Are you a small business entrepreneur overwhelmed on how exactly to launch your online store? Can’t decide which platform to use out from dozens of seemingly good options?
We’ve put together a side by side comparison of our most recommended ecommerce platforms along with the pros and cons to help you get unstuck in this stage of your business.
Because whether you are a seller with no more than 20 items or a retailer with over 100 products, there is a perfect option for you.
If you are looking to develop a website and have full control over the contents, most likely, what you need is a Content Management System (CMS). Now, there is a long list of content management systems out there, and it can be quite difficult to pick one. Drupal makes it easy for users to log in to the system and manage the content without the help of their web developer. However, just like any CMS, it has advantages and disadvantages.
Pros of Drupal
In web development, open-source means the ability to modify and distribute code however you want without ever worrying about licensing fees.
For developers with a lot of coding experience, Drupal is a favorite. Finding your Drupal developer won’t be hard if you decided to invest in this CMS.
• Makes advanced websites
Compared to other CMS like Joomla and WordPress, Drupal is very scalable and it’s loaded with capabilities to create bigger and more advanced ecommerce sites.
If your website has to have complex functionalities and requires higher versatility, Drupal will enable you to do high-level customizations.
Cons of Drupal
• Difficult to install
While content management is easy once the store has been set up, installation is another thing. To install and build a Drupal CMS, technical assistance is needed.
• Requires technical expertise
Drupal may not be the CMS for you if you don’t have the technical knowledge or if you don’t have the resources to invest in someone with the technical expertise.
We think that Magento is one of the best ecommerce platforms out there. It’s not the easiest to build if you’re not expert but it’s range of flexibility is an advantage if you know if you will be needing expansion soon enough. Let’s look at the pros and cons to help you decide.
Pros of Magento
Like Drupal, Magento is open-source so you can tweak it as much as you want with zero licensing fees.
Packed with features that an Ecommerce store needs, Magento is highly-recommended for online store development. It probably has everything you need for an ecommerce store including marketing tools you’ll need to sell your products. It allows seamless integrations with 3rd party apps such as Google Analytics, Google Checkout, Google Website Optimizer, and different payment processing services.
• Large community of users, developers, and service-providers
Magento has a tight community of users worldwide and it’s still growing. Take advantage of free templates, widgets, extensions, and modules.
Cons of Magento
• Intricate platform
Magento is a complex and it will take longer for a developer to work on a Magento project as compared to other CMS with the same task. Because it’s built on a solid framework and follows best practices, it is a powerful platform. And in order to develop a store on Magento, you should have the appropriate budget to hire an expert.
• Highly-competent Magento Developers are gold
They are not easy to find! When hiring a Magento developer, don’t go with the first one you bumped into. Take a look at his or her portfolio and know the companies or projects that he’s worked with.
• Requires a reliable hosting environment and store management
The most common complaint about Magento is speed performance. And that’s because it’s not properly hosted. With that said, you need to invest for a good server and for a good team to set it up and manage it for you.
Now, if you are a small business, say for example, a tshirt company with no more than 100 products in store, WooCommerce is a free and open-source solution that turns your WordPress in to a fully-functioning online shop. Below are its strong and weak points.
Pros of WooCommerce
Users can find plenty of themes, extensions, and plug-ins quickly and installation is easy. There are extensions that may require payment but they are significantly cheaper compared to other platforms.
Choose from over 2000 free themes, each with preset CSS styles and color themes that you can tweak and experiment with. If you know a little bit of coding, WooCommerce is perfect for you.
WooCommerce is basically a plugin for WordPress and if you’ve worked with WordPress before, you know how easy it is to work around this CMS. Its no-brainer dashboard can be learned and managed quickly if you would set aside time for it.
Cons of WooCommerce
Unlike Magento and Drupal, WooCommerce is basically a WordPress plug-in and it doesn’t have the full versatility you may need if you are looking to build a store with over 1,000 of products. And your web developer may need to add extensions and customizations before running it.
• Limited scalability
Simply put, it’s not best option for an ecommerce store with thousands of products.
Not sure what platform to build your online store on? Comment below or send us message.