The 7 Best Ecommerce Website Builders: a Comparison Chart for 2020

Placeholder The 7 Best Ecommerce Website Builders: a Comparison Chart for 2020

I know why you’re here. You want to create your online e-commerce store and start selling online. Or you’re not satisfied with your current solution and looking for the perfect eCommerce platform to migrate to. And you know what? It’s the right place to get all the information needed.

You want to find the perfect platform: not too costly, without transaction fees, with free support and a wide range of templates, preferably some of them should be free, easy to customize, easy to navigate, etc.

Here you’ll find out what e-Commerce platforms are hosted or self-hosted (or combined – like X-Cart), what the pricing plans are, what kind of support the platforms provide (if they provide it at all), what online store builder has the biggest variety of themes and which of them is free.

In this post I’ve listed the pros and cons of the best e-commerce website builders:

  • Volusion
  • BigCommerce
  • WooCommerce
  • Shopify
  • Magento
  • Wix
  • X-Cart

Read on and make the right choice you will never regret.

Best Ecommerce Website Builders:

Volusion Online Store Builder

Volusion

Volusion is a hosted e-Commerce website builder – it runs in a browser and you don’t have to install any software. So you can start a store from any device, from any place with access to the internet.

Volusion is a SaaS solution and you pay a monthly fee to use it. So, you have the tools to create and maintain your online store: hosting, support, themes, etc. In other words, you don’t need to be tech-savvy and you still can create an online store. In other words, even if you’re not tech savvy at all, you can still create your own online store.

Volusion pricing

Volusion has 4 plans:

  • “Personal” will cost you $29/mo
  • “Professional” costs $79/mo
  • “Business: costs $299/mo
  • “Custom”

And some good news: if you pay annually, you can save up to 10%.

A 14-day free trial is available.

Volusion Pros

Built-in ratings & reviews

You get ratings and review feature built in, so you’ll gather your customers’ feedback easily.

In Page Editing

Directly fine-tune your storefront from any page with Rich Content Editor.

Store Management Mobile App

Take your store wherever you go with the free mobile app, which has all the tools to keep things running smoothly.

Integrated payments

Volusion offers 35 payment options that are the perfect fit for small business owners. There’re top payment processors that you can easily integrate into your store.

Volusion Cons

Templates are not responsive

Not all the templates are responsive, which will most likely deprive you off around 60% of sales in 2020.

Volusion templates

Transaction fees

Volusion itself doesn’t charge transaction fees, but the gateway you use will. Processing fees starts from 2.15%.

The app store is growing slowly

There’s an app store and it surely growing but not as fast as your business needs might grow.

The system logs you out

Although I must say it’s rather Volusion’s pro because this behavior was implemented for security reasons. You will not want anyone to access your store’s backend if you accidentally forget to log out.

Takes your time for nothing

When you’re trying to add or change something in the ticket it refreshes. Just imagine: you’ve spent some time to describe the ussie in every detail and you have to start from the very beginning again. It takes time, too.

No search field on mobile

Mobile phone functionality doesn’t have a search field. It looks like a bug to me and Volusion’s clients complain, too. Maybe they did it on purpose but I don’t see why. After all, how are you supposed to find anything in a store that has no search?

Can you imagine finding something in this kind of store? I think it’s possible only if you don’t work and don’t have a family and there’s nothing else to do.

Additional resources:

BigCommerce e-Commerce Website

BigCommerce home page

BigCommerce is a paid hosted e-commerce solution. BigCommerce is a SaaS product which means you don’t own the software, but you pay a monthly fee to use it.

BigCommerce has many customizable templates. The software is simple enough to use but it also allows tech-savvy users to tweak HTML and CSS code.

BigCommerce Pricing

BigCommerce offers month-to-month pricing.

