The 6 Best Ecommerce Website Builders 2024

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Are you thinking about building a business online? Want to find a new digital base for your online store? We’ve reviewed the best website builders on the market to help match you with the right fit, analyzing everything from sales features to pricing to support.

Overall, Shopify is our top ecommerce website builder. It has the best sales features, such as multichannel integration, onsite testimonials, and great scalability for larger stores.

6 Best Ecommerce Website Builders

  1. Shopify Best for growing businesses
  2. Wix Best for emerging small businesses
  3. Squarespace Best for stylish and creative businesses
  4. BigCommerce Best for complex and large online businesses
  5. Square Online Best for budget-conscious businesses
  6. GoDaddy Best for small and hobby-based businesses

But perhaps you want to focus on building a stylish online store, or maybe you’re looking for the most affordable option to start selling online? Whatever your preference, you can read about each top ecommerce website builder’s pros and cons in the sections below.

If you’d prefer instant, personalized answers, no problem! Take our 4-question quiz and find your perfect ecommerce builder.

What products would you like to sell?

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What is an Ecommerce Website Builder?

An ecommerce website builder is a website builder that lets you sell online. These builders offer ecommerce-friendly plans, equipped with powerful sales features to help you grow and manage your online store.

When choosing an appropriate home for your business, the best things to look out for are scalability, ease of use in the editor and backend dashboard, and the quality of the features and tools.

However, not all website builders provide ecommerce capabilities, and not all physical stores want to build a website. If you’re looking for a comprehensive solution, a dedicated ecommerce platform could be more suitable for your needs.

What is an Ecommerce Platform?

An ecommerce platform is a website builder that lets you run your business and handle trade through the platform. It should provide you with two things:

  • An online store where you can list and market your products to customers
  • A place where you can successfully manage and grow your business online

This is not to say your business must operate this way – many ecommerce platforms are built to run in tandem with physical stores, like Shopify’s POS – but what differs is that ecommerce platforms allow you to run your business through them internally, something not all website builders permit.

When deciding if an ecommerce platform is right for you as opposed to an ecommerce website builder, we recommend considering factors such as budget, the size of your business, niche features you might require, and whether or not your business is your primary focus.

An ecommerce platform is ideal if you’re looking to start and grow an online business, but not if you can’t spare the time to manage it.

Compare the 6 Best Ecommerce Website Builders

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100+ including: Shopify Payments, Paypal, Klarna

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11 including: Paypal, Wix Payments, Stripe, Square

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3: Stripe, Paypal, Square

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36 including: Paypal, Square, Stripe, Klarna

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4: Credit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Square

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Paypal, Stripe, and Square

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Visit Shopify Visit Wix View Squarespace View BigCommerce Visit Square Visit GoDaddy

We conducted hundreds of hours of research and testing to bring you this list of the top ecommerce website builders. Our dedicated sections will reveal what we like and dislike about each platform, as well as explain who will benefit from using it.

You can read more about our methodology and how we configured our star ratings in the dedicated section at the end of the article.

More Information

#1. Shopify

Best for growing businesses looking for ultimate ecommerce success

Not ideal for users who want a simple or design-focused editing experience

Editor's Choice


Best overall ecommerce website builder



out of 5
  • Supports big inventories
  • Popular with our users
  • Heavily reliant on apps

Free trial available

Paid Plans: $29 - $299 / month


  • Strong suite of sales features
  • Good for multi-channel integration
  • Huge app store


  • Reliant of third party apps
  • Customizability is limited
  • Transaction fees based on payment option
Shopify Review

Shopify Overview

Shopify is the best ecommerce website builder overall, especially for large or growing stores selling over 10 products. Shopify offers high-quality sales features to its users, such as a customizable checkout page and abandoned cart recovery, as well as marketing integrations with platforms such as TikTok and Instagram.

Its high score of 4.8 out of 5 in our research is thanks to Shopify’s continued efforts to improve itself against its competitors and add new features, such as being able to manage up to 1,000 locations.

That said, while Shopify is powerful, it is expensive, especially in comparison to cheaper alternatives, such as Square Online. Plus, the additional fees from Shopify’s app market can stack up quickly since some basic features, like scheduling tools, aren’t built into Shopify’s base offering. We also found it difficult to use during the initial set up, meaning you’ll need to set aside some time to learn the platform and its editor which isn’t ideal if you want to get up and running quickly.

Because of this, we’d recommend Shopify for businesses looking to scale and expand their inventories. It’s the perfect home for established businesses looking to upgrade their system as opposed to small businesses in the early stages of life.

  • Shopify Pricing: Ecommerce plans range between $29 and $299 per month (billed annually). There’s no free plan, but you can take advantage of the 3-day free trial and then get three months for $1 per month on the Shopify Basic plan.

For an in-depth look, read our full Shopify Review.

Shopify has the strongest sales features of any ecommerce website builder we’ve tested. Its score rose 4.2% since last year, from 4.5 out of 5 to 4.7 out of 5. This is because of the inclusion of digital product selling, giving users the option to sell more types of products online.

Shopify has a near-infinite list of ecommerce tools to help boost your sales performance, such as:

  • Over 100 payment gateways (including Shopify Payments) to give more choice to customers
  • Unlimited products across all plans so your business can grow endlessly
  • One-page checkout customization to match your brand and improve the customer journey
  • Multichannel integration for selling and marketing with the likes of Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc.

Shopify also has one of the best inventory systems out there, meaning you’ll have no trouble managing your online store no matter how large your product list grows.

Shopify has seen the largest increase of any builder year-on-year in this category, rising nearly 10% from 4.2 to 4.6 out of 5 in our research scores, tying with Wix. The main draw of Shopify used to be its advanced sales toolkit – while this continues to be the case, Shopify’s web-building features have also improved, with more focus on internal features rather than plugins and apps. Of course, you can still browse Shopify’s impressive app market, but having these features readily available already saves you time and energy.

Some of the newly implemented internal features include onsite testimonials, audio uploads, product comparison functionality, and suggested purchase popups. All of these are useful for online stores, whether you’re looking to increase customer trust or encourage more sales.

The improvement in Shopify’s website features since last year, including in storage and site speed, makes the ecommerce platform a great all-rounder for marketing and growing your site.

