5 Best Ecommerce Website Builders for 2020

Updated on March 23, 2020
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Ecommerce website builders make it easy to launch any type of online business. Whatever you want to sell with your ecommerce business—physical products that ship, various services, digital goods like ebooks or music, or even online lessons—ecommerce website builders make it happen. They deliver all the tools you need to market your brand, accept payments, and manage your online business. 

Ecommerce website builders come in all shapes and sizes. Some are very versatile and offer a wide range of selling options; others are tailored for specific selling needs. A few even let you combine several types of online income streams—like physical and digital product sales, content memberships, and lessons—all within a single website. 

Best of all, even the most powerful ecommerce website builders—including our top five picks below—are extremely user-friendly. Each lets you quickly launch your online store without any experience or technical skills. Let’s dive in so you can find the best ecommerce website builder for your online store.

Shopify: Best All-in-One Ecommerce Website Builder

With over 800,000 online stores, Shopify is the most popular all-in-one ecommerce website builder on the market. They seamlessly combine your ecommerce website hosting, product and order management tools, digital marketing, and multichannel sales all within a single platform. They even have a retail point of sale (POS) that supports in-store sales if you want an integrated online and in-store sales solution.

ecommerce website builder

Looking for a quick-start ecommerce website builder? Browse hundreds of plug-and-play themes geared for selling all types of products on Shopify. Image source: Shopify.

What Shopify’s Ecommerce Website Builder Does Best

Shopify is designed for product sales, both physical and digital. If you’re planning to sell products that ship, sell digital items via download, and/or sell in-person, Shopify provides all the tools you need, including:

  • Beautiful plug-and-play store designs (called themes) and customization tools
  • Quick launch using Shopify’s intuitive store setup wizard
  • Built-in payments via Shopify Payments, or use your own processor
  • Free Digital Downloads app to manage the digital product sales
  • Powerful inventory management tools
  • Built-in shipping label printing via Shopify Shipping
  • Fully enabled social commerce via Facebook Shops, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram
  • Integrated multichannel sales via Amazon and eBay
  • A huge suite of built-in digital marketing tools
  • In-person payments using mobile card readers (part of Shopify Payments)
  • Complete POS solution for retailers looking to sell in-store and online

Don’t have any products to sell yet? Shopify can help you with that, too. They have a built-in integration with the Oberlo dropshipping marketplace. Plus, you can find other dropshipping partners, including some top-rated print-on-demand vendors, in the Shopify Apps market. 

Where Shopify Falls Short of Other Ecommerce Website Builders

There are two things that Shopify doesn’t easily deliver in the world of ecommerce. 

The first is online sales outside of physical or digital products. You can’t combine product sales with members-only access to online content, like lessons or webinars, without using third-party apps, which generally add costs. Likewise, adding features like online appointments, prepaid bookings, or donations all require added apps. 

The important word here is easily. You can sell these things on Shopify, but you must find, install, and set up an app to add those features. In contrast, ecommerce website builders like Squarespace and Wix have these sales options built-in.

Blogging is another shortcoming of Shopify. They offer basic blogging functionality, but it’s very simplistic compared to the blog-based ecommerce website builder WordPress, which we cover below.

Shopify Ecommerce Website Builder Pricing

Shopify doesn’t have a free version, but their starter ecommerce website builder plan is just $29 per month. For that, you get two user accounts, unlimited products, and access to multichannel sales and a ton of marketing tools. 

ecommerce website builder

Even the $29-per-month Basic Shopify plan delivers a ton of online selling power like multichannel and social selling. Image source: Shopify.

Higher-priced plans run $79 and $299 per month and support growing businesses with perks like advanced reporting and added sales tools. Shopify also has an Enterprise version, so if your business takes off, your ecommerce website platform won’t hold you back. 

It is important to note that Shopify tacks on added transaction fees if you don’t use Shopify Payments for payment processing. These are 2% on the Basic Shopify Plan, 1% on the standard plan, and 0.5% on the Advanced plan. It’s important to consider these per-transaction fees if you want to use your own payment processor on Shopify.

WordPress: Best Do-Anything Ecommerce Website Builder

WordPress is one of the most popular website builders in the world, powering an extraordinary 34%—over one-third—of all websites worldwide. This versatile platform is home to all types of personal and business blogs, marketing website sites, interactive learning sites, and, of course, ecommerce websites. 

In fact, their most popular ecommerce plugin, WooCommerce, currently runs 28% of all ecommerce websites worldwide—nearly 3.5 million online stores. While WooCommerce is the most popular ecommerce solution for WordPress, it’s not the only one. You can add all sorts of online sales functionality to WordPress using an array of specialized ecommerce plugins.

