But first, let’s talk about what you can expect from Shopify, and when to have some Shopify alternatives in your back pocket.

Shopify alternatives
Shop around to find the right ecommerce web builder for your needs. Illustration by OrangeCrush.

Why you might need Shopify alternatives

The greatest strength of Shopify is its simplicity. With its user-friendly interface and fill-in-the-blank templates, you can have a fully functional site up and running in just minutes. That convenience is what makes it a popular choice for both first-timers as well as experienced ecommerce sellers who don’t want much fuss.

But while simplicity is Shopify’s greatest strength, it can be a downside if you want to build something very complex. What if you want a rich, multi-faceted site with original design and unique style? In that case you might need to look for other Shopify alternatives.

The Shopify drag-and-drop editor

One of the consequences of Shopify’s approach to site building is that there’s a limit to how much you can customize. With only around 60 themes distributed among 800,000 stores, there’s a lot of sites using the same base templates, with only the images, colors and copy to separate them.

If you’re looking for something quick to build and easy to manage, that’s not a big deal. But if your sales style incorporates stylistic visuals, heavy branding or original UX ideas, Shopify’s limitations might send you looking for an alternative.

Then there’s the transaction fees, Shopify’s other big drawback. Only Shopify’s native payment gateway Shopify Payments is free; for everything else—including PayPal—you must pay transaction fees of 0.5 – 2% per purchase (depending on which Shopify plan you use), in addition to the fees you’re paying to those gateways. If your specific customer base overwhelmingly prefers a particular payment system, Shopify’s transaction fees may not be cost-effective.

All in all, Shopify is a great ecommerce website builder for speed and convenience, but if you want something more personalized and more forgiving of third-party payment gateways, check out the Shopify alternatives below.

The best Shopify alternatives

  1. Wix
  2. WooCommerce
  3. GoDaddy
  4. Squarespace
  5. Volusion
  6. PrestaShop
  7. Weebly/Square Online Store

1. Wix

Screenshot of Shopify alternatives: Wix

Wix is one of the most popular all-around website builders, so when they started offering ecommerce capabilities, tons of online retailers migrated their stores to them.

Their success comes from offering the same easy and convenient template-style building as Shopify, except with a good degree more customization. There’s more to change than just images and text; Wix lets you fine-tune your layouts and add elements almost wherever you want. While this is perfect for people who want to build a store their way, the extra choices also mean extra effort and planning.

However, because Wix doesn’t specialize exclusively in ecommerce, they lack some of the ecommerce-specific features of Shopify, for example, Wix doesn’t accept Apple Pay or Google Pay. Still, it offers enough to build a basic ecommerce site, and more to the point, you can build it your way.

Pros:

  • highly customizable
  • unlimited bandwidth
  • unlimited product listings

Cons:

  • bigger sites tend to load more slowly — especially if you list more than 50 products
  • not many third-party plugins
  • doesn’t accept Apple Pay or Google Pay

Pricing:

  • Business Basic: $23/month
  • Business Unlimited: $27/month
  • Business VIP: $49/month

Recommended for:

  • businesses who like Shopify’s simple-and-easy approach, but prefer more customization and design options

2. WooCommerce

Screenshot of Shopify alternatives: WooCommerce

Technically, WooCommerce isn’t a website builder at all; it’s really just a WordPress plugin. What that means is that you can leverage the entirety of WordPress’s theme and plugin libraries to build a website the way you want, and then add WooCommerce to turn it into an online store.

WordPress, though, is slightly more complex than the other website builders, which is one of the reasons people prefer it. There’s a small learning curve to WordPress that requires some time to get used to, but once you do you can use it to create sites with special features and unique designs, using whatever bits and pieces you can find in the WordPress libraries.

And because WordPress is known for its blogging capabilities, WooCommerce online stores have a natural advantage when it comes to SEO and content marketing—as long as you utilize that blog space.

Pros:

  • implements WordPress’s libraries of themes and plugins
  • large support community of WordPress users
  • unlimited product listing
  • WordPress is great for blogging and SEO

Cons:

  • slight learning curve and more time investment than other Shopify alternatives
  • the more plugins you use, the more expensive it gets

Pricing:

  • technically WooCommerce is a free plugin, but as with any WordPress site, you still need to pay for hosting and whatever not-free plugins you use

Recommended for:

  • experienced WordPress users
  • retailers who want to experiment with a wide range of features and effects not found on traditional ecommerce website builders
  • sellers who rely heavily on blogging and content marketing

3. GoDaddy

Screenshot of Shopify alternatives: GoDaddy

Although GoDaddy has been helping people set up websites since the 90s, they only recently began with a website building service. Right off the bat, they offer a special ecommerce package with everything would-be retailers need to sell online.

GoDaddy’s interface runs a lot like Wix and Squarespace: you still use a template-style website builder, but it has more customization options than Shopify. This makes it a good middle-ground between convenience and personalization.

The ecommerce plan is also the highest-tier payment plan (for better or worse) and includes all the features and bonuses of the other plans, such as marketing tools, 24/7 support and built-in SEO. On top of that, there’s also the ecommerce features like integration with popular payment gateways (Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, etc.) and other marketplaces (Amazon, Etsy, Walmart, etc.).

