When it comes to starting an e-commerce business, with so many different platforms all offering something similar, it can be a chore to simply sift through the options, let alone choose the best one for you. With the availability of online platforms seemingly growing by the day, whether you want to convert your website into a fully-fledged online store or simply want to develop it from scratch, choosing the right e-commerce platform could make, or break, your e-commerce business.
For those looking to create a design-led, user-friendly and SEO-centred eCommerce site, Magento and WooCommerce (powered through WordPress) offer users a range of features, no matter what stage your business is at. But, which one is best for you? We give you the lowdown.
One of the biggest and most popular open source publishing tool and content management system, WordPress boasts an impressive worldwide user base. In fact, WordPress powers around 26% of the web worldwide and is by far the most used CMS due to its unparalleled versatility and simple to use system. While not a specific e-commerce platform, its WooCommerce plugin increases its functionality, making it a great e-commerce solution for businesses.
A content management platform specifically tailored for e-commerce, Magento is the ultimate tool for web development professionals. Designed for growing businesses, Magento’s flexible solutions allow businesses to build truly bespoke sites that go above and beyond, integrating a range of functions and features to create the ultimate shopping experience.
So, what’s WooCommerce, then?
WooCommerce is an open source platform that runs from WordPress, built specifically for e-commerce businesses to start selling online. It allows businesses to easily add additional features while being a highly customisable software package
When it comes to running a successful online shop, you need more than just basic features from your e-commerce platform or CMS. Both WooCommerce and Magento offer a plenty of options, so it’s important to know which offers the flexibility and customisation you’re looking for.
|Incredibly user-friendly and suitable for even web development beginners||Recommended for use by those who have an existing working knowledge of web development and coding|
|Perfect for simpler or smaller businesses with a content-heavy focus and who want to sell online while taking advantage of WordPress’ great CMS||Incredible out of the box functionality, making it perfect for complex B2B or international websites who want a truly bespoke online shop|
|Not applicable for businesses looking for complex functions or scalability||A complicated platform that fits the requirements of a more organised and increased product range, while offering seamless scalability|
|A free plugin that can be added onto an existing WordPress Website||Much costlier for premium plans due to its robustness and will require a development professional to set up properly|
|Over 50,000 additional plugin options, most free or low-cost||A broad spectrum of functions dedicated to categorising and dividing products to offer an unparallel user experience|
|A huge number of theme options, while users can download free themes from 3rd party websites||Only offers one free theme, and costs for other themes can vary drastically. Most users tend to create their own bespoke theme|
|Fully mobile responsive||Built-in optimisation for a wide array of screen sizes|
|In theory, can handle a huge array of products, but tends to become slow when adding a large amount||Strong product data capabilities for large and complex catalogues, can include an unlimited number of products|
The e-commerce platform you choose will be hugely dependent on both the size of your business and your technical capabilities. Setting up an e-commerce website is no easy feat, even for the seasoned professional. For those just beginning their web design journey, a WooCommerce plugin on a WordPress site is the best option, as it is an extendable, adaptable solution. With the wide range of plugins available, almost anyone can build a website with minimal technical knowledge, while WooCommerce’s start-up wizard takes you step by step through every crucial element.
For those more knowledgeable technical web developers, using Magento to build your e-commerce site can provide you with many more features, but is slightly more confusing to get your head around. If you have an established model and the time to build a bespoke site, then Magento could prove to be the perfect platform for your online shop. The more complex system requires time to understand, while businesses looking to scale up while including a range of features, can make the system even more complicated, resulting in the need for a Magento trained web developer, which can increase costs exponentially.
While both Magento and WooCommerce claim to be able to host an unlimited number of products, that isn’t actually the case, and Magento is a much better option for businesses looking to run a large online shop with a wide range of products.
As WooCommerce isn’t a complete e-commerce solution, nor was it built for e-commerce purposes alone, it leaves a lot to be desired by those businesses searching for a complete and high-end e-commerce CMS. As it’s a plugin rather than a software in itself, one huge drawback is that the more products you add, the slower your site tends to be.
On the other hand, Magento’s product capabilities are endless and offers pretty much unlimited possibilities for tech-savvy businesses. From organised categories and catalogue management, to built-in promotions, private sales software and powerful marketing tools, Magento is a one-stop-shop for e-commerce businesses.
So, which e-commerce platform is right for my business?
The perfect solution for smaller brands to launch an e-commerce store with less investment and running costs. Ideal for businesses or individuals who have an existing WordPress site, or a basic knowledge of the WP CMS.
A more complicated CMS that suits larger businesses and shops better, due to it’s increased functionality. Geared towards web developers or those who are particularly technologically-minded.
Need some help with your e-commerce website design?
If you’re still unsure as to what content management system is best for your individual business, why not hire the experts? Here at Bigfoot Digital, our technical and web development teams have the knowledge and capabilities to create bespoke websites that tick every box. No matter what you’re looking for, we can make sure your website contains relevant functions and plugins, so that you can get on with what really matters. Why not contact us today to find out how we can help? Give us a call on 01226 720755 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org