Shopify Lite vs Basic – What is the BIG Difference? Comparison with FAQs

But could the Lite plan be better for online course creators? 

In this post, we’ll analyze their strengths and weaknesses to determine which plan is better to create an online store to sell online courses. 

Features Shopify Lite Shopify Basic
Pricing 4 and a half stars 3 and a half stars
Transaction fees 3 stars 3 and a half stars
Features to build an online store 0 stars 4 stars
Customer support 4 stars 4 stars
Plugin integration 0 stars 4 and a half stars

Now that you have a brief idea of what each plan has to offer, let’s analyze them in detail to determine the best one for you. 

Shopify Lite Review – Affordable and Easy to Use

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The Shopify Lite plan is the cheapest plan you can get when opting for Shopify’s services. 

With Shopify Lite, you get many of the typical perks you’d expect from an eCommerce platform such as: 

  • An embed Buy button
  • Shopify’s checkout features
  • Discount codes & coupons
  • A point-of-sale system 

That being said, it should be noted that Shopify Lite is not a website builder. 

Hence, if you don’t already have an existing website where you can sell your online course(s), then Shopify Lite won’t do anything for you. 

It does not come with features that allow you to build an online store of your own. Instead, it facilitates an already established store that you’ve created. 

Pros Cons
Facilitates sales on social media

Allows unlimited sales of products

Supports PayPal

Easy to set up

Extremely affordable

Responsive customer support
Does not come with an online store creator

Limited features with no plugin integration

Benefits of Shopify Lite 

The first benefit is undoubtedly the prices for Shopify Lite. 

As mentioned earlier, it’s the cheapest plan available for Shopify and costs only $9 per month. 

This is dirt cheap compared to other eCommerce platforms that offer roughly the same features as the Shopify Lite plan. 

Next, it’s extremely easy to set up. If you already have an established online store on your website or social media, then you can easily integrate Shopify with it within 10 minutes.

Since the customer is mainly uses your established website to browse your online courses and make purchases, there’s no other interface or page they will have to go through. 

This makes the customer’s experience less frustrating and simple. As we all know, the more hassle-free you make the customer’s experience, the more likely they are to buy from you. 

While Shopify Lite does not come with a website builder, it focuses on making up for it by converting as many potential customers as possible. They do this by providing a buyer’s experience that requires the least amount of clicks. 

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If you don’t have an online store as an online course creator (which you really should), then you can even use the Shopify Lite plan to sell your online courses through your social media. 

Facebook doesn’t really allow you to sell products through it. 

You can list products and customers can get in touch with you through the platform but that’s about it. 

It does not have features for checkout, tax calculation, etc. 

With Shopify Lite, you can easily start to sell online courses through Facebook. 

It can be a good way to get started with your business while setting up your website for it as well. 

Then, once your website is set up, you can shift your operation onto it and keep using the Shopify Lite plan to make sales from it. 

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Shopify Lite 


When it comes to pricing, Shopify Lite is, as we said, the cheapest plan that Shopify has to offer. 

It costs only $9 per month which is extremely cheap when it comes to eCommerce platforms. 

If you’re on a budget and immediately want to get your online course business off the ground, then Shopify Lite is definitely something worth considering.

Transaction Fees

Transaction fees are really something you have to be wary of when choosing an eCommerce platform and a certain plan. 

The Shopify Lite plan charges 2.9% of the sale as its transaction fee plus 30 cents per charge. 

While this may not seem like much at the start, it can really cost you a lot of money once your online course business starts gaining traction. 

The more sales you make, the more you’ll have to pay in transaction fees. 

Features to Build an Online Store

As we mentioned earlier, the Shopify Lite plan does not come with a website builder. 

Hence, it cannot be used to build an online store from scratch, unlike other Shopify plans. 

Only opt for Shopify Lite if you already have an established store on your existing website or social media. 

Customer Support

Shopify’s customer support is famous for being extremely helpful and responsive in all Shopify plans. 

No matter which plan you go for, you can expect the customer support to be stellar. 

The customer support team ensures that Shopify users get their issues resolved as quickly as possible. 

Customer support is available through email and live chat. 

Plugin Integration

Since the Shopify Lite plan does not come with the ability to create your online store, any apps or plugins you could use for extra functionality are also not available. 

What Do the Customers Think?

We came across some bad reviews because people thought they would get a website builder with Shopify Lite and were upset to find out that’s not the case. 

For the purposes of this section, we’ve chosen not to include such reviews because that’s not really Shopify’s fault. 

