Do you need an eCommerce web design but are not too sure about the platform to choose?
Have your web developer made you confused by giving you too many options to develop your eCommerce store?
No worries, we are here to help you!
If you are looking to start an eCommerce business and looking for correct guidance on choosing an appropriate platform to build your online store, this blog post is for you.
In this blog post, we will discuss the pros and cons of a few major eCommerce open-source CMS platforms like Woocommerce, Magento, OpenCart & Shopify.
In other words, this post is about Woocommerce vs Magento vs OpenCart vs Shopify.
Before we discuss on pros & cons of each eCommerce platform, let us quickly go through the benefits of using open-source CMS software in the first place.
A. An open-source CMS helps you to reduce your eCommerce website development cost.
B. An open-source CMS enables you to manage your store easily, without having any technical skills.
C. When you use open-source CMS for your eCommerce website development, you get the advantage of using hundreds of free themes, plugins & modules.
Here is a comparison of a few major eCommerce open-source CMS systems:
Woocommerce is a very popular and widely used application worldwide with more than 1.5 million active eCommerce stores.
Since it’s an open-source add-on available for WordPress, it’s completely free. Being associated with WordPress, Woocommerce eCommerce websites are easy-to-use.
Pros of using Woocommerce for your eCommerce website design:
- Woocommerce is one of the most popular yet free open-source eCommerce platforms.
- Since it’s associated with WordPress, it’s actively being supported.
- You can find several free & paid readymade themes to use for your eCommerce website design.
- There are many WordPress developers who contribute towards the plugin development for incorporating useful features with eCommerce stores. You will also find active support from these WordPress developers.
Cons of using Woocommerce:
- Although Woocommerce is free to build an eCommerce website many of its plugins and themes are paid.
- For changing the look of WordPress themes, you need to have a little technical expertise.
- You have to host Woocommerce websites on your own hosting server.
Shopify has gained popularity in the last 5-7 years & it has over 500,000 active online stores at present. Shopify offers a vast range of eCommerce tools.
Shopify is supported by more than 1000 apps. There are really many wonderful apps that you can plug-n-play with your Shopify eCommerce web design.
Pros of using Shopify for your eCommerce website design:
- Shopify offers hundreds of professional paid & free themes.
- All the Shopify themes come with responsive web design.
- Shopify offers you the ability to manage your store easily.
- With Shopify, you are also able to incorporate new features and sections on your eCommerce store without the help of any web developer.
- Shopify provides the ability to customize your eCommerce store however if you don’t possess any technical skills, you must hire a web developer for the customization job.
- Shopify also offers a complete blogging platform.
- With Shopify, you can easily buy a domain and point to your eCommerce store. Even if you have a domain already with you, you can easily print it from your domain registrar to the Shopify servers.
- Shopify supports numerous payment gateways for your eCommerce store.
- Shopify comes with an SEO-friendly framework and hence it’s loved by all the major search engines.
- Shopify enables you to manage your inventory easily.
- Shopify also enables you to track your online store visitors and their behavior for any selected dates or date range.
Cons of using Shopify for your eCommerce website design:
- Shopify is based on a monthly subscription which means you will have to pay every month to keep your eCommerce store up and running. If you fail to pay any month, your store will be taken down.
- Most of the applications available in Shopify incur an additional cost which further escalates your overall cost to develop & maintain your eCommerce website.
Magento is another commonly used shopping application enjoyed by over 250,000 registered merchants, having a huge range of inbuilt feature-set.
Magento also provides a wide scope of scalability for all kinds of eCommerce platforms.
Pros of using Magento for your eCommerce website design:
- Supports a wide range of payment gateway options.
- Fully customizable.
- Built-in multilingual facility.
- Free and paid Responsive themes optimized for mobiles and tablets.
- Comprehensive shipping options.
- Comprehensive Coupon management.
- Has a huge library of extensions (both paid and free).
- Built-in SEO features.
- In-built Content management system,newsletter management & marketing tools.
- Comprehensive Inventory management.
Cons of using Magento for your eCommerce website design:
- The Magento admin interface is not much user-friendly.
- Magento requires you to be a tech-savvy webmaster if you want to use advanced features.
- Magento is a self-hosted eCommerce platform and requires premium web hosting support.
- Although the basic version of Magento is available free of cost to use, if you want to include advanced features & functionalities, you may need to subscribe to an enterprise plan.
- If not optimized properly, a Magento-based eCommerce store may experience the issue of slow-loading webpages.
#4 Open Cart
Similar to WooCommerce and Magento, there is another renowned open-source application to build eCommerce stores: OpenCart.
Open Cart also has a huge community of web developers who contribute towards the development of useful extensions for eCommerce website development.
Pros of using Open Cart for your eCommerce website design:
- Open Cart is a user-friendly platform.
- Like other open-source applications, it also offers several free and paid themes for your online store.
- Open Cart is easy to set up as compared to platforms like Magento.
- It is customizable and can be extended by use of paid and free extensions.
Cons of using Open Cart for your eCommerce website design:
- You need to possess technical skills to be able to install and run the Application.
- Customizing themes and plugins is not easy. You may need to hire an eCommerce developer to do this.
- Open Cart is not SEO-friendly like WordPress & Shopify.
- Many eCommerce store owners recently reported slow loading issues causing ruined customer experience.
- Open Cart support is not available in abundance.
Ok, so now, since you know the pros and cons of all the major open-source applications available to build your eCommerce, you can choose the one that seemed to fit your requirements.
If you are a startup and wish to develop an eCommerce website with a low budget, Woocommerce is the right option for you. If you are already an established eCommerce business getting tons of traffic and have thousands of products to sell, choosing Magento would be better for you.
The good news is that you can port over your existing eCommerce platform to another one with the help of an experienced web developer.