How Much Does it Cost to Design and Build a Shopify Website?

how much does a shopify store cost

How much does it cost to design and build a Shopify website? Ask most people this question and they’ll direct you to a list of monthly subscription costs for the Shopify platform and tell you to work it out from there. However, the reality is that the cost of building a Shopify website is affected by many factors.

While I consider Shopify to be an excellent platform (offering fantastic value for money), there are a lot of expenses you’ll need to consider before you launch your store.

When you account for everything from domain costs, to design cost and development support, your price can range anywhere from $500 for a simple solution to $10,000+.

Here at Ecomm.Design, we seek out and showcase the best Shopify stores and online store designs available. Using the experience of my team, I’m going to give you all of the information you need to budget effectively.

Quick verdict

  • The average cost to build a Shopify website can vary depending on numerous factors, from the size of your business, to the complexity of your project.
  • Costs can range from a few hundred dollars, for a simple store, to several thousand dollars to launch a comprehensive ecommerce site.
  • Evaluating the potential fees in advance should help you to develop a realistic budget for your ecommerce project.

Shopify Website Design Cost Breakdown

Cost CategoryPrice RangeNotes
Shopify Subscription$29 – $299/monthBasic to Advanced plans (billed annually)
Shopify PlusStarting at $2,300/monthFor enterprise-level businesses
Domain Name$10 – $30/yearVaries by TLD and registrar
ThemesFree – $400Premium themes typically $150 – $300
Custom Theme Development$3,000 – $7,000For a completely custom theme
Basic Development Package$500 – $2,000Minor tweaks and integrations
Intermediate Development Package$2,000 – $5,000Theme customization, SEO, optimization
Advanced Development Package$5,000 – $10,000+Comprehensive design and development
Apps/PluginsVariesSome free, others with monthly fees
Transaction Fees0.15% – 2%Depends on plan; can be avoided with Shopify Payments

Additional considerations:

  • Marketing and SEO tools (costs vary)
  • Maintenance costs (if hiring experts)
  • Third-party services (e.g., CRM, email marketing)

Total cost estimates:

  • Small Business: $500 – $1,000 for initial launch
  • Mid-Sized Business: $2,000 – $5,000 for initial launch
  • Large Business: $10,000+ for initial launch

What Influences the Cost of Building a Shopify Website?

Ultimately, the price of building a Shopify website will vary depending on several key factors. Designing your store is a lot like making the perfect pizza. You start with a base in the size you want (a Shopify plan), and add the toppings and extra components.

Here are the key things you’ll need to consider:

  • Shopify subscription plans: Shopify’s subscription plans range all the way from $39 per month for a basic subscription, to $2,300 plus for a subscription with Shopify Plus. Each plan has its own benefits and unique features. They also all come with different payment processing fees and transaction fees to consider, which affect your operational costs.
  • Domain name: Unless you’re willing to run your store on a MyShopify domain, which I don’t recommend, you’ll need to purchase a domain. You can buy one directly from Shopify, or from an external vendor. Most domain registration fees cost between $10 and $30 per year, depending on the domain TLD, and registrar you choose.
  • Design and themes: Though Shopify offers an attractive range of free Shopify themes, premium themes are more scalable, customizable, and include additional features. If you need help customizing your theme, or building a new theme from scratch, you’ll need the support of a developer, which adds additional costs.
  • Plugins and Apps: One of the best things about Shopify is how easy it makes it to extend your store’s functionality with plugins and apps. You can access apps for everything from customer loyalty programs, to customer service, store design, reviews, and ratings, and more. The fees for each of these plugins can vary drastically.
  • Specialist support: If you’re building a custom Shopify website, or need help adding unique integrations and features to your store, you may need to pay for specialist support, or Shopify Experts. You might even want to hire an expert to design an app for Shopify, maintain your store, or help you implement marketing campaigns.

