Shopify is currently one of the leading ecommerce platforms, hosting more than 1 million online stores. The question is – are there other web builder and ecommerce platforms that will allow you to build a website for free or are cheaper than Shopify.
Related: Shopify Reviews 2021
We have selected the top best alternatives to Shopify for 2021.
Read on to find out more about these best alternatives to Shopify, so you can choose the best ecommerce platform to help you get started with working on
Why Choose Shopify?
Shopify is the best choice for beginners and ecommerce entrepreneurs with minimal technical skills. The friendly user interface will allow inexperienced business owners to quickly set up their websites.
It is one of the best options if you want to set up and run an online store but don’t have the budget for hiring a professional website developer.
Shopify is a web builder platform that is specifically designed for ecommerce. As such, it includes all the features you will need to get your site ready and running and hopefully selling as quickly as possible.
Shopify provides ecommerce tools, themes, customer care, and features. They are dedicated to boosting sales and stimulating any online business growth.
Benefits Of Shopify:
- The Shopify dashboard and user interface is among the most user-friendly of all platforms
- Users can choose among a variety of ecommerce based, stylish themes
- It offers unlimited storage and bandwidth
- The built-in tools and the additional apps are among the best in ecommerce
- Online merchants can provide drop shipping integration with the Ordoro app
- The customer support offered is excellent
- A great value for money
Why You Should Try Shopify Alternatives
Shopify is among the best options for an easy-to-use ecommerce platform. Yet, some factors may make it unsuitable for all types of online stores and retail businesses.
For example, if you already have a website running and are paying for WordPress hosting and web development or for another CMS, then you probably don’t want to spend more money on a completely new website and platform.
Plus, Shopify charges extra transaction fees for your sales. Depending on the plan you have signed up for, the price can get high when your sales start increasing.
Also, Shopify is ecommerce dedicated. If you are only looking for selling off a few products or items, then Shopify may be a bit of overkill for you.
Thankfully, Shopify has some excellent alternatives, which may be more suitable for your specific needs. There are also platforms allowing for the setup of free websites like Shopify.
You may also find a website builder platform with some of the features and characteristics that Shopify lacks. You should always opt for a platform that is better than Shopify for your idea for an online store.
Some Of The Common Issues With Shopify Are:
- You will be charged transaction fees for every payment, which can amount to up to 2% of the sale unless you choose to use the Shopify Payments gateway
- The markup language for customizing the templates and content is not as basic as with some other platforms
- If you want to take advantage of the advanced features like gift cards, automatic shipping, and tax rates, and more, you will need to sign up for a premium plan
- Shopify has a rigid URL structure which is not as optimal for SEO and high site rankings as other formats
Wix is the best alternative to Shopify. This is the easiest website builder platform to use, thanks to its drag-and-drop interface. It is also among the best platforms for setting up a website and online store of any type.
Wix has 100+ professionally designed templates and a huge range of useful apps. Use them to customize your website, including ecommerce apps of the highest quality.
Wix offers its users a unique artificial design intelligence (ADI). This feature will automatically suggest the best settings and configurations. These settings are based on your answers to a few questions when the setup begins.
Even if you have only basic technical and computer skills, you can tweak your website according to your preferences. This is possible thanks to the ease of use, and the drag-and-drop editing customization options.
With Wix, you can get started and build websites like Shopify easier and faster.
You can try out Wix risk-free thanks to the company’s 14-day money-back satisfaction guarantee.
The Wix App Market offers 250+ in-house and third-party apps, plug-ins, and add-ons on its extensive app store. You can use them for your website or online store. These apps include social media integration, coupons, various payment gateways, shipping options, shopping cart functionality, abandoned cart mailing, SEO, real-time shipping, and more.
Wix also allows for embedding different button styles, HTML codes, contact forms, lightboxes, and more.
The professionally designed themes are more than 800. A large percentage of them are being directed towards ecommerce and online stores.
Last but not least, Wix is among the most affordable options for ecommerce business owners on a tight budget. So, it is also a top recommended cheaper alternative to Shopify.
You can sign up for several website plans starting from $14 up to $39 per month. These plans include a free custom domain for a year, an SSL certificate, no ads, and storage space ranging from 3GB to 35GB.
Wix also offers ecommerce and business plans, which cost $23 up to $49 monthly. These plans allow secure online payments, selling unlimited amounts of products, abandoned cart delivery, free domain, and many more features.
Overall, when compared to Shopify, Wix offers prices that provide better value for the money. This is thanks to the hosting, domain, security, ease of use, ecommerce tools, sufficient storage, and bandwidth to handle a small to medium online business. So, in many cases, Wix is better than Shopify.
