Are you looking to open up an online store?
Whether you're planning to sell shoes or shampoo, setting up a website is essential.
But with so many website builders out there, which one should you choose?
You've probably heard of Shopify, but is it actually a website builder?
Well, let's get straight to the point; yes, Shopify is a website builder.
And that's not all; it also seems like the obvious choice for creating an online store - but is it the best website builder for your needs?
That's what we will try to figure out in this article!
So grab a cup of coffee, and let's get started!
Tip: Have you already created your Shopify account? If not, sign up by clicking this link here to get a free 3-day trial + 1 month for $1!
Is Shopify a website builder?
Are you looking for a website builder to start an online store?
If so, you may have heard of Shopify, but is it really the website builder you need to launch your dreams?
It's time to dig into the details and find out the answer!
Yes, Shopify is a website builder you can use to build an online website and sell your products.
Shopify is an online ecommerce platform that provides a website builder solution for merchants on the web.
It allows you to easily create fully-functioning websites, regardless of your experience level.
Shopify also supports a number of third-party apps, allowing you to customize your website’s look, feel, and functionality.
Shopify's intuitive interface makes it easy for anyone to build a website - there’s no need to have any coding skills or depend on outside help from web developers.
Take a look at the theme customizer on Shopify:
If you're interested in seeing some online websites built with Shopify, take a look at our list of the most successful Shopify store examples!
But that's not all.
In reality, Shopify provides so much more than just a website builder!
For example, it also helps you with marketing, search engine optimization, and even analytics so that you can make informed decisions about your stores and customers.
Despite Shopify's users typically being small businesses, it also has the capacity to power large-scale websites, as many companies have successfully built enterprise websites on Shopify's infrastructure. (You can find some store examples in this article!)
Therefore, we can confidently say that yes - Shopify is certainly a website builder!
Is Shopify the best website builder?
If you're considering Shopify as an option for creating your website, you probably want to know if it's as good as everyone says.
You may know that besides Shopify, there are other website builders you may want to consider.
The truth is, there are a few website builders out there that we could call 'the best,' but that doesn’t mean they are the best for you.
For example, in our article about the five best ecommerce platforms, this was our conclusion:
|The best option(s) for you:
|The best platform overall
|Shopify or BigCommerce
|The best SEO performance
|The platform built specifically for dropshippers
|The cheapest option
|Shift4Shop (in the US) or ShopBase
|The platform that offers the best resources
|The most flexible and customizable platform
|The platform with the easiest setup for a dropshipping store
As you can see, the conclusion is that overall, Shopify is the best website builder and ecommerce platform (even though for a specific need, a different platform may be better).
If you're unsure of which ecommerce platform to pick, take our quiz here to get a personalized recommendation based on your needs:
6 Advantages of using Shopify as your website builder
It's hard to argue against Shopify.
It is the third-largest retailer behind Amazon and eBay. Their premium product, Shopify Plus, is used by well-known corporations like Pepsi, Heinz, Tesla, and even celebrities like Lady Gaga.
But what exactly makes it one of the best website builders overall?
Let's check out some of the top arguments:
1. Ease of use
Shopify is one of the easiest website builders to use today.
The platform is designed for everyone, so also people with no prior experience in website design.
Even without watching any courses, you'll find that the interface is intuitive thanks to features like drag-and-drop store building.
The interface is intuitive anyway, and the drag-and-drop method of store building allows you to set up your store 'in minutes' without technical skills.
While it is easy to set up a Shopify store, it's important to know that running and managing a store is a learning curve. There is a lot more to learn, like marketing, to make your store visible to the online world.
2. No coding is required
A significant advantage that follows nicely from being easy to use is that Shopify does not require coding knowledge.
Every Shopify account comes with an easy-to-use editor that allows anyone with basic computer skills to customize the layout and design of the site.
Shopify also offers pre-made themes that are simple yet eye-catching, so you can be sure that your website will look professional without the time or commitment of coding a site from scratch:
Last but not least, Shopify takes care of all the technical aspects, such as hosting, payment processing, and setting up SSL certificates, so you can focus on growing your business instead.
3. A wide range of features
Next, Shopify offers a wide range of features that allow you to create a professional-looking website.
These include the ability to create customizable storefronts, manage inventory efficiently, accept payments securely from various payment gateways, set up customer accounts, and more.
