How to Build a Profitable eCommerce Website in 2021

and the top 10 best eCommerce website builders ranked.

Starting an online store can be a great business opportunity, but it’s also easy to get overwhelmed by the process. With around 12 to 24 million eCommerce websites across the globe, making a profitable store requires dedication, personalization, and time. One way to have better results is to use a website builder that can help you create a unique online store with ease.

A good eCommerce website builder can speed up the task of creating a modern, professional-looking eCommerce website. Then you won’t have to spend your valuable time learning how to code, and you’ll be able to start making sales immediately.

If you’re looking to create an eCommerce website, this article contains the best 10 eCommerce website builders and how to get started with each one.

Before we talk about how you can get started building your own online store, let’s take a look at the best website-building platforms available today. Skip to the step-by-step guide here

10 Best E-Commerce Website Builders

Browse through our list of the top 10 online store builders on the market:

  1. WordPress
  2. Squarespace
  3. Shopify
  4. GoDaddy
  5. Weebly
  6. Sellfy
  7. Mailchimp
  8. Wix
  9. GetResponse
  10. Jimbo

1. WordPress and WooCommerce

WordPress is the best website builder for full customization features.

While as it started as a platform for creating blogs, WordPress has quickly become the best CMS tool for building any type of website. This is our top choice for building an online store for a handful of reasons:

  1. First, WordPress is a completely free-to-use open source software. Unlike the other website builders, there are very few paywalls that will prevent you from being able to fully customize your site.
  2. Second, WordPress has a huge library of plugins that can enhance your website. Additionally, the plugins receive regular upgrades, updates and fixes. The most popular eCommerce plugin currently has over 5 million downloads. 
  3. Third, you can start and manage an online store regardless of if you can code or not.

In fact, we love building websites with WordPress so much that we decided to include a full step-by-step guide at the bottom of this article—that way you don’t have to go anywhere.

So if you want to start your eCommerce website with WordPress, skip to here.

Squarespace is one of the leading website builder tools on the market. With a drag-and-drop interface, you can use it with little technical knowledge, but there can be some learning curve on the back end when setting up an online store.

It also provides well-designed templates to brand and customize your online store or site. But once you choose a template, you need to upgrade to a paid plan in order to start selling products to customers.

For only $18/month, Squarespace is a great option for those of you looking for a reliable paid tool. 

Sellfy is the simplest platform for creating an online store from scratch. Its intuitive software and easy-to-use builder make it so that you can quickly start selling your products without worrying too much about the design.

For those of you looking for a quick and easy solution, Sellfy is your best bet. Although it doesn’t have quite as many features as some of the rest of the eCommerce website builders on this list, it is affordable and useful.

The cheapest plan comes in at $19/month and it includes everything you need to start up your store and start selling.

READ NEXT: 109 Marketing Tools for Growing Your Online Store

4. Shopify

Shopify is one of the best options when it comes to ecommerce website builders.

Shopify is the most popular platform people use to launch and manage online eCommerce websites. Brands like Staples, All Birds, and Kylie Cosmetics rely on it to drive sales and attract customers. 

There are plenty of reasons why Shopify is so darn popular. It’s easy to use, scalable and packed with impactful features. If you are an entrepreneur, TikTok creator, or small business owner, Shopify is a great platform for turning traffic into profits. 

5. GoDaddy

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GoDaddy is largely known as a domain registrar company that helps you host your own website, but they also provide all the tools you need to start your own online store. 

Unfortunately, GoDaddy suffers in the scaling department. It only allows users to sell up to 1,500 products and is limited in a number of areas, including search engine optimization and emailing. 

On the plus side, GoDaddy has a smart AI system that makes the web design part easy. All you have to do is enter some information into a form and your personalized website will be created for you.

6. Weebly

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GoDaddy is largely known as a domain registrar company that helps you host your own website, but they also provide all the tools you need to start your own online store. 

Unfortunately, GoDaddy suffers in the scaling department. It only allows users to sell up to 1,500 products and is limited in a number of areas, including search engine optimization and emailing. 

On the plus side, GoDaddy has a smart AI system that makes the web design part easy. All you have to do is enter some information into a form and your personalized website will be created for you.

7. Mailchimp

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Mailchimp recently pushed a big marketing campaign to promote their new website builder platform. As an email marketing software, Mailchimp’s edge is its host of effective lead generation tools. 

You can make a free eCommerce website using this tool too. They make money by charging a commission fee for each sale you complete. If you are starting a new online store and you are working with a small budget, this is a great tool to try out. 

8. Wix

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Wix is another online website building platform that uses a drag-and-drop builder. Instead of coding each part of your website from scratch, Wix allows users to take advantage of templates, elements, and simple building tools. 

The main issue with using Wix is that you can’t actually sell anything unless you upgrade to one of the paid plans. However, you can design and build your eCommerce site for free.

Wix has a plethora of useful features, including order tracking, omnichannel sales, and abandoned cart campaigning. These features are put in place to allow you to sell your products in more ways than one. 

9. GetResponse

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GetResponse is a marketing automation software that recently added a free website builder feature. Similar to GoDaddy, GetResponse allows users to fill out a simple form and let an AI build their website for them. Alternatively, you can always choose out all the customizable elements of your site by hand. 

