The 6 Best Ecommerce Website Builders 2023

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If you’re looking for the best ecommerce website builder, Shopify is our top choice, scoring a superb rating of 4.8 out of 5 overall. It has the best sales features, such as multichannel integration and onsite testimonials, plus great scalability for larger stores.

6 Best Ecommerce Website Builders

  1. Shopify Best overall ecommerce website builder
  2. Wix Best value for money
  3. Squarespace Easiest to use
  4. BigCommerce Best for SEO
  5. Square Online Best free plan
  6. GoDaddy Fastest way to open an online store

Wix is a very close second, sitting just behind Shopify with an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5. Its feature-rich plans are the best value for money and it offers top-level help and support to users. Squarespace pulls into third place with a score of 4.4 out of 5, thanks to its stunning templates and incredibly easy-to-use editor.

We’ve reviewed and analyzed these ecommerce website builders for you, sharing everything you need to know about each builder in the dedicated sections below.

Would you prefer instant, personalized answers? No problem, take our 4-question quiz and find your perfect ecommerce builder!

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What is an Ecommerce Website Builder?

An ecommerce website builder is a website builder that lets you sell online. These builders offer ecommerce-friendly plans, equipped with powerful sales features to help you grow and manage your online store.

When choosing an appropriate home for your business, the best things to look out for are scalability, ease of use in the editor and the backend dashboard, and quality of features and tools.

But not all website builders come equipped with ecommerce capabilities and not all stores want to build a website – if you’re looking for a comprehensive solution to manage your online store, check out our list of the best ecommerce platforms.

Compare the 6 Best Ecommerce Website Builders

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We know how tricky it can be to decide between ecommerce website builders – that’s why we put the top choices side by side in this handy comparison chart! Use the arrows at the top of the chart to scroll through the six best online store builders, and compare features, pricing, and star ratings. You can read full reviews of each below!

We conducted hundreds of hours of research and testing to bring you this list, so you can sit back and enjoy our breakdown of the six best ecommerce website builders. We’ll also reveal which website builders are best by industry, to give you a detailed low-down and help you get started with the right one.

You can read more about our methodology in our dedicated section at the end of the article.

More Information

#1. Shopify

Best Overall Ecommerce Website Builder

Pricing range: $29 per month – $299 per month

Editor's Choice


Best overall ecommerce website builder



out of 5
  • Supports big inventories
  • Popular with our users
  • Heavily reliant on apps

Free trial available

Paid Plans: $29 - $299 / month


  • Strong suite of sales features
  • Good for multi-channel integration
  • Huge app store


  • Reliant of third party apps
  • Customizability is limited
  • Transaction fees based on payment option
Read Review

Shopify Overview

Shopify is the best ecommerce website builder overall, especially for large stores selling over 10 products. It powers over 600,000 online stores and has over 1 million active users worldwide. More than $100 billion has been sold on Shopify – so it must be doing something right!

Our research confirmed this. Shopify comes number one overall, rising 4.2% in our ranking since last year, going from 4.6 to 4.8 out of 5. This is thanks to Shopify continually improving itself against its competitors and adding new features, such as being able to manage up to 1,000 locations.

What makes Shopify so great is that it works with everything. It has an extensive 6,000+ plugin library where you can install most features onto your site. This reliance on third-party apps has led to perhaps not being the easiest-to-use editor, but Shopify has made major improvements in this regard. Its ease of use score in our research rose 13.4% since last year from 3.5 to 4 out of 5, and it now has its own internal service for digital product sales.

With three pricing plans to choose between, Shopify isn’t the cheapest of options, but we think it’s fair to say you get what you pay for. It’s a website builder that will grow with you, supporting the trajectory of your business. An impressive 93% of Shopify customers told our researchers they were satisfied with the ecommerce website builder.

Shopify Sales Features

Shopify has the strongest sales features of any ecommerce website builder we’ve tested. It even rose 4.2% since last year from 4.5 to 4.7 out of 5, thanks to its inclusion of the aforementioned digital product selling.

But that’s not all! Shopify also has one of the best inventory systems, plus connections to over +100 different payment options along with Shopify Payments. If you’re going to sell online, we recommend you go with Shopify.

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Shopify’s Pricing

Shopify has three different pricing plans available:

Shopify also has a cheaper Starter Plan for $5 per month. It’s confined to mobile and for selling on social media, but it’s a great, low-cost way to get access to Shopify’s suite of sales features.

With a starting price of $29 per month, Shopify is one of the more expensive ecommerce builders out there. However, it’s important to look at the value of the plan – Shopify scores 3.6 out of 5 in our research, which is a rise of 20% since last year’s score of just 3 out of 5, the biggest value score increase of all the builders we tested. This increase was due to more widespread support being given to Shopify’s feature versus its price.

Unfortunately, Shopify doesn’t offer a free plan, but you can take advantage of its 3-day free trial, and get three months at just $1 per month on the Basic plan, leaving you time to decide whether it’s the right online store builder for you.

Click the + to see a more detailed summary of Shopify

Shopify has seen the largest increase of any builder year-on-year in this category, rising nearly 10% from 4.2 to 4.6 out of 5 in our research scores, tying with Wix. Before, Shopify was reliant on third-party apps for a lot of its essential website-building functions. The main draw of Shopify used to be its advanced sales toolkit, and web-building features took a backseat to its sales capabilities.

However, since we last tested, Shopify has improved its website-building features, with more focus on internal features rather than plugins and apps. They’re still important, but no longer as essential as they once were.

Some of the newly implemented internal features include onsite testimonials, audio uploads, product comparison functionality, and suggested purchase popups. While we still wouldn’t recommend Shopify for any non-ecommerce websites, the improvement in Shopify’s website features since last year, including storage and site speed improvements, makes it a great all-rounder for marketing and growing your site.

When it comes to sales features, Shopify excels. Coming first in our research with 4.7 out of 5, it has a near-infinite list of ecommerce tools to boost your sales performance.

Here are a few of the main sales features:

  • Sell physical and digital goods and services
  • Abandoned cart recovery is built-in, helping catch incomplete sales
  • Online invoice generator makes billing and collecting money easier
  • Sync with 10 other sales platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon + new channels added like TikTok and Snapchat
  • Over 100 different payment gateways to choose from (including Shopify Payments and Google Pay)
  • Sell unlimited products
  • Stay on track on the go with Shopify’s mobile app
  • Easily customize your checkout with your own logo, brand colors, and font

Plus, for anything that Shopify doesn’t offer as a built-in feature, it has an app. Its app market rivals even that of Wix, so you can increase your store’s functionality as it grows.

For example, Shopify has recently introduced a new Ecommerce Booster app in partnership with Semrush – the tool will run SEO checks on your store and provide you with feedback to action yourself. This is a great way to improve your online store’s performance across search engines and boost visibility.

However, it’s worth bearing in mind that lots of these apps come with an additional cost. This, on top of a fairly steep monthly subscription price, isn’t ideal for those working with a smaller budget.

While talking about some of Shopify’s pitfalls, we should also mention its transaction fees. Shopify offers over 100 different payment options – something we’re big fans of. However, many of these gateways will come with additional transaction fees, which at the lowest price plan begin at 2.9% + $0.30. The only way for you to avoid this is if you sign up for Shopify’s own payment gateway, Shopify Payments.

Although this isn’t the worst thing in the world, it does limit some of your choices, especially if there’s a particular gateway you’d rather use. Shopify earns a 5 out of 5 in virtually every sales feature area except transaction fees, where it only scores 1 out of 5.