- Intuitive drag-and-drop interface and ease of use suitable for newbies
- Very customizable website design and settings
- A wide choice of design features, apps, add-ons, and tools at the app store
- Professionally designed templates
- Multiple payment processing gateways are supported and Wix doesn’t charge transaction fees
- An option to choose between website and ecommerce plans
- No hidden fees for the ecommerce tools and features
- The storage and traffic can be limited to some plans
- It offers fewer apps than Shopify does
- The SEO features and tools are not the best in the industry
Check our comprehensive Wix Pricing Guide
BigCommerce is another excellent Shopify alternative, which is specifically dedicated to ecommerce. It will allow you to create a website like Spotify but with even better ecommerce functionality. It is also among Shopify’s biggest direct competitors on the market.
The BigCommerce ecommerce platform offers complete solutions and built-in features. They are perfect for boosting the sales of online businesses, especially larger and fast-scaling ones.
The platform offers 12 free and 50+ paid stunning themes. Unlike Shopify, it is more flexible if you decide to switch up your design and theme. The platform also has a relatively easy-to-use editing function. It includes all the ecommerce and content marketing features you will need, without the need to invest in third-party or paid apps and add-ons.
BigCommerce is among the most scalable of all ecommerce platforms used for building sites like Shopify in 2021.
BigCommerce has built-in multi-channel integration. This means that you can easily share and manage your online store on your social media profiles like Facebook or Pinterest as well as on the largest global marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon. This means that your website and products will be seen by a much wider and larger audience, thus boosting sales.
There is also a tool to sync the inventory on all platforms to prevent overselling.
The price plans for one of the best Shopify alternatives start from $29.95 for the Standard plan, $71 a month for the Plus plan, and $224 per month for the Pro plan.
With the Plus plan, online entrepreneurs will receive everything they need to set up and start selling through their online store. A payment processor without more transaction fees and unlimited bandwidth, storage, number of products, and staff accounts.
BigCommerce has a set annual sale limitation to each of its plans. The popular Plus plan is set as suitable for online merchants with sales of up to $150,000 a year. If you surpass the annual sales, you will be upgraded automatically to the next tier plan.
- The Shopify similar platform is a suitable choice for businesses of all types and sizes
- Powerful SEO tools and performance
- Users can list and sell unlimited numbers of items
- Excellent theme options
- Various useful ecommerce and design features
- No added transaction fees
- Integrated multi-channel retail
- Reliable speeds
- The hosting of the site is included in the plans
- It may not be financially feasible for high volume sales
- The interface and usage is not as easy as with other platforms
- Most of the themes are paid
- Lack of one-click upsells
BigCommerce is an excellent choice for merchants and businesses whose main marketing tool is SEO.
Read on our guide for BigCommerce Pricing in 2021
WooCommerce is the best Shopify alternative for users who are already using WordPress. It is also great for those who prefer the WordPress platform and using open-source ecommerce tools. The open-source software will allow you to develop sites like Shopify but free.
The Shopify free alternative was created by the developers of WordPress. IT is an open-source, free ecommerce package that will allow you to build and manage your online store.
You may want to opt for the paid version of this popular WordPress plug-in for more advanced features.
With some tweaks and skills, you can build websites like Shopify for free with WooCommerce. It is mobile-friendly and is among the best free Shopify alternatives. All you will have to do is pay for the domain, hosting, and security of your web store, as well as a paid theme. You may also want to add some plug-ins to your store. If you have the budget to pay a developer to help build a professional ecommerce website for you.
Some of the useful plug-ins which you may consider buying and installing include WooCommerce Freshdesk, Yoast WooCommerce SEO, AliDropship, ConvertPlug, and others.
But even if you do decide to pay for more plug-ins and perks, unlike with Shopify, these will be one-time expenses or can be annual subscriptions.
WooCommerce is an open-source plug-in that allows users to set up a free website like Shopify. Since it is free, users cannot expect to get too much help or guidance if problems occur during the setup or once the store is up and running. Still, it is one of the leading free alternatives to Shopify on the market and will allow you to build a free site.
- The best free alternative to Shopify comes in a completely free, open-source version
- There are no additional transaction fees for payments
- Includes most of the essential ecommerce tools you will need
- Very easy to install and use with WordPress
- One-click upsells for post purchases
- You will need to pay for web hosting, domain, security separately, and take care of maintenance and software updates
- One of the top Shopify free alternatives requires WordPress experience and skills
- No reliable customer support
- It can be slow for some needs
WooCommerce is an excellent Shopify alternative for users who want to use a free platform and have ideas for an online retail website that is heavy on content.