Shopify’s support score increased by 2.6% since last year, resulting in a rating of 3.9 out of 5. A big part of this is how easy our users found it to find answers in Shopify’s knowledge center, meaning you don’t need to rely on support staff to resolve every issue.

It also performed well in our quality of support vs price point research since every support channel is available from Shopify’s cheapest plan. These features include:

  • 24/7 phone support
  • Social media support
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • Community forum
  • Email support
  • Help center
  • Video tutorials
  • Advanced specialist support

What’s new with Shopify this month?

  • Shopify merchants broke records on Black Friday, achieving $9.3 billion in sales over the holiday weekend. As our top ecommerce website builder for online stores, we were particularly excited to learn that 55,000 Shopify stores had their best sales day ever on the platform, and over 17,5000 businesses made their first sale with Shopify during Black Friday Cyber Monday.

Shopify in Action: Attn: Grace

Alexandra Fennell
Alexandra Fennel
Alexandra Fennell is a passionate advocate for women’s health and an expert in ownable differentiation, having practiced patent law for many years. As CoFounder and Co-CEO of Attn: Grace, she’s leading her team on a mission to center women’s wellness as they age in a way that’s accessible, empathetic, informative, and empowering. The small core team at Attn: Grace is composed of women from all walks of life. They are working mothers, women of color, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and they care deeply about making safe, sustainable products designed to support health as we age.
Shopify is an invaluable tool for ecommerce retailers. It grows with businesses.


How long have you been using Shopify for your online store?

We’ve used Shopify since Attn: Grace’s founding in 2020.

What do you like most about using Shopify to build and run your online store?

Shopify’s many beneficial features have allowed us to launch a successful ecommerce business during a pandemic.

It’s customization apps and analytics have improved our SEO strategies and created a more enjoyable customer experience as they shop online. Its security features and certifications ensure data protection and privacy, building trust between us and our customer base.

We’ve also used Shopify’s POS features to track our sales when we have pop-up stores. Crucially, Shopify also helps optimize websites for mobile viewing, making them accessible to customers no matter where they are.

Is there anything you'd change about it?

Though Shopify offers an extensive app library, I think integrating these features into its interface will make the platform more affordable and customizable for businesses. Built-in tools are easier to use, and they would help retailers create attractive, optimized websites more quickly and efficiently.

Would you recommend Shopify to other businesses looking to build an online store?

Shopify is an invaluable tool for ecommerce retailers. It grows with businesses. Shopify Plus helps scale businesses instantaneously and adapt to changing demands and patterns in consumer behavior.

More Information

#2. Wix

Best for small businesses just starting out

Not ideal for online stores looking to expand their operations


Best value for money



out of 5
  • Best internal features
  • 500+ free store templates
  • Best overall value

Free trial available

Paid Plans: $16 - $159 / month


  • Highest customer score in our research
  • Excellent sales features
  • Supports 180 languages


  • Can’t switch template once site is live
  • Range of options can feel overwhelming
  • Pay more for the best features
Wix Review

Wix Overview

Wix is a hugely popular drag-and-drop ecommerce website builder, with over 110 million users worldwide. Wix knows a thing or two about creating websites and online stores – so much so, that it ties in with Shopify for the top overall score of 4.8 out of 5, a 2.4% rise from last year’s score of 4.7.

It dominates as a website builder and Wix’s editor is incredibly beginner-friendly, bringing a quality and creative control that other online store builders can’t touch.

While the score may be tied, Wix does have to step down from the winner’s podium due to one thing: Shopify has better sales features. Wix still has powerful ecommerce capabilities, such as Wix Bookings and unique product presentation tools, but it can’t beat Shopify’s more impressive range and your storage on Wix is limited unless you upgrade to more expensive plans.

Wix does succeed in more than one area though, most notably being our best value for money ecommerce website builder. It scores 4.4 out of 5 in this category, the best in our research, thanks to its scalable and feature-rich plans.

However, we would only recommend Wix for smaller online stores, especially if you lack any building experience. Its tools and features are great, but they aren’t quite good enough to deal with a large or complex inventory, especially if the business is expanding rapidly. You’ll likely need to switch platforms down the line to fully support your growing online store.

  • Wix Pricing: Ecommerce plans range between $27 and $159 per month (billed annually). We’d recommend the Core plan ($27/mo) for those just starting out on their ecommerce journey.

For an in-depth look, read our full Wix Ecommerce Review.

Wix’s sales features have only gotten better over the years, scoring 4.5 out of 5 in this year’s research. What started off as a modest ecommerce offering has now grown into something to rival even the biggest of online store builders.

Some of our favorite ecommerce features include:

  • Abandoned cart recovery – send automatic emails and regain lost sales by encouraging customers to finalize purchases
  • Multichannel integration – sell on Instagram and Facebook without installing any apps
  • “Buy now” and “Add to cart” buttons – create an easier shopping experience and increase sales
  • Printable shipping labels – develop your brand image by personalizing your packaging
  • Store card details – customers can pay-on-the-go using their stored card details in the “wallet” area of the checkout
  • Dropshipping – use a third-party company and save the hassle of packaging and shipping yourself
  • Integration with Shipstation – provide a seamless shipping experience for your customers

Another way to add ecommerce features to your Wix online store is to use apps. Wix has a formidable app store which means you can boost your selling functionality even further. Be careful, though – like Shopify, lots of Wix’s apps come with extra costs that can quickly mount up.

Thankfully, Wix websites automatically come with SSL certificates at no extra cost. This is really important because it means customers can safely submit their details through your website.

Wix also used to have pretty basic inventory features and lacked a stock-level management alert system. However, we can report that Wix has improved on this functionality since the last time we tested. The only downside Wix has is that there is still a 2.9% + $0.30 transaction fee, but an additional 48 payment gateway options to choose from since our last round of testing.

While we tend to praise Wix for its website features, Shopify has actually tied with Wix after this last research session, with both builders now scoring 4.6 out of 5 for website features in our rankings.

Unlike Shopify though, Wix tops the ranking in our best website builder list, due in no small part to its fantastic features. Its ecommerce offering is no exception since users wanting to build an online store still get access to all of the same wonderful features and unique tools, such as:

  • Content Manager
  • Bookings
  • Scheduling
  • Events
  • Ticketing
  • Pricing Plans

Wix improved its website features score in our rankings by 4.5% since last year. This was due to improvements to its internalization and site speed, with Wix now supporting 180 languages and its site speed being measured at 17% faster; important for users who want to get full use of all Wix’s tools and expand their market reach.

