E-Commerce Online Store Builders Comparison Chart

Last updated on November 25, 2015

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Key features are based on our opinions and feedback from our visitors who completed our surveys:


Overall [1]
5 / 5 Stars
4.8 / 5 Stars
4 / 5 Stars
3.8 / 5 Stars
3.4 / 5 Stars
3 / 5 Stars
Stores Powered [2] 200,000 95,000 100,000 441,000 N/A N/A
Comprehensiveness of Tools [3] 5 / 5 5 / 5 4 / 5 4 / 5 4 / 5 3.5 / 5
Themes Design [4] 5 / 5 4.5 / 5 4.5 / 5 4 / 5 4.5 / 5 3 / 5
Support [5] 5 / 5
24/7 Phone Support
Live Chat
5 / 5
24/7 Phone Support
Live Chat
4 / 5
Phone Support -
(but not 24/7)
4 / 5
Phone Support -
(but not 24/7)
Live Chat
4 / 5
Live Chat
Email -
(1 Hour Response)
3.5 / 5
Live Chat
Transaction Fees [6] X [6] X X X [6] X [6] X
Integrated Payment Processors [7] 70+
5 / 5
5 / 5
3.5 / 5
3 / 5
1 / 5
2 / 5
Discount Code Creator
Mobile Friendly Store
Mobile App to Manage Store X X
Email / Newsletter Integration [8] [8] [8]
Marketplace Experts [9] X X
App Store Extensions [10] X X X
Abandoned Cart Recovery [11] X X X
Digital Products X
Point of Sale System [12] X X X X X
Pricing (Monthly) [13] $8.10
Overall [1]
5 / 5 Stars
4.8 / 5 Stars
4 / 5 Stars
3.8 / 5 Stars
3.4 / 5 Stars
3 / 5 Stars
See our Detailed Review Shopify Review Bigcommerce Review Wix Review Weebly Review Squarespace Review Jimdo Review

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1) Click on the social buttons to share this chart if you found it helpful!  The biggest compliment we can receive is a Share.

2) If you’re interested on free tips on how to build and grow your ecommerce store, here is a series of very helpful (free) guides that will walk you through different techniques and methods.

3) Here are also some ecommerce examples & case studies where you can see how how other people grow their businesses.

4) Enterprise Level Users – see Shopify Plus if your business generates $250,000 per year in revenues and/or is a high volume business.


[1] Overall – Scores are based on average of scoring above – You should not base your decision solely on the average scores as there are many qualitative / subjective factors that you should consider prior to deciding.  


Our scoring is to help you narrow your choices, then you should always test out at least 2 of the website builders to see which one you are comfortable with before investing your time and money.  We highly recommend you read our detailed reviews for each website builder as we cover each builder in much more depth in those reviews.


[2] Stores Powered – Number of websites powered by each website builder is based on publicly available information (N/A = no available data for stores).  This does not necessarily equal to the number of active online stores, but will give you an indication of each e-commerce store builder.


[3] Comprehensiveness of e-Commerce Tools – Shopify and Bigcommerce are pure e-commerce store builders and as such, they have a very comprehensive set of tools.  Wix, Weebly & Squarespace are also broadly used by non-e-commerce users.  So the available store tools are not as comprehensive as Shopify or Bigcommerce.  


Generally , if you are looking to build an advanced store, Shopify and Bigcommerce will be more suitable.  If you are selling a limited number of products, or boutique items, WixWeebly and Squarespace will work.  Click on the links above to see our detailed analyses of each store builder and its tools.


[4] Themes – In addition to providing you with free themes, Shopify and Bigcommerce also sell premium themes if you want to pay for a more comprehensive, advanced theme. Click here to see a collection of professional ecommerce themes from online store builders above.


[5] Support – Shopify & Bigcommerce both provide 24/7, multiple support channels.  Wix also has multiple support channels but their phone support is only available from 6am – 5pm PST.  You can also schedule a call with them.  Squarespace’s answers all their emails within an hour which is superb.  Weebly has regular email support, and their live chat only runs during business hours from Monday through Friday.


[6] Transaction Fees – If you use Shopify Payments to process payments, there will be no transaction fees.  If you choose not to use Shopify Payments, transaction fee is 2% for the Lite & Basic Plans, 1% for the Pro Plan and 0.5% for Unlimited Plan. Shopify Payments allow you to manage your payment gateway directly in Shopify’s user dashboard, so it’s very convenient as you don’t have to log into your payment processor to manage your transactions.  


For Weebly, there are no transaction fees if you enroll in their Business Plan. If you are using their Free, Starter or Pro plans, there is a 3% transaction fee per transaction.


For Squarespace, there is a 3% & 2 % transaction fee if you sign up to their non-eCommerce Personal & Business plans. If you sign up to their dedicated eCommerce plans (Basic & Advanced), all transaction fees are waived.


[7] Integrated Payment Processors – Squarespace only uses Stripe as its payment processor, which is a bit limiting if merchants are operating outside of areas Stripe serves.  Squarespace Commerce is currently available in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands & Spain.  


An alternative is to use Ecwid (an independent e-Commerce widget) together with Squarespace for merchants who are not living in the countries listed above, or use Shopify’s widget to power your shopping transactions.

[8] Email / Newsletter Integration – Integrating a newsletter service to your store is a very powerful marketing tool as you can stay in touch with your customers, promote products or coupons to them, and just stay in touch to build a relationship with them to encourage your customers to return and shop again.


For Shopify, you can use one of its Apps from the Shopify App Store to connect your store with newsletter services such as MailChimp and Constant Contact.  Bigcommerce can be integrated with MailChimp, Constant Contact or iContact.  Wix has a tool called WixShoutOut (Free) where you can communicate to your users via newsletter. Weebly can integrate with Aweber through its App Center. Squarespace integrates with MailChimp.  


[9] Marketplace Experts Shopify, Bigcommerce, Wix (in Wix Arena) & Squarespace have a group of  freelance experts who can help you setup and customize your store.  This comes in very handy if you ever want hire help who are very familiar with their platforms to save yourself time, or to make modifications to suit your business.


[10] App Store Extensions – Shopify, Bigcommerce and Wix have a very extensive App Store where the apps allow you to bolt on even more advanced e-commerce features to further automate or add more functionality to your store.  Tools cover sales & marketing, shipping, inventory / fulfillment, accounting, reporting, etc.  These are very helpful if you start to grow your store and can leverage on these tools to further automate these functions to save you time.


[11] Abandoned Cart Recovery – Multiple research studies have shown that 2 out of 3 of your potential customers put products into the check out cart, then forgets about it when they get distracted.  The Abandoned Cart Recovery tool allows you to automatically email them to remind them to purchase your products, or even offer them coupons to encourage them to complete their purchases.  


This is a very powerful follow up tool that have been proven to increase your sales without much more effort on your part.  Since it is automated, you don’t have to do anything to follow up with those who have “abandoned” their carts.  Only Shopify (Professional or higher plans) and Bigcommerce (Gold plan or higher) offer this tool.  See our detailed discussion on Abandoned Cart Recovery tool for Shopify here.


[12] Point of Sale System – Shopify is the only builder that offers you the ability to integrate your physical, offline store with your online e-commerce store.  For an extra $49 per month, you can use iPads as sales devices in your physical store.  The iPads will automatically synchronize with your online store so that all the products are consistent and all the inventory levels are always updated together.  


If you have a physical store and want to build an online store to grow your sales, Shopify can power both your offline and online stores under one centralized system.


[13] Pricing – Monthly pricing based on annual plans.  Monthly price will be higher if you enrolled on month-to-month payment plans. Pricing plans should not be compared directly based on pricing as each builder offers different features for their own plans. Please read our detailed review for each website builder for further details.  You can also see more discussions about the cost to build a website here.


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About Jeremy Wong

Maybe just like you, at first we didn't have a darn clue about how to build a website, nevermind write half a line of code if our life depended on it! We wanted to build a website to start a side business, and felt overwhelmed, confused & scared about how to actually do it, which builder to use, and making wrong decisions. After years of trials & errors using different website builders, we're here to share our experiences with you.


About Jeremy Wong

Maybe just like you, at first we didn't have a darn clue about how to build a website, nevermind write half a line of code if our life depended on it! We wanted to build a website to start a side business, and felt overwhelmed, confused & scared about how to actually do it, which builder to use, and making wrong decisions. After years of trials & errors using different website builders, we're here to share our experiences with you.


Leave a Reply

149 Responses to E-Commerce Online Store Builders Comparison Chart

  1. alain sassonte November 26, 2015 at 8:54 AM #

    G’DAY JEREMY……Terrific comparative site…..QUESTION: Some couple of years back I had customer effect a fraudulent chargeback through our, then, paypal account. Paypal asked for ‘our side of the dispute’ which we duly spelled out with documentary evidence to paypal. Long & short: PP SIDED WITH THE CUSTOMER!. We closed the ecommerce site after PP paid the customer the claimed amount, sued us for the rebated money (!) which resulted in a collection @ the credit bureaus.

    We now want to start another ecommerce site (a totally different biz). Will we be ‘blackballed’ with all of the ‘other PP alternatives’ now available to people like us who have had this ‘experience’ with PP in years past?

    Many thanks for your assistance, Good Sir

    • Jeremy Wong November 27, 2015 at 5:55 PM #

      Hi Alain,

      PayPal is definitely more protective of consumers for sure. We’ve had our fair share of fraudulent chargebacks in the past and it is really unfair and frustrating. On top of that, if PayPal ruled in favor of the buyer, you get charged with a $10 chargeback fee as well. I’ve researched this extensively back then and it looks like a lot of other people had similar challenges.

      At the end of the day, it’s just all part of doing business (I know, it’s not a great reason, but it’s true). People do it in physical purchases as well – go buy something in the shopping center and file a chargeback against the merchant claiming someone copied their card, or something along that line.

      For us, we faced fraudulent chargebacks maybe once every 100 transactions or so. But even though it is only roughly 1% of our transactions, it was a real pain the butt to deal with it as it takes up so much time to provide information to PayPal for assessment.

      In any case, to answer your question, other payment processors will also have channels for shoppers to dispute. So it’s just part of doing business online and offline. It’s not pleasant for honest merchants, but all part of the world of business I suppose.


  2. Joe November 10, 2015 at 2:01 PM #

    Hi Jeremy,
    Great site, thanks for all the info!
    I’m building an online store to sell a children’s book. I want visitors to be able to read the book online before they buy, so one feature I need is a “Read-A-Book” Widget or Plug In, or at least a Slideshow feature that will let visitors click through the pages. (I’ve seen “Read-It” type features online, where the edges of the “pages” animate, and it looks like they’re turning. This would be ideal, but not essential. A good slide show feature would do the trick, too.)
    I’ve mainly been looking at Wix and Shopify. Any idea if either of those have the Read-It App I’m looking for.
    And any extra advice on which of the two you’d recommend?
    Thanks so much!

