10 Best Ecommerce Website Builders For Small Business

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best ecommerce website builders for small businesses

Don’t Miss Out: Discover the Best Ecommerce Builder for Your Small Business

If you’re a small business owner who wants an easy to use platform that lets you set up a stunning online store, without draining your bank account, then you’re in the right place.

We carried out in-depth research to discover the best ecommerce website builders for small businesses. We reached out to our onsite visitors who were looking to create an online store, and asked exactly what was important to them. Pricing? Creative control? Sales features?

We combined this data with our own thorough testing here at Website Builder Expert to bring you this definitive list. Plus, every platform we discuss either has a free plan or free trial, so there’s no need for credit card commitments just yet.

  1. Wix
  2. Squarespace
  3. Shopify
  4. Weebly
  5. Square Online Store
  6. BigCommerce
  7. Volusion
  8. GoDaddy
  9. 3dcart
  10. Big Cartel

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

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

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

This helps us rate and compare the builders fairly, focusing on important factors that users have told us matter most.

We even get groups of everyday people to test the builders out and give us feedback, which we then analyze. This helps us:

  • understand exactly how easy (or difficult) beginners find the builder
  • uncover any issues within the builder
  • judge customer satisfaction

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

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

The top three ecommerce website builders for small businesses are Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify. You can see how each performed in our research by taking a glance at their star ratings below:

Best overall ecommerce website builder for small businesses

4.6out of 5

Top Choice
Website Features

4.5 out of 5 stars

Sales Features

4 out of 5 stars

Design Functionalities

4 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

5 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

4.5 out of 5 stars

Ease Of Use

4 out of 5 stars

Best for creative control

4.5out of 5

Website Features

4 out of 5 stars

Sales Features

4 out of 5 stars

Design Functionalities

4.5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

3.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4.5 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

4.5 out of 5 stars

Ease Of Use

3.5 out of 5 stars

Best for sales-specific features

4.4out of 5

Website Features

4.5 out of 5 stars

Sales Features

5 out of 5 stars

Design Functionalities

4 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

4.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

3.5 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

5 out of 5 stars

Ease Of Use

4 out of 5 stars

Best Ecommerce Website Builders for Small Business

The best ecommerce website builders for small business are:

  1. Wix – best overall ecommerce website builder for small businesses
  2. Squarespace – best for creative control
  3. Shopify – best for sales-specific features
  4. Weebly – the one to watch
  5. Square Online Store – best value for money
  6. BigCommerce – best for multichannel selling
  7. Volusion – more than you need, but great for growth
  8. GoDaddy – easiest to use
  9. 3dcart – more complicated than it’s worth
  10. BigCartel – free to sell, but very restrictive

You don’t need any coding knowledge to use ecommerce platforms, and you don’t have to organize web hosting or security – anyone can join the ecommerce party!

Sounds great, doesn’t it? In fact, the trickiest part is actually deciding which platform to use. Choosing a platform will depend on your needs; there are many things to consider, but a few of the most important include:

  • Number of products you have
  • Type of products (i.e. digital, physical, service)
  • How much creative control you want
  • Your budget
  • Time constraints
  • Scalability of your business

Now, let’s dive into each website builder to uncover more information…

Further Information

#1 Wix

Best overall ecommerce website builder for small businesses

Price Range: $23 to $49 per month (billed annually)

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Best overall ecommerce website builder for small businesses

4.6out of 5

Top Choice
Website Features

4.5 out of 5 stars

Sales Features

4 out of 5 stars

Design Functionalities

4 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

5 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

4.5 out of 5 stars

Ease Of Use

4 out of 5 stars

Wix Pros Wix Cons
Really easy to use – no tech skills needed! It’s quick and easy to build a store. Less powerful inventory than other platforms – for example, you can’t bulk upload products with Wix. However, this shouldn’t be an issue for small-scale sellers.
Lots of creative control – you can design your store, add product videos, and more. Doesn’t support multichannel selling, meaning you can’t sell on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest

Features

In our research, Wix scored particularly well in three main areas: value for money, design, and ease of use. Wix’s plans are rich in features, yet its prices are a lot cheaper than ecommerce competitors like Shopify. In short, Wix gives you total creative control, makes building an online store easy for beginners, and packs tons into its ecommerce plans without hiking up its prices.