This is a small complaint, though, given the impressive functionality of Shopify as a whole. It’s no wonder that Shopify scores so highly in this category, making it a great choice for anyone who’s serious about building a successful and scalable ecommerce store.

Shopify was never known for its outstanding design, getting a 3.9 out of 5 overall for design last year. However, Shopify has really increased its design capabilities, rising 14.3% in our research to 4.4 out of 5, making it our highest-rated ecommerce website builder for design.

It has over 100 themes to choose from, although only 12 of these are actually free.

For those just starting out, the free themes are still a good option. Each one is professionally designed and comes in a variety of color options to best suit your branding. However, because there are only 12 to choose from, it can be tricky to create a storefront that truly stands out.

There’s a lot to be said for purchasing a premium theme, not least because they often come with more complex designs and built-in features, but it’s a big investment to make right off the bat, as their prices vary between $180 and $360.

While the themes, both free and paid, are better than last year, Shopify’s editor can still be confusing to new users, as you have to constantly be flitting back and forth from the front end to the back end. However, a huge omnichannel improvement (a rise of 150% in our research!) has enabled users to create and organize internal marketing from one dashboard, which has really alleviated a lot of stress Shopify used to induce.

All ecommerce website builders have increased in prices since last year, due to external factors affecting the globe like inflation. Shopfy’s prices have risen by 12% since 2021, but when paired against all the other builders on this list, actually fared well year-on-year, rising in value for money score by 20% from 3 to 3.6 out of 5.

In our research, value for money is worked out by pitting features vs pricing. If pricing has increased, we expect features offered to increase to make up for the more expensive plan. Shopify followed this very well, actually increasing its feature vs price score by 33.33% since last year, going from 3 to 4 out of 5 – the only builder to do so!

We’d definitely say that the quality of Shopify’s tools justifies its prices, and the popularity of this builder with users all across the world lends plenty of weight to this. Plus, with a 3-day free trial (then three months at $1/month) there’s nothing to lose in trying Shopify out!

As we mentioned earlier, Shopify’s editor used to have a bit of a learning curve. However, when our testers tried it out in our most recent research round, they found some great improvements. In our scores, Shopify actually rose 13.4% from 3.5 to 4 out of 5.

A lot of our testers were impressed by the number of sales features, saying:

“Loads of payment options which is vital for businesses. They had far more than most builders.”

However, Shopify is not fully transformed, and some of our testers still encountered trouble with the Shopify editor:

“There are so many options for your business, which is great, but there are so many in front of you that you can’t find anything.”

Shopify’s support score increased by 2.6% since last year, going from 3.8 to 3.9 out of 5. A big part of this is how easy our users found it to find answers in Shopify’s knowledge center. Its scores for help and support vs price also increased 33.33% from 3 to 4 out of 5, because all of the support it offers is available from its lowest price plan.

These features include:

  • 24/7 phone support
  • Social media support
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • Community forum
  • Email support
  • Help center
  • Video tutorials
  • Advanced specialist support

Shopify in Action: Attn: Grace

Alexandra Fennell
Alexandra Fennel
Alexandra Fennell is a passionate advocate for women’s health and an expert in ownable differentiation, having practiced patent law for many years. As CoFounder and Co-CEO of Attn: Grace, she’s leading her team on a mission to center women’s wellness as they age in a way that’s accessible, empathetic, informative, and empowering. The small core team at Attn: Grace is composed of women from all walks of life. They are working mothers, women of color, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and they care deeply about making safe, sustainable products designed to support health as we age.
Shopify is an invaluable tool for ecommerce retailers. It grows with businesses.


How long have you been using Shopify for your online store?

We’ve used Shopify since Attn: Grace’s founding in 2020.

What do you like most about using Shopify to build and run your online store?

Shopify’s many beneficial features have allowed us to launch a successful ecommerce business during a pandemic.

It’s customization apps and analytics have improved our SEO strategies and created a more enjoyable customer experience as they shop online. Its security features and certifications ensure data protection and privacy, building trust between us and our customer base.

We’ve also used Shopify’s POS features to track our sales when we have pop-up stores. Crucially, Shopify also helps optimize websites for mobile viewing, making them accessible to customers no matter where they are.

Is there anything you'd change about it?

Though Shopify offers an extensive app library, I think integrating these features into its interface will make the platform more affordable and customizable for businesses. Built-in tools are easier to use, and they would help retailers create attractive, optimized websites more quickly and efficiently.

Would you recommend Shopify to other businesses looking to build an online store?

Shopify is an invaluable tool for ecommerce retailers. It grows with businesses. Shopify Plus helps scale businesses instantaneously and adapt to changing demands and patterns in consumer behavior.

Shopify is Our Top-Rated Ecommerce Website Builder

It scored an impressive 4.8 out of 5 in our research.

More Information

#2. Wix

Best Value For Money

Pricing range (for ecommerce): $27 per month – $159 per month


Best value for money



out of 5
  • Best internal features
  • 500+ free store templates
  • Best overall value

Free trial available

Paid Plans: $16 - $159 / month


  • Highest customer score in our research
  • Excellent sales features
  • Supports 180 languages


  • Can’t switch template once site is live
  • Range of options can feel overwhelming
  • Pay more for the best features
Read Review

Wix Overview

Wix is a hugely popular drag-and-drop ecommerce website builder, with over 110 million users worldwide. Wix knows a thing or two about creating websites and online stores – so much so, that it ties in with Shopify for the top overall score of 4.8 out of 5, a 2.4% rise from last year’s score of 4.7.

While the score may be tied, Wix does have to step down from the winner’s podium due to one thing: Shopify has better sales features. Wix still has powerful ecommerce capabilities, even improving in the last year by 1.6% from 4.4 to 4.5 out of 5, but it can’t beat Shopify’s more impressive range. And, in ranking the best ecommerce website builders, we have to take more consideration for sales features.

Wix does succeed in more than one area though, most notably being our best value for money ecommerce website builder. It scores 4.4 out of 5 in this category, the best in our research, thanks to its scalable and feature-rich plans.

While its sales features may be just shy of Shopify, Wix has top-of-the-range everything else. It dominates as a website builder and Wix’s editor is incredibly beginner-friendly, bringing a quality that other online store builders can’t touch. For the starting price of $27 per month, you get a whole lot more than just an online store, making it our best value builder.

However, we would still only recommend Wix for smaller online stores. Its tools and features are impressive, but they aren’t quite good enough to deal with a large or complex inventory. We’d recommend either Shopify or BigCommerce for that.

Save 10% On Wix With Our Code 'GET10!'

Wix Sales Features

As we mentioned, Wix’s sales features aren’t as impressive as Shopify’s. But don’t let that dishearten you, because they’re still really good, earning a 4.5 out of 5 in our ranking. In fact, Wix’s sales feature scores were the only ones to either increase or sustain their scores across all categories.

Wix also made some improvements over the past year, adding in big data capability, plus better stock management functionality.

Wix Pricing

Wix offers three pricing plans that have ecommerce features. Here’s each plan, with its monthly cost, billed annually:

The cheapest plan is ideal for those who are just starting out on their ecommerce journey, allowing you to take payments and sell across multiple channels.

The higher tier plans also allow you to sell subscriptions, as well as give you access to dropshipping apps. You’ll be able to display your prices in a variety of currencies, too.

Click the + to see a more detailed summary of Wix

While we tend to praise Wix for its website features, Shopify has actually tied with Wix after this last research session, with both builders now scoring 4.6 out of 5 for website features in our rankings.