  • Bigcommerce “Standard” plan costs $29.95 per month (2.9% + $0.30 per transaction)
  • Bigcommerce “Plus” edition is $79.95 per month (2.5% + $0.30 per transaction)
  • Bigcommerce “Pro” costs $249.95 per month (2.2% + $0.30 per transaction)
  • Bigcommerce “Enterprise” pricing varies depending on your business requirements (2.2% + $0.30 or lower per transaction).

A 15-day free trial is available.

BigCommerce pros

Free templates

here are a few free templates – 7, to be exact, but it’s still better than nothing, right? You also can tweak a free template the way you need. Or hire someone to do it for you.

BigCommerce templates

There are paid templates, too. They usually have more functions.

Every template has a preview that will show you how your online store might look on a desktop or a mobile device.

Free trial

A free 15-day trial is available. Just enough time to play around and see if it’s good enough for you.

BigCommerce free trial

24/7 support team

BigCommerce support team is ready to answer your questions and solve your problems 24/7 via phone, email or chat. Support is included in the price.

BigCommerce Support

Payment Gateways

BigCommerce provides integrations with a wide range of payment solutions.

BigCommerce Payment Gateways

Automated image optimization

Automated image optimization can speed up your web pages and improve search rankings.

Integration with email marketing services

BigCommerce has integrations with the following email marketing services: MailChimp, Constant Contact, iContact, Interspire.

iContact MailChimp

interspire Constant Contact

Customization is available

90% of platform data is exposed to APIs, which means its basic functionality can be extended with various integrations.

BigCommerce cons

Sales limits

You will not have to upgrade anything yourself though, they will just start to bill you accordingly.

No mobile app

BigCommerce doesn’t have a mobile app that you could use to manage your store on-the-go.

Themes are expensive

Premium BigCommerce themes may cost you $200+ for a piece.

BigCommerce themes

Features available in the US only

Some of the advertised features are only available to users from the United States.

Additional resources:

WooCommerce Online Store Builder

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is an open-source self-hosted eCommerce plugin for WordPress. It adds an online store functionality to your existing WordPress site.

WooCommerce pricing

Both WooCommerce and WordPress are open-source free software. However, there’re some costs to consider when you’re starting your WooCommerce online store. But! The good news is that you can control the expenses and decide how much you’re ready to spend.

Costs to consider:

  • Hosting costs: $120 per year (average)
  • Domain registration: $15 to really costly
  • Theme cost: $0 – 100 per year (free themes available)
  • Communications (email marketing): $120 per year
  • SEO: $49 per year
  • Security: $100 and up
  • Extra expenses

Learn more:

WooCommerce Pros

Adaptive design

There’re both free and paid WooCommerce themes that are very customizable. So you can do anything your business needs according to your skills and wishes.

WooCommerce design

Customer and admin accounts

There’s a range of customer and admin accounts with different rights. Guest check-out for customers with no account is also available.

Analytics tools

WooCommerce provides plenty of analytic tools. These tools help you easily measure your sales, customer statistics, whatever. A lot of tools are built into WooCommerce. Or you can just connect your website with your Google Analytics Account.

WooCommerce doesn’t charge any fees

WooCommerce doesn’t charge any fees. The only fee you pay at Woo is your yearly subscription fee for the shopping extension. It’s normally only the payment gateway you use that charges a fee per transaction, and fees vary by gateway. You can find rates on their sites to make the best choice for your shop.

WooCommerce Cons

Ease of use

You can start with the pre-installed version but the setup process can be tricky for a non-techie.

Support

Themes, plugins, and hosting come with different support channels, so it’ll be tricky to get the answers to all your questions in a single place.

WooCommerce Supportv

Can be costly

WordPress and WooCommerce are free of charge. There are various themes and plugins available but it’s likely that not all of them will meet your requirements. If you want to customize the site according to your requirements, it will take you a good bit of time and money.

Content doesn’t always look right

When updating your content through the visual tab, it doesn’t always look the way it should in the actual browser. So you do need to have skills with HTML to avoid such problems.

