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Shopify alternatives – easier, cheaper…better?

shopify alternatives

Shopify is an excellent eCommerce solution – but it’s certainly not suitable for everything and everyone. Here, I’ll cover the 5 best Shopify alternatives that can be even better.

Shopify is wildly popular, and there are reasons for it. With advanced eCommerce tools, excellent third-party plugins, and everything needed to make a successful online store, this is a great pick for many businesses.

But there are cases where I simply don’t recommend Shopify.

  • Shopify is expensive: with the plans going between $29 and $299 a month, it’s out of budget for many small businesses and personal projects.
  • The themes leave a lot to be desired: there are only 9 free options, and the remaining themes can cost upwards to $200.
  • The site editing is limited: with no coding knowledge, there are big restrictions of what can and can’t be edited.

If any of these issues worry you – carry on reading. This post is for you.

Here, I put together a list of 5 best Shopify alternatives, offering you great options for setting up an online shop. They all have their own killer features – better pricing, better themes, better site editing…or something else altogether!

So, let’s not waste any more time and take a look at some of the best options out there.

Best Shopify alternatives: overview

Here are the top Shopify alternatives:

  1. Wix – affordable marketing features in a website builder
  2. Squarespace – excellent Shopify alternative for running an online business
  3. WordPress.org – a super cheap Shopify alternative
  4. SITE123 – simple business-grade website editor
  5. Zyro – cheap, eCommerce-focused Shopify alternative

1. Wix – perfect customizability, excellent features

eCommerceFrom $23/month
FeaturesTwo website editors, excellent customizability
Free versionYes
Best forDesign and editing freedom

While not focused primarily on eCommerce, Wix is a perfect Shopify alternative for many types of people. How so? Well – Wix is incredibly versatile, letting pretty much anyone make pretty much any kind of website.

With two distinct editors, focusing on two different skill levels, in-house eCommerce and marketing suites, and 700+ designer-built themes, covering nearly any niche imaginable, it’s a complete Swiss army knife for websites. Quite a difference from something so focused and limited like Shopify.

Truth is, businesses evolve: and when setting up an online shop or any other type of online business, you can’t know for sure what designs or features you will require. This is where Wix shines like no other: it’s a perfect combination of user-friendly simplicity and advanced features, starting at a price more than two times lower than Shopify’s.

To get started, you (or me – on this Wix review!) just have to pick from one of the two editor options – either Wix ADI, which will generate a website for you, based on your needs and business information, or a classic Wix Editor that lets you choose from over 700 available templates.

wix editor choice

On ADI, it’s just a matter of picking what specific features you want to see on your site. Doesn’t get much easier than that.

wix review adi setup

On the Classic Editor, you start by picking out a suitable template. You can make an online store with any of the over 700 templates, but there are also over 100 free themes, specifically suited for online shops. Definitely better than Shopify, which offers 9 free options, and asks up to $200 for others.

wix online store themes

Once the theme is picked, you’ll get to see the Wix Editor – it offers incredible design freedom, allowing you to precisely edit just about anything. Some may be intimidated by just how much you can do, but if Shopify’s lack of editing options are letting you down, this will be a feast.

wix editor interface

When it comes to business features – eCommerce, to be exact – Wix takes a step back and follows a mantra of “simple is better”. Everything in the platform is optimized for making things as simple as possible, and it does everything pretty similar to Shopify. You’ll get all the help you can possibly need.

wix ecommerce setup

You’ll even gain access to suggested articles and tutorials, that will help you gain additional skills required to run your business more efficiently.

wix ecommerce suggested for you

Furthermore, there’s a solid payment platform called Wix Payments, options for setting up shopping rules, and apps for many different goals – dropshipping, blogging, SEO optimization and more.

Overall, Wix is an excellent Shopify alternative: offering a simple way for anyone to set up an online business website, with no special knowledge required.

How much does Wix cost?

Wix offers a free plan, and 7 paid options. However, from those paid options, only 3 of them are fit to be a suitable Shopify alternative – as they’re the ones including eCommerce functionality.