The main area where Wix didn’t perform quite as well in our research was its sales features. Because it’s a website builder, it doesn’t have the same range of powerful tools that an ecommerce platform like Shopify provides. You can’t sell across multiple channels like Facebook or Instagram, for example.

However, Wix has more than enough to offer a small business looking to get started online. 

Wix is a dream for tech beginners – it’s easy to use, and lets anyone build an awesome online store. You can also add product videos, which is a great feature.

Templates

Wix’s template design and level of creative control is impressive. You simply drag images, text boxes, and more onto your page, then drop them into position wherever you want. This drag-and-drop editing style is super easy, and gives you total creative freedom over the design of your store. 

wix best ecommerce website builder small business
Building an online store with Wix couldn’t be easier thanks to its drag-and-drop design

Pricing

Wix lets you create a store at no cost, so you can build your ecommerce empire’s foundations without spending a dime. However, to actually sell products, you’ll need to upgrade to at least the Business Basic plan, which costs $23 per month.

As you can see, there’s plenty of reasons why Wix is our #1 recommended ecommerce website builder for small businesses. But don’t just take our word for it. We spoke to Claudia, founder of The Vegan Bakes, to find out about her experience of using Wix to build her small bakery website.

USER REVIEW: THE VEGAN BAKES

wix ecommerce user review claudia headshot

Claudia’s Wix website allows her to sell her Vegan bakes to customers all over the country.

Claudia runs The Vegan Bakes from her kitchen at home. She launched her business after turning vegan and struggling to get hold of any yummy vegan treats. Believing no one should have to miss out on a little indulgence, Claudia chose to create a Wix online store to sell her brownies, cookies, and cakes.

Q&A with Claudia

Why did you want to build a website?

“I wanted to build a website so that I can sell my bakes online to post out all over the UK. Having a website means I have a platform to sell to a large audience.”

Why did you choose to build your website on Wix?

“Wix was the first platform after WordPress that I tried and I love how easy it was to use. I had a look at Squarespace too as I know a lot of people use it, but I struggled to get to grips with it so stuck with Wix.”

How easy was it to build your website with Wix?”

“Wix is super easy to use, it almost reminds me of using Microsoft Word as it uses a simple drag-and-drop system.”

“I would definitely recommend Wix to anyone looking to create their own website at a low cost. It’s so straight forward to use and you can personalize every part of your site.”

What do you like most about Wix and why?

“I love how simple it is to navigate and create beautiful sites. I wanted a minimal, modern and professional looking site and this was so easy to create on Wix. I selected a completely blank template to allow 100% personalization. This way I could make my website exactly how I wanted it to be.”

What was most challenging when building your website with Wix?

“I wanted to add a subscription option to my website to allow people to get boxes of brownies and cookies delivered to their door each month! Initially when I was looking this option wasn’t available, but I got creative and managed to use an app to create the subscription functionality.”

Do you think Wix is good value for money?

“I was trying to keep costs down when launching my vegan bakery as I didn’t have the money to spend on branding and website design. I think Wix is pretty affordable for what it is. I made a one-off payment for the year and it works out at a low cost per month.”

wix ecommerce user review claudia headshot

Wix Has Enabled Claudia to Sell Her Baked Goods

Wix could tick all of your ecommerce boxes. You can learn more or get started by visiting Wix’s website!

Further Information

#2 Squarespace

Best for creative control

Price Range: $18 – $40 per month (billed annually)

Best for creative control

4.5out of 5

Website Features

4 out of 5 stars

Sales Features

4 out of 5 stars

Design Functionalities

4.5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

3.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4.5 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

4.5 out of 5 stars

Ease Of Use

3.5 out of 5 stars

Squarespace Pros Squarespace Cons
Excellent social media integration – easily promote your store across your various social channels. Lacks payment options – you can only use Stripe, PayPal, or Apple Pay.
Best design – Squarespace has the best designed templates on the market, and offers tons of flexibility. No app market – all of Squarespace’s features are built-in. While this ensures quality, it means you can’t add extras to your store.

