11 Best Free Ecommerce Website Builders For Selling Online
Are you looking for free commerce website builders to help you build a professional-looking ecommerce site at no cost?
This guide will give you reviews of the 11 best free ecommerce builders and help you choose the best one for your needs. I’ll also share my top 5 recommendations.
Squarespace (Free Trial)
Shopify (Free Trial)
Wix (Free Trial)
Square Online (Free Plan)
If you want to start an online shop, there are dozens of reliable ecommerce website builders that can help you build your ecommerce site and start selling online. However, there’s one catch; you have to pay to use most of these ecommerce website builders.
If you don’t have the money to pay for an ecommerce website builder, it can feel like the odds are stacked up against you. Like your dream of owning an online business is nothing more than a pipe dream.
However, you don’t need to despair. If you know where to look, there are some great ecommerce website builders that allow you to build your online store without spending a dime.
To save you the time, I did the looking for you, and in this guide, I’ll share with you 13 of the best free ecommerce website builders, complete with their best features, advantages, and disadvantages.
Best Free Ecommerce Website Builders
- Squarespace (Free Trial)
- Shopify (Free Trial)
- Wix (Free Trial)
- Square Online (Free Plan)
- WooCommerce (Free to Install)
- Strikingly (Free Plan)
- BigCommerce (Free Trial)
- Big Cartel (Free Plan)
- Ecwid (Free Plan)
- WebStarts (Free Plan)
- Mozello (Free Plan)
1. Squarespace (Free Trial)
Best Overall Free Ecommerce Website Builder
Squarespace is one of the best free ecommerce platforms in the market today. It has a powerful but flexible editor that enables you to build stunning online stores without writing any code. It also has extensive tools that make it the perfect option for anyone looking to start selling online.
Squarespace doesn’t offer a free plan, so technically, it’s not a free website builder. However, it offers a 14-day free trial that you can use to build an online store and start selling before you upgrade to a paid plan.
Sell multiple types of products
You can sell any product on your Squarespace store, including physical products, services, digital content, and subscriptions.
Squarespace has an easy-to-use interface that allows you to monitor and manage your inventory levels. The inventory management tool even sends automatic emails to notify you of low stock levels.
Limited availability labels
With this feature, you can notify your customers when in-store stock levels are getting low. Limited availability triggers urgency among your customers, leading to increased conversions.
Squarespace makes the checkout process convenient for your customers by offering a single-page checkout that looks great on all screen sizes.
Store manager permissions
If you have employees, Squarespace allows you to give your employees control over things like orders and inventory while restricting their access to other parts of your ecommerce site.
Point of sale
Squarespace has an iOS point of sale app that lets you sell your products in person while keeping your customers, sales analytics, and inventory in sync with your ecommerce store. However, this feature is only available in the US.
Squarespace gives you numerous insights about your customers, including average order value, total spend, last purchase value, and so on. These insights make it easier to target your customers with relevant offers and discounts.
Multiple payment methods
Squarespace supports multiple payment methods, including PayPal, Stripe, Square, Apple Pay, credit cards, and debit cards. It also accepts over 20 different currencies.
- Mobile-Friendly Websites
- 100+ Templates
- Free Custom Domain
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- 2 Contributors
- Ecommerce Functionality
- Unlimited Products
- 3% Transaction Fees
- Custom Code (CSS & JS)
- Unlimited Contributors
- 0% Transaction Fees
- Point of Sale
- On-site Checkout
- Product Reviews
- Facebook and Instagram Selling
- Abandoned Cart Recovery
- Advanced Shipping
- Advanced Discounts
- Subscription Selling
- Commerce APIs
While Squarespace doesn’t have a free forever plan, it gives you a 14-day free trial on all its paid ecommerce plans. The free trial gives you access to all features that come with the plan, so it is a great way to build and test your online store without spending a dime.
Once the free trial is over, you can upgrade to the paid ecommerce plans, which cost between $27 and $49 per month. The paid plans include a free custom domain name and zero transaction fees.
2. Shopify (Free Trial)
Best Website Builder for Large Stores
Shopify is one of the most popular ecommerce website builders boasting over 1.75 million merchants. The platform is designed to help you build a scalable ecommerce store and comes with hundreds of in-built tools and features.