Shopify Development Costs: For Custom Projects

I consider development costs to be one of the most significant factors influencing the overall cost of building a Shopify store. If you’re happy to use all of Shopify’s existing tools and features to build your website and customize its functionality, you can skip these costs entirely.

However, I find most companies want to work with at least some form of developer as their business scales. Here are the two common development costs to consider.

Shopify Web Development Costs

Shopify web development costs are the price you’ll pay for experts to help you with various aspects of customizing your store’s performance and features. Web developers can overhaul the backend of your Shopify store, create headless environments for your website, and even create unique apps and integrations that alter how your store works.

Ultimately, the price you’ll pay for web development costs will depend on several factors, including the scope and complexity of your project. If you just want help integrating tools with your site, or improving technical SEO, you could expect to pay between $500-$2000.

shopify partner network

If you need assistance designing comprehensive automated workflows, or upgrading your site’s structure and performance, you may pay a little more (between $2,000 and $5,000). Alternatively, if you want a developer to help you build a unique website from scratch, using headless commerce, unique code, and custom applications, you could spend anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000+.

Shopify Theme Design and Development Costs

Shopify themes are available to access directly from Shopify. There are a handful of versatile free Shopify themes available, although I generally recommend choosing a premium theme for more flexibility and features. A paid theme can cost you around $200-$400, but you only need to pay this once.

You can check out some excellent themes and get inspiration for your designs right here on the Ecomm.Design website.

Alternatively, if you want something truly unique, you can work with a designer on theme customization. Again, the price you’ll pay here will vary depending on your designer’s level of experience, location, and the scope of your project.

If you just want a freelancer to make modifications to a pre-existing theme, you could spend anywhere from $300 to $600. If you’re looking for someone to build a completely custom theme, a freelancer can cost between $3,000 to $7,000.

If you decide to hire web development agencies for theme development, customization, and optimization, as well as help with various other Shopify development strategies, you can spend anywhere over $10,000.

Basic Shopify Website Costs

Ultimately, development costs aren’t “mandatory” for every Shopify store owner. Beginners generally stick with simple themes they can customize themselves, and Shopify’s built-in features and functionality. However, even as a beginner there are basic fees that affect every Shopify website cost.

Shopify Subscription Costs

As mentioned above, the first fee you’ll need to consider when you choose the Shopify ecommerce platform to launch your store, is the monthly fee. While you can access a “Starter” plan for $5 per month, this won’t give you a full ecommerce store.

It only allows you to sell through social media and messaging apps with custom links. For full access to Shopify’s features you’ll need one of the following plans:

  • The Basic Shopify plan: $29 per month (annually) or $39 per month (monthly)
  • The Shopify plan: $79 per month (annually) or $105 per month (monthly)
  • The Advanced Shopify plan: $299 per month (annually), or $399 per month (monthly)
  • Shopify Plus: Custom monthly subscription starting at $2,300 per month

The right plan for you will depend on your business needs. For instance, I recommend the Basic plan to solo entrepreneurs, the Shopify plan to small businesses, and the Advanced plan to scaling companies. The Shopify Plus plan is best for enterprise-level companies.

Domain Name

I would never advise store owners using Shopify to use a free MyShopify theme. A domain name can help improve the reputation of your online business and strengthen your branding. In general, a custom domain name should be quite cheap to access.

You can pay between $10 and $30 per year, depending on the TLD you choose (e.g. .com), and the domain registrar. Notably, the subscription fee to retain your domain name will likely increase after your initial purchase.

For instance, some companies give you a domain for $2.99 to begin with, then after a year, this increases to $10.99 per year.

domain name finder shopify

Check out a range of website hosting and domain registrar companies to ensure you get the best deals.

Theme Costs

Again, while you can get a theme for free on Shopify, premium themes generally offer additional features and capabilities, like advanced search engine optimization solutions, mega menus, countdown timers, and other unique components.

You can access a high-quality premium theme from Shopify directly for around $150 to $300, depending on the theme’s features. Alternatively, you can reach out to a development company for help creating a custom theme.