Templates

If you’re looking to build an eye-catching portfolio or online business, then make space for this platform. Why? Because Squarespace stores stand out.

In our research, Squarespace outperformed all other ecommerce website builders when it came to design. Its online store templates are modern, sleek, and built to show off your products. You can even switch your template any time you like – perfect for any rebrands you might have down the line.

Features

Like Wix, Squarespace wasn’t so strong in our testing of its sales features. For example, it does support multichannel selling, but only through Instagram – a pretty limited offering compared to builders like BigCommerce.

That said, with Squarespace’s built-in tools, you’ll still get everything you need to set a small store up for success. You just can’t add extra sales features due to the lack of an app market.

Overall, Squarespace is a great choice if you’re after a superb-looking storefront.

Pricing

Even the Squarespace price plans look good – if you sign up for a year, you’ll pay just $18 per month on the cheapest ecommerce plan (or $26 per month on a month by month contract).

However, you can get the $18/month plan for only $16.20/month when you use our exclusive Squarespace offer code on your first purchase. Simply enter code WBE at the checkout to save 10% on any Squarespace plan.

squarespace ecommerce
Squarespace helps your online store stand out from the crowd with its delightful templates
squarespace logo
Do you want tons of creative control and a stunning online store? Squarespace sounds like it could be for you. Find out more by visiting Squarespace.

Further Information

#3 Shopify

Best for sales-specific features

Price Range: $29 – $299 per month

Best for sales-specific features

4.4out of 5

Website Features

4.5 out of 5 stars

Sales Features

5 out of 5 stars

Design Functionalities

4 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

4.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

3.5 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

5 out of 5 stars

Ease Of Use

4 out of 5 stars

Shopify Pros Shopify Cons
Best sales features on the market – Shopify has a range of powerful tools, plus an enormous app market. Just one of the reasons 93% of our users said they would recommend Shopify! Poor value for money for small businesses – Shopify is a fantastic platform, but for small-scale sellers, its prices are pretty steep.
Brilliant inventory – Shopify’s inventory system helps you manage your store, such as by alerting you when a product is out of stock. Transaction fees – Shopify is the only platform to impose transaction fees, unless you use its own payment gateway called Shopify Payments.

Features

If you’re serious about selling and want to give your small business a boost, Shopify has all the tools you’ll need. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, there’s an enormous app store for you to browse!

Shopify is a dedicated ecommerce platform, meaning it’s designed purely to help you build an online store. That’s why it has much more advanced sales tools than website builders like Wix and Squarespace.

In our research, Shopify didn’t just come top of the rankings for its sales features – it also received the highest customer score. We calculate this score by getting people to try out the builder, and then rate it based on their experience. Shopify was the people’s favorite for building an online store.

An especially great feature of Shopify is that it comes with built-in drop shipping tools. So if you’re a small business struggling to find storage for your products, Shopify could be your perfect solution.

If you’re already selling, Shopify has apps that let you sync your inventories, making it easy to manage all your sales from one place. Shopify also has great multichannel selling options, including integration with Instagram, Facebook, and even Amazon and eBay.

Pricing

Shopify didn’t wow us in every department, though – the most significant area where it fell down was value for money. A lot of Shopify’s sales tools are actually too advanced for small businesses, meaning you’re paying for features you might not need for a long time. When you’re on a tight budget, every cent counts!

Shopify’s pricing plans start from $29 per month, although you can save money by signing up to an annual plan rather than paying on a monthly basis.You’ll save 10% if you sign up for one year, but you’ll save 20% if you sign up for two years, which means you could save almost $190 per year on the Shopify plan which you could put towards travel expenses, office equipment, or some new business cards!

Good to know… Unless you choose Shopify’s in-house payment gateway, Shopify Payments, you will be charged transaction fees on your sales. On the cheapest plan, this would be a 2% transaction fee.

Shopify’s powerful tools won’t benefit you if you just want to sell one or two products. However, if you’re ambitious and want to give your store a solid foundation, then Shopify has the full package to support your small business.

shopify best ecommerce for small business
Shopify is designed to help online sellers create their own online store, and has all the tools to help you succeed.
93% of people said they would recommend Shopify – find out why with Shopify’s 14-day free trial.

