Do you wish you could create a fantastic website, without spending a penny? Introducing Freewebstore, the site that promises business owners they can do just that.
If you're launching online for the first time, Freewebstore gives you everything you need to get started, including hosting, a domain name, and a web-building tool with premade template. You can even get plenty of support from videos and tutorials to ensure that you get the most out of your site.
This simple yet reliable ecommerce solution has quickly emerged as one of the most compelling and cost-effective ways to get active online.
However, as you'll see in this Freewebstore review, there are pros and cons to taking the “freebie” approach to website building.
Here's everything you need to know about Freewebstore.
Designed to be the ultimate free eCommerce site builder for those in search of simplicity and versatility, Freewebstore offers a multitude of modern, mobile-friendly store themes and templates to choose from.
Plus, there’s a range of paid plans to accompany the free plan, in case you want to upgrade your features, or unlock new capabilities.
Unlike some of the other cheap site builders on the market today, you can design a multi-page domain with a blog, shipping management, and so much more.
So, how does Freewebstore stack up in terms of features?
Some of the things you get include:
- 40+ free store designs to choose from if you don't have design expertise
- Back-end management system for sale support
- Free product listings, with inventory tracking and categories
- Plugins for social media selling
- Shipping management
- Multiple payment options including PayPal and Stripe
- Opportunity to build your store from scratch
- Search engine optimization
- Mobile-friendly website
- Security features
- Abandoned cart recovery
The features you can access from Freewebstore differ depending on which package you get. While the free version of the service appeals to those with around $25,000 or less in annual revenue turnover, there are some more advanced plans available.
As you progress through the plans, you’ll find the option to add your own domain to your website, remove branding from your ecommerce website that may make you look less professional, and more. You can include discount codes in your shopping cart, examine advanced statistics to learn more about your customers, and design multiple checkout experiences with your website builder.
At its heart, Freewebstore is free. When people talk about this company, they’re usually referring to the generous free forever “Community plan”.
However, you’re not restricted to just the free plan anymore. Recently, this brand updated it’s offering to provide a wider range of features through more advanced, premium plans. Let’s take a look at the plans available in closer detail.
For many businesses, it's entirely possible to run a free store from Freewebstore forever. No payments or upgrades are necessary. However, if you’re comparing Freewebstore to other options like WooCommerce, WordPress, Wix, and BigCommerce, you need a complete view of all the packages.
- Community: $0 The Community plan is the free-forever version of Freewebstore.com that we’ve focused on mostly for this article. It costs absolutely nothing to use, and comes with a hosted online store, unlimited products, SSL, and domain name, 24/7 support, no commission fees, and connections to social media. Essential visitor statistics are also included. This package supports an annual turnover of up to $25,000, and unlimited products.
- Startup: $15 per month: This is the cheapest premium plan from the company, and it comes with a one-month free trial to get you started. You can add your domain name to the mix and remove any branding from the Freewebstore company. This package supports an annual turnover of up to $80,000, and it comes with unlimited pages, multiple checkout options, and advanced visitor statistics. You also get an integrated blog!
- Pro: $49 per month: A little more expensive, but still brimming with value, this package comes with all the things you get from Startup, as well as extra support for companies with a turnover up to $250,000. You get a free professional domain, offline payment methods, access to GSuite, Product importer and exporter features, abandoned cart data, multiple language packs, and the option to make your own error pages. There’s also some great FedEx and UPS rates available too.
- Ridge Unlimited: $199 per month: This package contains everything you got from Pro, plus order insights, product insights, and a complete activity feed.
Secure hosting is included in all the plans, and you’re not tied to a contract, with the option to cancel at any time. You can also change your plan from an annual to a monthly plan whenever you choose, or switch between different plans as your business grows. There are a range of payment methods supported for business owners too.
Freewebstore: Web Design Features
Let's start the meat of this Freewebstore review by looking at the design features you can access.
As you might expect, this free site-building tool isn't nearly as robust or advanced as other premium eCommerce platforms like Magneto or Shopify. However, it does give you access to a lot of the tools you need for free – including more than 40 templates to choose from and hundreds of design features.
Freewebstore promises everything from minimalist two-color themes to graphic-heavy sites, depending on your preferences. You can also create and save your theme library, and switch between different styles for each season.
Here's what you from Freewebstore's site builder:
- Responsive, mobile-ready templates
- Auto GFX
- Image editing
- Slideshow creation
- Easy design switching at the click of a button
- Theme editor (make your own aesthetic)
- Google Maps integration for local customers
- Constantly updated range of themes
- Personal design library
- Integrations with social media pages and Instagram galleries
- Personalized logos and banners
- Multiple page creation
- The option to switch designs at the click of a button
- A full theme editor with various personalizations
- Google Maps access to help users find you
- Logo and banner creation
Freewebstore: Ecommerce Store Management
Freewebstore isn't just a tool for designing your own personal blog or claiming your corner of the internet. This software was specially designed for companies who want to sell products and earn money online.