Like Squarespace, Shopify doesn’t have a free plan. It only offers a 14-day free trial, after which you have to get a premium plan.
80+ Professional themes
Shopify gives you a selection of more than 80 professionally designed, mobile-responsive themes. However, only eight themes are available for free. The others will cost you between $150 and $350.
Most users will find Shopify very easy to use. However, if you need help, Shopify has a team of experts who can help you build and customize your store.
Free SSL certificate
Shopify provides a free SSL certificate for every store built on the platform, giving your online store the same level of security that financial institutions use.
Automatic carrier shipping rates
You can set up your store to provide customers with real-time shipping rates from major shipping companies, including FedEx, USPS, and UPS.
Abandoned cart recovery
Shopify has an abandoned cart recovery tool that automatically sends email reminders to customers who’ve abandoned their carts. This recovers lost sales and improves conversions.
HTML and CSS editing
Unlike most other ecommerce website builders, Shopify gives you full access to your store’s HTML and access. This allows you to customize your store exactly as you want.
100 payment gateways
Shopify supports over 100 external payment gateways, including credit card, PayPal, iDEAL, and even Bitcoin, making it convenient for your customers to pay for your products.
If you’re using the dropshipping business model, Shopify allows you to integrate your online store with major dropshipping suppliers, including eCommHub, Inventory Source, and Ordoro.
With Shopify, you can sell your products directly on Facebook, allowing customers to buy from your store without leaving Facebook.
- 100+ Templates
- Unlimited Products
- International Commerce
- 24/7 Support
- Shopify POS
- Ecommerce Automations
- up to 88% Shipping Discounts
- Standard Analytics Reports
- 5 Staff Accounts
- 1% Fees for 3rd Party Payments
- 0.5% Fees for 3rd Party Payments
- Lower Credit Card Fees
- 15 Staff Accounts
- Advanced Analytics Reports
- Duties and Import Taxes
Shopify doesn’t have a free plan, but it allows you to try its paid plans for free for 14 days. You can launch your store and start selling with Shopify’s free trial, and the best part is that you don’t need to provide your credit card details.
Shopify has three paid plans that cost $29, $79, and $299 per month.
3. Wix (Free Trial)
User-Friendly Ecommerce Site Builder That’s Great for Beginners
Wix is another well-known ecommerce site builder that gives you a beginner-friendly site editor and flexible design. Despite its ease of use, Wix still gives you advanced tools that give you total control over your online store.
500+ professional templates
With over 500 ecommerce templates to choose from, you’re assured of getting a template that’s just right for your brand. What’s more, each template is highly customizable, so you can truly make it your own.
With Wix, you can sell your products on multiple channels, including Facebook, Instagram, eBay, Google Shopping, and Amazon. The best part is that Wix allows you to manage all your sales channels from a single dashboard.
This is Wix’s payments dashboard, which lets you manage all your transactions from one place. Wix Payments lets you accept payments, make payouts to suppliers, issue refunds, and so much more.
Wix makes it easy for you to reach new shoppers by allowing you to set up automated ad campaigns on Facebook and Instagram. Once you set up the ad, Wix automatically tracks and optimizes the ads for you for optimal results.
Wix gives you access to open APIs that you can use to connect your favorite tools to your online store and build your own custom solutions. There are no limits to what you can achieve with Wix’s API.
50+ payment gateways
You can use Wix’s native payments solution to accept customer payments or connect your store to 50+ third-party payment gateways, such as Stripe, PayPal, and Square.
Inbuilt SEO tools
To make it easy for you to capture organic traffic from search engines, Wix has inbuilt SEO tools that let you optimize your ecommerce site and boost your search rankings. These include optimized site infrastructure, customized structured data markup, flexible URL redirect manager, and Google Search Console integration.
- 500+ Ecommerce Templates
- Unlimited Products
- Abandoned Cart Recovery
- Sell on Instagram, Facebook, etc.