Further Information

  • Read our full Shopify Review to find out if it could be the perfect ecommerce builder for your small business.

#4 Weebly

The one to watch

Price Range: $6 – $26 per month (billed annually)

The one to watch

4.3out of 5

Website Features

4.5 out of 5 stars

Sales Features

3 out of 5 stars

Design Functionalities

3.5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

3 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

5 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

4.5 out of 5 stars

Ease Of Use

4 out of 5 stars

Weebly Pros Weebly Cons
Very easy to use – Weebly is beginner-friendly, so you don’t need much spare time (or any tech skills). Cannot sell across multiple channels – this is especially frustrating if you already have a Facebook or Etsy store, for example.
Low prices – Weebly is budget-friendly, with notably cheap starter prices. Unable to customize checkout page – the design of your checkout page is important, but Weebly limits your creative freedom.

Pricing

Most small business owners should be wary of hidden costs. Thankfully, Weebly is very budget-friendly, with some of the lowest ecommerce starter prices around. You can even sell products on Weebly’s free ecommerce plan, which is a huge feature to offer at no cost. Plus, Weebly is super easy to use.

Although you can sell on the free plan, if you’re serious about selling then we recommed the Professional plan for small stores, or the Performance plan, which is the best plan for ecommerce.

The $12 per month Professional plan is the cheapest plan to remove Weebly adverts from your site, and also comes with a shipping calculator, free domain, and unlimited storage. That said, the $26 per month Performance plan is best for online stores – you get everything from abandoned cart emails to shipping discounts and advanced ecommerce insights.

Features

Weebly also has some brilliant additional features, particularly in blogging and its password protected pages. The downside? You can’t sell across Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. Overall, though, Weebly is a safe pair of hands for your small business.

In testing, Weebly underwhelmed us with its larger scale ecommerce offerings, which is why we recommend it for small businesses only selling a few products – put simply, it just doesn’t have as much to offer as Wix or Squarespace.

However, since Square took over Weebly, its sales features have massively improved – this takeover is to thank for Weebly’s new free ecommerce plan, and also the huge advancement in its sales features. The Performance plan is a shining example of how Weebly has stepped up to the ecommerce mark recently, making it the one to watch!

Good to know… We’ve labelled Weebly as “the one to watch” because it’s showing signs of tailoring its platform to small business owners’ needs. For example, it has an automatic tax calculator, and a mobile app so you can manage your business on the go. Still, it has a long way to go before catching up with our top three ecommerce builders.

In our research, Weebly scored highly for value for money, and you can see why. You can sell for free, and its cheapest ecommerce plan starts at just $6 per month (billed annually.)

weebly online store
Weebly is the best value for money ecommerce platform, ideal for any small business
vergleich website baukasten weebly logo
Weebly has cheap prices and lots of promise – could it be right for you?

Further Information

#5 Square Online Store

Best value for money

Price Range: $0 – $72 per month

Best value for money

4.2out of 5

Website Features

3.5 out of 5 stars

Sales Features

4 out of 5 stars

Design Functionalities

3.5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

3.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

5 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

3.5 out of 5 stars

Ease Of Use

4.5 out of 5 stars

Square Online Store Pros Square Online Store Cons
The free plan means you can build and sell without signing up to a subscription The actual store builder is powered by Weebly, and comes with the same limitations in customization as Weebly
Artificial Design Intelligence makes Square Online Store very quick and easy to use Larger merchants will outgrow Square Online Store’s features

Ease of Use

Square is a payment processing giant which bought Weebly – the popular website builder – in 2018. The result is the new Square Online Store, which combines Square’s features with Weebly’s website building platform. 

The first thing to say about this new kid on the block is that, on the whole, it’s pretty similar to Weebly. You sign up through Square Online Store, and get extra features, but you’re still using Weebly’s building software to actually create your store.

This is especially great news for beginners, as Weebly is super simple to use and received an impressively high customer satisfaction score in our research. However, it also comes with Weebly’s limitations, namely the limited customization options.

Square Online Store uses Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) to build you a store that’s tailored to your needs. This is the same method used by builders like GoDaddy, asking questions about your store to create a personalized layout for your website.