Wix has the best help and support of any ecommerce website builder we’ve tested with a score of 4.1 out of 5. The support options it offers are:

  • Phone support
  • Social media support
  • Community forum
  • Email support
  • Video tutorials
  • 24/7 on-page editor support
  • In-depth knowledge base

Wix’s score actually increased since last year by an impressive 6.6% from 3.8 out of 5. This was due to a new feature introduced by Wix called Specialist Support, which puts you in contact with a dedicated Wix expert to solve your issues in your language.

What’s new with Wix this month?

  • The Wix AI Meta Tag Creator will join Wix’s suite of SEO tools, allowing users to save time and effort by instantly generating meta tags that are optimized for search engines. The feature aims to boost search visibility for Wix website owners.

Wix in Action: Off Highway Van

Off Highway Van logo
A.J. Turner
Marketing Director
A.J. Turner is the Marketing Director and Product Manager for Off Highway Van. Off Highway Van creates vehicles and products for wilderness exploration, making dreams come true for those looking to get themselves and their loved ones out into the remote places of the world in a campervan.
Its integrations with Quickbooks, Google, and other software we use makes it simple to do everything in one place — and ensure nothing is lost in the shuffle.


How long have you been using Wix for your online store?

We’ve been using Wix since 2016 for our business. We utilize the online store features, as well as the booking services.

What do you like most about using Wix to build and run your online store?

The ease of use and simplicity is the best part. Similarly, its integrations with Quickbooks, Google, and other software we use makes it simple to do everything in one place — and ensure nothing is lost in the shuffle.

Is there anything you'd change about it?

We would like a little more functionality in editing. We’re a creative group here, and often the abilities of Wix are limited. Fortunately, we are experts with Adobe and have formed our own workarounds to get our branding, graphics, and creative content to work on the website in a way that reflects the quality of our engineering in our products.

Would you recommend Wix to other businesses looking to build an online store?

Yes — we’d recommend Wix. It’s a great platform for a variety of businesses. We certainly are unique in how we utilize it to sell custom-built campervans and products for those campervans, but we’ve been successful in making it work for our business.

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#3. Squarespace

Best for high-performing and stylish ecommerce websites

Not ideal for large or industry-leading businesses


Easiest to use



out of 5
  • Easiest to build with
  • Great-looking templates
  • Can be limiting

Free trial available

Paid Plans: $16 - $49 / month


  • More omni-channel selling options
  • Enhanced third-party integrations
  • Most visually-striking templates


  • Business plan price increase
  • No autosave in editor
  • Can't handle larger stores
Squarespace Review

Squarespace Overview

Best for small stores or those looking to sell digital products online, Squarespace is renowned for its creative finesse. Stunning templates combined with a good inventory system and lots of quality features, such as promotional pop-ups, make Squarespace an attractive choice. That’s why it sits in third place in our rankings with an overall score of 4.4 out of 5, a slight drop of -2.3% from last year’s score of 4.5 out of 5.

However, what we really want to highlight is the fact that Squarespace is the most user-friendly ecommerce website builder, scoring 4.3 out of 5 in our ease of use testing. Its drag-and-drop editor and library of pre-designed elements are just a few of the reasons why it’s the easiest builder to get to grips with.

Squarespace editor gives you quite a lot of creative freedom to make a site however you want, yet the results never seem to be ugly. The intuitiveness of the editor is great for beginners to get to grips with website building.

But what about the business side? Squarespace is a really strong all-around choice for combining a stylish storefront with classic ecommerce features, such as creating discounts and promotional pop-ups.

With its professional templates, Squarespace will really show off your products and let your storefront shine. It’s a solid choice for smaller online stores if you don’t want to sacrifice design for a powerful backend, as long as you don’t outgrow its range of ecommerce features.

  • Squarespace Pricing: Ecommerce plans range between $23 and $49 per month (billed annually). All plans come with unlimited products but you’ll need to upgrade to the Basic Commerce plan ($27/mo) to remove transaction fees.

For an in-depth look, read our full Squarespace Review.

Out of all the ecommerce builders we tested, Squarespace saw the biggest increase in overall sales features score since last year, rising nearly 9% from 3.4 to 3.7 out of 5 due to an increased number of payment options for customers like a Buy Now Pay Later scheme. While not on the same level as Wix or Shopify, Squarespace still provides a good ecommerce service, especially for smaller stores and art-focused sellers.

Squarespace is best suited for those with a smaller inventory, or for a store specializing in digital products or online courses. The builder comes with a limited but functional in-house stock management, as well as revenue reports, stock-level email reports, and strong marketing tools for emails and socials to help connect with customers.

We were particularly impressed by Squarespace’s promotional features, such as product discounts, since the tool gives business owners greater control over setting deals and displaying them. Selling is also now available through social platforms, like Facebook, and marketplaces, such as Etsy.

With Squarespace, you can sell unlimited products on any of its ecommerce plans. Plus, you have the option of either uploading them in bulk or one at time, giving you total control over your inventory. And, as mentioned previously, Squarespace is great for digital products – it recently introduced Squarespace Courses to users, allowing businesses to sell online courses, such as fitness videos or tutorials on writing.

Squarespace is the only ecommerce website builder to have seen a decrease in this category, scoring 4.2 out of 5. Squarespace’s inability to keep up with the number of extra features being rolled out by competitors resulted in the fall, while its competitors Wix and Shopify have only increased their outputs.

However, Squarespace still has a lot of great website features. Increased third-party integrations have brought its app store Squarespace Extensions up to 32 high-quality plugins. Plus, with a handy booking system and digital product selling available, Squarespace has enough functionality to operate a great online store. It also improved 66.67% in our category for storage, going from a 3 to a 5 out of 5, and additionally improved its site speed by 9%.

Squarespace improved its rating by 4.3% from last year, resulting in a new score of 3.7 out of 5 for help and support. It offers full support, such as:

  • Live chat Monday to Friday
  • 24/7 social media support via Twitter
  • 24/7 email support
  • In-depth knowledge base
  • Community forum
  • Video tutorials

What’s new with Squarespace this month?

