Too busy for a full read? Here is the BEST (Really Free) Website Builder for Boutique Websites for 2020
Wix – The largest number of templates in the boutique category, with full-screen gallery pages. Click here for 50% off all Wix plans.
There are tons of website builders out there that all promise to help you set up your boutique, which means that picking the best one can be challenging. Plus, not all of them can give you the presentation and sales features you need. Choose wrong and your brand might never see the light of day; choose right and your sales could increase dramatically.
As someone who has done a lot of online shopping – oh yeah, and also tested out all of the web builders on this list – I have a good sense of what works and what doesn’t. The builders on this list all have different levels of functionality, depending on what you want to offer your current and prospective customers. No matter which one you choose, you can rest assured that you’ll end up with a good looking site, with minimal effort on your part and money still in your wallet.
Short on Time? These Are the Best Website Builders for Boutiques:
- Wix – Tons of features specially designed for boutique e-commerce sites
- SITE123 – Excellent option for your boutique shop if you’re new to web design and development
- WordPress.com – Huge selection of plugins to help with sales and marketing of your boutique
- Click here for 3 more options
- Comparison table
Each of these web builders come with features or functionality that make them particularly well-suited for online boutiques. Let’s take a look.
If you’re planning to host a boutique website on Wix, you’ll have multiple options for creating it. In addition to Wix’s proprietary drag-and-drop builder, Wix offers a selection of boutique templates. Whether you’re running a flower boutique, fashion boutique, or even a high-end jewelry boutique, you can find a template to fit your needs.
Building a boutique website through Wix provides you with all the following standard features:
- 20GB storage
- Unlimited bandwidth
- $300 in ad vouchers
- Website booster and form builder apps
Also, Wix offers a wide variety of apps in its App Store that can help you add features to your website and boost sales. For example, you can include PayPal functionality, live chat, forms, and other standard features. Some other apps that can help you boost sales include:
- Visitor Hook – Display promotional pop-up offers to customers
- Store Mapper – Provide a map and directions to your brick-and-mortar store, if you have one
- Birthday Club – Create loyalty programs for your customers
- Impressive Slideshow – Show off highlighted products with captivating captions and animations
Note that to sell products on Wix, you must sign up for either its e-commerce or VIP programs. The other plans offer no online store capabilities. To read more about Wix plans and features, check out our in-depth review.
The only significant downside to using Wix over other builders is that the templates aren’t automatically mobile responsive. This means that you may have to use the mobile editor to make adjustments to ensure your site looks good on all devices – this is super important since a lot of online shopping happens on our phones!
SITE123 will let you create a boutique website quickly, but some of your design options may be limited compared with those you’d get from other builders. SITE123’s themes and templates offer a quick way to get your store online, but it doesn’t provide as many specialized templates for boutiques as other platforms do.
Your best option would be to find a webstore theme or template that best suits your personal style and customize it using your products and images. SITE123 does support a wide variety of third-party plugins, allowing you to customize your website how you wish. This is where you can add features such as live chat, specialized photo and product galleries, and more.
One thing that SITE123 does better than other website builders is website translation. You can build your website in more than 80 languages to make it multilingual. This is perfect for those wishing to tap into multiple markets where people speak a different language. If you’re curious about all the features SITE123 has to offer, check out our in-depth review.
With SITE123, you’re going to be forced to use Premium if you want to sell. However, its Premium service is somewhat limiting. You get only 10GB of storage and 5GB of bandwidth, which may be restrictive depending on how much media you host on your boutique website. This plan would be much better with unlimited bandwidth and storage.
If you want a bit more control over your boutique website, then WordPress.com may be for you. It offers the most extensive variety of templates in the world with a massive number of boutique templates. There’s a boutique template for every type of store you might want to run.
