Nov 242013
 

If you’ve been thinking of making an online store then you need to know what your options are. There are tons of companies out there that would like to help you with your ecommerce business plan, but which is the best fit for you? To help you make the decision we’ve assembled a list of the 10 best hosting sites and ecommerce platforms out there.

Each section has several facts to help you out. Some are straightforward like the price, but others may need a bit of explanation.

There is a section under each link with the Better Business Bureau’s rating information for that website. It lists whether or not the site is accredited and what it’s letter grade is. It also has the number of complaints the BBB has received. You should not jump to conclusions about that number though because each of the sites listed below varies in age and popularity. It’s not an apples to apples comparison. Go to the BBB website and read the profile to get a complete picture of what’s going on.

There is also a section for each of the websites showing the Alexa Traffic Rank. It has statistics from the worldwide internet traffic ranking system. From this you can gauge the popularity of the site by how many visitors it is getting. But again, be careful in making any snap judgements. Popular doesn’t always equate to quality.

The section on marketing tools highlights what each site offers you in search engine optimization, social media promotion, sales and coupon capability, and business reports. Here you can get a glimpse of what you’d be getting for your money. If you don’t need some of these tools, it doesn’t make any sense to pay for them.

There are a few more things you might want to consider before deciding which one would make the best ecommerce hosting platform for you. Storage, bandwidth, and payment processing ability. Most have tiered pricing plans to meet the needs of different size merchants. Some have integrated payment processing and some offer Paypal. You need to match what is available with each platform with your ecommerce business plan.

The 10 Best Ecommerce Platforms

Shopify Website Screen Capture.Shopify

  • Price Per Month: $29.00 for Basic, $79.00 for Professional, and $179.00 for Unlimited.
  • Free Trial: 14 Days.
  • BBB Profile: Accredited with an A+ rating. Total of 7 complaints over the past 3 years.
  • Alexa Global Internet Traffic Rank: 1085.
  • Ecommerce Marketing Tools: Built-in SEO, Google Analytics Coupon Codes, and Free Marketing Credits.

Amazon Webstore Screen Capture.Amazon Webstore

  • Price Per Month: $39.99 plus 2% of sales.
  • Free Trial: 30 Days.
  • BBB Profile: Accredited with an A+ rating. Total of 5423 complaints over the past 3 years for all of Amazon (most complaints were Amazon.com shoppers, not people using the webstore service).
  • Alexa Global Internet Traffic Rank: 8 (derived from Amazon.com).
  • Ecommerce Marketing Tools: Amazon.com Integration, Fulfillment by Amazon Integration, Amazon Product Ads and a wide offering of tools depending on the services you want.

Magento Website Screen Capture.Magento (owned by eBay)

  • Price Per Month: Free all the way up to $1200 depending on the level of service you want.
  • Free Trial: 30 Days.
  • BBB Profile: None of their own, but their parent company eBay has: Accredited with an A+ rating. Total of 5379 complaints over the past 3 years (most complaints were eBay.com shoppers, not people using Magento).
  • Alexa Global Internet Traffic Rank: 3,689.
  • Ecommerce Marketing Tools: eBay integration and a wide offering of tools depending on the services you want.

Bigcommerce Website Screen Capture.Bigcommerce

  • Price Per Month: $24.95 for Bronze, $39.95 for Silver, $79.95 for Gold, $149.95 for Platinum, and $299.95 for Diamond. They also offer a discount for annual billing.
  • Free Trial: 15 Days.
  • BBB Profile: Accredited with a B+ rating. Total of 16 complaints over the past 3 years.
  • Alexa Global Internet Traffic Rank: 2582
  • Ecommerce Marketing Tools: Social Integration, Coupon Codes, Newsletters, and Customer List Generator.