  • Squarespace recently launched Squarespace Refresh 2023, unveiling a wide range of new features and upcoming tools for its users. For ecommerce stores, there are plenty of exciting things to mention! To name just a few, if you’re interested in monetizing your skills, check out Squarespace Courses, and if you want to streamline your invoicing process, Client Invoicing helps you easily manage everything from your Squarespace dashboard.

Squarespace in Action: Spanish and Go

Squarespace User Q&A headshot Spanish and Go
Jim Fricker II
Jim Fricker II is the co-founder of Spanish and Go, a business with a mission to connect English speakers to the Spanish-speaking world. Spanish and Go produces travel and culture related videos on their Youtube channel to share different aspects of Spanish-speaking countries to their audience of over 160,000. Jim, along with his wife and co-founder May Larios, also co-host the weekly Spanish education podcast Learn Spanish and Go, share travel and language tips on their blog, and host Spanish Immersion Retreats in Mexico.
I like the ease of use and flexibility of running our store on Squarespace. We can quickly create new products, update our inventory, and add discount codes.


How long have you been using Squarespace for your online store?

We’ve been running our business website on Squarespace since 2016, and we’ve been running our online store on Squarespace since the beginning one 2022.

What do you like most about using Squarespace to build and run your online store?

I like the ease of use and flexibility of running our store on Squarespace. We can quickly create new products, update our inventory, and add discount codes. A huge benefit for us is the ability to sell subscriptions. We use this feature to offer a payment plan for our Spanish Immersion Retreats after a customer has paid their deposit. It’s also convenient to use blocks to insert our offerings into different articles on our site.

Is there anything you'd change about it?

I wish Squarespace would allow for the option to offer payment installments and a pay-in-full option for the same product. Currently, a product has to be either a one-time payment or a subscription. While most of our customers prefer the flexibility of a payment plan, others would rather pay in full. Currently, our solution to this is to send them a link to what is technically another product in Squarespace for the same event they’ll be attending, only with the price being the full amount.

Would you recommend Squarespace to other businesses looking to build an online store?

I would recommend Squarespace to other businesses looking to build an online store especially because Squarespace offers plan tiers that are easy to switch between as their business grows.

More Information

#4. BigCommerce

Best for scalable ecommerce with robust sales features

Not ideal for businesses looking to manage in-person and digital sales


Best for SEO



out of 5
  • Built for retailers
  • Great SEO
  • Not the easiest to use

Free trial available

Paid Plans: $29 - $299 / month


  • Excellent SEO features
  • Great for scaling your business
  • Abandoned cart recovery


  • Not the most user-friendly
  • Can be expensive
  • Third-party apps needed
BigCommerce Review

BigCommerce Overview

BigCommerce is a well-known ecommerce website builder that boasts some big names – including Clarks and Ben & Jerry’s – as clients. And it’s no wonder! Online stores backed by BigCommerce have been recorded as growing at almost double the industry average.

In our research, BigCommerce came second for its sales features, scoring 4.6 out of 5 in this category. This is thanks to the sheer breadth of tools it offers, including plenty of multi-channel selling options, as well as the ability to accept international payments.

It also performed reasonably well when it came to website features, too. Its score of 3.9 out of 5 puts it in fourth place, a rise of 7.8% from last year’s score of 3.6. You can expect a range of good in-house features, such as customer reviews, email marketing, and search filters.

BigCommerce’s star feature is its SEO capabilities, which we gave a 5 out of 5 in our research. You’ll be equipped with everything you need, from metadata to 301 redirects, to help your business succeed online.

This is all built into BigCommerce’s library of themes, making it the best choice if you’re looking to really grow your online store into a large and successful business. However, we don’t recommend using it if your business is in the early stages of development or if you’re hoping to manage both in-store and online sales in one central hub. It’s not the easiest to use, and its steep prices reflect the large number of tools and features you get.

  • BigCommerce Pricing: Ecommerce plans range between $29 and $299 per month (billed annually), identical to Shopify. You can get started with BigCommerce’s 15-day free trial.

For an in-depth look, read our full BigCommerce Review.

BigCommerce wants to see your store grow and succeed and this is evident in the number and quality of features it offers. Its score hasn’t moved since we last tested it, but that is just a testament to how robust the sales features are. In our research, we gave it a 4.6 out of 5 overall for this category – the second-best sales features score after Shopify.

You can upload products in bulk to save you time, and there’s no limit on the number of products you can sell, making it ideal for stores with large inventories. You can also keep track of your products and customers using BigCommerce’s analytics reports. This is an important strength of the builder, with these reports available:

  • Store overview
  • Real-time reports
  • Customer reports
  • Abandoned cart reports
  • Merchandising reports

BigCommerce also offers AI-powered ecommerce features, including text generation to help business owners with product descriptions and general website copy. The tool will also produce relevant recommendations for customers with the aim of increasing conversions and improving customer engagement, saving you time and energy when building your online store.

Abandoned cart recovery is already built in, plus you can customize the email that gets sent out to customers. You can even combine this with coupon codes to entice your customers back to your store. Most importantly, BigCommerce’s stock management system is second to none. It can cope with complex, multi-variation inventories, and its functionality beats even the likes of Shopify.

Like Shopify, you are slightly reliant on third-party apps with BigCommerce, though to a lesser extent. The store has over 600 apps to choose from, giving you the extra functionality you may need if you have ambitions to run a large store.

While BigCommerce is certainly capable of running big online stores, and with an overall score of 4.1 out of 5 in our research, it comfortably slots into fourth place. You can automatically sell physical and digital goods as well as services. And you don’t need apps to enable these – you can just start selling!

BigCommerce also has an excellent SEO suite, giving all online store owners access to change basic SEO features like metadata, tags, and product filtering as well as advanced SEO capabilities such as 301 redirects, microdata, and CDNs. In our research, BigCommerce’s SEO score remains a perfect 5 out of 5. This is important to help your online store rank well in search engines and get more traffic to your pages.

BigCommerce also recently increased its storage space limit amounts, raising its storage score by 33.33% and its overall website feature score by 7.8% from 3.6 to 3.9 out of 5.

