Our lives have not been the same since the turn of the millennium. The new century has brought with it a fresh new wave of information technology and things have never been the same ever since. The onset of the internet era has seen businesses, regardless of their area of operations, move onto the internet. Retailers all around the world are looking to mark their presence online and many have been successful in doing so. So, if you are new to such businesses or want to expand onto the internet then E-Commerce website development might be the way to go.
E-Commerce web technologies have advanced at a very high rate considering the ever-increasing demands of an ever-evolving market. Having an online store is one of the best decisions you can make as a business owner. It never is too late today, in the era of the internet, so here we are going to look at the little nuances of E-Commerce website development and E-Commerce Platforms.
The most important thing to consider for an E-Commerce web developer and, perhaps, the most basic, is the E-Commerce Platform. E-Commerce Platform comes in two basic forms:
Hosted: Hosted simply means that the company will host your online store alongside providing you with software and analytical tools.
Self-Hosted: Self-hosted means that you will have to host your E-Commerce website on your own but the company will provide you with software and other supporting tools
If we look at Hosted E-commerce Platforms, there are quite a few options, all of them with their own pros and cons, some better than the other but all of them, currently, the best in the market. Hosted platform is particularly recommended to inexperienced E-Commerce Developers or for those businesses who prefer stability over customization. Let us take a look at the three biggest Hosted E-Commerce Platforms:
1. Shopify: Shopify is a relatively newer E-Commerce platform but has seen a metronomic rise in its user base. The primary selling point of the young brand is its user interface. The admin panel is absolutely gorgeous and fairly customizable. The functioning and features are quite abundant and there aren’t many tasks that cannot be accomplished or those that would need closer attention. They charge 29$/month for their services alongside some commission if their credit card processor is used.
2. Volusion: Volusion is quite similar to Shopify except for the fact that it is a lot less customizable than them. Infact, they offer just a single template. So, if you prefer customization and would like a personalized website, Volusion can be a deal breaker. However, on the brightside they are one of the cheapest options around with a monthly charge just half that of Shopify at 15$ a month.
3. BigCommerce: BigCommerce, unlike Volusion, is a fairly customizable E-Commerce platform but not quite on the level of Shopify. Its user interface is clustered, messy and needs a combination of E-commerce website development knowledge and persistence to get a hang of it. However, it makes up for that with an array of features and functionality that aren’t yet on its competitors. BigCommerce is quite highly recommended if performance is your only criterion.
On the flipside, we have Self-Hosted platforms. Self-hosted platforms are the best pick for you if customization is a big criterion for you. Self-Hosted platform is highly recommended for the experienced E-Commerce web developers. But, beware, for whatever you can achieve in performance, you will have to deal with quite a few downtimes as well. Let us take a look at a few self-hosted E-Commerce platforms:
Magento has been an industry standard for quite a lot of years now. The market leader in E-Commerce platform space, Magento runs a majority of the online stores and is the biggest platform provider across the globe. It is quite ripe with features, many of which you might never need at all. On the other hand, all this performance has certainly affected its user interface which is quite messy and takes some time to get a hang of.
WooCommerce is the opposite of Magento, as in, it is highly organized and customizable while also packing a punch in the performance category. The major USP of WooCommerce is the fact that it is a WordPress plugin, i.e., it packs all the features of a WordPress website.
Clearly, after taking a look at the pros and cons of various E-Commerce platforms, we can say that Shopify and WooCommerce are the better choices for a platform to build your E-Commerce website on. Now, between the two of these, choosing one shall depend entirely on your prerogative, needs and experience.