Features

So, why use Square Online Store instead of Weebly? Well, Square Online Store comes with extra features and integrations that Weebly doesn’t, such as tracking customer behavior and creating custom invoices.

It also uses its AI tech to help you follow best practice when adding products, which was a feature that really stood out when we tested Square Online Store. For example, it can identify products and suggest the category name for you, saving time.

Pricing

Because of these features, we recommend Square Online Store to sellers who want to get the most value for their money. Square Online Store’s platform is easy to use and affordable, but it doesn’t sacrifice great features, either.

One of the most obvious things to shout about with Square Online Store is the fact it has a free plan for you to sell on – a very rare offer that isn’t available with most ecommerce builders. Square Online Store has four plans, ranging from $0 to $72 per month (billed annually).

square ecommerce builder
Square is a payment processor first and foremost, but its store builder has some pretty cool sales features to help businesses get online.
square logo
Does Square sound like the ecommerce builder for you? Build and sell for free, and discover if it’s the perfect choice for your store!

#6 BigCommerce

Best for multichannel selling

Price Range: $29.95 – $249.95 per month

Psssst! Get up to three months free with BigCommerce

We just wanted to let you know that BigCommerce is currently offering up to three months free when you sign up to a new plan. Go check it out!

Best for multichannel selling

4out of 5

Website Features

4.5 out of 5 stars

Sales Features

4.5 out of 5 stars

Design Functionalities

3.5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

3.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

3.5 out of 5 stars

Ease Of Use

3.5 out of 5 stars

BigCommerce Pros BigCommerce Cons
Tons of multichannel integrations - you can sell across many different platforms. Difficult to use - BigCommerce isn't very beginner-friendly, meaning you'll need more time to get your store live.
Ideal for scaling your business - BigCommerce is a highly scalable platform, helping your business grow. Advanced means advanced - BigCommerce's features are impressive, but there is a learning curve required to set them up.

Features

BigCommerce has the most built-in features of any ecommerce builder, meaning it’s less reliant on apps than platforms like Shopify. This can help keep your costs down, but it also means that BigCommerce is the most scalable ecommerce builder on the market. So, if you’ve got big dreams for your small business, this is the best choice for you!

BigCommerce also lets you sell across a variety of channels, including eBay, Amazon, Square, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. This lets you expand your store’s reach while still keeping costs low.

BigCommerce Named a “Strong Performer” in the Ecommerce Space

Forrester Research named BigCommerce a strong performer in two recently released reports, one on B2B commerce suites and one on B2C commerce suites. These reports evaluate the most significant commerce software providers, to help digital businesses select the best technology for their needs.

BigCommerce earned the highest possible score in five total criteria: Expanded Sales Channels (B2C Wave), A/B and Multivariate Testing, Platform Architecture, Platform Integration, Delivery Model, and Technology Partners and Marketplace (B2B Wave).

The reports also cite feedback from BigCommerce customers, which found that they “like the culture and responsiveness of the support experience” when using the platform.

The main snag with BigCommerce is that a lot of its tools are geared towards helping businesses grow rapidly, and supporting large stores. If you’re not looking to scale, then you’ll find you’re paying for features you don’t need for your small business.

It was for this reason that BigCommerce scored unexceptionally for value for money in our research. It also fell down in our ease of use testing because of the complex terminology it uses. This makes it less than ideal for a small business wanting to get online quickly, and with minimum hassle.

However, BigCommerce unsurprisingly received high scores for its sales features, and it has great SEO tools to help your business get found via Google.

Pricing

If you want to build with BigCommerce, you’ve got three ecommerce plans to choose from – the cheapest starts at $29.95 per month.

Overall, BigCommerce is ideal if you want some advanced tools under your belt as you grow your small business. It’s undoubtedly a powerful ecommerce builder, but for most small stores, it sits in the middle of the pack.

bigcommerce small business ecommerce
BigCommerce is mostly aimed at large and fast-growing businesses, but it does have handy tools for smaller stores, too.
BigCommerce Category
Do you have big plans for your small business? BigCommerce is your best choice.

Further Information

  • Does BigCommerce sound appealing? Check out our full BigCommerce Review to see if it ticks all your boxes.

