Shopify Alternatives | The Top 5 Competitors Compared

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If you need a good Shopify alternative, there are a whole bunch of ecommerce platforms out there to answer your prayers. Personally, we recommend Wix or Squarespace – Wix offers indispensable features that match Shopify, while Squarespace lets you sell unlimited products while sporting fantastic designs.

The best Shopify competitors on the ecommerce scene are:

5 Best Alternatives to Shopify

  1. Wix Best value for money
  2. Squarespace Easiest to use
  3. BigCommerce Best for built-in features
  4. Square Online Best free plan
  5. GoDaddy Fastest way to open an online store

Scoring 4.8 out of 5 in our independent research, Shopify is one of the best ecommerce website builders on the market. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s the best platform for you. If you’re looking for other alternatives to Shopify, let’s explore Shopify competitors to consider.

Wix offers awesome value for money and comes with a plethora of sales features that are ideal for helping online stores flourish – it earns 4.6 out of 5 in our research for its website features, meaning that it’s joint first with Shopify in this category.

If you found Shopify hard to use, Squarespace offers a much more straightforward user experience. It earns gold for its ease of use, scoring 4.3 out of 5 in our research, compared to Shopify’s score of 4 out of 5. This makes it good for beginners wanting to sell online.

If you’re looking for hefty sales capabilities, BigCommerce is your best bet. In our research, it comes in a respectable second place with a score of 4.6 out of 5, just shy of Shopify’s 4.7 out of 5. This makes BigCommerce the best Shopify alternative if you want similarly powerful sales features.

Now that you know what you’re dealing with, let’s keep moving so we can delve into the differences between each platform, what that means to you, and which one you should test out.

Further Information

Shopify Competitors: The Comparison

See how the top Shopify competitors compare in all the key areas with our handy table below…

Swipe right to see more
0 out of 0

Wix

Squarespace

GoDaddy

Hostinger

Square Online

Overall rating
4.8
Overall rating
4.7
Overall rating
4.2
Overall rating
4.0
Overall rating
3.8
Starting Price
Starting Price
Starting Price

$20.99

Starting Price

$3.99

(+ 3 months free)

Starting Price

$29

Transaction Fees

2.9% plus $0.30

Transaction Fees

0% – 3%

Transaction Fees

2.3% + $0.30

Transaction Fees

None

Transaction Fees

2.9% + $0.30

Payment options

11 including: Paypal, Wix Payments, Stripe, Square

Payment options

3: Stripe, Paypal, Square

Payment options

Paypal, Stripe, and Square

Payment options

PayPal, Stripe, Apple Pay, Google Pay

Payment options

4: Credit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Square

Sales features
4.2
Sales features
3.7
Sales features
2.8
Sales features
3.3
Sales features
3.3
Multichannel integration
Multichannel integration
Multichannel integration
Multichannel integration
Multichannel integration
When scoring website builders, we carry out in-depth research into every platform featured on our lists, which is not something many websites can claim!

Our in-house research team put every single builder through our rigorous research process. We investigate important areas such as:

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

When creating our list of the top Shopify alternatives, we paid particular attention to the sales features each has to offer, because these are the tools that are going to be instrumental in making your website a success. We also focus on value for money, because we know that keeping costs low is important for all new and small businesses.

Balancing these against the other categories 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 Ecommerce Website Builder Research for a more detailed explanation.

2 #1. Wix

Best Shopify Alternative for Value

Price Range: $27 – $59 per month

Editor's Choice

Wix

Best value for money

Outstanding

4.8

out of 5
  • Customer favorite
  • Advanced help and support
  • Easy to use
dollar icon svg

Free plan available

Paid Plans: $16 - $159 / month

Pros

  • icon yes svg Better value for money than Shopify
  • icon yes svg Able to personalize site with your brand
  • icon yes svg Stock management capabilities

Cons

  • icon no svg Shopify has better sales features
  • icon no svg Limited multi-channel integration
  • icon no svg Can’t change template once site is live
Read Review

Wix is a pure drag and drop website builder, meaning that you can literally place any content anywhere on your website. It’s also becoming one of our favorite ecommerce platforms, too.

Wix eCommerce is very easy to use (no coding or technical skills required whatsoever), has an excellent dedicated support team (phone or email), and has a team of developers to manage all the technical details for you, so you don’t have to worry about anything but building and running your ecommerce store.

Wix drew level with Shopify in our research, scoring 4.8 out of 5 overall. This is 2.4% increase on its 2022 score of 4.7, showing that Wix is working hard to improve its ecommerce offering. As a result, it’s a great choice for anyone seeking an alternative to Shopify, but who doesn’t want to compromise on great features and affordability.

When picking an ecommerce website builder, you want to know that your chosen platform has all the goods to help you get selling, and on this front, Wix doesn’t disappoint. In our research, it scores 4.5 out of 5 in this category.

