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Best ecommerce website builders

We analyse the best ecommerce website builders available across tools, pricing, support, and more to help get you started selling online

laptop on ecommerce website with ecommerce boxes and credit card on the keyboard

When searching for the best ecommerce website builders, it's worth researching platforms vying to be the best website builder too, as many will rank among both categories. Builders make the process of building your first website or your latest simple and accessible to both beginners and experts, and ecommerce tools allow for online store creation, enabling you to sell products or services.

Many provide high-level ecommerce tools, and these enhance the already-quick site creation process, allowing your store to get online and selling fast. Some platforms will also rank among the best small business website builders; depending on your business's size, your perfect solution could satisfy ecommerce and business needs.

The overwhelming number of providers available can make finding the right platform difficult: we're here to help. Below, we've evaluated, reviewed, and ranked the best ecommerce website builders based on their ecommerce tools, pricing, support, and more.

The 3 best ecommerce website builders available

Wix: top for ecommerce, customisation and flexibility

For ecommerce, Wix is our top choice. Three online store plans boast advanced tools, a huge library of appealing templates, an exceptional editor with high levels of customisation, and comprehensive support. You get the full builder with the free package; a 14-day money-back guarantee comes with every plan; paid upgrades provide an ad-free experience plus extra tools.

BigCommerce: the premium online store builder 

BigCommerce's drag-and-drop builder is backed by advanced ecommerce site-building tools, including payment gateway options, app integrations and plug-ins, SEO analytics and adaptive themes. Its clean and simple editor and top-level ecommerce resources mean it's one of our leading options.

Shopify: a feature-rich, clutter-free store builder

Empowering over 1 million merchants across 175 different countries, Shopify helps businesses create an online store in minutes, offering an extensive range of third-party apps via a clean interface. It comes with a built-in shopping cart and checkout manager, and offers excellent tools for marketing and security.

Which are the best ecommerce website builders?

The best ecommerce website builders for you and your business depend largely on your needs and preferences. However, Wix should be the first choice for most small businesses looking to launch an online store. An array of marketing and SEO tools, its easy to use drag-and-drop interface and hundreds of templates place it top. 

BigCommerce helps larger businesses maximise sales by tapping into social media,  and is suited to start-ups planning for rapid growth. High-quality templates across this open SaaS platform offer flexibility and customisation alongside comprehensive product and inventory management features, and conversion and retention tools.

Shopify may be a better fit if you’ve got ambitious plans for growth. Though more expensive, with higher monthly rates and commissions charged per transaction, it's the ultimate ecommerce content management system, with millions of businesses worldwide utilising its market-leading service.

Creative professionals looking to maximise income with an online store should look into Squarespace. Finally, Weebly is the only builder that offers a free ecommerce plan, and is backed up by the might of Square Online.

The best ecommerce website builders, compared

Website BuilderLowest-priced
ecommerce plan
Free plan (ecommerce)?Free domain?Unlimited storage?Unlimited products?
Wix£15 a month (Business Basic)
BigCommerce£23.55 a month (BigCommerce Standard)
Shopify£19 a month (Basic)
Squarespace£21 a month (Business)
Weebly£4 a month (Connect)

The best ecommerce website builders right now

Wix

Wix logo

Wix

Best overall choice with a long list of features

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Free plan: No
  • Free domain: Yes
  • Unlimited storage: Yes
  • Unlimited products: Yes

REASONS TO BUY

  • Long list of features
  • Powerful drag-and-drop editor
  • Great selection of templates and add-ons

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Customised reports only available on most expensive plan
  • Can’t change template after site is live

Score: 4.5/5

Wix is probably the most well-known website builder around, and with good reason. It’s packed with features and caters to both beginners and more experienced web designers alike. 

When it comes to ecommerce, Wix has thought of nearly everything. All plans support unlimited products and have neat features like abandoned cart recovery, as well as the ability to offer bookings, reservations, and ticket sales. You can also stream music and video on your site. 

Its drag-and-drop editor is one of the best on the market, although some may find it takes a little getting used to. There is also a more user-friendly tool called Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence), which will build your website for you based on your answers to a few simple questions.

If you decide to use the editor, there are more than 500 ready-made templates from which you can choose. And more experienced users can start from scratch without using a template, should they want to. All your designs are automatically optimised for display on any device, including mobiles and tablets, so you only need to create one version of your site.

Higher-tier plans include support for subscriptions, multiple currencies, advanced shipping methods, dropshipping, product reviews, and loyalty programs. Wix’s Business & eCommerce plans range in price from £15 a month for the Basic plan up to £27 a month for the VIP plan.

