Shopify 2018 Review

Update: 11 October 2018
Are you looking for an online store builder? I recommend Shopify, seeing as it is the best rated e-Commerce website builder in the world and really, who would not want the best. With 14 years of experience in dealing with clients and their sites, you can be sure that they are reliable and that they focus on providing what their clients need. Shopify offers you countless amounts of stunning tools and features, with stunning themes and support if you need it. Now before you make the decision of if this product is the right one for you or not, let me tell you the ups and downs of Shopify ensuring you can make the right call. 


shofipy review


Founders


Daniel Weinand, Scott Lake and Tobias L├╝tke founded Shopify back in 2014. 


Product cost


Shopify has a free trial or you can choose one of the bigger plans which will cost you between $29 and $299 per month. They also have ShopifyPlus and ShopifyLite. Now ShopifyLite will cost around $9 and ShopifyPlus depends on your needs and so forth, but can range up or more that $2000. 


shopify pricing

Detailed Overview 


Online Store builder


Shopify will provide everything you will need to create and run your online business. It is rather fast and simple to set up your site, all you have to do is pick a theme, provide your products and starts selling. It is even possible to make a sale on the same day you signed up. 


You can also customize the themes and so on, giving your site a more glamorous look. All updates are done automatically, leaving you to receive the latest features without any hassle. 


shopify review


Social Media


Shopify websites are integrated with social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and so forth. This allows your Facebook fans to browse and purchase products from you without having to leave Facebook.

Products


With Shopify, you can manage your inventory, track stock counts and stop selling products once the inventory runs out. Customers can also order and download digital products directly from your online store.

It is always best to offer different alternatives to your products such has different sizes, colors, materials and so much more. Each alternative can have a different price depending on its weight, SKU or the inventory you have left. You can, furthermore, organize your products by category, sales, types, season and so on. There is absolutely no limit to the amount of products you can sell with Shopify. Shopify also gives you the ability to add multiple images of your products, so you can display them properly and show off a bit. 


Customer Groups and Accounts


It is very easy to keep content organized with Shopify. You can place your customer info into categories based on purchase history, location and so much more, it is totally up to you.

Persuade customers to return to your online store, by giving them the ability to create an account upon checkout. 


Blog


Simply make use of the blogging platform provided by Shopify to, get involved with your client community, create lookbooks, encourage discussions, moderate comments and publish articles.


Gift Cards, Coupons and Discount Codes


Create gift cards, coupons and discount codes to up sales and attract new potential customers. You can even boost client loyalty.

These coupons and discounts can offer your clients free shipping, a percentage/certain amount off the original price or a buy one get one free deal, the choice is up to you. 


shopify features

Credit Cards, Payments and Checkouts


Shopify joins with over 100 different types of payments around the world, from PayPal to Bit Coin. You can accept credit cards and receive notifications when someone is paying you. Seeing as Shopify is certified Level 1 PCI DSS compliant, you can accept Mastercard, Visa or any other credit card for that matter. This also means that your client's credit card data will be secure.

The checkout process is extremely simple, all your clients have to do is place their order and checkout, moreover, checkout can be done in 50 languages, if not more, so any customer anywhere in the world can use your store. 


Advertising


Shopify has partnered with Google, so for every $25 you spent, you will receive $100 in the form of advertising to help you be more successful. 


Taxes


Shopify will automatically take care off major country and state tax rates, so you do not need to worry about it. 


shopify review

Shipping


Your shipping rates can be set up in multiple different ways, such as weight based, tiered, fixed rates or even location based rates. You can, furthermore, enlarge your customers average order size by providing free shipping when and order surpasses a certain amount of your choosing.

Users of the advanced Shopify plan will receive shipping rates for all major shipping carriers like FedEx and USPS. 


Themes


Shopify has over 100 free and premium e-Commerce templates to choose from when building your site, including fashion, electronics and jewelry themes. These themes are created by world renown designers such as Clearleft, Pixel Union and Happy Cog. In addition, each theme comes with its own set of setting, so you can customize it to your liking while having a preview of the theme while you are working on it. Each theme will be automatically integrated into social media, so your clients can spread the word. 


Fulfillment


Set up a custom Fulfillment solution or connect to one, like Amazon, Shipwire or Rakuten Super Logistics. You can either fulfill single or multiple orders with just one click, making daily order management easy. 