In recent months, Wix has made significant improvements to its ecommerce offering. For example, users can now track their stock through the inventory management tool available. Not only this, but Wix also offers new integrations with marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, eBay, and Etsy.

Although Wix doesn’t have quite as many payment options as Shopify, it still has 40 different payment gateways to choose from, including Stripe, PayPal, Square, Klarna, and the platform’s own processor, Wix Payments. Vendors can also sell a variety of products, both physical and digital.

While Wix has plenty of sales features to keep its users happy, there’s still room for improvement. Besides the marketplaces we’ve mentioned, its multi-channel integrations are limited to Facebook and Instagram. This is disappointing given that Shopify allows users to connect with 11 platforms such as Messenger, Buzzfeed, Snapchat, and Tik Tok, to name but a few.

While Wix supports discounts and promotional banners, it currently doesn’t allow users to insert promotional pop ups. However, given that Shopify doesn’t offer this, either, it’s a lack that can be forgiven. If this is something you’re specifically interested in for your online store, we’d recommend checking out Squarespace or BigCommerce, instead.

In addition to its sales features, Wix also performs well when it comes to ordinary website functionality. It comes joint first place with Shopify in this category, scoring 4.6 out of 5. Wix comes with an impressive app market to help users boost their site’s capabilities, as well as supporting 180 languages, and allowing owners to create members’ only areas. It also helps out with SEO, too, its Wix SEO Wiz giving you the tools to increase the possibility of your customers finding your website through search engines.

Wix has never been an ugly duckling, but it’s always struggled to outshine Squarespace – until now. In our most recent round of research and testing, Wix scored 4.2 out of 5 for design functionality compared to Squarespace, which scored 3.8. This is a 5% increase in Wix’s design score since last year, demonstrating the platform’s real desire to improve what it can offer its users.

Wix offers an impressive array of templates to choose from, with an option for pretty much every industry. In addition to this, Wix also allows users a high level of personalization. Not only can you customize your product pages, allowing users to filter their view, you can also add your brand’s stamp to your checkout pages, too.

If you’re interested in multi-channel selling, Wix also gives you the tools to design branded content for platforms such as Facebook Ads and Instagram Stories. This means you can ensure a consistent aesthetic across all your marketing posts.

Although there’s lots to love about Wix’s design functionality, the platform still doesn’t allow users to switch templates once their site is live. This means that if you want a new look, you’ll need to start from scratch.

Value for money is one area where Wix really stands out. In fact, it’s the best value ecommerce builder that we tested, which is why it scores 4.4 out of 5. This is 22% higher than Shopify’s score of 3.6.

When researching this category, we paid close attention to the number of features you get for the price you pay, which is why Wix scored so well. Although its overall pricing plans have increased, with its Basic Business plan going up by 17% over the last year, so too have the features it offers.

Wix has three ecommerce plans to choose from:

Unfortunately, Wix doesn’t offer a free plan that allows you to sell online. If this is something you’re looking for, we recommend Square Online.

Thanks to its drag-and-drop nature, Wix is one of the easiest website builders on the market. Don’t just take our word for it, though. It was a hit with our users, and one of them said that they ‘enjoyed building with it. It felt fun!’

It features a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, so if you make any changes in the backend of your site, you’ll already know what it’s going to look like on the live version without having to preview it first.

Adding products and managing your pages is all super easy and the editor search bar allows you to find features and tools in just a few clicks. Plus, if you get stuck, Wix has loads of helpful hints tucked away to help you out. Just look for the little question mark icon.

Despite this, some users found Wix’s editor to be a little overwhelming, with one commenting that ‘There are so many menus, subsections, and windows that pop-up anytime you click something.’ Wix aims to appeal to a wide variety of users, so it’s jam-packed with tools. The busyness of the editor can take some getting used to.

Wix scores 4 out of 5 for ease of use, ranking in joint second place overall alongside Shopify and GoDaddy. This means you don’t need to worry about sacrificing Shopify’s simple set up by choosing an alternative builder.

Wix has seen a 25% score increase in this category since last year, jumping from 3.8 to 4.1 out of 5. This is down to the advanced specialist support it now offers, although you’ll need to upgrade to a premium plan if you want to access it.

If your budget doesn’t stretch that far, don’t panic. Wix still comes with a number of support options to help if you get stuck. No matter which plan you choose, you can get in touch with them via phone, email, social media, or live chat if you need to.

If you’d rather find the solution to your problem on your own, Wix also has a well-stocked knowledge base, with tons of help guides and videos to steer you in the right direction.

We can go on about all the impressive features and tools that a website builder has, but the real test is whether customers would recommend it. Wix received the highest customer score out of all the builders we tested, achieving 4.5 out of 5 – and beating Shopify.

Users loved how easy and intuitive Wix was to use, with one customer commenting, ‘It really has the most customization of any builder I’ve tested. You want something? It can do it.’ Thanks to its many templates and dozens of help guides, Wix emerged as a firm customer favorite.

logo-wix-100x100

Like the Sound of Wix?

