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Ecommerce website development could only be done by an expert a few years ago, but now there are platforms that can help you get your website up and running with just basic skills. This is one of the reasons why we have seen such a spike in the number of existing websites and why many domain names have already been taken.
The sudden rise in ecommerce stores on the internet is because there are platforms that help you create your ecommerce website in a matter of hours. A few years ago you would have needed a team of developers for that, but these ecommerce website development platforms can complete the job with just drag and drop tools.
Here we will talk about the three best platforms that you could use for starting your own ecommerce store. We have chosen the platforms based on their usage, trends, and the number of websites that already use them.
List of Top Ecommerce Website Development Platforms
Shopify is one of the most renowned ecommerce development platforms and powers more than 820,000 sites.
Let’s start with the most concerning part for any user which is the pricing plan.
Although Shopify only has paid plans because it offers a lot out-of-the-box including the payment gateway, SSL certificates, and hosting. It does offer you a 14-day free trial where you can start working on your website and save all the work you’ve done and continue after you have purchased a version.
Here are some of the best features of Shopify:
- A highly dedicated customer support service available 24/7 through email, live chat, and call.
- Shopify supports all popular payment gateways.
- No plan has any product limitations which means you can sell as many products as you wish.
The trends show a constant increase in the number of websites being built using Shopify, as you can see in the graph below:
Despite the great trends and services available, there are some drawbacks of Shopify as well:
- Most competitors have a free plan to offer which Shopify does not.
- There are only around 70 themes that are very hard to customize. Other platforms offer a lot more than that.
- In some cases, you have to figure out your SEO issues, like duplication in content and pages.
You may like to buy a custom domain name.
Woocommerce, unlike Shopify, is a WordPress plugin that can be used for developing an ecommerce store. Both WordPress and WooCommerce are free of cost but there are other costs involved that you need to pay in order to launch your ecommerce store. These price estimates include:
Developing your eCommerce website on WooCommerce requires a lot more effort and skill. But the catch here is that you have countless free themes to choose from, and you have a lot more control over the little details of your website. This means that depending on your choices, WooCommerce can cost you less, or even more than a platform with fixed pricing plans.
Some of the advantages of using WooCommerce for ecommerce website development:
- Customized pricing based on your choices of the domain name and hosting service.
- It is an SEO-friendly option that allows you to optimize your page for a higher ranking on search engines.
- It is open-source software that you can use for designing your website for as long as you want and you won’t have to pay anything until you purchase a theme.
The trend shows a slight dip in the usage of WooCommerce so we can say that it may no longer be the most favorite option for users when it comes to building an eCommerce store.
This means surely WooCommerce has its drawbacks too:
- There’s too much hassle and too many plugins involved which makes it a difficult choice overall
- You have to install too many plugins which can bring the overall performance of your website down.
Magento is another great, open-source ecommerce website development platform. It was acquired by Adobe in 2018. In terms of website volume, it does not match WooCommerce or Shopify, but if we restrict and just look at only top 10k websites of the world, then Magento is used for 9% of them. This means that Magento is primarily used by big organizations for high-quality websites including Ford, Nike, and Liverpool Football Club.
Magento has two variants, the open-source variant which is free of cost and the paid version which charges almost $2000/month.
Now let’s find out the benefits of using Magento so we know why top ecommerce websites prefer it:
- It allows you to perform advanced SEO practices on your website for better ranking.
- Magento allows you to easily integrate third-party plugins and softwares for your usage.
- The content management system of the platform is highly intuitive and versatile allowing you to manage and organize your content the way you like it.
The graph is steady for the top 10k websites. This shows that Magento was only designed for organizations and trends show a major dip recently in the usage of Magento in the top 1 million websites but not a choice for small business owners. This trend could change as Adobe has started to offer a scaled-down version for small businesses.
This leads us to talk about the reasons that are causing the dip, which are the drawbacks of using Magento:
This leads us to talk about the reasons that are causing the dip, what are the drawbacks of using Magento:
- The free plan does not offer much as compared to the paid plans of Shopify which is now showing steady growth.
- The overall structure of the platform and the skill required to build a website is quite high.
- There is no no-code store builder. You actually need to hire a software engineer to use Magento.
- You have to buy your own domain, hosting, and SSL certificate.
Now that you have a basic understanding of what each platform offers and what customers prefer in each one of them, you can easily identify which of these should you pick for your next big move. If you have questions for any further information feel free to discuss in the HackerNoon Community.
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