    • Jeremy Wong November 15, 2015 at 7:33 PM #

      Hi Joe,

      I’m not too familiar with the sort of widget you are describing, but I think I’ve seen it before (or some form of it).

      If you can’t find the exact widget that works for you, consider taking screenshots of your book and link up the images in a slideshow. This way, your visitors can scroll through the slideshow as if they’re reading a chapter of your book.

      Another alternative is to extract certain pages of your book, and just let people download these pages as a PDF format on your webpage. It’s a few more clicks, but I really think that people nowadays don’t mind a few more seconds to get their hands on sample pages to help decide whether or not they’d like to invest in the book.


  3. John Bechtel October 28, 2015 at 9:59 AM #

    Your link …

    “2) If you’re interested on free tips on how to build and grow your ecommerce store, here is a series of very helpful (free) guides that will walk you through different techniques and methods.”

    … is not working. I am taken to shopify.com where there are no helpful or free guides.


    • Jeremy Wong October 28, 2015 at 4:26 PM #

      Hey John,

      Thanks for your note. I just clicked on the link and it took me to the guides… so I’m not sure what happened. Try clicking on the link again some time? Here is the link for your convenience.


      • John Bechtel October 29, 2015 at 2:48 PM #

        Thanks, Jeremy. I tried it again with Chrome browser but still didn’t work. I copied link to IE and it worked fine. Looks the problem is with my Chrome browser. Sorry about that.

        Thanks for your help!


        BTW – You blow all the other online store builder sites away. Really amazing!

  4. Saadia Gaon October 25, 2015 at 8:00 AM #

    Hi Jeremy, excellent article, thanks. We are considering launching a house-swapping site – individuals list their homes and will look for other listings on the site with which they want to swap for a holiday etc. Initially each listing will be free but we want to start to charge a small subscription at some point in the process. Which of the website builders would most suit us?
    Yours, midly confused

    • Jeremy Wong October 26, 2015 at 11:23 AM #

      Hi Saadia,

      I think what you in mind, sort of like Airbnb or VRBO, will require you to hire someone to custom build the website for you. The online store builders listed above won’t give you the proper tools for people to list their homes, and to facilitate renters to rent the units from the listing members.

      Unless you want to build a straight forward site where listers can just pay you, and you put up a listings with images and text descriptions, I think you’ll have to hire someone very capable to set up this website / engine for you.


  5. Sophie Barnard October 9, 2015 at 8:43 AM #

    Hi Jeremy,
    Really pleased to find this site! I already have a website using html and I’d like to add e-commerce to it. Can I add Shopify or any of the others to my existing site? I’m not confident with code and I suppose I would still pay the full fee as well as my original hosting fee. Should I just give up my original site and start again? It needs a lot of work anyway.


    • Jeremy Wong October 14, 2015 at 11:25 AM #

      Hi Sophie,

      Shopify does offer a widget where you can add to most website builders to add ecommerce features to the website. So the widget will power the shopping part of your website.

      Take a look at this discussion where we talked about adding the Shopify widget to Squarespace website builder. Even though you might not be using Squarespace, but the discussion will be helpful in pointing you in the right direction.


  6. Linda Eick October 6, 2015 at 8:27 PM #

    Hi Jeremy
    I love your site! I am currently with 1&1 and have been for the past 4 years with a 1&1 Professional eShop ($29.99/mo). I am barely getting any traffic to my web store. I now want to sell personalized/customized products from drop shippers and 1&1 told me that that feature is not available in my Professional eShop and that I can upgrade my package to “Online Store Plus” ($49.99/mo), but I will have to rebuild my entire store. My data & customer info will be saved, but that’s about it. I’m rethinking 1&1 as my web host and switching to another. I want to sell personalized/customized products such as etched & engraved with names & dates, but I just don’t know my best options are. I can’t afford these high priced packages in order to sell these special products. Do you have any recommendations of host companies that would be the best and affordable fit for selling customized/personalized gifts? Thank you!

    • Jeremy Wong October 8, 2015 at 2:15 PM #

      Hi Linda,

      We haven’t built a drop ship business before, so I can’t give you much advice on how best to build one, or what tools you’ll need.

      But if you’re looking for a good ecommerce setup, that’s flexible and has good support, take a look at Shopify. It might be worthwhile for you to approach some of their freelance experts to see if they have any ideas, and they are available to help you make customizations on Shopify to tailor to your specific requirements.

      Good luck!


      • Linda October 15, 2015 at 8:04 AM #

        Thank you very much for your advice Jeremy! I am interested in Shopify, but just not sure how difficult it would be to transfer my webstore. There is not much out there as far as discussions (good or bad) involving 1&1, any thoughts or comments about 1&1?

        • Jeremy Wong October 16, 2015 at 7:40 PM #

          Hi Linda,

          I personally haven’t used the services of 1&1 before, so I can’t give you constructive comments about them. Sorry about that!

          But if you want someone to help you set up your store with Shopify, you can check out some of their experts, which can help you get things going.


  7. Cathy September 20, 2015 at 7:27 PM #

    Hi Jeremy

    Your site is fantastic and I have been studying the comparison of the website builders for a while. I have a merchant account set up with Quickbooks (Intuit). Do any of these website builders accept this type of payment service or do I have to use theirs? I ask this because I have a really good rate with Intuit.

    Another question: I will be selling maybe a max of 25 products but each product can have a size option of maybe 12 choices. Will any of these site builders be a problem for needing a long list of size choices when the customer selects the product?

    Thank you!!

    • Jeremy Wong September 22, 2015 at 11:37 AM #

      Hi Cathy,

      Take a look at Shopify or Bigcommerce. Both have Apps where you can integrate Quickbooks with ecommerce sites built with either one of the platforms.

      These ecommerce builders will also allow you to create product variations as well!


  8. Anouar August 12, 2015 at 12:49 PM #

    Dear Jeremy,

    First of all what a great comparison ! its refreshing to see this quality of articles and the depth of the analysis as well.

    My project is a C2C ,I will provide the platform for customers to sell to other customers and I’ll get the commission on every transaction.

    I’m not sure but I think that the above e-commerce website builders do only cover the B2C business, not sure if teh apps will help.
    Could you please confirm whether my understanding is correct ?hoping that i’m wrong : )

    Thanks in advance,


    • Jeremy Wong August 12, 2015 at 1:23 PM #

      Hi Anouar,

      I think what you’re trying to build is a marketplace, where people can buy and sell products on your platform, just like ebay?

      If so, you’ll need a much more customized solution and I’m afraid the ecommerce software highlighted above won’t have the capability to help you create what you want.

      I’d imagine building a marketplace is going to require a very high commitment in terms of time and money, hiring very capable developers on a full time basis.

      I’m not aware of any “out of the box” solutions for building online marketplaces, so if anyone else has seen one, please do share.


      • Anouar August 14, 2015 at 9:53 AM #

        Hi Jeremy,

        Thanks a lot for your feedback and yes i’m looking for a solution for marketplace business, maybe in the future this will be possible :).

        I’ve got this feedback through Qura:

        1) Advanced Marketplace – PrestaShop Addons
        2) JA Marketplace – PrestaShop Addons

        I need to explore further on this but let me know if you know anything on the above …

        Thanks for your help


  9. Dann August 5, 2015 at 4:10 AM #

    Hi Jeremy,

    I have a small physical store and quite an active Facebook Store. I am looking to build an online store but I am having a bit of trouble deciding as I am quite new to all this. All the research and reviews I’ve looked at talk about how great the Store builders are and the number of templates, the payment gateways, etc but there is very little about the backend and customer tools.

    I have over 1,000 products and the customer is my number one priority, so my question really is which of the e-commerce online store builder best allows me to track inventory, customer orders, customer details and tools to interact with my customer (e.g. sms update on order status or promotional / special offers)

    Thanks for your help!

    • Jeremy Wong August 5, 2015 at 1:07 PM #

      Hi Dann,

      Yeah it’s challenging to sort out what is the absolute best solution for you, and it does take time to investigate whether an ecommerce software works for you.

      I think you should have a look at Shopify, as they can integrate with your Facebook store. They also partnered up with Facebook in allowing you to display a “Buy Now” button directly in Facebook, making it easier for your prospective customers to purchase directly from on you Facebook, in the Facebook feeds. So from that perspective, it sounds like something that may be helpful to you.

      They also have the scalability for you to list over 1,000 products, and have over 1,100 apps to help you manage your store and integrate with a lot of different sales & marketing tools. We have a more in-depth discussion about Shopify here.

      So definitely check them out!


  10. Larry B. July 17, 2015 at 1:05 PM #

    I was looking at the ECWID shopping cart system paired with a WIX website but I do not even see ECWID listed. Is there any reason why?

    My shopping cart needs to be able for the customer to choose multiple options when making a purchase like R or L; color; size; with or without; etc.

    What will work best?

    • Jeremy Wong July 20, 2015 at 1:34 PM #

      Hi Larry,

      Ecwid, as far as we know, is a pretty good ecommerce “add on”, and is compatible with a variety of different website builders.

      Our ecommerce comparison chart here focuses on platforms that have ecommerce tools “built in”, so that’s why we didn’t include Ecwid.

      But overall, I heard that Ecwid works quite well. The only thing you may want to think about is that using a website builder (such as Wix) then adding Ecwid to it, is integrating two different platforms. Generally, I’d recommend using tools that are “native” to each platform (such as using Wix’s own ecommerce store tools).

      If you don’t think Wix has enough flexibility, I’d suggest you take a look at Shopify or Bigcommerce, as both have much more advanced ecommerce tools as both are pure online store builders.


  11. Johan Watson July 17, 2015 at 12:36 AM #


    To be honest with you Bigcommerce is not worth it at all. I have been with them since the Interspire days and I have endless troubles! If you want to sell chickens in Zimbabwe or a kangaroo in Aussie land then you go for Bigcommerce.

    Bigcommerce templates always gives problems. Last year I bought the Darkroom Template and I have had endless problems and on the end of the day Bigcommerce refunded me on the template as they could also not sort out the problems.

    Looking at their product options it is a nightmare if you want to sit for ours and battle then go for Bigcommerce. Like said if you are selling chickens in Zimbabwe and you have only a male and female and two colours the product option set will work for you!

    Getting to the so called 24/7 support from Bigcommerce this is another case. Most of the times they don’t know what they talk about and when they refer you to second tier be assure that if you get an answer within 3 months you will be lucky. Bigcommerce support is not in existence.

    Payment Gateways also a nightmare. If you from the USA or Aussie land yes then it is okay, but for me who is from South Africa it is a nightmare. Like their support said to me and this was his words “We do not actually cater for other countries as we concentrate more on the US market and the Australian market.”

    So think twice if you want to go with Bigcommerce as this system is limited when you want to do certain things. Templates is limited, Product Options is limited and Payment Gateways is also a problem if you are from South Africa!

    I have experienced great service so far with Shopify with one of my shops. Payment Gateways is great, I could even link Sage Pay from South Africa and the have a great product option builder in Shopify.