It’s an easy-to-use platform that offers great value for money.

Further Information

3 #2. Squarespace

Best Shopify Alternative for Ease of Use

Price Range: $23 – $49 per month

Squarespace

Easiest to Use

Excellent

4.7

out of 5
  • Beautiful templates
  • Sell unlimited products
  • Beginner-friendly builder
dollar icon svg

Free trial available

Paid Plans: $16 - $49 / month

Pros

  • icon yes svg Great cross-platform marketing
  • icon yes svg Add promotional popups, unlike Shopify
  • icon yes svg App-based inventory management

Cons

  • icon no svg Limited payment options
  • icon no svg Less scalable than Shopify
  • icon no svg High transaction fees on cheapest plan
Read Review

Although known primarily for its stunning website designs, Squarespace is also a great choice for an ecommerce site. You don’t need to know coding or have a degree in web design to build a stunning store with Squarespace. In fact, out of all the builders we tested, Squarespace comes first place for ease of use, scoring 4.3 out of 5, beating Shopify and Wix in this category. That means if you’re looking for a platform that’s beginner-friendly but still delivers on the design front, Squarespace is an ideal choice.

Squarespace is a sleek and streamlined builder. You don’t need to find your own hosting or worry about running your own updates. This is all handled for you, making it quick and easy to start selling.

It’s not just a pretty face either. Squarespace offers some high-quality sales tools. SSL security is included, making your site safe for visitors to trust. Abandoned cart recovery and customer accounts make for a speedy and easy shopping experience in your store. Users can also now sell across Facebook and Instagram, as well as marketplaces such as Etsy.

Previously, Squarespace’s inventory system was functional but a little limiting. Although Users could upload products one at a time, or in bulk, as well as track stock levels through email alerts, they couldn’t do this on the go. However, users can now use the Squarespace app to track their stock, setting up notifications on their phone to alert them when product levels are getting low.

Squarespace has also broadened its payment gateway offering. Customers can now pay using Stripe and PayPal. Users can also offer Buy Now Pay Later thanks to a new integration with AfterPay.

Although Squarespace’s ecommerce offering is good, it’s important to point out that the platform is a website builder first and foremost, with ecommerce functionality included. This is why in our research it only scores 3.7 out of 5 in the sales features category, putting it significantly below Shopify and alternative builders such as Wix and BigCommerce.

This means that if you’re running a large store, you’re likely to find Squarespace unable to accommodate your needs. For this reason, we recommend Squarespace for smaller stores, or those selling digital products or subscriptions.

When it comes to the beautiful, sleek templates it offers, Squarespace continues to be a forerunner. You can add custom code if you want to, but with the top quality of Squarespace’s online store templates, it’s not needed. Its websites all have a sophisticated polish that conveys class and professionalism and if visuals are a key part of your store’s branding, Squarespace is top of the class.

As well as being beautiful to look at, Squarespace’s templates are fully customizable. Previously, if you were using Squarespace 7.0, users could switch their template once their site was live, but with Squarespace’s newest version, 7.1, things are a little different. All design elements are universal, which means no matter what template you choose at the beginning, you can redesign your site any way you like. This flexibility really sets Squarespace apart from competitors like Shopify.

If there isn’t a template that you feel suits your needs, fear not, because Squarespace’s newest innovation, Blueprint, allows you to create a fully custom template using a guided website design system. This is ideal for those amongst you who want something with an angle that’s unique to your brand.

Squarespace’s templates are also all mobile friendly, however you won’t be able to edit your website from the app – this must be done from a desktop.

Despite being one of the most attractive builders, Squarespace has fallen slightly behind its competitors in this category, scoring 3.8 out of 5. This is due to the fact that Squarespace only offers omni-channel design for Facebook and Instagram, in comparison to Shopify which also integrates with Tik Tok, Pinterest, and Snapchat.

Additionally, it doesn’t offer the same level of personalization that Wix does, especially on checkout pages. Its product page customization is more limited, too.

Again, this shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, especially for small stores or those just starting out, but if you’re looking to grow and expand your brand, Squarespace might not be the best fit.

If it’s aesthetics you’re after, though? This platform is the winner.

When it comes to pricing, Squarespace is pretty good value for money. In our research it scores 3.8 out of 5, putting it in third place behind Wix and Square Online, and beating Shopify entirely.

Squarespace has three ecommerce plans to choose from:

  • Business – $23 per month, billed annually
  • Business Commerce – $27 per month, billed annually
  • Advanced Commerce – $49 per month, billed annually

It’s worth noting that although Squarespace’s Business plan is its cheapest ecommerce option, it does come with limited features as well as a 3% transaction fee. We recommend skipping this one and jumping straight to the Business Commerce plan which is better value for money and gives you access to a wider range of ecommerce features.

Out of all the builders we tested, Squarespace came out on top in our ease of use testing, scoring 4.3 out of 5. Its intuitive set up process makes building an online store quick and easy, with little fuss.

