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Shopify is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms today, along with giants like WooCommerce, Squarespace and Wix. In spite of competition, Shopify captured a market share of 10.32% in 2023.

However, popularity doesn’t mean the best. Many new shop owners choose Shopify because they recognize the name and later run into downsides like hefty transaction fees, high eCommerce plan costs and limited control over their storefront.

While it may seem to have great ease of use at first, it isn’t very customizable and eCommerce features may be limited compared to some other options.

For small businesses, high Shopify Payments transaction fees and eCommerce plan costs can severely limit growth and profitability. An alternative with lower costs and more control gives small businesses the freedom to grow and thrive.

In this guide, we’ll cover the best Shopify alternatives in the market that can help you reduce your recurring business expenses and increase profitability.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

Is there a free version of Shopify?

Shopify doesn’t have a free version. Instead, they offer a three-day trial. However, a three-day trial may not be enough for business owners to really test the platform before jumping in.

After the trial, Shopify offers an introductory $1 per month rate for the first three months to try to get new users to continue testing out the platform. While a low-cost trial sounds great, it can lead to shop owners facing the possibility of losing hundreds of hours of work on their storefront if they can’t afford the full plan cost at the end of the three months.

Shopify’s full plans range from a basic plan (limited function) at $32 per month to a whopping $2,300 per month for Shopify Plus. Many small businesses simply can’t afford the cost of the plan needed for the eCommerce features they need to succeed.

Shopify’s full plans range from a basic plan (limited function) at $32 per month to a whopping $2,300 per month for Shopify Plus. Many small businesses simply can’t afford the cost of the plan needed for the eCommerce features they need to succeed.

How to choose the right Shopify alternative for you

To choose the best Shopify alternative, the first step is to figure out which type of platform is best for you. Shopify is an all-in-one platform that combines eCommerce and hosting, but that isn’t the only possibility for eCommerce.

Other options include combining a web host with a non-hosted eCommerce platform to provide more control over eCommerce features, payment options and costs.

Types of eCommerce platforms

Hosted eCommerce platform

This is an end-to-end eCommerce solution that includes proprietary hardware and software. It doesn’t offer separate hosting plans and limits control over your online store. Stores on these platforms can not be migrated to another host later.

Likewise, most of these all-in-one platforms have limitations on how customizable they are, so they might not fit the needs of your specific business or products as your business grows.

Most offer their own payment processors for credit cards and handling multiple currencies, which must often be configured separately. Examples include Shopify and Square.

A few hosted eCommerce platforms like BigCommerce offer the option of using an outside host.

Web hosting company

A web hosting company, like Bluehost, offers many hosting and pricing plans. Web hosts allow you to choose the content management system (CMS) for eCommerce you want so you can control your online store better.

Some hosts specialize in specific eCommerce platform packages, and stores built this way can usually be migrated to a different host later if needed.

Ecommerce platform

This is software that lets you build fully customized online stores. Some require heavy technical know-how but others work without deep technical knowledge. These platforms usually work in concert with a website host or social media and give you the freedom to change hosts later if necessary.

Some eCommerce platforms, like WooCommerce, are open-source with little or no extra cost. Others, like Ecwid, are stand-alone products that are then connected to your existing website or social media.

Features to look for in a Shopify alternative

Regardless of your platform type choice, here’s a list of things to help you pick the best Shopify alternative.

  • Security: A Shopify alternative with top-tier security is invaluable. Top-tier security includes features like multi-factor authentication, secure sockets layer (SSL) certificates, payment card compliance (PCI) and automated backups.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) features: SEO helps your website attract organic traffic, which can greatly impact your bottom line. Your choice should have SEO tools that let you perform activities like adding metadata to products.
  • Third-party integrations: The best Shopify alternatives allow third-party integrations (plugins or extensions). Third-party integrations let you boost your online store’s functionality as much as you need to meet customer needs.
  • Customer support: Responsive customer support is precious in times of crisis and helps you minimize downtimes. Support should be easily accessed and have rapid response times.
  • Transaction fees: Transaction fees eat into profit and are especially difficult to manage early in a company’s lifespan. The best Shopify alternatives have lower transaction fees, making it easier for small businesses to realize a profit and grow.
  • Progressive web app (PWA): Nearly 4 billion people worldwide access the internet with a smartphone. Choosing a Shopify alternative that lets you build a responsive website with consistently good user experiences across devices is essential.