You can use WooCommerce for selling all types of products, including physical, digital, or affiliate.
You will need to pay for hosting and any paid themes or added plug-ins, but on the other hand, this is among the best choices and even better than Shopify for those of you interested in self-hosting your online store.
This US-based site builder is among the best Shopify alternatives if you plan to set up a small-volume online store.
The platform offers a variety of plans – personal, professional, startup, and business. All of them allow for listing and selling unlimited products and provides unlimited bandwidth and storage. Another great plus, as compared to Shopify, is the lack of transaction fees.
Volusion offers its customers reliable 24/7 online and phone support or priority support for the premium business plan.
The ecommerce platform is among the best Shopify alternatives. It supports the leading payment gateways, offers synced inventory for multi-channel sales, automatic tax calculation, dropshipping, and more.
Volusion is easy to use and has various templates that you can choose from regardless of the subscription plan you are on.
On the downside, each plan comes with an annual maximum GMV, so if your sales volumes increase, you will be required to upgrade.
The interface is not as intuitive as some other web builder platforms. You may need to have some coding skills or hire a developer to set up the backend of your online store at Volusion.
- Unlimited products, bandwidth, and storage for all plans
- Great for small and medium businesses, which included SEO tools
- No added transaction fees
- A wide selection of professional-looking themes
- It comes with a useful mobile app for store management and setup on the go
- It supports all leading payment processors
- It is not the fastest of all of the web builder platforms on this list
- Some coding skills may be required if you want to fine-tune your settings
- The multi-channel integration is available for the higher-priced plans
This Canadian-based ecommerce platform was among the most customizable options of all ecommerce solutions.
It used to be a more suitable option for online stores that are already established and growing.
It has three main service plan levels without added transaction fees.
Unfortunately, since last year, LemonStand has announced that it is shutting down. The platform gave its customers’ migration solutions for moving their online stores to other platforms and hosting services.
- No added fees for the payment processing and transactions
- Highly customizable
- Powerful and efficient SEO tools
- Suitable for high volume businesses
- Unfortunately, the platform has currently shut down and was acquired by MailChimp
3dcart is a cloud-hosted Shopify replacement and includes a wide range of powerful ecommerce tools and features. A variety of subscription plans ranging from $19 per month up to $229 monthly depending on your store size, scalability, and sales volumes.
All plans include unlimited orders, a shopping cart, SEO tools, integration with Facebook, unlimited products, secure hosting, unlimited bandwidth, built-in blogging, API access, no transaction fees, and 24/7 customer support.
Users can switch from other platforms seamlessly and will even get incentives and migration assistance by 3dcart.
You will also get a free domain for a year, 2 months of free Avalara Sales Tax management, FedEx shipping discounts, and $150 of Snapchat Ads credits.
The added ecommerce solutions to all plans are more superior to those offered by Shopify.
- A wide range of pricing plans for businesses of all sizes
- Unlimited bandwidth and product items and types
- API access and included email accounts
- A set of robust ecommerce solutions – more than Shopify offers
- Upsell and cross-sell and saved carts
- No added fees for payment processing
- An in-house optional web design service
- Easy migration from other platforms and hosting services
- Built-in SEO and blog solutions
- The customer support service is not as reliable, according to customer reviews
- Shopify offers better dropshipping features
- Some of the provided themes may seem dated
Big Cartel is an alternative to the Shopify platform, suitable for artists, crafters, and creatives. If you’re looking for an easy and affordable way to set up an ecommerce store, Big Cartel is for you.
You can choose among four affordable subscription plans. Starting from $9.99 per month for 50 products, $19.99 per month for 250 products, and $29.99 per month for up to 500 products.
You can also set up a free website for a listing of up to 5 products on Big Cartel’s free plan.
The platform offers access to free themes and an option to add up to 5 images per product. You can also use the website to sell your work online or in person.
Big Cartel offers integrated Google Analytics, real-time statistics, inventory and shipment tracking, discounts, and more.
The platform offers an innovative Sales tax autopilot feature to make online sales swifter and easier.
The ecommerce platform for artists doesn’t have live chat or phone support. Yet, it is an affordable and easy option for people looking for an easy way to set up a website to sell their artwork and handmade products.
It is an excellent option for small online shops with limited products and on a limited budget.