Besides the drag-and-drop website builder and pre-built themes, Shopify has tools for launching marketing campaigns and tracking valuable data on customer behavior:
Shopify also provides more advanced marketing tools such as customer segmentation, abandoned cart recovery, and discounting solutions, allowing you to reengage customers effectively.
4. Excellent customer support
Another advantage of Shopify is that it offers excellent customer support.
If you have questions or problems while using Shopify, you can contact the customer support team 24/7 via phone, email, or live chat:
Their team is made up of knowledgeable experts willing to go above and beyond to help clients solve any issue they may encounter.
Additionally, the knowledge base provides a wealth of information on product features, setup instructions as well as general ecommerce tips.
Shopify is very scalable, which means it can grow with your business over time.
The easiest way to understand Shopify's scalability is to look at Shopify's pricing plans.
As you can see, it starts with the Shopify Basic plan, which gets you access to Shopify’s online store feature for $39/month + 2.9% and 30¢ USD per transaction.
That means you will be able to create a professional online store to showcase your products. It also means being able to manage your products, orders, customer information, and more via the Shopify admin.
However, Shopify also has more feature-rich plans, such as the Advanced plan, which unlocks the custom report builder and lower transaction fees.
And that's not all.
You can't see it in the screenshot, but Shopify also offers Shopify Plus, an enterprise ecommerce solution designed for some of the most high-volume businesses.
So, if you start out with the Basic Shopify plan but find that you need more features as your business grows, you can easily upgrade to the Shopify or Advanced Shopify plan without any problems!
6. Integrates with thousands of third-party apps
While Shopify provides you with the essentials to start your dropshipping business, not every business need is provided right out of the box.
This is where Shopify's third-party apps come in!
The Shopify app store offers thousands of third-party apps.
Just about every possible business requirement can be found in this store, be it currency converters, analytics, or upsell applications, to name a few.
We also have a full article covering the 16 best Shopify apps if you want to learn more about them!
3 Disadvantages of using Shopify as your website builder
Nothing is perfect, so let's take a look at some of the negatives that come with using Shopify:
1. Monthly subscription fees
Compared to other website builders, such as WooCommerce, Shopify’s monthly costs are considerably higher.
However, it's important to note that for $39 a month, you also have much less to worry about than other ecommerce platforms.
Everything, from security to hosting, will be handled for you!
It basically comes down to whether you think all of this is worth $39 a month to you.
Even if you're inexperienced and that's a lot of money for you, it could be worth it for the convenience and added peace of mind!
2. It's a hosted platform
Shopify is a hosted platform, meaning you don’t have control over your server environment.
If you're experienced in ecommerce and want complete control over your website or want to use certain plugins that are not compatible with Shopify, this can be a disadvantage.
In other words, this can be limiting if you want to customize your website beyond what Shopify allows.
3. Transaction fees
Shopify’s transaction fees can be expensive, especially if you sell high-priced items.
With the Basic plan, Shopify will charge 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction, which can add up quickly if you make a lot of sales.
The advantage of using Shopify Payments is that the transaction fees are a bit lower!
Related article: Shopify Payments: The Definitive Guide (2024)
Before we go to the final verdict, we've created a quick summary of this article for you, so you can easily remember it:
- Shopify is a website builder that provides an easy-to-use platform for creating online stores, with no coding skills required.
- It offers an extensive range of features, such as customizable themes, product management tools, marketing capabilities, and excellent customer support.
- Shopify is highly scalable, so as your business grows, you can easily upgrade your plan.
- The major disadvantages of using Shopify include the monthly subscription fees, lack of control over the server environment, and transaction fees.
Considering all these points, it's clear that Shopify is one of the top website builders on the market.
However, Shopify may not always be the best option for everyone's needs.
It can be cost-prohibitive if you need more advanced features or want to host your own domain.
But despite these drawbacks, we think that for many people, Shopify is a good website builder offering an enjoyable user experience.
The support you get is second to none, too!
We can confidently say that Shopify is definitely worthy of consideration when building a website, whether it's your first time building a website or you're an experienced developer looking to switch platforms.
Have a great rest of your day!
Want to learn more about Shopify?
Ready to move your Shopify store to the next level? Check out the articles below:
- The 14 Best Free Shopify Apps to Install To Save Money in 2024
- Shopify Payments Alternatives: Best Payment Gateways for You
- Shopify vs. WooCommerce: Which One for Dropshipping in 2024?
Plus, don’t forget to check out our in-depth how to start a Shopify store guide here.