    Comparing Shopify with Bigcommerce is like comparing a Ferrari with a Fiat Uno…..Not in the same league at all.

    I will be moving my Bigcommerce store to Shopify soon!

    • Jeremy Wong July 17, 2015 at 12:21 PM #

      Hi Johan,

      Thanks for sharing your experiences with Bigcommerce and Shopify, and I’m sorry to hear about your experiences with Bigcommerce. As we’re located in North America, we can’t say we have first hand experiences using their services in another part of the world. So this piece of feedback is helpful.

      One thing about Bigcommerce, when compared to Shopify, is that Shopify’s theme store and their base of experts are much more mature than Bigcommerce. Shopify has a lot more independent developers working to build themes and apps for them, than Bigcommerce. I suspect this is because Shopify started building an “ecosystem” of experts much sooner than Bigcommerce. I only started seeing Bigcommerce grow that part of their business last year, so it’s still early in the game for them and I’m hopeful that it will continue to improve in time.

      We do have a good comparison table benchmarking Shopify and Bigcommerce here. Hopefully others will find it helpful as well!

      Thanks again for sharing and adding to this discussion.


  12. Happy Hari Incense July 14, 2015 at 10:49 AM #


    Do you know which, if any, of these ecommerce websites is able to set up something like a sliding scale discount so if for instance someone spends say $12 in total, the cart reduces it to $10 and a $25 sale down to $20 and a $50 sale down to $35 etc

    And do any of them have a way to set a minimum order value?

    • Jeremy Wong July 17, 2015 at 12:02 PM #

      Hi there,

      Take a look at Bigcommerce. Go to their Support page and type in “Discount Rules” and I think you’ll find what you’re looking for there. It’s sort of like, if this happens, then that discount gets applied, type of logic.

      Hope this is helpful!


  13. Steve May 20, 2015 at 1:10 PM #

    Hey Jeremy,

    Which of the ecommerce websites is best used for selling information products only (ebooks, coaching, memberships, etc…)?


    • Jeremy Wong May 23, 2015 at 9:44 PM #

      Hi Steve,

      All of them allow you to have the ability to sell information products (digital based products). So it really comes down to which one you prefer using, and has other tools that meet your needs.

      Shopify and Bigcommerce are pretty advanced ecommerce store builders, so if you need a lot more advanced features you might be able to find them there. But if you are just thinking of building a pretty basic site that sells digital products, then Wix, Weebly or Squarespace can do the job just fine.


  14. Steve May 20, 2015 at 1:04 PM #

    Hi Jeremy,

    Which of the ecommerce websites can be integrated best using ebay and pay pal?

    And then eventually to be integrated with a retail store?


    • Jeremy Wong May 23, 2015 at 9:39 PM #

      Hi Steve,

      I’d suggest taking a look at Bigcommerce as they integrate social stores very well. Shopify also has some apps in their app store that will also help you integrate them as well.

      But ecommerce store builders will be able to enable you to accept payments using PayPal.


  15. Peony May 13, 2015 at 9:16 AM #

    Hi Jeremy,

    Your information are really great and really helpful for narrowing down my choice into weebly and shopify.!!

    I am planning to sell phone case and some sort of digital items for both Hong knog and international market , i would like to ask for your professional opinion and suggestion : P

    Actually, I had tried the business plan in weekly for a month ( but they charged me for 8 month because of auto renew without notifying me:( until I check my statement ) after trying, the fonts and set up on “store” page very limited and they only accept PayPal , but not many Hong kong people with PayPal accoung as , they mostly using visa and master . So do u think I should invest on shopify which sound pretty strong on payment processor ? Does it include the direct processing by visa or master card? Also, I just worry about if shopify is as user friendly as weebly, the drag and drop box?
    Thank you very much ! : )

    • Jeremy Wong May 14, 2015 at 12:22 AM #

      Hi Peony,

      Thanks for your comment. In general, for any website builder that you use (or any online services), make sure you are aware that the services will assume that you are going to keep using / paying them, until you tell them not to charge you again (basically stop using their services). It’s not a bad thing, as the last thing some customers want is for the service to stop all of a sudden as the service provider assumed you didn’t want to use them any more!

      As for your question, even with PayPal, you can process Visa and Mastercard credit cards. PayPal offers that option, so even if your customers are not using PayPal, they can pay with their credit cards. You should look into this a bit more to see if you can activate that option (although I think it’s a very basic option as I’ve never had problems that that before).

      In general, Shopify is a much more powerful and advanced ecommerce website builder, when compared to Weebly. But their tools are not entirely drag and drop, but it’s still easy to learn (though not as simple as Weebly). But if you don’t mind using Shopify, they really are a very good ecommerce builder. Of course, one thing for you to consider is if you want to invest the time to build your online store again over at Shopify.


    • Heather June 30, 2015 at 8:10 AM #

      Dont waste your time with weebly! Its a complete nightmare and theres absolutly no support on building it, no phone numbers, nothing. Easy to use, but i was beyond unhappy when i started building my shopping cart! No options for cart, like color or size options, only until you waste your time logging in descriptions, only to retype it all again in paypal to get paypal code. Then cut and paste code, waste of time!

      • Jeremy Wong July 4, 2015 at 10:09 AM #

        Hey Heather,

        Yeah the customization aspect of Weebly’s shopping cart page is a bit limited at the moment, but the cart itself works pretty well if you don’t have specific customization / design schemes.

        If you need more options for your cart page, have a look at Shopify, Bigcommerce and even Wix. Those will give you more design flexibility.


  16. Isabella May 6, 2015 at 10:10 PM #

    Great comparison. Shopify and BigCommerce are really big name in ecommerce industry. I like to work with shopify because of its more advance features.

    • Jeremy Wong May 7, 2015 at 1:08 AM #

      Thanks for your comment Isabella. Both Shopify and Bigcommerce are indeed leaders in this space. I think Shopify has the edge (at the time of this comment anyway). But both are extremely capable ecommerce builders.

      Here’s our comparison between Shopify & Bigcommerce, if you haven’t seen it yet.

      Thanks again for your comment.


      • Isabella May 7, 2015 at 11:37 PM #

        Thanks Jeremy for sharing your reviews too. I would definitely check this article.

  17. nancy May 2, 2015 at 7:46 AM #

    Hello. I have researched and more confused than ever. I want a store selling vintage, graphics, and handmade. I have squarespace as a trial but I am so confused. I have some experience. Shopify and e-commerce too expensive. Suggestions?


    • Jeremy Wong May 3, 2015 at 8:26 PM #

      Hi Nancy,

      Shopify has starter plan of $14 per month, which in my view is a very good investment considering they give you very focused ecommerce tools so you can grow your business, hopefully to earn hundreds or thousands of dollars in income!

      Other website builders to consider are Wix and Weebly. I think both are really easy to use (easier than Squarespace in general). So give them a try if you want to test a couple more ecommerce builders out here! Both are free to sign up to.


  18. Ann Johnson April 29, 2015 at 6:51 AM #


    I read through your review and I think I have narrowed it down to either Big Commerce or Shopify but I think I read somewhere that Shopify stores appear very slow for the customers. I contacted them before I read this and the support was great and very informative and I was set on using them until I went on a Shopify store and yes it was very slow indeed.

    I am based in Spain and will be selling my products all over Europe and there are obviously different tax rates for different countries but I think both of the above can handle that without a problem. One thing is that their monthly charges are in USD and I find it quite strange that they can’t charge you in Euros. Any info regarding this? I would also like my site to be available in at least Spanish and English but might want to add more languages later. Can either of the above handle spanish and english? I am english speaking so prefer the “back office” in english but my partner is spanish and would like the “back office” to in spanish. Is that possible?

    I am currently trying the Big Commerce for the 15 day free trial period but I find it a bit difficult and not so straight forward and maybe a bit too advanced for me for now. But at the same time I am planning on growing my business and don’t want to change later…

    Which e-commerce builder would be better for me?

    • Jeremy Wong July 13, 2015 at 11:36 AM #

      Hi Ann,

      Interesting observation. When I load up a Shopify store, they load pretty quick so I haven’t had any issues at all (I’m based on the west coast in North America). Does any one else have similar experiences?

      I think they charge in US$ because Shopify is still a bit more US focused – they probably view the US market as their largest base of potential customers (even though Shopify is a Canadian company). Also, I’m guessing that charging in US$ allows Shopify to manage their foreign currency exposure a bit better.

      For instance, the Euros have weakened quite a bit against the US$ (as of today). So charging their global customer base in US$ allows them to not worry too much about global currency exchanges. But I’m just guessing and I’m sure there is a much more sophisticated answer out there!

      I think the best way forward is for you to sign up to Shopify’s 14 day free trial as well, so you can compare your experiences with Shopify with your experiences with Bigcommerce. That is the best way to see which ecommerce platform is better suited for your unique needs!


  19. patrice April 18, 2015 at 9:15 AM #

    hi jeremy,

    your reviews have been immensely helpful…..so helpful that i’ve been able to narrow down the website builders i’m interested in to two: weebly and squarespace. i’m completely new to website speak….but i’m learning as i read your reviews (again, immensely helpful. many thanks. : )

    i’m developing a service based business where i give talks, do private sessions with people, and teach groups. if i could put weebly and squarespace together i’d have the perfect website for my practice! since that combo doesn’t exist, i have some questions about the various features i’m looking for and how i might go about including the missing ones in each website (to help me figure out which one is ultimately going to best meet my needs.)

    1) i want to be able to offer courses online. weebly allows for that, but squarespace doesn’t.
    is there anyway to add that feature to squarespace?
    am i able to link those courses to the payment processor on weebly?

    2) i want to be able to offer private sessions and courses to people who can’t afford to pay, but still need to make enough money to live on myself. the
    donation feature on squarespace allows for other people to act as sponsors in that way, which helps address that issue for me.
    is there a way to create a donation type service on weebly, simply using the payment processor (ie, having a page donated to explaining the need
    for sponsors and people being able to meet that need by making a payment thru the payment processor?)

    i know i have other questions but none are coming to mind right now. knowing the type site i’m trying to create, if any other thoughts come to mind for you that might help me decide which site would work better for me, i’d love to hear them! : )

    much appreciation,

    • Jeremy Wong April 21, 2015 at 3:18 PM #

      Hi Patrice,

      For Squarespace, they don’t have a built in membership feature. So take a look at Sentry Login which is a membership widget, and I believe it is compatible with Squarespace (and Weebly as well). So that might be helpful to you. But at the end of the day, it’s preferable to use a feature that is “native” to the website builder, as with “external” widgets, there is always a chance that it won’t work perfectly with the website builder.

      As for donations, you can try inserting a PayPal widget into your Weebly site so that people can make donations to your PayPal account (or if you don’t have one you can set one up pretty easily). I think you can insert the PayPal donation button using Weebly’s “embed code” element into almost anywhere you want on your site.

      Hope this helps!


