Website builders let you build online stores with ease. For larger ecommerce ambitions, we recommend an ecommerce-specific platform like Shopify or BigCommerce which have the best tools to help your business grow. If you’re just looking to sell a few products, you can choose a ‘generic’ website like Wix which has ecommerce functionality. Take a look at our online store builder comparison chart to find your perfect match.
These services can host your content on their servers free of charge, but in exchange for that zero cost, your online destination will have a less-than-elegant domain, such as jeffreylwilson.tumblr.com. That might be fine for a personal blog, but it will look too low-rent for a business that wants people to trust it enough to pay for whatever it's selling.
However, this lack of creative control can be frustrating. Wix ADI is not nearly as flexible as Wix Editor, which offers smooth drag-and-drop design and easily editable text boxes. So, while you can enjoy simplicity with both Wix tools, the Wix Editor offers more freedom. It also builds more personal sites, thanks to its Premium plan upgrades and wide choice of apps.
In addition to this integration, providing basically nothing more but developer comfort, WiX offers another level of integration, far more advantageous than the first one: the integration of the setup development process with that of the application. Traditionally, setup programs were only written when the main application had already been finished; often even by different developers. This approach requires a tedious and error prone process of collecting information about all the resources making up the application. While the files themselves are usually obvious, registry entries, services and most forms of inter-resource dependencies are often hard to reconstruct in a later stage: if solid development documentation is lacking, the setup developers have to collect all pieces of information from the original developers or try to extract it from the source code.
As a consequence, WiX is not equally suited to all developers. The relatively steep learning curve (although our primary goal is to help overcome this difficulty with our tutorial) and the unavoidable exposure to the internal details and, sometimes, intricacies of the underlying Windows Installer technology suggest that less experienced developers or those who don't really need the unlimited and unparalleled performance WiX can offer might be better served by a simpler, GUI-based setup authoring tool, of which there are both commercial and freeware solutions available.
The WiX Toolset is a set of tools that build Windows installation packages from XML source code. The toolset provides both a command line environment that developers may either integrate into their oldstyle Makefile build processes or use the newer MSBuild technology from inside integrated development environments like Microsoft Visual Studio or SharpDevelop to build their MSI and MSM setup packages.
While the the best of them offer surprising amounts of flexibility, they also impose stringent enough restrictions to page design that you shouldn't be able to create a really bad looking site using one of these services. Typically you can get a Mysite.servicename.com style-url with no commerce abilities for free from one of these services; you have to pay extra for a better URL and the ability to sell. One issue to consider is that if you eventually outgrow one of these services, it can be hard to export your site to a full scale advanced web hosting like Dreamhost or Hostgator. If you know that's where you are eventually going, it may be better to skip the sitebuilder step.
For more than a decade, Jeffrey L. Wilson has penned gadget- and video game-related nerd-copy for a variety of publications, including 1UP, 2D-X, The Cask, Laptop, LifeStyler, Parenting, Sync, Wise Bread, and WWE. He now brings his knowledge and skillset to PCMag as a Lead Analyst. When he isn't staring at a monitor (or two) and churning out web hosting, music, utilities, and video game copy, Jeffrey makes comic books, mentors, practices bass and Jeet Kune Do, and appears on the odd podcasts or convention panel. He also collects vinyl and greatly enjoys a craft brew.
Each of these pages serves a specific purpose for your store and its functionality. The good news is that most themes these days are optimized to make those pages look right. The Neve theme is no different. If you visit any of these new pages, you’ll see that the presentation is clear and everything is easy to grasp. Here’s an example of the shopping cart page:
GoDaddy Website Builder can act as your hub, the place where your friends and contacts can see your posts, photos, videos and more. With the option to link to your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube on your website, your visitors can be everywhere you are on the web. Being able to cover multiple platforms gives you the opportunity to reach more people, while creating appropriate content for each of your socials (like posting all of your photos on Instagram, and tweeting about your most recent business venture on Twitter). By centrally locating all the links in one place – your new website – you are giving your website visitors a seamless experience. Linking to your social media in your website gives you an advantage in communicating with your visitors; the more they can connect with you and do so in the forum that’s most comfortable to them, the more they’ll engage with your site, and thus you or your business.