Additional resources:

Shopify eCommerce Website builder

Shopify Home Page

Shopify is a cloud-based SaaS (Software as a service) e-commerce platform. You can start your online business using this solution. It offers a full-service e-commerce system with monthly payment plans and a management panel where you can add your products and process your orders.

Shopify Pricing

A free 14-day trial is available.

As for the Shopify pricing:

  • “Shopify Lite” add-on costs $9 per month
  • For “Basic Shopify” you’ll pay $29/mo (2.9% + $0.30 per transaction)
  • “Shopify” is $79/mo (2.6% + $0.30 per transaction)
  • “Advanced Shopify” is $299/mo (2.4% + $0.30 per transaction)
  • “Shopify Plus” pricing starts at $2000/mo

Shopify Pros

Quick & Easy to set up

Shopify is a hosted platform that can be set up in a matter of a couple of clicks as it’s made for non-techies. It also has an easy-to-use interface.

Paid technical support

Phone, email or live chat – contact support team in any way you prefer. But you have to pay first. There’s also a Help Centre where all the popular questions are already answered.

Shopify Help Center

Shopify Buy Button

A “Buy Button” allows you to sell products on an existing website.

Shopify Buy Button

Built-in blog

A Shopify store comes with a built-in blog.

iOS and Android apps

There are iOS and Android apps to manage your store on the go.

Shopify Exchange Marketplace

You can buy an existing Shopify business on Shopify’s Exchange Marketplace.

Exchange Marketplace

14-days free trial

Shopify offers 14 days of demo period. So that you can test the software and see if it the right one for your business.

Shopify free trial

Shopify Cons

Transaction fees

Many SaaS solutions charge a user for each transaction on top of the service fees. For Shopify users, the rates differ from plan to plan:

  • For “Basic Shopify” transaction fees are 2%
  • For “Shopify” transaction fees are 1%
  • For “Advanced Shopify” transaction fees are 0.5%.

Paid apps

To extend the functionality of your store you might use apps. You’ll find them in the Shopify App Store.

Shopify app store

Around one-third of Shopify apps are free, two-thirds are paid. For some of the Shopify apps you pay once, for others there’s a monthly fee. The more functions an app has, the more it costs – it’s a rule. The analysis from ASoft shows that the median price of an app is $7, and the average price is $29.06.

Shopify Apps Stats

Source: ASoft blog

Changing the theme and widgets isn’t beginner friendly

Customizing your theme demands knowledge of Liquid, a combination of tags, objects, and filters, to load dynamic content. They are used inside Liquid template files. You’ll also need to know HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Shopify Payments are not available for every country

Shopify Payments is a way to accept payments online. Using it you don’t have to set up a third-party payment provider. Shopify Payments is integrated with your store and includes functions that let you manage your business and financials in one place.

If you use Shopify Payments, you don’t pay transaction fees. But! Shopify Payments only allows you to sell from certain countries:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Ireland
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • the United Kingdom
  • the United States

It’s not multi-language

It doesn’t support multiple languages, which might become a problem for a lot of businesses especially if they sell overseas.

Pictures are shown in wrong proportions

Sometimes, images are uploaded with wrong proportions, random even. So experienced Shopify users crop every image before uploading it to Shopify.

Additional resources:

Magento Online Store Builder

Magento Home Page

Magento is an open source self-hosted e-commerce solution. Magento offers powerful marketing, SEO, and catalog-management tools. It’s a SaaS-based system and a feature-rich eCommerce platform with a huge developer community.

Magento Pricing

It’s not that easy to tell you the price as it varies. Anyway, you can consider the following information:

  • “Magento Commerce” is $40,000.00 – $190,000 per year
  • “Magento Enterprise” is $22,000.00 – $125,000 per year

Check these resources to learn more about Magento pricing:

Magento pros

Feature-rich

The Community (free) version boasts features not commonly available in other solutions such as the ability to manage multiple storefronts, multi-language and multi-currency support and mobile-friendliness.