      • patrice April 21, 2015 at 7:48 PM #

        hey jeremy,

        yes that helped a lot. thank you! needing a bit more clarification re:donations and payments for services. i’ll be making online payments available for people to pay for trauma healing sessions and/or classes. i’d like people to be able to make donations as well (to sponsor people who can’t afford to pay but need help resolving past trauma – so i can afford to help as many people as possible regardless of income).
        so……my question is…..am i able to set up those different payment options with paypal – payment for services and donations both?


        • Jeremy Wong April 23, 2015 at 1:03 PM #

          Hey Patrice,

          I think PayPal has different buttons that you can get. So you can choose to have the donation button or a “add to cart” type of button for products / services related payments. So I’m guessing you just have to choose which one you want to use for each of your specific page, and embed the PayPal code on to the page.

          So yes I “think” you can have both.


          • patrice May 1, 2015 at 3:22 PM #

            ok…..thanks so much jeremy. i really appreciate your help. : ) best of wishes to you!

  20. margaret April 16, 2015 at 7:00 AM #

    Hi Jeremy, I across your site here and am really glad.. thank you. I’m wondering if you have the time to assist me a little because I have no clue about those things.
    I am a designer and I would like o sell my product online. I would like to have easy ,convinion online shop, some random visitors coming to my web and some help with exposure .
    I m loooking at shopify, bigcommerce and volusion .
    VOLUSION is having those options bellow for 75$ and I’m not sure if it’s important to have those options ? It’s a little expensive so I’m thinking if is worth it to spend or just go for 35$ . Not sure if I understand amazon and ebay integration? Did shopify offer something similar? Not sure if I explain clear enough.?
    Priority Support
    Amazon Integration
    eBay Integration

    Thank a lot.. margaret
    API Access

    • Jeremy Wong June 22, 2015 at 9:45 PM #

      Hi Margaret,

      If you just want a functional ecommerce store, you can create one using the 3 online store builders that you mentioned, well below $75 per month!

      You’ll find all the tools you mentioned (Amazon / eBay) with Bigcommerce and also with Shopify (in their App Store).

      Hope this helps!


  21. Alex March 31, 2015 at 6:22 AM #

    Hi Jeremy,

    All your reviews and comparison tables are so useful and easy to understand! Thanks so much for all this!

    I am looking to setup a Fashion Studio based in Shanghai, China. There are three things that I really want for the e-commerce site:

    1. For the customer to change the currency displayed on the page. Therefore the builder to have some sort of functionality that converts currencies.
    2. The E-Commerce site to be linked to a Chinese Bank account (ie Squarespace would not be possible, unless I use the external Ecwid app, right?)
    3. To be able to do some minor coding modifications. Does Squarespace have this functionality?

    I was thinking Shopify, but it seems like they are more complex than I need and they are quite expensive.

    So I was thinking if you could share your experience and suggestion?

    Thanks so much again!

    • Jeremy Wong April 2, 2015 at 6:01 PM #

      Hi Alex,

      Thanks for your comment!

      I don’t think Squarespace, Wix or Weebly will be the right solution for you as what you’re looking is a bit more advanced than what these web builders offer.

      I would have suggested Shopify as they allow you to customize your site, and there are Shopify Experts readily available if you want to take customization to the next level. So I’m sure there is a way to enable the currency conversion, even if it takes a bit more customization.

      They also integrate with over 70 payment processors. While I’m not 100% sure if it includes a Chinese bank account or AliPay (a bit more regulatory hurdles when it comes to Chinese banking systems I would think), I think Shopify is probably your best bet.

      Squarespace does allow you to make some customization edits in CSS. But overall it’s not as flexible when it comes to code modifications. Unless you sign up to use their developers platform.

      Shopify does offer a $14 per month plan, and perhaps you can consider starting off with that plan? As your business grow, you can then justify investing a bit more to migrate to a higher plan. But what you’ll find is that as your business grows, investing in a higher plan to get the tools you need can be very beneficial to your business.

      They also offer a 14 day trial so you can play around with their platform before deciding whether they are right for you or not.


  22. Melissa March 17, 2015 at 6:52 PM #

    Hi Jen & Jeremy,

    Thank you SO much for all of this awesome information. I can’t wait share your links when I have my website up : )

    I am interested in using Megaphone and Weebly. As I am not a website guru, I am still a little confused as to whether or not I can actually integrate a Megaphone page onto my website (so it looks like just another page). I know I can change the url on Megaphone, but that doesn’t necessarily means it is integrated to my site, does it?

    I would like the marketing aspects of Megaphone, and I want to use Stripe – so I want the sales trx to through Weebly.

    I am also interested in using KajabiNext. Do you know of any other viable alternatives to them? I do not believe that they integrate to my own website in any fashion (other than I will link to it) – so I am looking for options before I build anything.

    I am very grateful I found your website – and will be sharing this info. I also appreciate your level of customer care. Nice.

    • Jeremy Wong March 18, 2015 at 4:57 PM #

      Hi Melissa,

      Glad our discussions here have been helpful.

      As for Megaphone, I don’t think it’s straightforward to create a page with them, them importing it into your Weebly site. I think Megaphone also host the marketing pages that you create for you, so perhaps you can just use that option. You can always link from your marketing landing pages to your Weebly site.


  23. Jen March 12, 2015 at 7:30 PM #

    Hi Jeremy, I’ve stumbled across your site here and am really grateful thank you.

    I’m wondering if you have the time to assist me further?

    I am a member of Perth Playback Theatre – Playback Theatre is a form of improvisational theatre where moments, experiences and stories from audience members are played back live to the gathering. We often do performances for community groups. We also host workshops.

    Our website is shocking (!!!) and I am going to update it – but I cannot work out if Wix or Weebly will be better! Eek.

    I think your review has me leaning toward Weebly because of it’s simplicity and ability to change template, as well as most of our members are not web literate so I need to make something for all of us to use.

    BUT we also want to be able to sell tickets to our shows and/or workshops – and I can’t work out which “commerce” option is better (Wix/Weebly) because it’s not really a store.

    Does that make sense?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    • Jeremy Wong March 13, 2015 at 8:18 AM #

      Hi Jen,

      Thanks for your comment and glad our discussions have been helpful to you!

      My gut feel is that you should pick the website builder that you enjoy working with the most, and one that is suitable for your needs. Wix is pretty easy to use, but I think that Weebly is a bit easier. Plus, as you pointed out, Weebly allows you to change templates.

      As for ticket sales, both Wix and Weebly allow you to sell digital or physical tickets. I think from a functionality perspective, both are almost the same when it comes to setting up something simple to sell directly to your visitors. So based on what you’ve described, I think you should choose the website builder that gives you the best user experience, and you should be able to set up the ecommerce side of things with either web builder without too much hassle.

      What you can also consider doing, is sign up for free accounts with both builders, and just invest a few hours to test them out. This will give you a good handle on which one you prefer to work with!

      Hope this helps!


  24. Breezie March 2, 2015 at 11:35 AM #

    Hi Jeremy,

    Great information, thank you.
    I am looking for a solution for a new client that needs to sell retail as well as easily extport data to their resellers.
    Any suggestions?


    • Jeremy Wong March 2, 2015 at 5:52 PM #

      Hi Breezie,

      Your best bet is probably Shopify or Bigcommerce. Both are advanced online store builders and they will have export functions for you to extract data.


  25. Pancho Marana February 23, 2015 at 9:23 PM #

    I tried Bonanza and the store looked impressive but pretty much no support whatsoever and very pricey. No traffic. Then I tried WIX, one of the worst supports. You need to make an appointment for phone support and if you miss the call, you have to make another appointment. Terrible wix. I dabbled with sitey.com but never really explored it. So, I have no opinion of them. I find shopify have the very best support for people like me who knows nothing about building a site.

    • Jeremy Wong February 25, 2015 at 1:03 PM #

      Hi Pancho,

      Thanks for your feedback. It sounds like you’ve had really great experience with Shopify which is awesome!

      As for Wix, it can be frustrating if you missed your phone appointment. I’m guessing that they have an overwhelming volume of phone appointments so it’s challenging to keep following up with phone calls given they do power millions of websites. I guess the tip here is to make sure one sits by the phone when the scheduled call is approaching!

      Thanks for sharing your experiences with us!


  26. FRANK February 17, 2015 at 2:11 PM #

    Hi Jeremy,

    I am going to sell my products to my Chinese customers.

    1. Which builder has Chinese characters available? Can the products in the store be searched by Chinese character?

    2. Which builder has Chinese popular payment method? Such as alipay.com?



    • Jeremy Wong February 17, 2015 at 3:54 PM #

      hi Frank,

      I’m not entirely sure to be honest, especially with Alipay. I would assume that larger ecommerce builders such as Shopify or Bigcommerce should be able to address this, since they integrate with over 70 payment processors.

      I know that Bigcommerce has some partnership with Alibaba, so I won’t be surprised if they have something that will work with Alipay. Perhaps you can email their support team to confirm?

      Alternatively, I know that Jimdo has an office in Shanghai and that you can definitely create a Chinese website with them. But I’m not entirely sure if they integrate with Alipay yet (last time I checked they haven’t).


  27. Dan Teuscher February 10, 2015 at 4:46 AM #

    I have built a Wix site to sell 1 product. The problem is the payment system seems cumbersome. My customers have to go through PayPal and have a PayPal account. Is there a better, “cleaner” way to collect credit card payments?
    I want them to be able to pay on the website or on PayPal without having to log into their own PayPal account. It looks like there may be apps that I can install through Wix, but that seems redundant. Any advice?


    • Jeremy Wong February 10, 2015 at 3:46 PM #

      Hi Dan,

      With PayPal, your customers can choose to pay with their credit card (Amex, Mastercard, Visa, Discovery) or with their PayPal account (if they have one).

      So your customers don’t always need to have a PayPal account, and can choose to use their credit card to pay once they land on PayPal’s secure payment page.


  28. Martin February 5, 2015 at 10:02 PM #

    Hello again
    I wish ask one more question
    I was about to get for now starter plan in shopify, but I saw some reviews that they got some problems with payments if shop is localized in Philippines, I was try ask more but so far no good answer from them,
    My question is do shopify is good choice for shop based only for Philippinos?
    Thank u

    • Jeremy Wong February 6, 2015 at 2:41 PM #

      That’s a good question Martin, and I’m afraid I’m not really sure. Shopify offers 70 or so payment processors so I would imagine that at least one of them will work well in the Philippines. At least PayPal is an option that I know will work with merchants based in the Philippines.

      If you have specific questions about some payment processors, perhaps try reaching out to their support team to see if they have any more insights why certain payment processors might not work?


  29. Ian February 4, 2015 at 3:55 PM #

    Hi Jeremy,

    Starting a small brand and am trying to determine which would be the best site builder you think…
    1. Some say you can keep up to 20 products.. that might be good for first couple runs but I (hopefully) will need more than that soon.
    2. Mobile app would be nice but not necessarily needed.
    3. Pricing since just starting out and low on capital would be preferably low but I can swing $20-30 range if options would be better for me.
    4. Payment and shipping tools would be a plus but not quite sure which would be my best option, and I would like to have features such as promotional codes and the ability for users to have accounts to save their information for future orders.

