The foundation of any successful online store is an e-commerce website builder. With the help of these tools, anyone can easily start an online store by creating a website from scratch.
Thus, in order to establish an online store and offer goods or services, you’ll need to locate an e-commerce builder.
To begin, you don’t even need any prior knowledge of site design. Look through the suggestions below to select a solution that aligns with your objectives.
You’ll find in-depth reviews of the eight best e-commerce website builders, followed by a brief buyer’s guide to help you narrow in on the best one.
Bluehost Review: The Best Ecommerce Website Builder For Most
Bluehost is undoubtedly my favorite way to create an ecommerce website using a website builder.
With their specialized WooCommerce Online Stores offering, Bluehost has made setting up a Woo Commerce store a breeze.
It starts with Bluehost’s Online Store Creation Experience, a tool that will guide you gently through initial store creation and product uploads.
I love this because Bluehost has long been one of WordPress’ recommended hosting providers. They get WordPress, so who better to trust to maximize the best e-commerce store plugin for it?
Bluehost even picks out the top companion plugins for your web store and includes them at no charge to you.
That’s a big deal since it would cost you $80 each to install and utilize USPS shipping, FedEx shipping, and UPS shipping, for just one example. Right off the bat, you get the three major shipping providers, and Bluehost saves you $240.
And that’s just three of the many plugins included.
Bluehost is generous, with included features beyond that as well. In the basic package, you’re allowed unlimited products and access to traffic analytics, 24/7 support, easy payment processing, manual order creation, and much more.
Plus, you get a free year of Code Guard Basic for regularly backing up your site.
If you commit to a 36-month term, all of this is available for a reasonable monthly price of $12.95. However, I would assume that you would want to stay in business for at least three years if you were serious about operating an online store.
If you choose to upgrade to Premium, which begins at $24.95/month for the same 36-month period, you’ll also be able to offer subscriptions, further customize your items, and make online appointments.
In addition, they will provide you with domain privacy and protection along with CodeGuard Basic, all for free.
This is without a doubt one of the simplest ways to create and manage an e-commerce store on your WordPress website because Bluehost is essentially relieving you of a great deal of the labor-intensive research, maintenance, and effort involved.
HostGator Review: The Best for Appointment Scheduling and Collecting Deposits
HostGator’s e-commerce website builder comes with built-in web hosting. So it’s a one-stop shop for launching your online store.
If you haven’t secured a domain yet, you can also register and claim a free domain for one year when you sign up for HostGator.
Getting started is easy. Just choose from over 150 mobile-optimized and professionally designed templates. Then modify the design using HostGator’s DIY site builder.
One unique standout of HostGator’s ecommerce website builder is its built-in appointment scheduler. You can set it up for your customers to book workshops, classes, online events, or anything else.
Once they’ve booked an appointment, HostGator even lets you follow up with automated email reminders.
In addition to scheduling an appointment, HostGator also allows you to collect deposits. This ensures you get paid, even if a customer doesn’t show up. But the fact that people are paying for something upfront will help lower no-show rates.
Other perks include:
- Free SSL certificate
- Free private domain registration
- Unlimited appointments
- Social media connection
- SEO-optimized designs
- Shipping software
- Inventory and stock sync
If you just need a solution for scheduling appointments and collecting deposits, you can sign up for HostGator’s website + Marketing package for $7.95 per month. If you also want to sell products through your ecommerce website builder, you’ll need the Online Store plan—which starts at $13.95 per month.
Get started today.
Web.com Review: The Best for Simple Online Stores
Truth be told, even DIY website builders can be overly complicated. Lots of options on the market are overwhelming with extra bells and whistles that you’ll never need or use.
Fortunately, Web.com doesn’t have any extra nonsense. It’s my favorite option for sellers who just want to keep things simple.
If your primary goal is to launch a website as quickly as possible and start selling a handful of products, then Web.com should be at the top of your list.
As a drag-and-drop site builder, it’s tough to find an easier way to build your website. That’s why it’s trusted by over three million users across the globe.