User-friendly

The admin area is user-friendly. A simple back-end with easy maintenance. The community version is free.

Community

A community of users who have developed many plugins can be helpful in answering your questions and providing you with valuable tips. You can find developers, designers, and tech support there, too.

Magento Community

Flexibility

Magento’s architecture allows you to customize pretty everything, so your store can be right the way you want it. The platform is open-source so you have full control over the code to develop the functionality the way you need and like.

Scalable

As previously mentioned, Magento is built to scale so whether you’re selling 10 products or 10,000, Magento can handle it.

Open Source

Magento is free, so you can just easily download it from the web (that won’t work for Magento’s Enterprise version).

Multiple storefronts & Multi-languages and currency

Magento supports multiple storefronts, multi-languages and multi-currency.

SEO

Magento is designed to be Search engine friendly.

Magento cons

No support, no developers, no designers

No (for CE – Community Edition) or poor (for EE – Enterprise Edition) support by the vendor — they resolve only the core issues and will not investigate if something goes wrong with a 3rd party code.

You’ll also have to find developers and designers yourself.

Slow fixes of the bugs

Slow fixes of the bugs in the CE.

The high cost of EE

Enterprise edition may cost you a fortune. No kidding.

Hard to find a hosting

Server requirements are not met by every hosting, especially if you expect your store to load fast. Shared hosting won’t work.

Developers

It’s tricky to find a decent Magento developer. Magento is an extremely large system (over 20,000 files and 200 database tables) so it requires an experienced developer.

Cost

Community version is free but if you need support team service for sure. The Enterprise version starts at $22,000.00 – $125,000 per year and the Premium Enterprise version starts at $40,000.00 – $190,000 per year. Good Magento developers are often much pricier than the average ones.

I have to say that you won’t find pricing on the website. You have to go to forums and collect the information yourself.

Hosting

Running Magento on normal shared hosting will be the reason for negative user experience. You should find providers who specialize in Magento hosting.

Time

Be prepared to spend more time and money on Magento than on any other eCommerce solution.

Additional resources:

Wix eCommerce Website builder

Wix

Wix is a cloud-based e-Commerce website builder that provides templates so you can get started easily. It doesn’t require any coding skills to create a Wix online store.

Wix pricing

Wix offers the following plans:

  • Combo costs $11/month
  • Unlimited costs $14/month
  • Pro costs $19/month
  • VIP costs $29/month

Wix pros

Awesome choice of templates

Wix templates

Wix provides its users with various templates that are categorized in the following way:

  • Business
  • Online Store
  • Photography
  • Video
  • Music
  • Design
  • Restaurants & Food
  • Travel & Tourism
  • Events
  • Portfolio & CV
  • Accommodation
  • Blogs & Forums
  • Health & Wellness
  • Fashion & Beauty
  • Community & Education
  • Creative Arts
  • Landing Pages

So everyone will find a template they like. And all the templates are customizable, so you can add something yourself to make your store look absolutely unique. Remember you need some tech skills.

Ease of use

I’ve tried it a little and yep, that’s true what they say: Wix is easy to use and it allows you to create your perfect web design if you can not code and you don’t have graphic design skills (I can’t code and have no designer skills).

Wix ADI

Let’s start with what a Wix ADI is. As they say on their website, Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) is the first-ever artificial intelligence that designs a site for you.

Wix ADI learns about you and applies this knowledge to create the perfect site for your needs. Wix ADI selects the most stunning just for you; creating a one-of-a-kind free site.

Wix ADI

Integrated Payments

“Basic feature” customers can get the payments limited by $300/mo. As for Wix’ premium plans, accepting online payments has no limits.

Wix accepts payments via “Online store” feature. You can use an existing PayPal account to proceed with payments.

Help center

Wix Help Center

Wix Help Center is well categorized, everything looks clear to me. You can find the answer yourself, request a call or create a ticket, and the support team will contact you. But remember that you’ll have to wait if you contact the team out of their working hours.

