There are several different content management system (CMS) platforms to choose from.
A CMS is the platform upon which your front-end website is built.
The CMS gives you a back-end admin panel from which all the settings of the front-end site is controlled, as well as your product catalogue, customer lists & order lists (amongst other things).
Each CMS platform has its pro’s & con’s so picking the right CMS for your business is important.
Below are the three main e-commerce CMS platforms explained:
Shopify is a ‘closed platform’ (meaning it is not ‘open source’ & the code that operates the platform isn’t able to be edited by developers).
Due to its closed platform this makes the site extremely user friendly (for even a novice to build a site) & means all extensions and ‘plug ins’ to expand the core platform can only be added via Shopify’s own pre-approved marketplace of apps.
Due to the platform being closed, none of the core code can be accessed by developers & therefore the platform is ultimate limited in what can be developed upon it.
Shopify also carries a monthly subscription charge. Any extensions you might want to add to expand the core platform are likely to carry an additional one off or monthly ongoing cost.
It is not un-known that once all the required extensions are added that the monthly cost of running a Shopify site can be roughly (C.£100-£150pcm)
Pro’s: Cheap to build | Easy to use
Con’s: Limited ability to expand | Monthly subscription | Extensions carry additional cost
WordPress is ‘open source’ (which means that the core code is accessible to developers). Over time, hundreds of thousands of independent developers have worked on different extensions & updates to the core platform. Therefore, expansion of the core platform is almost infinite & even if an existing extension isn’t available, we can develop a bespoke one for you.
Due to the site being open source the vast majority of extensions & add ons are free to install.
Also due to the platform being open source it’s infinitely expandable into the future as there are no limitations to customisation of the core code.
WordPress is the most used ecommerce platform in the world.
Unlike Shopify there is no monthly subscription cost however you will require a server to host the site. Estimate C.£40/mnth for server hosting.
To build a WordPress site you need a little more knowledge than building a Shopify site however once the site is built it is extremely user friendly to use.
Pro’s: Open source | Infinitely expandable | Majority free extensions | Once built it’s user friendly to use.
Con’s: Little more difficult to initially build | Requires a server
Magento is the ‘daddy’ of all website CMS platforms.
Magento can run multiple store fronts on one CMS (i.e. you can run multiple different front-end websites off on one product catalogue).
It is also ‘open source’ so infinitely expandable & like WordPress has hundreds of thousands of extensions to expand the site.
Magento is traditionally used for large scale businesses.
Magento is more of a professional CMS platform & therefore requires coding knowledge to build upon the platform.
Once the site is built users would require training to use the admin area.
Due to the large processing power a Magento site requires a large server would be required. Estimate C.£200/mnth for server hosting.
Pro’s: Open source | Infinitely expandable | Majority free extensions | For professions & large-scale businesses
Con’s: Coding knowledge required to build | Requires training to use | Requires a large server
Other CMS Platforms
There are other CMS platforms (Wix, Squarespace, etc.) however the x3 main platforms are listed above.
Should you require information about any other platform then just let us know.
We would suggest however one of the x3 main platforms listed above are the preferable platforms to build your website upon.