When starting your online store, one of the first things to decide is which platform to use for your e-commerce site.
E-commerce platform can be divided in two main categories: hosted and self-hosted.
What is the difference?
- Hosted platforms In this type of solution, the chosen platform will host your store.
- Self-hosted In this case the platform will give you the software, while you have to get your own web hosting.
Which one to choose?
If you are looking for stability, the recommended choice is the hosted version. In this case indeed you always have dedicated support. The downside is that you have to pay a monthly fee.
Let’s check out some examples available on the market with relative pro, cons and costs.
- Shopify’s user interface is very well done and easy to use.
- It also offers the possibility to use add-on apps. Shopify has many apps that you can download and install on your store, which extend the default or introduce new functionality.
- The biggest downside is the limited ability to change the checkout page. Even though none of the hosted solutions will offer a compleate customizable checkout process.
- Shopify starts at $29/mo. And if you use their credit card processor, you will only have to pay the standard 2.9 percent + 30% rate. If you upgrade to a higher plan, the per-transaction fee is lower.
For starters the entire website is easily generated using just one main template.
Volusion is less customizable than Shopify.
$15 per month, which is almost 50 percent cheaper than Shopify.
- BigCommerce offers the possibility to implement Google Trusted Stores and Product Feed with their built-in functionalities.
- It has a good user interface of the admin panel that looks clean and is easy to navigate.
It has a limited control. Is not possible to implement any system other than Google Trusted Stores and Product Feed .
BigCommerce starts at $29.95/mo. Plus a 1.5% transaction fee, in addition to other credit card processing fees.
- Magento allows to manage multiple store fronts, multi-language and multi-currency support. Moreover it is mobile and search engine friendly.
- In addition, the administration area is very user-friendly.
- Magento has a flexible architecture that also makes it complex. It usually requires more time to make the same customisations as in other solutions.
- For the same reasons its performance are slow.
- WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin so it depends very much on WordPress. It offers ultimate customizability. Anything you can do with WordPress, you can do with WooCommerce.
- Many resources available. You have access to millions of themes and plugins to do exactly what you want. And in the rare scenario where you need something custom, there are many quality developers waiting to work.
You cannot use WooCommerce without WordPress.
In conclusion, if you are a big company with lots of products, clients, and traffic, then Shopify is a safer choice to go with because you will have better and more dedicated support. While WooCommerce is perfect for average and smaller stores that just need a store to sell a few things and sell them right.