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Best Free Ecommerce Website Builders

It is possible to build an ecommerce website for free— if you are okay with some tradeoffs.

Last Updated October 29 2020

Steve Benjamins

Written By Steve Benjamins

Is it possible to build a functional ecommerce website for free? Yes, it is. Or at least, it’s possible so long as you accept a few tradeoffs.

The tradeoffs are pretty consistent among website builders. For example: most will often include an ad on a free websites, restrict advanced features or place limits on the amount of products you can create.

Note: My work is supported by affiliate commissions. Read more »

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What About WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is free but it does not include hosting— which you’ll have to pay for. The thing to know about WooCommerce is that it isn’t a standalone website builder. Instead, it’s a plugin that can be added to an existing WordPress website to turn it into an ecommerce store.

Wordpress needs to be installed on a web host. So you’ll need to pay for a web host— which is why I haven’t included WooCommerce in this list.

WooCommerce is a Wordpress plugin.

WooCommerce is a Wordpress plugin.

What About Jimdo?

Jimdo lets you build an online store on free plans but it doesn’t allow you to make any sales. For example, you can create inventory but can’t set it as “in stock” and you can’t add a payment method unless you upgrade to the Unlimited or Ecommerce plans.

What About Wix?

Like Jimdo, Wix lets you add an online store to your free website but you need a paid plan in order to accept payments. So you really can’t do ecommerce on it.

What About MyOnlineStore?

MyOnlineStore’s free plan is called MyOnlineStore GO. It supports up to 25 products and includes limited free customer support— which no other free ecommerce builder providers (they require you to upgrade to a paid plan for support).

Here’s the thing though: you must log in to your MyOnlineStore account once every two weeks or your free store will go offline. What a bizarre and frustrating limitation. For this reason, I wouldn’t recommend MyOnlineStore.

Imagine missing sales because you forgot to login!

Imagine missing sales because you forgot to login!

What About Mozello?

I have not had a chance to give Mozello a try yet— but their free plan lets you add up to 10 products and includes a solid free subdomain (yoursite.mozello.com). It doesn’t include an ad on free websites, but it’s quite small.

What's The Best Paid Ecommerce Builder?

Shopify. See my in-depth comparison of ecommerce website builders for more information.

Tip: Add A Custom Domain Name

This is a hack to add a custom domain name to your free website builder— even if it doesn’t allow them. It doesn’t work perfectly but it gets you some of the way there.

Let’s say you built a free website on Weebly at yourgiftologist.weebly.com.

You can actually register yourgiftologist.com with a domain name provider such as Namecheap and set it to redirect to yourgiftologist.weebly.com:

Setting yourgiftologist.com to redirect to yourgiftologist.weebly.com in Namecheap.

Setting yourgiftologist.com to redirect to yourgiftologist.weebly.com in Namecheap.

Now when visitors type in yourgiftologist.com they are automatically forwarded to yourgiftologist.weebly.com.

This isn’t a perfect solution— observant visitors will definitely notice the URL change in their browser— but it would let you put a domain name on your business card.

Written By Steve Benjamins

I’ve been building websites for over 20 years and websites have been featured in Wired, The Next Web, Smashing Magazine, The Huffington Post and Forbes. Read More →