Website builder comparison for beginners

For a beginner thinking of starting an online store, there are many options on the market. However, to choose the right e-commerce site builder, you need to consider certain factors; cost, ease of use, storefront functionality, design among others. This comparison will help you do just that, to ensure that you get value for your money and reap maximum benefits from your choice

Wix

Wix is a great site builder for a beginner worried about running an online store with little tech expertise. Wix makes it extremely easy to develop and manage your online store, without any codes or programming language hiccups. Wix websites are mobile-responsive and user-friendly.

Themes:

As soon as you start building your site with Wix, you get to choose from a variety of stunning templates, depending on the industry you are in. Themes on Wix are grouped according to categories like business, video, design, accommodation, wellness and health, food, among others. If you are in photography, Wix’s themes will work great as they have space for you to upload your HD graphics or images. All of their hundreds of themes are fully customizable, if you like the DIY vibe, and would like to add more personality into your site. The only catch is that you cannot change your theme, at least, not on the same website, so you are advised to select wisely.

Plug-ins

Plug-ins or widgets are special tools designed to help you run your site and reap maximum benefits from it. There are hundreds of free plug-ins for your web pages, as well as premium plug-ins for users on their paid plans, like SEO plug-ins on the Wix App Market. There are plug-ins for marketing, Google AdSense, calendars, among others. The most noteworthy plug-in for your online store will be ‘Online Store,’ which will enable you to run your store on your Wix site. The Online Store plug-in will allow you to accept payments via Ecwid, integrate shipping companies and add products with their specs. In other words, online store enables you to add your products, sell them, access payments and ship them out to your clients.

Tech support

Tech support is an essential aspect of all online store owners. A glitch can cost you thousands of dollars, and without the right tech support, running an online store can bring massive headaches. Wix has a dedicated team which you can call during business hours, or submit a support ticket. Alternatively, you can visit their support databases with a host of solutions for your issues.

SquareSpace

Since its inception in 2004, SquareSpace is a New York-based company that promises to build you a superb, professional-looking, crisp site.

Themes

True to their promise to offer you a crisp website, SquareSpace offers you simple but elegant themes that are fully customizable and mobile-ready. Their sophisticated templates are described as starting points; you get to add your ideas to ensure you get your desired end-result. You can select your theme depending on your industry.

Ease of use

You need not to stress over technical know-how, as web design with SquareSpace is easy and straightforward. You can use a few clicks, drag and drop and insert relevant graphics and text using their user-friendly editor named LayoutEngine. Unlike Wix, with SquareSpace, you can readily change your template without worrying about scattering your site.

Integrations

SquareSpace offers you a host of plug-ins, or integrations to help you run your online store. Among the plug-ins on SquareSpace include ShipStation for printing shipping labels, MailChimp for sign up and e-mail newsletters, Disqus for commentary and reviews, social media buttons and shipping merchant plug-ins from FedEx and UPS.
The social media buttons enable you to sell seamlessly and connect with your social media accounts. There are many custom plug-ins, but for better functionality, you are encouraged to use only SquareSpace-supported integrations.

Payment options

SquareSpace enables you to integrate PayPal and stripe, the latter which processes payments via major credit cards.

Tech support

SquareSpace offers you support through their help page and 24/7 customer service via email. You can only live-chat from 4 am to 8 pm EST.

BigCommerce

The Australian-founded e-commerce service provider has grown fast since 2009, generating over $9 billion in sales for its hundreds of thousands of users. BigCommerce offers you a robust, fully functioning online store in a matter of a few clicks.

Themes

BigCommerce has seven free and tens of paid themes. If you are looking for a minimalist, traditional look for your site, then BigCommerce is perfect for you. As you scroll through your themes, you get both a desktop and mobile feel of what your site will look like.

Ease of use

With BigCommerce, your site will be fully scalable, mobile-ready, fast, and reliable, with a record uptime of 99.99% annually. Starting up may be somewhat cumbersome, but that is because BigCommerce integrates most of the essential features needed to run an online store into your default site. This eliminates the need and cost of third-party apps. You can also readily integrate Amazon and social media sites to reach a more significant community of prospective customers.
BigCommerce sites enable you to integrate coupons codes, add ‘log in’ function for repeat customers, define and offer discounts on shipping costs and handle your sales tax requirements.

Plug-ins

BigCommerce gives you access to the best SEO tools available; SEO-optimized URLs, RSS feeds for your blog, email marketing, and newsletters, and an SEO editor. Moreover, they also offer a reliable abandoned cart recovery feature. From QuickBooks and MailChimp, their app store has hundreds of apps for your selection, if you want to strengthen your already robust site further.

Integrated payments:

BigCommerce supports about 40 local and over 200 international payment gateways. However, you need to integrate apps to be able to have Stripe, PayPal and Amazon Pay functions. BigCommerce does not charge any transaction fees, but you will need to cater for credit card payment processing fees.

Also we recommend you Shopify as a one of the best ecommerce platforms in Australia. 

Conclusion

Above is a non-exhaustive list of reliable website builders and the services you can expect from them. With this information, you can get a general idea of how they work. However, for refined answers to all your questions, you are encouraged to visit respective websites and customer care desks.