Here is the quick answer if you're not in a reading mood.
Pagefly gives you the most bang for your buck, and it even has a free plan.
Shogun has more features and an easier interface, but it's more expensive. It also has A/B testing built-in.
So if budget isn't an issue, go with Shogun.
If you need a simple and affordable pagebuilder, choose Pagefly.
Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. They allow me to spend my time writing this blog, so I will be very grateful if you click them. All three apps have affiliate links so you can rest assured I'm not biased to any one in particular.
The Shopify Theme Customizer is great, but it’s a bit limited. Even though (since June 2021) we now have Shopify 2.0 and the added flexibility that comes with it. We still cannot create a fully custom landing page design.
If you are working with a UX/UI designer (or you are a designer) then you might want to create a custom mockup using a design tool like Figma or Adobe XD, and then design your theme to look exactly like that mockup. Unfortunately, it just doesn't work that way. Any mockup you create must very closely resemble the layout, spacing, and section types available in the theme you will be using.
So when you want a completely custom page in Shopify, you need one of the landing page builder apps from the Shopify App Store.
There are 3 main competitors — Shogun, Pagefly, and GemPages.
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 7 years of experience building and customizing Shopify themes, both with code and using page builders.
I also make Shopify tutorials on Youtube, you should check them out!
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 or just want to get their hands dirty and 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.
I think it's pretty safe to say that Shogun is the highest quality app. The experience of building pages is very smooth (for a page builder) and less frustrating than that of other apps. It also has more features.
However, that all comes with a price. If you want to get the maximum out of Shogun then you would be paying $299 a month.
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. Realistically this is about 90% of people so that's fine I guess.
This plan allows you to create up to 250 pages, gives you access to analytics, allows you to sync pages between multiple sites, do A/B testing, 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.
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:
Medium sizes stores or if you really need any one of the features listed above. If you have more than 25 unique pages, multiple stores, need A/B testing, or if you want the live chat support.
The reason this is called the "Team" plan is because it gives you access to Developer Tools including 'custom elements', and 'data collections'.
In other words, you're a large store that has the budget to hire a developer, yet you still want non-technical people like marketers, designers, or the business owner, to be able to make changes by themselves. Which is why you're using Shogun in the first place.
This means you probably have a lot of changes to your store happening on at least a monthly basis - new landing pages and layouts all of the time.
Custom elements is just what it sounds like - it lets a developer code advanced interactive sections that you can then use with the drag-and-drop in the Shogun page builder.
Data collections means that Shogun begins to operate like a CMS (e.g. Wordpress) where you can have all your 'content' in one place, and then output it wherever you want in different templates. The advantage? No more copying and pasting between templates, making a large store much more manageable.
This plan also allows you to create up to 500 unique pages.
Who this plan is best for:
Stores with a large team and working with a developer to create unique custom landing pages.
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 it might be a bit more confusing than Shogun's. The plan you should get depends on the number of pages you have of each 'page type'.
What does this mean? Well, in Shopify we have a concept of page or template types. These can be - home, product, collection, regular page (e.g. about), blog...
A product page is a certain page type, so if you have 20 products, they are all the 'product' page type.
The free Pagefly plan gives you just one page ‘per page type’.
So for example, the 'regular page' is a certain page type in Shopify - it means all pages you create in your dashboard under 'Pages' i.e. About us, Contact us, Shipping info, Team,
On the free plan you could create a fully custom About us page. But you're limited to one regular page so you cannot create a custom Contact us page.
You could still create one custom home page, one custom product page, one custom collection page.
This might be useful for the home page. But for the product page not so much - if you have 20 products you could only customize the page for one of them. Or create a standardized product page template that you apply to all of them, but the content would have to be the same, applying to all products.
If you want each of your 20 products to have different information on each page, then the free plan would not be enough for you. Neither would the Silver plan (more on this later). You need to upgrade to the Gold plan for $39/month.
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 design and then you can re-use it in different pages. The free plan gives you just one saved section.
Who this plan is best for:
The free 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.
This plan gives you 20 regular pages and up to 2 pages per page type.
This is good value if you mostly just want to create landing pages, not product pages.
You might be using facebook ads and driving customers to a landing page which tells them a whole story, and only after that take them to the product page with a call to action button at the bottom of the page. In this case it makes sense to use the Silver plan.
You also get 5 saved sections.
However, if you want your product pages to be landing pages - you should get the Gold plan.
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.
If you have up to 30 products you can have a totally unique page for each, and your product pages can be your landing pages. Get customers adding to cart right at the end of your landing page.
You can also have up to 20 saved sections.
Pagefly Gold vs Shogun's base plan?
This price point puts it in direct competition with Shogun's base plan.
Shogun will give you 25 pages total, they don't separate based on page type. It also won't have live chat support whereas Pagefly does this for all plans.
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 $99/month plan like automated A/B testing, multi-store syncing, and analytics.
Clicking on the links below will get you a discount when you upgrade to any of the paid plans. It also pays me a small commission, so thank you for supporting this blog!
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 at all. 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 the price point at which you are getting the "full" experience in my opinion. The same as the $39/month plans on both Pagefly and Shogun. Making gempages the cheapest of the three apps.
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.
That being said, I'm very impressed with Shogun’s live chat and A/B testing. If you are getting lots of traffic and serious about optimizing your conversion rate — go with the $99 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 $19/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.
I hope this article has been helpful for you. If you'd like to support this blog (for free), I'd be very grateful if you used one of the buttons below to install the app of your choice. I would receive a small commission from the app, which allows me to spend more time blogging. Thanks!
Looking for other useful Shopify Apps? Check out our list of Top Apps and Tools for Shopify.
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