Have you heard the news about LemonStand?
Well, I guess you probably haven’t. I haven’t either. I tried looking and I didn’t really find anything, or at least nothing credible from a major news outlet.
That’s a good thing though! Why? Because it means nothing significantly bad has happened. It means that LemonStand at least does its job, that there haven’t been any major security breaches, that LemonStand isn’t scamming its customers.
But in the world of hosting and e-commerce, you better believe LemonStand is pretty well known. Find just about any article about the top e-commerce options, and chances are a good number of them will have a solid mention of LemonStand.
So what’s the deal with this quiet, yet well-performing hosting option? The option that’s routinely ranked among the big names in the hosting world, Shopify and BigCommerce, but without all the big press of those famous heavyweights?
Well, you’ll find out soon enough, but let me just say that LemonStand easily deserves its position as a top e-commerce platform, and in my humble opinion, it may even deserve to be ranked even higher than the norm for quite a few users.
LemonStand isn’t perfect, but it really packs a punch with some unique services. Interested?
Keep reading to find out more.
Overall: The Cons
I like being expedient and direct, and if you’ve been reading my articles, you probably know I sometimes like to list the bad news first. The good news is, there isn’t too much bad news about LemonStand.
First of all, the pricing may inadvertently be expensive for some users running smaller businesses depending on the nature of their shops.
Additionally, the large gap between the three tiers may make it hard for some users to find a plan that really fits them.
Secondly, there’s a high learning curve required to make the most of LemonStand.
To be clear, it’s not that LemonStand is hard to use, but to really use its best features and get your money’s worth, you’ll need some knowledge on your end.
Finally, I can’t say the security is necessarily bad, but I don’t know how comfortable I am saying it’s particularly strong either. There isn’t a lot of information on-site about security measures, which makes me (and maybe you) feel uncertain.
All in all, none of this is too serious or defining, so yay! Let’s go into the advantages.
Overall: The Pros
Here are the major pros.
While the pricing may be expensive for some, it is generally notably cheaper than other comparable packages from other companies, and at least the pricing is very straightforward.
|Price / mo.||$19 / mo.||$29 / mo.||$29.95 / mo.|
As for features…well, LemonStand’s strongest point is really its features. It may sound like a short list of positives, but trust me, the features afforded to even the starting accounts are really solid.
Now to really make use of them, yes, you do need some design knowledge or access to a person with design knowledge. However, once you’re able to really use the customizability, you’ll find you’ve gotten a really solid bargain.
And for what it’s worth, even the non-design, non-customizable features are numerous and reliable.
Of course, it’s always more complicated than that. Keep reading to find out a bit more of the specifics!
Pricing may very well be the most important point for most of you, and rightfully so. Before I go into it, you can check out the official page with more details here.
Now luckily, LemonStand keeps it very simple.
There are three main pricing tiers: Starter, Growth, and Professional.
Starter goes for $19 a month, Growth is $69 a month, and Professional is $199 a month.
There is also a fourth, less common tier called Premium which starts at $399 a month.
Is there a free trial? Yep!
Easy, right? Yeah, but a little too easy. How do these prices actually stack up?
Well, it’s of course tough to compare directly because of differences in features (more on that soon).
For example, BigCommerce’s starting plan is $29.95 a month and Shopify’s is also $29 a month, but BigCommerce’s sales cap for its starting plan is at $50,000 in sales a year, and LemonStand’s Starter cap is 75 sales a month.
So if your e-store is primarily centered on selling a small number of more expensive items, then LemonStand’s style of pricing tier sales caps may give you a great deal.
If, on the other hand, your e-commerce needs are focused on the selling of many items, LemonStand’s pricing may turn out to be a bit expensive, as there is quite a jump between Starter and Growth.
Overall, LemonStand’s pricing is not too bad at all relative to other top e-commerce platforms, but it may turn out to be unexpectedly costly depending on your own online business.
Overview of the Features
Aright, the features. Aside from pricing, the features are probably the most important point of any hosting service. Of course, I can’t explain everything here, so you can view the official page here and here.
LemonStand’s main claim to fame is its customization features, but even aside from those, there’s a pretty decent suite afforded to even the lowest tiered accounts.
For starters, LemonStand’s engine lets you use whatever front-end framework you want to design your user interface.
Your check-out pages are customizable, and there are a ton of free open source themes and templates for you to play with so you can make the look of your store just right.
There are also a ton of features available for all pricing tiers that, customizability aside, would still make LemonStand a comprehensive platform.
