In case you are not at all familiar with the website development topic we will elaborate a little bit in this article. We will concentrate mostly on which platform would suit the best your e-commerce website’s needs.
What does an e-commerce website need to be successful?
First a website needs a domain, or simply said the name of the website. When choosing your domain it is important to employ or consult with an online marketing specialist – you will be amazed how much importance this decision has and what is the impact of the domain name on the success of your e-commerce website. The domain ideally would be either your brand name (that in case you are about to build your marketing strategy by branding) or a keyword best describing the product or service you are providing (in this case it is important both weather the keyword has searches by the consumers and what the competition is). Then you get to decide whether you are going to target your website locally, by industry or globally – you can choose .co.uk, for example to point out it is a British website or .com to make it global, or .edu to point out you are educational institution and so on.
After you have your ducks in a row with the domain name you have to host your e-commerce website somewhere. What does hosting do? Hosting basically provides a place on the internet for you to exist. You also get actual physical space on a server to store your information.
Then you get to build your website – you can do it in-house or outsource it to an agency such as ours. In both cases you must know which platform would suit the best your e-commerce website’s needs. There are hundreds to pick from, but only a few preferred by most developers.
Things to be on the lookout when choosing a platform to build your e-commerce website on
If you decide to hire a company to build your website, then you should choose a platform, which provides a lot of options and customization, such as Magento. It is important for online marketing purposes to have control over the code of the website, subdomains, URLs, Titles, META description, images, internal and external links, social media share buttons, comments, blog space, security and more. You would also prefer to have your own domain, rather than have your website on a subdomain.
Most popular platforms for e-commerce websites
As technology develops rapidly do to your e-commerce website’s needs and opportunities. From all the options out there here is a list of the most popular e-commerce website platforms, which offer comprehensive and attainable plans. Those platforms are paid and the payment varies, depending on the tools you receive. But bottom line you will be happy in earnings at the end of the year, because a well build website with good online marketing can double and triple your revenue.
Information about the top 5 e-commerce website platform for 2017
Shopify is a popular e-commerce platform mostly because of the easy to use interface and hosted solution. Additionally, the platform developed to incorporate the latest technologies and suit any business needs. As speed is of great importance for a website, Shopify offers fast loading speed for your website and security for your customers. There are lots of templates to choose from, so you will definitely find one that suits the image of your business. From an online marketing point of view, you get most of the basic tools needed – custom title tags, META descriptions, canonical tags, and automatically generated XML sitemap. Furthermore, you also get a thorough FAQ database and non-stop customer support service. On the downside, the checkout isn’t customizable and you can’t host your website by yourself. As to the pricing, it depends on the features you get – from $9 to $180 per month.
If you haven’t heard of WordPress, it is the most popular platform for building any website. It has a free version suitable for private websites or blogs and paid version, which provides many more perks. One of those perks is the possibility to add plug-ins to enhance your website’s appearance and usability. WordPress is also the most SEO friendly platform and it is almost immediately crawled by GOOGLE’s bots (so it shows up in the results) unlike many other platforms.
Woo Commerce is a free plugin for WordPress, but as installing is free to get all of it you must invest a bit. It is very customizable shopping cart and also offers security to your customers. You can pick up a theme, but you also have the opportunity to design one entirely by yourself. To design your own theme is difficult and requires technical knowledge, but to use WooCommerce’s panel does not. You are unlimited in your categories choice and you get your own blog. Also, you can add any other plug-ins you desire to create a unique website, suiting perfectly your company image and your customer’s needs. The downside is that WordPress is not that user-friendly for beginners and if you have a big database the loading speed may get slower.
Newer on the market of e-commerce platforms Yo!Kart can offer more than expected. The idea of the platform is to offer both hosted option and open-source code. The latter presumes that all is entirely customizable, with great security and feature-rich. On top of that it doesn’t require great technical knowledge. Because the platform was designed for start-ups it offers the opportunity to start low cost on a hosted plan and then, when you are ready to migrate to e self-hosted plan. Whatever plan you are on you get the same feature quality and any updates come for free. On the downside, customization requires quite the technical skillset and time to understand the encrypted platform code. The balance between features and price is great.
A lot like Shopify, BigCommerce is easy to use but has more built-in features. Even as a starter you will get unlimited storage and bandwidth plus the opportunity to any number of products. The basic SEO tools are built-in and you get reviews and ratings, gift cards, and other useful tools. It is perfect for non-technical people since the interface is user friendly, but in case you do have the skills you can change the HTML and CSS codes to customize your user experience. Security, as well as the loading speed is a lot like Shopify’s and you get amazing customer support and guides. Pricing starts a bit higher from $30 to $80 a month.
Magento has been and still is a leader as it comes to e-commerce platforms. It is great for bigger enterprises and larger websites. It offers a high-end tool to build and customize your website to perfection. Security takes it to the next level and creates comfort for your customers. Multi-currency and language options are available as well as many other features.
All the while you get to build your website any way you like it you will be working on a user-friendly administration panel. You get both basic and more advanced online marketing tools and mobile-friendliness. As it comes to the pricing you can get a Community plan for free or Enterprise plan, fully based on your personal needs. On the downside to use Magento you need very good technical skills and there aren’t many free themes to use.
In conclusion whatever platform you choose you to need to be sure it will suit your needs and you have the technical knowledge or manpower to run your website successfully. If you aren’t confident you can do the job in-house then better trust a professional company, especially if you have invested a lot in that marketing strategy.