When it comes to creating an online store for your business, the good news is that you have a lot of options. And all of the options vary in price, so you will find something that works with your budget. The only trick is figuring out which one is going to work the best for your business, both for your budget and needed functionality and control.
Hey there and welcome back.
So on Friday we left off discussing some of the things that you need to know before you create an online store. And one of the things I mentioned was picking a platform for your store.
The good news is that you have a lot of different options, and they vary in price range so that you can find something that works within your budget.
So today let’s discuss those different options that you might have for your new online store.
And before we get too far along, if you want to follow along with us on this ecommerce journey, be sure to hit the subscribe button and to ring the bell for notifications.
Now let’s get started.
Shopify might be the easiest and quickest way to create an online store for your business. It’s a website builder similar to that of Wix or Squarespace, except with an ecommerce focus.
For a starting price of $29 a month, you can quickly create a professional looking online store using their drag-and-drop builder. Plus, they have payment processors built into the service for you. And adding in your products is super simple. You even have access to a mobile app that allows you to manage your store on the go.
The one downside to this is that you’re really locked into their service, and migrating to somewhere else, say like a WordPress website, can be a challenge. And ideally as your business grows you want to have more and more control over your website.
Still, if you need something quick and relatively cheap, Shopify is a good way to go.
Content Management Systems
One of the most popular options is to use an open source content management system, like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla, and then add in plugins and extensions to create an online store.
I know with WordPress, you can use a plugin like WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads to create an online store. But more on that on Wednesday. And while I don’t have the same personal experience, I know the same is true for both Drupal and Joomla.
I’ve talked about each of the CMSs I mentioned in more detail in an earlier series I’ve linked to below. But more generally, a CMS makes it easy to add in a whole bunch of content. And by using an open source CMS, you can use the code for free and run it on basically any web host out there. It helps you keep the cost down and maintain a lot of control over your website. A win win for anyone.
Magento really introduces us to the custom ecommerce development realm, and it’s really something that web developers should only be touching.
It’s an open source library that makes it somewhat easy to create a custom structure for your online store. And it does have the power of Adobe behind it, so it has the support.
The massive downside to this is that you need to be a developer to really work with it. It’s extremely complex, and to be completely honest, I’m not even comfortable touching it. So unless you happen to have a developer friend or just know somebody who uses PHP and maybe has used Magento before, I really recommend not looking at this.
But if you want to go down that road, it is an option.
Finally, your last option is to create a custom system for your online store. Unless you really know what you’re doing, and to be perfectly honest I probably wouldn’t know what I’m doing, you’re going to need a developer for this.
This means creating your own custom database tables and code so that users can add products to their cart and checkout. And you’ll be having to hunt down the different APIs to connect your checkout with payment processors.
You’ll get exactly what you want with this option, but make no mistake, this is going to be very costly. Realistically, this is only an option for bigger businesses.
So what questions do you have about any of the options I mentioned today? Have you used any of these before? What was your experience?
On Wednesday we’ll be discussing some of the different ecommerce plugin options you have with WordPress. And on Friday we’ll begin to plan out our ecommerce website.
And to join us on this ecommerce adventure, be sure to hit the subscribe button and ring the bell for notifications.
Until next time, I wish you and your business the best of luck!