What WordPress’s Ecommerce Website Builder Does Best

As a blog-based website builder, WordPress gives you unlimited content creation and online store options. Basically, if you can dream it, you can build it on WordPress. To create any type of ecommerce website imaginable on WordPress, simply add an ecommerce plugin for sales functionality and a WordPress ecommerce theme to create your overall design.

ecommerce website builder

WordPress is home to millions of beautiful ecommerce stores that effectively combine strong marketing and instructional content with all types of sales. Image source: Brush and Pencil.

Here are a few of the many online businesses you can run using the WordPress ecommerce website builder:

  • Create a content-rich website with informational articles, videos, and blog posts.
  • Create a storefront-style website selling all types of physical or digital products.
  • Sell digital products alone or in combination with other products, memberships, or lessons.
  • Sell items on blog posts by simply adding a “Buy” button to the page.
  • Set up item-specific landing pages for sales funnel marketing.
  • Create educational portals to sell single video lessons or full courses with tests and certifications.
  • Create a restaurant website that accepts reservations and delivery and pickup orders.
  • Accept appointments and sell services with prepaid bookings or deposits.
  • Create members-only access to content for music or e-learning sites.
  • Run a subscription box standalone site or offer subscriptions alongside other product sales.
  • Process payments with virtually any payment processor you choose.

WordPress ecommerce plugins also integrate with various dropshipping and print-on-demand vendors. Like Shopify, you also can use WordPress to launch an online store even if you don’t yet have any products to sell. 

Where WordPress Falls Short of Other Ecommerce Website Builders

All of WordPress’s incredible versatility comes at a cost, and that’s ease-of-use. WordPress is not the most beginner-friendly ecommerce website platform. In fact, of our top five contenders, they have the largest learning curve. However, you don’t need technical or coding experience to build a great WordPress ecommerce website. You just need time and patience to learn how to navigate the environment. 

WordPress also requires more setup than others on our list. WordPress has more moving parts, starting with website hosting, ecommerce plugins, and store themes. Plus, you’ll need other plugins to add features like search engine optimization (SEO), marketing tools, multichannel sales, and social media integrations. 

Unlike ecommerce website builders that provide built-in functionality and features, you have to put it all together on WordPress. However, that’s also what makes WordPress infinitely expandable. 

WordPress Ecommerce Website Builder Pricing

WordPress can be the most economical ecommerce website builder, especially when you’re just starting out. WordPress itself is free, and so are the basic versions of many ecommerce plugins, including WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads. You can find plenty of free ecommerce themes, too. 

Starting out, your only real expense is your website hosting, and that starts at just $3.95 per month on Bluehost. Bluehost also offers WooCommerce-specific hosting for $6.95 per month. It comes with WooCommerce pre-installed, plus other perks like additional storage and security, which is important for ecommerce sellers. 

ecommerce website builder

WordPress ecommerce hosting packages are very economical compared to the monthly fees of many all-in-one platforms. Image source: Bluehost.

You generally have to pay for specialty ecommerce plugins that support online lessons and subscription sales. Plus, you can get more features if you opt for a paid WordPress theme. However, with added costs, the WordPress ecommerce website builder can be more economical compared to others on our list. 

Weebly: Best Ecommerce Website Builder for Square Users

Weebly is an extremely user-friendly ecommerce website builder in their own right. However, after being acquired by Square in 2018, their Weebly plus Square integration is now the ideal way for Square users to expand into online sales. 

If you’re one of Square’s 7 million sellers and wondering how to integrate your Square POS and Square mobile payments sales with an ecommerce store, Weebly is your answer. In fact, they’ve taken the place of the older free Square online store. 

If you want to launch the new free Square online store powered by Weebly, simply head to your Square dashboard. From there, you can set up your store in just minutes, populate it with your existing products, and conveniently manage all of your sales—in-person, in-store, and online—in Square.

ecommerce website builder

Square’s new Weebly-powered free online store brings powerful website building, management, and marketing tools to your Square dashboard. Image source: Square.

What Weebly Ecommerce Website Builder Does Best

Weebly’s seamless integration with your Square POS and in-person sales is their biggest selling point. The fact that any Square user gets a free ecommerce website with a tidy package of online selling tools is another feather in Square’s small business services cap. 

Of course, you can also sign up for Weebly directly and use Stripe or PayPal, rather than Square, for payment processing. However, the real strength of the Weebly ecommerce website builder is their seamless integration with all of Square’s selling tools. Other ecommerce website builders outperform Weebly in things like store design options, but for integrating with Square, they’re tough to beat.

