What Are the Main Differences Between Free and Paid Ecommerce Solutions?

What Are the Main Differences Between Free and Paid Ecommerce Solutions?

As an aspiring e-commerce entrepreneur, you might be wondering whether to go for free or paid e-commerce solutions, not fully knowing the pros and cons of each. As you might have guessed, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, since it all depends on your unique preferences and needs. So, let’s start with the basics first.

Free ecommerce solutions run on open source code

Since free, self-hosted ecommerce solutions run on open source code, you can legally modify it and use it to your heart’s content, at least if you know how to code. Alternatively, you can always hire a coder. Of course, there is always a downside; if things stop working and crash for any reason, there is no dedicated support team you can count on to answer your queries and you’re going to need to resolve the issue on your own.

Paid solutions often come with customer support

If you’re not technically-savvy, paid ecommerce solutions are often the recommended way to go, since they come with ongoing updates, bug fixes, and customer support that’s ready to answer your queries whenever you need it. Typically, it’s much better documented in comparison, and you can expect to be able to take advantage of free training that comes with it.

Free ecommerce solutions are often self-hosted, while most paid solutions are not

Setting up your own hosting can be quite a challenge if you’re not comfortable around computers. If this sounds like you, paid / hosted solutions may be a better fit for you. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are people who have the needed technical knowledge, but may not have the financial resources to invest in a paid solution. This group of people can take advantage of all the free advice there can be found on community forums and effectively implement it with relative ease.

How to choose the best platform for your business?

If you want to choose the best ecommerce platform for your business, consider your level of technical knowledge, financial means available, and the time that you have on your hands. The last point is an important consideration; for example, while you may have the knowledge to overcome technical problems all on your own, you may not have the time or the will to do so.

Often, it comes down to the question of what’s more valuable to you – your time or your money?

All in all, paid solutions tend to be much better documented, so even if the technical support is not up to par, reading the manual that comes with it is often enough to make any changes needed yourself in virtually no time.


Based on the points discussed above, you’ll be able to make an informed decision and invest into a solution that will act as the backbone of your ecommerce operations for years to come. Make this part right, and all that remains is driving the right kind of traffic to your offer to ensure the best conversion rate possible. Are you ready to take the leap and make your entrepreneurial operations a success?

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