- BigCartel won’t charge you transaction fees
- It supports PayPal and integration with Facebook and Instagram
- There is a completely free plan for selling up to 5 products, which is another excellent free Shopify alternative for small businesses
- The interface is very intuitive and easy even for non-tech-savvy users
- Affordable prices
- There is no live chat or phone support
- It is limited to artists and by product numbers
- Not suitable for larger online retailers
- Somewhat limited features as compared to other ecommerce stores
Want to see what else is out there? Read our review for the most reliable BigCartel alternatives
Magento is a free, open-source ecommerce platform and Shopify alternative. It’s prevalent among online merchants and accounts for about 20% of all online stores globally.
It is flexible and scalable, making it perfect for small, larger, and rapidly growing online retail businesses.
The interface is user-friendly, with a wide range of e-commerce features for your online business’s backend.
It supports a vast range of payment gateways and options and allows for easy customization of the templates, themes, and features.
Magento is suitable for self-hosting businesses. While the building tool is free to download and use, you will need to pay for a hosting service for your store.
The downside of this open-source ecommerce solution is that it requires a steep learning curve and coding skills. This means that you may need to hire a developer if you don’t have the tech skills necessary.
Also, unless you decide to upgrade to the paid enterprise version, there is minimal support.
Still, Magento remains one of the top Shopify alternatives in 2021. It is perfect for large, well-established, and growing online businesses.
- Free to download, no monthly charges
- Some of the most expansive ecommerce tools and backend features
- Highly customizable and flexible – for large and rapidly growing businesses
- Powerful integrated SEO tools
- A very wide choice of payment gateway integration options
- Availability of thousands of add-ons and extensions
- Responsive themes and designs
- One of the most popular ecommerce solutions with millions of dedicated users worldwide
- Coding and other tech skills are required
- No hosting is included, so you will have to pay for web hosting and a domain name separately
- Suitable for established businesses, not the best choice for newbies
Squarespace is a website builder that is a superb alternative for Shopify for users with limited tech skills and tight budgets.
The website builder platform is straightforward to use. Set up and get your ecommerce store running quickly and seamlessly.
It offers various professionally designed themes and templates. It includes all of the ecommerce features you will need to start a new online store from scratch. Hosting, SSL security, domain name, and all tools are included.
The plans start from $12 per month for the Personal plan, $18 for the business plan, $26 for the basic commerce. The advanced commerce plan costs $40 when paid annually.
The basic commerce and business plans come with unlimited storage and bandwidth, ecommerce extensions, advanced analytics, Google Ads Credits, unlimited products, donation setup, gift cards, and more. The commerce plans do not charge any transaction fees, while the business plan has a 3% transaction fee.
- Very easy to set up and get an online store running
- Includes everything you need to start an online retail business
- Affordable plans
- Professional, stylish themes
- No fees for transactions for the commercial plans
- Included website analytics and up to $100 of Google Ads Credits
- The payment gateways supported are limited to PayPal, Stripe, and Apple Pay
- No live real-time customer support
- Not as many plug-ins and add-ons as other ecommerce solution platforms
Interested in Squarespace? Check its pricing offers and key ways to save money.
Prestashop is another best option for online merchants and entrepreneurs who are on a tight budget.
The shopping cart open-source solution is completely free to download and use. But along with it, you will need to pay for your web host service and for added modules that can add ecommerce functionality to your online store.
Prestashop doesn’t offer such a wide range of themes and templates or features such as Shopify or other paid platforms for ecommerce.
The Prestashop ecommerce software and platform are among the Shopify alternatives best choices you can use for free. It doesn’t charge fees for online transactions and supports many languages and currencies.
You can list and sell an unlimited number of products on a national and international level.
With premium modules, you can expand your online retail business and enhance the ecommerce tools. Those will help you run a more successful business and boost your sales.
- This is a free, open-source platform
- There are no transaction fees or monthly payments
- Supports multiple languages and international sales
- A great option for mid or large-sized businesses
- A limited choice of in-house themes and templates
- It does require coding skills
- The advanced modules and ecommerce features can be expensive
Shopify remains one of the top-preferred and recommended ecommerce platforms. Yet, it may not be suitable for all types of online businesses and all budgets.
Thankfully, there are some great alternatives to Shopify available for all needs.
The best choice for online startup stores is BigCommerce. The best option for online merchants who are familiar with or use WordPress for their websites is WooCommerce.
Overall, any of our top picks for the best Shopify alternatives have their pros and cons. Hopefully, we have helped you pick the most suitable ecommerce platform and website builder for your specific business plans, budget, and skill levels.