Of course, managing your online store isn't easy.
For a tool like freewebstore to be effective, it needs to provide excellent control over your backend, combined with plenty of ways to manage your stock and product listings.
On the one hand, Freewebstore is a little disappointing, because it only allows you to list thirty products at once before you need to upgrade to the premium plan. Additionally, there's no label-printing feature built-in, so you'll need to get a plugin for that to help with shipping.
There are a handful of capabilities that Freewebstore offers to upgrade your sales plan, including:
- Age verification for stores selling products not suitable for children
- Simple user interface – even though it's quite outdated in design, it's easy to use.
- Low stock alerts so you can ensure that you never run out of a popular product.
- Related product suggestions for cross-selling and up-selling
- Instant updates on shopper trends and market changes.
- Automatic stock tracking
- Access to your store from anywhere (including on mobile devices)
- Re-stock reminders sent to your customers automatically when you receive new products.
- High-quality product images
- Bulk buying and wholesale technique options
- Product options: Let customers change the size, color, or shape of their purchase.
- Importing and exporting management
- Product groups and categories
- Product listing SEO
- Vacation mode to let your shoppers know you’re not available
- PDF invoicing automatically created and dispatched to customers
- Order emails that automatically tell your customers about their order
- Order dispatch emails when you’re processing the order
- Order tracking with insights into how close the order is to your customers
- Completely browser-based performance
- Special offers with various options for freewebstore.com discounts
- Customizable invoices in a range of layouts for your brand.
There are also a few other handy features included too, like Vacation Mode to let customers know when you won't be able to handle orders and automated emails when a product is ready to be dispatched. You can send people PDF invoices, and even give them the option to track their order – which is great for building customer relationships.
For seasonal sales and special discounts, Freewebstore offers a range of customizable invoices and sale options too.
Freewebstore: Cart and Purchasing Features
Encouraging your customers to check out on your Freewebstore site is simple.
Unlike many website builders, this software excels when it comes to delivering security and peace of mind to buyers. You can even set up your store with an SSL security certificate.
Checkout carts are simple and straightforward, which means people are less likely to abandon a purchase, and you can adjust your shipping rules depending on your specific circumstances.
So what makes Freewebstore special?
One area that Freewebstore excels is with the range of payment options that it supports. No matter how customers want to pay, the site can accommodate anything from PayPal to Stripe with more than 20 different payment gateways. Features include:
- Support for all major credit cards
- Add-to-cart simplicity
- Currency converter for international sales
- Shipping quotes from UPS and FedEx, as well as other major providers
- Checkout forms for consumer information
- Offline payment options such as pay by check
- SSL 256 bit standard encryption for peace of mind
- Side-by-side checkout experience with no lengthy forms
- Ajax add to cart so customers can add products to their carts easily
- More than 20 different gateways supported
- Abandoned cart support to contact customers who got away
Unfortunately, as mentioned above, there's no option to print shipping labels, which is a bit of a letdown. However, all-in-all, it's hard to argue with the range of capabilities available from Freewebstore.
Freewebstore: Marketing Features
Making sure that your customers have plenty of ways to make a purchase is essential.
However, how do you get your audience to convert in the first place?
Freewebstore makes sure that you have what it takes to delight and engage your audience with a range of marketing tools built into their service. Just keep in mind that blog features are only available on the paid plan at this time.
Aside from boosting your SEO ranking with a well-optimized blog and attracting organic visitors, you can also increase your chances of sales by implementing a free Facebook storefront. This gives you even more ways to connect with your target audience.
Some of the marketing solutions that Freewebstore offers include:
- Easy product search with an intelligent algorithm
- Store blogs optimized with SEO (premium feature)
- Domain hosting
- Abandoned cart data
- Facebook storefronts
- Language packs to reach a global audience
- Product review displays for social proof
- Google shopping integration
- Amazon and Bing ads integration
- Newsletters and messaging for customer conversations
- Coupons and discount codes generated easily
- Messaging system to connect with your customers
- Access to Amazon and Bing Ads for your online business
- List on the Choozen price comparison site to make money
- Reach a wide audience on Ciao!, dooyoo, and LeGuide
- Find customers on Shopmania, PriceGrabber, Shopping.com, and ShoppyDoo
- Reach customers on The Find, and Twenga
Freewebstore also allows free users to upload their listed products to a range of shopping directories like The Find, Shopzilla, PriceGrabber, Shopping.com, and many others. This can help to attract customers interested in the niche that you serve.
Unfortunately, there's no automated email marketing built-in. If you want to create an email flow to nurture your leads, you'll need to try a different tool.
Freewebstore: SEO and Optimization Features
It pays to be Google friendly these days.
93% of online experiences begin with a search through a popular engine.
So how to grab the attention of some of those searchers?