Like Wix, Squarespace is a WYSIWYG editor, making it simple to visualize changes on your site. Where Wix can sometimes be a bit overwhelming, though, Squarespace’s grid layout makes it easy for users to drag and drop components where they want them.

If the thought of navigating the editor is still too much for you, though, Blueprint is the ideal solution to put your worries to rest. Squarespace’s newest tool allows you to build your own custom template with the help of its design system. With just a few clicks, you can have your website up and running in no time – it’s perfect for beginners!

Aside from the overall design experience, users particularly commented on how simple it was to add products to their site, pointing out that ‘the product management and inventory pages are super sleek and allow you to add so much info to each product; it’s easy to bounce between the frontend editor and backend info.’ ‘ This means that setting your store up won’t feel laborious, and you won’t need to go rummaging around for the features you want – they’re all right there within easy reach.

Overall, Squarespace is perfect for beginners or for those businesses that don’t have reams of time to dedicate to building a website.

If you do get stuck, Squarespace’s help and support is on hand to point you in the right direction. It scores 3.7 out of 5 in this category, putting it in third place behind Wix and Shopify.

You can get in touch using social media, live chat, and email. Unfortunately, Squarespace doesn’t offer telephone support and its contact channels aren’t available 24/7, however it boasts an awesome knowledge base featuring thorough help guides and video tutorials.

It’s not surprising that Squarespace was a hit with our customers, achieving a customer score of 4.3 out of 5. This puts it just a hairsbreadth behind Wix and Shopify in our rankings.

Its popularity is down to a number of things, but mostly how easy it is to use and how beautiful the results are when you’re done. One user even commented that it was so simple, their mom could have built a website with it! In fact, after Wix, Squarespace is the website builder our users were most likely to recommend overall.

squarespace logo

Interested in Squarespace?

This builder offers solid ecommerce functions and unbeatable template designs all within a package that has never been easier for beginners to use.

Further Information

4 #3. BigCommerce

Best Shopify Alternative for Built-In Features

Price Range: $29.95 – $269.96 per month

BigCommerce

Best Built-In Features

Very Good

4.1

out of 5
  • Ideal for growth
  • Excellent sales features
  • For advanced users
dollar icon svg

Free trial available

Paid Plans: $29 - $299 / month

Pros

  • icon yes svg Don't need to rely on apps
  • icon yes svg Advanced tools for scalability
  • icon yes svg Excellent multi-channel integrations

Cons

  • icon no svg Has a steep learning curve
  • icon no svg Not as good value for money as others
  • icon no svg Limited omnichannel design functionality
Read Review

BigCommerce is the ideal website builder when it comes to helping your store grow. It offers more built-in sales tools than Shopify, earning 4.6 out of 5 in our research, putting it in second place for this category in our overall rankings. BigCommerce also doesn’t limit your payment processing options, whereas Shopify takes an extra commission of 0.5 – 2% for purchases not made with Shopify Payments.

Plus, for all that scalability, BigCommerce still doesn’t require any coding knowledge at all (although you can delve into coding if you want to). However, be warned – this isn’t the easiest platform to get a handle on! There’s a steep learning curve if you want to make the most out of all the tools on offer.

There’s a reason that BigCommerce scores so highly in this category. Built entirely for ecommerce and the platform of choice for big companies like Ben & Jerry’s, this website builder is uniquely designed to support large-scale ecommerce endeavours. As a result, it has all the sales tools its ambitious users might need.

Unlike Shopify, BigCommerce won’t make you install extra third-party apps to add advanced features to your site. This means that the price you pay up front covers all of those bases, and you won’t have to worry about paying extra for features down the line. The only feature Shopify provides on its cheapest plan that BigCommerce doesn’t provide on its cheapest plan is abandoned cart recovery.

Everything from checkout customization to social media integration is built into the BigCommerce platform. It will even help you get started with product fulfillment and other shipping necessities. And if you ever do need to add extra functionality to your site, BigCommerce’s app marketplace offers over 1,100 apps! While maybe not as much as Shopify’s 1,500+ apps, keep in mind that BigCommerce gives you much more tools built in from the get-go, such as being the only platform that allows you to send transactional emails. And let’s be honest, you won’t be using ALL 1,100+ apps, so having that variety is crucial for building the perfect site! (If you do manage to use all 1,100, let us know!)

BigCommerce even helps you expand your customer base through partnerships – users in the US can now sell products directly on Walmart Marketplace, which means access to the 120 million+ customers visiting Walmart.com each month. BigCommerce merchants receive an expedited application review to start selling on the marketplace as quickly as possible.

Although sales features are important, don’t underestimate the importance of your site’s overall aesthetic. Although BigCommerce doesn’t score quite as highly as Shopify does in this category, with an overall fourth place ranking of 3.6 out of 5, it’s not one to be overlooked.

Offering over 100 themes to choose from, BigCommerce should have something to appeal to everyone. It also allows users to switch their themes while the site is live and, even better, you won’t need to do a ton of reformatting either because BigCommerce does a lot of the hard work for you.