#7 Volusion

More than you need, but great for growth

Price Range: $29 – $299 per month

More than you need, but great for growth

3.9out of 5

Website Features

3.5 out of 5 stars

Sales Features

4.5 out of 5 stars

Design Functionalities

3.5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

4 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

3 out of 5 stars

Ease Of Use

3 out of 5 stars

Volusion Pros Volusion Cons
Supports numerous payment gateways – choose from various options to suit your business. Very difficult to use – you’ll have to spend some time building your store with Volusion.
Insightful data reports – learn what you’re doing well by easily tracking your site’s performance. No real niche offering – Volusion is a very middle of the road platform, without a unique selling point.

Volusion provides no illusions when it comes to data reports. Everything you need for tracking your site’s performance and progress is in one place – it’s a data-lover’s dream.

This makes it ideal for growing your business at a pace that suits you. Volusion’s data tools let you measure how successful your pages are, so you can easily adjust your site to improve your sales.

Features

In our research, Volusion scored poorly for its website features – the main problem being that Volusion doesn’t offer any blogging tools. Blogging can play an important part in the growth of small businesses, so this is a major drawback.

Where Volusion scored well was its sales features – indeed, it actually matched BigCommerce’s scores. That said, for most small businesses, a lot of these features will be overkill.

However, if you want to grow your business, Volusion is a decent place to start.

Pricing

Volusion’s cheapest price plan costs $29 per month. That’s right – it costs the same as Shopify! Out of the two, though, you’ll get better value for your money with Shopify.

volusion homepage
Volusion provides superb analytics, helping you manage your site’s progress more easily
volusion logo
Don’t care much about design, but love data? Check out Volusion today.

Further Information

#8 GoDaddy

Easiest to use

Price Range: $19.99 per month (billed annually)

Easiest to use

3.8out of 5

Website Features

2.5 out of 5 stars

Sales Features

3.5 out of 5 stars

Design Functionalities

3 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

3.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

4 out of 5 stars

Ease Of Use

4.5 out of 5 stars

GoDaddy Pros GoDaddy Cons
Fastest and easiest to build – GoDaddy uses ADI to make building your store as simple as possible. Some features lack quality – GoDaddy doesn’t have the best features around.
Supports more industries than its competitors – whether you’re a photographer, writer, or dog walker, GoDaddy’s got you covered. Limited creative control – what you gain in speed, you lose in creative freedom.

Ease of Use

GoDaddy uses GoCentral ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) to build your online store in minutes. If you want your business to get up and running online quickly, it’s a no brainer.

Sure, some features could be stronger – particularly when it comes to blogging – but for a simple, hassle-free website, GoDaddy is perfect.

The proof is right there in black and white – our users awarded GoDaddy the highest ‘ease of use’ score in our research. So even if you’re a total technophobe, you’ll find GoDaddy a breeze to build with.

That said, ease of use was the only area GoDaddy really shone – elsewhere it was pretty average. For example, while GoDaddy’s ADI helps you design your site, the actual level of creative control isn’t great.

Still, what you lose in creative freedom, you more than make up in time – you can’t beat GoDaddy for speed.

Pricing

GoDaddy can give you a website in a few minutes, and for less than $20 per month. It only has one ecommerce plan – the suitably named Online Store price plan, which costs $19.99 per month, (billed annually). This includes a generous one month free trial, too.

godaddy online store builder
GoDaddy is ideal for small business owners who want to get online quickly
godaddy logo
Want to get your online store up quickly and hassle-free? Say hello to GoDaddy.

Further Information

#9 3dcart

More complicated than it’s worth

Price Range: $19 – $229 per month

More complicated than it's worth

3.8out of 5

Website Features

3 out of 5 stars

Sales Features

4.5 out of 5 stars

Design Functionalities

3 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

4 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

2.5 out of 5 stars

Ease Of Use

1 out of 5 stars

3dcart Pros 3dcart Cons
Excellent inventory system – you can keep track of your products and sales easily. Least likely to be recommended by users – in our testing, 3dcart got the lowest customer score.
Flexible design – you can change your theme at any time. No mobile app – you can’t run your store on the go.