- 20GB Storage Space
- Multiple Currencies
- Sell on Amazon & eBay
- Modalyst Dropshipping - 250 Items
- Sell Subscriptions
- 35GB Storage Space
- Priority Customer Support
- Unlimited Modalyst Dropshipping
- 50GB Storage Space
- Upload Unlimited Videos
- 500 Auto Sales Tax Calculations
You can try any of Wix’s paid ecommerce plans for free for up to 14 days. Unfortunately, you can’t start selling under the free trial. You have to upgrade to the premium plans, which cost between $17 and $35. The paid plans come with a free domain name.
4. Square Online (Free Plan)
Reliable Ecommerce Platform with Generous Free Plan Features
Owned by digital payments company Square, Square Online is a simple ecommerce builder that allows you to sell online and in a brick-and-mortar store. Square Online offers a free forever plan with very few limitations, making it the perfect choice if you want to run an ecommerce business without ever paying for an ecommerce platform.
Square Online’s free plan allows you to set up a complete ecommerce site with all the key pages, including product pages, email sign up, and contact forms. You can also customize your website’s logos and colors.
Artificial design intelligence (ADI)
This feature makes it super easy to build your ecommerce site. Simply answer a few questions about your store, and the ADI technology will automatically set up a professional-looking storefront for you.
Square Online does not limit the number and type of products you can sell on your online store, even on the free plan. You can even sell digital products that customers can download directly from your online store.
In-built payments gateway
Square Online has an inbuilt payments gateway that lets you accept payments from all major credit cards, Cash App Pay, Square Pay, Google Pay, and Apple Pay. The free plan also accepts Afterpay, which allows customers to buy products and pay later. Unfortunately, Square Online doesn’t support PayPal payments on the free plan.
Coupon and discount codes
Under the free plan, you can also create coupon codes to give your customers discounts and free shipping options. You can customize the discount codes to be applicable for specific products, orders exceeding a certain amount, or all orders.
Square Online offers a free plan with lots of features and few limitations. The downside, however, is that you can’t use a custom domain name on your ecommerce site. In addition, Square Online will display its branding on your store’s footer.
Square Online’s paid plans range between $12 and $72 and give you extra features like a custom domain name, password-protected pages, and custom font uploads.
5. WooCommerce (Free to Install)
Best Ecommerce Plugin for WordPress Sites
Unlike the other options we’ve discussed so far, WooCommerce is not an ecommerce website builder. It is a powerful plugin that allows you to add ecommerce capabilities to any existing website built on WordPress. There are no limits to the kind of store you can build using WooCommerce. The best part is that WooCommerce is totally free.
Flexible and secure payments
WooCommerce has an inbuilt payments platform that accepts major credit cards, checks, bank transfers, and cash on delivery. You can also use extensions to integrate WooCommerce with 140 other payment gateways, including PayPal, Amazon Pay, Square, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Stripe.
From physical and digital products to appointments, subscriptions, and bundled products, there are no limits to the kind of products you can sell with WooCommerce.
WooCommerce has an official marketplace with hundreds of free and premium extensions that you can use to add various functionalities and features to your online store. Whether you want to add point-of-sale capabilities to your store or incorporate a new marketing integration, you’ll find the right extension in the WooCommerce marketplace.
WooCommerce is an open-source platform, which means you have total freedom to tinker with its source code and modify it to suit your exact needs. If you have the technical skills, this gives you the flexibility to build a truly unique website.
WooCommerce has an inbuilt reporting feature that gives you insights about the number of site visitors, visitors’ location, number of clicks, number of downloaded files, and so on. You can also connect your WooCommerce store to Google Analytics for free if you want more customer insights.
You can use extensions to add product review capabilities to your online store and boost conversions.
WooCommerce is free to install and download. While there are no monthly fees to use WooCommerce, you’ll incur the cost of domain registration and web hosting, which will vary based on your web host. I’d recommend hosting your site on Bluehost or SiteGround, which are some of the best WooCommerce hosting companies in the market.
Depending on the kind of online store you’re building, you might also incur further costs buying premium plugins and extensions.
6. Strikingly (Free Plan)
Best for One-Page Online Stores
Strikingly is a relatively new website builder that comes with an ecommerce module. The platform works best for entrepreneurs looking to build a one-page online store and sell a single product. However, you aren’t limited to a single page. You can build a website with up to five pages on the free plan.
