Re: Shopify's website builder is garbage and our business is suffering. Almost wish I never switched

Shopify's website builder is garbage and our business is suffering. Almost wish I never switched.

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This is a personal account that I'm using because I'm not going to post it under the business's profile that I work for. This is a complaint/rant about Shopify's website builder.

Literally every other major website editor has a complete drag and drop site builder and is very customizable. When I started a Shopify account, I didn't expect to have to pull from my 13 year old MySpace profile HTML editor knowledge to do something as basic as moving the position of an embedded google map and putting text to the right of it. I've spent hours scouring Stack Exchange and googling HTML and CSS rules, testing and testing and testing. The concept of the pages being advertised as drag and drop is only "technically" so, in that I can drag and drop the order of elements on the page in the column on the left. This is just the same as WordPress's native website builder which is hot garbage. My experience with Shopify has been the same as the advertisements for those games on Facebook that show a fun tower defense game but when you try it, it's something completely different. And yes, I'm using one of Shopify's 2.0 themes: Taste.

The fact that Shopify is like "Be a developer, use an app, or pay to hire us :)" instead of developing a user-friendly website is extremely frustrating. I came here from Duda, and I can do more with Duda's website builder than Shopify. Duda. DUDA. Have you heard of it? Probably not. And that's my point.

None of the solutions provided by the company should be to learn code. I shouldn't have to do this and I shouldn't have to choose to use an app to make this happen. I shouldn't be pushed to hire a Shopify Expert to do complicated coding. I should be able to do it myself, like with Wix, Weebly, or Square Space- or even Duda ffs. I want to get it set up and published and integrated with Facebook etc to start ads, but I can't launch, because I can't do basic stuff. And I've only learned all of this after getting everything set up and importing my entire product line because I was so frustrated with Duda. Now I can't leave because of its integrations and functionality.


This is just a rant but get it together Shopify. If you want to allow functionality for developer playground, fine, but don't leave the rest of us in the dust. We have a business to run. Our first physical location is opening in a few months after being a successful online business for years. I thought since Shopify is the industry standard for ecommerce that they would have an industry standard website builder. I was wrong. I don't have time for this.

Replies 6 (6)

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Totally agree with everything you've said. 


Shopify keeps boasting about its bigger marketplace but doesn't say that buying/paying for its apps is (almost) mandatory if you want to be able to operate a basic store.


The biggest shock (coming from Wix) was the lack of a page builder. 11 years later, I had to dig through basic HTML to resize an image. 


I paid 29/month for basic Shopify, only to realize that it was impossible to build a website myself (like I do in Wix) unless I paid for a page builder, which surprisingly is also a monthly subscription. 


The only decent page builder in Shopify is Pagefly, which charges per section/page. Imagine if Wix started charging per customizable section. They would be dead the next day. 


I use both Wix and Shopify, but for someone who only has exposure to Wix/Weebly/Square space and wants to move to Shopify, they should do the math beforehand, e.g.

  • Basic store at Wix = 27/month (outstanding page builder with real drag and drop included)
  • Basic store at Shopify = 29/month for the platform + 24/month (5 sections OR pages) for the PageFly page builder. That's a total of 53$, but sooner or later, you will have to pay for other apps, too. 
  • If you want unlimited use of Pagebuilder on Shopify (something already included in Wix), then Pagefly offers that for 99/month. Now your basic store cost has gone up to 128/month.


Arguably, Shopify is a better e-commerce platform, but it's just a matter of time before Wix catches up with them in that area. How will Shopify justify it, then? Many people would not want to pay 50 to 100 $ a month for an e-commerce + page builder on Shopify if they could get both for < 30 $ someplace else. 


By the way, I am not dissing PageFlly. They are excellent and the only thing that makes Shopify usable, but their subscription is expensive.


Seriously, Shopify should just acquire PageFly, integrate it into their platform, and offer it as a part of their basic subscription. 

Shopify Partner
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Hi @randomperson 


It's great to hear you speaking out about this, and I'm sure you're not the only one.