As long as reviews go where people knew what Shopify Lite is for, people were delighted with its service and how easy it was to set up for their website or Facebook store. 

Here are some reviews we found: 

shopify lite review point of sale shopify lite offers website or blog free shopify themes credit card own online store shopify admin current facebook business page

website or blog credit card shopify admin manual order creation accept credit card payments advanced shopify pricing manual order creation basic plan sell products

Best Plan for an Existing Store

The best plan for an existing store is Shopify Lite because it easily integrates with any online store you have; Be it on your own website or your Facebook page. It provides a streamlined interface that you can use to analyze sales, manage payments as well as customers.

Shopify Basic Review – Flexible and Jam-Packed with Features

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Shopify Basic offers all of the major features that Shopify is known for. 

It’s the second cheapest plan offered by Shopify after Shopify Lite and it offers: 

  • An online store builder
  • Unlimited products 
  • 2 team accounts 
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Options to sell on other channels (basically what Shopify Lite offered) 
  • Free hosting as well as an SSL certificate 
  • Discount codes and coupon generation 
  • A ton of apps and plugins to increase functionality 

It’s plain to see that while the Shopify Basic plan is definitely more expensive than Shopify Lite, it more than justifies it with its plethora of features. 

Unlike Shopify Lite, the Shopify Basic plan is what you should be going for if you intend to build an online store from scratch

If you don’t already have a website where you’ve hosted your online courses, then building a Shopify store using the Shopify Basic plan is definitely a route worth considering. 

Pros Cons
Great customer support

Still relatively cheap

Supports Paypal. Stripe, Apple Pay and many other payment processors

Helps you create an elegant website

Easy to set up
Fees can become overwhelming if you’re not using Shopify Payments

Themes and apps usually cost extra

Can be hard to manage if you’re dealing with different currencies

Benefits of Shopify Basic

Let’s start by talking about prices. 

Sure, the Shopify Basic plan is more expensive than Shopify Lite at $29 per month. 

However, what you have to consider here is that this is still quite cheap compared to most other competitors out there. 

Furthermore, the price starts looking even more generous when you start looking at what’s part of the package. 

Basically (pun intended), the Shopify Basic plan provides you with everything that Shopify Lite does along with further capabilities. 

These include tools to build an online store from scratch and access to a library of 2500+ apps for increased functionality. 

So, this means you can build a website to host online courses and sell them from there using Shopify’s ecosystem. 

In addition to that, you can still continue making sales on social media at the same time. For example, you can integrate Shopify with your Facebook to make sales through Facebook Messenger. 

Needless to say, having two channels to make sales like this will obviously increase your chances of making more sales. 

Customer support is responsive as ever but unlike Shopify Lite where you can only contact them through live chat or email, with Shopify Basic, you also have the option to call them for hands-on support.

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Shopify Basic


As we briefly discussed earlier, while the basic Shopify plan is more expensive than Shopify Lite at $29 per month, it’s still fairly generous and it more than makes up for it through the features it provides. 

Transaction Fees

Transaction fees within the Shopify Basic plan are the same as Shopify Lite. 

These are specifically 2.9% of the sale plus 30 cents per charge. 

Transaction fees can really weigh down your profits once your business starts gaining traction. 

If you want lower transaction fees, you can think about opting for more expensive Shopify plans. 

This is something we recommend you should think about once your online course business starts raking in enough revenue. 

It’s also important to note that Shopify charges an additional 2% fee for all plans if you’re not using Shopify Payments.

Features to Build an Online Store

This is pretty much why anyone would opt for the Shopify Basic plan over Shopify Lite: the ability to build an online store for their online courses from scratch. 

If you haven’t already hosted your online course on a website and also don’t want to publish it to an online course platform, then the Basic Shopify plan is definitely worth considering. 

The interface is easy to understand and you don’t need to be a web development expert to be able to create a compelling online course website using Shopify. 

It will allow you to create compelling pages that will allow the visitors to know exactly what you’re offering. 

Not only that but it also has features that handle checkout, payments and everything in between. 

It’s an all-in-one solution to set up your business online. 

24/7 Customer Support

As we briefly mentioned earlier, customer support is responsive and helpful no matter which plan you go for. 

One edge that the Basic Shopify plan has over the Shopify Lite plan is that you can call customer support via your phone if you have opted for the former. 

With the latter, you can only contact customer support via live chat or email. 

Oftentimes, this gives you an edge as seeking support over the phone can often result in instant resolving of your issues. 