Well, SEO or search engine optimization is usually your best bet. Freewebstore gives you access to everything you need to develop a strong search engine product, with SEO support for:
- Facebook and Twitter marketing
- Google optimization on your blog posts
- Back-end SEO support
- Integrations with Google webmaster tools
- Free Google site mapping
- Conversion tracking via Google
- Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter social media access
- Google+ integration
Unfortunately, blogging is still the best way to improve your SEO today – and you can only do that with Freewebstore if you have the premium version of the software. However, it may be worth the upgrade if you're impressed with the rest of the site's services.
Freewebstore: Analytics and Reporting
So, how does Freewebstore do at delivering useful information?
Well, as mentioned above, it integrates with your Google webmaster tools – which is a good start.
You can enter your tracking details into Google and make sure that you always know where your sales are coming from.
Google also promises a range of other reports and data that you can tap into. This allows you to keep an eye on what you need to do to generate new leads and opportunities. You can track things like page views, visitor numbers, popular products, and even which categories of your store are getting the most attention.
Most of the insights you'll get with Freewebstore, will come from things like Google analytics. The service is nowhere near as advanced as the reporting and analytics tools you can get from companies like ActiveCampaign, that infuse their reporting features with big data and machine learning. However, you will get all the basic information you need to make intelligent decisions about your business.
Freewebstore provides handy sales graphs and overviews that demonstrate where your company has grown over time. However, for really in-depth reporting, you'll need to look elsewhere.
Additional features that you get as standard for your small business include:
- Built-in web hosting
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited storage
- Access to a dedicated support team
- Cloud-based backups
- API access
- Store builder technology
Freewebstore: APIs and Integrations
Freewebstore integrates seamlessly with Facebook, Twitter, and a handful of other tools.
It doesn't have nearly the same number of integrations as options like Salesforce. However, there is a Freewebstore API will allow you to get programmatic control over your store.
With the Freewebstore API and a savvy developer, you can adapt your store however you choose. What's more, the API also ensures that you're not restricted to the templates available on Freewebstore if you want to build something from scratch.
CSS and HTML access are available to those who want to design from the ground up.
Freewebstore: Ease of Use
As you may have noticed throughout this Freewebstore review, simplicity is at the heart of this software.
While many people say that the backend is a little clunky and outdated, that doesn't make it particularly challenging to use. The features available are relatively basic, so you shouldn't have much trouble browsing through templates and setting up product listings.
The back-end tools are reliable and simple, and there is plenty of customer support available if you need it.
However, Freewebstore is far from perfect.
The free version of the tool lacks a handful of sales features, including unlimited product listing, social share icons on your product pages, and integrated shipping label printing. You also need to pay for added pages like blog sections.
Freewebstore: Customer Service
Another point worth mentioning in this freewebstore review is the company's commitment to excellent service. The brand goes above and beyond to deliver high-level support, which customers around the world praise consistently.
Freewebstore answers 99.99% of their support ticket requests within 24 hours, which makes their service world-class.
Additionally, if you're willing to do support the DIY way, there's plenty of video tutorials, help guides and blogs that you can browse through for extra information.
Ultimately, Freewebstore is a good, easy-to-use store builder for beginners.
If you're looking for a way to get started with online selling and you don't have much of a budget, you can't go wrong with freewebstore. There are absolutely no contracts to worry about unless you want to look into premium services, and hosting plans and domain names are available too.
While this tool might not be as advanced as options like ActiveCampaign, Shopify and Magneto, that doesn't mean it's not worth a try.
After all, if you try this service and don't like it, you're not losing anything. It's free!
Comments 5 Responses
I’m a beginner when it comes to web-stores and I also only sell low, handmade volume items.
As you can expect I made a few mistakes (well, quite a lot!) initially but their support is very good indeed and quick given the time zone differences. I have nothing to compare the back room stuff / interface design with but once learnt everything seems to be quite logical although you have to be careful when deleting “related” products.
A couple of things in the review are not quite correct though:
1. There is no limit on the amount of products you can sell on the free version, I asked this question and the reply was “No limit” on the free version.
2. Stripe is free but not much good to me being UK based where it isn’t that popular, PayPal is £2/month and is my only payment method – with both payment methods “freewebstore” take a small percentage.
I’m sure there are better paid for web stores out there but for the moment I’ve no complaints – other than you have to be patient for traffic to arrive on your store – took nearly 2 months for me to start getting good traffic but probably common to other web-stores. It obviously doesn’t help that I sell the same items on both Ebay & Etsy which take a lot of traffic away from my store. Perhaps a lesson for any newbie?
My overall impression is probably a little higher than Rebekah’s at 4.3 but what do I know as a novice
Thanks for Sharing Graham!
Great read and article, Interesting to read which helped me make up my mind. So off i went to set up my store……
Although the only thing i couldn’t figure out is the checkout. I couldn’t find any free options, so you do have to pay for that. Which I guess is the most needed part.
Good luck with your business Kevin!
Same issue being faced by me. Dis you get any checkout option in free account by any way or is this a premium account feature?