Wix also has an extensive app market where you can find add-ons that boost the functionality of your site, like integration with accounting software such as Xero and Quickbooks, and the ability to add eBay or Etsy stores to your Wix website.

Read our comprehensive Wix review.

BigCommerce

BigCommerce logo

BigCommerce

Best for businesses with rapid growth in mind

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Free plan: No
  • Free domain: No
  • Unlimited storage: Yes
  • Unlimited products: Yes

REASONS TO BUY

  • No transaction fees
  • POS included on all plans
  • Connect your store to eBay, Amazon, and Facebook/Instagram for commerce

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Limits on sales per plan
  • Limited free templates

Score: 4.5/5

BigCommerce is another service dedicated to ecommerce, and is particularly suited to start-ups that plan on rapid growth. It only has a small selection of free templates, but there are more than 150 high-quality paid ones ranging in price from £120 to £250.

BigCommerce is an open SaaS platform, which means it offers greater flexibility in terms of customising your site. This is particularly suited to businesses that want their own web development teams to focus on the look and feel of the site, while leaving all the heavy ecommerce lifting to the BigCommerce platform. 

That said, BigCommerce also has a network of professional designers and developers who can help build your site if you lack the skills or support. BigCommerce also boasts some of the most comprehensive and flexible product and inventory management features of any shopping cart solution. 

It also has other tools aimed at boosting conversions and retaining customers after the first purchase, like single-page checkout, a choice of more than 40 payment gateways, a customer review system, and returns functionality. And if there’s something you need that doesn’t exist in BigCommerce natively, you can probably find it in one of the 1,000 third-party app integrations available. 

BigCommerce plans range in price from £24.55 a month for the Standard plan, up to £245.83 a month for the Pro plan (paid annually). 

Read our full BigCommerce review.

Shopify

Shopify logo

Shopify

Best ecommerce website builder for advanced features

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Free plan: No
  • Free domain: No
  • Unlimited storage: Yes
  • Unlimited products: Yes

REASONS TO BUY

  • Advanced ecommerce features
  • Excellent customer support
  • Good selection of templates

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Additional transaction fees if you don’t use Shopify’s payment gateway
  • No free plan

Score: 4.5/5

Whereas Wix is probably the best-known all-round website builder, Shopify tops the list of website builders dedicated to ecommerce. Shopify’s primary purpose is online selling, and because of this, it offers a host of advanced ecommerce features that go over and above those provided by general website builders.

Ecommerce is a complicated business. Shopify understands this, and the fact that newcomers to online selling might need additional help to get started. It’s this understanding that has led it to develop a reputation for having some of the best customer support in the business. Help is available 24/7, and there are also Shopify-approved designers, developers, and marketers you can work with to get your project off the ground.

Shopify comes with a large selection of professionally designed themes and a drag-and-drop web builder. Changes can be made to the look and feel of your site with various settings accessible from your account dashboard, or you can edit the template code directly for even more fine-grained design control.

What sets Shopify apart from other website builders is its selection of advanced ecommerce features, like fraud analysis for payments, point of sale (POS) functionality, the ability to sell in multiple currencies and languages on all plans, and international domains and pricing.

There are also enterprise-grade solutions for those planning on selling in high volume, while at the other end of the scale, there is a Lite plan for those who have an existing website and simply want to be able to accept credit card payments. Prices start at £4 a month for the Lite plan, and go up to £259 a month for the Advanced plan.

Read our detailed Shopify review.

Squarespace

Squarespace logo

Squarespace

Best choice of templates

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Free plan: No
  • Free domain: Yes
  • Unlimited storage: Yes
  • Unlimited products: Yes

REASONS TO BUY

  • Well-designed templates
  • Good selection of ecommerce features
  • No transaction fees on higher-tier plans

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Unintuitive and confusing editor
  • Small choice of extensions (add-ons)

Score: 4/5

Squarespace is well known for its selection of high-quality templates. And while its library may not be as large as that of some competitors, every template is beautifully designed and built to modern standards. 

What’s more, if you need to make slight tweaks to the design of your chosen template, and you know how to code—or know someone who does—you have complete customisation control by being able to edit CSS and JavaScript. However, while the quality of templates is great, Squarespace’s editor isn’t the best we’ve used. It’s a bit confusing to get used to.

On the plus side, although Squarespace isn’t a dedicated ecommerce platform like Shopify, it boasts an impressive set of features aimed at selling online. Of its various pricing plans, its Business plan allows you to sell unlimited products and gift cards, as well as offering the ability to accept donations. 

