The 6 Best Free Ecommerce Website Builders 2022

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about building a free ecommerce website…


We’ve revisited our research and updated our list of the best free ecommerce platforms, examining the quality of their free plans and free trial periods. 

During our second round of research, we used their sales tools, website features, design functions, and customer support, creating new ratings out of five for each platform.

The winning platform is Wix, scoring highly across the board and offering a generous 14-day free trial period. Don’t worry, we’ve also included five alternatives that you might prefer.

Further down the guide, we also explain how to make an ecommerce website for free. For now, check out our comparison table…

The six best free ecommerce website builders: Comparison

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Wix

Shopify

Squarespace

Square Online

GoDaddy

Big Cartel

Score
4.6
Score
4.7
Score
4.3
Score
4.4
Score
3.9
Score
3.1
Best For

Friendly builder always on hand to help, offers great advice and varied website specific features

Best For

Sales-specific features and functionality

Best For

Best website builder with ecommerce functionality

Best For

Value for money

Best For

Speedy set up

Best For

Artists

Price Range

£13-£22/month

Price Range

£24-£259/month

Price Range

£15-£30/month (billed annually)

10% off with code EM10

Price Range

£9-£54/month (billed annually)

Price Range

£19.99/month

Price Range

$9.99 – $19.99

Lowest Price

£13/month

Lowest Price

£24/month

Lowest Price

£15/month (billed annually)

10% off with code EM10

Lowest Price

£9/month (billed annually)

Lowest Price

£19.99/month

Lowest Price

$9.99

Free Plan
Free Plan
Free Plan
Free Plan
Free Plan
Free Plan
Free Trial
Free Trial
Free Trial
Free Trial
Free Trial
Free Trial

1. Wix 4.6/5

Best overall free ecommerce website builder

Jumping up from 4.3/5 to 4.6/5 in our research, Wix has massively improved its sales features. For instance, you can now sell via Facebook and use drop shipping services.

You can build a full Wix ecommerce website at no cost with no limited trial, with access to its templates, intuitive design tools, and some customer support.

However, to actually start selling products and taking payments, you’ll need to sign up to at least the Business Basic plan (£13 per month).  Its price plans are still very affordable, though, making it one of the best platforms for small businesses.

Don’t be put off, though – you can first enjoy a free trial of your ecommerce store for 14 days to see if you like the platform. We were certainly impressed by Wix’s ecommerce features, value for money, and help and support.

Read full Wix Ecommerce Review

Pros

  • Makes it really easy to build your brand image with its intuitive design interface
  • Add product videos (but only on the ecommerce plans, starting from £13 per month)
  • 14-day free trial and affordable premium plans

Cons

  • The amount of creative freedom can feel overwhelming at first
  • Only offers multi-channel integration with Instagram as an in-built feature, unlike Square which offers more in-built integrations
Wix is one of the most popular and user-friendly ecommerce platforms in the world

2. Shopify 4.7/5

Shopify is one of the leading ecommerce platforms, offering a 14-day free trial period in which you can test its powerful sales features.

Those features are powerful and plentiful in equal measure, with Shopify scoring 4.7/5 for sales features (the highest of any platform). You’ll also have access to 1,200+ apps.

With plans starting at £24 per month once the free trial ends, it’s not the cheapest platform we tested, though. It also enforces transaction fees if you don’t use Shopify Payments, but it remains great value for money overall thanks to its range of tools and generous free trial period.

Read Full Shopify Review

Pros

  • Sell on all the big social media channels, plus Amazon, eBay, and Buzzfeed
  • Offers most sales-specific features of any platform we tested
  • Very easy to customise your features and online store

Cons

  • You’ll need to reformat your entire site if you decide to switch templates
  • It imposes transaction fees if you don’t use its own payment processor
Shopify has the most sales-specific features of any platform we tested

3. Squarespace 4.3/5

Best for combining design with impressive sales features

During your 14-day free trial period, you can use Squarespace’s stunning templates and powerful design tools to build a free ecommerce website that truly stands out. It now scores 4.3/5 (up from 4.1/5 in our previous research period), thanks to its improved app store, ease of use, and customer support. What's more, it now supports five payment processors, rather than just two.

We’re sure you’ll be impressed by Squarespace (we definitely were), so you’ll need to then sign up to an ecommerce price plan if you’d like to continue selling products online through its platform. Starting from £20 per month, it’s more expensive than Square Online and Wix – however, you’re paying for superb features, and a beautiful website that can truly stand out from the competition.

Using Squarespace is the closest you can get to a professionally designed ecommerce website, which will help boost your brand image and attract more sales. Lastly, don't forget Expert Market readers can save 10% on Squarespace by entering EM10 at the checkout.