Strikingly has sleek, modern-looking design templates that work well on desktops, tablets, and smartphones. The platform even allows you to enhance the mobile experience by adding easy-access actions that only show on mobile devices, such as a “call now” button.
The platform comes with a simple and focused website editor that is very easy to use. With this editor, you can build and customize your website in as little as 30 minutes.
Strikingly offers native integration with PayPal and Stripe, two of the largest payment gateways, so you’ll be able to accept payments from most of your customers.
Zero transaction fees
Strikingly has no transaction fees, allowing you to maximize your profits. However, you’ll still pay credit card processing fees.
You can extend the functionality of your online store with apps and widgets, which are available on Strikingly’s app market. However, some of these widgets only work on paid ecommerce plans. You can also add new features to your store via HTML, though this only works on paid plans.
Strikingly has a mobile app that allows you to make basic edits to your online store from your mobile device. The mobile app also allows you to receive and respond to live chat messages, view site statistics, and manage your orders on the go.
- Modern and responsive designs
- Easy to use
- Works with common payment processors
- Excellent customer support
- You’re limited to one product under the free plan
- Poor search optimization
- Limited template choice
- You can’t sell digital products
- Expensive transaction fees
- 190+ Mobile-Friendly Templates
- 1GB Storage
- 50 GB Bandwidth
- Sell One Product
- 24/7 Chat Support
- 3 Sites (100 pages max)
- 20GB Storage
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Up to 300 Products
- 2% Transaction Fees
- 5 Sites (100 pages max)
- 100GB Storage
- Unlimited Products
- 0% Transaction Fees
- Priority Customer Support
Strikingly has a free forever plan that gives you 5GB bandwidth, 500MB of disk space, up to 5 pages per site, and support for one product per site.
If you want to sell more products, you have to upgrade to the paid plans, which cost between $8 and $49 per month on the annual plan. The paid plans don’t offer a free domain.
7. BigCommerce (Free Trial)
Best for Large Volume Sellers
BigCommerce is another top ecommerce website builder that gives you access to the advanced tools you need to take your online store to the next level.
BigCommerce works best for online stores that are optimized for large sales volumes. If you just want to set up a small online store, BigCommerce is not the most suitable option.
Despite its strong focus on large ecommerce sites, BigCommerce comes with a simple drag and drop editor that allows you to build a professional ecommerce site without any coding.
High level of customization
Multiple payment gateways
BigCommerce offers native integration with hundreds of payment processors, including PayPal, Stripe, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, Braintree, and so on. You can also configure your ecommerce website to accept checks, bank transfers, and money orders.
With BigCommerce, you can accept payments in 100 different currencies. This is highly beneficial for entrepreneurs targeting customers from all over the world.
BigCommerce has a Channel Manager feature that allows you to list, advertise, optimize, and sell your products on over 100 online marketplaces, including eBay, Facebook, Google, Amazon, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, Snap, Target, and Walmart.
If you already have an existing WordPress site on a different web host, BigCommerce has a WordPress plugin that lets you add ecommerce features to the website.
This feature provides you with a local environment where you can develop and test changes to your ecommerce website without causing any site downtime. Once you’re happy with the changes, you can push them to the live site.
BigCommerce has native integration with Zapier, which lets you connect your online store to all your favorite third-party apps and automate your tasks.
- Highly scalable features
- Doesn’t charge transaction fees
- Not overly reliant on apps
- Excellent inventory management features
- Supports multiple storefronts
- Great for international selling
- Strong SEO support
- Fully customizable checkout
- Not easy to set up
- It can be overwhelming for beginners
- Premium themes are a bit expensive
- 200+ Store Templates
- 24/7 Chat & Phone Support
- No Additional Transactions Fees
- Unlimited Bandwidth & Storage
- Annual Sales Limit - $50k
- Clients' Credit Cards Storage
- Abandoned Cart Saver
- 5 Storefronts & Inventory Locations
- Customer Segmentation
- Annual Sales Limit - $180k
- Google Customer Reviews
- Price Lists for B2B & B2C
- 8 Storefronts & Inventory Locations
- Filtering with Custom Product Filters
- Annual Sales Limit - $400k
BigCommerce doesn’t have a free plan, but they allow you to try their premium plans for free for 15 days. This is a great way to determine whether the platform works for you before committing your money. You don’t need to provide your credit card details to sign up for the free trial.