All of BigCommerce’s themes are optimized for mobile, but you won’t be able to easily edit your mobile layout. This is because all of the themes are automatically adapted for smaller screens. There is a way to do it, but you’ll need to feel comfortable diving into your theme’s basic code.

At the moment, although BigCommerce allows you to sell across a wide number of platforms, it only offers omnichannel design for Facebook Ads. This means you won’t be able to build ads for platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, or Snapchat, like you can with Shopify.

Another slight drawback to BigCommerce is that it doesn’t provide stock images or clipart. This means that when you’re building your website, you’re going to need to come fully prepped with your own set of unique images.

However, one design area where this platform does stand out is on its product pages. Out of all the builders we’ve tested, BigCommerce supports the most advanced filtering system. That means your users will be able to use up to 12 filters to find which of your products really suits their needs.

In the last year, all the website builders on this list have seen a hike in their prices. On the surface, it seems like BigCommerce is the one that’s increased the least, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it performs better in the pricing arena.

Due to its bigger clients and focus on scalability and growth, BigCommerce has always been more expensive than its competitors. As a result, it still suffers in our value for money rankings, coming in joint last place, alongside GoDaddy, with a score of 3.4 out of 5.

BigCommerce offers three main ecommerce plans:

  • Standard – $29.95 per month, billed annually
  • Plus – $71.95 per month, billed annually
  • Pro – $269.96 per month, billed annually

Although BigCommerce isn’t necessarily good value for money, it is worth bearing in mind that, because it offers such a wide range of built-in tools, you won’t need to worry about factoring in costs for additional apps, like you do with Shopify. Additionally, it doesn’t charge transaction fees on any of its plans.

Despite this, however, we’d still only really recommend shelling out for BigCommerce if growth and scalability is your main aim.

BigCommerce is super powerful and great for growth, but there’s a tradeoff: it’s not beginner-friendly at all. In fact, in our ease of use testing it scores 3.3 out of 5, which is the lowest out of all five builders. That means users found it 19% more difficult to use than Shopify.

Users struggled with this platform particularly when it came to editing their design. Split between two areas, it can be quite a frustrating process to flick between the two.

Ultimately, BigCommerce is designed for bigger businesses that have plenty of time to invest in creating the perfect online store. It’s a complex platform, with lots of amazing tools and functionality, but that makes it a more difficult beast to wrangle, especially if you aren’t tech savvy.

We’ve already established that BigCommerce isn’t the easiest builder on the market, but if you don’t mind the learning curve and some fancy terminology, then you should be fine – especially since BigCommerce’s 24/7 dedicated support team is available over phone, live chat, and email if you need any help.

You won’t be able to reach BigCommerce through social media, but its knowledge center is on hand to help, complete with video tutorials, too.

Because of its high price point and difficult design process, BigCommerce was the platform that our customers were least likely to recommend. In our user testing, it achieved a customer score of 2.6 out of 5.

However, that’s not to say that there aren’t users out there that found BigCommerce to be their perfect match. Because of its huge level of ecommerce functionality, this platform is better suited to larger, tech-savvy stores with a huge inventory.

bigcommerce square logo

Want to grow your site and scale your business?

BigCommerce offers powerful sales tools, all built-in before you start.

Further Information

5 #4. Square Online

Best Shopify Alternative with a Free Plan

Price Range: $29 – $79 per month

Square Online

Best free plan

Very Good

3.8

out of 5
  • Sell for free
  • Good user support
  • Beginner-friendly
dollar icon svg

Free plan available

Paid Plans: $12 - $79 / month

Pros

  • icon yes svg Easy product management dashboard
  • icon yes svg Only platform with free ecommerce plan
  • icon yes svg Combines with Square’s POS system

Cons

  • icon no svg Little creative freedom
  • icon no svg Limited payment options
  • icon no svg Slowest site speed of all platforms
Read Review

The payment processing giant Square bought Weebly back in 2018, and the ecommerce platform Square Online was the result.

Although Square Online offers a broad range of sales features, this isn’t the main reason that users flock to the platform. In fact, its real selling point is that it’s the only platform we’ve tested that allows you to sell without paying a single cent.

The main purpose of your online store is to sell your products and Square Online has all the tools to help you do that. We won’t lie, it’s nowhere near as powerful as Wix or BigCommerce, but it scores a respectable 3.6 out of 5 for sales features in our research, so it’s not a platform you should discount.

Square Online’s dashboard keeps track of product sales, customer journeys, and abandoned cart recoveries, all in one place. Other noteworthy sales features include easy inventory management, shipping options, automatic tax calculation, and email marketing tools.

In recent months, Square Online has made a number of improvements to its feature offering that have boosted its overall appeal. Users can now fully customize their checkout pages, amending the logo and headers to suit the store’s overall branding. Promotional popups are easy to add and users can also advertise buy one get one free on their products.