BigCommerce has all the common help and support features like a knowledge center, 24/7 phone support, 24/7 live chat support, as well as email support. So why does it only have a 3.4 out of 5 in our research, the second-lowest on this list?

Well, BigCommerce has actually dropped since our last testing, where we rated it 3.9 out of 5. This is due to the fact that BigCommerce no longer appears to commit to a zero-carbon offsetting agreement. The amount of power needed to keep multiple stores on servers, especially stores as large as BigCommerce specializes in, is a lot. To combat all the carbon released in the atmosphere in their upkeep, many website builders offset this by committing to a scheme to reduce emissions.

BigCommerce has seemingly abandoned its offsetting commitment, which is disappointing for a large tech organization. We reduced its offsetting score down to 0 out of 5 from last year’s 5 out of 5, bringing down its average score.

What’s new with BigCommerce this month?

  • BigCommerce has been named as an Inc. 2023 Power Partner for its impressive work as an ecommerce website builder. While this isn’t necessarily an update on the product itself, we think it’s worth mentioning because it really highlights BigCommerce’s authority and value in the industry.

BigCommerce in Action: Best Price Nutrition

Logo for Best Price Nutrition showing a white icon of a man showing off his muscles
John Frigo
eCommerce Manager
John Frigo runs three sites on BigCommerce, including Best Price Nutrition - an online store that specializes in supplements.
[…] everything on Big Commerce just seems to be a bigger headache, take longer and be less streamlined than Shopify.


How long have you been using BigCommerce for your online store?

I chose Big Commerce for my store because Shopify kicked us off their platform. Over the past year Shopify has been kicking a lot of sellers off their platform for selling completely legal products. In the past many people would have issues with Shopify payments but the platform itself never kicked people off. More recently Shopify is beginning to act like a platform like eBay or Amazon dictating what can and can’t be sold which is something they were against in the past and said they wouldn’t do in the past. We moved to Big Commerce because they pride themselves on staying out of peoples way and assured us if for some reason down the road there was a policy change they would give us 6 months to re-platform compared to Shopify who gave us no warning, booted us and never responded to inquiries as to why. Several months later, Shopify admitted it was a mistake but we’d already moved on.

What do you like most about using BigCommerce and what would you change?

We were in a rush so where as normally you’d spend 3-6 months re-platforming we did it in about 5 weeks. At first I hated Big Commerce. I will say its grown on me but the app store is lacking and its lacking many common sense very basic features. Just to give one example we do a lot of blogging and content on our site. Big Commerce’s backend of their blog doesn’t have a search function so if I need to edit a blog, add a link to a blog etc I have to comb through hundreds of pages each of which contain 10 blog posts and try to find the one I’m looking for. There’s a lot of very dumb things like that and everything on Big Commerce just seems to be a bigger headache, take longer and be less streamlined than Shopify.

Big Commerce makes it easy to add products but their inventory management is terrible. If you want to sell into the negative while waiting for stock Big Commerce will allow that but inventory isn’t tracked below zero. That means if you were to do a pre-order or wanted to sell say 50 units into the negative when waiting for a shipment you’ll have no idea how many units past 0 you sold.

Would you recommend BigCommerce to other businesses looking to build an online store?

Overall I’m happy with how our store turned out. Would I recommend Big Commerce? That’s a tough question. Shopify is a superior platform in almost every way but you can’t rely on them not to shutdown your store on a whim and, even if it’s a mistake, your business will be destroyed waiting months to find out it was a mistake, so I’m torn whether to recommend clients of mine start on Shopify or BigCommerce.

More Information

#5. Square Online

Best for selling online for free

Not ideal for established businesses with larger inventories

Square Online

Best free plan



out of 5
  • Sell on its free plan
  • Quick onboarding
  • Outdated templates

Free plan available

Paid Plans: $12 - $79 / month


  • Customizable checkout
  • Built-in marketing tools
  • Improved app market


  • Paid plans pricing increased
  • Lack of payment gateway variety
  • Lacks tools to support growth
Square Online Review

Square Online Overview

In our most recent round of testing, Square Online earned an overall score of 4 out of 5. This is mainly because Square Online’s previously quick editing process has become overly complicated with its new dashboard – this is something we noticed during hands-on testing when customizing our Square Online websites. As a result, Square Online’s ease of use score fell by 4.6% from 3.9 to 3.7 out of 5.

Its real selling point, though, is its great value for money. In this category, Square Online scores an excellent 4.2 out of 5, sitting just behind Wix. This accolade is largely down to the fact that Square Online is the only builder on this list that lets you sell for free – in fact, it’s our top choice if you’re looking for a free ecommerce platform. That means you can get started without spending a single cent and choose to upgrade when you want to.

Although, it’s worth mentioning that its free plan is obviously more limited than its paid packages. For example, you won’t be able to use a custom domain on the free plan, and you’ll also have Square ads to contend with.

But Square Online isn’t stingy with its ecommerce features. From generous multi-channel integrations to quick access to revenue and traffic insights, Square Online has an excellent bank of tools to help you get online and start selling.

Because of all this, we recommend Square Online for small businesses just starting out. You can start selling without a premium plan, meaning you don’t need to sacrifice any earnings to build your online presence which is useful in the early stages of a business! We know it can take time to get things off the ground.

  • Square Online Pricing: You can start selling with Square Online’s free plan. To remove ads and unlock more features, you’ll need one of the two premium plans – Plus ($29/mo) or Premium ($79/mo).

For an in-depth look, read our full Square Online Review.

Square Online’s overall score for sales features rose by 2.1%, from 3.5 to 3.6 out of 5 since we last tested. This was due to major improvements made to the ecommerce website builder, such as fraud detection, promotional capabilities, and a completely customizable checkout page.

Here’s a quick look at what you can expect from Square Online:

  • Sell unlimited products even on its free plan, giving more users access to ecommerce capabilities
  • A variety of shipping options are available, including curbside pickup
  • Automatically generate shipping labels and take advantage of shipping discounts
  • Accept payments through popular gateways, including PayPal, Apple Pay, Stripe, and Square
  • Sell on Facebook and Instagram to meet your customers where they’re naturally shopping already

Adding products and product variations is extremely easy, and Square Online’s paid plans let you include small labels like “on-sale” or “only a few left!” to create a sense of urgency around special deals.