Paid plans range between $29 and $299.95 per month. There’s also an Enterprise plan with tailored pricing.
8. Big Cartel (Free Plan)
Best Ecommerce Website Builder for Artists and Makers
Big Cartel is one of the best ecommerce platforms for independent artists who want to build an online store to sell their artworks and creations. It works well with small online stores that are not looking to scale.
There are three things I love about Big Cartel. First, it has a great free plan that supports up to five products. Second, it allows you to use a custom domain name, even on the free plan. I haven’t come across any other website builders that allow you to do this on the free plan.
Finally, Big Cartel has a very beginner-friendly onboarding process. However, if you want to get the most out of the platform, you’ll need some coding skills.
Big Cartel has stylish templates that will give your online store a professional look. What’s more, Big Cartel doesn’t display any ads on your online store, even if you’re on the free plan.
Unlike other ecommerce builders, which force you to use their subdomain on the free plan, Big Cartel lets you buy a custom domain name and connect it to a store built under the free plan. This helps keep your costs low while making your store look professional.
You can sell up to five different products on Big Cartel’s free plan, which is more than you’ll get on some free plans. Unfortunately, you can’t sell digital products on the free plan.
Big Cartel has an order dashboard that lets you view and track customer orders, send confirmation emails to clients, export order histories, print shipping labels, and so on.
Search engine optimization
Big Cartel gives you control over elements like your product page URLs, which you can optimize to boost your search rankings. The platform also gives you regular tips on how to improve your site’s rankings.
Big Cartel provides a mobile app that you can use to conveniently access and manage your store on the go.
Big Cartel Pros
- User-friendly onboarding process
- It doesn’t charge transaction fees
- Great for highlighting individual products
- Provides insightful design tips to help you build a professional website
- Works well for artistic items
- Allows you to connect your store to your own domain name
Big Cartel Cons
- You can only sell five products under the free plan
- Customizing your store requires technical skills
- The free plan doesn’t offer inventory tracking
- Not scalable
Big Cartel has a free plan with lots of useful features, including one product image per product, real-time stats, online and in-person selling, custom domain name, shipment tracking, sales tax automation, and sales promotions.
If you need more features and fewer limitations, you have to upgrade to a paid plan, which will cost you between $9.99 and $19.99 per month. You don’t get a free domain with the paid plans, but you can connect your own domain to your ecommerce site.
9. Ecwid (Free Plan)
Best Plugin for Adding Ecommerce Capabilities To An Existing Website
Ecwid is not a conventional website builder. It is a plugin designed to help you sell online without having to build a website.
You can use Ecwid to add an online store to an existing website and other platforms like Google, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Amazon. However, it also has a feature that you can use to build a new website from scratch.
Instant website builder
This feature lets you build a one-page online storefront in just a few minutes. It also comes packed with templates and design elements that will help you create a beautiful storefront.
Ecwid’s free plan limits you to only ten different products. The free plan doesn’t allow you to sell digital products or subscriptions.
Inbuilt marketing tools
The free plan lets you set up, launch, and monitor ads on Facebook, Google, Snapchat, and Pinterest. Ecwid also has inbuilt Mailchimp integration, but it’s not available on the free plan.
Sell on multiple sites
You can use the same account to sell your products on multiple websites, which is a great way to increase your reach and boost your sales.
Mobile responsive shopping cart
Ecwid knows that more people buy on mobile than on desktop, so they offer a mobile-optimized shopping cart, even on the free plan.
Compatible with multiple platforms
You can use Ecwid’s free plan to add ecommerce capabilities on a wide range of website platforms, including WordPress, Wix, Weebly, Joomla, Blogger, Squarespace, Tumblr, and more.
- Intuitive and easy to use
- Supports 20+ payment gateways
- Great for adding ecommerce capabilities to an existing site
- No transaction fees
- Supports numerous integrations
- Mobile-responsive checkout
- Very limited free plan
- Limited SEO features
- If you don’t have an existing website, Ecwid only allows you to build a one-page ecommerce website.
