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Best Ecommerce Website Builder for Beginners

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Are you aiming at building an online store but do not have the technical know-how to do so? Are you caught up between the many options that are available in the market? Do not worry as this article will guide you through so that you get the best eCommerce website builder for a beginner.

The biggest problem in this phase is choosing the best site builder for e-commerce. The hardest part is that, as beginners, it is challenging to get over the technical jargons that the builders throw about. They all promise to produce an online e-commerce store that is straightforward and efficient. However, there is e-commerce software that are available and which can help you to get your online e-commerce store going.

What are self-hosted and hosted eCommerce software?

There exist two main ways to build an online e-commerce store.  These are

Hosted eCommerce software – this is user-friendlier

Self-hosted open source e-commerce software – this is more advanced

Both are equally useful in building an e-commerce site. The only variation is the degree of customization that you want, the volume of sales and the magnitude of learning curve desired.

After a thorough investigation of the website builders for eCommerce, I have come up with the following list which represents our professional recommendation on e-commerce site builders.

ecommerce

Hosted eCommerce software

These are not technical and are user-friendlier especially for beginners. They include

  • Shopify
  • BigCommerce
  • Wix
  • Weebly
  • Squarespace

Self-hosted open source e-commerce software

These eCommerce site builders are more flexible and advanced but come at a price of being technically challenging:

  • Magento
  • WooCommerce with WordPress
  • Open Cart

Let’s now examine the differences between these two major categories so that we can decide which category is more appropriate than the other for a beginner.

Hosted e-commerce shopping cart software

According to the words of various experts in this field, hosted e-commerce shopping carts enable people to build e-commerce stores without necessarily having the technical skills to do so. This category is more preferred by common men and women who are more inclined on the performance of the business and not on the technicalities of setting and running an online e-commerce site.

Top 3 reasons why people prefer a hosted e-commerce builder

  1. Avoiding the need to worry about security, hosting and all the technicalities of an eCommerce store

The key thing here is that hosted e-commerce website builders provide eCommerce tools and features so that you are exempted from all the technical, administrative roles with regards to the online store. This places all your focus on the business itself and its performance and improvement.

  1. Need to get a pre-packaged system that can be used immediately

In a hosted e-commerce store, all the tools needed like payment processors and the product management tools are already built-in to the e-commerce site builder. This means that only minimal configuration is needed and that no integration work is required.

All of the tools and products in the store work right away and in the case of any difficulty, there is a dedicated support team that is always ready to help you.

  1. Ability to build your site by use of drag and drop technique which does not require any coding skills

Hosted e-commerce software hides all the codes to display a simple and non-technical user interface that can accommodate the drag and drop technology of creating your site. The entire process takes very short time as after the drag and drop, you upload the intended products with their images and descriptions, link the site to a payment processor and start selling the products to the customers.

One huge misdoing about hosted e-commerce software is that it is characterized limited flexibility for the user in case you need to modify the functionalities that come from the software providers.

Opinion on hosted e-commerce shopping cart software

After a careful analysis of all the hosted e-commerce builders, we have come to a unanimous conclusion that they are best suited and more helpful to the users in the beginner and intermediate stage. Below are some of the benefits to the people in this level.

Advantages of using hosted eCommerce software

  • One can build a properly functioning online store in a very short time (just a few days).
  • It is not a requirement that you know how to code (it may help, but it is not a necessity).
  • You do not need to get expensive developers as your work is simplified
  • A team of support staff is always ready to answer all your enquiries
  • All the technical bits of managing an online e-commerce store are taken care of.

A brief review of some of the hosted e-commerce site builders that are best suited for beginners

  1. Shopify

shopify

This is certainly one of the best e-commerce software in the industry at the moment. It works perfectly for businesses at the level of starting out and also all the way up to large well-established stores. This is a testament to their ability to grow with the store as the business also grows.

Key highlights

  • Offers over 100 themes that are professional, beautiful and compatible with mobile so that the store looks good.
  • Provides over 1,100 apps that can be added to the store so that the functionality of the business can be extended.
  • There is a dedicated support team that is ready to answer all your enquiries at any time 24/7
  • Availability of qualified experts who are preapproved in case you need to customize the functions or design of the online e-commerce store.

Shopify represents a one stop shop where one can drag and drop when making a website which makes the process so much easier. This, however, is not at the compromise of simplicity of the site. The site remains professional and can handle large volumes of transactions and products.

  1. BigCommerce

big

This is another eCommerce site builder, which facilitates the building of stores without getting caught up in technology. It works perfectly well for small eCommerce stores as well as the larger ones offering the following features

  • Comprehensive set of e-commerce tools that are “out of the box” helpful in building the store
  • Linkage to a variety of social networks which enables the store to grow in sales
  • Ability to make an addition to more advanced tools and apps through the availed App store.
  • A dedicated customer support

Comparing Shopify and BigCommerce, the latter has more available tools in the basic package though Shopify has better designs when it comes to storefronts and more experts and advanced tools.

  1. Wix eCommerce

wix

This is a simple drag and drops e-commerce site builder. This translates into more creativity on where one wants to place content on the site. This capability and flexibility are enhanced in Wix. When you compare Wix to other site builders such as Shopify and BigCommerce, this one is best suited for the online store owners, who only want simpler store configurations and who do not intend to sell many products.

A plus for this online e-commerce store builder is that they offer e-commerce designs that are very professional and which will appeal to prospective customers who visit the site. As earlier stated, the tools that are available on Wix are not as comprehensive as the other builders. This models it to be an optimal choice for those who are starting out in the online e-commerce business. The flexibility and simplicity will allow one to experiment and learn so that they can produce a site that meets their liking.

Other hosted e-commerce software worth mentioning are; Weebly eCommerce and Squarespace Commerce.

Conclusion

Finding a suitable e-commerce software especially when starting out is not an easy task. The key is to start by evaluating your technical capabilities. If you are confident that you are technically savvy, then self-hosted open source software will serve you right. However, most of the beginners I come across are not comfortable with codes, and my recommendation is that hosted e-commerce software is the best choice. It is a comfortable starting point, which enables one to learn to grow as the business grows. Of course, changes can be made in later periods to allow for more flexibility.

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