    Over trial and error I’m sure I can find one to work but due to your experience and expertise I would love to hear your input on what you think would be best. Thank you!

    • Jeremy Wong February 5, 2015 at 10:08 AM #

      Hi Ian,

      Take a look at Shopify as I think they’ll be a good platform for you to test out. They have a trial period and if you like their user interface and tools, you can always start with their lowest plan (“Starter Plan”) and move up when you are ready.

      They’re a “pure” online store builder and as such as flexible tools to grow with your business as you need more advanced features!

      Here’s our discussion about them just in case you haven’t seen it yet.


  30. Martin February 4, 2015 at 2:23 AM #

    Want make online shop for my small business ( near 50 products based in Philippines) all I need is
    1. template with let me change background image, cover colors etc etc just to make my own look
    2. With I will be able easy update from mobile phone ( like add products or delete them)
    3. Have desktop view on mobile phone
    4. Monthly cost 10-15 $ for that builder ( with cart)
    5. Customers can pay from pay pal

    Is there any online shop builder who include al. That 5 points ?
    thank u for help

    • Jeremy Wong February 4, 2015 at 1:15 PM #

      Hi Martin,

      I don’t think you’ll be able to find good / capable ecommerce store builders with that monthly budget. The online store builder that best matches your needs would be Weebly as you can edit their templates, they have an app that allows you to edit your site (but with an iPad though), you can switch to desktop view, is integrated with PayPal.

      But if you want up to 50 products, you will need to subscribe to their Business plan which can be as low as $19.54 per month if you sign up to 2 years.

      Another alternative is to sign up with a lower plan (such as their Starter), and use Ecwid (which is an independent ecommerce widget) in your Weebly website. Their monthly fee can be as low as $12.50 (annual plan) and gives you up to 100 products.


  31. ketti February 2, 2015 at 8:51 AM #

    Hi Jeremy,

    I have been pouring over your reviews for website builders and they seem very objective and informative. I currently have a website that was built by my husband and designed by me. It did not come from a template and I was able to incorporate some design motifs which a template would not permit. We originally had no intention of going into e-commerce, however we will go down with our ship eventually if we do not develop into an e-commerce/brick and mortar company. My husband does not do mobile specific or e-commerce, two areas we need to grow, so NOW I must do a website builder in order to do all we need to do in the future. Knowing I am a control freak, our specialty is designing jewelry and I need the above criteria, is there a website builder which would allow me to drag and drop original artwork as backgrounds on a template? Any advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated!


    One more thing, I would like to be able to use the same Merchant Account I currently use for Brick and Mortar and it is not Stripe or Paypal

    • Jeremy Wong February 2, 2015 at 4:09 PM #

      Hi Ketti,

      I think your best best is to check out Shopify and Bigcommerce. I think Shopify has a better / easier user interface so that makes setting up a bit easier.

      Also, Shopify has some really great looking design templates but I can’t tell you which template allows you to insert your own image as a background. But if you check out some of their descriptions you should be able to find out after digging around. Further, Shopify has experts who can help you out a great deal in getting things set up if you want to hire someone.

      Lastly, Shopify and Bigcommerce are compatible with a lot of different payment processors. While I’m not sure if they have what you are using, your best best is to check out these two online store builders.

      Hope this helps!


  32. RMJ January 29, 2015 at 8:12 AM #

    Hi Jeremy….thank you for ALL this wonderful information. Very helpful for trying to compare the different options available. You’ve put a lot of time into this!

    I have client that wants to build a site for a nonprofit they’re creating. They will want to accept donations with PayPal as their fiscal agent. I’m trying to decide which builder (Wix, Weebly or Squarespace) would be best for this, since technically we probably won’t have “store” but I need to link buttons to PayPal. Is one of these sites better than the other for this type of integration? Thanks for your (additional!) help….

    • Jeremy Wong January 30, 2015 at 2:04 PM #

      Hi RMJ,

      I think PayPal will work just fine with all the website builders you listed. So I think at the end of the day it’s figuring out which platform you like using the best (all of them have different user interfaces), and which template you prefer to use.

      Squarespace has visually rich templates and they are all mobile responsive. Wix has a very large selection of templates for different industries so it’s worth checking out as well. Weebly is the easiest website builder to use, but their template selection in my view isn’t as good as Squarsepace or Wix. So pros and cons!


      • RMJ January 30, 2015 at 3:31 PM #

        Thanks Jeremy; that’s the conclusion I’ve come to (mostly after reading all your reviews and using your handy comparison chart!). I appreciate all your help and your quick response. Good weekend to you….

  33. Ekaterina January 18, 2015 at 7:28 AM #

    Jeremy hi!

    Thank you for the huge work you have done here, it is really very helpful!
    But I would very thankful for the personal suggestion. I want to build e-commerce store for jewelry we produce. We have about 200+ products and locate in Turkey, but planning to sell mostly for USA market. For a while I do not need very advanced tools, except very clear and fully automatised payment and shipping tools.


    • Jeremy Wong January 18, 2015 at 12:26 PM #

      Hi Ekaterina,

      You should check out Shopify and Bigcommerce, as both are very focused ecommerce store builders and gives you the tools to help you manage a large number of products. They also have automation tools to help you manage payments, invoicing and you can also integrate shipping tools with them!


  34. ff January 3, 2015 at 9:20 PM #

    i read the Top 8 Tools Guide regard free email but i found Outlook.com no longer offers support for custom domain management. Do you suggest another way to get customized email. thanks

    • Jeremy Wong January 4, 2015 at 5:50 AM #

      Hey there – yes, unfortunately Outlook no longer offers users the ability to create custom domain email addresses for free (sad face).

      Aside from Google Business Apps’ email services, you can try other larger service providers such as GoDaddy. But in my opinion, I think Google’s Gmail interface provides the best user experience and stability. We use their services and it’s rock solid!


  35. Dan December 17, 2014 at 5:38 PM #

    I need to build an ecommerce website myself.
    I will be selling 1 product mainly in the US.
    Pretty simple.
    I want it to be relatively easy. It is not clear from your article what the best site is for CC transaction fees; as I feel that will be the determining factor since most of the additional features I will not use.


    • Jeremy Wong December 18, 2014 at 8:59 PM #

      Hi Dan,

      Credit card transaction / payment processing fees are pretty much the same across the board (marginal difference though, but that may potentially become a factor if you are selling at very high volumes).

      So if you are using PayPal, Stripe or other reputable transaction processors, all their fees are relatively similar (very generally speaking). PayPal and Stripe don’t charge you for set up fees, but some other payment processors may – so that’s also a consideration.

      Out of the web builders we’ve outlined above, I’d suggest checking out Wix or Squarespace, since both don’t have any website builder transaction fees that the website builders charge you when you make a sale. The other platforms do take a very small percentage of each of your sale (this is in addition to your credit card fees), but that goes away if you upgrade to their higher plans.

      With Wix and Squarespace, there is no web builder transaction fee whatsoever. But you will have to pay a payment processing fee (credit card fee) each time you make a sale.

      Hope this makes sense!


  36. Matthew December 1, 2014 at 1:25 PM #

    Hi Jeremy, really enjoyed the article well done and thanks. I was wondering if you might be able to recommend a provider to begin with as I am a little in the dark with everything. I am selling products online to Ireland only and am based in Ireland. My domain name is registered with an Irish provider as per law. I’ve been told that if I don’t host my website in Ireland then Google won’t optimise it – is this true? We are a small business and just need a storefront online with maybe one or two email addresses. Like everyone, we’re trying to keep our costs down. Any tips? Cheers, Matthew

    • Jeremy Wong December 1, 2014 at 11:14 PM #

      Hi Matthew,

      I’m not a specialist in building sites in Ireland, but I haven’t heard of Google discriminating against where sites are built. Also, I’m not aware that Google will not crawl and index a certain site because where the site is hosted is not in accordance with local regulations?

      Further, hosting is a services provided on a global basis. So I’m based in Canada and my host is headquartered in the US. But that doesn’t materially impact someone from Germany or Japan who is visiting my website (unless the country itself has banned certain sites from being visited).

      So from my (limited) understanding, it shouldn’t matter where you find your hosting services. Perhaps it’s the domain name part that’s important to your local laws.

      But you may want to consult a lawyer or someone that is familiar with building sites in Ireland for further clarifications! Just to be on the safer side, of course.


      • Matthew December 2, 2014 at 4:06 PM #

        Hi Jeremy

        Thank you for your message, makes more sense! I think maybe expensive local providers are scaremongering people :)

        Have a great week


  37. Kim November 30, 2014 at 10:50 AM #

    Hi Jeremy thanks for all the great information. I tried to find somewhere in the discussions you have with other potential users something in shopify that they will sell digital products. The product I intend to sell is essentially a PDF, or some type of other digital information document. In the video review for shopify, before I saw you go to the category tab for the templates and I didn’t see anything regarding a digital product, can you comment on this please? Or year or so ago when I was previously looking there was only one or two of these website builders that offered to sell a digital product, but according to your chart, now it looks they all do.
    Based on your comparison chart I was leaning towards shopify before, but if you have a recommendation for a website builder that will sell a digital product, and at the moment I just have one, which would you recommend?

    • Jeremy Wong November 30, 2014 at 9:06 PM #

      Hi Kim,

      Yes Shopify does allow you to sell digital products (such as PDF documents). A lot of other drag and drop website builders all have this function built in as well over the past 1 or 2 years.

      As for recommendations, it all depends on how comprehensive you want your online store to be. If it’s just a very basic store front and selling a handful of products, then a less advanced builder such as Wix, Weebly or Squarespace will get the job done pretty quickly and easily.

      But if you need more advanced tools, Shopify and Bigcommerce cater cater to that (they both have App Stores where you can add on even more advanced commerce tools).

      I’d start with asking yourself that question first, then invest some time and test out which ones work the best for you.


  38. Alvin November 21, 2014 at 7:28 AM #

    Hi Jeremy,
    thanks for this wonderful article!! it has been a great help!

    I have a question and i am hoping that you can give me your 2 cents.

    I am starting a monthly subscription boxes (similar to birchbox) for pets.

    So basically, potential customers will come to my site, choose the monthly plan and complete the cart transaction.

    My question is, which of website builder do u highly recommend?

    my primary concern is that customers can complete the transaction smoothly.

    appreciate your kind response.


  39. darcy November 12, 2014 at 1:14 PM #

    Hi Jeremy,

    First of all thank you for all the information you have given in regards to what website/ecommerce builder a person should use. Your answers have been very informative and quite simple to understand for a computer luddite like myself.

    My question, I want to create an attractive & professional looking website for an artist where I am able to inform people of his work, sell his artwork and eventually create “how to” videos to sell. As well, I have multiple existing domain names that I would like to use to direct to the one site ( if that even possible.) Could you please advise me as to which builder would work best for me.

    Thanks very much!

