Blog Menu

I write and curate content for Bluehost. I hope this blog post is helpful.
Are you looking at creating a blog, website or an online store? Bluehost has something for everyone. Get started today.

As online shopping continues to evolve at a rapid pace, it’s more important than ever for businesses to choose the right platform to power their online stores and stay ahead of the curve.

Whether you are a budding entrepreneur or an established retailer looking to expand your digital presence, our list of the top free eCommerce platforms will help you make an informed decision that caters to your unique needs and budget.

In this guide, we will provide an in-depth analysis of each platform, from fully hosted solutions to open-source platforms. Our selection caters to businesses of all sizes and industries. 

As you explore the world of eCommerce, we hope this guide will serve as a valuable resource in helping you find the perfect platform to kickstart your online journey and achieve success in 2024 and beyond.

How to choose the best free eCommerce platform

In all honesty, it’s nearly impossible to find a completely free eCommerce platform.

Even if the platform itself doesn’t charge a fee, you’ll likely still need to cover expenses such as domain registration, web hosting, payment processing fees, and additional extensions.

That said, your objective should be to find an eCommerce platform that allows you to launch your online store with minimal or no initial costs, while not imposing significant constraints on how you manage or expand your business.

Ideally, you’ll want a user-friendly platform, complete with all the necessary features and the capability to process payments using your preferred methods.

With these considerations in mind, let’s delve into the top free eCommerce platforms available for you to generate income and develop your business online.

WooCommerce Via Bluehost

WooCommerce is undoubtedly the best free e-commerce platform available. It is an open source, free e-commerce plugin that works flawlessly with WordPress (most WordPress plugins and WordPress sites). WooCommerce is a feature-rich solution with all the e-commerce functions you may require, even though it just sounds like “a plugin.” In addition, WooCommerce offers a vast ecosystem of extensions that allow you to customize the core product to precisely meet your needs.

For experienced users, WooCommerce is an enjoyable experience since it offers total control over your online store. For newcomers, it offers a comprehensive way to launch your online business, scale it up, and gain knowledge as you go.


  • Sell anything, including subscriptions and tangible or digital commodities. 
  • Simple to use and install.
  • Easy to add your items. 
  • Available with several free WooCommerce themes to assist you in creating the exact look and feel of your business.
  • Secure and adaptable payment methods.
  • Various currencies are available for sale worldwide.
  • Integrates with many shipping channels.
  • Stripe plugin accessible upon request.


  • For the majority of newly established online shops, the base plugin plus free add-ons should be more than sufficient. 
  • However, extra extensions will need to be purchased if you need to utilize different payment gateways, directly link WooCommerce with certain shipping solutions, or have WooCommerce assist you with managing taxes. There are many of those out there.
woocommerce hosting for your ecommerce business Website Builder

Although the website builder doesn’t provide a free plan, it does feature a very reasonably priced plan that lets you start an online business without breaking the bank. 

The store will be hosted by, which will also provide you with a free custom domain and free SSL certificate. 

Up to 500 goods may be added to your store, credit cards can be accepted, orders can be tracked and managed, a Facebook marketplace link can be made, and a lot more.


  • Using the drag-and-drop website builder on, you may create an online store. A free custom domain name of your choice is available. 
  • Via your store, you may offer both tangible and digital goods for sale. is a useful tool for inventory tracking. 
  • Email and live chat help is offered around the clock. 
  • Although the blogging software is relatively simple and doesn’t offer the same functionality as a blogging platform like WordPress, you may add a blog to your store’s website for free.


  • The monthly cost of the eCommerce Essentials package is $13.95. 
  • The eCommerce functionalities are not as strong as those of Shopify or WooCommerce.

BuyNow Plus

BuyNow Plus is not a comprehensive online store. Rather, it allows you to design “buy now” buttons that you may place on any kind of webpage.

Using BuyNow Plus requires creating a free Stripe account.


  • At just 3% for each transaction, the transaction cost is rather reasonable. However, bear in mind that Stripe additionally levies transaction fees. 
  • BuyNow Plus allows you to process credit card recurring payments without requiring your consumers to create an account. This is an extremely useful feature if you offer recurring subscriptions for physical goods. 
  • The button links may be used in emails as well as on your website and social media accounts. 
  • The number of distinct goods you may sell with BuyNow Plus is unlimited.