Read Full Squarespace Ecommerce Review

Pros

  • Best-designed templates of any platform we tested, helping your products stand out
  • 14-day free trial and great value for money premium plans
  • Impressive ecommerce features, including multi-channel integration

Cons

  • Harder to use than Wix
  • Supports very few payment processors (only PayPal and Stripe)
Squarespace has the templates and design tools to help your online store truly stand out

4. Square Online 4.4/5

Best value for money

Square Online provides everything you need to start selling products – for free! Well, you do pay 1.9% per transaction instead, but it’s still your best option for creating a free ecommerce website.

It has the most generous free plan of any platform we tested, offering multi-channel integration with Instagram and Pinterest, the ability to sell unlimited products (most other platforms allow you to sell three to five products on their free plans), and automatic inventory syncing.

As with all free website builder plans, the only slight catch is that you have the platform’s branding on each of your web pages, plus a subdomain on your URL. These risk your site appearing unprofessional (or worse, untrustworthy), which can lead to lost sales.

If that’s something of concern, then you can sign up to the Professional plan at just £9 per month instead. This will connect your own website domain name, and remove the Square branding.

Pros

  • Generous free plan offering multi-channel integration
  • Access to even more features for just £9 per month on the Premium plan
  • Quick and easy to set up your free ecommerce website

Cons

  • Free plan comes with Square ads on every page
  • Very limited creative freedom when designing your site
  • Lacks the helpful prompts and support found on Wix when setting up your site
Square Online is the best overall option for creating your free ecommerce website

5. GoDaddy 3.9/5

Best for building a website quickly

Offering the longest free trial period of them all (30 days), GoDaddy is also the quickest ecommerce platform out there.

It uses ADI (artificial design intelligence) to create a website for you in a matter of minutes, first asking you a few questions about what you’d like.

Speed isn’t everything, though – GoDaddy scored poorly during our research, gaining 3.5/5 for sales features and 2.7/5 for design functionalities. 

However, if you’re looking to get a website up and running within an hour, and a long free trial period, then GoDaddy should suffice.

Pros

  • Fastest and easiest-to-use platform we tested
  • Create up to five backup copies of your online store
  • Flat-fee price after the free trial to help you organise your budget

Cons

  • Very limited creative control due to the ADI function building everything for you
  • Scored 2.5/5 for website features
  • Cannot sell digital products
GoDaddy offers the quickest way to build a free ecommerce website

6. Big Cartel 3.1/5

Best for artists

Big Cartel’s biggest draw is its generous free plan, which enables you to sell up to five products (compared to Constant Contact’s three).

Also offering the ability to promote your products through Facebook and Instagram, Big Cartel is well suited to artists selling prints or individual items that don’t require different colour or size variants.

Like most other platforms, though, its free plan is very limited in terms of features. It also comes with a subdomain (‘.bigcartel.com’ in this case) rather than your own personalised URL, which can make your website look unprofessional. To avoid these problems, you can sign up to its Platinum plan for just £7 per month.

You’ll also need to know how to code – assuming you want to grow your Big Cartel store into something more than just a basic, forgettable website.

Pros

  • Generous free plan, enabling you to sell up to five products
  • Lots of user-friendly prompts to help you navigate the interface
  • One of the best free ecommerce website builders for artists

Cons

  • Very basic template designs with little creative flexibility
  • Coding is required for building a beautiful Big Cartel website (unlike on Squarespace)
Big Cartel is the best choice for selling your art at no cost

How to make an ecommerce website for free

Learning how to build a free commerce website is simple enough, as long as you know which platforms to use. A few platforms such as Square Online and BigCartel offer free plans which allow you to build a free ecommerce website and sell a limited number of products, at no cost.

However, these plans are limited in terms of features, and usually offer underwhelming templates – which can make it hard for your business to stand out online.

That's why we strongly recommend opting for an affordable paid plan instead – they come with premium features to help take your website to the next level. Platforms such as Wix and Squarespace (which scored highly in our research) offer a free trial period rather than a free plan. This means you can build an entire online store and test the platform’s tools at no cost.

If you enjoy using it, you’ll then need to sign up to a monthly subscription. When billed annually, Wix’s ecommerce plans start from just £13 per month and Squarespace’s start from £20 per month – the price as one takeaway pizza per month.


Expert verdict

Based on our revisited research, Wix is now our top rated free ecommerce website builder thanks to its improved user-experience and stronger sales features.

We understand the free plans are an excellent way to cut costs, but they do make it difficult for your business to stand out online and grow due to their lack of features.

That’s why we’d recommend signing up for a more premium plan, on platforms like Wix or Shopify, in order to start selling more products through a website that stands out from the competition. Thankfully, the website builder plans are still very affordable.

Dan’s a Senior Writer at Expert Market, specialising in digital marketing, web design, and photocopiers, amongst other topics.