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Shopify Alternatives: 5 Better Website Builders For Businesses at Any Stage

Ashley Kochans
Ashley Kochans Author

Do you remember when it was necessary for business owners to hire a dev team to create their eCommerce website? Thankfully these days are long gone and now the concern is which platform to choose from when creating or migrating your online store.

Statistics show that, as of August 2021, there are 1.88 billion websites in the world, and this number continues to grow.

Online websites

Building a website

A website builder is a toolbox system that allows anyone to create and administer websites, even those who don’t necessarily master any of the  specific skills to do so. With its help, you can assemble a website from standard blocks in a visual editor. The most an application requires is registration and payment for hosting space.

Benefits of website builders

Before diving into our roundup of the best Shopify alternatives, here are some benefits of choosing website builders:

  • Speed. Modern builders provide out of the box website templates for various needs.
  • Simplicity. You don’t need any programming skills to create a website. The only thing you need to know is to understand the structure of your future Internet project.
  • Price. Usually paid in monthly subscriptions ranging between a couple of hundreds up to several tens of dollars per month, depending on the complexity of the website and its integrations.
  • Site onboarding. The cost of hosting a site is already included in the subscription price.
  • Automatic SEO optimization. Most provide tools that make it easier for Google and other search engines to promote the created web resources.
  • Quality. All functionality and templates provided by website builders are tested at the development stage. As a result, the webmaster gets a completely working website without bugs.

In addition, many website builders provide built-in payment acceptance systems. They make it easy to customize the payment page through simple integration.

Since choosing the best website builder can be tricky, today, we’re going to take a look at Shopify, one of the more popular eCommerce platforms out there. 

Also, we have prepared the TOP 5 best Shopify alternatives suitable for business and personal usage.

What is Shopify? 

Shopify is a website builder that allows entrepreneurs and business owners to build online stores. In the crowded world of eCommerce, Shopify is the most popular solution for online sellers, with 800,000 online stores and a total of $63 billion in sales.

Shopify: the Pros and Cons  

Shopify may be the most popular eCommerce store builder, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best for your business’ needs. When looking for an eCommerce solution, you should consider your unique needs for pricing, technical support, SEO, and other features.

But is it worth all the buzz?

Pricing 

Pro: Although there is no free plan, Basic Shopify starts at $29 / month, which is fairly affordable.

Excited? Hold your horses because there’s A LOT more than what meets the eye.

Cons:

  • A minimum 2% transaction fee. Higher tiers may bring it down to 1%. Even in the next pricing tier—a whopping $299 / month—comes with transaction fees of 0.5%. 
  • For US based customers only: No extra fees (per transaction) if you use Shopify Payments.

Technical Support

Pros: If you do run into technical difficulties, Shopify is a well-known platform, so there are lots of certified partners to help you.

Cons: their template markup language is Liquid, which most developers will not be familiar with. That is, if you need any customizations on your site, you’ll need a programmer with Shopify technical background.

Content & SEO 

Pros: It prioritizes your storefront.

Cons: In doing so, it is  to the detriment of blog posts, landing pages, or other assets. Shopify uses a rigid URL structure, making it impossible to set up canonical URLs or edit your robot.txt file.

Apps & Features 

Pros: There’s an abundance of out-of-the-box features. 

Cons: 

  • Most of the essentials, like real-time shipping rates and the ability to accept gift cards, are only available in the premium plan. 
  • Even though Shopify App store has plenty of free add-ons that offer solutions like live chat and other marketing features, they are often built by 3rd parties, which may lack the quality or customer support you need.

Now, let’s talk business: Shopify Alternatives 

There are clearly many reasons to love (and hate) Shopify. 

However, when choosing an eCommerce platform, there’s a lot to consider aside from pricing — and that’s what always draws 1st time online business owners to Shopify.

Pricing
Technical Support
SEO & Content
Apps & Features
Overall Rating
X-Cart
Unique to each project
Wix
$17-35 per month
BigCommerce
$29.95-299.95 per month
Weebly
$6-26 per month
Square Space
$12-40 per month

Like many business decisions, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. The best website builder for you will be the one that best fits your needs within your resources. If you need to get one main message from this whole piece, we would suggest: Consider your business plans both in the short-term and 5 years down the road. We hope all businesses will succeed and grow. So, plan ahead and choose a solution that can easily accommodate the growth with it.

1. X-Cart

X-Cart eCommerce platform

Sellers with both small & large inventories will have no problem uploading all their SKUs. The platform has a fixed rate for a website that can accommodate all your current traffic and more with a rapid-fast mobile performance. And, as your inventory and business grows, you shouldn’t expect any detriment to your performance or fees.