Additionally, GetResponse uses nontechnical building tools that make online store design easy for those of you who don’t code. Take advantage of their premium plan to add email marketing automation, live chat, and more features to your live site. 

10. Jimbo

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Jimbo is an easy website-building tool that is made for solo entrepreneurs and content creators. Luckily, you won’t be charged any transaction fees when you make sales on this platform. However, this platform lacks payment options, integrations, and add-on features. 

If you only need a basic website to sell a few products, you may want to consider choosing Jimbo. Otherwise, it’s best to choose another platform on this list or wait until Jimbo releases a few more updates. 

Next Steps

Unless you are looking to sell a few products as a simple side hustle, you should choose WordPress to set up your online store. I mean, there’s a reason 30% of the websites on the internet are powered by WordPress. It’s free, completely customizable, and easily scalable. 

Because of these reasons, I decided to include a guide on how to create an eCommerce website using WordPress as your builder of choice.

Let’s get started. 

1. Choose a Niche and Domain Name

Before you go out and start your website, you need to decide the most important thing: what do you want to call it?

Your domain name is the address that viewers type in the search bar to find your website. For example, our domain name is ‘websitelaunch.org‘.

If you already have a brand, simply use the name of your brand as your domain name. Make sure to keep your domain name short, sweet, and related to your niche. You can also use a domain name generator to come up with a list of ideas. 

If you can, try to use a .com extension for your website. It’s the most trustworthy domain extension and it will help you sell your products on a global scale.

Once you have a few domain names that you like, run them through this checker to see if they are still available. 

If it’s available, nice! But don’t purchase it yet. If you follow our steps and sign up with our recommended host, you can secure your domain name for free

2. Secure a Web Host

Your web host is the service provider that handles all your website’s complicated files and makes your online store searchable on the internet. Basically, every website needs a web host to grow.

With so many web hosts available online, it can be difficult to find one to trust. Like most other bloggers, we found that Bluehost is the best option for a few reasons:

  • Bluehost is secure, safe, and transparent
  • They offer a generous money-back guarantee if you run into any problems
  • 24/7 support
  • It costs less than a cup of coffee a month AND you get a free domain name for an entire year
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Want to know why we love Bluehost?

See why we (and thousands of other bloggers) choose Bluehost as our top preferred web host provider. 

Bluehost makes it easy to install WordPress and WooCommerce. With most host providers, the process of handling WordPress becomes too complicated, too quickly. Bluehost simplifies it into just a few clicks on your end, and they take care of the rest.

Sign up for one of their plans (the cheapest one is ideal) and follow their instructions until you get to the part where you install WordPress. 

Here’s the guide we made on installing and configuring WordPress with Bluehost. Although this was made for bloggers, the process is exactly the same if you want to start an eCommerce website. 

3. Install WordPress

If you sign up with Bluehost, this part’s easy. All you have to do is head to your Bluehost dashboard and choose the “one-click WordPress install” option.  

With other hosts, you may have to manually download WordPress and then upload it to the host provider’s account. Here’s a full guide on how to do that

After successfully installing WordPress, you should be able to access your new dashboard.

It should look something like this.

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4. Customize Your Site with a Theme

One of the best parts of WordPress is how easy it is to customize your website. By installing a theme, you can add a basic design to your site without doing any work at all. In the future, you can always edit the small details of your theme and change the look of your site. 

WordPress has a massive selection of free themes directly available on the platform. Luckily, many of them are compatible with the online store plugin we’re using—WooCommerce. 

Here are the steps to search for a free WordPress theme:

  1. Head to your WordPress dashboard
  2. Go to ‘Appearance’ > ‘Themes’ on the left menu.
  3. Click on ‘Add New’ and filter the themes based on popularity, date released, etc. 
  4. Trial out the themes you like by pressing ‘Demo’. 
  5. Install and then activate the theme you like!
wordpress add new theme

You should also consider spending a few dollars on a premium theme from a third-party website. These themes tend to have more features (like a built-in drag and drop builder) and unique styles. Here are a few premium themes that are worth checking out:

You should also look into ThemeForest, a third-party platform that holds a large selection of niche-specific premium themes. 

When you decide on a theme, make sure to do some research on it first. As an open-source software platform, WordPress allows basically any developer to upload their code and make a theme. This means that some of the themes may be underdeveloped and vulnerable to security attacks. 

Next, let’s install the main WordPress plugin that will transform your website into an online store. 

5. Install WooCommerce

As mentioned above, WooCommerce is the most downloaded plugin for giving your website the features/functionalities of an eCommerce store. With over 5 million active installations, it’s actually one of the most popular plugins, period.

WooCommerce is a free plugin that charges you for extra features (like allowing different payment options or offering product add-ons). Luckily, the free version comes with all these features:

  • Secure Payments
  • Integrations (Google Analytics, Email Servicers, Social Media, etc.)
  • Tax Automation
  • Cart and Checkout pages
  • Product Pages

Now, let’s go over the steps you need to take in order to install WooCommerce onto your WordPress site and turn it into an eCommerce shop. 

Go to your WordPress Dashboard

Locate the ‘Plugins’ button on your left menu and click on ‘Add New’.

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Search for WooCommerce and click ‘Install Now’

Wait a few seconds and then press ‘Activate’. This will launch the WooCommerce setup wizard.

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Fill in your business details

Complete the first form in the setup wizard.

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Fill in your business details

Complete the first form in the setup wizard.