One of the first questions we get asked from our customers, who are planning and researching, is how to pick the right web platform for an E-commerce business. It is important that the website should not only have a good-looking design but also perform well. The number of platforms that support E-commerce solutions is growing, but what is the right choice? WooCommerce or Shopify?
Here, at CH Web Agency, we specialize in Shopify and WooCommerce solutions. Let’s take a look at how to pick the right web platform and the best web solution for your business, whether you want to do it yourself or have our Chapel Hill Web Agency do it for you.
What to Consider in E-Commerce Web Platform
Choosing the right E-Commerce web platform for your business will depend on what your business needs are.
Things to consider:
- Processing payments. What merchants the platform supports. If you’re already using a POS system in your physical location, do you want to use the same method on your website or different?
- Ease of Use. Are you planning to update the products, descriptions, photos, and pages yourself, or you need the agency to do it for you regularly? How big is your inventory, and what variations of each product do you have?
- Shipping Options. What shipping options do you have in mind. Do you want the system to offer shipping options by USPS, UPS, FedEx? Do you want to support the curbside pick-up?
- Price. Figure out how much you have to spend to use the web platform, including monthly support. And only look at platforms within your budget range.
- Customization. Most platforms offer standard templates that can be customized to make them more like “you.” How much customization do you need to make to match your brand?
- Technical support. If you’re not a web developer, look for a platform that doesn’t require code to customize your site. Otherwise, you’ll have to hire a web developer or web agency any time you need to make even small changes.
- Hosting and Security. Does the platform have its own hosting and security, or you need to select a reputable hosting provider, choose the right hosting plan, install an SSL certificate, security plugins, etc.?
How to pick the right web platform? WooCommerce or Shopify? How they differ
Shopify is an e-Commerce web platform that allows you to set up, run your online store, and grow your business.
Functionality: Shopify is an excellent platform for the online store. It hosts your website, provides an SSL certificate, and takes care of all the updates. It has blog functionality, subscribe to newsletter feature, contact form, and it also provides its own payment gateway, so you don’t need to worry about finding the bank and merchant to accept payments.
Ease of use: It is relatively easy to use; there are many videos and tutorials. Also, the forum is extensive, and answers to questions are informative.
Price: Shopify will cost you anywhere from $29 per month for their basic Shopify package to $299 per month for their advanced Shopify package, including advanced features that help you to scale the business. The apps that extend the functionality offer free and paid versions and prices vary.
Customization: Shopify offers tons of themes to choose from to give your store a look and feel you’ll love. If you need a very custom solution, many apps can be purchased that already might have the solution you need. For more in-depth customization, you will need to hire a web developer or web design agency to help you achieve the final look.
Technical: Shopify offers free and paid templates that can be customized to your liking without coding knowledge. However, Shopify has a complex and well-structured backend system and if you need customization beyond available, you’ll need to know how to code. Most Shopify templates are responsive and offer a fantastic shopping experience for your customers no matter what devices they are shopping from.
Hosting and Security: Shopify includes hosting, updates, and security.
WordPress – WooCommerce Plugin
WordPress is a popular open-source content management system. It does not offer E-commerce capabilities out of the box. However, there are many plugins that add this functionality. One of the most popular plugins for E-Commerce is the WooCommerce plugin.
Functionality: There’s a lot you can do with WordPress. It’s a very robust platform and with coding knowledge can be heavily customized. WordPress has hundreds of quality plugins that can do anything from building a custom contact form to optimize your website for the search engines to automatically backup your website.
Ease of use: If you don’t have some coding knowledge and previous experience, you’ll have vast difficulties to build the online store on WooCommerce. WordPress is definitely more complicated than Shopify and has a lot more going on behind the scenes. WordPress is the platform for experienced level web developers and above. If you’re for the task to install WordPress yourself, please follow our 9 step guide on how to install WordPress on cPanel.
Price: WordPress is free, and if you’re an experienced web developer, you might be able to create a functional, attractive WordPress site yourself. But if you’re not a coder, you’ll need to purchase a template, probably hire a website designer or web developer to help customize the site, and pay for additional plugins. You also need your own hosting and be able to install WordPress itself, SSL certificate and etc.
Customization: WordPress offers limitless customization if you know how to code. There are many templates that offer amazing designs to pick from. Some templates are multi-purposed and well coded and require little customization. You can have an amazing website almost out of the box if you like the design. You can also have a custom site designed specifically for you and your business needs. With the WordPress WooCommerce plugin and functionality, you can create a genuinely enormous online store if you know how to code (or can hire someone who does).
Technical: You can change many features and design elements on WordPress without coding, but for deeper customization, updates, and WordPress releases you’ll need to hire a web developer.
Hosting and Security: You need to purchase a hosting and SSL certificate from a reputable hosting provider and select the right plan depending on the anticipated website traffic. You need to install and configure the security plugin on your WordPress website and probably need to ask a web developer to do it for you. You will also need to update the WordPress website periodically in order to function properly.
We hope you enjoyed reading our article, and it helps you to understand if WooCommerce or Shopify is the right web platform for your website. If you’re looking to hire a web developer or web agency to build your online shop, do not hesitate to contact Chapel Hill Web Agency here.