Shopify vs. Bigcommerce vs. Squarespace

In this reply to an Indianapolis ecommerce web design client I compare hosted ecommerce providers, Shopify, Bigcommerce, and Squarespace.

Similar design? You can browse pre-made themes here: Keep in mind that it would be your pictures and text in use, not the ones in the theme files. Only the structure would remain and even that has options.This one is probably closest to the one you have now:

Keep in mind the user’s experience as well as the look of the site. You want people to have an easy time checking out and feel good doing it. Check out this demo and see how it feels to choose an item and checkout:

How long to design? That depends on how much you want changed in whatever base theme you go with. Estimates range from 3 to 10 hours: I’ve actually never edited a Shopify theme, but I understand how themes work and I would consider myself an expert in HTML and CSS, the basis of web design.

What if you change your mind? Your first step should be to get control of your domain from Alex Gray ( Once you have that, you have control of where and when you point your domain to a host. Shopify would be a host, but it wouldn’t be your registrar. But your question is more complicated than that because it implies you have somewhere to take your site to. You could keep a snapshot of your current WordPress+WP-Ecommerce site and put it back at any time or you could switch to any number of other hosted or self-hosted ecommerce platforms such as (which is cheaper, but less good looking) or (which looks better, but has less app integration).

Both Shopify and Big Commerce have big app integration which means you can integrate with your accounting software if you wanted to among other things like shipping and logistics services. However, the things you’d use the most (like Mail Chimp for email newsletters) can work with all three of my suggestions.

Price comparison:

Shopify – – $29 to $179 a month – transaction fees on all but highest plan
Bigcommerce – – $25 to $300 a month – no transaction fees
Squarespace – – $8 to $24 a month – no transaction fees


On Mon, Feb 25, 2013 at 12:52 PM, Customer Service wrote:
Can we do a similar design with shopify? How long would it take to design it? What happens when I want to take it back?

On Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 8:28 PM, Erich Stauffer wrote:

I’ve finished setting up the test environment and testing the upgrades. It broke the “grid view” of categories (as seen here: and didn’t fix the “free shipping over $75” problem.

I can’t in good conscious recommend sticking with this platform. I’d be remiss if I didn’t recommend something better for you – especially if it may be your sole source of income for a while. Like I said on 12/17, “I don’t think think [WP-Ecommerce] the right thing for you long-term…I know you’ve invested a lot of money into it, but it doesn’t have very good support, doesn’t work very well at certain functions, and requires someone like me to help you keep it running. The alternative is a hosted solution from the likes of…They will help you get your site up and will give you support.

Please check out Shopify’s features and pricing: It’s $29 a month for up to 100 products. You have 100 products. There’s even software out there that can convert your existing WP-Ecommerce site into your new Shopify site for you. For an estimated $69 you or I can convert your existing site’s data to Shopify using this tool: (using an estimate of 100 products and 25 customers). At Shopify you’ll have built-in technical support, a bigger feature set, and built-in marketing features.