Whether you aim to be the next Amazon or you just want to see if your handmade jewelry could become a secondary revenue stream, your online store begins with a web host. Needless to say, Shopify’s reputation is well-regarded in the retail vertical.
Surely, by now, you’ve been sucked in by the free trial, but once those 14 days are up, it’s time to pay the piper. And that means picking a plan. Let’s delve into the features of each Shopify plan — considering pricing, payment features, and other factors — to help you make the optimal decision for your budding business.
Shopify Pricing Plans: Comparison Table
Shopify pricing options are broken down into three main plans: Basic, Standard, and Advanced. Two additional solutions, Shopify Lite and Shopify Plus, are available but less advertised. I’ve mapped out the costs associated with each option in a handy-dandy table below.
|Price:||$9 per month
with a BUY NOW button
|$29 per month||$79 per month||$299 per month||Custom|
|Transaction Fees:||2.9% + $0.30||2.6% + $0.30||2.4% + $0.30|
|Plan Description:||A starter plan for smaller merchants to sell on Facebook, promote products on a site or blog, and accept credit card payments||A basic plan for small- to mid-sized merchants to get started||A plan for fast-growing companies||A premium plan for companies requiring additional features for scalability||An enterprise-grade plan for large-scale businesses and high-volume merchants|
|Try Shopify Free for 14 Days!|
Shopify Basic, Standard, and Advanced all allow unlimited product display, including digital goods, and customers can log in as repeat visitors. While 24/7 email, phone, and chat support is standard across these main plans, the the similarities end there.
Unfortunately, none of the Shopify plans include a domain name. You can use one you already own or purchase a new domain through Shopify, but better, more economical options exist.
1. Shopify Starter Plan (Shopify Lite Plan)
Shopify Lite serves as the entryway into mainstream Shopify eCommerce options. This plan is the only one of the five solutions that’s not fully hosted, meaning you have to sign up with a host to actually have an online storefront outside of social media.
Shopify Lite allows users to sell products on Facebook, integrate them into their existing blog or website (which you’ll have once you sign up with for one of the aforementioned hosting plans), and accept payments for items for less than half the cost of Shopify Basic. Needless to say, this starter plan offers the best value, particularly when paired with a high-value, low-cost host.
- Sell via social media or fully hosted commerce platform
- FREE website builder and hundreds of elegant themes
- Showcase unlimited products
|Money Back Guarantee||14-Day FREE Trial|
|Domain Name||FREE (MyShopify.com)|
|Best Overall Hosting Plans||www.shopify.com|
Our Expert's Shopify Review
Shopify is easily one of the more well-known eCommerce web builder platforms in the hosting industry. Plans are fully hosted, include a free site builder tool, and allow you to boast an unlimited number of products with unlimited file storage as well. Compared to other web hosts, Shopify's not going to offer you the same level of robustness in their technological offerings, but their eCommerce features are on point. Online store building is their bread-and-butter of services, and they're darn good at it.
First of all, the Shopify Theme Store features hundreds of free and premium theme options that are relatively easy for end-users to manipulate; plus, dev-savvy folks can customize their eStores and themes via the Shopify API. You can actually start building your online marketplace today — for free for 14 days — and select your plan later. The Shopify experts are on call and ready to help 24/7.
Once you've built your online store with Shopify, build your business by processing product transactions through a myriad of payment methods. Shopify users can sell via social media, by integrating a BUY NOW button, or using the Shopify POS system. Serious eCommerce folks may opt to purchase the Retail Package add-on as well, which includes a cash register, receipt printer, and barcode scanner.
All in all, Shopify offers everything you need to run an efficient and lucrative online business. The commerce-oriented features are many, and they only advance with each upgrade in service package — from the "Basic" to the "Unlimited" plans. Also, you can buy or transfer your domain name, or park your online store at a free MyShopify.com subdomain. If you're eCommerce-focused, trust Shopify for your online store building.collapse info -
Partner with an affordable shared hosting provider to get the most out of your Shopify Lite plan:
- Known for performance at a low price
- Endorsed by WordPress.org team
- FREE Weebly site builder and templates
|Money Back Guarantee||30 days|
|Domain Name||FREE (1 year)|
|Cheap Hosting Plans||www.bluehost.com/shared|
Our Expert's Bluehost Review
If you’re looking for an affordable host, Bluehost is a solid, reputable choice, but their low cost coupled with their supremacy in the shared hosting arena is what makes this provider such a value deal. The Bluehost name is listed toward the top of many of our reviews categories, and with good reason. They offer excellent hardware configurations, a generous list of extras, and fantastic support and reliability — all at a price point that’s, generally, lower than the competition.
