2022 witnesses huge variety of choices, everywhere. Ecommerce owners now have as much as possible tools, plugins, and soft for literally everything – even for ordering product shots for the whole collection in minutes.
And ecommerce website builders keep up. The offers are multiple and it's easy to get lost in all of the diversity.
We have done the homework and analyzed 10 of the builders that will get you from a zero online presence to full-fledged ecommerce businessperson in 30 bucks a month and a few days.
5 of our top 10 picks for the title of Best Ecommerce Website builder 2022 rank in Alexa’s Global 700 world’s most visited websites as of March 2022.
Taking into account, that the first Alexa’s 100 contains only giants like Facebook, Insta, Google, Reddit, Youtube, Netflix [and their Chinese versions], being in the world's 700 most visited websites is a big deal. A huge deal in fact.
Get comfortable and let's get through our e-commerce website builders comparison table and website builder’s ranking together.
What is a website builder?
Website builders are specialized software, accessible like a regular website for a user, that allows users to build websites without coding skills, but by using intuitive drag & drop interfaces. Many leading website builder solutions include hosting services and have multiple integrations like dropshipping modules, payment gateways, mail marketing and more.
Platform selection challenges
All newbies in ecommerce will face this question. What website builder do I use to build my first online shop? Where do I find reliable best ecommerce website builder review? What is the best website builder for ecommerce? What’s the difference? How do I install the payment system? What other tools can I integrate with each solution for dropshipping? How much are they? Do I pay monthly? Do I need hosting? Do I need a domain name? Can I build a website if I have zero coding skills?
We all have been there. Please see below our ranking so you can base your decision on our experience of decades of interaction with our clients – ecommerce entrepreneurs, who have tried and tested them all.
Website builder vs website creation from scratch? Pros and cons.
Users choose website builders because:
- It's the cheapest. It is. Building your website will definitely cost you more than setting it up with the help of a website builder.
- It's quickest. The learning curve is like 30 minutes' time when you read an article to pick a builder and then watch a couple of Youtube "How To" videos on x2 speed. You are ready to construct your website now.
- It's the most efficient. In the competitive race, all those ecommerce website building platforms, like Wix, Shopify, WooCommerce, Weebly are going out of their way to provide the best friction-free platform for you. They contracted all the biggest payment services, so you don't have to do it but just press a button. They keep offering discounts and enhancing their functionality – so you work less to have the best website up and running in no time.
Users choose to build their website from scratch if:
- They are web design developers or Word press gurus with lots of time.
- They are big like Amazon and need to control every inch of their screen and user experience, setting the trend, not following it.
- This point is just for symmetry, as there is no 3rd reason big enough to mention here and to overshadow the cheapest, quickest and most efficient arguments in the first paragraph of this chapter. But you make the deicsion you're most comfortable with.
What features should a great website builder have?
A must-have for ecommerce, if you sell digital products or physical ones, you need to be able to ascribe their price, description, title, attach images, sort them, categorize them, etc.
This is a hugely competitive feature on the website builders market, that doesn't cost that much.
Asia is full of amazingly talented people on insanely low rates – while it takes governments decades to modernize, talent in India, Philippines, Indonesia is fully up the speed in terms of all the technological advancements.
Many are capable to rival the talent of Silicon Valley at the fraction of the price tag. We found many ecommerce entrepreneurs discover this sooner, rather than later, having heard it from Neil Patel ourselves.
On the other hand, a great design is what budding entrepreneurs can appreciate instantly and ultimate website users see as a hefty token of credibility.
Checkout and payment
This one is complicated as is – all the financial docs, restrictions, legalities, integrations are super nuanced, differ from country to country and are time-consuming to install into a standalone website.
The more payment gateways are offered by a website builder, the more integrations are part of the default package, the less hassle it is for the ecommerce business owner.
Integration with analytics systems
Data is everything. If you cannot measure it, you cannot fix it or improve it.
The better the analytics the easier you convert figures into actionable steps on your to-do list.
One-click integration with Google Analytics, Facebook pixel, Google ads, Google console are all default expectations of a website builder platform customer.
Search Engine Optimization Opportunities
Word Press has Yoast. Even the free version gives users quite a bit of tool to control and implement the best and most recent SEO practices.
But the platforms for website construction, like Shopify, WooCommerce, Weebly, Wix need to be optimized too. Ecommerce depends on the Google rankings big deal.
Possibility to implement on-page optimization, use H1, H2 tags, provide meta descriptions and page titles are all a must-have for an ecommerce website building platform. Otherwise, how your customers will find you?
Criteria for choosing a platform for an online store
Google is not only one of the most complex systems there are, but also such, that evolves by the second. This is why when it comes to compatibility with Google algorithms it takes a giant to face a giant.