Pricing

X-Cart pricing varies for each project, and the amount you pay is based on your business needs and preferences. 

Our suggestion: If you want to see X-Cart in action before making any decisions,  schedule a personal demo with one of their experts.

Technical Support & Hosting

As far as technical support is concerned, X-Cart is by far the best in the business. If you host your store on one of our advanced hosting plans, the support is totally free of cost. Also, the 24/7 customer service team is always accessible via live chat, phone, or email. Unlike most platforms, X-Cart is there to help with everything from installation to GDPR Consultation. 

Though the basic hosting plans are pretty limited, you can still enjoy 24/7 hosting support. Also, a free shared SSL certificate is included. Most other services charge extra for these necessary features.

SEO & Content

With X-Cart website builder, customization is easy. You can list unlimited products in an open-source platform. The all-in-one software allows you to choose a ready-made template, make something from scratch, or import your own design. Because the store is so customizable, you might need to code if you try to do something really advanced. 

Luckily, everything is built in PHP, so you’ll have an easy time finding someone to help. Alternatively, our custom development team is ready to code it for you from the ground up. Just shoot them an email!

Apps & Features 

Integrations for common applications such as Google Analytics, Mailchimp, and PayPal are all available for free. The app store offers a comprehensive amount of add-ons and features, some are free, but others are paid. There are plenty of SEO and marketing tools available to help boost business and sales. To receive payments, X-Cart provides integration with the PayOp payment processor. This payment aggregator allows merchants to access over 450 payment methods around the world.

If you’re looking for an all-in-one cart builder that is SEO-friendly, mobile-optimized, and easy to use, then X-Cart is an excellent alternative to Shopify. There is also a team available to help you migrate your site from Shopify seamlessly to the new platform, with no downtime at all. 

2. Wix 

Wix website builder

Wix is a good option for entrepreneurs that are just starting out. It’s quick to learn and friendly on the wallet. However, with the lower price, you sacrifice the premium features and solutions that other online carts offer.   

Wix’s Pricing 

Wix is the most affordable Shopify alternative. There are three plans with an initial price tag of $23/mo. For more detailed information about Wix’s pricing plans, check out a buyer’s guide for Wix.

Wix’s Technical Support  

Wix is easy for non-techies to understand. A domain name and fast hosting comes with every subscription. The website builder is simple. It’s mostly drag-and-drop, meaning that you can build your own website without help from a developer. 

SEO & Content 

Wix has a simple drag-and-drop editor, and tons of tutorials for people that are new to web development. There are 100+ templates to choose from, so you’ll have an easy time creating any type of page you may need. Wix SEO isn’t as customizable as it is for other website builders, but that makes it easy to learn. 

Apps & Features 

Wix, in general, has a lack of customization options. Their app market provides additional features, however many of the necessary tools for most businesses are US-only features. For example, the real-time shipping option isn’t available anywhere else in the world.

Not happy with Wix? 

X-Cart offers assistance to move data from your current eCommerce software to one of your own. We help to move your store quickly with no headaches and downtime.

3. BigCommerce

Bigcommerce eCommerce software

If you’ve outgrown the simplicity of Wix and (very important!!) do NOT have too large of a product catalog, then you should consider BigCommerce. BigCommerce is perfect for sites that want to capture a lot of traffic, but they don’t have a huge variety in product offerings.

Pricing 

With prices starting at $29.95 per month, there’s an annual sales volume limitation in every plan. Meaning, if you sell more than $50,000 a year, BigCommerce will automatically upgrade you to a higher-tier plan, doubling your monthly cost. 

Technical Support 

BigCommerce supports multi-channel selling for all plans, and hosting comes included. You will need a domain name, but you can purchase one from the BigCommerce store. Out of the box, the store is decently fast, with a mobile responsive view. Another advantage to BigCommerce is that it uses PHP, which most web developers should be familiar with.  

SEO & Content

BigCommerce allows for up to 600 product variants, which is way more than Shopify’s 100. It can handle all these product listings without taking a hit to speed or performance. Overall, it’s one of your best options for increasing the search engine ranking of your product listings, but it’s not ideal for regular content. Creating pages like an About Us page or a simple blog post can be inconvenient. 

Apps & Features 

The biggest drawback for BigCommerce is that there isn’t an option to create a multilingual store. However, some of the themes do allow for multiple currencies so that users can shop in their native currencies. There are a tremendous number of themes with a variety of features and layouts. However, few of them are free. On the flip side, the wide array of options available also makes it so that there is a steep learning curve for new users.

