What Is the Best Website for an Online Store?

The factors that determine the best website for an online store are your business needs, goals, product type and budget. Generally: Shopify, is the best website for an online store overall.

Factors That Make the Best Website For an Online Store: Why Shopify Tops the Charts

Shopify Review

Ease of Use

An online store website builder must be user friendly. Most store owners do not have the technical expertise to build online stores from scratch, also it may be budget intensive to hire a developer to build an online store from the ground up.

This is where Shopify shines. The platform has a user-friendly and intuitive online builder which makes it easy for store owners to build professional and visually appealing online stores without technical (coding and design) skills.


Unlike ecommerce platforms such as BigCommerce, which are focused on enterprise level business with high volumes and huge inventories, and ecommerce platforms like Wix, which cater to businesses with micro ecommerce needs: Shopify is suited for businesses of all types and sizes.

The Shopify platform is a great fit for a business that wants to start small on the platform and only pay for features that they need.

The platform enables business to start and expand within the platform without the need to switch platforms. In a sense, Shopify is designed to grow with your online store.


The Scalability capability of an online store website builder is a critical consideration. If you settle for an ecommerce platform that has no scaling capabilities and features you will face the challenge of having to switch platforms and migrate to a suitable platform amid business operations.

This can be risky on both operational, customer service and business model dimensions of your business. The Shopify platform has capabilities for growing and scaling your online store.

App Ecosystem

The features that an ecommerce platform powers your online store with by default can be well and good: however you need flexibility to customize your online store and extend its look and feel, and most importantly, its functionalities. You need to leverage third party apps and plugins to extend the capabilities of your online store.

This is another area where Shopify shines again. Shopify has a vast app ecosystem.

You can find third party apps to take your online store capabilities to the next level particularly in areas such as, marketing, social media integration, analytics, inventory management, SMS and email, and integrations with other platforms, etc.

Payment Options

Online payments are one of the biggest drivers and enablers of e-commerce. You do not have an ecommerce business if you cannot collect payments online.

So your choice for the best website for an online store must be informed by the diversity and range of online payments options the platform offers.

Once more, Shopify is unrivalled here, the platform has over 100 payment gateways options. In addition the platform has its proprietary Shopify Payments gateway.

A good ecommerce platform has payment options for credit/debit cards and digital wallet capable payment options that cover a good range of countries and regions.

Shopify and Cyber Security

Security and data privacy is a critical component of ecommerce. With the growth of the internet, the threats to cyber security are inevitable.

Shopify has implemented various measures and mechanisms (shared below) to secure its platform and millions of online stores running on its platform.

Shopify provides these security measure and mechanisms:

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption: for the protection and security of customers and online store data.

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) Compliance: Shopify is PCI DSS compliant: this means that the platform satisfactorily ensures that customer payment data is processed and handled securely.

Fraud Prevention: Shopify also implements fraud detection mechanisms to help mitigate against fraudulent transactions. The platform employs machine learning to detect and block suspicious transactions.

Shopify Additional Security Mechanisms

In addition to the above, the platform also offers Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), Regular Updates and Security Patches, Security Monitoring, Secure Hosting, Secure Payment Processing, GDPR Compliance and app security, etc.

Support and Resources

As an ecommerce platform end user (vendor/merchant) you need guidance and support to get a good grip of the features and functions of the ecommerce platform.

Shopify offers an efficient 24/7 customer support service via email, live chat and telephonically. The platform has extensive documentation and a vibrant community of users and experts willing to help at any step of your journey.

Mobile Responsiveness

Statista indicates that mobile e-commerce sales reached $2.2 trillion in 2023. The report also indicates that mobile commerce now makes up 60 percent of all e-commerce sales around the world.

This suggests that any online store that is not adapted for mobile devices will not achieve its full potential. Shopify offers free and premium mobile friendly themes and these are crucial for reaching customers across all devices.


Search Engine Optimisation is a big part of ecommerce. Digital stores are primarily designed to thrive in the digital world. It’s important for an ecommerce platform to provide tools optimising online stores and product pages for Search Engines.

Shopify has granular SEO features that enable you to keyword-optimize the meta tags, product titles and product page URLs of your store.

This enhances the visibility of your store and product on search engines and therefore increases your traffic and sales prospects.

Inventory Management

Inventory management is an important aspect of the ecommerce workflow. You need to build your online store on an online store website builder that has robust and predictive inventory management features.

These are crucial for enabling you to avoid overstocking and stock outs. Shopify has inventory control and inventory management features to enable you to stay ahead of the supply demand curve of your ecommerce business.

Evaluating Shopify Alternatives

It is important to mention that before you settle for Shopify, take time to check out other ecommerce platforms such as WooCommerce (Best for WordPress content driven ecommerce), BigCommerce, Magento, Wix and Squarespace.

