How Much Does It Cost to Make a Shopify Website?

Written By:Callum
Last Updated: February 29, 2024
Reading Time: 10 minutes

In the competitive Australian market, having an online presence is not just an option for businesses—it’s a necessity. E-commerce is booming, and Shopify is at the forefront, helping entrepreneurs around the world, including in Australia, to start, run, and grow their online stores. Known for being easy to use, offering a wide range of features, and being able to grow with your business. While exploring platforms for creating an online store, many entrepreneurs or business owners find themselves comparing Shopify and Weebly to determine which suits their business needs best.

Shopify is a top choice for online sellers. This article will break down the costs of creating a Shopify website for Australian business owners, making sure you have all the information you need to confidently start your online business journey.

For business owners who want a custom online store designed to fit their unique needs, our web design agency in Sydney is ready to assist You.

Understanding Shopify Pricing: The Essentials


Starting an online store with Shopify begins with knowing the different plans they offer. Shopify’s prices are set to help businesses of all sizes, from new startups to growing companies, find a plan that suits their stage of growth.

Here’s a deeper dive into the specifics of each plan to help Australian entrepreneurs make an informed decision.

Basic Shopify: The Launchpad for New Businesses

Who It’s For: For individuals or small teams, entrepreneurs taking their first step towards building a Shopify website, starting with the Basic Shopify plan can be an ideal choice.

Price: $29 USD per month or $42 AUD per month

Key Features

  • Online Store: Includes a fully functional ecommerce website and blog.
  • Unlimited Products: Sell as many products as you’d like, digital or physical.
  • Staff Accounts: Two, allowing a small team to manage operations.
  • Sales Channels: Sell on online marketplaces and social media.
  • Inventory Locations: Up to four, including warehouses, stores, or pop-ups.
  • 24/7 Support: Access to customer support any time of the day.
  • Shipping Discount: Up to 64% off shipping rates, plus free shipping labels.
  • Shopify POS Lite: Sell in person at markets, pop-ups, or permanent locations.
  • Considerations: The Basic Shopify plan has everything you need to start selling online, but fast-growing businesses might need more advanced reporting and analytics tools than this plan offers.

Shopify: The Growth Engine

Who It’s For: This is for growing businesses that need more features to handle more sales and complex tasks.

Price: $79 USD per month or $114 AUD per month

Key Features

  • Professional Reports: It help you understand sales patterns, what customers are doing, and how to manage your stock better, so you can make smart choices.
  • Staff Accounts: Five, accommodating a growing team.
  • Shipping Discount: Up to 72% off, helping to reduce shipping costs as business volume increases.
  • Gift Cards: Offer gift cards to increase sales and customer engagement.
  • Inventory Locations: Up to five, allowing for greater flexibility in how and where you stock products.
  • USPS Priority Mail Cubic® Pricing: Access to reduced rates for small, heavy packages.
  • Considerations: This plan is a good middle ground, being both affordable and functional. It offers features that make running your business smoother and improve the shopping experience for customers. It’s perfect for businesses that need more than the Basic plan but aren’t quite ready for the Advanced plan’s complexity.

Advanced Shopify: Scaling to New Heights

Who It’s For: This is for big businesses or fast-growing companies that need more advanced tools to expand their operations.

Price: $299 USD per month $431 AUD per month

Key Features

  • Advanced Report Builder: Advanced Report Builder allows you to make custom reports that highlight important business metrics.
  • Staff Accounts: Fifteen, to support a larger team’s needs.
  • Shipping Discount: Up to 74% off, plus the ability to print shipping labels in bulk.
  • Third-Party Calculated Shipping Rates: This tool allows you to calculate shipping costs during checkout using your account or other apps.
  • Inventory Locations: Up to eight, supporting expansive operations across multiple sites.
  • Considerations: The Advanced Shopify plan costs more, but for businesses that use its advanced features, the improvements in how things run and the chance for growth can make it worth the price.

Choosing the Right Plan

Choosing the Right Plan

Choosing the right Shopify plan means looking at what your business needs now and what it might need later. Think about how many products you have, how much you plan to sell, and if you need extra options like in-depth analysis and tailor-made reports.

Remember, it’s always possible to start with a more basic plan and upgrade as your business grows and your needs change.

Australian business owners should remember to account for the exchange rate in their budget since Shopify’s prices are in USD. Think about how currency values might change and include this in your financial plans for a smooth start to your online store.

Additional Costs Beyond Subscriptions

Setting up a Shopify store is more than just subscription fees. To customise your online store to match your brand and improve how it works, you’ll probably have some extra costs. Knowing about these costs will help you plan your budget better and make smart choices to upgrade your online shop.