However, there are certain areas that let Square Online down. For example, we were disappointed that it doesn’t offer many payment gateways. On the free plan, users will only have access to AfterPay and Apple Pay, but you’ll need to subscribe to the $29-per-month Plus Plan if you want to enable PayPal.

This isn’t the only thing that comes with limitations. Square Online’s omnichannel integrations aren’t as extensive as Shopify’s. Users will only be able to connect with Facebook Ads and Instagram. Plus, Square Online’s site speed has declined since last year’s testing, meaning that slow loading times could lead to frustrated customers and increased bounce rates.

Square Online offers a small library of clean and tidy templates to help users emphasize their products without distraction. There isn’t a huge ton of creative control to be had with these basic layouts, but the upside of this is that it makes building your website very quick and super easy. It’s virtually impossible to make a design mistake while setting up your store!

If, further down the line, you do decide that you want to shake things up, it’s easy to switch your templates. Even better, because the themes are so simple, you won’t need to spend ages reformatting, either. Instead, everything should slot nicely into place.

For those stores designing content for external channels, Square Online allows you to integrate with Facebook Ads and Instagram. This should make building your brand even easier, although in order for Square Online to truly compete with Shopify, we hope to see a wider range of platform integrations available in the future.

Although it ticks most of the basic boxes, Square Online’s design functionality isn’t the best we’ve seen, which is why it only scores 2.6 out of 5 in our research. Its templates are basic in design and have stayed largely the same, so can sometimes feel a little outdated. This is only further highlighted by the lack of creative control it affords users as a result of its block-based editor.

Let’s get one thing clear: if you want to sell cheaply, Square Online is the platform for you. That’s because it’s the only builder on this list that allows you to sell for free. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that its free plan is limited, and there are various features locked behind a paywall.

If you want to get to these, you’re going to have to upgrade to a paid premium plan.

Square Online has two paid plans to choose from:

Although all builders have increased their prices in the past year, Square Online has seen the biggest jump with a whopping 143% rise. Its premium starting price is now more expensive than Wix’s. Although Wix doesn’t offer a free plan, if you’re looking to subscribe to a premium plan, Wix gives users better bang for their buck in terms of value for money and sales features than Square Online.

Square Online isn’t the most difficult builder on the list, but nor is it the easiest. Out of the platforms we tested, it scored 3.7 out of 5 in this category, putting it in the middle of the pack. However, it was the only builder that saw a decrease in its ease of use score, dropping down 4.6% from its previous ranking of 3.9.

This is because our users found the platform harder to navigate now that the dashboard has grown and more features have been added. It seems that greater complexity has come at the cost of simplicity.

Square Online doesn’t ease you in gently, either. Getting through the introductory questionnaire is a bit of a slog, so make sure you come prepared with all of your business details ready. However, once you’ve finished with this, setting up your website is an easy process.

Thanks to its clean and simple layout, Square Online’s editor is really easy to navigate, making it simple to find everything you need to build your store. One of our users commented that it was, ‘so smooth when navigating between the editor and the backend.’ However, this simplicity comes at the cost of your design freedom.

It can be frustrating to create a store that really represents your brand when you’re limited in what you can change and where you can move things. One of our users pointed out that ‘only being able to have one font throughout the site really limits how customisable you can be’. This isn’t helped by an editor that can sometimes be frustratingly slow, backing up the whole process.

Unfortunately, recent developments and updates mean that Square Online is no longer as easy to use as it used to be.

Despite Square Online’s relatively easy setup process, there’s always the chance that you might run into some technical issues and need a little help. Thankfully, Square Online has a number of channels you can use to help you out. It scores 3.6 out of 5 for its help and support features, which puts it just behind Squarespace in our rankings.

Square Online allows users to get in touch via phone, social media, live chat, and emails. It also has a ton of community forums that are useful for troubleshooting if you’d rather figure it out yourself. It is worth bearing in mind, though, that Square Online’s phone lines aren’t open 24/7. You’ll only be able to get through Monday to Friday, between 6am and 6pm EST.

In our research, Square Online’s customer score came out at a 3.6 out of 5, which puts it in fourth place. In fact, most of our users would recommend Square Online more than Shopify. This is because Square Online lets you sell for free, something Shopify doesn’t do!
square online logo

Looking For A Cost-Effective Builder?

Square Online will help you start selling quickly and not bust your budget!

Further Information

6 #5. GoDaddy

Best Shopify Alternative for Starting an Online Store Fast

Price Range: $24.99 per month

GoDaddy

Fastest way to open an online store

Above Average

4.2

out of 5
  • ADI builder
  • Easy to use
  • Limited customization
dollar icon svg

Free trial available

Paid Plans: $6.99 - $469.99 / month

Pros

  • icon yes svg Builds an online store quickly
  • icon yes svg Good for less tech-savvy users
  • icon yes svg 25,000 email marketing sends per month

Cons

  • icon no svg Restricted creative freedom
  • icon no svg Limited sales features for scalability
  • icon no svg Only supports up to 5,000 products
Read Review

Last on our list of Shopify Alternatives is GoDaddy. Overall, it scores 3 out of 5 in our rankings, putting it in last position. However, GoDaddy is an awesome choice for hobbyists or stores specializing in a small handful of products for whom Shopify is perhaps too big or ecommerce-focused.