Plus, if you want to host a pop-up store, or open a brick-and-mortar business alongside your online store, you can integrate your website with Square’s Point of Sale (POS). This can sync up with your online stock inventory, too.

The variety of delivery options available makes Square Online the ideal choice if you’re planning on starting a food or drink delivery business. It even has a self-serve option, so users can use QR codes in your restaurant for contact-free delivery.

Although Square Online has a lot going for it, one of its main drawbacks is that it charges quite high transaction fees. You’ll need to pay 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction. There’s no way of getting around them, either, like there is with Shopify. You’ll have to pay them on even the most expensive plans. Coupled with a lack of payment options, you can start to see that you’ll still be paying even on the free plan.

Square Online saw a big improvement in its app store from last year, increasing its app-specific score by 50% and boosting its overall score for website features by 6.9%, from 3.5 to 3.7 out of 5. This was because Square Online’s app store added shipping capabilities, which is crucial for those who run an online store.

Other features Square Online has improved upon are professional product photographs, checkout links for email marketing, and booking appointments. While Square Online definitely gives you a website builder experience, we also have to concede that its features can be a bit bare compared to others on this list like Wix or Squarespace.

Square Online was also the only builder on this list to see a reduction in site speed, suffering a -10.96% drop from a site speed score of 3.9 down to 3.5 out of 5.

That being said, Square Online excels for ecommerce websites that aren’t too intensive. After all, you can sell for free!

Square Online offers support to all customers via phone, live chat, and email. You’re encouraged to find the answer first within the Square Online knowledge center, which contains around 180 articles.

However, since our last round of testing Square Online’s support score fell -11.3%, going from 4 last year to 3.6 out of 5 this year. This was mainly due to a drop in help features offered vs pricing plan. As we mentioned, Square Online increased its price quite considerably since last year. It did not bolster this with new improvements in help features, leading to it getting left behind by the other ecommerce website builders.

What’s new with Square Online this month?

  • Square Online has revealed 10 new generative AI features to help small businesses, such as Photo Environments for AI-generated website backgrounds and Menu Generator to help restaurant owners create a menu in just a few clicks.

Square Online in Action: Erin's Elderberries

Headshot of Erin Mann, owner of Erin's Elderberries
Erin Mann
Erin's Elderberries specializes in elderberry, honey, and aronia-themed food products. Erin set up a website with Square Online to combine all of the sales information for the business in one place.
It lets you get to selling immediately, and then have the ability to customize later when you have more time.


Why did you choose Square Online and how long did it take to make your website?

I was already using it for my sales at farmers markets, and I wanted all of my sales information for my business in one place. I also liked the cost and ease of use compared to other competitors. I’m not a “tech person”, and I didn’t have the time or the funds to figure out how to be one or to hire one.

It took about three days to build my website when I started from scratch, but I was surprised how fast it went.

What do you like most about using Square Online to build and run your online store?

That there are prebuilt layouts and options. It lets you get to selling immediately, and then have the ability to customize later when you have more time. You don’t lose precious days or weeks until it is “usable”.

Is there anything you'd change about Square Online?

I would like to see more customizations for the website. I also wish they had the ability to let customers sign up for subscription-based products on the website without a customer having to email you, you create a link, and then send it. Less clicks means more sales, and this is something that is severely lacking for subscriptions.

Would you recommend Square Online to other businesses looking to build an online store?

You don’t have to invest money you don’t yet have to make a professional and trustworthy website, because it’s user-friendly for those who do not feel they are strong in technology. If you can upload pictures in social media, then you can build your own Square Online website!

#6. GoDaddy

Best for new businesses looking to get online quickly

Not ideal for large ecommerce stores who want a unique design


Fastest way to build a website



out of 5
  • 5-minute setup
  • Good for basic sites
  • Affordable starting plan

Free trial available

Paid Plans: $6.99 - $469.99 / month


  • Fastest route to building a website
  • Switch templates at any time
  • Supports the most industries


  • Only suitable for basic websites
  • ADI limits customization
  • Sales features aren't the best
GoDaddy Review

GoDaddy Overview

GoDaddy completes our list of the best ecommerce website builders with an overall score of 3 out of 5. This rating is much lower than others, but GoDaddy still has plenty about it that will appeal to the right user, so it’s worth taking a look!

GoDaddy’s strongest area is its ease of use, getting you set up online in minutes. If you want a website built and ready to function in under 10 minutes, GoDaddy is the website builder for you, because its ADI tool builds the website for you after you answer a quick questionnaire. In our research, it got an overall ease of use score of 4 out of 5, tying it with Wix and Shopify.

In other areas though, GoDaddy sadly does not fare as well. It has the lowest sales feature score of 2.8 out of 5, plus the worst value for money score of 3.4 out of 5. To put it bluntly, GoDaddy gives you a very limited ecommerce experience. It will do the basics, but that’s about it.

If you’re hoping to get your store up and running, then GoDaddy’s ideal, but we wouldn’t recommend GoDaddy for larger businesses looking for scalability. If you’re a hobby seller or just want to sell a limited collection, then GoDaddy might be ideal for you.

  • GoDaddy Pricing: Ecommerce plans range between $16.99 and $29.99 per month (billed annually).

For an in-depth look, read our full GoDaddy Ecommerce Review.

GoDaddy’s offering is rather modest when it comes to ecommerce. It scores 2.8 out of 5 in our research on sales features, meaning GoDaddy struggles to hold its own when compared to other builders on the list.

Although it supports the sale of both physical and digital products, as well as services, GoDaddy only supports 5,000 products on its cheapest plan. This is limiting for larger stores or smaller ones with the ambition to grow.

GoDaddy only supports AstroPay, PayPal, and Stripe as payment gateways. There’s a minimum 2.3% + $0.30 transaction fee to pay as well, but it can actually get up to 3.3% +$0! On top of that, it only has multichannel integration with Facebook and Instagram, and zero integration with any marketplaces like Etsy or Amazon.

Despite this, we were particularly impressed by GoDaddy’s mobile app and abandoned cart recovery, in which we scored both 5 out of 5 in our research. GoDaddy can also be connected to a POS device. Not many website builders offer this, and it’s a big bonus if you want to sell your items in real life, too.