The creation of every feature should be done in a way, that sings along the Google ever-changing algorithms.
This is where out Alexa comparison table comes into play. This is just one of the print screens of Alexa rankings the websites in our review. This is the comparison table, that gives one an idea of just how big these platforms are in fact.
We provided 2 world-known websites: Amazon & CNN for comparison reasons and to work as a scale.
For example, 145K sites are linking into CNN – how on Earth could Squarespace squeeze into 116K of the websites worldwide? Obviously, backlinking is a HUGE part of their SEO.
For example, GoDaddy enjoys the lowest Bounce rate of just 19%, while Amazon sits at 24,8%. With all that traffic maintain such a low bounce rate is a mastery – and a mystery too.
Enjoy the stats – they do speak volumes. We are not urging you to follow the social proof here and pick the one higher up the global ranking, vice versa. Please take the table in its entirety and compare all major factors and their correlation to each other.
The data was taken on the 7th of March 2020.
People looking for website builders are looking for an intuitive user-friendly interface. Otherwise, they would code their own thing, right?
The simpler the interface – the more likely that users will prolong after the free trial expires.
Free / Paid
WordPress is not too big a learning curve, especially with such drag & drop builders like Elementor and tons of do-along YouTube vids. This is one of the major reasons website builders are so affordable and many will offer hosting as part of the package.
So, let's get to our top-10?
Top 10 ecommerce website builders for 2022
Monthly rates: Standard $29.95 | Plus $79.95 | Pro $249.95 | 15 day free trial
- The multitude of features, that are integrated and included
- Multi-channel selling [Amazon, Facebook, eBay, Instagram, etc]
- Developed B2B functionality: bulk pricing, customer lists, etc
- Overwhelming functionality for a beginner
- Unnecessarily complex for smaller shops.
Verdict: With the pricing policy pretty much aligned with that of Shopify, this is a solid choice for B2B ecommerce for ambitious projects with prospects of multi-channel sales.
Monthly rates: Basic $23 | Unlimited $27 | VIP $49 | Enterprise $500 |14 day free trial
- User-friendly created for beginners, drag & drop builder, 500+ templates
- 100% commission free payments
- SEO optimization
- no multi-channel selling – bad news for many businesses, that want to be able to sell on Insta, Pinterest and other social media.
- somewhat limited functionalities, specifically unfit for bigger sellers, who need to perform actions in bulk.
Verdict: It is indeed THE choice for ecommerce beginners. If you are only starting your ecommerce online store, WIX will minimize the agony and maybe even be fun – if you love creating, you will love this intuitive tool.
With the lowest price for ecommerce, you can even further minimize your costs by building a site on a personal plan at $13 and switching to Business when all is ready for the selling.
Monthly rates: Personal $12 | Business $18 | Basic commerce $26| Advanced Commerce $40 | 14 day free trial
- Highly intuitive interface with drag & drop builder and lots of integrated apps for blogging, SEO, etc.
- Ecommerce functionality all integrated into all plans from Business plans+
- Amazing templates & designs for any niche and product, highly aesthetically pleasing product.
- third-party apps that are not part of the platform will need to be hardcoded into the system, there is no way to install them with one click.
Verdict: this is a leader in the site builder platforms industry, which is confirmed by our Alexa ranking table: it is the most visited website in the USA №146 with GoDaddy at 132. Shopify, for example, is №321 in the USA, has 9 times as few backlinks and 31% less average time on site. Wix and Weebly though outperform Squareshot in the global ranking, hitting more global engagement, even though lagging behind in USA Alexa rankings.
Monthly rates: Basic $29 | Shopify $79 | Advanced $299 |14 day free trial
- Shopify’s payment gateway fully integrated into the platform, which saves users lots of hassle for dealing with third-party providers
- fully customizable CMS with a full package of features for every need in ecommerce
- dropshipping functionality, web hosting, and unlimited bandwidth are part of all plans.
- just 70 free themes to choose from with expansive selection in premium themes.
Verdict: Shopify has seen massive growth in recent years and is becoming the ecommerce website platform of choice for over a million entrepreneurs. The functionality is just overwhelming in terms of saturation of technological offers to meet every need of an ecommerce store owner. Usability, intuitiveness is amplified by customer service and advanced technological solutions in ecommerce.
Monthly rates: Pro $12 | Business $25 | Business Plus $38 |forever free trial
- The forever free version until you are ready to launch
- Weebly has the cheapest set of plans out there – with Pro plan at just 12 dollars a month having a shopping cart functionality and the payment functionality.
- User-friendly intuitive interface for beginners.
- No multi-channel functionality, which is prohibitive for a huge niche of hand makers, who love selling on Facebook and Etsy to start with.