Also, you can find WordPress plugins for all the following features:
- Live chat
- Shopping carts
- Credit card, PayPal, and e-Wallet integration
- Sales tax calculator
- Shipping calculators
- Gift card creation and redemption
- Specialty product galleries
The downside to using WordPress.com is that it does not offer drag-and-drop functionality. While WordPress’ templates are easy to use and there’s a world of support for them, some features will require more involvement from the designer. To learn more about the pros and cons of using WordPress, check out our in-depth review.
For boutique websites, you must use either the Premium or Business plans, as the Free and Personal plans don’t allow you to sell products on your website. The good news is that you get unlimited Premium templates so that you can save money on your website design.
For those familiar with Wix, Weebly will look similar, as it offers both a drag-and-drop builder and customizable templates. It has several templates specially designed for boutiques. Also, Weebly has an App Center where you can find numerous programs to customize your store.
One reason to choose Weebly over other website builders is that its e-commerce features are better for sales. Weebly offers a fully integrated shopping cart on its e-commerce platforms, as well as the ability to accept payments from the following processors:
One thing I’d like to see is customer login and account features. This would make it easier to make repeat sales to customers and for them to track past orders. For more on Weebly’s features – or lack thereof – head over to our in-depth review.
All of Weebly’s paid plans allow you to sell products from your website. The Starter plan is suitable for those with ten or fewer products, while Pro will enable you to list up to 25. Its Business plan is the best option for those with larger stores, as it offers unlimited products and no transaction fees.
SimpleSite has one distinct advantage over other website builders. It offers unlimited media content on its websites. You can post as many photos and videos of your items as you want without having to worry about storage.
While you have that advantage, you will be limited on design options. There are template choices suitable for boutiques, but as the website name implies, it is a bit more simplistic than what you’ll find elsewhere. However, with some customization, you may still get by just fine.
Unlike many plans, you can sell a limited amount of products with the free plan. However, you’re confined to a SimpleSite subdomain. Going Pro will get you your own domain, but you have the same limitations on sales. If you want to sell more than five products on your boutique website, you have to go e-commerce. For more information about SimpleSite’s various plans, check out our in-depth review.
If you’d like a little more help with building your website, Jimdo may be the builder for you. Its Dolphin website builder uses an intuitive AI that will help you design your boutique website in about three minutes. Of course, you can always go the route of using the standard creator program and customize an appropriate boutique template.
I’d like to tell you that Jimdo offers products and features that the rest of these providers don’t, but that would be a lie. Its standard features are comparable to those offered by other builders. However, it don’t offer any apps or specialized plugins for its products.
What Jimdo does better than the other builders on this list is support. If you need help setting up your boutique, Jimdo provides fantastic tutorials that will walk you through everything, like adding products to your store and integrating PayPal functionality. All website builders on this list have great support, but Jimdo takes it to the next level. To learn more about what Jimdo does right – and what it could do better – read our in-depth review.
You must upgrade to at least Business to run a boutique website on Jimdo. Online store functionality is not available for Pro or the Free plan. You do get unlimited storage and bandwidth along with optimized SEO that will help your boutique rank better on Google.
Showcase Your Products With a Stunning Boutique Website
You have an eye for beauty, so you understand the need for your website to pop and connect with your customers. When you pick the best website builder for boutiques, you give yourself the tools necessary to dazzle your customers while providing them with a way to buy your products seamlessly. With the right builder and right design, you put yourself in the best position to open and operate a successful boutique website.
Any of the options here would work out just fine for your boutique website. However, after having tried out each and every one of them, I have to say that I have a couple favorites.
If you are looking for a lot of functionality, check out Wix. You’ll have tons of apps that can help with everything sales and marketing related.
On the other hand, if you are new to web design and development, SITE123 could be a better option. When it comes to ease-of-use, this company is pretty hard to beat.
|Wix||Tons of apps and templates specifically for online shops|
|SITE123||Build your website in 80+ languages|
|WordPress.com||Plugins designed for e-commerce and marketing|
|Weebly||Supports multiple payment processors|
|SimpleSite||Unlimited media support|
|Jimdo||Intuitive AI helps you build a website in no time|