5 Best WordPress Alternatives for Ecommerce Stores (Updated for 2023)
Last updated: March 6, 2023
If you’re an eCommerce business owner, you might be all too familiar with how important it is to have a website that’s visually appealing, easy to use, and has extensive customizability to provide a unique shopping experience for your customers.
WordPress is one of the most widely used platforms, and usage statistics from W3techs show that 43% of websites on the entire internet are powered by WordPress. While WordPress is great for blogging and has extensive flexibility for you to be able to create websites with endless WordPress plugins, their eCommerce functionality is far from sufficient for online businesses. So what if WordPress isn’t the right fit for your business? Don’t worry – there are plenty of great alternatives out there.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at 5 of the best WordPress alternatives for eCommerce businesses. We’ll also look at some of the pros and cons of each platform so that you can decide which is the best fit for your needs. So whether you’re looking for a platform with more flexibility or one that’s more geared towards eCommerce, we’ve got you covered. Let’s get started!
Here is a quick list of best WordPress alternatives for your business:
What is WordPress used for?
WordPress is a popular content management system (CMS) that allows you to host and build websites. With WordPress, you can customize any website to fit your business, blog, portfolio, or online store. WordPress contains plugin architecture and a template system so you can make the most of your website.
How Much Does WordPress Charge?
WordPress has a range of pricing plans designed to suit any budget, but only one those plans will allow any eCommerce activities (i.e. being able to accept payments or sell products off of your website).
WordPress’ eCommerce plan costs CAD$45 per month.
There are other plans including Free, Personal, Premium, and Business. But we will not include those as they are not relevant for eCommerce or online stores. If you’re only looking to create a website for blogging, then WordPress’ lower pricing plans might work for you.
5 Best WordPress Alternatives for eCommerce Online Stores (Free + Paid)
The main problem with WordPress’s approach to themes and templates is that you need to know how to code and work with the platform if you want to customize them. It’s not as easy as using other eCommerce platforms with built-in eCommerce features.
Payhip is a great WordPress alternative as you can create a beautiful online store or website within minutes for free! No technical know-how or design skills required. Payhip is the perfect eCommerce platform for selling any types of product as the platform comes with built-in features to sell digital downloads, online courses, coaching services, memberships, or physical products.
Payhip is the best WordPress alternative overall in terms of value and affordability.
- Free-forever: No monthly subscription fees + 5% fees per sale (excluding shipping fees)
- Plus: $29/month fees + 2% fees per sale (excluding shipping fees)
- Pro: $99/month fees, no fees per sale
If you’re wondering about a free trial, Payhip has a forever-free plan where you’ll get a permanent access to Payhip’s entire platform’s features for free (yes, all of them!).
Unlike other eCommerce platforms that charge monthly fees, Payhip only charges a 5% fee when you make a sale (i.e. if your store doesn’t get any orders or sales, you will not be paying anything at all but you’ll still be able to keep your beautiful online store). The 5% fee only applies to your product listing cost and not your shipping costs. This is a major win for small businesses that are just starting out.
If you’re still adamant about keeping your WordPress site, the good news is that you’d be able to embed Payhip into WordPress, turning your website into a fully functional eCommerce store (and without any extra charges until you make a sale on your product listings).
- Perfect for online stores who are just starting out because Payhip is the most affordable option, i.e. free. Payhip is a cheaper alternative to any other eCommerce platforms out there because it provides a forever-free plan with a 5% fee for every sale
- Drag and drop website builder + free website templates
- Blogging tools
- Instant payouts through Stripe and Paypal
- Free store domain (and ability to connect custom domain if you want to)
- Unlimited number of products and unlimited order sales
- Automatic handling of UK & EU VAT
- Built-in features to sell various product types including: digital downloads, online courses, coaching services, subscriptions/memberships, and physical products
- Free complex marketing tools: affiliate program, referral system, coupon codes, upsell, cross-sell, email marketing, and more
- Payhip’s features are optimized for selling digital products, so if you’re selling physical items, bear in mind that the Payhip platform doesn’t provide shipping label integration
- No plugins, add ons, or an app store. Payhip has an integration with Zapier (which has more than 5000+ apps) and most of the features you need as an eCommerce store are built into the platform. However, you won’t find an app store or a marketplace for themes and plugins like you would on WordPress
Wix is a popular website builder that allows users to create stunning websites with no coding required. Wix’s drag and drop editor is known for being easy to use and is ideal for small businesses or individuals who want to create a website quickly and easily.