  • BuyNow Plus doesn’t provide extra features, such as store builders or inventory management. 
  • Using Stripe directly on your website would allow you to accomplish something comparable. You would then be spared the transaction fee charged by BuyNow Plus. Although it is feasible to obtain an SSL certificate for free, you would need to have your own.


You may build your online store with BigCommerce, an all-in-one (or fully hosted) eCommerce platform. If you like to integrate BigCommerce with an already-existing website, there is also a WordPress plugin available. 

Although there isn’t a free plan available, you may set up and launch your internet company for free with their free trial.


  • To use the free trial, no credit card information is required. 
  • BigCommerce is quite simple to use. Simply register, fill out your store’s information, and begin adding merchandise. 
  • If you would like not to pay for a custom domain name, you can obtain a free domain such as 
  • BigCommerce offers several options for accepting payments. Numerous payment networks are integrated with it by default, including Stripe,, PayPal powered by Braintree, and others. 
  • You may expand the functionality of your BigCommerce store by adding a plethora of third-party apps. 
  • Numerous pre-made themes and layouts are available to give your business a polished appearance.


  • With only 15 days available in the free trial, you won’t have much time to start earning money from your business. After that, maintaining your business will need a monthly payment of $29.95 or more. 
  • Since BigCommerce is an all-in-one platform, you can only use their themes and extensions. Compared to some other eCommerce platforms, you won’t have as many options.


Another completely hosted eCommerce platform is Shopify. Similar to BigCommerce, Shopify provides a 14-day free trial that doesn’t require a credit card. 


  • With Shopify, getting started is quite simple. Because of the drag-and-drop interface of their website builder, even complete novices may produce an attractive online store. 
  • You may purchase a variety of add-ons from the app marketplace if you want to give your store more functionality. 
  • Support is offered by live chat, phone, email, and Twitter around the clock. 
  • Shopify’s integrated payment system, Shopify Payments, levies a transaction fee of 2.9% + 30 cents. It is simpler for consumers to get started because this is an integrated function that costs the same as Stripe or other payment processors.


  • Shopify levies a two percent transaction fee if you utilize alternative payment gateways like PayPal or Stripe. This is in addition to the cost that the third-party payment gateway is charging. 
  • There is a 3-day limit on the free trial. You’ll have to switch to a premium plan after that. The lowest is ordinarily $29 per month, but for the first three months, only $1 is being charged.


Although Weebly isn’t as well-known as some other eCommerce systems, such as Shopify and WooCommerce, you can test the platform out for free with their trial.


  • Any type of tangible or digital goods can be added to your store. 
  • Building your website and managing the products in your store is simple with the drag-and-drop interface. 
  • You should be able to pick the ideal theme (design) for your website from the around 100 options available. 
  • Features for managing taxes, shipping, inventory, and checkout are integrated. 
  • In addition to the community forum, the free plan offers email, phone help, and live chat. 
  • Even extremely tiny enterprises and startups may afford them if they choose to switch to a premium plan. The monthly cost of the Professional plan is $12, and it is paid yearly.


  • Weebly levies a transaction fee of 3%. This is on top of any transaction cost your payment gateway levies. 
  • The parent company of Weebly, Square, may display advertisements and branding if you are using the free or Personal ($10/month) accounts. 
  • You are capped to 25 goods per sale, even with the premium beginning plan.

Big Cartel

A hosted eCommerce platform called Big Cartel was created primarily with artists and creatives in mind. It can be a terrific alternative for you if you want to open a business offering handcrafted goods or anything similar.


  • The transaction costs of the free plan are nonexistent. However, you will be responsible for paying Stripe or PayPal costs (Big Cartel does not offer any other choices for processing payments).
  • You may personalize your free store URL. You can pick the name you want, but it must follow the format You are unable to modify the unique URL that many other platforms provide you by your username or shop name.
  • Your free plan is more generous than other hosted free plans since it allows you to have up to 5 goods.
  • Setting up your store is fast, and adding items is simple. Big Cartel guides you through the procedure step-by-step.
  • Features like real-time statistics and marketing tools for running sales and promotions are included in the free plan.


  • You must alter the HTML of the theme if you wish to change the look or feel of your website. This isn’t nearly as user-friendly for novices as the majority of other eCommerce systems. 
  • There aren’t many features in the free plan. If you wish to use features like discount coupons or inventory tracking, you must switch to a premium subscription.