These have their strengths and may be suited for certain businesses. Consider the unique needs of your business, as well as your budget. Also consider the growth prospects of your ecommerce.

Top 10 eCommerce Platforms

1. Shopify: Shopify is a leader in ecommerce. The platform is renowned for its user-friendly and intuitive interface, extensive app marketplace, and scalability.

2. WooCommerce: This is a great option for brands with a strong WordPress content strategy and presence and seek to extend their digital capabilities to ecommerce. The solution is ideal for micro, small to medium sized businesses.

3. BigCommerce: BigCommerce is suited for enterprise level brands looking to scale and grow rapidly.

4. Magento: This is an open-source ecommerce renowned for its customization options. It is one of the favourite platforms for larger enterprises.

5. Wix: With is renowned for its user-friendly interface, wide collection of highly customisable templates. Wix is a great choice for businesses with micro ecommerce needs.

6. Squarespace: Squarespace brings together a website builder and e-commerce functions. The platform is a great choice for retailers who want a solution for creative entrepreneurs.

7. OpenCart: This is another open-source ecommerce solution. The platform is preferred for its simplicity and ease of use, making it a suitable option for start-ups and small business entities.

8. Volusion: Volusion is carving its niche in offering a simplified and user friendly e-commerce experience. The platform is a good option for first-time online retailers.

9. PrestaShop: PrestaShop is another free and open-source platform with an impressive set of ecommerce capabilities and features. The platform is a great fit for those operating on a tight budget.

Like any open source platform: PrestaShop has its limitations and cost implications when it comes to branding, customisations and extending functionalities.

10. 3dcart: 3dcart provides a comprehensive set of ecommerce tools and features tools. The platform is also suited for businesses of all sizes, from start-ups to medium sized and large enterprises.

What you should try and avoid at all cost, is having to switch ecommerce platforms when your business grows beyond the capabilities of your ecommerce platform. This is why your choice of a website for an online store can make or break your business.

The Shopify Edge

One of the reasons Shopify stands out is that the platform is suitable for ecommerce businesses of all sizes. So you can afford to start small on Shopify and only pay for the features you need when starting out, and the platform will grow with your business.

Shopify also has robust omni-channel capabilities- enabling you to sell your products on popular social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Also, Shopify has these cutting edge capabilities:

Abandoned Cart Recovery: To enable the recovery and reignition of abandoned purchase intents by sending automated reminders to customers. This increases your sales.

Analytics and Reporting: Shopify provides comprehensive and robust reportage on traffic, sales, inventory and overall business performance. This enables you to make data informed decisions to grow and scale your ecommerce business.


How To Get Started On Shopify

To set up Shopify you need to choose an appropriate pricing plan for your business and for your budget. With the Shopify Basic plan you can start for as low as $19 per month (paid yearly), or $25 per month paid month to month.

You basically need to sign up and complete the Shopify set up. Follow prompts to provide all required details about your business.

You can select a free or premium theme, add products, customize your store, connect your store to a custom domain, set up payment and shipping, configure payment gateways and shipping.

You should also add additional pages to publish more information about your business including, terms and privacy policy, etc.

When all this is set you can launch your store.


Build a strategy to invest in marketing your online store as well as growing and scaling your business. Setting up an online store on a solid ecommerce platform such as Shopify is just one part of the equation.

The steps outlined above are a high level overview of what you need to go through to set up an online store on Shopify. For a more comprehensive guide on setting up a Shopify store, consider this comprehensive:

Final Thoughts

Is Shopify Online Store Worth It?

All in all, Shopify wields an impressive set of features and is indeed worth it. The user-friendly online store builder, coupled with the versatility and scalability of the platform, make Shopify the best website for an online store – for both beginners and experts.

Just remember that success in ecommerce takes a lot of due diligence and commitment – having a solid ecommerce platform takes care of a good part of what it takes to be successful.

Whether you’re selling physical products, digital products or services, Shopify has all important features to succeed as an ecommerce entrepreneur.

Thousands of brands are flourishing on Shopify – from drop shippers, to those selling handmade crafts, gadgets, coffee, or running fashion boutiques, etc. Shopify offers the perfect set of tools to thrive in the competitive online marketplace.

Now it’s your turn to start your own success story with Shopify.

Wishing you all the best in your journey!

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Gugulethu Nyoni

Gugulethu Nyoni is a seasoned ICT entrepreneur, a full-stack developer with a portfolio of proprietary SaaS solutions under his name. His expertise span conceptualizing and developing digital solutions, including bespoke eCommerce applications. Gugu is also a proficient eCommerce and Whitehat SEO consultant.