    • Jeremy Wong November 13, 2014 at 9:49 PM #

      Hi Darcy,

      I think the best platforms for you to consider is Wix, Weebly or Squarespace. All are very easy to use website builders and also give you the ability to sell products, and to also insert video players.

      Given that they can all “get the job done”, the best way forward is to just sign up for their free accounts and invest some time in getting to know how they work. That’s when you’ll find out which website builder works best for you!


      • Darcy November 14, 2014 at 11:08 AM #

        Thanks Jeremy!! I appreciate you getting back to me so quickly.

  40. John October 18, 2014 at 3:03 AM #

    Hi Jeremy,

    As other people commented, one of the best ecommerce online store comparisons.

    Thanks for that and please continue posting. Will highly recommend to others/
    Have a question for you.

    I want to start up a store for Clothing (Mens and Womens Suits/Jackets and Sweaters/Jumpers). I am New Zealand based which means things are quite different than US/UK and other parts of the World.

    1. Currently I want to start only with displaying products and see the response. (to help SEO from marketing purposes, buil up the brand, strategic vision and many more objectives)

    2. After a couple of weeks and seeing customer response (from website page reporting) then I want to start up online store (eCommerce).

    Can you please suggest your approach how you would have start up if you had to…

    Thanks in advance,

    • Jeremy Wong October 20, 2014 at 2:49 PM #

      Hey John,

      Thanks for your compliments and for recommending our discussions to others! You’ve asked a great question and I bet a lot of others have a similar question in mind.

      I think it’s definitely a wise approach to validate a business idea before jumping full speed into building it. You can pretty much do what you want to do with any of the online store builders discussed above. Since you are just gauging basic response and analyzing traffic data (using tools such as Google Analytics). So you’re not at a stage you have to worry about all the technical features.

      But it’s always good to get familiar with each platform’s features as you might as well set up a basic site with the right choice, even though you’re not building out a full store yet.

      Since you are in NZ, Shopify and Bigcommerce will have a number of payment gateway options for you to use. Weebly also integrates PayPal into its ecommerce tools, so it should work well for you as well.

      If you need a lot of tools such as email marketing, cross selling, integration with shippers, shipping cost estimations, then Shopify and Bigcommerce has a lot more of these tool integrations on their platform in their App stores (for instance, see our discussion on Shopify’s App Market under the “Shopify App Store” discussion here).

      Weebly is a more basic online store builder. Don’t get me wrong, their tools will equip you to build a functional store, but they won’t have all the bells and whistles to bolt on to its store.

      So if you want to keep things simple, Weebly is a good option. If you want a lot more tools, Shopify and Bigcommerce can be helpful.

      Hope this points you in the right direction!

      – Jeremy

  41. Valerie October 17, 2014 at 8:13 AM #

    Hi Jeremy,

    This is a great comparison chart, but I still need some help please. My sister and I are staring a homemade candle business and we are looking for an online store were we can sell our candles. We are newbies and I want to make sure we use the best builder for our small online store. We would like to offer a shopping cart and also be able to give discount coupons for first time buyers to drive them to our site. What would be your recommendations for us? We are just staring out and do not want to break the bank to start out.

    • Jeremy Wong October 20, 2014 at 2:52 PM #

      Hi Valerie,

      I think something like Weebly or Squarespace will work well for you. Both are very capable online store builders, gives you all the tools to be able to sell physical products such as candles. Both will enable your customers to use discount codes, and are both relatively less expensive than larger, full featured online store builders such as Shopify or Bigcommerce.

      Obviously, with a lower monthly fee, you get less tools. But Weebly and Squarespace can provide you with the tools to build a good ecommerce store.

      – Jeremy

  42. celeste October 7, 2014 at 10:54 AM #

    Hi Jeremy,
    Your site has been very helpful as I’m looking to start an online store but don’t feel quite as in the dark as I did yesterday. Here’s my question: I just recently put alot of time into setting up my business website thru Micosoft Office 365. I’m wondering if there are any online stores that I can integrate into my website as I really like the look of it.

    I’m presently a services provider. Ideally if I could add pages to it for selling product that would be great. My worst fear is that I have to start all over again and recreate the services portion of my website as part of an online store platform. Your thoughts please.

    • Jeremy Wong October 7, 2014 at 12:54 PM #

      Hi Celeste,

      I’m not very familiar with Microsoft’s website builder (I think it’s called WebMatrix?), but I suspect you won’t be able to transfer your existing content into any of the online store builders discussed above as cross platform migration is always tricky as all the builders have their own set ups and are usually not compatible with their competitors.

      I think in general you should be able to export your product details into a CSV file (looks similar as an Excel spreadsheet) and import it into more advanced ecommerce builders such as Shopify or Bigcommerce. At least this gives you a bit of a head start in inserting your products.

      – Jeremy

  43. sujie October 1, 2014 at 2:57 PM #

    Hi Jeremy,

    I’m really glad that I found your site. Great Comparisons!

    I would like to start my online jewellery store (3-4 different products) based in CANADA. I can do all the front-end editing but I am little bit scared about the payment tools- how it works and what should I need for this. Should I need a regular bank account or anything else.

    When it comes to payment mode, which one of the above including WIX can be a good option for online jewellery store? In addition, which one of these provide tax calculations and different delivery modes based on CANADA? I need full support regarding this so that I can track my orders, delivery, etc

    Please suggest.

    • Jeremy Wong October 1, 2014 at 6:34 PM #

      Hi Sujie,

      I think the most popular payment transaction service provider is PayPal. It’s relatively quick and simple to sign up, and is great when you are just starting up. Some of the larger merchant services get really confusing, and that’s probably the last thing you want to figure out at the moment!

      All of the online store builders we’ve discussed above works with PayPal, and all of them allow you to configure taxes and shipping costs so you can set whatever rate you need for your jurisdiction.

      I know that Shopify has a free App that you can to your store that allows you to provide real-time carrier cost estimates for Canada Post. So this actually might work well for you!

      – Jeremy

  44. Andrea September 22, 2014 at 10:34 PM #

    Hi Jeremy,

    Great comparisons. I think I’ve read too many of them, compared too many sites and am still stuck.

    I currently sell on Etsy, a little on eBay and want to create my own e-commerce store. My main reason for my own store it to have my own brand identity. I am growing and want a good website name and e-commerce store when I go into a brewery to do sales, not a store within a larger e-commerce store.

    My second biggest reason to create my own site is due to shipping. This is where I can’t decide on an appropriate e-commerce builder to meet my needs. I need a e-commerce builder with a Real-time Shipping Calculator. However, I need one that uses FedEx and USPS. I need both because if a customer buys an item that weighs 4lbs and they live in 30 out of 50 US states I’ll ship the item with USPS. However, with those other 20 states it is about 20% less to ship with FedEx. So, I ship with FedEx. However, if the package is 6+lbs, I will ship with FedEx 90% of the time. I use FedEx because the rates are 30-60% less than shipping with USPS. For me, less shipping many times converts to more sales.

    As I’ve reviewed these e-commerce builders, I noticed multiple indicate a “Real-time shipping calculator”. However, I also noticed that some only offer it for USPS. I can’t have only USPS. I was wondering which builder you would suggest? I also can’t afford a $100+/month plan. I’m selling a good amount, but not enough to be able to afford a very expensive plan. I do 40-200 sales/month with 30-80 products. Packages range from 2lbs to 60lbs up to 48″x24″x24″.

    So, what e-commerce builder would you suggest. I’m tech savy, but this exact issue seems to be somewhat avoided on some of the e-builder sites.

    Thank you!

    • Jeremy Wong September 23, 2014 at 1:05 PM #

      Hey Andrea,

      For real time calculators, I’d suggest checking out Shopify or Bigcommerce (check their App Stores) as they would have more options since you need both USPS and Fedex. However, as you pointed out, they may not come cheap especially if you want advanced solutions. This then comes down to tweaking your business model. Is your profit margin high enough to absorb higher operational costs? If not, and yet you want to deliver premium experience (such as real time calculations), are your prices high enough to justify such experience?

      So aside from picking the right platform to help sell your products, the economics of selling each line of product has to make financial sense, leaving you sufficient profit margins to operate the business.

      Of course I don’t know anything about your business, and I’m over simplifying matters, but just a few thoughts to consider.

      – Jeremy

  45. Michele Paris September 19, 2014 at 9:13 PM #

    Hi there. I’m in the process of setting up my website and was going to use Shopify because I want to sell online however I’m based in NZ and currently only have one product and it looks like they are for bigger businesses.

    I do plan to add a couple more over time but probably not any more than that.

    My friend advised me to build it myself with Wix as it is quite easy (and free) but I was concerned with getting the right host that has good security if payments through credit cards and PayPal are being made. I also wanted a shipping cost option if I received orders from overseas.

    I thought Squarespace looked good from your reviews but maybe not if I’m based in NZ.

    Sorry but I’m definitely feeling my way in the dark a bit here

    • Jeremy Wong September 21, 2014 at 11:26 AM #

      Hi Michele,

      Thanks for your question. Yes it sounds like Shopify is a bit too advanced for your needs at the moment (given that you only have 1 product right now). Squarespace might not work well for you as they only have Stripe as their payment processor, and Stripe isn’t readily available in New Zealand right now.

      I”d suggest taking a look at Weebly, as they do integrate with PayPal as well and so I’m sure it works just fine with NZ merchants such as yourself. Weebly is quite easy to use and their ecommerce tools are actually quite decent. Here is a more in-depth discussion about Weebly’s online store builder.

      Good luck!

      – Jeremy

      • Michele Paris September 21, 2014 at 1:36 PM #

        Thanks a lot Jeremy, helpful advice and much appreciated

  46. Tabitha September 14, 2014 at 6:15 AM #

    Hi Jeremy,

    I found your site by accident. I’m really glad that I did because you share a ton of great information. I’m trying to decide on who to go with for my online store. I’m starting a shore store for women and I’m really confused. My plan is to start out with about 10 designs and work my way up. The look of the website is very important to me. Needs to look professional and very chic. GoDaddy was recommended to me however they don’t give you a preview of their templates. It also needs to be user friendly because I’m not tech savy with codes and such.


    • Jeremy Wong September 14, 2014 at 10:43 AM #

      Hi Tabitha,

      Glad our discussions on our website has been helpful!

      If you are looking to create an online store, I’d definitely suggest checking out / testing the website builders we’ve discussed above.

      If you are planning on a more advanced ecommerce store, I’d suggest signing up for a free trial with Shopify (see our review) and Bigcommerce (see our review) as they have a lot of tools to help their users run very sophisticated stores.

      But if you are planning on starting off with just a more straightforward, simpler store, then I’d suggest Weebly (see our review) or Squarespace (see our review) . Both have pretty good ecommerce tools. Weebly’s templates are pretty good as they’ve released some new ones lately, but between the two Squarespace have better designs at this moment.

      Hope this points you in the right direction!

