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Starting your e-commerce site

Shopify vs. Custom: Which path is best for your business?

The GoWeb1 team is here to highlight some of the differences between building a custom website and building one on the Shopify platform.

Shopify is a leading e-commerce platform that allows its users to set up an online store and sell products. An alternate solution, building a custom website, involves a team of professionals who will walk you through the process of functionality, user experience, content creation, marketing and design. GoWeb1 has specialized in custom web solutions since 2005 and we've been offering jump-start development services on the Shopify platform since the beginning of 2020.

Getting Started


Shopify works well for anyone, from beginners to seasoned e-commerce users. The platform allows you to easily design your website and add products without extensive technical knowledge. The extensive Help library is well, very helpful. If your store has specific requirements not fulfilled by Shopify’s core offerings, there are numerous 3rd-party apps to fill the gap. As a Shopify Developer, this is where we can step in for our clients. We consult and build our way through the process together to save you time and offer peace of mind that your website is ready to launch.


With a custom-built site, you'll be weighing options for a multitude of tasks (i.e. hosting options, domain services, integrations and plugins) but the end result could prove to be ideal when you have a specific design or business goal strategy in mind. While Shopify’s low-cost, 1-time fees for templated themes can be attractive, your options to have full control over customization will be limited by the theme and your ability to write code. Going the custom route means your store design is truly one-of-a-kind and will be built to scale alongside your business.



Shopify's purpose is e-commerce, so it's no surprise that the platform offers great features, like integrating with leading secure payment gateway providers, fraud analysis, product management and configuring shipping rates. Outside of the core platform settings, you can search the app store for extended functionality for your online retail shop.


Custom-built sites also allow for reliable payment gateway integrations with shopping cart solutions and a myriad of other secure widgets to align with your specific e-commerce site needs. At GoWeb1, we take the time to listen to your requests, research and consult on the best path forward all while explaining any integration features throughout our development process. Learn more about DNN, the platform we've been building on for years.

How to decide?

There's no right or wrong answer here – it all depends on your wish list and requirements for your business. If you're an e-commerce startup with little to no customization requirements, then we would recommend Shopify as your best option. It's a ready-to-use platform with a simple interface and a wealth of community tutorials at your fingertips. If you crave the uniqueness of a custom-built website with ongoing personal customer service, then having a custom-built website is a good choice. Luckily for you, our team is skilled in both paths; we can provide guidance on which option is best for your needs.

Our goal is always to build you a website that helps you reach your business goals online, with the added bonus of cultivating a long term relationship whether that be in the form of website hosting, ongoing professional creative or tech services or on-demand consulting services.

Fill out our Project Estimator form here if you're ready to start the conversation! 




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