Hire an Expert


The Shopify Experts are approved e-Commerce developers, designers and marketers that can help you make your online business a gigantic success. 


Need a web designer?


If you are struggling a bit or need some help, no problem, just talk to one of the Shopify experts and they will help you any way they can. 


Analytics


Keep track of your sales and progress with the use of the built in analytics offered by Shopify. Use this info to make very important decisions about your business.

The Dashboard shows you your sales, traffic and orders, so you can make the correct decisions for your online store.

Get Product Reports to examine and gain insight into the growth of your store, and see which of your products are selling and which are not.

Export Reports to get analyzed in your personal best spreadsheet tool, or the reports can be sent to a bookkeeper/accountant for further review.

Track your sale, referrals and visits with the use of Google Analytics, which works with your online store.

Receive Traffic/Referral Reports, so you can see where your visitors are from and how they found your store.


shopify stats

Domain Name


You can choose to use your own domain name, or you can purchase one from Shopify. It is fairly easy to buy and manage a domain with Shopify and the configuration along with the setup is completely automated. Set up a primary domain, but choose one that is memorable to use as the face of your online business. You can, in addition, manage your sub-domains, email forwarding, remove domains from the store and renew any of your domain names without a hassle.



shopify reviews

Oberlo


Oberlo helps you Find Products and add them right into your Shopify store, so you can start selling them immediately.

Oberlo will hold on to your products until shipping leaving you Free of Inventory.

Once you sell products, Oberlo will handle packaging and shipping, leaving you Free of Packaging.

Is Oberly really that easy? Well, it is. Oberlo is able to do all mentioned above, because they are experts in drop shipping. They do it all. 


Hosting


Shopify provides you with free hosting no matter which plan you choose. It has unlimited bandwidth and you do not need to worry about downtime, because they keep excellent uptime.


shopify hosting

Support


Shopify provides you with 24/7 support via email, phone or live chat. They even ask others to rate their support experience and then make it public for all to see, because they want you to have the highest possible service quality. 


Community and Help Center


Shopify has a community where anyone can get involved in the discussions on all kinds of topics, such as marketing strategies, accounting tricks, choosing a payment gateway and so much more.

The Shopify Help Center contains the step by step answers to commonly asked questions. They also have user guides and tutorials to help and teach you. 



shopify help

e-Commerce University


e-Commerce University is like a school about e-Commerce sites and so forth. They offer you video series, ebooks, webinars and so much more, to teach you about every aspect of the online business industry. You get to learn how to build, launch and grow online businesses and how to generate more traffic and sales. You, moreover, get the chance to go behind the scenes and learn from entrepreneurs that are already successful. 



shopify training

SSL Certificate


You will receive an SSL certificate, free of charge, no matter which plan you decide to take. This will make sure that you and your customers’ info is secure and protected. 



Mobile App


The Shopify mobile app allows you to literally take your store on the go. You can view all important info from your Android or IOS device without the hassle. Keep track of your sales statistics, check up on your orders, customer data and view products. The app also gives you the ability to do the following:

  • Update your store.
  • Manage your inventory.
  • Capture payments and Fulfill orders.
  • Look up and Contact customers.
  • Add products and change prices.

These days, most people cannot live without their mobile devices, so it is only fitting that your online store can be accessed and browsed from a mobile device. All Shopify plans include a free mobile commerce shopping cart so customers can make use of your store on the go.


shopify mobile

Email Marketing


Shopify integrates with MailChimp, so they give you multiple email marketing options. This allows you to notify customers of upcoming sales, new products and more. You can even customize your emails with email templates.


SEO


Potential clients must be able to find your store through the use of search engines, which is why Shopify supports SEO practices such as customizable H1, meta tags and title. They even generate sitemaps.xml files automatically, so your new products and site changes will show up on search engines quickly.


Free Tools


There are a lot of free tools, if not hundreds, and I tried listing them all, but it just ended up looking like a grocery list.

  • Logo maker- Create a logo that belongs to you.
  • Business name generator- With the use of science, they will help you find the perfect business name.
  • Slogan maker- Discover a slogan that is catchy and fits your brand.
  • QR code generator- This will generate QR codes for your business that can be read on a mobile phone.
  • Terms and conditions generator- Generates a list of things that are and are not allowed on your site.
  • Privacy policy generator- This will help you build a bullet proof privacy policy for your business.
shopify tools

 


Shopify Apps


Shopify App Store provides you with over 2400 apps, some free, some paid for and some paid for, but with free trials. Once again, I only list a few to avoid a long list.

