If you want a website design ecommerce enabled, you have a choice of many platforms to build the site on. There are many free solutions available, as well as some which require a monthly subscription/commission.
We have 2 preferred solutions to work with in Woocommerce (powered by WordPress) and Shopify. But how do you choose the solution which is right for you? Here we’ll take a look at both options and list out the key pros and cons.
Being a WordPress plugin, if you decide to have a site developed with Woocommerce, you benefit from all the superb functionality WordPress offers you, on top of the e-commerce features Woocommerce provides.
Being open-source and based on PHP and MySQL, Woocommerce is free to download and use. You may need to purchase some plugins to expand its functionality. For example integrations with a payment provider like Sagepay or Worldpay. But once set up, the only ongoing costs will be hosting.
Marketed as a platform which will let you “build exactly the ecommerce website you want”, the power of Woocommerce is in its flexibility and versatility. You can for example set up a traditional online store selling physical goods, or maybe you want to use it to sell some digital products such as e-books or tickets.
Combining it with other WordPress features and plugins, you can use Woocommerce to do things such as enable payments on an e-learning system, create a multi-vendor marketplace, even manage a membership/subscription based platform. The possibilities really are endless.
The Woocommerce and WordPress community is vast and there are a lot of experts out there, so finding help when you need it isn’t difficult.
Depending on your budget, use a WordPress off-the-shelf template to get you going, or invest in having a custom design and theme built for you.
How popular is it?
At the time of speaking, there are approximately 4.5 million websites powered by Woocommerce.
Shopify requires a monthly subscription to run your store, and it hosts your site for you. There is also a charge per sale.
The pros of a hosted solution for your ecommerce website design mean you do not have to arrange your own hosting platform. So the package takes care of things like security and SSL certificates.
On the flipside, a hosted solution doesn’t give you full access to the platform’s code. So if you needed to create some bespoke functionality, you may limited with what you can achieve.
In our experience it doesn’t offer as much in terms of being able to optimise your website for SEO. Its very much focused on being an ecommerce platform and nothing else.
Shopify offers both pre-designed templates, and also the ability to create a fully customised design. So it works well for both businesses who are just getting started and need a quick online presence, and those who have the capacity to hire an agency to create a more unique website.
Not as many people use Shopify, but their support system is great. There are also many agencies who are Shopify Partners, so specialise in working with it.
There are a range of apps available to extend the features available, some of which are paid.
How popular is it?
Currently there are approximately 1.5 million websites built with Shopify worldwide.
Best of the rest
There are of course other options available to you for your ecommerce website design.
Magento is a robust enterprise level ecommerce platform, owned by Adobe. Rich in functionality but complicated from development perspective.
Squarespace also offer a basic ecommerce platform. Monthly fees and a commission per sale can rack the costs up. You can get a site up and running quickly with the page builder, but may find its limitations frustrating.
In summary, as a solution for a website design for small business, both platforms would do the job and offer certain benefits when compared to others.
Looking to have a new website design ecommerce enabled? We have put together a comprehensive website guide on things to consider before you get started.
To discuss your website requirements further why not give the team a call today on 01483 904950, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.