Unlike Shopify though, Wix tops the ranking in our best website builder list, due in no small part to its fantastic features. Its ecommerce offering is no exception since users wanting to build an online store still get access to all of the same wonderful features and unique tools, such as:

  • Content Manager
  • Bookings
  • Scheduling
  • Events
  • Ticketing
  • Pricing Plans

Wix improved its website features score in our rankings by 4.5% since last year. This was due to improvements to its internalization and site speed, with Wix now supporting 180 languages and its site speed being measured at 17% faster; important for users who want to get full use of all Wix’s tools.

Wix’s sales features have only gotten better over the years. It actually increased by 1.6% in our rankings from 4.4 last year to 4.5 out of 5 this year. What started off as a modest ecommerce offering has now grown into something to rival even the biggest of online store builders.

Some of our favorite ecommerce features include:

  • Abandoned cart recovery – send automatic emails and regain lost sales by encouraging customers to finalize purchases
  • Multi-channel integration – sell on Instagram and Facebook without installing any apps
  • “Buy now” and “Add to cart” buttons – create an easier shopping experience and increase sales
  • Printable shipping labels – develop your brand image by personalizing your packaging
  • Store card details – customers can pay-on-the-go using their stored card details in the “wallet” area of the checkout
  • Dropshipping – use a third-party company and save the hassle of packaging and shipping yourself
  • Integrations with Shipstation – provide a seamless shipping experience for your customers using apps like Shipstation

Another way to add ecommerce features to your Wix online store is to use apps. Wix has a formidable app store which means you can boost your selling functionality even further. Be careful, though – like Shopify, lots of Wix’s apps come with extra costs that can quickly mount up.

Thankfully, Wix websites automatically come with SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates at no extra cost. This is really important as it means customers can safely submit their details through your website.

Wix used to have pretty basic inventory features and lacked a stock-level management alert system. However, we can report that Wix has improved on this functionality since the last time we tested. The only downside Wix has is that there is still a 2.9% + $0.30 transaction fee, but an additional 48 payment gateway options to choose from since our last round of testing.

Wix has over 800 templates to choose from, around 500 of which are specifically for ecommerce stores. You can even filter them by specific ecommerce industries, too.

In our research, we gave it a design score of 4.2 out of 5, an increase of 5% from last year’s score of 4 out of 5, due to improved aesthetical capabilities in its editor, outpacing Squarespace’s usual dominance over this category.

Each Wix template is highly customizable, meaning you can create a really strong brand for your online store. And, because of Wix’s drag-and-drop editor, it’s super easy to add product videos and other cool features to create the ultimate shopping experience.

With Wix, you also know exactly how your online store will look to customers while you’re editing, making customization really easy. However, it’s worth noting that once you publish your online store, you won’t be able to change your template, so make sure you choose carefully! If you do decide that you want to switch it up, you’ll need to start from scratch.

Wix’s value for money is a non-mover, remaining at a steady 4.4 out of 5 from last year and making it our best value for money ecommerce website builder. Wix’s prices increased by 17% this year, but Wix managed to keep feature vs price metrics equal, fully compensating users with constant updates and new tools as prices increased.

Wix has a free plan available, but you aren’t able to sell on it. You can, however, still create your store and customize it to your heart’s content before deciding to upgrade to one of Wix’s dedicated ecommerce plans:

With an ease of use score of 4 out of 5, Wix is joint second alongside Shopify and GoDaddy. Wix makes sure its UX is as user-friendly as possible, featuring many guides and onboarding tips as you navigate the editor, which is especially impressive considering how much customizability the builder has.

As one of our testers said:

“It really had the most customization of any builder we tested. You wanted something? It could do it. Very impressive.”

This limitless customizability has led to… unintended consequences on Wix’s end. With so many tools and features and the ability to customize them all, many of our testers actually found that it was too overwhelming and they were frozen with indecision over what they could do, with one tester saying:

“It is a great builder, and you can do a lot of things, but if I gave this to my mom I think she would breakdown in tears, I don’t think she’d know what to do.”

Our testers recommended going at a slower pace when using Wix, which could be a strain on some potential users.

Wix has the best help and support of any ecommerce website builder we’ve tested with a score of 4.1 out of 5. The support options it offers are:

  • Phone support
  • Social media support
  • Community forum
  • Email support
  • Video tutorials
  • 24/7 on-page editor support
  • In-depth knowledge base

Wix’s score actually increased since last year by an impressive 6.6% from 3.8 out of 5. This was due to a new feature introduced by Wix called Specialist Support, which puts you in contact with a dedicated Wix expert to solve your issues in your language.

Wix in Action: Off Highway Van

Off Highway Van logo
A.J. Turner
Marketing Director
A.J. Turner is the Marketing Director and Product Manager for Off Highway Van. Off Highway Van creates vehicles and products for wilderness exploration, making dreams come true for those looking to get themselves and their loved ones out into the remote places of the world in a campervan.
Its integrations with Quickbooks, Google, and other software we use makes it simple to do everything in one place — and ensure nothing is lost in the shuffle.


How long have you been using Wix for your online store?

We’ve been using Wix since 2016 for our business. We utilize the online store features, as well as the booking services.

What do you like most about using Wix to build and run your online store?

The ease of use and simplicity is the best part. Similarly, its integrations with Quickbooks, Google, and other software we use makes it simple to do everything in one place — and ensure nothing is lost in the shuffle.

Is there anything you'd change about it?

We would like a little more functionality in editing. We’re a creative group here, and often the abilities of Wix are limited. Fortunately, we are experts with Adobe and have formed our own workarounds to get our branding, graphics, and creative content to work on the website in a way that reflects the quality of our engineering in our products.

Would you recommend Wix to other businesses looking to build an online store?

Yes — we’d recommend Wix. It’s a great platform for a variety of businesses. We certainly are unique in how we utilize it to sell custom-built campervans and products for those campervans, but we’ve been successful in making it work for our business.
Wix is the best value for money ecommerce website builder.

More Information

#3. Squarespace

Easiest To Use

Pricing range (for ecommerce): $23 per month – $49 per month


Easiest to use



out of 5
  • Easiest to build with
  • Great-looking templates
  • Can be limiting

Free trial available

Paid Plans: $16 - $49 / month


  • More omni-channel selling options
  • Enhanced third-party integrations
  • Most visually-striking templates


  • Business plan price increase
  • No autosave in editor
  • Can't handle larger stores
Read Review

Squarespace Overview

Best for small stores or those looking to sell digital products online, Squarespace is renowned for its creative finesse. Stunning templates combined with a good inventory system and lots of quality features make Squarespace an attractive choice. That’s why it sits in third place in our rankings with an overall score of 4.4 out of 5, a slight drop of -2.3% from last year’s score of 4.5 out of 5.

However, what we really want to highlight is the fact that Squarespace is the most user-friendly ecommerce website builder, scoring 4.3 out of 5 in our ease of use testing. Its drag-and-drop editor and library of pre-designed elements are just a few of the reasons why it’s the easiest builder to get to grips with.

Squarespace editor gives you quite a lot of creative freedom to make a site however you want, yet the results never seem to be ugly. The intuitiveness of the editor is great for beginners to get to grips with website building.

While Squarespace’s templates are consistently 5 out of 5 visually, Squarespace has lost points for its design due to increased competition by ecommerce website builders like Shopify, dropping Squarespace’s design score by -5% since last year from 4 to 3.8 out of 5.

But what about the business side? Squarespace is a really strong all-around choice for combining a stylish storefront with classic ecommerce features, such as creating discounts and promotional pop-ups.

With its professional templates, Squarespace will really show off your products and let your storefront shine. It’s a solid choice for your online store, as long as you don’t outgrow its range of ecommerce features.