Unfortunately, GoDaddy doesn’t have a very good selection of website features to bolster its online stores. As we mentioned, GoDaddy gives its users the bare minimum when it comes to features and tools, only scoring an overall website features score of 1.9 out of 5.

One aspect we can shout about for GoDaddy is its performance. We don’t call it the fastest website builder for no reason – it got the highest score for site speed of any of the builders we tested, a 4.5 out of 5. Plus, when we tested the website out for ourselves, we had a polished website ready to publish in minutes!

That being said, if you’re looking for power and function when building and managing your online store, you’d be better off with one of our top choices, such as Shopify or Wix.

GoDaddy offers ecommerce support in a variety of ways. It has a 24/7 phone line; live chat support which tends to reply within 2 minutes or less; and a dedicated Twitter account for answering questions and queries.

However, we only gave it a 2.3 out of 5 overall in our research due to a lack of carbon offsetting and a poor knowledge center, only earning a 1 out of 5 respectively for these specific subcategories.

What’s new with GoDaddy this month?

  • GoDaddy has introduced Email Automation, a new feature to help business owners automate workflows and schedule unique and customized email communications to customers. Not only does this give business owners more flexibility and control over their email marketing, but the increased personalization will also help to nurture leads and improve customer relationships overall.

GoDaddy in Action: Hinterland Skis

creighton ellenski headshot
Creighton Elinski
Creighton Elinski is a full-stack marketing professional by day and a designer, inventor, and engineer by night. If he’s not 20 pages deep in an architectural design book you can find him 30 miles into the mountains on his bicycle. Hinterland Skis began as a custom ski shop, soon expanding as its own brand with 100 custom shapes and over 1000 custom sets sold.
The GoDaddy website builder gives me the ability to focus on my creativity and site function without getting bogged down by heavy coding or dealing with minor update issues.


How long have you been using GoDaddy for your online store?

We’ve been using the GoDaddy Website Builder for almost 2 years now.

What do you like most about using GoDaddy to build and run your online store?

Even with my previous experience coding websites, I never really wanted to learn to code. I wanted a way to build creative web pages for the whole internet to interact with. The GoDaddy Website Builder gives me the ability to focus on my creativity and site function without getting bogged down by heavy coding or dealing with minor update issues.

The builder is simple and fast to learn. It’s easy to visually build almost anything you can think of. My absolute favorite part of the experience is the prebuilt integrations that are plug-and-play. I can add a web store in a matter of minutes, start a new email campaign quickly and track analytics without a hassle.

As an entrepreneur, minutes really matter. The 30 minutes I get back by being able to send an email blast quickly or the 2 hours I get back by not having to code a landing page really adds up. You don’t realize how much of your life you give up as an entrepreneur until you start to get some of that time back. Passion doesn’t clock out at 5 pm.

Is there anything you'd change about it?

Something I would add to the website builder is options to add more visual creativity. While I have the skills and desire to make fantastic visual pieces, my time and energy are limited. A themed filter for all images or some quick creative background content blocks would go a long way. Anything that I can quickly add to a landing page to spice things up a little bit would be a great help.

Would you recommend GoDaddy to other businesses looking to build an online store?

I’d absolutely recommend the Builder to anyone looking to build a website or web store. GoDaddy has a full-service, one-stop-shop, for everything entrepreneur.

I used to search around for plugins that go out of date and are impossible to keep integrated. Having GoDaddy take the lead on making sure everything works gives people the ability to focus on their customers, employees, and products. It’s a no-brainer to me.

More Information

  • GoDaddy Review: See a full breakdown of GoDaddy’s features, pricing, and more

How to Choose an Ecommerce Platform for 2024

We know how overwhelming it can be to sift through the dozens of ecommerce website builders and platforms until you find your perfect fit. That’s why we’ve shared our top choices in this article, but if you’re still on the hunt, there are certain factors to consider as you shop around.

Sales Features

Ecommerce website builders generally offer the same basic sales features, such as abandoned cart recovery, customer reviews, and a variety of payment gateways. When searching for the right fit for your business, make sure to scrutinize each plan to see what’s included for the price. What sort of shipping or delivery options can you add? Does the builder provide high-quality inventory and customer management?

Help and Support

Everyone gets in a jam here and there, so it’s important that your website builder has systems in place to support you. We recommend choosing an ecommerce platform that provides 24/7 support in some capacity, whether that’s live chat, phone support, or email. It’s also worth browsing the help center to check out the guides and tutorials on offer.

Features and Apps

To complement your ecommerce website builder’s sales features, don’t forget to consider the quality and quantity of general website features, too. Are there security features included, such as an SSL certificate? Do you get a free domain name? Does your website need specialty features, such as booking tools or memberships? We recommend checking out what features are available with the platform itself before you turn to third-party apps and integrations.

Design Functionality

Designing a website shouldn’t be a complicated process, and the majority of builders try to make their editors accessible for all users. The good news is most platforms offer a free trial so you can test out the editor, browse the available templates, and assess the customization options ahead of committing.

Ease of Use

Unless you have years of web design experience, you’ll want to choose an ecommerce website builder that offers a user-friendly interface and experience. We’ve had trouble locating features or navigating the backend in the past, so make sure you find a dashboard and editor that works for you.

Value for Money

Of course, price will always play a role in a decision like this. If you run a small business or you’re just getting started, affordable plans will be more appealing, especially when you factor in additional costs, such as transaction fees, third-party apps, and premium templates. In comparison, if your business is growing rapidly and you have a large inventory to manage, you want to make sure you choose a plan with the capacity to support your needs.

Your Business Needs

Ultimately, it comes down to what your business needs to thrive and grow online. If you have a large inventory to manage, Shopify or BigCommerce would be good options to consider. If you simply want to get online as quickly as possible and don’t need all the bells and whistles of more complex ecommerce builders, take a look at GoDaddy. If creating a beautiful online store is your number one priority, check out Squarespace’s free trial.

Buying Guide: Ecommerce Website Builders

We’ve collected the most burning questions are users had and answered them in this buying guide, so you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into when making your choice of ecommerce website builder.