Ecwid’s free forever plan is a great option for anyone who wants to sell a few products without spending money on ecommerce website builders. However, as your business grows, you’ll quickly outgrow the free plan and need to upgrade to the paid plans, which cost between $12.50 and $82 per month.
10. WebStarts (Free Plan)
Simple, Easy-to-Use Ecommerce Builder
Founded in 2004, WebStarts is a reputable website builder that claims to have built and hosted over 3.8 million websites. Besides regular websites, you can also use WebStarts to build an online store for free.
WebStarts prides itself on being very easy to use. Once you sign up on WebStarts, all you need to do is choose a theme, create your products, and start selling.
Easy to use builder
WebStarts has a simple website builder that turns building and customizing your website into a smooth experience. To change the layout of your online store, you simply need to drag elements around the page and place them where you want.
WebStarts has a wide range of apps that let you add various functionalities and features to your online store. These include form builders, SEO apps, calendars, membership apps, maps, and so on.
Multiple product types
WebStarts supports physical products and downloadable digital products like ebooks, software, videos, and music. For physical products, you can sell different varieties of the same product based on things like material, color, size, and more.
Boost conversions by offering coupon codes and discounts to your customers. The discount codes can be configured by amount or percentage.
WebStart doesn’t limit you to a single shipping rate. You can offer free shipping, flat rate shipping, weight-based shipping, and so on.
If you have a wide selection of products, it can be challenging for your customers to find the right product. WebStart has a product search function that makes it easier for customers to find what they want. Customers can also filter search results by price, relevance, size, and other criteria.
Multiple payment processors
WebStarts is compatible with multiple payment processors, including Stripe, WePay, and Authorize.net.
- Simple user interface
- Generous free plan
- 1GB of storage space on the free plan
- Supports multiple types of products
- Unintrusive ads on the free plan
- Unlimited pages
- Limited SEO options
- Templates are not mobile responsive
- The templates feel a bit dated
- Poor customer support on the free plan
WebStarts has a pretty generous free forever plan that’s great for those looking to try the platform. However, the plan still has limitations, so you’ll eventually need to switch to a paid plan. Paid plans cost $14 and $24 per month.
11. Mozello (Free Plan)
Best For Multilingual Ecommerce Websites
Mozello is a simple ecommerce builder that makes it easy for anyone to set up their online shop and start selling online.
Mozello’s free plan only offers basic ecommerce tools and features, but what I love about it is that it allows you to set up multilingual ecommerce sites. This makes Mozello a great option if you want to sell your products internationally.
Full ecommerce website
Mozello’s free plan allows you to create a full ecommerce website with marketing features, multiple pages, multiple products, product variations, and so much more.
Up to five products
While you can list products and start selling on Mozello’s free plan, the free plan allows you to sell no more than five unique products at a time. You can upload as many product photos as you want. The free store supports 1 product option and up to 5 product variants.
This is one of Mozella’s best features. The platform supports over 60 languages, even on the free plan. Unfortunately, Mozella doesn’t have an auto-translation feature. You have to translate your website content manually. Mozella then lets your site visitors choose their preferred language.
Rich theme selection
Mozello has a rich selection of themes, which you can customize to match your store’s brand.
When you create an ecommerce site using Mozello’s free plan, you get a customizable mozello.com subdomain for free. Mozello also includes their branding on your website footer.
All ecommerce websites created using Mozello, including those under the free plan, are automatically optimized for mobile devices.
The Mozello free online store comes with in-built marketing features, including integration with popular social networks, Facebook Pixel support, Google Analytics support, and customizable SEO features.
Mozello’s free plan supports online payments through PayPal, as well as cash and bank transfer payments.
- Offers a free subdomain
- SSL security is available, even on the free plan
- Has a multilingual option
- Very easy to use
- Upgrading to a free plan is inexpensive
- Inbuilt marketing features
- No transaction fees
- Storage space is very limited on the free plan, which only offers 500MB of storage space.
- Free store limits you to just five products
- The free plan doesn’t allow you to sell digital products
- Discount coupons are not available on the free plan
- Customizable emails are not available on the free plan
- You can’t get rid of Mozello branding on the free plan
Mozello has a free forever plan that’s a great option if you want to build a small ecommerce site for free. Mozello’s paid plans are affordable if you decide to upgrade, starting at just $8 and $18 per month.