Save 10% On Squarespace With Code 'WBE'

Squarespace is the most user-friendly ecommerce website builder.

Squarespace Sales Features

Out of all the ecommerce builders we tested, Squarespace saw the biggest increase in overall sales features score since last year, rising nearly 9% from 3.4 to 3.7 out of 5 due to an increased number of payment options for customers like a Buy Now Pay Later scheme. While not on the same level as Wix or Shopify, Squarespace still provides a good ecommerce service, especially for smaller stores and art-focused sellers.

Squarespace Pricing

Squarespace offers three pricing plans, two of which are solely dedicated to ecommerce. The prices for each are as follows (billed annually):

Both the Basic and Advanced Commerce plans come with everything you need to run an online store. The only difference between the two is that the Advanced plan comes with increased ecommerce functionality, including abandoned cart emails, advanced shipping, and discounts, as well as the ability to sell subscriptions.

Click the + to see a more detailed summary of Squarespace

Squarespace is the only ecommerce website builder to have seen a decrease in this category, falling -0.2% but still retaining its 4.2 out of 5 scores. Squarespace’s inability to keep up with the number of extra features being rolled out by competitors resulted in a fall of -40% in additional functionalities from a 5 last year to just a 3 out of 5. This has affected its overall scoring, while its competitors Wix and Shopify have only increased their outputs.

However, Squarespace still has a lot of great website features. Increased third-party integrations have brought its app store Squarespace Extensions up to 32 high-quality plugins. Plus, with a handy booking system and digital product selling available, Squarespace has enough functionality to operate a great online store. It also improved 66.67% in our category for storage, going from a 3 to a 5 out of 5, and additionally improved its site speed by 9%.

Squarespace doesn’t boast the longest list of sales features, which is why it has a slightly lower score of 3.7 out of 5, but those features it does have are all of the highest quality. Ideally suited for those with a smaller inventory, or for a store specializing in digital products, Squarespace comes with limited but functional in-house stock management, as well as revenue reports, stock-level email reports, and strong marketing tools.

Promotional features are an area where Squarespace really stands out with a rise of 33.33% in our scores. You can add different types of discounts to the products in your store, from individual products to entire orders plus a new feature of adding discounted featured products on the homepage.

Other areas where it improved were in its multi-channel sales, with selling now available through Facebook and Instagram and an Etsy marketplace, plus adding Stripe, PayPal, and AfterPay payment functionality. Squarespace also allows you to sell unlimited products on any of its ecommerce price plans. Plus, you have the option of either uploading them in bulk or one at a time.

Squarespace has also introduced Squarespace Courses to users, allowing businesses to sell online courses, such as fitness videos or a tutorial on writing.

One thing’s for sure – your store won’t just look good with Squarespace: it’ll pack a punch too! But if you want speedy growth on a large scale, you might find Squarespace too small too soon – shipping and payment options are limited when compared to Shopify.

Design is kind of Squarespace’s thing. It’s well-known for its beautiful templates and strong customizability, consistently scoring well in this area. But as we mentioned, Squarespace’s design has dropped -5% from last year’s testing to a 3.8 out of 5 due to increases in design from competitors like Wix, with Squarespace not being able to keep up.

Squarespace has a smaller but comprehensive selection of online store templates, covering an impressive range of industries from fashion to food & drink. However, the number of ecommerce templates available compared to other builders is disappointingly low. Luckily, those that are available are very appealing, so users won’t struggle to find a template they like.

Squarespace took a -13.6% drop in value for money from last year, going from 4.4 to 3.8 out of 5. This was due to two factors, namely that both Squarespace’s feature vs price and average price plan metrics fell by -20%.

While all builders have had an increase in price over the past year, Squarespace’s pricing has increased by 28% since 2021, double what Shopify increased in the same amount of time.

If you aren’t fully ready to commit to an ecommerce-specific plan, we’d recommend opting for the Business plan. The Business plan comes with reduced ecommerce features but still allows you to sell an unlimited number of products. However, you’ll be charged a hefty 3% transaction fee on all of your orders with this plan. This disappears if you upgrade to either the Basic or Advanced Ecommerce plans.

Squarespace may not reach Wix and Shopify in other areas, but it does absolutely have them beat in ease of use, scoring 4.3 out of 5 overall. What makes Squarespace so user-friendly is that it feels very hard to make a bad website. Everything is intelligently designed to make sure you have full control but can’t mess anything up.

Our testers were very favorable on Squarespace, saying,

“Squarespace made building a store so easy and simple. The navigation made sense, the design tools are great for beginners or experts, and there are so many features available to use. Any time I got stuck, I found an answer almost immediately in the help center.”

One negative to mention is a lack of autosave in the editor. If you don’t save manually, you’ll lose progress so keep that in mind!

Squarespace rose 4.3% from last year, going from 3.5 to 3.7 out of 5 for help and support. It offers full support, such as:

  • Live chat Monday to Friday
  • 24/7 social media support via Twitter
  • 24/7 email support
  • In-depth knowledge base
  • Community forum
  • Video tutorials

Squarespace in Action: Spanish and Go

Squarespace User Q&A headshot Spanish and Go
Jim Fricker II
Jim Fricker II is the co-founder of Spanish and Go, a business with a mission to connect English speakers to the Spanish-speaking world. Spanish and Go produces travel and culture related videos on their Youtube channel to share different aspects of Spanish-speaking countries to their audience of over 160,000. Jim, along with his wife and co-founder May Larios, also co-host the weekly Spanish education podcast Learn Spanish and Go, share travel and language tips on their blog, and host Spanish Immersion Retreats in Mexico.
I like the ease of use and flexibility of running our store on Squarespace. We can quickly create new products, update our inventory, and add discount codes.


How long have you been using Squarespace for your online store?

We’ve been running our business website on Squarespace since 2016, and we’ve been running our online store on Squarespace since the beginning one 2022.

What do you like most about using Squarespace to build and run your online store?

I like the ease of use and flexibility of running our store on Squarespace. We can quickly create new products, update our inventory, and add discount codes. A huge benefit for us is the ability to sell subscriptions. We use this feature to offer a payment plan for our Spanish Immersion Retreats after a customer has paid their deposit. It’s also convenient to use blocks to insert our offerings into different articles on our site.

Is there anything you'd change about it?

I wish Squarespace would allow for the option to offer payment installments and a pay-in-full option for the same product. Currently, a product has to be either a one-time payment or a subscription. While most of our customers prefer the flexibility of a payment plan, others would rather pay in full. Currently, our solution to this is to send them a link to what is technically another product in Squarespace for the same event they’ll be attending, only with the price being the full amount.

Would you recommend Squarespace to other businesses looking to build an online store?

I would recommend Squarespace to other businesses looking to build an online store especially because Squarespace offers plan tiers that are easy to switch between as their business grows.
Squarespace is the easiest ecommerce website builder to use.

More Information

#4. BigCommerce

Best For SEO

Pricing range: $29 per month – $299/month


Best for SEO



out of 5
  • Built for retailers
  • Great SEO
  • Not the easiest to use

Free trial available

Paid Plans: $29 - $299 / month


  • Excellent SEO features
  • Great for scaling your business
  • Abandoned cart recovery


  • Not the most user-friendly
  • Can be expensive
  • Third-party apps needed
Read Review

BigCommerce Overview

BigCommerce is a well-known ecommerce website builder that boasts some big names – including Clarks and Ben & Jerry’s – as clients. And it’s no wonder! Online stores backed by BigCommerce have been recorded as growing at almost double the industry average.