You start by picking a theme from a selection of choices. This acts as the layout of your website. After that, you can populate the theme with your own products and content. You will manage your store from a dashboard where you can view things like shipping, analytics, invoices, and marketing.
Yes! Square Online offers a free plan that still allows you to sell online, but the plan does include ads that will appear on your website. For a more professional look and advanced sales features, we’d recommend upgrading to a paid plan as soon as possible.
Shopify tops the bill as the most popular ecommerce website builder, thanks to its all-rounder approach. Wix and Squarespace are also the biggest non-ecommerce-specific website builders with Wix helping to build around 388,000 stores. Other heavily used ecommerce website builders include BigCommerce and Square Online.
Ecommerce website builders give you a base to start from. There are themes, features, apps, and help and support all in-house. Building an online store from scratch requires a lot of technical knowledge and coding. You have more customization and flexibility but it’ll either be a lengthy process or an expensive one should you hire a developer.
While Amazon dominates much of the western world, Mercado Libre is the most used marketplace across much of South America. Schibsted is another big marketplace that is used heavily by Scandinavian countries.
You’ll need things like sign-up/log-in, product categories, ‘people also bought’, abandoned cart recovery, social media integration, and much more. An ecommerce marketplace is a complex site to build, but there are options out there that have all the necessary features.
In order to move your online store to another builder easily, you’ll need to be able to export and import your products in bulk. Shopify, BigCommerce, Weebly, Squarespace, Zyro, Big Cartel, GoDaddy, and 3dcart all support this feature. If you’re with another online store builder or a self-hosted platform, it may be more complex.
Many ecommerce website builders don’t impose their own transaction fees. This means that you only pay the processor, like PayPal, per transaction. If you use Shopify and opt for its own processor, Shopify Payments, you don’t have to pay any transaction fee full stop.
If the sole purpose of your website is to sell, you’re better off using an ecommerce-only builder like Shopify or BigCommerce. Website builders are mainly used for people who don’t sell online. That said, site builders like Wix and Squarespace are great options if you just have a few products to sell on the side.

Our Testing Methodology

Want to know more about how we conduct our ecommerce website builder research? Our detailed page will give you the full breakdown, but here’s a quick summary of our in-depth research process to help you understand our reasoning and ratings in the list you’ve just read.

Let’s take a closer look at our testing categories:

  • Website features – weighting: 15%

For website features, we compare what is offered by a website builder that isn’t ecommerce related. This includes domain names, email addresses, blogging functionality, internationalization capabilities, members area, SEO and marketing functionalities, and app market – plus an analysis of site speed and storage space.

  • Sales features – weighting: 25%

This category is focused on everything that’s ecommerce focused, ranging from inventory, multi-channel integration, payment options, abandoned cart recovery, promotions and discount codes, mobile apps, and shipping options. All of these are vital to an online store’s continuing lifespan and success.

  • Design functionalities – weighting: 10%

This covers a website builder’s aesthetic capabilities, such as the quality and quantity of the templates, a mobile editor, an image editor, UX design, whether it has ADI, and if you can switch templates once you’ve started.

  • Value for money – weighting: 15%

The sub-criteria we look for in this category is the average pricing plan, the features versus the price, and an evaluation of the free trial (if offered). While cost is important, an online business can be many different sizes from small businesses to larger, more established brands and we want to cover all types.

  • Help and support – weighting: 10%

The support options offered by the website builder are vital for first-time online merchants. We evaluate what support options are available for customers, the knowledge center, restore options, and what help features are available on the lowest cost plan.

  • Customer satisfaction – weighting: 15%

A category dedicated to user reviews. Sub-criteria include Trustpilot scores, brand recognition, market analysis, UX, and whether current customers would be likely to recommend.

  • Ease of use – weighting: 10%

This measures how easy it is to build a store using the builder. We rely on regular in-house user testing for this, testing each builder ourselves, and compiling quotes and scores from real testers to give you honest, undoctored views.

Our Final Thoughts

To recap, our top ecommerce website builder is Shopify, scoring 4.8 out of 5 in our recent research. Shopify’s scalable plans provide users with powerful sales features, such as an online invoice generator and checkout customization.

We may have ranked these ecommerce website builders, but the truth is the right one for you will depend on a number of different factors.

If affordability is important to you, Wix is the best value for money. If building a website isn’t your strong point, we’d recommend Squarespace for ease of use and high-quality designs, or you could try GoDaddy to get online quickly. Whatever your priority, remember that every website builder on this list comes with a free trial or a free plan, so you can try them risk-free before making your decision.

Shopify is our top-rated ecommerce website builder overall.


Transaction fees can certainly be annoying, especially when first starting out. Payment processing fees are charged every time you make a payment, it’s just the fee for the payment being processed e.g. you pay PayPal or Stripe for handling the transaction.

Transaction fees are where your platform takes a cut of the sale, so you’d be giving money to Shopify per sale, as well as paying PayPal. All ecommerce platforms charge some form of processing fee, but some, like Wix, don’t charge any transaction fees.

The part of the customer journey where most carts are abandoned is the checkout. If the checkout is slow and cumbersome or requires way too many details to be put in, then you’re allowing time for the customer to change their mind about the purchase. Streamlining the checkout process is the best way to stop carts getting abandoned, something which Shopify recently did by combining its checkout into one page.
Written by:
emma ryan author bio
I’m a Senior Writer at Website Builder Expert, which means I’m part of a great team that produces and updates content for the website. I specialize in writing highly-researched and accessible guides, comparisons, and reviews that provide readers with everything they need to know about getting started and growing online. I’ve also written about small businesses for, video optimization for Industry Today, and HTML for Digital Information World. While working for Website Builder Expert, I’ve gained expertise in website builders, ecommerce platforms, and hosting providers through hands-on testing and research analysis. I’ve also attended expos to further my industry knowledge – all of this helps me pitch fresh article ideas for the website. Additionally, I manage our website’s comments which allows me to have a good understanding of what you, our readers, care about.
Researched by:
I love to understand human behavior and the cognitive biases that drive us to do what we do. For over nine years I have worked as a mixed method researcher – research using a mix of numerical data and personal experiences – across a range of sectors, from insurance and policy development to finally arriving at Website Builder Expert five years ago. Fascinated by consumer decision-making, I meticulously built our leading ranking methodology to explore where providers like Wix sit within a competitive industry and what value they truly bring to our audience.
As a member of the Market Research Society, I’m an advocate for high ethical, commercial, and methodological best practices. All of this combines to give you the most ethical recommendations based on real data.


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