Gone are the days when you’d stress over the cost and inconvenience of custom websites. Since the entry of website builders, anyone, regardless of their level in tech expertise can start and run an e-commerce website without running to Google every five minutes. If you are planning to start an online store, below is a comparison of the most reputable site builders available in the market and their monthly fees:
Since its inception in 2004, Shopify has been internationally recognized as the site builder of choice for over 800,000 online store owners. Shopify offers you a simple dashboard, which will be a breeze especially if you have interacted with WordPress or OpenCart before. Despite their many sales features, Shopify is easy to use and manage. The Android and iOS Shopify apps are available for store management on the go. Shopify is available in many countries as India – United Kingdom to create your online store
Their app store has hundreds of apps categorized into sales, statistics, analytics, marketing, and other relevant categories to help you select. They offer vibrant, customizable themes that enable you to alter your sidebar, storefront and shopping cart as you see fit. You can also use Shopify Liquid, their unique coding language, to further customize your theme.
All Shopify plans offer you the essential tools needed to run an e-commerce store efficiently. However, as you go up the tier, you get access to features like shipping discounts, statistical information, and professional report generation, among others.
Shopify lite: $9/month. This plan is suitable if you have another site and want to use Shopify to add e-commerce functionality. It gives you a ‘buy’ button, a shopping cart and payment management.
Basic Shopify: $29/month
Advanced Shopify: $299/month:
Shopify Plus: charged by custom quote
Another great DIY website builder, Wix is a great option for you if you are looking to have a vibrant storefront for your prospective clients. If you prefer style to storefront functionality, then Wix is the solution for you. Their 38 themes are beautiful and modern and will come in handy if you intend to add a personal touch to your site.
However, its e-commerce options are somewhat limited. You can only add and divide products into respective categories, have the ‘Add to Cart’ button, have online payment and discount options, and order stats. On the Wix App Market, you can get more widgets and apps to expand your storefront’s design, features and cart functions. These functions would be great for a beginner looking to sell a few items via their site, but if you need a more robust website with more prominent functionalities, Wix may not be the best option. Scalability is an issue with Wix sites, meaning that they cannot adequately handle the massive traffic spikes that come with having a large online business.
E-commerce plan: $17/month: free domain, 20GB disk space, and advertising vouchers
VIP plan: $25/month: unlimited bandwidth and VIP priority support
With over 200,000 active users as of 2019, SiteBuilder is one of the best website builders in the market. SiteBuilder offers you a free domain name and keeps your site clutter free by not having ads through your first year of service.
With SiteBuilder, you do not have to worry about glitches as they have a six-month record uptime of 99.99%, along with the friendliest 24/7 live chat customer service. Customization and product addition is easy, just a few clicks and drag-and-drop will do the trick. On a good day, you might land a 50% discount, if you purchase a 12 or 24-month plan. It is a perfect site builder for beginners, with their low-cost fees, user-friendly interface and tons of free templates.
For $9.22/month, you will get access to their e-commerce functionality, which is a record cheap compared to other site builders.
Most site builders charge around $50 for email functionality, and G-Suite integration. Site 123’s significant advantage is their free email package that is available in three out of four of their plans. With one account, you can have an infinite number of sites; all you need to do is choose an annual plan, pay and create your websites. You can sign in via Facebook or Google+. Their customer support for e-commerce is reliable and fast, and so is their record uptime.
Their app store gives you access to analytics, marketing, and webmaster tools, which may cover for the lack of essential features on your storefront like shipping options and auto-add for products. Their selection of themes is intuitive, and mobile-responsive, but relatively similar. Site123 is excellent for beginners; it requires little tech expertise and gives you a shopping cart and PayPal as a payment gateway. However, if you are a veteran seeking better functionality and customer support, Site123 may not be your best option.
E-commerce functions are only available for two plans:
Advanced: $22/month, $15.80/month for a whole year, $13.80/month for two years and $11.80/month for three years
Advanced offers you 30GB disk space, two mailboxes, maximum of 50 products, and 15GB of traffic.
Professional: $30/month, $21.80/month for one year, $17.80/month for two years, $14.80/month for three years: 90GB disk space, 45GB traffic, 500 products maximum, and five mailboxes.
3dCart is an awesome site builder as it offers its clients numerous selling options, the essential one being social media marketing. With 3dCart, you can sell on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, as well as create a business blog, newsletters, and email. Moreover, there are no transaction fees or bandwidth restrictions; and their interface is simple and straightforward.
All four of 3dCart plans offer you domain registration, over 50 mobile responsive themes, over 100 payment gateways, API access, Facebook stores, and an inbuilt blog. With basic, plus and pro store plans, you can upload an unlimited number of products.
Startup store plan: $9.50/month-100 products maximum, and one user only.
Basic store plan: $14.50/month- 2 users.
Plus store plan: $39.50/month-5 users.
Pro plan: $144.50/month: 15 users
The above comparison will enable you to make an informed choice based on your budget and basic requirements.