I took a while to ponder if I'm qualified to discuss with you about this - because I've been a Shopify Partner for years, and surprise surprise, I'm a tiny part of this gigantic machine.


Throughout the years working in the Shopify ecosystem, I've experienced and witnessed countless frustrating situations myself, coming from Partners, team members, agencies, merchants, customers, and brands, like yourself.


As Shopify keeps rolling out new updates every month, quarter, and year, and they pile up into a long list as their shiny achievement; certain aspects are either getting visibly worse or not receiving their deserved improvement and attention. 


Support quality is the first thing. I've heard tons of stories about the support nightmares people receive from Shopify lately.


However, this didn't come as a surprise to me, as you might have known, last year, Shopify laid off 10% of their global workforce, and an extra 20% in May this year, eliminating "over-specialized and duplicate roles, as well as some groups that were convenient to have but too far removed from building products." 


Shopify is focusing more on building features, and functions - aka their products. All else will come second. And tbh, Shopify has always been like this.


They move incredibly fast and aggressively in back-end and core product development - as developers and tech-savvy customers, you can see their progress pretty much every week!


Therefore, as a non-tech users, features that seem the most familiar to you - those serving the front-end performance, can take a while to get upgraded. As a result, this creates massive opportunities for Shopify partners - apps, themes, and services, to magnify their impact, and of course, their growth feeds Shopify's growth! Apparently, this has been creating a win-win situation for Shopify nicely 🙂


I'm not here to defend Shopify - as you can see above. I understand your frustration. 


However, I completely agree with your statement "since Shopify is the industry standard for ecommerce that they would have an industry standard website builder". 


They have become the industry standard for eCommerce, but they are not the best website building tool. Instead, they would let the best developers in pagebuilding to provide such solutions, and working with them. 


Shopify acts as an excellent conductor - and he doesn't need to play violin or piano well. But he knows where to find those talents, create opportunities for them to shine, and lead them on to a mutually beneficial collaboration and shared success.


First-choice pagebuilders like PageFly or Shogun are becoming expensive for growing SMBs. The reason is simple - their operations are big enough to require a strong stream of revenue to sustain. I feel your pain @randomperson  and @SamKang as the bills are getting heavy for you.


This is no pressure, but if you ever want to look for an alternative solution for pagebuilder, feel free to check out Foxify Smart pagebuider. Foxify focuses on conversion and sales - no bs 🙂


We guarantee user happiness with designs crafted by UI/UX experts and tools built by experienced Shopify developers. 

If you like Foxify, feel free to inbox me and I'm more than happy to send you a discount code - consider it my welcome treat 😉


Don't hesitate to visit us at FoxEcom. It's great chatting with you guys!

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I’m a branding and web designer (and developer) for over 2 decades. Twice I tried building Shopify templates to sell, but it’s a pain! Every few years I return to see if the platform is easier to use… nope! Even I am used to the easy drag-and-drop builders -where I do minimal styling coding. Having to build sites on something like Dreamweaver in 2023 is shocking.


I don’t understand why so many people use Shopify. I understand the e-commerce backend functionality is superior compared to other platforms, but that’s it. Ends there. Everything else is either garbage or ridiculously expensive.


Wix, Squarespace, and even Wordpress (with the right host) is a significantly better choice. Alas, here I am, having to learn to deal with the worst website builder I’ve seen in over a decade, due to (WTF!?) market demand. 🫠

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Completely agree, I'm now at the point of sourcing an alternative platform for my business due to the amount of time I spend trying to make simple cosmetic or functional adjustments. Then only to find out it's not possible to make these adjustments.


The 'back office' system in Shopify is really good but the website editor is, as you say, garbage.

Shopify Partner
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Hi! We just released Folds, the first canvas-based page builder for Shopify:


We aim to have a similar editing experience to Canva / Powerpoint but built for Shopify. You can just freely drag and drop elements. It's 100% free, and I would love to get your feedback! 

Founder / CEO of Folds Page Builder | Available for free at:
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Folds is trash also.  The "drag and drop" is just dragging onto items onto a blank canvas but once you drag it on there, you can't manually place it where you want.