In our research, BigCommerce came second for its sales features, scoring 4.6 out of 5 in this category. This is thanks to the sheer breadth of tools it offers, including plenty of multi-channel selling options, as well as the ability to accept international payments.

It also performed reasonably well when it came to website features, too. Its score of 3.9 out of 5 puts it in fourth place, a rise of 7.8% from last year’s score of 3.6. You can expect a range of good in-house features, such as customer reviews, email marketing, and search filters.

Its star feature is its SEO capabilities, which we gave a 5 out of 5 in our research. You’ll be equipped with everything you need, from metadata to 301 redirects, to help your business succeed online.

This is all built into BigCommerce’s library of themes, making it the best choice if you’re looking to really grow your online store into a large and successful business. Don’t use it if you are a beginner, either in business or in tech! It’s not the easiest to use, and its prices reflect the large number of tools and features you get.

BigCommerce Sales Features

BigCommerce should be used by anyone wanting to rapidly and remarkably grow their online store. It has all the necessary sales features plus some new ones since we last tested, such as a 25% rise in our research score for promotions and pop-ups.

BigCommerce Pricing

Although BigCommerce offers tiered pricing like its competitors (in fact, the pricing is identical to Shopify), these tiers are also based on how much revenue your business makes each year. Take a look at BigCommerce’s pricing plans (and the associated revenue brackets) below:

BigCommerce also offers a 15-day free trial.

Click the + to see a more detailed summary of BigCommerce

While BigCommerce is certainly capable of running big online stores, and with an overall score of 4.1 out of 5 in our research, it comfortably slots into fourth place. You can automatically sell physical and digital goods as well as services. And you don’t need apps to enable these – you can just start selling!

BigCommerce also has an excellent SEO suite, giving all online store owners access to change basic SEO features like metadata, tags, and product filtering as well as advanced SEO capabilities such as 301 redirects, microdata, and CDNs. In our research, BigCommerce’s SEO score remains a perfect 5 out of 5.

BigCommerce also recently increased its storage space limit amounts, raising its storage score by 33.33% and its overall website feature score by 7.8% from 3.6 to 3.9 out of 5.

BigCommerce wants to see your store grow and succeed and this is evident in the number and quality of features it offers. Its score hasn’t moved since we last tested it, but that is just a testament to how robust the sales features are. In our research, we gave it a 4.6 out of 5 overall for this category – the second-best sales features score after Shopify.

You can upload products in bulk to save you time, and there’s no limit on the number of products you can sell. You can also keep track of your products and customers using BigCommerce’s analytics reports. This is an important strength of the builder, with these reports available:

  • Store overview
  • Real-time reports
  • Customer reports
  • Abandoned cart reports
  • Merchandising reports

Another interesting product feature involves AI! BigCommerce now offers AI-powered ecommerce features, including text generation to help business owners with product descriptions and general website copy. The tool will also produce relevant recommendations for customers with the aim of increasing conversions and improving customer engagement, saving you time and energy when building your online store.

Abandoned cart recovery is already built in, plus you can customize the email that gets sent out to customers. You can even combine this with coupon codes to entice your customers back to your store. Most importantly, BigCommerce’s stock management system is second to none. It can cope with complex, multi-variation inventories, and its functionality beats even the likes of Shopify.

Like Shopify, you are slightly reliant on third-party apps with BigCommerce, though to a lesser extent. The store has over 600 apps to choose from, giving you the extra functionality you may need if you have ambitions to run a large store one

BigCommerce’s design score has fallen since last year, dropping -8.9% from 4 to 3.6 out of 5, due to a lack of omnichannel design. BigCommerce is seemingly rectifying this – it now supports Facebook Ads – but as for now, we could only give a 1 out of 5 for omnichannel design, bringing down the overall score.

BigCommerce has over 100 themes in its library. Like Shopify, however, only a few of these are free. You’ll have 15 free designs to choose from, but if you decide to opt for a premium theme, you’ll find yourself paying anywhere between $145 and $235.

All of BigCommerce’s themes are fully mobile responsive. Even better, it’ll optimize your design for you, so you don’t need to worry about flicking between the different editor modes to make sure you get the formatting right.

While the editing interface isn’t the most straightforward, BigCommerce’s customizability is great. Whereas with other builders, you might struggle to create a storefront that’s unique and personal, this isn’t a problem for BigCommerce users.

BigCommerce isn’t the cheapest of builders, especially when you get onto the more advanced plans, but as with Shopify, this is another ecommerce website builder where you get what you pay for.

In our research, BigCommerce’s value for money rose 13.3% since last year from 3 out of 5 to 3.4 out of 5. BigCommerce was actually one of the few builders to not increase its prices at all over the past year, yet its value still isn’t that great, having the lowest score in our research (tied with GoDaddy).

Generally, BigCommerce targets large, enterprise-level businesses that can often afford higher costs. This is why it operates on a revenue-based model. That means your pricing plan will be decided for you, depending on how much money your business has made in the last 12 months. If your business has made more than $400k in the last year, you’ll need BigCommerce’s Enterprise plan, which comes at a custom price.

But if you’re a small startup, don’t let this discourage you. With an entry plan that’s fairly affordable, you can still get a piece of the BigCommerce pie, upgrading only when your business has grown and you’re making more money.

BigCommerce doesn’t offer a free plan, but it does have a 15-day free trial so you can test out whether investing is the best move for your online business.

The main drawback of BigCommerce is its ease of use – or lack thereof. It uses a lot of complex terminology in its descriptions, which won’t appear user-friendly to anyone who doesn’t have good knowledge of such specialist terms.

The editor is split between the inventory system’s backend of the products and the front end, which is your actual user-facing web page. You’re constantly having to navigate and jump between the two, which can be a pain.

To combat this, we recommend putting in all your products and descriptions first, then working on visual design. In our research, we gave BigCommerce a 3.3 out of 5 overall for ease of use.

BigCommerce has all the common help and support features like a knowledge center, 24/7 phone support, 24/7 live chat support, as well as email support. So why does it only have a 3.4 out of 5 in our research, the second-lowest on this list?

Well, BigCommerce has actually fallen -12.8% since our last testing, where we rated it 3.9 out of 5. This is due to the fact that BigCommerce no longer appears to commit to a zero-carbon offsetting agreement. The amount of power needed to keep multiple stores on servers, especially stores as large as BigCommerce specializes in, is a lot. To combat all the carbon released in the atmosphere in their upkeep, many website builders offset this by committing to a scheme to reduce emissions.

BigCommerce has seemingly abandoned its offsetting commitment, which is disappointing for a large tech organization. We reduced its offsetting score down to 0 out of 5 from last year’s 5 out of 5, bringing down its average score.

BigCommerce offers powerful sales features, second only to Shopify.

More Information

#5. Square Online

Best Free Plan

Pricing range: $0 per month – $79 per month

Square Online

Best free plan



out of 5
  • Sell on its free plan
  • Quick onboarding
  • Outdated templates

Free plan available

Paid Plans: $12 - $79 / month


  • Customizable checkout
  • Built-in marketing tools
  • Improved app market


  • Paid plans pricing increased
  • Lack of payment gateway variety
  • Lacks tools to support growth
Read Review

Square Online Overview

In 2018, the payment processing giant Square bought Weebly. The result is Square Online, which combines powerful payment processing with an easy website builder.

In our most recent round of testing, Square Online earned an overall score of 4 out of 5, a -4.5% drop from 2021. This is mainly because Square Online’s previously quick editing process has become overly complicated with its new dashboard – this is something we noticed during hands-on testing when customizing our Square Online websites. As a result, Square Online’s ease of use score fell by 4.6% from 3.9 to 3.7 out of 5.