Here they are:

PlanFeatures
Business Basic ($23/month)20GB of storage, $300 in ad vouchers, unlimited products, abandoned cart recovery, and sales on social channels.
Business Unlimited ($27/month)Storage bumped up to 35GB, automated sales tax, subscription sales, dropshipping, product reviews, and advanced shipping options.
Business VIP ($49/month)50GB of storage and all of the above, plus priority support, custom data reports, and loyalty program feature, as well as more reviews, and sales tax calculations.

None of these plans will charge an additional transaction fee – similarly to Shopify, you’ll only have to worry about the payment processor fees. And with Wix prices ranging from $23 to $49 a month, it’s significantly cheaper than its eCommerce-focused competitor.

Overall, Wix is pretty brilliant – if you’re looking for an all-in-one website solution that will save you a few dollars and a whole lot of time, this is the one.

Pros

  • Two great site editors
  • Plenty of editing freedom
  • Easy-to-master eCommerce tools

Cons

  • The Classic Editor can be a bit intimidating
  • Limited storage

2. Squarespace – beautiful designs, supreme simplicity

squarespace
eCommerce from$18/month
FeaturesAI tools, intuitive grid building system
Free versionNo
Best forSmall businesses

Template selection at Shopify isn’t all that exciting? Makes sense: after all, its free themes aren’t exactly mindblowing, and if you want something really good, you’ll need to open your wallet very, very wide.

This is where Squarespace shines. It has over 110 templates, that are beautiful and modern – perfect for a contemporary website. Now mix that together with in-house eCommerce and business features, tightly knit into the platform. What’s the result? A mission control center, perfect for any small business looking to build a serious online presence – it received excellent marks on my Squarespace review.

The process with using Squarespace is very much streamlined. First, you choose the starter theme:

squarespace picking a theme

And soon after, after a few quick tutorials, you’ll find yourself in the site editor, which does a perfect balancing act between freedom and simplicity. The elements can be changed, replaced, and rearranged at will, but you’ll still need to adapt to a grid. I call that a suitable approach.

squarespace editor

But by far my favorite thing about editing a Squarespace website comes with its sections. They are little pre-built parts of the site, including text, media, interactive elements and other similar information. They will adapt to your selected theme, fonts, and color scheme, allowing to maintain a consistent design throughout your business.

squarespace sections

Whenever you’re ready to call quits on website editing, you can always effortlessly move to building your business: unlike Shopify, Squarespace doesn’t rely on third-party apps all that much, and most of such features can be quickly accessed from the dashboard.

squarespace navigation

As we’re looking at Shopify competitors – let’s just get to it and see what it’s like to use Squarespace for an online shop.

Well, in one word, it’s guided. And I quite like it that way. The setup wizard is very simple to follow.

squarespace ecommerce wizard

There, it’s just a matter of selecting what you sell, what do you want to achieve, and how much you know.

squarespace answering questions

And boom! – now your store will be automatically populated by the relevant demo products, complete with images, descriptions, and prices. For all the additional eCommerce features, you’ll get a handful or carefully-curated apps, for taxes, shopping, print-on-demand, and more.

squarespace extensions

As for payments, you get options for PayPal, Square, and Stripe.

True – neither the apps, nor the payment options aren’t as massive as ones on Shopify. But they do the job. And if you’re getting serious decision fatigue, going through hundreds of options every hour, a simple, streamlined solution is a perfect escape from that.

That’s exactly where Squarespace shines.

How much does Squarespace cost?

Squarespace offers a total of four plans: but only 3 of them include eCommerce functionality. Here’s what they are:

You can choose between four options:

PlanFeaturesPrice
BusinessHTML/CSS code optimization, advanced analytics, and basic eCommerce (w/ 3% transaction fee)$18/month
Basic CommerceeCommerce with no transaction fees for easy selling$26/month
Advanced CommerceAll-included eCommerce with selling subscriptions and advanced shipping for serious businesses$40/month

Now, you might spot a problem here right off the bat: the cheapest, $18/month plan might seem very alluring. But an additional 3% transaction fee, going on top of your payment processor fees is just…too much!

So, if you’re into what Squarespace has to offer: the simplicity, the lovely themes, and the built-in tools, I suggest more a step forward, and going for the Basic Commerce plan at $26/month.

