Stackbit vs. Shopify: Stackbit is a powerful Shopify alternative where you own your content and easily edit it. Here’s how Stackbit and Shopify compare to one another.

One of the most popular choices for ecommerce websites is Shopify, a paid, closed, content management system (CMS) that offers out-of-the-box ecommerce functionality — a tempting thought for companies that are exploring their ecommerce options. However, standalone Shopify sites don’t offer the opportunities for customization that many business owners and developers want, and its editing interface leaves much to be desired. Plus, many of Shopify’s best ecommerce features are limited to premium plans and pricey plugins. For example, Advanced Shopify is almost $300 per month. Add on monthly subscription charges (ranging from $5 to $500) for plugins that enhance your ecommerce abilities, and you’re looking at a monthly bill that can make a significant dent in your online marketing budget. 

What’s Stackbit?

Stackbit is the complete platform for the Jamstack. If you’re new to Jamstack, the Stackbit Site Builder helps you select and connect your Jamstack ecosystem tools. If you’re a developer, you’re free to use the tools of your choice — our dev-friendly environment gives you access to the source code. Stackbit’s Site Builder connects your headless CMS, deployment tools, and SSG (or static site generator) of choice to give you the infrastructure that supports speedy, secure Jamstack sites. There are a variety of themes that are fully customizable, and you’re always free to import your own.

For developers in agency or freelance settings, Stackbit Studio provides your clients an easy and intuitive WYSIWYG interface for managing the content of Jamstack sites without having to mess with (or know how to work with) code at all. Read on to learn more about how Stackbit can help you boost your ecommerce abilities.

Jamstack vs. Shopify

Shopify is a web app that’s focused on ecommerce for both physical and digital products, and there are many reasons why you might consider using it. After all, Shopify plans include everything you need to build an online store. However, you’ll have to pay upfront to run a store with all the features that you need, and even more for the extra features you want. The Shopify Lite program (around $10) limits Lite users to selling products from a Facebook page, using Shopify’s Buy Button to sell products on another website, or selling goods and managing inventory in a physical location. With Jamstack sites, the storefront application loads directly within the browser, meaning that customers don’t have to leave your site to complete a sale. And since you’ll be using a PCI compliant payment processing solution like Stripe or Snipcart, libraries load from their servers, keeping customer data safe.

Companies who need more ecommerce functionality than Shopify Lite provides will need to upgrade to a more expensive plan. These begin at $29 a month and can soar all the way up to $300, and if you want access to plugins, get ready for more monthly fees. In addition to your plan subscription fees and monthly plugin fees, Shopify locks you into their payment system that charges processing fees as high as nearly 8 percent — *on top *of the payment processor fee. This can have a devastating effect on your profit margin. Whether you choose to use a compatible plugin or create an ecommerce widget yourself, the only fees you’ll pay are to your payment processor of choice (typically under 3 percent — a huge savings over Shopify). 

Shopify and Stackbit alike are user-friendly to those without design and coding skills. Both eliminate the need to manage servers, so you don’t have to have experience with troubleshooting on the technical side of your site. For more experienced web developers, being shut out of the site’s core code can limit their creativity. Stackbit allows developers to choose their own tools and set up a Jamstack environment offering unlimited possibilities — and features, such as adding ecommerce functionality with popular tools like Snipcart or Stripe. Have a look at Stackbit’s documentation for more information on how Stackbit and the Jamstack operate on the back end.

Are Jamstack ecommerce sites better than Shopify’s?

When it comes to ecommerce, you want to find a way to maximize your profits and minimize your costs. Jamstack is one of the best alternatives to sites built with Shopify. Because Jamstack sites aren’t locked into the Shopify API, web developers and designers have full control to make your site exactly what you want it to be. With access to the code, devs can build custom widgets based on your site’s needs. 

While Jamstack sites offer endless opportunities for customization, there are many decisions that are difficult for non-developers to make. At Stackbit, we think ecommerce sites should be easy for business owners to navigate, a cinch for clients to edit, and flexible for developers. Our platform is designed to make Jamstack web architecture easy for anyone to use.

Stackbit makes Jamstack sites accessible to all

When you’re laying out your site, Shopify’s content layout interface can be frustrating to use. Shopify’s settings also put limitations on your ability to fine-tune specific design elements — a drawback that could keep you from presenting your brand exactly as you like. The Jamstack gives you the opportunity for unlimited customization of any template, and Stackbit Studio’s editor allows you to edit elements so you can see exactly what a site will look like in its finished form.

Along with modular front-end editing capabilities, Stackbit Studio also offers you the opportunity to share live previews of a page with clients and stakeholders without the risk of an inexperienced viewer making changes to the site that could take the site down entirely. And if you need to hand off a site’s content management to someone with no web development experience, Stackbit gives clients a simple way to add, edit, and manage content changes on their Jamstack site. In addition to the ability to share unpublished pages and live previews, Stackbit also offers:

  • Built-in responsiveness for mobile devices
  • Collaborative tools
  • The freedom to customize one of the available themes or import your own
  • SEO toolbox to easily add metadata, alt tags, and define social-media sharing elements on any webpage.
  • Additional developer tools

Stackbit: Jamstack made simple

If you’re looking for an affordable, dependable ecommerce solution that provides you with unlimited options for customization, Jamstack sites built on the Stackbit platform are a smart alternative to Shopify. It’s free to use the Site Builder and Studio, and we won’t dump a bunch of bogus fees on you, either. We believe in providing you with front-end functionality that doesn’t sacrifice back end control, and you always own your own code. To get started with the Jamstack, let Stackbit show you how to make the web, better.