Features

3dcart is the opposite to Squarespace. It relies on powerful back-end tools and inventory features, focusing less on creativity and design. With no mobile app, you can’t edit your site on the go, but 3dcart does come with a surprisingly good range of built-in sales tools. This will also save you buying tons of apps, which can see costs quickly rack up.

3dcart came behind Volusion for its sales features in our research rankings.  That said, it comes with a great inventory system, and plenty of management control in the backend. It also reformats your site for you when you change themes, earning it points in the design category.

Ease of Use

However, 3dcart fell down when we put it to the test. Our users who tried it out gave it the lowest customer score, making it the small business ecommerce builder people were least likely to recommend.

Pricing

3dcart’s cheapest plan is $19 per month, which is less than Shopify’s lowest price plan. So, if you want some great tools at a lower cost, 3dcart could be for you.

3dcart homepage
3dcart lets you build a strong inventory with some of the best built-in tools on the market
3d cart logo
Are you interested in 3dcart? Find out more by visiting its website.

Further Information

#10 Big Cartel

Free to sell, but very restrictive

Price range: $0 – $29.99 per month

Free to sell, but very restrictive

3out of 5

Website Features

1.5 out of 5 stars

Sales Features

3 out of 5 stars

Design Functionalities

2.5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

1 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

3.5 out of 5 stars

Ease Of Use

3 out of 5 stars

Big Cartel Pros Big Cartel Cons
Has a free plan – Big Cartel is one of the only ecommerce builders on our list that lets you sell for free. Very difficult to use – you will need some coding skills to get the most out of Big Cartel.
Perfect for small-scale selling – Big Cartel is designed mostly for one-off products and art pieces. Poor designs – Big Cartel’s themes are very basic, and offer very limited customization.

Features

Big Cartel’s main selling point is that you can build, publish, and even sell without having to pay a cent. That’s pretty rare. With most other ecommerce website builders, you have to be on a paid plan to sell through your site, but Big Cartel breaks this mold.

However, the phrase “you get what you pay for” springs to mind, because Big Cartel is an extremely basic ecommerce builder. It came last in five out of seven of our research categories, making it the worst builder for:

  • Website Features – for example, Big Cartel doesn’t have any built-in blogging tools.
  • Sales Features – it’s missing important features; for example, it’s not PCI compliant, and there’s no abandoned cart recovery.
  • Design – there’s only a small choice of themes, none of which offer product zoom, product videos, or customer logins. Very limited customization!
  • Help and Support – you only get help through email support Monday to Friday, or via the Help Center.
  • Ease of Use – Big Cartel seems simple to start with, but quickly becomes frustrating unless you know how to code.

So, Big Cartel comes firmly in last place. But no builder is all bad, and Big Cartel does have its own benefits that earn it a place in our list of the best ecommerce builders for small businesses.

If you’re starting small and don’t mind staying that way, Big Cartel is built for you.

It’s designed to help artists, makers, and creatives sell their products online, meaning it’s ideal for selling a small number of unique items. You can’t bulk upload products, so be prepared to add each one separately!

You can be sure that Big Cartel isn’t going to overwhelm you with tons of features you don’t need, making it easy to keep your small business manageable.

Pricing

One of the best things about Big Cartel is its affordable price plans. These are very budget-friendly, offering better value for money than most other builders – including Shopify!

Big Cartel’s free plan lets you sell up to five products, and comes with very basic features. The cheapest paid plan costs $9.99 per month, unlocks all Big Carel’s features, and lets you sell up to 25 products. You can upgrade or downgrade at any time.

big cartel small business ecommerce
Big Cartel is perfect for keeping your business and your overheads small, but has some major drawbacks you should be aware of before signing up.

Further Information

Best Ecommerce Website Builders for Small Business: Recap

There are many website builder options for your small business. These builders let you create an awesome online store for a relatively low cost, helping you get off the ground and into the world of ecommerce.