But other than that, Squarespace is excellent. It’s a beginner-friendly way to build something truly professional – and it’s a great Shopify alternative for beautiful websites.

Pros

  • Great templates
  • Beginner-focused business features
  • Solid site editor

Cons

  • The cheapest eCommerce plan has an extra transaction fee
  • Small number of third-party apps

3. WordPress.org – the best DIY Shopify alternative

wordpress
eCommerce from$0
FeaturesFull customization
Free versionYes
Best forWebsite developers, designers

This is a wild card. A very, very interesting wild card.

Whereas Shopify allows you to make custom edits to your site, either via code or third-party templates – WordPress absolutely embraces it. It’s not even a website builder, it’s an open-source platform that has to be installed on your hosting account, and can then be used to make any kind of website.

And of course, being open source, that makes it one of the free Shopify alternatives on this list. With all of that together, there are a lot of really cool advantages.

To get started with WordPress, you’ll need to get yourself a WordPress hosting provider – a server, where your site will be placed. The costs vary, some option can cost hundreds of dollars a month, but for most users, a simple shared account for a few bucks is going to do. Hostinger is one of the best options for that.

hostinger price

From there on, your job will be to install WordPress on your server. While that might sound a bit complicated, hosting providers usually offer a pretty straightforward way for that. In Hostinger’s case, it’s a matter of finding the “Auto Installer” section, and picking a pre-built WordPress installation. No manual downloads required.

hosting management
wordpress download

There, you’ll be on the WordPress editor – and on your way. It’s an excellent interface for blogging, and building pages. But when it comes

wordpress interface

So, how do you take this editor, and turn WordPress into a worthy Shopify alternative?

Thanks to the open-source nature of this platform, the answer is simple – by a huge variety of themes and plugins!

WordPress has a massive community of people, many of them building designs and tools for people like you and I to purchase and use. And so, thousands of affordable, beautiful, WordPress-optimized themes are just a Google search away. While Shopify has something pretty similar, it’s nowhere close the scale of WordPress.

wordpress ecommerce themes

As for eCommerce functionality itself, there are several plugins you can pick from, too – but the most popular option by far is WooCommerce, WordPress-own plugin, adding selling functionality to the platform. It tries its best to bring the simplicity of website builders right into this platform – and really, it succeeds.

woocommerce
wordpress woocommerce startup guide

Additional WooCommerce plugins will also help you sell beyond your website, and use other platforms, such as eBay, Etsy, Walmart, and more.

woocommerce multichannel shipping

How much does WordPress cost?

Unlike Shopify, WordPress doesn’t have plans set in stone: however much you’ll spend, depends entirely on your decisions and needs.

But we can still break down all the expected costs of using this platform in detail:

ProductExpenses
Hosting/DomainYou need both to run a website. Good eCommerce-capable hosting plans start at around $5 a month, and go up depending on features and scale. A domain costs around $10/month.
Premium themesA premium third-party theme usually ranges between $20-100 a piece. Prices differ, depending on the design, added features, and more.
Plugins/Extra toolsAdditional functionality costs money – prices of such tools vary heavily.

First up: hosting. I’ve shown the example from Hostinger earlier. As we covered on our Hostinger review, the prices of this platform start from $1.39/month, when commiting to a long-term deal. However, I suggest moving upwards, and picking up a bigger plan.

They include more resources and features, crucial for an online business. Such plans cost $5/month and upwards. Often, they’ll include a free domain for the first year – later, you’ll have to renew it at around $10 a year.

Then, the premium themes: you don’t have to buy one, but I heavily suggest you do. Stock WordPress teams aren’t exactly lookers, and with premium themes, you can save yourself a lot of precious designing time. Many templates will include additional editing and management tools, as well as demo sites to make site building as simple as possible. At $20-100 a theme, it’s a pretty great deal.

Finally, plugins and extra tools. Here, your guess is better than mine: in order for WordPress to work as a suitable Shopify alternative, it needs to have plenty of additional functionalities. Those can be done with plugins – but since they’re made by independent creators, they’ll cost differently, too.