Wix cons

No live

You can request a call and place a ticket but there’s no live chat available. Yep, eCommerce websites without live chats still exist.

Changing a template might be a bad idea

You can not just change your template and keep the same website, you’ll have to build a new website from scratch. So think twice before choosing a template. Changing it might take you more time and efforts than you could expect.

Poor tech SEO

Users report on issues too often.

“If you generate new leads via word of mouth, referrals, social media, etc – Wix will be fine. People will be able to “find you on Google.”

But if SEO is essential to your long-term marketing strategy or you work with a SEO professional, Wix will be an impediment.

Source: ShivarWeb

Migrating to another platform is not an option

As it is said on the official Wix website, ‘your Wix site and all of its contents are hosted exclusively on Wix’s servers, and cannot be exported elsewhere’. It is not possible to export or embed files, pages or sites, created using the Wix Editor or ADI, to another external destination or host.

Think about it before choosing Wix as a shopping platform.

Additional resources:

X-Cart Shopping Cart Software

X-Cart

X-Cart is a PHP open source shopping cart platform, a self-hosted e-Commerce solution. X-Cart is perfect for your business, no matter if you already have a brick-and-mortar store or an online store on another platform and you want to migrate to X-Cart. We can do everything.

X-Cart Pricing

When someone is writing a review on X-Cart, it’s usually mistakenly said that we provide monthly plans.

We don’t. And we don’t charge any transaction fees, either.

We’re probably the only ones out there selling licenses, it’s a one-time purchase, and you don’t have to pay any monthly fees or renew it every year. You buy it just once. Yes, that simple.

Software pricing:

  • We offer a free downloadable edition with all the essential features that you might need to start an online store
  • Business plan is perfect for mid-size and growing businesses. Lifetime license will cost you $495
  • Multivendor is an online marketplace solution, the license will cost you $1,495
  • The Ultimate package offers all the top features and top support, and it’ll cost you $5,995.

No transaction fees are taken.

X-Cart pros

We’ll provide you with everything

We sell software, that’s true. But we also can provide our clients with awesome 24/7 support, hosting, we help with web design and web development, migration, catalog management, SEO audit, optimisation, domain name registration, SSL certificates, you name it.

Security

X-Cart is the only one PCI DSS compliant eCommerce platform that can be used on a third party hosting.

24/7 support

X‑Cart support team is available via email, chat or phone, day and night, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, both free and paid plans are available.

Our support team’s response time is up to 30 min, it includes unlimited requests, phone and chat support, and some other features.

Urgent help is available, too. And there are several ways to reach out: email, phone (toll- free), HelpDesk, or live chat right on the website.

X-Cart support

Our clients always say that one of the reasons to stay with X-Cart is our support team that helps really quickly.

“Working with X‑Cart for years and I haven’t regret it once. I can write a long text about what, why and how but in two words: excellent choice! You get the professional support without any fuss.” Philippe Vangeel at ‘Stirax’.

Highly customizable

With X-Cart you can create any store you like – it’s fully open source. You can code yourself or ask our professional team to do it for you.

X-Cart design

Here’s an awesome example of how a redesign boosted eCommerce sales.

Reasonable pricing

An X-Cart license will cost you like a dozen tanks of gas for a small car (our Business plan, $495), and that’s it. No monthly plans or transactions fees.

Managed e-Commerce Hosting

X-Cart is a self-hosted eCommerce solution so you can host it anywhere. You don’t have to look for hosting yourself though. We provide our own hosting, it works best for X-Cart stores. The servers are trimmed for online businesses, so we can guarantee your store will work smoothly and faster than ever.

