Shopify Website Builder Review

Shopify Website Builder Review

The Company

Shopify is a well respected leader in the field of ecommerce site provision – in fact – they do nothing else. They claim to be powering 100,000 stores and list such retailers as General Electric and Amnesty International as clients. While I would not usually be impressed with such statistics, it is hard to ignore this sort of information once you understand where the company originated – from a frustration with other ecommerce solutions. They couldn’t find one that was easy to use so they built their own. You have to admire that.

Shopify Website Builder Review

Shopify Website Builder Review

Main pros and cons:


Pros:

  1. SEO friendly - Shopify is extremely SEO friendly with the ability to add meta descriptions on everything and we do mean everything from the front page to image alt text and product descriptions. 
  2. Ease of use – This is perhaps the most simple to use software on the market.  Within moments of setting up, you are able to start editing the look of your site and adding products, either individually or en masse. 
  3. Clean themes - Shopifiy has a good range of basic themes as well as a large range of professional themes that are very good value for money. 

 Cons:

  1. Shopify specific platform - If you are interested in editing your own theme, it is worth remembering that they use a dedicated platform that does not use standard CSS/HTML and you might need to learn another code or employ a dedicated developer. 
  2. Extras – Shopify have a large range of add ons many of which are useful, but you will be paying extra for them. 
  3. Fees – On top of a monthly service fee (unless you choose the “Unlimited” package) you will also be paying a 1-2% transaction fee. Obviously you only pay on sales made so this may of may not be a hindrance.

Pricing. The middle ground option is probably what most people will go for – at $79 per month plus 1% of transaction value.

Shopify Website Builder Pricing

Shopify Website Builder Pricing

The Shopify Website builder platform is extremely easy to use and you will be up and running in no time at all. This is almost certainly my top recommendation for a small business to get started as quickly as possible.

Adding products takes mere moments but it is worth spending the time adding SEO titles and descriptions both to the product page and images – unless you have a different source of traffic than search engines. If you are looking for search engine traffic this is by far the best option.

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They recently added an interesting product that allows you to integrate an existing physical store with their platform. This will only appeal to those with a physical store but it is certainly a great feature – it costs extra of course.

Support is 24/7 which we consider to be a vital service for a business website. Almost all the most important sales days are outside “normal” working hours and the last thing you need is downtime the Sunday before Christmas.

With multiple different payment processors available, mobile ready site and social integration, this one comes with our highest recommendation and is without a doubt one of, if not, the best website builder on the market for ecommerce businesses.

 

 Shopify is helping people who don’t necessarily have the web development skills to connect directly to consumers. I see that as a real shift in the opportunities available.

- Patrick Buckley, dodocase.com.

 
 

Review by Mark Knowles Last Updated 6th May 2014

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