Pros:

  • highly customizable
  • unlimited product listings
  • integrates with other marketplaces for multichannel selling

Cons:

  • only one ecommerce plan, and its pricier than other Shopify alternatives
  • lackluster SEO tools

Pricing:

  • Ecommerce plan: $24.99/month

Recommended for:

  • multichannel retailers who want list their products on several marketplaces

4. Squarespace

Screenshot of Shopify alternatives: Squarespace

Squarespace is most similar to Wix, and incidentally one of their top rivals for general website builders. The main difference between Wix and Squarespace, although subtle, is that Squarespace is slightly more advanced, with a slightly greater learning curve and time investment. Squarespace is also more expensive than Wix and most other Shopify alternatives.

As a Shopify alternative, Squarespace appeals to retailers who like Wix’s model, but prefer something with a little more precision. Wix is easier to use, but Squarespace has better visuals and more customization options, including capabilities for selling digital content, subscription services and synchronization with in-person POS sales. However, Squarespace doesn’t offer much for plugins and third-party addons, so you’re stuck only with what they have.

Pros:

  • highly customizable
  • unlimited bandwidth
  • unlimited product listings
  • can sell subscriptions and digital content

Cons:

  • more learning curve and time investment than other Shopify alternatives
  • on the expensive side

Pricing:

  • Basic Commerce: $26/month
  • Advanced Commerce: $40/month

Recommended for:

  • serious-minded retailers who don’t mind paying a little extra for a few more extra features

5. Volusion

Screenshot of Shopify alternatives: Volution

Volusion has the simplicity and user-friendliness of Shopify, but with the advanced features of some of the more involved Shopify alternatives. If that sounds too good to be true, look at the price tags; it’s also one of the more expensive items on our list.

Where Volusion really stands out is its Quick Wins, a series of services aimed to help out beginners in ecommerce. For example, one of the Quick Wins services has a professional team design your homepage, another offers a one-hour tutorial on Google Analytics. These are quite costly, though, most costing hundreds of dollars (and honestly, you could also get a high-quality design from a professional designer on a platform like 99designs instead).

Pros:

  • unlimited bandwidth
  • can sell subscriptions
  • Quick Wins can be a great help for beginners

Cons:

  • expensive
  • to get innate product reviews and ratings, you must buy Professional plan or higher

Pricing:

  • Personal: $29/month
  • Professional: $79/month
  • Business: $299/month
  • Prime: based on Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV)

Recommended for:

  • beginners and people fond of outsourcing (with some extra cash in their budgets)

6. PrestaShop

Screenshot of Shopify alternatives: PrestaShop

PrestaShop is most similar to WordPress (or WooCommerce) because it’s another open-source website builder that requires outside hosting. However, unlike WordPress, PrestaShop deals exclusively in ecommerce, so the entire software is much more focused and specialized for selling online instead of, say, running a blog.

Although coding skills aren’t required to use PrestaShop, if you know HTML and CSS you can take full advantage of PrestaShop’s customization options, inputting more precise features than Shopify or drag-and-drop editors like Wix and Squarespace. Of course that means more work, too, so it depends how much time you’re willing to invest.

Just like WooCommerce, the cost is variable; technically it’s free to use, but you have to pay for hosting and whatever additions you want.

Pros:

  • highly customizable
  • ecommerce-focused
  • lots of add-ons to choose from
  • can build a basic site cheaply

Cons:

  • not as user-friendly as the other Shopify alternatives
  • can get expensive if you purchase a lot of add-ons
  • requires technical skills to make the most out of it

Pricing:

  • technically free, but you still need to pay for hosting and add-ons

Recommended for:

  • people with coding skills
  • people looking for an alternative to WooCommerce (for example, if WordPress doesn’t have the plug-in you need)

7. Weebly/Square Online Store

Screenshot of Shopify alternatives: Weebly/Square Online Store

Using Square Online Store, the general website builder Weebly now offers ecommerce capabilities, making it a viable Shopify alternative for a more custom site. It’s another good middle-ground solution for people who like the ease of Shopify, but want something that stands out more.

Weebly is also one of the cheapest ecommerce site builders on the markets, at least for their lowest-tier plan. That makes it an attractive Shopify alternative for businesses on a tight budget, although you have to pay more for features like product reviews, gift cards and coupon codes.

Nevertheless, Weebly/Square Online Store gives you a lot for a little. It’s not quite as quick and convenient as Shopify, but offers a bit more in the way of personalization and standing out.

Pros:

  • highly customizable
  • inexpensive
  • user-friendly interface

Cons:

  • only accepts payments through Square, Stripe or PayPal
  • most of the good features—including product reviews and coupon codes—are only available in the higher-paid tiers

Pricing:

  • Pro: $12/month (paid annually)
  • Business: $25/month (paid annually)
  • Business Plus: $38/month (paid annually)

Recommended for:

  • retailers on a tight budget who want more customization than Shopify

Beginner platform—expert design!

Anyone can use Shopify or the Shopify alternatives above to make a site, but you need some design skill to make a really good site. A unique and professional looking website design builds trust and brand awareness—and it makes customers remember your shop and come back for more.

But if web design is not your strong suit, don’t worry! You can always enlist the help of a professional to create the site of your dreams. If you want your ecommerce store to look its best, hire a professional designer to build it on whatever website builder you choose.

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