Our eCommerce Hosting Services and Plans Include:

  • Lightning Fast Solid‑State Drives (SSD)
  • 1 Dedicated IP Address
  • US, Canada, Australia, Europe & Asia Locations
  • Daily Data Backup
  • PCI Compliant Hosting
  • 99.99% Uptime SLA
  • Control Panel
  • SPAM/Virus Filter
  • 24/7 customer assistance

X-Cart Managed e-Commerce Hosting

Migration is easy

X-Cart offers assistance in migrating your data to X-Cart. Just pick your current platform, and we’ll do all the job for you.

During the whole migration process, your website will be up and running so you won’t lose your revenue.

X-Cart migration

30-day free trial

Here, at X-Cart, we offer a 30-day free trial to give you an opportunity to test it.

X-Cart trial

Free templates

X-Cart provides over 80 eye-catching adaptive themes, 5 of them are free. If you don’t want to spend your money on a template or you want to customize it (all of the themes are customizable) – a free theme is the perfect choice for you.

X-Cart free templates

You may also want to use our webmaster mode that doesn’t require html skills. Or our professional design team can create your perfect design from scratch.

Multicurrency, multilanguage

X-Cart has clients all over the world, so X-Cart supports multiple languages, currencies, weight formats, that’s what makes our e-commerce solution so universal. We can even enable RTL support.

120+ credit cards processors

X-Cart has integrated with 120+ payment gateways, all done in accordance with PCI compliance requirements.

X-Payments

We have developed our own software for extra secure payment processing. X-Payments is a PCI Level 1 Certified solution that works as intermediary between the shopping cart and payment gateways and 3D-secure systems.

SEO friendly

X-Cart is SEO friendly so you shouldn’t worry about that. We also offer tools for SEO optimization.

X-Cart cons

You might need coding skills

That’s true, to customize your store you should be able to code (btw, we can teach you to code to improve your store yourself). Or ask our team to do the job for you. Nobody will do it better.

Free edition has limited features

X-Cart free version doesn’t provide you with all the possible features – only with the most important ones, which is enough to have a fully-functional online store if you don’t have any special requirements.

The support service is commercial-based

The support service is commercial-based. However, we do our best to help every X-Cart user even if they do not have an active support plan. The response time and solution are not guaranteed though in this case.

Anyway, you can try our forum – you can get all the answers for free there.

X-Cart might not work properly on free or cheap hosting

To get your X-Cart store up and running you shouldn’t use free hosting. It might not work as intended there and, which is extremely important, it’s not secure. It’s easy to steal your data. As an eCommerce store owner, you should care about your clients’ data, don’t you?

And using cheap shared hostings is not the best option, either.

To sum up

If you’re reading these lines then you’ve read the whole post (hooray!) but… I’ve got one more little table in store for you. I’ve collected the most important information for you to compare the best e-commerce website builders and see which one is your perfect match.

Cost
Extensions
Hosting
Support by Vendor
X-Cart
from free to $5,995 (one-time fee)
$1,459
hosted or self-hosted
24/7 premium support. Paid, included in the Ultimate edition
WooCommerce
free
$7,700+
hosted or self-hosted
not available
Magento Commerce
$40,000.00 – $190,000 per year
$114
hosted
included into price
Magento Enterprise
$22,000 – $125,000 per year
$114
self-hosted
included into price
Magento Community
free
$749
self-hosted
not available
Shopify
$9-$2000/month
monthly fee
hosted
included into price
Volusion
$29-custom/month
monthly fee
hosted
included into price
BigCommerce
$29.95-custom/month
monthly fee
hosted
included into price
Wix
$11-$29/month
monthly fee
hosted
included into price

When creating a store, remember that besides domain, hosting, payment gateways you should pay your attention to marketing tools and content management systems that a platform offers.

Now that you know about the most important things you should care about when starting your online business, I bet there will be no problem in finding your e-Commerce website builder.

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Veronika Vaghina
Veronika Vaghina
Marketing Manager at X-Cart

Veronika creates content at X-Cart. She adores writing since her childhood. She loves traveling, climbing, and cooking.

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