      – Jeremy

  47. Tabitha September 13, 2014 at 2:41 PM #

    Hi Jeremy,

    I stumbled upon your site a few days ago. Tons of information here. I’m getting ready to start an online shoe store. I’m having a hard time trying to decide which web builder to go with. I plan to start out with maybe about 10 different designs and work my way up. I want something that’s pretty user friendly because I’m not that tech savy.

    Can you recommend one that have pretty chic templates for women shoes?


  48. Danielle July 29, 2014 at 11:46 AM #

    Hi Jeremy!
    I stumbled upon your site today. So much information! It’s great and I appreciate it.
    I’m wondering if you could give me advice, I currently have a site through other peoples pixels to showcase my fine art portoflio but they dont have e commerce capabilites and you cannot upload your own logo.
    I have been considering a site like virb to showcase my portfolio primarily and other tabs, stockists, contact, about etc. one of which would be SHOP to purchase my jewelry. I was considering using big cartel. I see they arent in this article to compare to.

    I am not html savy but it would be great to have one site where I can incorporate my portfolio as well as an e commerce site and be able to customize with my own logo etc. can you tell me which e commerce site is capable of having a portfolio?
    is shopify capable? it doesnt appear that big cartel is.
    I hate to have to pay for two sites and domain annual fees if i dont have to. I want everything to appear cohesive and clean. User friendly as well while keeping my monthly dues not to high.

    Look forward to your response!

    • Jeremy Wong July 29, 2014 at 1:04 PM #

      Hi Danielle,

      I think Squarespace will work well for your needs. Their design templates are gorgeous and are well suited for setting up a portfolio website. Of course, with their drag and drop tools, you can insert your own logo to brand your own website for sure.

      Their ecommerce tools are fully capable to help you sell your products online. If you end up subscribing to their plans, you get a free domain as well so that can help you manage your expenses.

      Best way forward is to sign up for their free trial and play around with it to see if their tools fit your needs!

      – Jeremy

  49. Maddy July 6, 2014 at 8:35 AM #

    I have been busy reading your comparisons and you give such brilliant advice. Thank you.
    I also read the Etsy advice where I have a vintage shop. That was also useful. I am comfortable with Etsy but you are correct
    I have been thinking of building a website and the choice is between Yola, weebly, Jimdo and Wix. ( it is like a sweetie shop)
    I basically just wanted a simple / effective website and send potential customers to Etsy to pay. My understanding is that you think this is not a good idea.
    Is that right and is it really a turn off for customers?

    • Jeremy Wong July 6, 2014 at 11:25 AM #

      Hi Maddy,

      I don’t think it is a turn off for customers at all! To the contrary, I think it helps your shoppers as they can identify you as a “real” person or business, and not just another merchant in Etsy.

      Creating your own website (whether you decide to sell on Etsy exclusively or also on your own website), allows you to showcase your creativity away from Etsy’s cookie cutter layout, add more images / product details beyond the allocated space given by Etsy, engage with your shoppers through blogging, discussions, etc.

      All these are effectively differentiating yourself from the crowded marketplace in Etsy! Sure it takes more effort, but after all, it’s an investment of your time and will pay dividends over the long run.

      Shoppers buy from people they know and like. So that’s essentially what you are doing if you engage your shoppers with your own website outside of Etsy!

      (If others reading this and have an Etsy store, we have a discussion article here about the benefits of setting up your own website in addition to using Etsy)

      – Jeremy

      • Maggie Vidal August 29, 2014 at 1:10 AM #

        Thank you so very much for all your advice. You are right about Etsy. I have tried to locate an actual website from some favorite Etsy merchants and so far none of those had a website. It would be nice to have some of them have one. It will give them more flexibility in design. It will help buyers navigate easier.


        Maggie :)

  50. Natascha July 2, 2014 at 9:40 PM #

    Hi Jeremy

    Since first reading and commenting on this article I’ve been comparing the here suggested solutions but as well self-hosted solutions. I thought I would give a quick feedback on how I’ve decided in the mean time.
    I have decided to use, for my two domains, a self hosted solution and went for WP. On one domain I use WP with the woo commerce plugin and on the other I use the ecwid plugin.

    In my opinion Woocommerce is great for mid to big sized shops and ecwid for a small business wanting to sell a few goods.

    As a complete beginner to WP and self hosting I came fairly far in realising both websites. So I do think that self hosted is the most economic way to realise a webshop in a mid term perspective (2 years+), if one has some time (3days), stamina and the ability to understand technical stuff, it’s absolutely doable. Additionally one should also carefully select a theme. I think here lies the main key on how successful you are with your page. Getting to know all the technical terms and making up your mind what you need is a very crucial step.

    Best Natascha

  51. anthony July 2, 2014 at 6:39 AM #

    I have a client who is a commercial printer. Which of these commerce options have add-on that are customizable and often best way to build a site for her? She is using a commerce site now that’s way too expensive in monthly costs.

    • Jeremy Wong July 2, 2014 at 10:46 AM #

      Hi Anthony,

      That’s a pretty broad question, as it really depends on what exactly you need for your client to run her business.

      I’d suggest signing up and testing both Shopify and Bigcommerce (both have 2 weeks of free trial period) and explore their basic features, as well as their App Store to see if you can find some apps that can help her.

      Also, both platforms do have flexibility to be customized, and there are a lot of Shopify Experts and Bigcommerce Experts readily available for hire to help her customize certain features / functions.

      – Jeremy

  52. Susan June 4, 2014 at 12:42 PM #

    Hi Jeremy,

    I was looking to do a website where customers could put their own product on the site. Like an Ebay or Esty or Threadflip. What would be the best choice for me to go with. I have to watch my funds as well.

    Thank you! Susan

    • Jeremy Wong June 5, 2014 at 6:30 AM #

      Hi Susan,

      It sounds like you need a builder that allows you to build your own marketplace. I haven’t seen any builders that will allow you to create marketplaces and the ones you’ve mentioned are all custom developed.

      You can try to find freelancers / developers to see if they are able to custom build something for you. You can find some good developers for hire on either oDesk or Elance. Good luck!

      – Jeremy

  53. RM May 28, 2014 at 12:31 AM #


    I am looking for a company to develop my website for online education.
    Any suggestions pls.


    • Jeremy Wong May 28, 2014 at 1:02 AM #

      Hi RM,

      The easiest way to access a pool of freelancers / developers to help you build or modify a website is at oDesk and Elance.

      For others who are reading this comment – if you need anything modified for your website that is above and beyond what a website builder is capable of doing, it’s always good to check with a freelancer / developer to see if it is actually possible through some code tweaks!

      – Jeremy

  54. Van May 21, 2014 at 12:52 PM #

    Hi, any suggestion for an easy e-commerce builder for a trial out? As I might need a huge amount of storage for my product in the future. So which, website builder should I go for? and I needed one that can do an offline payment methods, preferably non charges for each transaction. I was quite familiar with Wix, do you think it is good to start off with it 1st as shopify and bigcommerce is quite pricey? before changing it to another e-commerce builder with better functions?

    Next, I know all these e-commerce builder like shopify, bigcommerce, wix, jimdo required you to sign up plan. If in the near future, i would like to create and host my own e-commerce will I be able to re-use the domain that I used in those website builder?

    Lastly, do any of this website builder provide a e-commerce function, whereby there is no need a price tag to each product? As in, consumer could order the product, without placing any price on the items, some sort of pre-order thingy.

    • Jeremy Wong May 21, 2014 at 1:11 PM #

      Hi Van,

      I don’t think Wix has an option for you to process offline payments, but Shopify and Bigcommerce should be able to help you do that as each of them has over 60 payment processors that you can connect to your online store.

      Shopify has a Starter Plan which is only $14 per month, and you can always upgrade down the road if you feel more comfortable. Remember that Shopify has a 14 day free trial, and Bigcommerce has a 15 day free trial. So you can test them out before committing to their monthly plans.

      If you connect our own domain name to any one of the ecommerce online store builders, you still own the domain names (as long as you pay the annual registration fee with your domain name registrar). So down the road, if you decide to switch websites, your domain name is portable and can be brought over to a new website if you want to.

      I’m not sure if Shopify or Bigcommerce has the ability to automatically “not” show a price for each product. But both website builders have independent experts that you can consult with and have them customize the platform for you. We have an article about Shopify experts here.

      – Jeremy

      • Van May 21, 2014 at 1:56 PM #

        Thanks for the reply,

        Actually, Wix do have such option and regarding the shopify starter plan. It only provides 1 GB file storage capacity with 150 products. Thus that mean, I can upload too much photos? because actually, I have plenty of photos for each product. Roughly I have 100+ products and each of the products there are 3 – 5 photos, editted into web-friendly jpeg and I believe it will be more than the given storage capacity. On a few week basis I will be adding more products into database. So I doubt it will be enough 1 GB. Any other suggestion of which e-commerce builder that is suitable ?


        • Jeremy Wong May 22, 2014 at 1:58 AM #

          Hey Van,

          If you have that many products, I’d suggest that you take a serious look at Shopify or Bigcommerce, as these are dedicated ecommerce builders and will give you a lot of tools that you just won’t get from other website builders.

          Another alternative is to check out Jimdo (our review here) as I don’t think they have any limits for their Business plan.

          – Jeremy

  55. Michelle May 15, 2014 at 10:37 AM #

    Squarespace sounds like a great solution for our needs, but bulk uploading is a key component when making a final decision. Which ones have bulk uploading functionality? Also, was ease of use for editing/sizing images taken into consdideration?


    • Jeremy Wong May 16, 2014 at 12:20 AM #

      Hi Michelle,

      Both Shopify and Bigcommerce allow you to bulk import products and images. Both platforms will also allow you to quickly edit your image sizes as well.

      For Squarespace, I don’t think they have a bulk import function for product and images at the moment, but if you have an existing website on Tumblr, Big Cartel, Etsy or Blogger, they allow you to import your existing content into Squarespace in just a few clicks.

      Hope this is helpful!

      – Jeremy

  56. caralyn May 12, 2014 at 9:31 AM #

    I would like to know need an ecommerce site and would appreciate your thoughts on GoDaddys, Volusion and Shopify

    • Jeremy Wong May 12, 2014 at 2:00 PM #

      Hi Caralyn,

      We haven’t used Volusion before so we don’t have any comments about them. We know they’ve been around and is a well established ecommerce website builder.

      We have used GoDaddy’s latest website builder but the website builder that we used doesn’t have an ecommerce function. I think I read somewhere that they will be integrating those tools into their latest builder soon. Here is our review on their general website builder.

      As for Shopify – we really like them and they are one of the best online store builders available today. Not only do they allow you to build a comprehensive online store, they also have tools for you to sell products offline and integrating all your offline activities with the online store. You can see more of our discussions about the pros and cons of Shopify here.

      – Jeremy

  57. Jamie May 6, 2014 at 2:46 PM #

    Hi there,

    Fantastic guides, you guys really know your stuff. Very unbiased.

    Quick question, at the moment guys I sell only on eBay & want to (like many others) open a ecoomerce website.