Its real selling point, though, is its great value for money. In this category, Square Online scores an excellent 4.2 out of 5, sitting just behind Wix. This accolade is largely down to the fact that Square Online is the only builder on this list that lets you sell for free – in fact, it’s our top choice if you’re looking for a free ecommerce platform. That means you can get started without spending a single cent and choose to upgrade when you want to.

Although, it’s worth mentioning that its free plan is obviously more limited than its paid packages. For example, you won’t be able to use a custom domain on the free plan, and you’ll also have Square ads to contend with.

But Square Online isn’t stingy with its ecommerce features. From generous multi-channel integrations to quick access to revenue and traffic insights, Square Online has an excellent bank of tools to help you get online and start selling.

Square Online’s Sales Features

Square Online’s overall score for sales features rose by 2.1%, from 3.5 to 3.6 out of 5 since we last tested. This was due to major improvements made to the ecommerce website builder, such as fraud detection, promotional capabilities, and a completely customizable checkout page.

Square Online Pricing

Square Online’s pricing plans have jumped 142% since last year! Now, its price matches Shopify’s, which is quite expensive. However, it does offer a free plan which you can sell on. No other builder can claim the same.

Aside from its free plan, Square Online has two plans to choose from:

Click the + to see a more detailed summary of Square Online

Square Online saw a big improvement in its app store from last year, increasing its app-specific score by 50% and boosting its overall score for website features by 6.9%, from 3.5 to 3.7 out of 5. This was because Square Online’s app store added shipping capabilities, which is crucial for those who run an online store.

Other features Square Online has improved upon are professional product photographs, checkout links for email marketing, and booking appointments. While Square Online definitely gives you a website builder experience, we also have to concede that its features can be a bit bare compared to others on this list like Wix or Squarespace.

Square Online was also the only builder on this list to see a reduction in site speed, suffering a -10.96% drop from a site speed score of 3.9 down to 3.5 out of 5.

That being said, Square Online excels for ecommerce websites that aren’t too intensive. After all, you can sell for free!

In our research, Square Online scores 3.6 out of 5 for its sales features. Although not the best on the list, Square Online does come with enough tools for small businesses. Here’s a quick look at some of our favorites:

  • Sell unlimited items – even on its free plan
  • A variety of shipping options are available, including curbside pickup
  • Automatically generate shipping labels and take advantage of shipping discounts
  • Accept payments through PayPal, Apple Pay, Stripe, and Square
  • Sell on Facebook and Instagram

Adding products and product variations is extremely easy, and Square Online’s paid plans let you include small labels like “on-sale” or “only a few left!” to create a sense of urgency around special deals.

Plus, if you want to host a pop-up store, or open a brick-and-mortar business alongside your online store, you can integrate your website with Square’s Point of Sale (POS). This can sync up with your online stock inventory, too.

The variety of delivery options available makes Square Online the ideal choice if you’re planning on starting a food or drink delivery business. It even has a self-serve option, so users can use QR codes in your restaurant for contact-free delivery.

Although Square Online has a lot going for it, one of its main drawbacks is that it charges quite high transaction fees. You’ll need to pay 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction. There’s no way of getting around them, either, like there is with Shopify. You’ll have to pay them on even the most expensive plans. Coupled with a lack of payment options, you can start to see that you’ll still be paying even on the free plan.

We were pretty impressed with Square Online’s sales features and its value for money rating but we were less thrilled by its lack of design customization. It only scores 2.6 out of 5 in our research for this category, a drop of -5.6% from last year.

Square Online only has two layout options: Shop Online and Order Online. Both are fairly similar, but one is aimed particularly at food and drink businesses, while the other targets the more typical “online store” market. Square Online seems to have focused on the “sales” side of its business and ignored developing the design side. While this makes sense for the long term, it has caused a drop in design scores during our testing.

It’s true that you’ll have everything you need to create a simple store that emphasizes your products, but if you want to create a layout with your own personal creative flair, you may be better off with a design-oriented builder like Squarespace.

Although the free plan is great for getting your business up and running, we’d usually always recommend upgrading to a paid plan if and when you can. This is because, on Square Online’s free plan, you’ll have to contend with ads on your site, and you won’t be able to use a custom domain name.

Upgrading to the Plus plan will remove these ads, and let you set your own domain name. Your business will immediately look more legitimate, increasing customer trust.

However, Square Online’s prices have increased by 142% since we last tested! What used to be $12 per month is now $29 per month, so it definitely isn’t the easy bargain we used to recommend (Square Online’s value for money score in our rankings dropped by -6.7% because of this). We still recommend upgrading when you can, but, for that price point, you may as well choose any other paid ecommerce website plan, such as the better-rated Shopify for the same price.

Square Online’s overall ease of use score dropped by -4.6% since last year, from 3.9 to 3.7 out of 5. When our testers built an online store using it, they said that the dashboard felt over-complicated compared to the simplicity of previous iterations.

As one of them said,

“The dashboard has so many options and headings that it becomes overwhelming at times.”

However, for some of our testers, Square Online actually was exactly what the doctor ordered, saying:

“It gave you just the right amount of options, it never felt like it was overloading you. This always makes the process easier when you’re not getting overwhelmed with choice.”

Square Online offers support to all customers via phone, live chat, and email. You’re encouraged to find the answer first within the Square Online knowledge center, which contains around 180 articles.

However, since our last round of testing Square Online’s support score fell -11.3%, going from 4 last year to 3.6 out of 5 this year. This was mainly due to a drop in help features offered vs pricing plan. As we mentioned, Square Online increased its price quite considerably since last year. It did not bolster this with new improvements in help features, leading to it getting left behind by the other ecommerce website builders.

Square Online allows selling on its free plan.

More Information

#6. GoDaddy

Fastest Way To Build A Website

Pricing range (for ecommerce): $16.99 per month – $29.99 per month


Fastest way to build a website



out of 5
  • 5-minute setup
  • Good for basic sites
  • Affordable starting plan

Free trial available

Paid Plans: $2.99 - $469.99 / month


  • Fastest route to building a website
  • Switch templates at any time
  • Supports the most industries


  • Only suitable for basic websites
  • ADI limits customization
  • Sales features aren't the best
Read Review

GoDaddy Overview

GoDaddy is one of the oldest website builders, originally starting as a domain name registrar founded in 1997. While it has forayed into ecommerce website building, it could use some work, since it completes our list of the best ecommerce website builders with an overall score of 3 out of 5. This rating is much lower than others, but GoDaddy still has plenty about it that will appeal to the right user, so it’s worth taking a look!

GoDaddy’s strongest area is its ease of use, getting you set up online in minutes. If you want a website built and ready to function in under 10 minutes, GoDaddy is the website builder for you, because its ADI tool builds the website for you after you answer a quick questionnaire. In our research, it got an overall ease of use score of 4 out of 5, tying it with Wix and Shopify.

In other areas though, GoDaddy sadly does not fare as well. It has the lowest sales feature score of 2.8 out of 5, plus the worst value for money score of 3.4 out of 5. To put it bluntly, GoDaddy gives you a very stripped ecommerce experience. It will do the basics, but that’s about it. If you’re a hobby seller or just want to sell a limited collection, then GoDaddy might be ideal for you.

GoDaddy Sales Features

GoDaddy has a decent set of sales features available. You can list unlimited products, with unlimited variants too, as well as having GoDaddy Insights – GoDaddy’s smart in-house tool for measuring your site’s performance and marketing success – to get up-to-date metrics.

