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    • Jeremy

      Business Owner

      @jeremytest

      Which is the best ecommerce platform to use?

      Question submitted 04/06/21 @ 08:12am

      I want to create a store with about 20-30 products, and want to know which is the best system to use.

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      • Leon Jay

        Industry Expert

        @leonj

        Reply submitted 04/06/21 @ 08:12am

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        There is no ‘best’, but there are some better than others, and some more suited to certain needs.

        By far the most popular are WooCommerce (for WordPress) and Shopify. These also represent the main two types of platform, ie self-hosted or third-party.

        Both will do the job, but each has its pros and cons.

        Shopify is easy to setup, comes with hosting and site maintenance, and is very stable. However, it can become quite expensive quite quickly. If you grow your business, eventually you may need to upgrade to their pro plans (which they don’t advertise on their pricing chart), these start at around $4,000/month. Even if your shop does not grow that much, the plugins for Shopify can be quite pricy for their monthly fees. Most stores find they need at least 3 or 4 plugins to really make the system work the way they want.

        WooCommerce is free, but you will want professional help setting it up. This makes the upfront cost usually (though not always) a it more. Chances are you will want some premium plugins here too, but the good news is that most Woo plugins cost about the same per year as most Shopify ones do per month. Because it sits on top of WordPress, having a site built with WooCommerce is extremely adaptable. Approximately 1 in 4 website on the internet are built using WordPress, making it by far the most well supported system on the planet. Also, because it is on your server, you own all the data (unlike Shopify).

        In the long run, we find that WooCommerce is usually a bit more expensive for getting started, but works out cheaper in the long run. IN reality the best choice will come down to personal preference, and what specific functionality your store will require.

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      • Anne Casey

        Industry Expert

        @anne-casey

        Reply submitted 04/06/21 @ 08:12am

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        Hi PHil
        The most common 2 are Shopify and WordPress. Both are great for Search Engine Optimisation been around a long time, integrate with a lot of other software and reasonably easy to find the developers for them. However they have different cost/fee structures, pros and cons.

        Generally, Shopify is a proprietry software, so if you want a high level of customisation, it is difficult as well as if you keep adding extensions, you keep paying every month. So it can add up if you have a number of extensions. However the user interface is very friendly, hosting etc all taken care of and you can do most things yourself.

        While WordPress user interface does not appear as friendly as Shopify however once you get used to it, it is easy.
        It is also an open source, so if you have a number of plugins, often you pay a one-off fees and that’s it, no ongoing fees.
        You can also customise the site in every possible way as there are hundreds of themes and it can scale to a reasonably good extend.
        On the flipside- it really depends on the WordPress developer you select.
        A good developer knows how to choose the right theme for you, build a robust site, sort out the hosting and most importantly ensure the backend interface they select is easy for you to use (without locking key elements). On the otherhand, if you get a bad one- it can be clunky and frustrating.

        There are also other e-commerce platforms eg RocketSpark but I do not know enough about them to comment.
        Please stay away from Wix and Weebly- they are cheap/ free but not right for e-commerce.

        Hope that this helps.
        thanks
        Anne

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      • Jeremy

        Business Owner

        @jeremytest

        Reply submitted 04/06/21 @ 08:12am

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        Great – thanks.

        What about SquareSpace

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      • Leon Jay

        Industry Expert

        @leonj

        Reply submitted 04/06/21 @ 08:12am

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        SquareSpace is a lot more limited than Shopify or WooCommerce, and it struggles to rank well in the search engines.

        It is fairly low cost, and easy to get started, but is not recommended for serious ecommerce.

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