Even WordPress itself is on this boat – for instance, to sell different types of products on WooCommerce, you might need to pay an extra monthly fee!

woocommerce type of products to sell

All things aside, WordPress.org is one of the most interesting Shopify competitors, offering loads of freedom and a big creator community. It’s not a block builder – it’s a blank canvas for your artistry. If “lack of freedom” is what disappoints you in Shopify, you’ll feel right at home here.

Pros

  • Loads of excellent themes and plugins
  • Full editing freedom
  • Free: you choose what to pay for, and how much

Cons

  • Requires a lot of manual work and learning
  • The prices may quickly balloon up

4. SITE123 – a simple business solution

site123
eCommerce from$12.80/month
FeaturesSimple block builder
Free versionYes
Best forSmall business sites

SITE123 is a provider centered around relaxing, easy website building. If you like Shopify’s concept of pre-made blocks combining together to make a page, you’ll like it here as well. But it’s even more simplified. One could say…as simple as 1, 2, 3?

Most website builders – Shopify as well! – have one constant. That’s templates: pre-made demo pages you can later edit to your own liking, using the platform’s own editor. SITE123 goes a different way and doesn’t really use templates. At first, you select your site niche…

site123 choose website

And then, you’re right in the editor, with a basic pre-made site. It’s a very simple process: earning it a pretty positive SITE123 review in the process.

site123 site editor

Here, you get to simply choose from over 160 different sections to add on your site – there are option for contact forms, events, testimonials, team members, and yes, even store products.

site123 adding sections

As far as eCommerce itself goes, SITE123 has a fairly solid, if a bit minimalist online sales suite. Everything is rather simple to understand, and built specifically to cater for beginner users. Experts may (and will) find themselves missing certain features found on Shopify, but beginners should be perfectly alright.

site123 ecommerce products
site123 editing shop

Overall, SITE123 is a good, simple way to build a website with an online store. It’s incredibly simple – if you have little time, and want something that just works, this is a great pick.

How much does SITE123 cost?

SITE123 has a free plan – but aside from many obvious flaws (no custom domain available, SITE123 watermarks on your site) it has no eCommerce functionality. However, the other 4 plans do – here they are.

PlanFeaturesPrice
BasicGood basic business package$12.80/month
AdvancedMultilanguage and email capabilities for a more efficient business$19.80/month
ProfessionalAccepting credit cards and offering more multilanguage and email options$28.80/month
GoldAll eCommerce, and marketing tools, as well as 270 GB of storage$34.80/month

Worth noting: these prices are valid when buying for 12 months in advance. If you wish to commit for a longer plan, you can save more than double.

Looking at the plans, while the $12.80/month Basic plan does sound exciting, there’s one thing worth considering. You can only do 10 orders per month and accept payments via PayPal. That’s basically nothing.

Advanced plan isn’t much better either – the order limit is increased to a measly 50.

But it’s the Professional plan that really starts to be interesting. It allows to do up to 500 orders a month, and also lets accept payment via credit cards. And finally, the most expensive Gold plan also includes plenty of email marketing features, a lot of storage, and remove all the selling limits.

SITE123’s mission is clear. It wants to be an alternative to Shopify for those, who want a simple way to build a massive website. They pretty much nail that one down.

Pros

  • Very easy to use
  • Simple setup and editing process
  • Good discounts when buying long-term

Cons

  • Very limited customization
  • Limited eCommerce features

5. Zyro – the cheapest website builder

zyro
eCommerce from$9.90/month
FeaturesAI tools, intuitive grid building system
Free versionNo
Best forPersonal projects

Zyro is a relative newbie to website building, let alone eCommerce – but don’t let that turn you away. I was pleasantly surprised by the incredible combination of price and quality. It may not offer everything Shopify can – but what it can offer, it does at a massively reduced cost

First up – the themes. Zyro has over 100 options to choose from, and you can tell that they’re a pretty new brand. Why? Well – the templates look modern, beautiful, and unmistakably up-to-date. You can read an in-depth analysis of me swooning over them on my Zyro review!

zyro templates

There’s even an AI website generator – Zyro took a leaf out of Wix’s book, and offers a simple way to set up a website with all the elements that you need.

zyro ai select functions

But there’s only one site editor – it’s minimalist, and seriously easy to use.

zyro elements

As for the business features, here’s something Zyro has, and Shopify doesn’t – AI!