Here are a few of the many things you can do with the Square’s Weebly ecommerce website builder:

  • Set up a complete, full-featured ecommerce website for free.
  • Cleanly sync product information and inventory counts between your Square POS and Weebly-powered Square online store.
  • Expand the features of the free Square online store with paid plans.
  • Integrate Instagram on the free and paid plans; integrate Facebook Ads on higher paid plans.
  • Accept online donations alone or alongside product and service sales.
  • Sell products that ship or make orders available for local delivery or customer pickup.
  • Sell online and in-store services and take online bookings with prepayments or deposits.
  • Offer coupon codes and sell Square gift cards.
  • Accept online pickup orders for coffee shops, food trucks, and other food and beverage outlets.
  • Build customer lists and market to customers via built-in Square Marketing tools like targeted email, feedback, and loyalty programs.

Where Weebly Falls Short of Other Ecommerce Website Builders

Even before Square snapped it up, Weebly wasn’t the match of Shopify, Wix, or Squarespace in terms of overall ecommerce features, and they will never match the expandability of WordPress. So, if you’re looking for the most robust ecommerce website builder, Weebly falls short.

However, they’re a super-easy way for any Square user to reach their customers online. That’s their purpose, and in that role, they rock. Also, the Weebly plus Square pairing is a work in progress. As this new version of Weebly matures and grows, you’ll likely see more sales features and design options added to the mix.

Weebly Ecommerce Website Builder Pricing

Looking for a way to launch a full-featured ecommerce website for free? The Weebly-powered free Square online store is your best bet. They deliver all of the basics that you need to start selling a wide variety of products and/or services online. 

As you grow, you can upgrade to paid plans to expand your sales and marketing features. The three paid plan options cost $16, $29, or $79 per month. You’ll save if you prepay annually, and those costs average out to $12, $26, or $72 per month.

Of course, you do have to use Square to process your payments when you choose this solution. Online payment processing fees are 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction for the free and lower paid plans. That drops to 2.6% + $0.30 per transaction on the highest paid plan.

Don’t forget, you also get Square’s full suite of sales and business management tools, including their in-store POS system, mobile card reader, online invoicing, appointments, business reporting, and employee management tools, all at no added cost. All in, the Weebly plus Square ecommerce website builder packs a lot of punch for their $0-and-up price tag.

Squarespace: Best for Influencer-Type Ecommerce Websites

Squarespace is an all-in-one website builder that offers a nice suite of ecommerce sales tools along with 40 truly stunning plug-and-play website design templates. Even a brand-new user can quickly and easily create a customized, visually appealing website using Squarespace. That explains why nearly 2 million websites, ranging from blogs and online galleries to all types of ecommerce stores, currently reside on Squarespace—and that number is growing.

What the Squarespace Ecommerce Website Builder Does Best

Squarespace combines great design and versatile ecommerce options with robust blogging capabilities that far exceed what you get on Shopify, Wix, or Weebly. Their blogging tools aren’t the match of WordPress (none are), but they’re a much easier platform to learn. 

ecommerce website builder

Squarespace gives you many website customization options, and if you decide you need a site-wide upgrade, you can simply switch to a different template. Image source: Squarespace.

For many, Squarespace perfectly balances sales and blogging capabilities with ease-of-use. Here are a few of the many things you can do with the Squarespace ecommerce website builder:

  • Become a blogger influencer, sell products and services online, and make money in affiliate sales.
  • Sell all types of physical products that ship and digital products via download.
  • Sell online or in-store services and offer online bookings with prepayments or deposits.
  • Create a website that accepts online donations alone or pairs them with sales.
  • Create a membership content website with paid access to things like music and online lessons.
  • Create a subscription box website or add subscription sales to your standard collection.
  • Market your photography, art, or graphic design services using designs with visual impact.
  • Promote events, send invites, take reservations and RSVPs, and sell tickets online.
  • Sell products and services on Instagram using Squarespace’s direct integration.
  • Easily build email lists and marketing emails using Squarespace’s built-in tools.

Where Squarespace Falls Short of Other Ecommerce Website Builders

In terms of multichannel sales, Squarespace’s ecommerce website builder doesn’t match Shopify. For one, you can’t directly integrate with Amazon, eBay, and other sales channels, and you don’t get perks like built-in shipping label printing or a Facebook Shop integration.

Nor is Squarespace as expandable as WordPress, or free like Square’s Weebly online store. That said, Squarespace fits somewhere in the middle of them all. It’s easier to learn than WordPress, not as pricey as some all-in-one plans, and offers more design potential than the Weebly plus Square option. 

Simply put, you’ll know if it feels “right” once you use it. Luckily, Squarespace has a 14-day free trial, so you can test-drive the platform risk-free before you commit.

Squarespace Ecommerce Website Builder Pricing

The Squarespace website builder has four paid plans, but only two support ecommerce sales. If you want to sell any type of product or service on Squarespace, you need an ecommerce plan. 