You may easily construct a website with Wix using its user-friendly website builder, which is comparable to Weebly or Squarespace. You can also utilize Wix’s ADI artificial intelligence designer. Furthermore, you don’t even need to know how to code to personalize it. 

You will need to subscribe to a premium plan, though, if you want to start taking orders from clients. Put another way, creating the e-commerce site itself is free, but you will need to invest some money to get it up and running.


  • Internet visibility with safe, cost-free web hosting.
  • 500 MB of bandwidth and 500 MB of storage are available. 
  • Numerous completely editable designs and a mobile-friendly website.
  • Having access to a large library of free programs, graphics, clip art, and icons.
  • Help with SEO, email marketing, and other marketing tools.


  • The Wix favicon will appear in your website’s URL. Moreover, every page has Wix advertisements. It is not possible to alter templates or have a custom domain. 
  • Most notably, the free plan does not allow you to receive payments. Once more, while setting up your business is free, you will have to pay to begin selling.

Choosing the best free eCommerce platform

So, how do you determine the best free eCommerce platform for your needs? It depends on your specific requirements and preferences.

If you seek a cost-effective solution with the flexibility to expand your business, WooCommerce is an excellent choice. This plugin is specifically designed for selling, offering all the necessary features to create a responsive store quickly.

Boasting over 100 payment gateways, extensive SEO tools, and powerful analytics, it’s arguably one of the most comprehensive eCommerce platforms available.

For those looking for an affordable, non-WordPress eCommerce platform, consider exploring’s website builder. While it’s more budget-friendly compared to Shopify or BigCommerce, it may not offer the same level of features and adaptability as other platforms.

If you’re willing to invest in a platform that perfectly suits your business after trying a free version, both BigCommerce and Shopify serve as fantastic, feature-rich options.


Selecting the ideal eCommerce platform for your business in 2024 is a crucial decision that can greatly impact your online store’s success. Our guide on the 8 Best Free eCommerce Platforms aims to provide you with a diverse range of options tailored to various needs, budgets, and preferences. From the flexibility of WooCommerce to the feature-rich offerings of BigCommerce and Shopify, these platforms are designed to support businesses of all sizes in their pursuit of online growth.

We hope that this guide has equipped you with valuable insights and information to help you make an informed decision on the best free eCommerce platform for your business in 2024. Here’s to your online success and growth in the ever-evolving world of eCommerce!

Free eCommerce platforms FAQs

1. Why should I consider a free eCommerce platform?

You should consider a free eCommerce platform because it allows you to start your online store with minimal or no upfront costs, enabling you to test the waters and refine your business model before committing to a paid solution. Additionally, free platforms often provide essential features and tools needed to establish and grow your online presence.

2. What features should I look for in a free eCommerce platform?

When evaluating a free eCommerce platform, you should look for features such as ease of use, responsive and customizable templates, product management, multiple payment gateway options, SEO tools, integration capabilities, and customer support. These features will help you create a robust online store with minimal hassle.

3. Can I customize the design of my online store with a free eCommerce platform?

Yes, most free eCommerce platforms offer customizable design options for your online store. This typically includes a selection of responsive templates that can be tailored to your brand and preferences, as well as options to modify colors, fonts, and layout. Some platforms may also support custom CSS or HTML for more advanced design customization.

4. Are free eCommerce platforms secure for processing online payments?

While free eCommerce platforms often provide secure payment processing options, it’s crucial to ensure that the platform you choose is compliant with industry standards, such as PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard). Additionally, consider using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates for your website to ensure secure communication between your customers and your online store.

5. Can I migrate my online store to a different platform in the future?

Yes, it is generally possible to migrate your online store to a different platform in the future. However, the process may vary depending on the platforms involved and the complexity of your store’s data and design. When selecting a free eCommerce platform, it’s a good idea to check if it offers any migration tools or assistance to facilitate a smooth transition should you decide to change platforms down the line.

  • Devin Sears

    Devin is a Senior Event Marketing Manager for the Bluehost brand. He is our brand steward for all things Bluehost and WordPress. You'll always see him supporting Bluehost at WordCamps around the world!

    Brigham Young University
    Previous Experience
    Social Media, Customer Experience, Field Marketing, Sponsorships, Event Coordinator
Learn more about Bluehost Editorial Guidelines

Write A Comment