Read this if you're thinking of setting up a Shopify store
I recently moved my online store from Squarespace to Shopify and after a few weeks, I've learned a lot that I wish I'd known before.
The reason I moved over to Shopify was because Squarespace was limiting me on the e-commerce side of things, even though I think their design tools are great.
What I've come to realize is that yes, Shopify is very well set up to deal with e-commerce - things like integrating payment options for your customers, but it's lacking some of the most basic features you'd expect from a website builder.
Limited Free Design Templates
Firstly, there aren't many choices for free design templates. That's not such a big deal as you can make the free ones work, but you can easily expect to pay a few hundred dollars extra if you want something more.
Then there are a few things I would've expected to be 'features'. Things like adding a marketing pop-up, managing discount codes, customizing your order statuses, and adding reviews to your site.
Additional Costs for Basic Features
It's possible to do all these things, but you either have to be comfortable writing your code (which most people won't be) or you have to pay extra to install third-party apps.
Even the most basic apps will cost you $5-10 a month, so depending on which Shopify plan you choose they can easily increase your monthly bill by 100% or more.
Dependence on Third-Party Apps
There's also the fact that you have to trust the third-party apps with your data and trust that they won't bork your site. To be fair, Shopify says they apply strict standards to the developers, but it's still a risk in my opinion. There are 1000s to choose from too, so that can be daunting.
I get it, this is Shopify's business model, and it's great that it's created an ecosystem for developers to create and sell apps for it. But it does mean that as someone trying to build an online store, it will likely cost you a lot more than you first expected, and you'll be left frustrated by not being able to do the things you want to within Shopify.