If, for some reason, you’re having trouble with the tool and need some assistance (which I doubt will be the case), Web.com has your back. They offer one free hour of expert design support with your plan.
Additional features and benefits include:
- Built-in web hosting
- Free domain name
- Free domain privacy and protection
- Social media and email marketing tools
- AI copywriting tool
- Appointment scheduling capabilities
Depending on the plan you select, Web.com supports sales on third-party platforms, including social sites like Facebook and Instagram or marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy, and eBay.
Online store packages start at $13.95 per month for your first year and then renew at $29.99 per month.
Sign up for Web.com to get started.
Shopify Review: The Best Out-of-the-Box Ecommerce Functions
Shopify is king in the e-commerce space. Countless websites throughout 175 countries rely on it, making it one of the most widely used e-commerce platforms accessible today.
More than $200 billion in online sales have been facilitated via Shopify.
The platform is extremely versatile. Whether you’re starting a new e-commerce business from scratch or expanding your physical presence to an online store, Shopify can accommodate your needs. It comes with everything you need to build your website and start selling online:
- Industry-specific templates
- Supports multiple sales channels (point-of-sale, social media, online marketplaces, etc.)
- Drag-and-drop store builder
- 70+ templates
- Custom domains
- Secure checkout
- Gift cards
- 24/7 support
- Unlimited products
- Built-in payment processing
- Shipping discounts
- Marketing tools
- Business insights
Regardless of your business size or industry, Shopify’s e-commerce platform is versatile enough to support your site.
Plans start at just $39 per month. You can try Shopify for free with a 3-day trial.
#5: Wix Review: The Best For Beginners
Wix is among the easiest tools available for building a new website. The platform allows you to create any type of website, including e-commerce sites.
Over 160 million people have created websites from scratch with Wix worldwide. There’s no programming to write and no technology to learn. You can make anything you can imagine using Wix.
Start by selecting one of Wix’s beautiful online store templates.Thousands of companies have used these to bring their goods and promotions in front of consumers. From there, you can use the easy-to-use drag-and-drop e-commerce website builder to alter the appearance and feel of your website to fit your brand.
Wix is a great option for beginners. Anyone can use this platform to build an e-commerce site, regardless of their technical skill level. Here’s what makes Wix so great:
- Intuitive drag-and-drop site builder
- 500 stunning templates
- Optimized for SEO
- App marketplace for custom functions
- Advanced design features like video backgrounds, animations, and scroll effects
- Mobile-optimized e-commerce site
- Custom domain, free hosting, and free SSL certificate
- Supports multiple payment methods
- Product pages and store manager tools
- $300 in advertising vouchers
- 24/7 customer care
- Unlimited products
E-commerce plans from Wix start at $23. But I recommend starting with the Business Unlimited plan, at a minimum. It’s just $4 more per month and comes with enhanced features.
You can start building your Wix site for free to try out the drag-and-drop builder. Then take advantage of a 14-day free trial to access premium features.
#6: BigCommerce Review: The Best for Large Ecommerce Sites
BigCommerce is another industry leader in the e-commerce world. For more than a decade, this platform has served e-commerce sites in 120+ countries.
BigCommerce has enabled merchant sales of over $25 billion. For those who prefer not to encounter irksome limitations regarding the capabilities of their website, this is an excellent choice.
Multi-channel sales, B2B merchants, foreign e-commerce sites, and wholesalers all benefit greatly from this platform. BigCommerce is the only solution to consider when selling at scale.
- easy-to-use and secure platform
- Powerful e-commerce analytics and customer insights
- Drag-and-drop building tools with no coding required
- WordPress integration
- Custom checkout capabilities with checkout API and SDK
- Built-in java script, HTML, and CSS for full theme customization
- Optimized for mobile and SEO
- Built-in faceted search
- Cross-channel sales support (brick & mortar, social, marketplaces, etc.)
- Multiple currency support
- Global CDN
- Cross-border fulfillment
- Built-in payment processing
Overall, BigCommerce is my top recommendation for large e-commerce websites. If you want to sell online without restrictions, this will be a top option to consider.