Best Shopify alternatives

There are tons of Shopify competitors in the market, and the best for you will vary based on your needs. However, most find using a hosting platform plus eCommerce works best. The overall best Shopify alternatives for your business include:

  1. Bluehost
  4. HostGator
  5. Adobe Commerce (Formerly Magento)
  6. OpenCart
  7. Square

1. Bluehost

The Bluehost storefront.

Using Bluehost lets you separate hosting and your eCommerce platform so you can control the plans of each independently to ensure high performance. Recommended since 2005 by WordPress, Bluehost combines the power of WordPress and WooCommerce for maximum flexibility and performance for small businesses.

Fully compatible with WooCommerce, a WordPress eCommerce plugin powerhouse, stores built with WooCommerce and hosted by Bluehost run seamlessly. Plus, the WooCommerce extension marketplace provides many extensions for customizing your store’s behavior and function.


  • Bluehost is one of the best Shopify alternatives because it’s compatible with multiple eCommerce platforms like Joomla and Magento.
  • Offers a WooCommerce hosting plan that halves the time it takes to set up and configure a WooCommerce website and includes pre-installed WooCommerce.
  • Bluehost is highly reliable, with a guaranteed uptime of 99.9% to minimize and prevent downtimes that can hurt your business’s reputation and profits.
  • Supports migrating your WordPress website from other hosts and vice versa. Plus, it supports changing plans easily if you later move to a dedicated server or VPS.
  • Supporting eCommerce on a WordPress website gives you access to free themes and templates from WordPress.
  • Offers swift and helpful customer support around the clock.
  • Grows with your business and offers scaling options so your storage, memory and processors manage traffic spikes efficiently.
  • Scans your website for malware daily, notifies you of issues and applies automatic repairs.
  • Lets you schedule and run your own backups however frequently you wish. In case of failure, recent backups let you quickly restore your website to a recent usable state, ensuring a consistently excellent customer experience.
  • Doesn’t add transaction fees on top of your payment gateway fees.
  • Bluehost’s WonderSuite free drag-and-drop website builder with an intuitive, user-friendly interface helps beginners build WordPress websites effortlessly.
  • Offers a professional digital marketing team ready to help you build and promote a conversion-focused website.
  • Allows unlimited product uploads to your website.
  • Allows services and digital product offerings.


  • Bluehost doesn’t have a native point-of-sale (POS) system for managing your business offline. However, you can install WooCommerce POS plugins like wePOS and WooCommerce POS to enable that functionality.

Best Shopify alternative for: Businesses looking for freedom and more control over their website’s functionality, plus the ability to scale inexpensively.

Price: Online store hosting starts at $9.95 per month for the first year when billed annually.


The storefront.
Screenshot is another hosting company with separate hosting and eCommerce services. To run an eCommerce business successfully on, you must get a separate hosting plan and then configure your store.


  • Offers an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered website builder to help you set up a custom website without learning any coding language like HTML or CSS.
  • Supports content management systems like WooCommerce and Drupal to help you create powerful, high-converting eCommerce websites.
  • Premium professional web design services are available at an additional cost.
  • Plans come with a free domain for the first year, although the domain renewals have an additional cost.


  • Doesn’t offer advanced hosting solutions like virtual private servers (VPS), and that can limit scaling ability.

Best Shopify alternative for: Individuals with little website building experience considering a small store as a hobby.

Price: Online store hosting starts at $5.95 per month for the first year.


The storefront.
Screenshot is primarily a domain name registration service but also offers web hosting. Its focus on domains offers convenience for services like domain transfer and domain brokerage services.


  • Supports WooCommerce eCommerce and WordPress.
  • Offers WordPress hosting plans with unlimited storage and scalable bandwidth.
  • Offers SiteLock professional security and automated malware removal, which help you maintain consistently high uptime and great user experience.


  • Doesn’t offer dedicated eCommerce hosting plans.
  • Doesn’t provide advanced hosting plans like VPS, which can limit scalability and security.

Best Shopify alternative for: Individuals who plan on using multiple domains for their stores.

Price: WordPress plans start at $3.75 per month when billed annually.

4. HostGator

The HostGator storefront.

HostGator is a web hosting company with offerings in eCommerce, dedicated, VPS and WordPress hosting.

Its dedicated eCommerce hosting plan lets you install and configure a WooCommerce store running on WordPress without worrying about losing resources to another tenant on the same server.


  • HostGator’s simplified store creation process dramatically reduces the store setup time.
  • Offers automated daily backups and a free SSL certificate for your first year.
  • Includes a feature for printing shipping labels, which simplifies the shipping process.
  • Provides eCommerce website analytics for measuring your website’s overall performance.


