Pagefly gives you the most bang for your buck, and it even has a free plan.
Shogun has more features, but it's more expensive. It also has A/B testing built-in.
Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. Without them, I couldn't justify the time spent to write this blog, so I will be very grateful if you use those links. All of these apps have affiliate programs so you can be sure I'm not biased to any one in particular.
The Shopify Theme Customizer is great, but it’s a bit limited. It won’t let you drag and drop elements to create a fully custom landing page design.
So when you want a completely custom page in Shopify, you need one of the landing page builder apps from the Shopify App Store.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a ‘best’ app out of these three. Each has different features and pricing structures. I’m going to break these all down for you so you can choose the most useful one for your needs.
How do I know about this? I’m a Shopify developer with over 6 years of experience building and customizing Shopify themes, both with code and using page builders.
I know how expensive custom development can be, which is why there needs to be a solution for people that don’t have the budget to hire a developer and just want to do it themselves.
The following apps are in no particular order. But for each app, I’ll talk about the main features and who I recommend it for, to make it easier for you to decide.
This is their base plan, which is pretty good. It allows you to create up to 25 custom pages, which depending on how many products you have, might be plenty, or might not be enough.
This plan doesn’t provide synchronization of your landing pages between multiple websites, page analytics, more than 25 unique pages, live chat support, or custom elements (if you are working with a developer). So if any of those are important to you, then you might need the next plan up.
Who this plan is best for:
If you just want to create landing pages for a few products, and some custom landing pages like an ‘about us’, then I would say this plan is good enough for you.
This plan allows you to create up to 250 pages, gives you access to analytics, allows you to sync pages between multiple sites, and gets you access to Shogun live chat support.
The live chat support, in my opinion, is one of the best features of this plan. When you are building your custom pages there could be many situations in which you are stuck and don’t know how to do something. You can kill many hours trying to find the answer, but with the live chat support, you can just ask them to help you out immediately.
The analytics is pretty good, but in my opinion, it isn’t a big deal. Because they won’t show you much that you can’t already find in Google Analytics (which you should be using). The advantage is that it is quite a beginner-friendly interface (unlike Google Analytics), and you can easily track how effectively a specific page is driving conversions.
If you have a multi-store business (e.g. a USA and UK store) and you want to use the same templates across both, then you need this plan. It will give you access to the Sync feature. Otherwise, you will need to recreate the pages from scratch in the second store.
Lastly, this plan gives you access to Developer Tools, so if you’re working with a developer, or you are a developer, then you need this feature to really unlock the full capabilities of Shogun — coding custom elements that you can later re-use in the page builder, and data collections to use dynamic content in your custom elements.
Who this plan is best for:
If you have more than 25 unique pages, multiple stores with the same design, if you’re a developer or are working with one, or if you really want the live chat support.
This plan allows you to create up to 500 unique pages. The only other extra feature this plan gives you is A/B Testing.
A/B testing would be really useful if you are working with a copywriter or a designer to do conversion rate optimization. It can allow you to make two versions of a page with different wording or layout and then show version A to half your visitors, and version B to the other half.
You would usually set the A/B test to run for around two weeks. At the end of those two weeks, Shogun will show you the results and can even auto-publish the winner. This way you can set up lots of pages running tests simultaneously and optimize pages on a mass scale.
Who this plan is best for:
Large stores with 500+ custom pages. Stores using A/B testing for conversion rate optimization.
Pagefly is the only page builder app with a free plan. That being said, the free plan is pretty limited and you probably want to upgrade to the paid plan ASAP.
The pricing is cheaper across the board, but a bit more complicated than in Shogun, so you need to have a clear goal in mind to know which plan is best for you.
The free Pagefly plan gives you just one page ‘per page type’.
What does this mean? Well, when you create a page you can choose whether it is a regular landing page, a home page, product page and others.
You get one of each on the free plan. So this plan might work for you if you are a small store with just one main product. Or if your needs are simple, e.g. you just want one custom ‘about us’ page.
The other thing that changes along with pricing is the amount of saved sections. This is a chunk of the page that you build and can then re-use in different pages. The free plan gives you just one saved section.
This plan gives you 20 regular pages and up to 2 pages per page type. This is good value if what you mostly need are landing pages, and not product pages. You also get 5 saved sections.
This plan gives you 30 regular pages and 30 pages of other types so I would say this is the price point at which Pagefly becomes really useful for the majority of stores. You can also have up to 20 saved sections.
This plan gives you an unlimited amount of pages of any page type, and unlimited saved sections. It’s good value for a large store with hundreds of unique pages.
On the other hand, the advanced Pagefly plan lacks the truly advanced features that Shogun offers on it’s $149/month plan like automated A/B testing.
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GemPages isn’t as feature-rich as the other apps. But it does the basics really well, and in my opinion, is less confusing than the other apps.
It’s also the only app that doesn’t limit you on the number of pages. So if you have a lot of pages this might be the best value for you. Product pages are a feature on the middle plan though, for $29/month.
The good news is that you can create an unlimited number of pages just for $15/month. Which is much better than Shogun for example, who only allow you 25 pages for $39.
The bad news is that you can only create regular landing pages — you can’t create product pages or collection pages. So in this situation, the pricing structure of Pagefly, with a certain amount of each page type, might make more sense.
You also don’t have access to any pre-built templates. You have to start from scratch on each one. Which is kind of difficult when you are a beginner and not confident in using page builder apps.
This plan is where it actually gets useful for different types of pages, allowing you to create custom templates for product pages, collection pages, and blog pages. You also get access to the pre-built template library. Which is a must-have in my opinion.
This is what you need if you have multiple stores. For example, a client of mine has a store in Singapore and a copy of that store in Malaysia. The $59/month plan would let him use the app on both stores, and copy templates from one store to another so you don’t have to rebuild them on each store.
This is a feature that you get on the middle plan in Shogun, for $99/month.
It also gets you access to the Gem Pages live chat. Which is what Shogun offers for $99/month. As I said before, often live support chat can be a very valuable tool when you are struggling to build a certain layout.
In almost all the apps, the middle plan seemed to be the best one, with the starting plans being a bit limited for the majority of stores, unless your needs are very simple.
Personally, I like Pagefly. Maybe it’s just my love of finding a good bargain, but I feel it’s the smartest choice for most people. And it has a free plan to help you get started and learn the ropes without investing any money.
While Shogun is more powerful, I also feel like it’s a bit too expensive for a lot of small businesses. The true power of Shogun only kicks-in at $99/month. Whereas with the other apps, you can get similar functionality for only a third of that price.
The exception to that is Shogun’s live chat and A/B testing, which I am very impressed with. If you are getting lots of traffic and serious about optimizing your conversion rate — go with the most advanced Shogun plan.
Still don’t know which to choose? Here are a few scenarios for you:
Go with GemPages. You can create an unlimited amount of regular (non-product) pages for just $15/month.
Go with Pagefly. You may even be able to just use the free plan. Upgrade to the $15/month and you will get a lot more regular pages and up to 2 product pages. If you want more than 2 product pages, you need the $39/month plan and you may as well get Shogun.
Go with Shogun. If you had 2 products, you could get Pagefly for $15/month. But with more than 2 products, you are looking at around $30/month regardless of which app you choose. So you may as well go with the market leader.
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Looking for other useful Shopify Apps? Check out our list of Top Apps and Tools for Shopify.