Is It Worth Upgrading to a Paid Plan?
All the ecommerce platforms we’ve covered have a free trial or a free plan, but these free stores often come with limitations that prevent you from getting the most out of the platform. As your ecommerce business grows, it makes more sense to upgrade to a paid plan.
Here are some reasons you might want to upgrade to a paid plan.
- Custom domain: When you build your online store on a free plan, most ecommerce platforms will limit you to using their subdomain. For instance, if you’re building your online store on Square Online’s free plan, you’ll have a subdomain like mystore.square.site. Unfortunately, this makes your online store look unprofessional. Upgrading to a paid plan allows you to use a custom domain name, such as mystore.com, making your ecommerce site appear more credible.
- Get rid of ads: Most free ecommerce platforms place their branding and ads on your website, making it look unprofessional. Upgrading to a paid plan allows you to get rid of these ads and take control of your storefront’s branding.
- More products: While there are some free ecommerce website builders without product limitations, most free ecommerce plans limit you to between one and ten products. This might be enough when you’re just getting acquainted with online selling, but if you want to build a profitable online shop, you’ll most likely need to sell more products. By upgrading to a premium plan, you can sell unlimited products on your store.
- Unlock limited features: Most free website builders come with huge limitations in terms of features. For instance, on most free ecommerce builders, the free plans give you limited storage, restrict you to using their native payments gateway, limit the marketing features you can access, and so on. While some of these features are nice to have, others are essential if you want to scale your online store, so the only available option is to upgrade to a paid plan.
- Search engine optimization: With a free website builder, you don’t have much control over your site’s search engine optimization. For instance, many free website builders won’t allow you to edit your product page URLs since you don’t have your own custom domain. If you want total control over your site’s SEO so that potential customers to find your store organically, you’ll be better off upgrading to a paid plan.
Best Free Online Store Builders: FAQs
Yes, it’s possible to create an ecommerce website for free. You can either do this with free plans on ecommerce site builders like Square Online or by signing up for a free trial on ecommerce platforms like Squarespace and Shopify. However, you should keep in mind that most free online stores have many limitations.
The most affordable ecommerce platform is Mozello. It has a free forever plan, while its paid plans start at just $8 per month. Mozello’s most expensive plan costs just $18 per month.
Square Online is another affordable ecommerce site builder that offers great value for money. It has a free forever plan with many useful features, while its lowest plan starts at just $12 per month.
If you’re building an ecommerce store from scratch, it could take you anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months, depending on the size of the website.
If you’re using an ecommerce website builder like Squarespace or Shopify, on the other hand, it will take you just a few hours. For ecommerce platforms using artificial design intelligence, you can build an online store and start selling within a couple of minutes.
Although some free website builders have some inbuilt SEO tools, these tools are often very limited. In addition, you don’t have much control over these SEO elements, so you’re pretty much stuck with what you get. If you want total control over your store’s SEO, you should consider upgrading to a paid plan.
Best Free Ecommerce Website Builders: A Quick Comparison
In this guide, I’ve taken you through the most reliable options if you want to build your ecommerce website for free. You probably have an idea of which free ecommerce builder will work for you by now.
While the best free ecommerce website builder for you will depend on your specific needs, here is a recap of my top five recommendations:
Squarespace (Free trial)
Shopify (Free trial)
Wix (Free trial)
Square Online (Free plan)
While all these have free plans and free trials, note that these free plans have their limitations. As your business grows, you’ll eventually have to spend some money on a website builder.
Therefore, as you evaluate your options, you should also consider the cost of upgrading. This way, you won’t have to switch to a different platform once you outgrow the free store.
If you still need more information about the different ecommerce site builders and what they offer, check out some of our reviews and comparisons of these website builders below:
- Wix vs. Squarespace
- BigCommerce vs. Shopify
- Shopify vs. Squarespace
- WooCommerce vs. Shopify
- Shopify vs. Wix
- Best Shopify alternatives
- Best Wix alternatives
- Best Squarespace alternatives