Take our quick quiz to find which e-Commerce solution will work best for your business!
Choosing the best e-Commerce platform for your business can be daunting. With so many options available, and so many factors to think about, it can be tempting to say ‘stuff it’ and stick your flag in the next solution you come across.
Don’t. Building a new e-Commerce website demands careful consideration. Making snap decisions about your choice of platform can leave you with an inflexible solution that can’t grow to support your business and its marketing ambitions – or worse, leave you paying for a behemoth of a platform that your business doesn’t need.
But help is at hand. Take our quick quiz to help find the type of e-Commerce platform your business could need.
Scroll down for more recommendations from our web development experts. Then download our FREE eBook: Independent Guide to Choosing the Right e-Commerce Platform!
Our recommended e-commerce solutions
Our favourite hosted solution – Shopify
With its clear, uncomplicated pricing and easy setup, Shopify is great for small to medium-sized businesses that need security and reliability without the cost. And because it’s provided as SaaS (Software as a Service), there’s no need to invest in your own servers, or work with a third-party server provider.
The cons: If you need complicated product configuration, integration with third-party systems, or full SEO integration, an open-source, self-hosted solution like Magento may be more appropriate. Hosted solutions typically come with a range of easy-to-install plugins, but are unlikely to offer the level of flexibility needed for complex customisations.
Our favourite open source solution – Magento Community
Magento Community is an open-source e-commerce platform that’s free to download. As it’s open-source, it excels in terms of flexibility and customisation – your developers can make changes to the core code, or write their own plugins and extensions to ensure the platform meets the growing needs of your business. This also means it can be modified to fulfil technical SEO best practice – a benefit that even big-name enterprise solutions can’t offer.
The catch? Although Magento is free, it needs time and money to make it fit your business’s needs. You’ll need to sort out your own servers, and you’ll need to work with experienced developers to implement customisations. Magento is not the kind of platform you can learn in a day – however, its active online development community means that problems can usually be quickly overcome.
Our favourite enterprise-level solution – Magento Enterprise
With the weight of IBM behind it, Websphere is the ‘go-to’ solution for many firms. It’s a well-established platform built by a trusted name, so it’s easy to see why so many companies choose it.
The trouble with Websphere, however, is that it doesn’t allow for affordable complex customisation or robust SEO integration. Magento Enterprise, on the other hand, provides essentially unlimited scope for customisation, technical SEO considerations and integration with third-party systems.
The downside? You’ll need support from experienced developers who are familiar with the quirks and intricacies of the Magento platform. Magento is supported by an active and enthusiastic community of online developers who band together to find solutions to challenges. But if your developers need traditional technical support, it may not be the platform for you.
Still stumped? Download our Independent Guide to Choosing the Right e-Commerce Platform!