Some of these include unlimited staff accounts, no transaction fees, unlimited products and variants, unlimited file storage and bandwidth, side-wide HTTPS, discounts and coupons, advanced SEO help, and a ton more—some of these things are only available for second or third-tier accounts on other hosting services.
Nonetheless, the main strength of LemonStand’s features’ package remains the high customizability. Nearly everything about your e-store can be customized, and some of the features I didn’t even completely grasp at first (or at least some of them took me some time to figure out).
I’ll talk about this more later, but I will tell you that your knowledge is important to making the most of LemonStand’s features. The non-customizing features are solid, but not exceptional, and may not be a terrific deal for you unless you have some web design know-how.
But if you do, and if you want to take your business’s online front into your own hands without relying on basic themes and template drag-and-drop functions, LemonStand is exceptionally strong in the features department.
Ease of Use and Customization
LemonStand has probably the most unique “ease of use/customization” sections I’ve ever written.
I’ll give you the answer real quick—LemonStand is probably the best of the popular hosting platforms for customization, but to really make use of it, you need some technical knowledge.
Is it easy to use? Well, sure. It’s easy to use in that the basic features won’t confuse you too much.
If you’re not interested in really taking your shop’s looks into your own hands, and if you just click with LemonStand for some reason, then you’ll still be able to manage your shop just fine. It’s not the most user-friendly option, but it’s not impossible at all either.
The thing is though, to really make use of the customization ability LemonStand gives you, you’d need some technical know-how.
The potential for customizing your shop is one of the greatest advantages of LemonStand, but you either need to have the tech skills yourself or you need to be able to hire someone who can code and develop.
Having said that, don’t underestimate LemonStand’s customization—it’s easily one of the most open platforms out there today and will certainly appeal to a lot of users who have the ability to directly manage their e-shop’s looks.
Indeed, I’m sure many of LemonStand’s clients (if not most) are on the more technically skilled side, and for the potential customer reading this who are similarly more coding-literate, I’ll say ease of use is no issue and your customization options are superb.
For the less experienced? It’s not impossible to use, but you’ll need to have some more ability on your end to really make full use of LemonStand.
Security is definitely important for everyone.
And it’s especially important for you. The security of your e-store is essential not only because it holds your data, but because it holds your customers’ as well, and aside from the moral issue of not caring for your clients’ data, there’s a practical issue too—no customer will want to go to your shop if it’s down half the time or doesn’t seem secure.
So is LemonStand up to speed? Let’s see.
LemonStand has a PCI DSS compliant structure, an important gold-standard of trustworthiness in the hosting industry.
It employs SSL on all its pages, not just check-out, so your more tech-savvy customers may find themselves comforted when they visit your shop.
Additionally a lot of other security checks are included from even a Starter account, which LemonStand says are typically employed for the highest tier pricing plans by other hosting platforms, though I’m not sure if that’s quite true.
In any case, these checks include constant status monitoring, daily and even hourly backups, and a world-wide content delivery network (meaning customers and site visitors all over the world can access your e-shop).
Nowadays I’m pretty sure these are industry standard security measures, but they’re still great to have nonetheless.
The thing is though, their site really isn’t too detailed beyond what I just told you here, and there isn’t really a lot of verifiable information out there as to LemonStand’s cyber security.
I’ll say that tentatively the security is at least standard and probably fine, and there have been no big problems in the news so far, which is encouraging, but to be on the safe side, LemonStand’s security may not be super strong either.
I’d be happy to give them more credit if they had more easily available information, but for now, let’s say it’s at least good enough but probably nothing special either.
Alright, that was quite a bit of stuff I just threw at you! Let’s put it all together.
LemonStand is relatively low cost, but may be a bit expensive for some users with certain types of shops/selling needs. The pricing structure is very simple and easy to understand, but there’s also the drawback of not having enough options for a variety of needs.
LemonStand’s features are its strongest asset. The non-customizable options are not exceptional, but are strong nonetheless, and its customization features are, as I’ve said, superb and probably the best around.
Of course, the biggest pro is also the biggest con—you need to be able to know how to make use of these features to really get your money’s worth, so ease of use is not something particularly strong with LemonStand.
Finally, security is something I’m mostly neutral about. There’s not a lot of credible information about LemonStand’s security methods and tools, something that worries me.
However, there hasn’t been any major news for concern, and what we do know seems to guarantee a security that’s “good enough” for the vast majority of users. I suggest, if you’re really concerned, that you contact LemonStand directly for more information.
Overall, LemonStand is a really strong service that, while not without caveats, is a spectacular option if you can make use its best assets.
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