Volusion Website Screen Capture.Volusion

  • Price Per Month: $15.00 for Mini, $35.00 for Bronze, $65.00 for Silver, $125.00 for Gold, and $195.00 for Platinum.
  • Free Trial: 14 Days.
  • BBB Profile: Accredited with an A+ rating. Total of 92 complaints over the past 3 years.
  • Alexa Global Internet Traffic Rank: 3051
  • Ecommerce Marketing Tools: Social Integration Reporting, Analytics, SEO Toolbox, Coupon Creator, and Mobile Compatible.

Web.com Website Screen Capture.Web.com

  • Price Per Month: $6.95 for the first month, then $29.95 for eCommerce Express and $15.95 for the first month then $59.95 for eCommerce Standard. Billing occurs every 4 months.
  • Free Trial: 14 Days.
  • BBB Profile: Accredited with an A+ rating. Total of 501 complaints over the past 3 years (note they also own 1shoppingcart.com shown below so it is the same profile).
  • Alexa Global Internet Traffic Rank: 3957
  • Ecommerce Marketing Tools: Social Integration, Reporting & Stats, Product Management, and Coupon Tools.

OneShoppingCart Website Screen Capture.1 Shopping Cart

  • Price Per Month: $59.00 for Plus, $99.00 for Premium, and $249.00 for Ultimate.
  • Free Trial: None.
  • BBB Profile: Accredited with an A+ rating. Total of 501 complaints over the past 3 years (note they are owned by web.com shown above so it is the same profile).
  • Alexa Global Internet Traffic Rank: 9166
  • Ecommerce Marketing Tools: Discounts & Coupons, SEO tools, Upsell Express, and Marketing Emails.

Buildyoursite Website Screen Capture.Build Your Site

  • Price Per Month: $9.95 for Starter, $16.95 for Professional, and $24.99 for eCommerce. They also offer a discount for annual billing.
  • Free Trial: 15 Days.
  • BBB Profile: Accredited with an A+ rating. Total of 1 complaints over the past 3 years.
  • Alexa Global Internet Traffic Rank: 179,465
  • Ecommerce Marketing Tools: Social Integration, SEO tools, Reporting Analytics, and Marketing Emails.

3DCart Website Screen Capture.3d Cart

  • Price Per Month: $19.99 for Mini, $35.99 for Starter, $65.99 for Professional, $99.99 for Professional Plus, and $129.99 for Power Plan. They also offer a discount for annual billing.
  • Free Trial: 15 Days.
  • BBB Profile: Accredited with an A- rating. Total of 6 complaints over the past 3 years.
  • Alexa Global Internet Traffic Rank: 12,607
  • Ecommerce Marketing Tools: Coupon Tools, SEO tools, LiveChat Plugin, and Enhanced Statistics.

1and1 Website Screen Capture.1 and 1

  • Price Per Month: $4.99 for Starter eShop, $9.99 for Professional eShop, and $19.99 for Advanced eShop. They also offer a discount for annual billing.
  • Free Trial: 30 Days.
  • BBB Profile: Not accredited. A B+ rating. Total of 1132 complaints over the past 3 years.
  • Alexa Global Internet Traffic Rank: 1011
  • Ecommerce Marketing Tools: Social Integration, Newsletter Tool, Product Recommendations, and PayPal Compatible.

We’ve given you a pretty good list of hosting sites and some basic advice. Now it’s up to you to put in some time and research to figure out which one will work the best for your online store. Maintaining your own internet based business is a daunting task, no doubt about it. The learning curve is high and there are lots of store platforms to evaluate.

Remember that even though there’s a still a lot to learn, 10 years ago none of these hosting platforms even existed. You would have had to host your own website and code it from the ground up including the shopping cart and credit card processing portions. Modern technology has given us a huge leap forward in commerce. Take advantage of everything it has to offer.

The statistics in this article are based on information gathered on 11/24/13 and are subject to change in the future.

  One Response to “Best Ecommerce Sites / Platforms for Hosting an Online Store”

  1. You should add more tools to your list. For example, e-task-manager.com I’ve builded a strong eCommerce strategy using this task management tool

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