    I’ve been looking into Magento Go for a while with that, especially so becasue its an ebay company & integration would be seamless. Magento Go they have 200mb storage & 4GB banwidth. – I’m a complete newbie with this & wanted to know your thoughts with regard to Magento Go in general, (& what the 200mb/4GB mean).
    Ah, & also guys something Magento have are extensions, I think it’s sort of like an ‘app’ were you pay for additions to your website as you grow, & a couple really stood out.

    One extension/connection that seemed to good to be true is called “ebay priduct grabber” were it says, “Import your products from eBay to your (new) Magento Store. Stuff your Magento Store with your eBay products”.

    -Guys would this really take all the hassle out of building a website if it’s just gonna take all my products from eBay & place them categorise them as I have in eBay into a new website ?

    Before I forget, the reason I & probably a million others have started lookin into this is because there was a message in our ebay inbox. – ebay have linked up with something called Understandinge.com & they also have a great extension m2e, all free to help ebayers , or knowing ebay make a buck if people like me pay for Magento etc 😉

    Any guidance, advice from your expertise would be so very, very grateful.

    Many Thanks

    • Jeremy & Connie Wong May 6, 2014 at 9:21 PM #

      Hi Jamie,

      I haven’t used MagentoGo myself so don’t really have experiences to share. But Magento is a very reputable e-commerce online store builder overall, so I’m sure they have very strong e-commerce related tools as well.

      In terms of storage and bandwidth, I think you will only run into issues for storage if you have a lot of products and you have to upload a lot of images. For bandwidth, you would only run into issues if you have a lot of visitors visiting your store. It’s really difficult to say when you would hit those limits and I haven’t really seen any averages. But from a bandwidth perspective, let’s just say that if you exceed 4GB it’s a good thing as it usually means you’re getting a lot of visitors!

      As for grabbing products from eBay, I know that both Shopify and Bigcommerce also allow you to do that. With Shopify, you can use a free App to do that. For Bigcommerce, here is a tutorial on how to do that.

      Hope this is somewhat helpful!

      – Jeremy

  58. L Howard April 29, 2014 at 12:55 PM #

    First of all, great site- as I have been reading it for days trying to figure out which website builder fits my needs…
    I need to create a site to run a literary contest- so it needs to have the ability for visitors to fill out a submission form, upload a file, and make a payment for that file to be sent to a folder for storage for consideration. This is not a very popular website need, so I’m having a hard time figuring out which site builders would be more appropriate for this type of non-standard commerce?

    Any thoughts?

    • Jeremy & Connie Wong April 29, 2014 at 2:40 PM #

      Hey L,

      I haven’t seen anything like that, but perhaps you can search around in Shopify’s App Store or Bigcommerce’s App Store to see if you can find some sort of application that you can bold on to your website (assuming if you use Shopify or Bigcommerce).

      One thing to keep in mind is that if you are running some sort of competition and taking money for applications, you might want to be aware of regulations / laws for your jurisdiction. I’m not a lawyer so it’s best you do some research into this, as I’ve seen some Facebook competition has all sorts of disclaimers, something along the lines of being similar to a lottery… and hence perhaps some sort of government regulations around that.

      – Jeremy

  59. Sharon April 9, 2014 at 7:29 AM #

    Have found a lot of great information on your site.

  60. jill April 5, 2014 at 11:13 AM #

    Hi Guys,
    Thanks for your response.

  61. jill April 4, 2014 at 2:29 PM #

    Hi Guys,
    I had a simple website done for me to market a little book I had written. A friend helped me with it and talked me through how to change things and I think it was done with WordPress? Problem is someone hacked into it and I lost the whole site (goodness knows what the hackers have done to it). I am considering doing my own website with one of the builders like those you review however how do I make sure my website is totally secure especially if people are paying me for stuff with it???
    I have now republished the book directly on Amazon, I’m no techie so forgive the daft question but is there any way to expand marketing it directly via Amazon or do I need a fresh website to link people to buy on amazon???

    • Jeremy & Connie April 5, 2014 at 10:43 AM #

      Hey Jill,

      Sorry to hear that you site go hacked. I think in general, all sites are vulnerable to a certain extent, and one of the best things you can do is to use a very strong alphanumeric password with a mix of upper and lower cases (capitals and small letters) that doesn’t have anything to do with you or your interests ,etc. Also rotate your password once in a while.

      The website builders that we’ve reviewed certainly keep their servers updated and secured, but I’ve read that a lot of times, users actually don’t use very strong passwords which leaves your account vulnerable.

      In terms of marketing with Amazon, I’m not an expert in that but I’m sure there are a lot of helpful resources available for that. Building a website to promote your Amazon items can be a very powerful strategy if used appropriately if you can get interested shoppers to visit your website where you can tell them more about how your product can help them.

      – Jeremy

  62. Mark March 17, 2014 at 12:27 PM #

    I looking for a simple website builder that will allow 3 Paypal buttons (to pay one of 3 different amounts), and that’s it. Is there a $4 or $8/month website builder that will do that without charging any additional transaction fee?

    • Jeremy & Connie March 17, 2014 at 7:33 PM #

      Hi Mark,

      I think Squarespace, Weebly, Wix and a few other drag and drop website builders can do this. These website builders have a tool where you can insert a custom script of code into the body / content area of your website. What PayPal does, after you set up your own payment buttons, is provide you with a snippet of code so you can insert into your site.

      So once you get the 3 payment buttons set up with PayPal, just take those 3 separate set of codes, and insert them into the website builder’s code tool.

      For instance with Weebly, this tool is called the “embed code” element. Just paste the PayPal code into this element and your custom button will show up.

      For Squarespace, they call their tool “Code Block”. Just paste the PayPal code into the code block.

      – Jeremy

  63. Natascha March 17, 2014 at 8:23 AM #

    Hi Jeremy, are you familiar with woocommerce? I like it because of its look and that it comes from WordPress.
    As I can see now, it’s difficult to find out more about it’s funcionalities, as I would need to install it before testing.

    Thank you for your reply

    • Jeremy & Connie March 17, 2014 at 7:23 PM #

      Hi Natascha,

      Yes we’ve definitely heard of WooCommerce as it is one of the faster growing e-Commerce extensions that people are using on WordPress. WooThemes is a very reputable theme provider for WordPress and so even though we haven’t tried WooCommerce, I’m confident that they will be pretty solid.

      However, our comparison chart is focused on hosted drag and drop e-commerce builders and so we haven’t included WordPress related sites in our comparision.

      – Jeremy

      • Natascha March 17, 2014 at 10:51 PM #

        many thanks Jeremy!
        Are you planning an article on comparing self-hosted providers? I feel that this still a jungle for me… :-)
        I have a comparision in mind that focuses on a technical comparison, availability of themes and/or flexibility of adapting themes, and of course ease of use, but not ease of use for the set-up.

        • Jeremy & Connie March 18, 2014 at 9:27 AM #

          Hi Natascha,

          It’s something we’ve considered but very generally speaking, you’re right, self-hosted services are a lot more technical than the hosted services. So I’ve been a bit resistant in diving into a ton of technicalities as that stuff bores me quite a bit as well! We’re not coders or technical people by trait, but learned it out of necessity.

          But if we hear from more people who are interested in understanding and learning more about self-hosted services, we may consider this route as well!

          – Jeremy

  64. antar March 14, 2014 at 4:22 PM #

    hi jeremy,
    Ive been trying for some time to understand which website builder to chose for my new online store.
    i took the 14 days free trial on bigcommerce and play with it a bit, i insert some products and got friendly with it, the problem is that to make changes on the functionality of it one needs to know html+css..so i figure i take a freelancer and pay him to make for me the necessary changes, now the indian freelancer im in touch with suggested to do it on magento, i check a bit about magento and every one not recommend it for small business..i like the magento option cause my freelancer told me it will be for free, unlike big commerce that is $24 per month..but im confuse on what will be the most cheap efficient solution for me..
    i also see so many different websitebuilders and really my needs are basic(at list for the beginning), i want to pick a nice looking friendly theme and make some basic changes in the functionality..i will appreciate some advise here..tanx

    • Jeremy & Connie March 14, 2014 at 10:17 PM #

      Hi Antar,

      Thanks for your comment. I haven’t tested or used Magento before so I can’t quite comment about them. But for sure, they are a big e-commerce website builder for sure.

      Have you explored using Bigcommerce experts to help solve your problem? Bigcommerce has an marketplace where they list out qualified, BIgcommerce experts / freelancers that are very familiar with how to use the platform properly. I would approach them and inquire about whether the changes you want are possible and ask them to quote you.

      One of the challenges of hiring “random” freelancers (versus targeted freelancers available in Bigcommerce’s market) is that the freelancers may be biased to suggest you to use something they are familiar with themselves. So it’s definitely challenging to understand what works best for you for sure.

      I know for Magento they have a hosted version which you do have to pay a monthly fee (just like Shopify or Bigcommerce), and I “think” they have a non-hosted one, but you will have to get your own hosting services and will have to configure a lot of things manually.

      In any case, I’d suggest you consult some of the Bigcommerce experts and see what they say before changing platforms!

      – Jeremy

  65. Cathy March 9, 2014 at 11:28 AM #

    I’m in the food business and need an online ordering system but can’t afford to pay for a new ecommerce site. I do have some web design experience but my fear is that once I start with shopify or Squarespace, I’ll need to pay for too many added features. I played around with Shopify trying to modify their templates and it’s not easy. My competitors sites look like modified templates. Is it best to have a designed site on paper to give to the Shopify or Squarespace designers for help?

    • Jeremy & Connie March 9, 2014 at 1:02 PM #

      Hi Cathy,

      I think when it comes to modifying templates or designs in the codes, it’s never too simple as you’re dealing with codes! Have you checked out some Shopify Experts in their marketplace (see our discussion here)?

      What you can do is just reach out to a few of them and perhaps show them some of your competitors’ websites and see if they can help modify your Shopify site to incorporate some similar features, and how much it might cost.

      But as with any customized designs / websites, you will have to invest some time and money into it. It’s always the chicken and the egg debate… invest to increase sales? Or wait until sales come then invest?

      Personally I’m more of a invest now and work on growing sales – but of course in a balanced way.

      – Jeremy

  66. Ernest January 27, 2014 at 2:48 PM #

    I would consider joining Shopify so that I can build an e-commerce website. But, I am concerned about being charged monthly and that I may lose my whole website if I decide to stop paying.

    • Jeremy & Connie January 28, 2014 at 12:15 PM #

      Hello Ernest,

      For Shopify, Bigcommerce and Squarespace, as they don’t have a free program (aside from their trial periods), once you stop paying for their services you won’t be able to access your website. But if you use Weebly or Jimdo, they do have a free program for you to use. However, just know that if you don’t upgrade to their paid plans, you will not have full access to all their e-commerce tools, as well as connecting your own domain name to the website store.

      No such thing as “free lunch” right? :)

      – Jeremy

      • Ernest January 28, 2014 at 1:13 PM #

        Thanks for that info.

        I would have to carefully choose which e-commerce website builder is better for me.