GoDaddy Pricing

GoDaddy only has two ecommerce plans:

Although this is a relatively affordable starting price, GoDaddy’s value for money score sits at 3.4 out of 5, sharing the bottom spot with BigCommerce.

Click the + to see a more detailed summary of GoDaddy

Unfortunately, GoDaddy doesn’t have a very good selection of website features to bolster its online stores. As we mentioned, GoDaddy gives its users the bare minimum when it comes to features and tools, only scoring an overall website features score of 1.9 out of 5.

One aspect we can shout about for GoDaddy is its performance. We don’t call it the fastest website builder for no reason – it got the highest score for site speed of any of the builders we tested, a 4.5 out of 5. Plus, when we tested the website out for ourselves, we had a polished website ready to publish in minutes!

In terms of its sales features, GoDaddy’s offering is rather modest. It scores 2.8 out of 5 in this area, which, while by no means awful, is not the best score on the board. It’s not really enough to hold its own in the company of more well-known names.

Although it supports the sale of both physical and digital products, as well as services, GoDaddy only supports 5,000 products on its cheapest plan. This is limiting for larger stores or smaller ones with the ambition to grow.

GoDaddy only supports AstroPay, PayPal, and Stripe as payment gateways. There’s a minimum 2.3% + $0.30 transaction fee to pay as well, but it can actually get up to 3.3% +$0! On top of that, it only has multichannel integration with Facebook and Instagram, and zero integration with any marketplaces like Etsy or Amazon.

Despite this, we were particularly impressed by GoDaddy’s mobile app and abandoned cart recovery, in which we scored both 5 out of 5 in our research. It can also be connected to a POS device. Not many website builders offer this, and it’s a big bonus if you want to sell your items in real life, too.

GoDaddy had its worst performance in our design category, and we could only score it 1.9 out of 5. Its design is fine, but the ADI feature that builds the website for you limits customization. It certainly helps when you want to build your website in a hurry, but most users will want to have control and deliberate on the design of their site.

While it has more templates than Square Online, it still doesn’t have any for important industries like Outdoor and Sports or Books and Education. Many of the ecommerce-focused design features feel tacked on, like a bit of an afterthought.

As one of our testers said,

“It doesn’t feel like it was built to be a store from the ground up, just added in as you go.”

GoDaddy has two dedicated ecommerce plans – its Commerce and Commerce Plus plans – that allow you to sell online. They cost $16.99 per month and $29.99 per month, billed annually.

The $29.99 per month Commerce Plus plan does let you sell unlimited items, but this is still a steep price to pay for that feature alone, and the rest of GoDaddy’s sales features aren’t quality enough to match that price tag either.

GoDaddy isn’t necessarily good value for money because it lacks lots of the core ecommerce features its competitors have, especially in comparison to Shopify. As a result, we only awarded it a score of 3.4 out of 5 for value for money.

GoDaddy is quite a basic online store builder, which lends itself well to ease of use, earning a 4 out of 5 overall. As one of our testers said,

“One of the best product page UX I’ve used. You could amend variants, discounts, and shipping all in one place.”

Being so non-frills mean there are fewer confusing menus and settings to use and customize, but for other testers, this simplicity did cause some issues:

“It could do everything but there was no interesting features – it just felt boring from start to finish. I have seen everything being done on other platforms in more exciting ways.”

GoDaddy offers ecommerce support in a variety of ways. It has a 24/7 phone line; live chat support which tends to reply within 2 minutes or less; and a dedicated Twitter account for answering questions and queries.

However, we only gave it a 2.3 out of 5 overall in our research due to a lack of carbon offsetting and a poor knowledge center, only earning a 1 out of 5 respectively for these specific subcategories.

GoDaddy in Action: Hinterland Skis

creighton ellenski headshot
Creighton Elinski
Creighton Elinski is a full-stack marketing professional by day and a designer, inventor, and engineer by night. If he’s not 20 pages deep in an architectural design book you can find him 30 miles into the mountains on his bicycle. Hinterland Skis began as a custom ski shop, soon expanding as its own brand with 100 custom shapes and over 1000 custom sets sold.
The GoDaddy website builder gives me the ability to focus on my creativity and site function without getting bogged down by heavy coding or dealing with minor update issues.


How long have you been using GoDaddy for your online store?

We’ve been using the GoDaddy Website Builder for almost 2 years now.

What do you like most about using GoDaddy to build and run your online store?

Even with my previous experience coding websites, I never really wanted to learn to code. I wanted a way to build creative web pages for the whole internet to interact with. The GoDaddy Website Builder gives me the ability to focus on my creativity and site function without getting bogged down by heavy coding or dealing with minor update issues.

The builder is simple and fast to learn. It’s easy to visually build almost anything you can think of. My absolute favorite part of the experience is the prebuilt integrations that are plug-and-play. I can add a web store in a matter of minutes, start a new email campaign quickly and track analytics without a hassle.

As an entrepreneur, minutes really matter. The 30 minutes I get back by being able to send an email blast quickly or the 2 hours I get back by not having to code a landing page really adds up. You don’t realize how much of your life you give up as an entrepreneur until you start to get some of that time back. Passion doesn’t clock out at 5 pm.

Is there anything you'd change about it?

Something I would add to the website builder is options to add more visual creativity. While I have the skills and desire to make fantastic visual pieces, my time and energy are limited. A themed filter for all images or some quick creative background content blocks would go a long way. Anything that I can quickly add to a landing page to spice things up a little bit would be a great help.

Would you recommend GoDaddy to other businesses looking to build an online store?

I’d absolutely recommend the Builder to anyone looking to build a website or web store. GoDaddy has a full-service, one-stop-shop, for everything entrepreneur.

I used to search around for plugins that go out of date and are impossible to keep integrated. Having GoDaddy take the lead on making sure everything works gives people the ability to focus on their customers, employees, and products. It’s a no-brainer to me.

GoDaddy shares second place with Wix and Shopify in our ease of use testing.

More Information

Our Testing Methodology

We’re pretty proud of our research process because not many sites can say they’ve carried out such in-depth testing before making recommendations. Here’s how our in-house research team goes about finding the best ecommerce website builders on the market.

Every single builder goes through our thorough research process. We investigate important areas such as:

  • Ease of use
  • Sales Features
  • Design flexibility
  • Value for money
  • Feature quality
  • Help and support
  • Customer satisfaction

When creating our list of the top online store builders, we paid particular attention to the sales features each has to offer, because these are the tools that are going to be instrumental in making your website a success.

Let’s take a closer look at these categories:

  • Website features – weighting: 15%

For website features, we compare what is offered by a website builder that isn’t ecommerce related. This includes features like domain names, email addresses, blogging functionality, internationalization capabilities, members area, SEO and marketing functionalities, and app market – plus an analysis of site speed and storage space.

While sales features are the category we weight the most in our rankings, it’s important that your online store has all the necessary features that make a website usable and appealing. Additionally, things like SEO and marketing are crucial to running and growing a successful online business, so we have given this category a respectable 15% weighting in our methodology.

  • Sales features – weighting: 25%

The highest weighting in this methodology is the category that is most relevant to online store owners. If an ecommerce website builder’s sales features aren’t in-depth enough how is it supposed to be successful? Therefore, we have given it a worthy 25% weighting as the category our readers should be most concerned with.

This category is focused on everything that is ecommerce focused, ranging from inventory, multi-channel integration, payment options, abandoned cart recovery, promotions and discount codes, mobile apps, and shipping options. All of these are vital to the continuing lifespan and success of an online store.

  • Design functionalities – weighting: 10%

This covers a website builder’s aesthetic capabilities, such as the quality and quantity of the templates, a mobile editor, an image editor, UX design, whether it has ADI, and if you are able to switch templates once you’ve started.