  • HostGator’s customer service team is quick to respond. However, the agents sometimes need to correct information initially given to answer questions or solve your problems.

Best Shopify alternative for: Bloggers looking to quickly move to selling.

Price: Online Store hosting plans start at $9.95 per month when billed annually.

5. Adobe Commerce (Formerly Magento)

The Adobe Commerce storefront.

Adobe Commerce was formerly known as Magento before Adobe Inc. acquired it and rebranded it to Adobe Commerce.


  • Features a large developer community, simplifying the process of finding developers to customize your website and meet your business needs.
  • Adobe Commerce is a headless commerce platform. That is, it allows you to fully customize the front end of your store to match your brand image without affecting the backend system coding.
  • Offers customer management and marketing features.
  • It is highly scalable and supports running multiple stores from the same backend without spending more.


  • Since Adobe Commerce is headless, you might have to invest considerable time and financial resources to prepare it for the market.
  • Its steep learning curve for beginners can be daunting.
  • Free users can only use Magento Open Source — the free version of Adobe Commerce. The cost for the on-premise or on-cloud solutions can be out of the reach for anything but an enterprise-level company.
  • Magento Open Source, the free version of Adobe Commerce, does not offer direct customer support. Users must rely on community forums, documentation and third-party support providers for help. While this isn’t a big concern for experienced users, newer shop owners risk considerable downtime in this model.

Best Shopify alternative for: Seasoned eCommerce entrepreneurs looking for more control who have the budget to hire developers.

Price: Magento Open Source is free to use but has limited features. Premium plan pricing is only available through personalized quotes.

6. OpenCart

The OpenCart storefront.

OpenCart is an intuitive open-source eCommerce platform. It includes a user-friendly interface with smooth navigation, making it one of the best Shopify Alternatives.


  • OpenCart’s multi-store functionality lets users manage several stores from a single administrative interface. This simplifies store management for businesses with multiple product lines or brands.
  • Offers business management tools through order, inventory and shipping modules.
  • Has a large active developer and user community, along with over 13,000 themes and extensions to boost functionality.
  • OpenCart natively supports affiliate marketing.
  • Integrates with popular shipping carriers like USPS, FedEx and UPS.
  • Includes customer support, so you don’t have to depend on forums and documentation if you need help quickly.


  • Advanced features may require help from an experienced professional to execute.
  • Other self-hosted platforms like WooCommerce have more themes and extensions than OpenCart.

Best Shopify alternative for: Technical individuals looking for a simple yet robust solution for their eCommerce store.

Price: Free with a paid OpenCart Cloud option.

7. Square

Square storefront.

Square is a minimalistic, easy-to-use eCommerce website builder. The company provides POS and other payment solutions to businesses, both online and offline. Like Shopify, many new store owners choose Square because they recognize the name.


  • Offers card scanning and POS register devices at an additional cost.
  • Provides a seamless integration with its proprietary payment processor Square Pay and supports additional payment integrations like PayPal and Stripe.
  • Square is an all-in-one platform for online and in-person shopping.
  • Offers class shipping discounts, supports creating and printing shipping labels and provides a calculator to help you calculate and charge the right shipping price.
  • Includes built-in marketing tools to help with SEO, run personalized promos and coupons, create and manage loyalty programs and gift cards and help recover abandoned shopping carts.
  • Partnership with Afterpay enables the buy now pay later (BNPL) option.


  • Square has limited customization. Compared to other platforms, there are limited ways of changing your store’s appearance and behavior.
  • Square’s ecosystem streamlines services for your business at the cost of limiting functionality.

Best Shopify alternative for: Businesses needing both offline and online sales management.

Price: Free plan charges 2.9% + $0.30 transaction fee on all transactions. Paid plans start at $29 per month when billed annually.

Final thoughts: 7 Best Shopify alternatives for your business

Although Shopify is a comprehensive eCommerce platform, it doesn’t offer your business the versatility and control you need to break away from the competition.

However, a Shopify alternative like Bluehost offers you the flexibility to create truly unique shopping experiences by combining the eCommerce functionality you want with powerful hosting designed for business.

With powerful WooCommerce hosting, WordPress, VPS and dedicated web hosting plans, Bluehost can support your company every step of the way as it grows.

Plus, Bluehost prices are much lower than Shopify’s, and you’re in control of your data and eCommerce website functionality.

  • 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
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