• Juvo • December 3, 2019
There are countless eCommerce website development platforms currently available. This is unsurprising when you consider the eCommerce industry is estimated to be generating well over a trillion euros per year. Despite the Internet having already been around a while, there’s still plenty of scope for entrepreneurs to corner niches and grab a piece of the pie.
Three of the most commonly used eCommerce website development platforms are Magento, Woo Commerce and Shopify. We can’t mention Woo Commerce without giving an honourable mention to WordPress. This is because WordPress is the site Woo Commerce sits upon, and although Woo Commerce is very good, its popularity is helped by the vast number of users already using WordPress.
Sometimes the answer to this question isn’t as straightforward as you may initially think. This is because it’s not always about picking the best one, but the best one for your needs. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each one individually so you can make an informed decision. Alternatively, contact us for a chat and we’ll take the stress out of it for you.
Shopify tends to be a more popular choice for small to medium size businesses. It has a growing community of users that enjoy lower costs than other eCommerce website development platforms, and the ability to run their store without being a website designer or programmer. All the updates and techy stuff are handled by Shopify in the background.
Example Brand: Penguin Books
Shopify is definitely easier for beginners to get to grips with. The navigation, easy to install apps, and easier catalogue management are a godsend for many novices. If you’re not too bothered about having a similar site to many other people, then the out of the box themes can make site creation much simpler. Shopify is designed purely for eCommerce, so there are no additional complications. The price also includes hosting and SSL certificates.
The CMS is less capable when dealing with larger sites. The core feature set and apps can be restrictive, and it isn’t the most scalable. The price to pay for simplicity is the overall lack of flexibility. The fees can increase considerably as your shop grows, and if you don’t use their payments method, they’ll charge you transaction fees too.
Best for: Beginners looking for an easy and secure way to take their first steps in eCommerce.
Woo Commerce is not technically a standalone eCommerce website development platform, but a WordPress plugin. The popularity of WordPress makes it the most used eCommerce solution in the world. You have the advantages of the WordPress CMS with the simplicity of Woo Commerce.
Example Brand: The Wall Street Journal
Woo Commerce is much more flexible than other eCommerce website development platforms. This is partly because the CME is more capable, and partly because developers have full access to the base code. Despite the endless possibilities of a WordPress based eCommerce website development platform, it can be easy to learn and run a site using just the basic functions. However, there are more than 50,000 plugins available for various purposes, as well as a massive community to source knowledge and get tips from. You will not be charged any transaction fees by Woo Commerce.
While the flexibility offered by WordPress can be great, it’s not an eCommerce only, or even eCommerce first resource. The vast array of plugins means conflicts can be common. Woo Commerce requires more technical knowledge, as you’ll have to arrange your own hosting and perform regular updates to the core software and plugins. This is particularly important to maintain your sites security.
Best for: Those that need the level of flexibility a WordPress plugin brings, especially when it comes to tasks like SEO.
Magento is the most complicated of the three. It’s considered to be better for bigger projects and can also cost more money. The newest version, Magento 2, is best used by professional developers if you want to get the most out of it. However, when used correctly it’s a robust application that is favoured by many big brands.
Example brand: Nike
There are many advantages to using Magento. You can handle multiple websites on one installation. The systems used for order management, catalogue management, and its scalability all make it one of the best eCommerce website development platforms. It’s a flexible platform with great core functionality. It does seem to be a popular platform for businesses that are B2B, rather than selling directly to a consumer.
This is one of the more complex eCommerce website development platforms. This means there is a steeper learning curve, you’ll need to perform more regular updates, and themes can be more complicated to implement throughout your site. The running costs can also be higher for a site built in Magento. There can also be issues with site speed. Hosting is not included, unless you opt for the cloud edition.
Best for: Advanced users and professionals looking for excellent core functionality and customisation.
Why isn’t WordPress included?
WordPress isn’t included because it isn’t specifically for eCommerce sites. Although, technically the inclusion of Woo Commerce means WordPress is included in an indirect way. WordPress is by far the most popular tool used to create and build websites. However, its flexibility means it can be used to build absolutely any type of website.
As an example, Shopify is a popular eCommerce website development platform and it has just surpassed one million users. Compare this to the number of WordPress sites, which is estimated to be around (depending on which sites figures you believe) 65 million. It is by far the most popular CMS on the planet. Comparing anything to WordPress seems unfair, especially when they’re not a direct comparison.
If you’d rather not have to consider lots of questions that really should be answered by an experienced professional, then get in touch with our award-winning team. We can provide guidance, ensuring you make the right decision for your business. Our experienced team can help with every aspect of your eCommerce website development.