Plans start at $39 per month. Try BigCommerce for free for 15 days.
#7: Squarespace Review: The Best for Beautiful Ecommerce Designs
Squarespace is another all-in-one website builder that can be used to create any type of website.
But unlike other traditional site builders out there, Squarespace is optimized for businesses. With the exception of the personal plan, all Squarespace subscriptions come with built-in e-commerce functionality.
Squarespace is a popular choice for creative professionals who want to showcase their portfolios and sell them online. It comes with features like:
- Award-winning design templates
- Built-in tax tools
- Supports sales for subscriptions and digital content
- Discount codes and gift cards
- Secured checkout process from any device
- Abandoned cart recovery tools
- Ecommerce integrations for shipping and payment processing
- 24/7 customer support
You’ll need to connect your own payment processor to run an online store with Squarespace. E-commerce plans start at $18 per month. Upgrade to the Basic Commerce plan ($26 per month) to avoid 3% transaction fees.
If creating a visually appealing e-commerce site with stunning designs is your top priority, Squarespace should definitely be on your shortlist.
#8: Square Online Review: The Best for Small Businesses with Physical Retail Space
Square is most recognized for its POS systems and payment processing. However, the platform also gives entrepreneurs the option to set up a free online store.
If you’re a brick-and-mortar store that uses Square POS for sales, creating an online store with Square Online will allow you to simply increase your online presence.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the features and benefits that you’ll get with Square Online:
- Fast setup with no coding required
- Built-in payment processing
- Automatic sync with your Square POS system
- Supports in-house and on-demand delivery
- Instagram integration
- Inventory management tools
- Accept gift cards, Google Pay, and Apple Pay
Launching an e-commerce site with Square Online is free; you’ll only pay the transactional fees (starting at 2.9% + $0.30). For advanced features, paid plans start at $12 per month. Try it for free.
#9: WooCommerce Review: The Best Ecommerce WordPress Plugin
If you currently have a WordPress website and need to add shopping cart functionality to it, WooCommerce will be the best option for you.
This plugin is built specifically for WordPress, and it’s one of the most popular WordPress plugins on the market today.
What makes WooCommerce so great? Let’s take a closer look:
- Fully customizable with features that can extend its functionality
- Flexible and open-source
- 140+ gateways and payment integrations
- Ability to manage orders on the go
- Supports physical products, digital products, and subscriptions
- Hundreds of free and paid extensions
- Fully scalable
- Developer-friendly with REST API
To get started with WooCommerce, you’ll need to have an existing WordPress site. That means you’ll have to handle the domain registration and hosting on your own as well.
The WooCommerce plugin is free to install.
#10: Shift4Shop Review: The Best Developer-Friendly Ecommerce Software
If you have unique needs and you’re working with a developer or designer, Shift4Shop (formerly 3DCart) might be the solution for you.
While Shift4Shop does have drag-and-drop building tools to accommodate beginners, the software is powerful enough to support the needs of developers and design experts. So it can essentially be as simple or complex as you want it to be.
Other top features and noteworthy highlights of Shift4Shop include:
- 200+ built-in features
- 200+ ways to accept payments
- 50+ free themes
- Simple and versatile shipping setups
- Robust security
- Supports drop shipping
- Supports subscriptions, tickets, events, and print-on-demand sales
- Powerful CMS
- Optimized for SEO
Secure hosting, limitless orders, round-the-clock assistance, and no transaction fees are included with all options.
The entire platform is free to use if you process payments with Shift4Shop. Shift4Shop costs nothing more than transaction fees, which you would still be paying on a platform that is paid for, in contrast to certain e-commerce website builders that might cost hundreds of dollars a month.
One more reason I suggest shifting to Shift4Shop is the opportunity to save a lot of money. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee on subscriptions. Take a 15-day free trial.
What I Looked at to Find the Best Ecommerce Website Builder
Before you start searching for different e-commerce site builders, it’s important to understand how to evaluate these options.
Much will depend on where you are starting from and where you want to go.