  • Ampify Me
  • Facebook Marketing
  • Oberlo
shopify overview

Pros

The Hosting is excellent.

They offer a wide variety of features.

Their customer support is outstanding.

The ShopifyLite provides you with the better part of the basics at a reasonable price.

They have a wide range of templates that are stunning.

Cons

The pricing can be a bit steep, but you do get quality.

Once you cancel, your store and content will be deleted.

For every sale you make, Shopify charges a transaction fee, unless you use Shopify payment.

Bottom Line...


Not in the mood for the technical challenge of working with code? Shopify makes it super easy for newbies to build a great looking website that preforms well with the easy drag and drop editor. It only takes a couple of days to familiarize yourself with the dashboard. Most definitely the platform to use if you are serious about eCommerce.


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Do you use Shopify or have used it in the past?
Please be so kind to tell us about your experience. This will help others to make an informed decision. Thank you! 

Weebly 2018 Review

Update: 4 October 2018
Weebly is one of the top rated website builders currently around. The builder is the best product for the job when it comes to getting a site up and running. The platform has over 40 million users, as the fastest growing and a long lasting brand. It is an all-inclusive website builder, so you do not have to worry about writing HTML or CSS code. You can just drag and drop things to where you want them to be. They offer so many services. (All listed in the detailed overview). The program offers so much that it is just fitting that I write this review so you can decide if it is the right product for your online ventures or not.


weebly review


Founders


Weebly was founded in 2006 by 3 people, David Rusenko, Chris Fanini and Dan Veltri. 



Product cost


The Weebly plans can cost you anything from $4.00 to $25.00 per month. They also have a free plan that offers the basics for those who are just testing the platform or starting out.



weebly pricing

Detailed Overview

e-Commerce


You can enjoy comfort while working on your online store with the Weebly app for mobiles and tablets. This app gives you the ability to edit, launch and analyze your online store with the same ease and power of their website, from anywhere you have internet. They offer you multiple marketing tools that includes:

  • Emails - Connect with your customers using customizable email templates, for example an abandoned cart or a welcome email.
  • Facebook Ads - Create Facebook ads directly from the Weebly platform to raise awareness for your brand.
  • SEO and Site Statistics - Your site is automatically optimized for SEO to help search engines like Google discover and rank your pages. You can also track your site’s performance with the analytics tools they offer. The platform also have partners from their app center that can help you to better your online store. 

weebly setting up shop


Websites


Weebly gives you the tools and freedom you need to build the website, you always wanted, the only limit is your imagination. They have great tools like:

  • Video & Audio tools
  • Video Backgrounds
  • Custom HTML/CSS and JAVA Script
  • Site Search
  • Image Editor
  • Drag and Drop Builder
  • PARALLAX and REVEAL
  • Custom Fonts


weebly review


Websites Themes


The platform has hundreds of themes to choose from, no matter if you need a featured or personal one, they got you covered.

weebly review

Stay Connected by starting a Blog


Create your own blog and share your voice with the world. Use the Blog Post Editor to publish your blog and respond to blog comments instantly, moreover, you can form entries and never disappoint your loyal customers, fans and readers. 


Site Customization


Modify your site using the exact same free themes from Weebly desktop. Use the simple Weebly interface to control every single part of your website from the Felexible fonts to the color schemes and so much more. 


Detailed Stats

Keep track of your site analytics in real time. Watch your traffic patterns, referral traffic sources and the terms used by visitors that search for your site. 

Offline Work


Use the IOS app to edit or get updates offline. Sync your devices and save your data so that you can access it anywhere, anytime on any device. 


Apps Center


Weebly offers hundreds of apps to make your life easier. They have too many to mention all, but I put together a small list to give you an idea of what they offer.

  • Facebook Like
  • Events Calendar
  • Text Animation
  • Form Builder

Almost all of the apps are free and if you have an idea for an app, share it with Weebly, or better yet build it yourself at the Weebly Developer Center. 