Let’s get one thing out in the open first: GoDaddy isn’t a platform built to support store growth and scalability. This platform is one where its ecommerce functionality is secondary to its website features. This is why it’s such a good option for users who only want to sell one or two products.

Even though ecommerce isn’t its speciality, GoDaddy still has a basic but functional set of sales features on offer. It scores 2.8 out of 5 in this category, the lowest of any builder we tested.

Unlike the other providers in this list, GoDaddy can only support up to 5,000 products. You will still feel the benefit of ecommerce essentials like abandoned cart recovery and pre-scheduled promotional discounts, but don’t expect anything too fancy. Promotional popups, banners, and dropshipping aren’t part of its remit.

GoDaddy does offer multichannel selling, integrating with Facebook and Instagram, both of which are essential in today’s social media-driven world. But that’s not all – GoDaddy doesn’t neglect more traditional methods of marketing, giving its users 25,000 email marketing sends per month.

Although this platform ticks most of the basic boxes you’d expect for an online store builder, GoDaddy isn’t the most efficient when it comes to shipping. If you use this platform, expect to have to ship everything yourself, without built-in integrations with delivery service like UPS. If you’re only selling a couple of products, though, this shouldn’t be too much of a stumbling block.

Out of all the builders on this list, GoDaddy is unique in that users can’t build their website from scratch themselves – it’s all done through ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence). This means that all you need to do is answer a few questions about your website and hey, presto! GoDaddy will create it for you.

This ADI editor makes GoDaddy seriously fast to build with – the fastest we’ve tested so far! This is great if you’re in a rush or you aren’t particularly tech-savvy, however it can be a little frustrating if you’re looking for more creative control. Don’t get us wrong, you can tweak the design slightly if you want to, and GoDaddy does offer a range of alternative designs in case you don’t like the first one, but that’s where your creative freedom ends.

Because of this lack of creative freedom, and the fact that the designs are all so-so at best, GoDaddy scores an underwhelming 1.9 out of 5 in this category.

When it comes to value for money, GoDaddy isn’t a chart-topper. In fact, with a score of 3.4 out of 5, it sits in joint last place with BigCommerce.

GoDaddy offers one ecommerce plan, at $24.99 per month, billed annually. This is quite steep when you consider the features it offers. At this price, we’d only recommend GoDaddy for those who want a website before an online store, or those who want a quick, hands-off building experience.

One of GoDaddy’s strongest categories is its ease of use. It scores 4.0 out of 5, which puts it level with Shopify, as well as Wix. This strong ease of use score is thanks to its ADI capability which means users can get a website up and running with just a few clicks.

Our users were very impressed with how quick and easy the platform was to use, commenting that it felt like everything effortlessly clicked into place. The product pages were a particular favorite, because they allow users to amend all product details in one place.

However, the downside of this simplicity is that, at times, the interface and building experience can feel somewhat dull, with one user commenting that the experience felt ‘boring from start to finish.’ Because you have very little say in how the site looks, it can mean you don’t feel that it’s truly yours. This is something that our users picked up on, with one saying that ‘I didn’t feel connected to my site.’

Although GoDaddy is so easy you probably won’t need it, the platform does come with some help and support options, just in case.

Unfortunately, it’s not the best help and support on the market, which is why GoDaddy only scores 2.3 out of 5 in this area, the lowest support score on this list. The editor doesn’t offer onsite help and there’s no advanced support available. In addition, the knowledge center isn’t the strongest we’ve come across and could definitely use some improvement.

That doesn’t mean it’s all bad, though. There’s no email support available, but users do have access to 24/7 phone support, as well as social media and live chat.

Despite being a firm favorite in the website building space, GoDaddy doesn’t perform so well when it comes to ecommerce. It achieved a customer score of 2.2 out of 5, and it was one of the platforms that customers were least likely to recommend for selling online.

This is due to the limited design functionality, and the lackluster sales tools, which aren’t impressive enough to support growth for ecommerce businesses. On top of all that, GoDaddy doesn’t deliver on value for money which is especially important for small stores just starting out.

That’s not to say that GoDaddy doesn’t have its niche. If you’re a hobbyist that wants to sell a couple of products on their website, this platform is a great choice.

godaddy logo

Want to Get Online Fast?

GoDaddy will create a website for you in just a few clicks!

Further Information

  • Read our in-depth GoDaddy Review for a closer look at what this platform can do.

How Do You Choose a Shopify Alternative?