To recap, the 10 best ecommerce website builders for small business are:

  1. Wix – best overall ecommerce website builder for small businesses
  2. Squarespace – best for creative control
  3. Shopify – best for sales-specific features
  4. Weebly – the one to watch
  5. Square Online Store – best value for money
  6. BigCommerce – best for multichannel selling
  7. Volusion – more than you need, but great for growth
  8. GoDaddy – easiest to use
  9. 3dcart – more complicated than it’s worth
  10. BigCartel – free to sell, but very restrictive

This list of 10 is a great fix for small businesses looking to get started online. However, as your store grows, so will your website’s needs.

If your store does grow quickly – and hopefully it will – you might want to consider switching to a big business-friendly platform like BigCommerce, which is ideal for fast growing ecommerce stores.

For most small businesses, we recommend one of our top three. You should use:

  • Wix if you want to get the most out of your budget – or if you’re a beginner who wants total creative freedom over your site’s design.
  • Squarespace if you want a sleek, modern template to base your store’s design on, tons of creative control, and all your features built-in.
  • Shopify if you’re serious about selling, and want powerful tools and an endless choice of apps to help you run your business.

Unless you have very specific needs, we don’t recommend Big Cartel or 3dcart – they’re right for some small businesses, but most will find them restrictive and time consuming.

For now, we recommend trying one of the other builders listed above for your small business. Don’t forget that each platform either offers a free plan or free trial, so you can begin building the foundations for your future ecommerce empire at no personal cost.

FAQs

Which is the best ecommerce platform?

Shopify is the best overall ecommerce platform on the market, it’s easy to use, offers the best sales tools and provides the most comprehensive customer support. For smaller businesses, Wix is a great option. It lets you build a store and sell a few products with ease.

Should I use BigCommerce or Shopify?

BigCommerce is for fast growing businesses looking to scale massively. It has the best built-in features of any platform, but it’s quite tricky to work because it uses complicated language. Shopify is better for smaller businesses. It’s much easier to use than BigCommerce, helping you build a store quickly.

Which is the cheapest ecommerce website builder?

Weebly’s ecommerce-specific pricing plans start from just $6 per month, which is ideal for small businesses looking after their budget. Weebly also lets you sell for free, although it’s fairly limited. BigCartel also lets you sell online for free, but it cannot match Weebly for ecommerce tools and features. But you’ll get the best value for your money from Square Online Store, which lets you sell on the free plan and offers excellent features on its paid plans from $12 per month.

Website Builder Expert aims to provide you with honest data. That’s why we conduct our own research and obtain direct, personal insight. Analyses and graphics in this article are based on authentic sources cross-validated by our in-house experts.

We take great care to ensure the information we publish is reliable and accurate. However, WBE takes no responsibility for any inaccuracy in information supplied to us by users, research participants, or other entities.

Please note the insight contained within this article is for general information purposes only. We’re glad to answer any questions you may have about this article and its supporting research. For further information, please contact Website Builder Expert directly via email at info@websitebuilderexpert.com.

About Dan Barraclough

Dan Barraclough

I used to think website design was just for professionals. Because maybe like you, I have no coding or design experience. But, with the help of our expert researchers (and after testing every website builder myself), I can confidently guide you through on how to get the most out of each one.

5 comments

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  • Jessica Abenduchi
    Interesting ideas! A nice summary that I will share with my team. Thank you! - Jessica
  • Aaron
    Thanks for the great review, however I did have one question for you. At the beginning of the article you mention whether or not you’re selling digital or physical products as an important thing to consider in the selection process and I’m planning to sell a lot of both types and was wondering how the platforms compare on that feature. Thanks!
    1 reply
    • Maura Monaghan
      Hi Aaron, Thanks for your comment! Since you're selling both physical and digital items, you'll want a builder with a combination of good visual elements and strong shipping features. For that, we'd recommend Squarespace. Its image-focused templates are perfect for highlighting the strengths of your digital items, and its most basic ecommerce plan allows for local and regional shipping, which allows you to set shipping fees based on location. I hope this helps! Maura
  • Sean
    What about webflow?
    1 reply
    • Hannah Whitfield
      Hi Sean, Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. As ecommerce grows in popularity, so does the quantity (and quality!) of store building options available, which is great news for anyone looking to set up shop online. The ones featured in this list are the ones we've found to be the best for small businesses having put them through our own research process, but there are plenty of other great options out there. Thanks, Hannah