Weebly apps

Management


As an interface that allows you to edit, filter, sort and publish all kinds of content on your site. You do not need to worry about security or infrastructure, which affects your website run speed.

weebly reviewMarketing/Email Marketing


Weebly’s Email Marketing system is an intuitive builder with drag and drop tools that allow you to create announcements, emails and promotions that will look stunning on any device.

Integration - Save time and stay organized. 


Weebly Promote will integrate with your Weebly website to allow you to choose a template, customize your message and to email all your contacts from one place.

Smart Engagement - Turn your visitor into regular customers.

Turn your part time visitors, newsletter subscribers and group members into devoted clients with personalized announcements that will keep them engaged.

Brand Consistency - Promote products and services that belong to your brand.

Social media is 3 times less effective at promoting products than email. Launch sales, showcase new products or share updates that will get customers hooked with Weebly Promote.

Email Statistics - Get instant Track results.

Keep track of how many people clicked and opened your email so you can make important data decisions for your company.


weebly grow your business

Hosting


Weebly offers you reliable hosting with remarkable site speed free of charge with any and every plan there is to choose from. 


SSL Security 


weebly 2018 review

You can rest assure that your site will be safe, because Weebly offers you one click SSL Certificates, DDoS Mitigation and a support team that will be available 24/7. 


Domains


You can either buy a domain directly from Weebly or you can transfer yours if you already have one.

You can also truly customize your domain to make it stand out from the rest. This will also make it easier for people to find your website. You can, furthermore, choose to have a professional domain name making you look like a pro. Your entire website can be managed from a single dashboard, which makes it a heck of a lot easier to navigate. 



weebly 2018 Review


Weebly for Education


If you want to create student e-portfolios, classroom websites and websites for assigned projects, then I recommend Weebly Education as the perfect product for the job. It is appropriate for students and children of all ages. This program allows you to control the environment in which your students can express themselves creatively. They offer a wide variety of tools and features, but they are know for the following:
  • The drag and drop website editor is amazing and surprisingly easy to use by anyone, no matter if you have experience or not.
  • Password protect the students’ website with one click so ensure safety.
  • With the Multi Media features you or your students can literally create anything, with only your imagination as the limit.
  • The Flexible Blogging Features allows you to post anything from updates to assignments, or even news letters to the parents.
  • Weebly Education is completely free, so you do not have to worry about monthly payments.
  • You can rest a sure knowing that Weebly will never place adverts on your site, unlike a few other free programs.
  • Need a look for your website, no problem, you are covered. With over 70 designs to choose from and the option to customize your own, you are bound to find something that suits you.
  • Hosting is included with absolutely no limitations whatsoever.
  • Publish all your content to your very own domain. You can either set up a new subdomain to Weebly, or buy a new one. If you already have one you would like to use, then support will assist you to configure the domain to work with your Weebly Site

NOTE: They do offer a lot of other features as well.


weebly reviews 

Community


The Weebly community is a great place to gather info and ask questions. You cannot go wrong seeing as they have loads of members and a topic for about everything. There is a boat load of articles, guaranteeing that you will find the answers you are looking for. 

community weebly


Customer Support and Help Guides


The Free Account offers an Email Support option with an exceptional Knowledge Base. The Paid Accounts offer you support via email, phone or Chat. In addition, there are multitude amounts of help guides to cover the builder.

help guides weebly

Pros


Weebly’s speed and security are exceptional.

The pricing for Weebly is very generous.

The drag and drop feature is useful, because you have no need to write HTML or CSS coding. What you see on the builder is what you get on the site.

You can find little info buttons everywhere in Weebly that will help you to understand and learn how to use the feature/tools.

They have out done themselves with the themes. 




Cons


The drag and drop tools are not always up to standard

The "Theme Customization" refers to only being able to customize the text.

The app does not offer you a preview when building your site, which can be a bit stressful, because you will not know how your site will look before you publish it.

The content managing system can be very tricky and a nuisance when you are building a site with lots of pages.


Bottom Line...


Not in the mood for the technical challenge of working with code? The Weebly editor makes it super easy for newbies to build a great looking website that preforms well with the easy drag and drop editor. It only takes a couple of days to familiarize yourself with the dashboard. Keep in mind, the platform is free for as long as you want, but if you need more features like priority support or your own domain name, you will need to upgrade to one of the premium plans. On the upside, the cheapest plan is only about $4 a month, which is more than affordable in my opinion.

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