There are a lot of options out there, so this choice can quickly start to feel overwhelming. But the best way to choose a Shopify alternative is to identify what you really don’t like about Shopify – once you have a specific weakness in mind, it’s just a matter of choosing the platform that’s really strong in that area.

For example, say you find the process of having to download new apps just to add extra functions to your site frustrating. In this case, Shopify’s reliance on third-party apps is a hassle for you, so you’ll want to choose a Shopify alternative with as many features as possible built in from the start. In this scenario, BigCommerce would be the best Shopify alternative for you.

In our conversations with users, five key categories emerged as the most important deciding factors for a user. Here’s a quick summary of the strongest platforms in each category:

This list should help speed up your decision-making process.

And there’s just one more thing to remember: Choosing the right Shopify alternative also depends on your tech skill level. None of the builders we’ve reviewed rely on coding knowledge, but platforms like BigCommerce do come with a sharper learning curve as the cost of its more complex functionality. However, website builders like Wix, Squarespace, Square Online, and GoDaddy are for tech beginners, offering everything you need for building an ecommerce store all in one place.

Conclusion - Shopify Alternatives & Competitors

If you have tested Shopify and didn’t find it a good fit for you, or if you are still in the initial research stage, there are a few other Shopify alternatives for you to consider.

5 Best Alternatives to Shopify

  1. Wix Best value for money
  2. Squarespace Easiest to use
  3. BigCommerce Best for built-in features
  4. Square Online Best free plan
  5. GoDaddy Fastest way to open an online store

All platforms on this list come with a free trial, so that you can find out which is best for you totally risk-free. We highly recommend jumping on a free trial (or two) to find out which Shopify competitor is best for you!

Wix offers the best value for money and it’s extremely beginner friendly. Not only that, but its ecommerce features cover everything that an online store could need. It’s no surprise it scores the highest overall score of all the platforms we tested with a 4.8 out of 5, putting it on a par with Shopify and making it a great first-choice alternative.

Wix is a great if you’re starting a new store or want to transfer an old one. It really can do it all!

FAQs

We recommend Squarespace to anyone who is looking to create an online store simply and quickly. Its editor is extremely easy to use so your online store can be up and running in a matter of hours. But if you want to pair Squarespace’s ease of use with some more advanced selling features, look no further than Wix, which will give you the best of both worlds!

Square Online and WooComerce are the cheapest Shopify alternatives as they’re free to use.

With WooCommerce, however, what you have to bear in mind is that this is a self-hosted ecommerce platform, which means you have to pay for hosting yourself. This could be from $5-$15 a month. You will also need to connect your own domain name, which is around $10 a year. If you’re not technically savvy or run into difficulty building your store, you might also have to hire a developer to help you. This can become quite expensive.

Square Online is a hosted, drag and drop website builder that offers plans from $0 to $72 a month. This makes it a great choice if you’re a non-technical person looking for a very reasonably priced option.

But there’s a difference between the cheapest and the best value for money. Square Online provides the latter. While Square Online also has a free plan that you can sell on, it stands out even more for its affordable $12 starting price and great sales features. Square Online isn’t the most feature-rich platform, but it does give you the biggest bang for your buck.

Squarespace has the best quality designs of any builder on the market. You can create a truly stunning store with any of these, without knowing a single line of code! All Squarespace templates have ecommerce functionality, so you have over 70 to choose from.

If you want a bigger range of choices without sacrificing quality, take a look at Wix. Wix has a huge range of stunning templates that allow your store to look professional and polished with hardly any effort from you at all! And the choice you get with Wix is amazing – it has over 800 templates for you to choose from!

For online stores that are going to be selling under 50 products, we recommend Wix as the best Shopify alternative.

Wix’s ecommerce tools allow you to create a professional and fully-functional online store in no time at all! Read more about it in our full Wix eCommerce Review to see if it’s right for you. 

If you’re a non-technical person and you’re hoping to sell more than 50 products on your online store, BigCommerce is the best Shopify alternative. It’s a “one-stop shop” ecommerce website builder.

You can read more about its features, sales tools, and more in our BigCommerce Review, or see how it compares to Shopify in our BigCommerce vs Shopify comparison.

If you’re looking for a more advanced and technically challenging platform, you could consider either Magento or WooCommerce.

It depends on your level of tech skill. WooCommerce is an open-source platform which means you’re required to code everything yourself and organize web hosting and security. On the other hand, Shopify is a website builder which means all the tools you need for creating an online store can be found in one place, making it super easy for anyone to build an ecommerce store.

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.

Written by:
jordan-glover
Once upon a time, my digital knowledge was virtually nonexistent – I couldn’t even hook a printer up to my laptop without a good helping of blush-inducing curses. Since then, I’ve worked hard to change that and, thanks to the team here at Website Builder Expert, I’ve learned a lot (who knew that hosting doesn’t just refer to handing out drinks at a summer BBQ?). Using my passion for words and my own experiences with website-building and digital marketing, I’m determined to help others like me get comfortable and take the internet by storm– without any stress or the need for profanities!

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