A large majority of your customers will be coming to your store for a specific reason or purchase, which means they will be less concerned about the aesthetics of your website. While easy navigation and good UX are very important, it’s even more important that your website is able to handle your store and customer transactions. Design functionality is still key, but just slightly less for ecommerce-focused sites, hence the lower 10% weighting.

  • Value for money – weighting: 15%

The sub-criteria we look for in this category is the average pricing plan, the features versus the price, and an evaluation of the free trial (if offered).

Starting a new business is a hard enough process as is without thinking of start-up costs. We weight value for money the same as website features with a respectable 15% to reflect this. This is because, while cost is important, an online business can be many different sizes from small businesses to larger, more established brands and we want to cover all types.

  • Help and support – weighting: 10%

The support options offered by the website builder are particularly important for first-time online merchants. We evaluate what support options are available for customers, the knowledge center, restore options, and what help features are available on the lowest cost plan.

A 10% weighting is a fair assessment of how crucial this is to ecommerce website builders as a whole industry. Smaller businesses will get more out of the help and support options than larger, already established stores.

  • Customer satisfaction – weighting: 15%

A category dedicated to user reviews. Sub-criteria include Trustpilot scores, brand recognition, market analysis, UX, and whether current customers would be likely to recommend.

For an ecommerce store, customer reviews are vitally important to whether you get a dedicated consumer base. Your store’s great-looking design is not as important to your customers as your ecommerce provider delivering their package in an unacceptable state. “The customer is always right” as they say, and so we have weighted this category 15%.

  • Ease of use – weighting: 10%

This measures how easy it is to actually build a store using the builder. We rely on regular in-house user testing for this, testing each builder ourselves, and compiling quotes and scores from real testers to give you honest, undoctored views.

Having an easy-to-use website means you can be quicker on ecommerce trends and update your shop’s design. Ultimately, keeping sure your online store’s many, many functions continue to work like clockwork takes precedence. It can be complicated, and many ecommerce-only website builders reflect this by having a low overall ease of use score. In the end, we weight ease of use at a slightly lower 10% due to other categories taking prominence.

Balancing this against the other categories helps us rate and compare the builders fairly, focusing on important factors that users have told us matter most. We get groups of everyday people to test the builders out and give us feedback, which we then analyze. We also conduct business interviews with real online store owners to get their views on what they think of the builders. This helps us:

  • Understand exactly how easy (or difficult) beginners find the builder
  • Uncover any issues within the builder
  • Judge customer satisfaction

We’ve applied this process to over 50 website builders so far – all so we can bring you the most accurate results and recommendations!

Still have questions? Read our full report on How We Conduct Our Ecommerce Website Builder Research for a more detailed explanation.

Our Final Thoughts

In this guide, we’ve introduced you to the six best ecommerce website builders. You won’t waste any time on inferior builders – instead, you’re now ready to pick a first-class ecommerce website builder to build your online store and start selling online.

Our top ecommerce website builder is Shopify, scoring 4.8 out of 5 in our recent research. Shopify’s scalable plans provide users with powerful sales features, such as an online invoice generator and checkout customization.

We may have ranked these ecommerce website builders, but the truth is the right one for you will depend on a number of different factors. Let’s recap quickly:

6 Best Ecommerce Website Builders: Summary

  1. Shopify Best overall ecommerce website builder
  2. Wix Best value for money
  3. Squarespace Easiest to use
  4. BigCommerce Best for SEO
  5. Square Online Best free plan
  6. GoDaddy Fastest way to open an online store

If affordability is important to you, Wix is the best value for money. Its feature-heavy plans will cover your basic business needs, but you can fill any gaps with Wix’s comprehensive marketplace if you need additional functionality.

If building a website isn’t your strong point, we’d recommend Squarespace for ease of use and high-quality designs, or you could try GoDaddy to get online quickly and without hassle thanks to its ADI builder.

If your online store is just starting out, Square Online lets you sell online for free, though you’ll be stuck with ads. In contrast, BigCommerce’s powerful sales tools are perfect for large and growing businesses

At some point, it’s all about gaining the right leverage to expand your business, without taking up more of your limited time. This is where ecommerce website builders can give you the right tools for success.

Remember, every website builder on this list comes with a free trial or a free plan, so you can try any of them risk-free before making your decision. Don’t miss out – your perfect ecommerce website builder is waiting, so jump on a free trial today to get started!


An ecommerce website builder is an online program that helps you to build your own online store. All the tools and features you need are provided either built-in or via the builder’s own app center. Everything from hosting, to your custom domain, and help and support is available.
You start by picking a theme from a selection of choices. This acts as the layout of your website. After that, you can populate the theme with your own products and content. You will manage your store from a dashboard where you can view things like shipping, analytics, invoices, and marketing.
Yes! Square Online offers a free plan that still allows you to sell online, but the plan does include ads that will appear on your website. For a more professional look and advanced sales features, we’d recommend upgrading to a paid plan as soon as possible.
Shopify tops the bill as the most popular ecommerce website builder, thanks to its all-rounder approach. Wix and Squarespace are also the biggest non-ecommerce-specific website builders with Wix helping to build around 388,000 stores. Other heavily used ecommerce website builders include BigCommerce and Square Online.
Ecommerce website builders give you a base to start from. There are themes, features, apps, and help and support all in-house. Building an online store from scratch requires a lot of technical knowledge and coding. You have more customization and flexibility but it’ll either be a lengthy process or an expensive one should you hire a developer.
While Amazon dominates much of the western world, Mercado Libre is the most used marketplace across much of South America. Schibsted is another big marketplace that is used heavily by Scandinavian countries.
You’ll need things like sign-up/log-in, product categories, ‘people also bought’, abandoned cart recovery, social media integration, and much more. An ecommerce marketplace is a complex site to build, but there are options out there that have all the necessary features.
In order to move your online store to another builder easily, you’ll need to be able to export and import your products in bulk. Shopify, BigCommerce, Weebly, Squarespace, Zyro, Big Cartel, GoDaddy, and 3dcart all support this feature. If you’re with another online store builder or a self-hosted platform, it may be more complex.
Many ecommerce website builders don’t impose their own transaction fees. This means that you only pay the processor, like PayPal, per transaction. If you use Shopify and opt for its own processor, Shopify Payments, you don’t have to pay any transaction fee full stop.
If the sole purpose of your website is to sell, you’re better off using an ecommerce-only builder like Shopify or BigCommerce. Website builders are mainly used for people who don’t sell online. That said, site builders like Wix and Squarespace are great options if you just have a few products to sell on the side.
Written by:

I’m the Content Manager here at Website Builder Expert, which means I read and edit nearly all the content we publish, and work with our wonderful writers and researchers to bring you the best possible advice for achieving your online goals. Over the past five years I’ve built demo websites using all the website builders we review, so I have the experience and expertise to help you out. You’ve got the experts on your side – I’m here to help you reach your online goals, and enjoy the process too!

Researched by:

I love to understand human behavior and the cognitive biases that drive us to do what we do. For over nine years I have worked as a mixed method researcher – research using a mix of numerical data and personal experiences – across a range of sectors, from insurance and policy development to finally arriving at Website Builder Expert five years ago. Fascinated by consumer decision-making, I meticulously built our leading ranking methodology to explore where providers like Wix sit within a competitive industry and what value they truly bring to our audience.
As a member of the Market Research Society, I’m an advocate for high ethical, commercial, and methodological best practices. All of this combines to give you the most ethical recommendations based on real data.


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