Yep, it’s not just for site building anymore. Zyro has a very solid AI tool list. They will not only show you what your visitors spot on your page, helping to optimize it for transactions.

zyro heatmap

There are also features for smart automated content writing!

zyro ai writer

For eCommerce, Zyro is using Ecwid, a third-party solution. It uses a different interface to Zyro itself, however, this is an established eCommerce platform – and it absolutely shows.

zyro ecommerce ecwid

You get all the core eCommerce features – real time tax calculation, selling physical and digital items, and more. Plus, there are no limits on how many product you can sell, and no commission fees, even on the cheapest plans.

Zyro is simple, Zyro is beautiful, and Zyro is cheap. If you want something that keeps your wallet fat, and your schedule free, Zyro is an excellent alternative to Shopify.

How much does Zyro cost?

Zyro has two plans that can be used to sell online: here they are.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s what these premium options look like:

PlanFeaturesPrice
eCommerceeCommerce features for selling online$9.90/month
eCommerce+Advance eCommerce: abandoned cart recovery, Amazon integration, and more$14.90/month

Neither of these plans have any major limitations, so really, I recommend either of them. The eCommerce+ plan only throws in a few excellent extras, like abandoned cart recovery, and Amazon integration, the tools that can help push your business even further.

All in all, Zyro is a solid option – with just the right features, and the right pricing.

Pros

  • Great templates
  • Excellent pricing
  • Very suitable for beginners

Cons

  • Very limited third-party features
  • Outsourced eCommerce suite

6. GoDaddy website builder – all business, all day

eCommerce from$17.49/month
FeaturesExcellent marketing features
Free versionNo
Best forBusinesses looking to find new audiences

You know what’s kinda boring? Building websites. Especially when you’re no designer, and just want to quickly build an online home to your business, without any fuss. Once the website is built, then you have to deal with all the other stuff – online marketing, advertisements, management, and so on. And if you don’t know anything about that, you can get into some serious trouble!

If that sounds a bit worrying, GoDaddy website builder is just the solution for you. It’s not just a website builder – it’s an all-in-one Websites+Marketing suite, combining helpful features not only to represent, but to grow your business.

It has a very simple editor, that’s easy to understand – you can then build your site using various pre-made elements and sections: I cover its specific features, templates, and design intricacies on my GoDaddy website builder review, so be sure to check it out.

godaddy editor
godaddy builder sections

Once that is done, you can move on to building your business – and with GoDaddy InSight, it’s going to be as easy as it gets.

As a concept, InSight is really just your “personal marketing assistant”. You start by telling it what your business is, and what do you want to do with it.

godaddy insight

Then, you immediately get a customized plan, giving you a list of tasks to complete in order to reach your goals. It can include sending out email newsletters, further building your site, and so on. Everything you need to do will be readily available – there’s no need to download third-party apps, or buy additional services.

godaddy insight steps

As you keep going, the assistant grades you on a scale from 0 to 100, comparing you to other websites with similar goals and tasks.

insight score on godaddy builder

And if one of your goals is selling, well, you’re in luck – GoDaddy InSight also helps to built an online store. The interface is simple, and everything is simple to understand: the way it should be.

godaddy builder editing product

That’s GoDaddy website builder for you – a killer combination of websites and marketing tools. It’s an excellent Shopify alternative if you want a business-centered solution, focused less on how your website looks, and more on what it does.

How much does GoDaddy website builder cost?

GoDaddy offers a total of 4 plans, but only 1 of them allows eCommerce.

At $17.49/month, the Ecommerce plan allows you to send out 25,000 monthly emails, connect your social media and post right through your GoDaddy interface, and of course – sell online.

It’s significantly cheaper than Shopify and its $29 entry plan, but there’s also one more thing to consider. Once your trial period ends, this plan will renew at a higher rate and cost $24.99/month. Still less, but still something to keep in mind.

But even with that, GoDaddy website builder is a budget-conscious, small-business-saving solution, many of you are certainly going to enjoy.

