Overall, Shopify is a great option for setting up your online store. However, there are a few limitations and more subtle facts about the platform that you need to understand upfront.
Site costs can add up
Online store plans range from $29 to $299 per month and transaction fees from 0.5% to 2.0%. The bad news is that this may not be where your costs end.
Shopify only offers nine free themes. If you’re looking for more design, you can purchase one of dozens of premium Shopify themes for a one-time payment ranging from $160 to $180.
You may encounter additional costs when logging into various applications. While Shopify integrates with thousands of apps that can extend your site’s functionality, many of them come with additional fees. The total maintenance bill for your online store can weigh heavily on you.
When you work with an all-in-one site builder like Shopify, you give up some design flexibility that you get with self-hosted platforms like WordPress. What you lose in customization, however, is gained in ease of setup.
Beginners should expect a learning curve
If you’re used to a drag-and-drop editor or haven’t used a website builder before, you may experience a modest learning curve when setting up your Shopify website. Shopify uses a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor which is a bit dated like DIY website builders do, but it’s still relatively user-friendly.
Shopify is only average for blogging
Although you can add a blog to your Shopify website, Shopify isn’t the best website builder for bloggers. Shopify does not provide blog analytics or archiving functionality. Also, there is no blog-only search feature.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a blog on your online store; blogging can increase traffic from organic search and help you engage with your customers. But, if your main business is blogging and you only plan to sell a limited number of products, you can start a WordPress blog and then use Shopify Lite for eCommerce functionality.