Theme and Design Costs: Crafting Your Store’s Look and Feel

Shopify’s theme store has many design choices, with free and paid themes for different business types and styles.

  • Free Themes: Shopify has free themes that are easy to use and flexible, great for new businesses or those on a tight budget.
  • Premium Themes: For those seeking more sophisticated design options, Shopify’s premium themes range in price from approximately $140 to $350 AUD. These themes offer deeper customisation options, unique layouts, and advanced features that can help your store stand out in a crowded market. Investing in a premium theme can enhance your brand’s visual appeal and improve the customer shopping experience.

Transaction Fees and Payment Processing

Shopify lets you sell using its own payment system, Shopify Payments, and also supports other payment methods like PayPal, Stripe, and more. Each comes with its own cost implications.

  • Shopify Payments: Using Shopify Payments exempts you from Shopify’s additional transaction fees. This can be a cost-effective option, as it simplifies the process and potentially lowers your overall expenses. However, credit card rates still apply, varying by plan.
  • External Payment Gateways: Choosing an external payment gateway incurs transaction fees on top of the subscription plan. These fees vary depending on the gateway and can add up with each sale. It’s essential to compare the costs and features of different payment processors to find the best fit for your business.

Apps and Add-ons

The Shopify App Store has many apps that can add special features to your store, like better SEO or easier inventory management.

  • Free Apps: Many apps offer basic versions at no cost, providing valuable tools for businesses looking to enhance their store without a significant investment.
  • Paid Apps: Subscription-based apps offer more advanced features or higher levels of service. Prices vary widely, so it’s important to assess which apps are crucial for your store’s success and budget accordingly. Select apps that offer clear value for money and contribute to your store’s growth or operational efficiency.

Development and Customisation Costs: Personalising Your E-commerce Experience

Development and Customisation Costs Personalising Your E-commerce Experience

For those who desire a higher level of customisation or need specific functionalities that out-of-the-box options don’t provide, hiring a Shopify expert might be necessary.

  • Shopify Experts: Depending on the complexity of the work, costs can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. This might include custom theme development, unique feature integration, or advanced SEO optimisation.
  • DIY Customisation: For those with a technical background, Shopify offers extensive documentation and community forums to assist with DIY customisations, potentially saving on development costs.

Budgeting for Success

Budgeting for Success

Investing in the design, features, and unique aspects of your Shopify store is key to making your brand noticeable and providing a great shopping experience. While these costs may go up, careful planning and smart choices can ensure that your investments pay off, helping your online store thrive.

What Determines the Cost of a Shopify Website?

Crafting a Shopify website is akin to constructing a house; the final cost hinges on various elements, from the foundation (the subscription plan) to the embellishments (apps and custom features). Understanding these components is crucial for Australian entrepreneurs embarking on their e-commerce journey. Let’s delve deeper into the factors that shape the financial blueprint of a Shopify store.

Theme and Design

Your website’s theme is the virtual façade of your business, pivotal in making a lasting first impression. Shopify’s theme library, ranging from free to premium options, affects your site’s look and user experience. Premium themes, while more costly, offer unique designs and enhanced customisation, allowing your brand to shine and resonate with your target audience.

Apps and Add-ons

Think of apps and add-ons as the interior design and utilities of your online store. SEO tools help people find your site, and loyalty programs make them want to return. These features make your site more useful and engaging. Although many important apps are free, paying for premium ones might cost more each month. However, they’re usually a good investment because of the extra value they provide.

Custom Development Work

Sometimes, off-the-shelf solutions don’t quite meet your unique business requirements. Custom website design and development work allows you to tailor your Shopify site to exact specifications, whether it’s bespoke features, specialised integrations, or unique design elements. This customisation can vary widely in cost, depending on the complexity and the expertise of the developers you engage with.

Ongoing Costs

Beyond the initial setup, running a Shopify store incurs ongoing expenses that are vital to its success:

  • Marketing and SEO: Digital marketing and search engine optimisation are not just costs; they’re investments in your brand’s visibility and customer acquisition efforts. Effective SEO practices help your store rank higher in search results, driving organic traffic, while marketing campaigns can boost sales and brand awareness.
  • Transaction Fees and Payment Processing: When you sell something on your Shopify store, you might have to pay a small fee for each sale. This is more likely if you use payment methods other than Shopify Payments. These fees need to be factored into pricing strategies and overall budget planning.

The Sum of Its Parts

The total cost of running a Shopify website comes from adding up different parts, which depends on your business plans and needs. To manage these costs well, you need to really understand your business, who you’re selling to, and how you want to grow. Choosing the right plan, themes, apps, and how much you want to customise your site helps you match what your Shopify store can do with how much you can spend and your big-picture business aims.