Someone who wants to add e-commerce functionality to an existing website, for example, has a different set of challenges than a person who is still planning to launch their site.
Here are the major factors to consider as you’re shopping around and narrowing down your top picks:.
Technical Skill Level
What is your technical background?
Some e-commerce website builders are designed for beginners, others are made for advanced users and developers, and the rest fall somewhere in between. If you’re a DIY-type person, then your technical abilities will play a significant factor in choosing the right platform.
Beginners should aim for platforms that don’t require coding. These website builders will let you put everything together with simple drag-and-drop functionality.
Advanced users and developers may want the ability to access the site’s backend code for advanced customizations. Businesses should consult with their tech team or whoever will ultimately be working on the site before finalizing a decision.
Business Stage and Size
New businesses and rapidly scaling startups won’t necessarily have the same needs as an e-commerce website builder. Some of you might even be looking to sell a handful of products online as a small side project or part-time job.
If you already have an existing website, you might not need a complete site builder. There are other tools out there that can add shopping cart functionality to your current site (more on this shortly).
Do you still need to register your domain name? Have you picked a web hosting plan yet?
There are website builders out there that provide you with all of these capabilities out of the box on a single platform. In other instances, you’ll need to get your domain and hosting plan separately.
Drop shipping makes it possible to run an e-commerce website without having to buy, store, or ship inventory to your customers. When someone purchases something from your website, the supplier handles fulfillment and ships the product directly to those customers.
If you’re interested in running an e-commerce site that follows this business model, you need to make sure that your site builder supports drop shipping.
While not every website builder will come with drop-shipping functionality out of the box, the best ones will seamlessly integrate with drop-shipping software and third-party tools.
Design and Templates
Start to think about the visual aesthetics of your e-commerce site. The best e-commerce website builders will make it possible for you to create a beautiful site without having to hire a designer.
The easiest way to do this is by starting with a pre-built template and customizing it with your content. You should be able to choose a theme or template that fits with your brand image and industry.
As you start browsing and evaluating different platforms, you’ll quickly realize that the templates and design tools aren’t equal across the board—some are undoubtedly better than others.
Not every e-commerce website builder comes standard with a long list of functions. In some cases, you’ll have to customize your site’s functionality by adding features from a marketplace or app store. Depending on the functionality you’re looking for, you might even need to integrate your site with a third-party tool or platform.
With that said, other site builders will provide you with all of the functions you could possibly need out of the box (with some restrictions).
There’s really no right or wrong answer here; it’s all about personal preference. Would you rather have every feature at your disposal as soon as you create an account? Or do you prefer adding functionality as needed?
The answer to these questions will help you narrow down your choices.
Your e-commerce website builder might restrict how many products you can sell on the site. Some platforms will even charge you extra fees based on your traffic volume.
This usually isn’t a concern for new websites, but as your site scales, this can definitely become a problem.
Look beyond the rock-bottom prices and entry-level plans offered by different platforms. See how much it will cost you if your product list doubles, triples, or quadruples. Will you incur extra fees?
Some e-commerce site builders are better at selling just a dozen products or so as opposed to managing extensive product catalogs in the hundreds or thousands.
The first step to selling online is finding a viable e-commerce website builder.
Which one is the best? It really depends on what you’re looking for. Here are my top recommendations:
- Bluehost is the best e-commerce website builder for most
- HostGator: Best for appointment scheduling and collecting deposits
- Web.com is Best for simple e-commerce sites
- Shopify: Best out-of-the-box e-commerce functions
- wix is Best drag-and-drop e-commerce builder
- BigCommerce is Best for large e-commerce sites
- Squarespace is Best for beautiful e-commerce designs
- Square Online is Best for small businesses with physical retail space
- WooCommerce is the best e-commerce site. WordPress plugin
- Shift4Shop is Best developer-friendly e-commerce software
Bluehost, paired with WooCommerce, is going to be the best option for most people. It’s a great option for existing WordPress sites and new websites alike.
In order to find the best option for your website, refer to the buying guide, reviews, and recommendations outlined in this post. This will definitely help you narrow down your options.