The Squarespace Basic and Advanced Commerce plans are where the best ecommerce features are to be found, including fee-free transactions, POS options for US-based merchants, customer accounts, related products and waitlists, low stock labels, and bulk spreadsheet editing. 

The Advanced Commerce plan also includes abandoned cart recovery, subscriptions, advanced shipping options and discounts, and the ability to integrate with third-party services. Squarespace’s pricing for their ecommerce plans ranges from $18 a month for the Business plan up to $40 a month for the Advanced Commerce plan.

Read our Squarespace review.

Weebly

Weebly logo

Weebly

Best ecommerce website builder for small stores

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Free plan: Yes
  • Free domain: Yes
  • Unlimited storage: Yes
  • Unlimited products: Yes

REASONS TO BUY

  • Free plan allowing for ecommerce sales
  • Easy to use

REASONS TO AVOID

  • Ads and no free/custom domain on free plan
  • Limited ecommerce features 

Score: 3.5/5

Like Wix, Weebly is one of the most popular website builders available. It can be used to build almost any type of site, and has ecommerce functionality provided by Square Online (not to be confused with Squarespace). 

Unlike other providers, Weebly comes with a free plan that also includes the ability to sell online. This has limitations, though. Storage is capped at 500MB, and you don’t get a free domain or the ability to connect a custom domain. In the store, you won’t be able to sell digital goods. And the free sites also come with ads for Square, although they are quite unobtrusive.

Weebly is integrated into Square's POS systems, so you can manage customers from a unified dashboard. Long-term, there's a pivot to Square's own ecommerce store builder, and new customers are already funnelled towards it. Existing customers will continue to be supported in terms of features and functionality, though.

Weebly has an excellent template library, and you can enhance functionality with a choice of several hundred add-on apps, many of which are free. Social media streams, forms, animations, and counters are just some of the options available. Getting your store set up is relatively quick and painless, particularly if you’re coming from Etsy, Shopify, or Square, as you can import product catalogs or upload a CSV.

It also has several other good ecommerce features like flexible shipping tools, versatile tax management, and highly configurable product options. However, the Performance Plan, Weebly’s top-of-the-range offering, doesn’t have as many premium ecommerce features as some of the competition at the same price point.

This is why we’d recommend Weebly for smaller stores that are likely to stay small, and don’t necessarily need all the frills that some of the dedicated ecommerce platforms offer. Weebly’s plans range in price from £4 a month for the Connect plan up to £28 a month for the Performance plan. 

Read our full Weebly review.

Choosing from the best ecommerce website builders

When choosing just one of the best ecommerce website builders, the most important factor is scale. The best option for your business depends largely on its current situation and its potential for growth. 

For businesses just starting out in ecommerce, Wix and Squarespace offer some of the best plans. Weebly is ideal too, if you want to test the waters before you jump in. As for bigger online stores and retail enterprises, Shopify and BigCommerce are your best choices.

In summation, it's best to weigh the pros and cons of each provider, and decide for yourself which features are the most important. Abandoned cart recovery, shipping calculation, and inventory management are all worth looking into if you're serious about your online business. 

You'll also want to invest in a website builder that offers a choice of payment platforms. Finally, the functionality of the drag-and-drop builder and the quality of the interface will no doubt play a pivotal role.

How we review the best ecommerce website builders

When we review the best website builders, whether they be ecommerce-focused or not, we test the builder and editor on custom sites. This allows us to see where the platforms land on the UX scale, between easy and simple or more advanced. In turn, we test site uptime and response times, as both metrics are integral to site performance, with this an area that can cost you business and money. 

With ecommerce sites, we look into the relevant features and tools provided for online store creation, and see how they compare to competitors. Many builders offer advanced functionality, while others provide the bare minimum: we explore and explain what's available on given packages.

Beyond these areas, we also look into and explore features specific to that platform, as well as trialling customer service and support responsiveness. Finally, we study and explain pricing plans, to ensure you're well-informed when it comes to the possibility of lower initial costs increasing dramatically after the first term.

Next steps when choosing a website builder

When you've chosen your ecommerce website builder, follow a step-by-step guide on how to build an ecommerce website. If you've chosen Wix, Shopify, or Squarespace, make sure to follow our guides outlining how to build a website on Wix and how to build a website with Shopify, and how to make a website with Squarespace.

If you're considering the best WordPress hosting for your WordPress site, make sure to look at our listicles outlining seven great reasons to choose managed WordPress hosting, and the four S's of managed WordPress: security, scalability, speed, and service. 
Finally, check out our interview with managed WordPress hosting provider Pressidium, to learn more about this type of web hosting.

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