Examples of Calculating the Shopify Website Development Costs

Let’s consider two scenarios to understand how costs can vary:

  • Scenario 1: A startup opts for the Basic Shopify plan, uses a free theme, selects a few essential free apps, and incurs minimal custom development costs. The initial setup cost might be as low as $29 USD per month, plus any transaction fees.
  • Scenario 2: A growing business chooses the Shopify plan, invests in a premium theme, utilises several paid apps for enhanced functionality, and hires a developer for custom features. This setup could cost several hundred dollars per month, plus development fees and transaction costs.

Shopify Unveiled: Superior Ease, Design, and Value Compared to BigCommerce

Shopify vs BigCommerce


Shopify is generally considered more user-friendly, particularly for beginners. Its dashboard is straightforward, and the onboarding process guides users through each step of setting up their store. Shopify simplifies the process of adding products, making it a preferred choice for those who prioritise ease of use​​​​​​.

BigCommerce caters to users with varying levels of experience and offers more design flexibility with its drag-and-drop feature. However, it may present a steeper learning curve compared to Shopify.

Pricing and Value for Money

Shopify and BigCommerce offer similar pricing for their basic, mid-level, and advanced plans. Shopify also offers a $9/month Lite Plan for adding buy buttons to websites and social channels, although it’s not a full-featured e-commerce shop​​.

Shopify provides a three-month trial for $1/month for new users, which, along with its no transaction fees when using Shopify Payments, adds to its value for money.

Themes and Design

Shopify offers a wide range of modern, mobile-responsive themes that are optimised for various screen sizes. Its themes are user-friendly and allow for high levels of customisation​​​​.

While BigCommerce also offers a decent selection of themes, Shopify’s range and ease of customisation give it an edge in store design and user experience.

Sales Features and Scalability

Both platforms support selling across multiple online channels and offer robust inventory management systems. Shopify is noted for its ease of integrating multiple sales channels, enhancing its appeal for merchants looking to expand their sales reach.

Shopify’s POS solutions are highlighted for their ease of setup and use, offering direct hardware solutions from Shopify, which simplifies the process compared to BigCommerce’s requirement to integrate with third-party platforms.

Customer Support and Resources

Shopify’s extensive help area and setup guides make it easier for first-time users to get started and find the information they need. Its platform is designed to be accessible to users with minimal computer skills, providing a smoother experience from setup to daily management​​​​.

Go through our article to get a more comprehensive distinction between shopify vs bigcommerce.

Shopify is known for being easy to use, offering trendy and adjustable designs, lots of tools for making sales, and great help for those just starting out. While BigCommerce is strong and adaptable, Shopify shines because it’s simple, has many design choices, and provides good value. This makes it an excellent choice for anyone looking to start or grow their online store.


Starting a Shopify website comes with different costs like subscription fees, design expenses, and money spent on marketing and SEO. Australian business owners can build a successful online store by knowing these costs and planning their budget. With smart planning and investing in the right areas, your Shopify store can grow into a successful online business.


1. What are the different Shopify subscription plans available for Australian entrepreneurs?

Shopify offers several subscription options including Basic Shopify for new businesses, Shopify for growing businesses, and Advanced Shopify for scaling businesses. Each plan provides various features tailored to different stages of business growth.

2. Are there any transaction fees associated with using Shopify Payments?

Shopify Payments waives transaction fees, allowing merchants to avoid additional charges on sales. However, using external payment gateways incurs fees, which vary by plan.

3. What kinds of additional costs should I consider when setting up a Shopify store?

Additional costs include premium themes, paid apps, custom domain names, and marketing or SEO services. These expenses are beyond the basic subscription fees.

4. How can custom development work impact the overall cost of a Shopify website?

Custom development significantly increases costs due to the need for specialised skills and labor. The complexity of the desired features directly influences the final price.

5. What are some ways to budget effectively for a new Shopify online store?

Effective budgeting involves prioritising essential features, starting with a basic plan, using free themes and apps initially, and gradually investing in more advanced tools as the business grows.

6. How does the choice of apps and add-ons affect my Shopify store’s monthly expenses?

Apps and add-ons can increase monthly expenses based on their prices and the value they add to your store. Carefully selecting only those that meet your business needs can help manage costs.

Let's work together

Do you need
creative Design?

Hey, I'm Callum. Here at Creato we re determined to produce creative Web Design. My only questions is, will it be yours?

About callum

Callum is the founder of Creato, a Sydney based design agency that specialises in creating holistic brands for Aussie businesses.

With a talent for crafting memorable and effective branding solutions, Callum has built Creato into a respected and successful agency. His work has been featured in various publications, including The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, and Entrepreneur.

If you re interested in working with Callum and Creato to bring your brand to the next level, don t hesitate to get in touch!

Table of Contents