The speed and performance result from very modern hardware and a global content delivery network. They also offer nearly unlimited everything, including storage, emails, and bandwidth, and many other perks. For example, they include a free domain and marketing credits to get your site off the ground — adding to their value.
We rank Bluehost at or near the top for their WordPress, VPS, and dedicated options and if those fit your needs, please check them out. You’ll be happy to note their incredibly competitive pricing across the board.
We are convinced Bluehost has the goods to meet your hosting needs today and in the future, but more importantly, they are too. They offer a 30-day money-back guarantee should you become dissatisfied with any of their plans for any reason; however, we’re willing to bet you won’t be.collapse info -
2. Shopify Basic Plan Features
Shopify Basic is the cheapest of the main plans, but unfortunately, that’s not saying much. Compared to other eCommerce site-building services, Shopify charges a premium rate for the point-of-sale system, promotional code generator, and fraud analysis tools. Shopify team members pride themselves on the platform’s eCommerce-specific functionality. In other words, you don’t sign up for Shopify to host your blog or post your résumé.
3. Standard Shopify Features
Standard Shopify includes the expected POS system, promo code engine, 24/7 support, and unlimited product display offering covered in Shopify Basic, with the added benefit of gift card capabilities and reporting tools. To us, this hardly seems worth the $30-some-odd hike in price, but, to each his/her own. The abandoned cart recovery tool is a feature intended to help justify the cost, but Shopify’s app marketplace offers much cheaper options to achieve the same result.
4. Advanced Shopify Features
As you might have guessed, every feature included in the aforementioned plans comes standard with Advanced Shopify, which introduces advanced reporting features and real-time carrier shipping. Advanced Shopify is certainly the most expensive of the three main plans, but the credit card fees are the lowest of them all, and the eCommerce analysis tools are competitive with popular analytics services.
5. Shopify Professional Plan (Shopify Plus Plan)
Shopify Plus is so exclusive, we’re not even quite sure what it entails… Just kidding, but the vague “enterprise-grade solution” description does leave much to be desired from a product marketing perspective.
Our takeaway is this: If you’re a heavily trafficked online merchant dealing with tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in monthly revenue from your hundreds of pages’ worth of product inventory, you can give Shopify a call for a free consultation, and the Plus team will craft a custom-ish solution to reinforce your already successful brand.
That said, if you’re seriously in the enterprise class, you’ve probably outgrown the concept of a fully hosted platform. Chances are your site (i.e., your business) will perform best when supported by a hosting service that can handle the kind of traffic and monetization you’re expecting. You probably need a VPS or a dedicated server that can handle enterprise needs, and we can help with that!
Our Recommendation: Shopify Hosting Plans with Free Plugin
Honestly, it was difficult for me to give a rundown of some of Shopify’s plans knowing much more feasible, affordable, and support-savvy services exist. Factoring in the cost, the hardware capabilities, the range of eCommerce tools available and how to employ them, we recommend using a WordPress host and installing the free Shopify plugin. You’ll get all the commerce bang for way fewer bucks. Check out the top WordPress host to get started.
- WordPress pre-installed with NGINX server caching
- FREE SSL certificate and unlimited bandwidth
- Optional automatic plugin, theme, and core updates
|Money Back Guarantee||90 days|
|Domain Name||FREE (1 year)|
|WordPress Hosting Plans||www.inmotionhosting.com/wordpress|
Our Expert's InMotion Review
InMotion, long known for their shared hosting options, entered the WordPress space with a solid option built upon their reputation for great support and reliability. Costing a small premium over other budget-minded options, they do include some nice features to help justify that cost difference.
Build on an all-SSD infrastructure, their speeds are very good. We would have loved to see options like integrated staging and caching included in order to help take full advantage of the nice, modern hardware. The choice of datacenters (East or West) is nice however, as it allows you to target your local audience with better load times.
InMotion offers three different levels to their WordPress hosting offerings, which allows you to tailor the hosting to your needs or budget. For those needing eCommerce support, their middle or top offerings have you covered. Their top offering also allows unlimited installs for WordPress, which is great to see.
Each hosting package they offer comes with a free domain, unlimited disk space, unlimited emails, and free data backups for data security. If you need it, each plan also has support for PHP, Ruby, Perl, and Python, and includes SSH access.
InMotion Hosting has made a name for itself on support and reliability. While not the cheapest of the budget WordPress hosts out there, the packages offered are solid in performance and feature sets.collapse info -
Not Convinced? Try Shopify Free for 14 Days
Remember, you don’t have to make this decision straight out of the gate. Shopify’s free trial is a great opportunity to get your feet wet within the platform, play with the interface, and determine whether you could see your business growing from Shopify’s foundation. Should you decide the five plans we’ve discussed today are not up to snuff, fret not. There are tons of quality, reputable hosts for eCommerce to consider instead.