Looking to replace BigCommerce with another eCommerce platform?

Our replatforming experts will help you move all your data from your current eCommerce software to X-Cart with no headaches and downtime.

4. Square eCommerce (former Weebly)

Weebly eCommerce platform

Weebly is a popular website builder that has been providing services for creating various websites, blogs, and eCommerce stores since 2007. This service supports over 40 million websites. It is equivalent to 2% of all live websites.

Weebly offers users a simple, feature-rich interface that allows them to create professional websites in no time. As with most popular website builders, Weebly doesn’t require any coding knowledge. All you need to do is form the site’s structure using ready-made blocks and fill them with content.

Pricing

The constructor offers three paid plans with a different stack of functions.

Although very cheap, their Starter package only includes connecting a domain, removing third-party advertisements, accessing advanced statistics, setting up a footer, placing up to 10 products for an online store. All tariff plans allow users to get a domain name for a website for free or connect their domain, an unlimited storage space, template customization.

Technical Support & Hosting

Users can use the weebly.com subdomain specified during registration for free, for example, test.weebly.com. Users can change it at any time.

A user can register a new domain in the .org, .net, .com domain zones from the designer window with paid plans. After purchasing any paid subscription, a domain name for one year is provided free of charge.

SEO & Content

SEO and content optimization tools are standard for any website builder. They include:

  • Meta tags.
  • Installing the HTML code of the website traffic checker.
  • Installing counters, metrics, and other analytics tools.

The Weebly builder also allows the user to customize 301 Redirects.

Apps & Features

Among the competitive advantages of the constructor are:

  1. Ready-made templates for a personal website, blog, or store.
  2. Ability to add your design as a code, insert HTML code into the body of the page.
  3. With the help of the builder, it is easy to create an online store with an integrated shopping cart, secure payment, built-in filters, and other useful settings.
  4. Website management through a mobile application that is available in AppStore and Google Play.

Weebly provides many valuable tools for any query. It makes it one of the best website builders on the Internet.

5. Squarespace

Squarespace website builder

Squarespace is a SaaS platform that allows anyone to create sites without knowledge of markup languages or programming. It is one of the top website creating services that enables users to develop effective websites from scratch or based on ready-made templates (paid and free). The platform also provides hosting services.

Pricing

Squarespace comes with 4 pricing tiers, with the cheapest one starting from $12 per month. The most popular Business plan has a transaction fee of 3%. Two higher-tier plans don’t have any transaction fees at all.

Technical Support & Hosting

Squarespace has excellent customer support. The company has an extensive section with many articles and guides for solving various problems, a forum, and technical support available 24/7.

SEO & Content

Squarespace provides a guide to basic SEO website optimization. Also, In addition to the basic social media widgets, the Squarespace website builder provides the ability to post products on Pinterest or Instagram.

Apps & Features

As one of the top website builders, Squarespace has a bunch of additional features to create a turnkey website for any purpose. The features include: 

  1. Modern templates, convenient and powerful customization, many widgets, and ready-made sections;
  2. An excellent, built-in store allows you to sell physical, digital goods and services;
  3. A mobile application for site management and one more for direct sales, store maintenance;
  4. An excellent arsenal of marketing and analytical tools;
  5. Library of extensions and plugins.

The Bottom Line 

To choose the best website builder for your store, please pay special attention to the following criteria. They will help you find the best alternative to Shopify.

  1. The system must have all the necessary tools to launch a full-fledged online store. Pay attention to possible limits and restrictions.
  2. Transparent pricing – the subscription price should cover as much functionality as possible.
  3. The presence of advanced SEO settings – they must include meta tags, Sitemap.xml, robots.txt, etc.
  4. Free trial period. It will allow you to appreciate the capabilities of the constructor fully.
  5. The presence of a wide range of customizable templates.
  6. The ability to expand the functionality of the site using modules.
  7. Integration with a large number of third-party services, including payment gateways, for accepting payments.
  8. Round-the-clock support service – allows you to solve the problems that have arisen quickly.

That’s all. I hope our review on Shopify alternatives is helpful to you. If you have any questions or would like to integrate with X-Cart production, please, drop us a line, and we will contact you as soon as possible.

Ashley Kochans
Ashley Kochans Content Marketing Strategist

Ashley Kochans is an SEO and Content Marketing Strategist with over 3 years of experience in creating actionable content for Amazon merchants and eCommerce business owners.

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