- Low customization possibilities in basic plans.
Verdict: the cheapest website builder out there with the possibility to do all the pre-launch work done in the free mode for as long as it takes, no limit of the 14-day trial. So if the budgets are tight and you are only exploring the ecommerce and trying to figure out how it works – Weebly is a viable option. The best ecommerce website builder for small business.
Monthly rates: Personal $26 | Professional $71 | Startup $161 |Business $269 | 14 day free trial
- Analytics that are exhaustive and can be easily translated into actions.
- Volusion is a drag& drop website builder, that is not so difficult to master.
- No blogging features, that is prohibitive for great SEO
- Themes are limited and not so sleek-looking as competition
Verdict: Volusion is a run-of-the-mill website builder that has little wows to offer aside from analytics. Specifically unsuitable for smaller businesses with 10-20 items to sell.
Monthly rates: $19.99 [billed annually only]| 1-month free trial
- this site builder is a piece of cake when it comes to the level of intuitiveness it takes to build a simple website.
- GoDaddy’s speed is FAST, not fast, but FAST.
- covers many niches of ecommerce entrepreneurship
- 1 month of free trial is twice as much as 14 days offered across the board
- GoDaddy is a domain platform, so the website building is only a byproduct – at any time no excellence is to be expected.
- not too customizable and maybe suffocating for a creative soul.
Verdict: Once again, GoDaddy is all about domain business. So expecting great speed is one thing, but not expecting much of the trend-setting features is also on the menu. Do you know that Motorola specializes in military equipment design and manufacturing? Some phones were sold too along the way.
Monthly rates for the 1st year [get doubled in the 2nd+ year]: Startup $9.50 | Basic $14.50 | Plus $39.50 |Pro $114.5 | 15 day free trial | 30 days money-back guarantee
- The 3D cart has highly elaborated backend with great inventory management features
- SEO-optimized for quick scaling
- unlimited bandwidth & products
- 3D cart ranks low on ease of use, takes a learning curve to master.
- Lacking the mobile app to manage your store on the go, which is fairly limiting in this frantic age.
Verdict: unless they manage to find their USP and invest some talent and buck into perfecting it, the service may be stuck forever in the middle-of-the-road range, that no one remembers or recommends much.
Monthly rates: 25 products $9.99 | 100 products $19.99 | 300 products $29.99 |14 day free trial
- Big Cartel offers a free plan that you can actually sell at – one of the very few possibilities out there
- created for hand makers and artisans, indie business in every meaning
- It is pretty limited in functionalities compared to the big fellas in the niche, in terms of almost everything: SEO, inventory, selling
- Intermediate designs of Big Cartel are not too customizable either, as well as complex to use.
Verdict: The free website builder for ecommerce. Big Cartel does offer the free plan and it is created for artisans and hand makers. If you are a hand maker with nothing to lose and no budget – this is the right product for you to explore the possibilities of ecommerce with this basic but free website builder.
Woocommerce: the Ecommerce Word Press plugin
Monthly rates: freemium, sort of.
- there are free versions of the plugin as well as free Word Press themes compatible with it
- B2B and B2C selling without limits in the number of products
- multiple upgrades and plugins for every functionality
- multi-lingual versions are possible with word press plugins
- word press requires a learning curve bigger than with regular drag & drop website builders.
- there are costs that you will incur, like domain, hosting, themes, plugins – some are optional and some are not.
Verdict: If you do have a WordPress site, that you want to turn into an online store and a successful ecommerce business – than WooCommerce is the solution for you. If you are tight on budget but would like to try your hand in the ecommerce entrepreneurship, WooCommerce might be the way to go. In the best-case scenario, you are technically savvy and are ready for long hours of code-along vids like this one [disclaimer: there is no real coding involved and Nayyar is an awesome teacher].
That's it, choose your fighter!
Tips for choosing the best website builder for your needs
If you have zero budget, you will be guided by that and have a limited choice anyway.
If you have 30 bucks to spare monthly on this experiment, that just hover around in the area of top 3-5 recommendations for the website builder by choosing what’s more important – sleek design or backend functionalities like SEO and analytics for scaling.
Where to get high-quality ecommerce product photos?
This is one of the questions you might face when considering creating a new ecommerce website. Seasoned etailers know, that hi-quality product photography is both: fundamental and vital to the success of an online store.
If you are only starting your business and have a few products to shoot or if you are scaling your existing store and thinking to upgrade to a better website builder – there is a chance your product images needs need to attend too.
Squareshot has accumulated decades of experience in the niche, making a converting image of clothing, accessories, jewelry, cosmetics.
Want to see what your products look like through our lens? Explore our portfolio of product imagery and try the service for yourself.