Squarespace’s two ecommerce plans cost $30 or $46 per month. You’ll save if you prepay annually, and that averages out to $26 and $40 per month. You’ll need the higher-priced plan for features like membership sales and abandoned cart recovery.

Wix: Easiest Ecommerce Website Builder for New Users

Wix is the most beginner-friendly ecommerce website builder on our list. The Weebly plus Square option is a close second, but for creating a truly gorgeous ecommerce website out-of-the-box, you can’t go wrong with Wix. In fact, at 110 million individual and small business users, they’re officially the most popular website builder worldwide. Much of that is due to their stellar ease-of-use.

Wix also offers an ecommerce version of its popular website builder. It’s not as feature-packed as Shopify and WordPress-powered ecommerce websites, but does deliver an extremely user-friendly ecommerce solution. 

What the Wix Ecommerce Website Builder Does Best

Wix lets you easily and quickly build many types of beautiful websites. You can pick from over 500 website themes, then customize your website from there using intuitive drag-and-drop design tools. Wix also packs many online selling tools into their ecommerce website plans. 

ecommerce website builderChoosing the perfect theme from Wix’s 500+ options is the most time-consuming task you’ll have when setting up your Wix online store. Image source: Wix.

Here’s a sampling of the many ways you can put the Wix ecommerce website builder to work for your business:

  • Create an online store that sells one, a few, or entire collections of products online.
  • Market and sell original music with Wix’s built-in customizable music player.
  • Set up a website for local services and offer online bookings with prepayments or deposits.
  • Market special events, create and manage guest lists, and sell tickets right from your website.
  • Create an instructional website with subscription access to video, audio, or blog content.
  • Market your restaurant, food truck, or beverage business and accept to-go orders and reservations online.
  • Sell your photography, original art, or design services via digital downloads.
  • Use simple blogging tools to create attention-getting content that attracts and engages your audience.
  • Build your brand using Wix’s integrated email and social media marketing tools.

Where Wix Falls Short of Other Ecommerce Website Builders

Like many other ecommerce website builders, Wix checks a lot of boxes. But while they’re a very easy way to launch a website, they’re not what most ecommerce experts consider a power-seller platform. 

First, they’re not multichannel-friendly. There’s no direct integration to sell Wix products on Amazon, eBay, and other seller marketplaces, unlike Shopify and many WordPress ecommerce solutions. Their back-end order management tools aren’t as robust as these platforms, either. Also, your website’s storage space is limited by your plan, unlike most all-in-one platforms that provide unlimited storage.

Nor does Wix have a built-in POS system to combine in-store and online sales. Wix supports some integrations, like Square POS, but built-in solutions like Weebly plus Square typically are more complete and reliable. They do support subscriptions; however, recurring payments require using Wix Payments, Stripe, or PayPal.

Design-wise, Wix has a notable hiccup. Once you publish your website, you can’t swap your entire design over to a new theme, like you can with most other ecommerce website builders. To completely change your online store’s look, you have to completely rebuild it in a new theme. 

Wix Ecommerce Website Builder Pricing

Wix has three ecommerce website plans that range from $23 to $49 per month, plus an enterprise plan for power-sellers who want to stay on Wix rather than move to a platform like Shopify or WordPress. 

The three Basic, Unlimited, and VIP plans deliver all that most startups and small sellers need to launch and grow a business on Wix. Like most ecommerce website builders, when you’re ready for more features, you can easily upgrade your plan without interruption. 

ecommerce website builder

Wix offers an enterprise-level plan for larger businesses, but most startups and small businesses do fine with the Basic, Unlimited, and VIP plans. Image source: Wix.

Ecommerce Website Builders: The Bottom Line

To choose the right ecommerce website builder for your business, consider where you are now and where your future growth might take you.

Interested in combining multiple online income streams, like product sales, subscription content, services, and blog sales? Then platforms like WordPress, Squarespace, or Wix might be ideal. Think you’ll need in-person, in-store, and online sales capabilities in a simple, low-cost system? Weebly plus Square can make it all happen. Hoping to grow into a serious ecommerce power-seller? Shopify can get orders in and products out fast, day after day.

If you pick a platform that supports both current needs and future possibilities, you’ll be sure to set yourself up for success.

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Krista Fabregas

Krista Fabregas is an ecommerce pro sharing more than 20 years of hands-on experience with those looking to grow online businesses. Her expertise covers every facet of ecommerce as well as online lead generation, affiliate income, and content marketing. Krista has a bachelor's degree in English and economics from The University of Texas at Austin and held senior positions at NASA, a Fortune 100 company, and several startups. She has been featured in Forbes, NBC, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, and other top publications.
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