A brief look at some of the e-commerce solutions for creating online shops
Once in a while a client will ring you up and tell you they’ve got an idea that’s going to be the new eBay, but more commonly you’re going to encounter smaller business you wish to sell their products online.
This can be a tricky business both in terms of execution, design, maintenance and optimisation but in this brief guide I’ll attempt to remove some of the mystery behind these issues.
I’ve worked with a number of e-commerce platforms, including Shopify, WooCommerce and OSCommerce. Each has a unique set of advantages and disadvantages, which I will share with you now.
OSCommerce is a free open source system that is fairly easy to set up.
- It’s free!
- It’s easy to install
- There’s tons of add-ons
- It’s clunky
- Not the most easy to use
- Difficult to administer without using the proprietary software
I cannot recommend OSCommerce. It can be difficult for developers to work with and is a fairly dated platform now.
OpenCart is considerably better than OSCommerce but also has its disadvantages.
- A range of plugins available for free or for a low cost
- Relatively easy to setup
- Works well with large numbers of products
- Plugins are not often updated
- Can require a lot of work to make it run smoothly
- Not the easiest client admin area
Shopify is a popular paid e-commerce solution which has several key benefits for the client.
- Lots of plugins
- Amazing phone support
- Really easy admin area for client
- Requires a monthly subscription
- Plugins are an additional cost
- Uses its own form of developer code
WooCommerce is an e-commerce plugin for WordPress
- Easy to use
- Lots of plugins and frequent updates
- Can be incorporated into most WordPress sites
- No phone support
- Some plugins are quite pricey
- Not as many features as some other platforms.
In most cases, I recommend WooCommerce, however I would recommend you get in touch to discuss your e-commerce website requirements.