Advanced Shopify Website Features and Their Costs

As mentioned above, if you have specific needs for your ecommerce store, the cost of building a Shopify website can increase drastically. By far, the biggest “extra fees” you’ll need to consider when budgeting for your new website include:

Custom Design and Development Costs

I referenced the average cost of design and development options for Shopify companies before. However, it’s important to remember that the cost of development services can vary drastically.

The more advanced features you need to implement into your store, and the more complex your project, the more you’ll pay.

Many web design and development companies either charge on an hourly basis, or package their services into bundles.

For a quick insight, here’s what you can expect to pay for different types of packages:

  • Basic packages: $500-$2000: Support with making minor tweaks to your Shopify site, such as restructuring product pages, or integrating third-party apps.
  • Intermediate packages: $2000-$5,000: More advanced support with theme customization, SEO strategies, storefront optimization, and potential maintenance.
  • Advanced packages: $5000-$10,000+: Comprehensive website design support and development services, covering everything from custom theme design, to coding, maintenance, SEO, and marketing guidance.

Advanced Plugins

I’m a huge fan of the Shopify app store. It’s packed with thousands of plugins and tools that can enhance customer experience on your website, and improve your store’s performance. Some apps and plugins are available to access for free. Most advanced options do incur a one-off or monthly fee, however. These fees vary, but will usually be displayed on the plugin or app’s listing page.

Some of the most common advanced apps most business owners should consider include:

  • Fulfillment apps for things like dropshipping or logistics management
  • Abandoned cart recovery and retargeting apps
  • Pop-ups, banners, and exit-intent solutions for upselling and cross-selling
  • Product reviews and customer testimonial apps
  • Apps for loyalty programs and rewards
  • Live chat and customer support apps
  • Email marketing automation apps
  • Social media integrations

Marketing and SEO Tools and Resources

Investing in marketing and SEO might not seem essential straight away, but it’s crucial to ensure you can drive as many customers to your ecommerce business as possible.

Fortunately, Shopify already has some built-in features for SEO, like the ability to add meta descriptions and title tags to pages, and a comprehensive blogging system.

However, you might need to invest in additional apps and tools, such as:

  • Professional marketing assistance from content creators and SEO strategists
  • Social media marketing and email marketing experts
  • Keyword research and SEO analysis tools

Hidden Costs to Consider

Personally, I don’t believe Shopify has any “hidden” costs. The company is very straightforward about what you get for your money, from the number of staff accounts on each plan, to the price you’ll pay for payment processing. However, certain fees can be easy to overlook.

For instance:

  • Transaction fees: Every Shopify pricing plan comes with payment processing fees, and transaction fees. The processing fees are the “credit card rates” a payment gateway charges for every purchase. Transaction fees are the extra fees you pay if you don’t use Shopify Payments. Transactions fees range from 0.15% on Shopify Plus to 2% on Basic Shopify.
  • Maintenance costs: Shopify is a relatively easy platform to manage yourself. However, you may need help with maintenance from time to time. You can hire Shopify website design and development experts to manage maintenance and updates for you. However, the price of this service will vary depending on the complexity of your site.
  • Third-Party services: If you need to access additional solutions alongside Shopify, there are extra costs to consider there too. Many businesses and startups for instance, will need access to a CRM system to manage customer relationships, an email marketing tool with templates for customer communication, and market research tools.

Real World Examples: What to Expect

Ultimately, it would be impossible for me to give you a clear insight into exactly what you can expect to pay to build a Shopify store here.

The amount you spend will vary depending on a range of factors, so you’ll need to do your own research to come up with an accurate forecast.

However, here are some basic ideas of what you can expect depending on the size of your business.

Small Business Costs

If you’re running a relatively small business, you should be able to keep the cost of building your Shopify store to between $500-$1000 (for the initial launch). You can choose the Shopify Basic plan, to keep monthly subscription costs low, and use built-in features, rather than relying on too many apps, and choose one of Shopify’s own free or premium themes.