Wix offers various pricing plans, but here are the pricing plans that include eCommerce features:
- Business Basic: $27/month
- Business Unlimited: $32/month
- Business VIP: $59/month
- The main advantage of Wix as an alternative to WordPress is the fact that Wix’s website builder is user-friendly and it makes it possible for you to create professional-looking websites without any coding skills
- Tons of free website templates
- Ecommerce functionality is not available on its free plan, so you’ll have to select from one of the paid plans listed above
- Lack of complex marketing tools such as affiliate marketing
- No built-in features to sell digital products. Wix’s eCommerce functionalities are geared toward physical product sales. So if you need instant file delivery or other features relating to selling digital products, you’ll have to install third-party apps which may cost more
- Wix doesn’t automatically remit sales taxes on your behalf. Depending on your pricing plans, Wix can auto-calculate your sales tax for you, but they do not remit these taxes to the appropriate bodies on your behalf
Squarespace is another popular website builder that offers users an easy way to create beautiful websites. Squarespace is a great option for businesses or individuals who want complete control over the design of their website.
- Personal: $23/month (no eCommerce functionality)
- Business: $33/month + 3% transaction fees
- Basic Commerce: $36/month + no transaction fees
- Advanced Commerce: $65/month + no transaction fees
- Free website templates
- Easy to use store builder to create professional-looking websites without any coding skills
- Ability to import blog content from WordPress into the Squarespace environment in a few easy clicks
- SEO optimization is more challenging than WordPress as the meta descriptions and page titles are harder to adjust on Squarespace
- Lack of complex customizations when it comes to its eCommerce functionalities
- Similar to WordPress, Squarespace does not have any built-in features to sell digital products. Its eCommerce functionalities are targeted towards physical product sales. So if you’re selling eBooks, online courses, or any other digital products, you’ll have to install third-party apps which may cost more
- Lack of complex marketing tools such as affiliate marketing. Tools such as cross-sell and upsell also require a bit of work before you’re able to launch it
- Squarespace’s app store is much smaller compared to other eCommerce platforms like Shopify and Wix
Founded in 2006, Weebly is another popular option for website creation. Weebly is another website builder that offers an easy-to-use platform for creating websites. While Weebly offers way fewer customizations and control over the look and function of your website, the platform offers convenience and value. Weebly was acquired by Square in 2018, allowing the platform to now have better eCommerce functionalities than it did before.
Weebly offers various pricing plans including a free plan with limited features.
- Personal: $13/month
- Professional: $16/month
- Performance: $29/month
- Over 70 different premade online store templates that you can change around without having to re-do your website
- Unlike WordPress, Wix, or Shopify, with Weebly’s Business and Business Plus plans you can sell digital products with a file size limit of 3 GB
- Weebly’s website builder is not as customizable as its competitors. You’ll need to be somewhat knowledgeable in coding or settle for Weebly’s templates
- Lack of advanced tools for eCommerce including complex marketing tools such as affiliate marketing
With over 4.4 million websites that use Shopify worldwide, it is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms that offer an array of third-party apps on its app store. While Shopify’s blogging tools might be lacking as an alternative to WordPress, its eCommerce functionalities are worth exploring.
Shopify offers a 14-day free trial for new users.
- Basic: $39/month
- Shopify: $105/month
- Advanced: $399/month
- Shopify Plus: from $2,000/month
- Free website templates to choose from
- Extensive number of third-party apps on Shopify app store
- Shopify also has a community of experts who actively provide their troubleshooting advice on the Shopify forum in case you need any help or guidance
- Shopify’s blogging tools are not as robust as WordPress. WordPress offers a more sophisticated platform for content management including features such as archiving and content versioning
- Shopify’s website building tools aren’t as customizable as its top competitors as it uses Liquid setup. Building a website that completely suits your branding might be a struggle, but you may be able to find freelancers who can create a website for you
- No built-in features to sell digital products. Shopify’s eCommerce functionalities are geared toward physical product sales. So if you’re selling ebooks, coaching services, memberships, online courses, or any other digital products, you’ll have to install third-party apps which may cost more
When it comes to building an online store, all business owners have various needs. While WordPress has a lot of fantastic features to offer, it isn’t one-size-fits-all.
With these WordPress alternatives in mind, consider signing up for these platforms to try them out yourselves. Look for advanced features that bring your online store to the next level including features such as a drag and drop website builder, SEO tools, marketing tools, and finally affordable pricing.
All of the sites listed offer unique features and are definitely worth considering if you’re looking for an alternative to WordPress. Have you used any of the platforms mentioned above? Let us know about your experience in the comments below!
If you’re ready to start selling right away, sign up for a free account on Payhip— it takes less than 5 minutes to get set up, no payment info required.