There are many online e-commerce platforms to choose from when moving your business online. Deciding which platform to use depends on what kind of business you have, your comfortability with technology, and the amount of customization you want. Below are a list of our favorite platforms to choose from.
WordPress with WooCommerce
Pros: Full customization, easy integration with existing WordPress websites
Cons: A bit more technical, not as user-friendly
WordPress is our go-to platform for all things web design. We love using WordPress for a lot of reasons, but more notably, the amount of customization it allows you without custom coding. There are so many plugins to choose from when trying to customize your site, meaning you can get your site looking exactly how you want without spending thousands on custom development. WooCommerce is a FREE WordPress plugin that allows you to transform any site into an e-commerce site. It gives you plenty of options for customizing your products and creating a beautiful site to display them. The drawback of WordPress + WooCommerce is that it’s not as user-friendly as some of the other options. The backend is a bit clunky and can be visually overwhelming. If you’re setting up an e-commerce site by yourself with no web design experience, we recommend trying a different platform.
Pros: User-friendly, made for beginners
Cons: Requires coding to customize, theme based
Squarespace has been the go-to for novice web designers for years. It’s easy-to-use interface and pre-made templates make it a good starting point for those who are technically challenged. Its e-commerce system is particularly user-friendly and stands out among its competitors. It’s great for people who need to learn e-commerce quickly. While Squarespace is great for you DIYers, it’s not as flexible as WordPress for achieving a custom look or integrating website functionality. Unlike WordPress, there are no plugins, so if you are looking for something special, you’ll most likely have to hire a developer to help you.
Pros: Made specifically for e-commerce, all in one platform
Cons: Constrained by your theme- different themes do different things, so you might not find a theme that does it all
Shopify has a fantastic, easy to use e-commerce backend. Even the most novice tech user can figure out how to add and edit products, manage orders, and keep their store up-to-date. Where it excels in its e-commerce functionality, it severely lacks in its design capabilities. In Shopify, you are completely bound by your theme and different themes have different options. For example, one theme might allow you to add a photo slider, while another theme may not. Often times, you’ll spend hours designing a site using one theme, only to realize you can’t do what you need to do and then you have to start over. If you’re ok with a cookie cutter site, but an awesome backend ordering system, Shopify is definitely a great option for you.
Overall, we would recommend WordPress for those who are more comfortable with technology and Squarespace for those starting out. WordPress gives you design flexibility where Squarespace gives you an easy-to-use e-commerce system and helpful themes to get you started.
Still Need Help?
If DIY is a bit too scary for you, we’d love to help move you online. Fill out our free web design quote form and we’ll get back to you within 48 hours.