You shouldn’t have to pay too much for development support either, until you decide you want to make significant changes to your store’s functionality.

Mid-Sized Business Costs

If your Shopify store is a little larger, you can expect to pay between $2000, and $5000 for your initial launch. You will likely need a Shopify subscription plan ($79 per month annually), or an Advanced Shopify plan ($299 per month annually) for additional staff accounts.

You’ll probably want to invest in additional apps for customer service, marketing, and inventory management with Shopify, and you may need to consider paying for tweaks or customizations to a premium theme.

You may also incur additional costs here for things like marketing support, content creation, and website maintenance.

Large Business Costs

Larger and enterprise-level businesses can expect to pay over $10,000 for their Shopify store. You’ll probably need a Shopify Plus plan (starting at $2,300 per month), as well as access to a range of apps and tools for logistics management, fulfilment, and marketing.

There’s a good chance you’ll want incur a higher Shopify website development cost too, particularly if you want to make extensive changes to the Shopify checkout experience, your website’s design, or API integrations. Plus, if you’re limited for time to run your store, you might need help from a comprehensive team to perform maintenance for your website.

MORE: How Much Does it Cost to Run a Shopify Store?

Tips to Save Money When Building a Shopify Website

Once you break down all of the potential costs, building a Shopify website can seem pretty expensive. Honestly, it’s not as cheap as most people think. However, you can still save a lot of money with a platform like Shopify, rather than using open-source solutions like WordPress and WooCommerce to build your site. After all, with those tools, you need more development help, and you pay for hosting.

If you’re concerned about the various costs of building a Shopify store, here are some top tips to help:

1. Choose the right plan

Read through the features offered by each Shopify plan carefully. Although choosing the cheapest plan might seem like the best way to save money, access to additional features on higher tier plans can save you money on integrations and extra services.

Plus, you can save money on transaction and payment processing fees by upgrading to a more expensive plan, which can pay off in the long-term. As your company scales, don’t be afraid to consider upgrading to a different plan.

2. Use free resources

Where possible, take advantage of the free resources available to you. Shopify has a lot of features already built in which can limit your need to purchase additional plugins and apps. Plus, the free themes are excellent for beginners, particularly if you know how to customize them correctly. There are even free apps you can access too.

Some premium apps even allow you to access demos or smaller versions of their product for a lower fee, which can save you money initially.

3. Consider Expert Support Carefully

Often, business owners assume that the cheapest way to build a Shopify store is to do everything themselves. While the DIY approach can work for some, there’s a risk involved if you have limited technical knowledge. Sometimes, expert support is crucial to ensure you can properly customize your theme, create powerful marketing campaigns, and drive conversions.

Consider the potential value of investing in Shopify Expert and professional support before you commit to doing everything alone.

Frequently Asked questions (FAQs)

How much does the average Shopify website cost?

It’s impossible to place an “average price” on the cost of a Shopify website, because the price of building your site is so variable. You can expect to spend anywhere from $500 to more than $10,000 depending on your needs, and the scope of your ecommerce project.

What are the ongoing costs of running a Shopify website?

The ongoing costs of running a Shopify website include monthly subscription costs (For the ecommerce platform and connected apps), website maintenance costs, marketing and promotional expenses, labor costs (for staff members), and payment processing and transaction costs.

Is it worth paying for a custom theme?

When you’re just getting started a free or premium theme from Shopify can be more than enough to design an excellent Shopify store. However, if you want to create unique customer experiences, or elevate your brand, a custom theme can help to differentiate yourself from the competition.

Can I build a Shopify website myself without any technical skills?

You can definitely build a basic Shopify website without any technical skills, using the features and tools included in the Shopify platform. However, if you want to make advanced changes to your website’s code, theme, or performance, you may need expert assistance.

What are the best free Shopify themes?

The top free themes for Shopify will vary depending on your needs. Some of the most popular options include Studio, Craft, Dawn, Taste, Refresh, Spotlight, and Origin. Each of these themes offer very similar functionality.

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