Pros

  • Excellent built-in marketing tools
  • Affordable eCommerce plan
  • Good for busy small businesses

Cons

  • Limited theme options
  • Gets more expensive once the initial period runs otu

7. Gator – cheap and clean Shopify alternative

eCommerce from$3.84/month
FeaturesQuick, automatically-generated websites
Free versionNo
Best forSmall businesses

Gator website builder has the cheapest eCommerce-capable plan on this list. But that’s only one part of its appeal. The other part is its incredibly fast Express editor – letting you make a fully custom online store without ever setting foot on a proper site editor.

No joke – the updated version of Gator has introduced an “Express” editing method, and its a much better option than its predecessor. On my Gator review, I highlighted is as the only viable option to use, and I’ll stand up to it here as well.

gator choose editor

When you go Express, you simply get to pick out your preferred site design options. Be it navigation style…

gator navigation

Or a color scheme…

gator choose colors

Once that is done, you’ll be presented with your site: where you can use the editor to add new sections, select from different layouts, and do the same design choices you had to do while signing up.

gator express editor

As for eCommerce, it tries to go simple too, using a basic setup wizard.

gator ecommerce store details

Adding, managing items is simple, same as setting up discount codes or setting up shipping.

gator adding new product

Gator is as basic as website builders come – and to some, that can be a bad thing. To others – quite the opposite. It’s all up to you to figure out, which side are you on!

How much does Gator cost?

Here’s one thing all sides can agree on: saving money rules. This is why this part is going to cause a lot of happy faces. Gator has three plans, and they all support eCommerce. Here they are:

PlanFeaturesPrice
Express StarteCommerce (w/ 3% transaction fee)$3.84/month
Express SiteBookings, appointments, priority support added – good for small businesses$5.99/month
Express StoreFull eCommerce features for selling online$9.22/month

Yep – that’s $3.84 for an eCommerce-capable website builder. Neat, right?

Well, yeah. With one little caveat: the dreaded transaction fee. On both Starter and Premium plans, you’ll have to pay an additional 3% transaction fee for each purchase.

However, the Express Store option for $9.22/month is still the cheapest eCommerce plan with no transaction fee. The most expensive one on Gator, sure – but still cheaper than everyone else.

So there you have it, people. If you want to get the cheapest option here – you found it. You’re welcome!

Pros

  • Vey low prices
  • Intuitive Express editor
  • Simple site management

Cons

  • No templates – site designs bound to look quite similar
  • Rather basic features

Shopify alternatives: final recommendations

Shopify is an excellent option for many types of users, but not everyone – and that’s fine. With so many excellent Shopify competitors, everyone can find something for them.

Some options more design freedom – others go the other way around, streamlining the process as much as possible to help make website building as accessible as possible. And others are just dead one cheap: letting you build an online business without a big upfront investment.

Either way, let’s recap the top alternatives to Shopify:

  • Wix is an excellent Shopify alternative – with so many excellent tools and features, it’s an all-rounded business option for everyone.
  • Squarespace has brilliant templates, and excellent in-house business tools, perfect for a contemporary business.
  • WordPress is all about the freedom: freedom on how you spend your money, and edit your site.
  • SITE123 is a Shopify alternative, suited well for small business users who want to easily build a solid website.
  • Zyro is cheap, and offers excellent templates – acting as a modern Shopify alternative on a budget.
  • GoDaddy Website Builder has brilliant business tools, letting anyone run a business and build a website on one platform.
  • Gator Website Builder is the cheapest Shopify alternative for selling online, offering an effortless way to build and edit your site.

And there you have it – these are the best options out there. Pick a Shopify alternative that suits you best, and make an online business to remember.

Shopify alternative FAQs

Why shouldn’t you use Shopify?

Shopify’s main flaw is that it’s expensive – with the plans ranging from $29 to $299 a month, it’s a bit too steep for many small businesses. Plus, you might need to pay extra for templates, and several selling tools.

What is the best alternative to Shopify?

Wix is the best overall alternative to Shopify, due to its incredible versatility and customizability. Other good options include Squarespace, WordPress, SITE123 and more.

Is there a free alternative to Shopify?

WordPress is a good free alternative to Shopify, considering that it’s free software you can use at will. However – running and maintaining WordPress will still cost money in hosting and domain costs.

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