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.