This is especially important if you’re running an online course business because you want any issues to be resolved as quickly as possible because otherwise, they may end up costing you sales and revenue. 

Plugin Integration

The Shopify App store boasts over 2500 apps on it that can be used to boost the functionality as well as the look of your created website. 

The apps are specifically designed to make your job easier and thus, allow you to create a website that makes the customer happy. 

Remember that one of the objectives of building your own website is to give the customer a hassle-free experience so they’re more likely to buy your product. 

These plugins (or apps) will enable you to create such a website. 

What Do the Customers Think?

Naturally, people love Shopify Basic and the tremendous number of features it provides for such a low price. 

People love its ease of use and how even people who aren’t tech-savvy can turn any idea they have into a compelling e-Commerce store. 

Here are some of the reviews we found online: 

e commerce business online sales ecommerce business own website use shopify site shopify platform shopify lite lets cheapest shopify plan shopify pricing plan use shopify lite

e commerce business ecommerce business shop shopify platform own website use shopify lite shopify support shopify lite buy button vs basic start selling transaction fee

Best Plan to Build a Shopify Store

The best plan to build a Shopify Store is Shopify Basic because it has all the features you need to accomplish this at the cheapest price possible. It utilized Shopify Payments and provides you with the framework you need to manage payments as well as customers. 

Shopify Lite vs Basic – Buyers’ Guide

Opting for the right eCommerce platform when building a store for your online course business is more confusing than it sounds. 

Many platforms have similar features and you’re often left wondering why they’re so differently priced. 

It can be nerve-wracking making such a decision, knowing that you may lose out on key features if you make the wrong choice. 

Luckily, we’ve rounded up some factors that you should keep in mind when opting for an eCommerce platform. These factors are: 


Naturally, as an online course creator that has not sold any courses yet, you will most likely not have a lot of money to work with. 

Additionally, you may already be paying monthly subscriptions to tools you need to develop your online course in the first place. 

Hence, when it comes to subscribing to an eCommerce platform, it’s important that you keep your budget in mind. 

We recommend that you spend no more than $30 per month when it comes to an eCommerce platform. 

Transaction Fees

Transaction fees are something that you need to be highly aware of when choosing an eCommerce platform as they can really burn a hole in your pocket once your business starts taking off. 

Transaction fees are percentage fees that are paid every time you make a sale through your chosen eCommerce platform. 

These typically range between 1% – 3%. 

While that may not seem like a lot at first, it’s going to start adding up once your business starts gaining traction. 

Once you start making a hefty number of sales, the transaction fees will start piling up too. 

As a result of this, you may end up paying hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, in transaction fees every month. 

We recommend that you opt for an eCommerce platform that does not charge transaction fees or charges a maximum of 2% of the sale when it comes to transaction fees. 

Features to Build an Online Store 

This is going to depend on if you already have an existing site with an online shop or not. 

If you already have developed an online store, you don’t need to have a website builder in the eCommerce platform you choose. 

In this case, you can just utilize the eCommerce platform to manage payments, customers and keep track of the sales you make. 

On the other hand, if you need to build a website from scratch, then your eCommerce platform needs to have a website builder along with hosting and domain solutions.

This is something you’ll have to think about before you opt for an eCommerce platform. 

Do you need a website builder or do you just need integration with an eCommerce platform to manage payments? 

Based on this, you will choose a platform. 

Customer Support

Good customer support is highly important no matter which platform you’re going for. 

This is because you’ll cater your students that are actively engaged in your online course and not just typical customers. 

Hence, if your website runs into any issue, it could cost you customers as well as a number of potential sales. 

So, you need issues to be resolved as quickly as possible. 

This is where a responsive customer support team becomes critical. It’s important that they are able to solve your problems as quickly as they can in order to save any revenue you may lose. 

Plugin Integration

If you’re using the eCommerce platform to build your online store from scratch, then a library of plugins is definitely a plus. 

Plugins often make development much easier since they allow you to automate tasks. 

Hence, try to opt for an eCommerce platform that has an extensive and reputable plugin or app library. 

Shopify Lite vs Basic – Final Verdict

This brings us to the conclusion of our comparison post for Shopify Lite vs Shopify Basic. 

There’s no clear winner here as both plans are meant for completely different individuals. 

If you already have an established online store, then opt for Shopify Lite. 

On the other hand, if you want to build an online store from scratch, then opt for Shopify Basic. 

Which Shopify plan do you think is the best? What do you think of Shopify pricing? Let us know in the comments below.