Feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of options for hosting your online store? SEO Strategist Hassan Essam shares his views about three well-known E-commerce platforms: Shopify,
BigCommerce and WooCommerce for WordPress. Learn about the pros and cons of each platform, so you are able to make the best choice for your business.
The platform you choose for your e-commerce store also will have an influence on the SEO performance, as it will determine a large portion of the functions of your website once it’s created and also how much control you can exercise over the site’s content.
Before you begin thinking about a platform, we recommend that you record your products and classify them in a way that you are aware of the size of your site. It is also important to consider the features you’ll need for example, cross-categorizing when your products fall within different categories.
Once you’ve got an concept of what you’re looking for from your website, you are able to begin to think about the website platform that fits your needs most.
There are two major kinds of platforms for e-commerce to think about:
- Managed (hosted) eCommerce platforms
- CMS stands for Content Management Systems (CMS)
Hosted (hosted) E-commerce platforms
A managed e-commerce platform is located on a server that you do not own and cannot access. The advantages of using a managed e-commerce platform for SEO include:
- Cost sharing, which could make it less expensive to buy servers of higher quality because the cost is distributed over the entire user
- Reduced requirement for expertise in development to construct the site
- High-quality technical support (usually) when you select an established platform. This is typically favored by businesses that do not have an internal development resources and want an easier method of managing and building a shop.
Common hosted ecommerce platforms are:
Self-hosted content management systems (CMS)
Self-hosted e-commerce platforms are open source decentralized applications. They do not have to be tied to any specific web host which means that the owner of the website can choose to control their connection with their own hosting service.
Common ecommerce CMS include:
- WooCommerce for WordPress
Which is the best option for my online business Hosted or self-hosted?
As with all business decisions there’s no standard solution. Hosted eCommerce platforms are easy to set-up and help in addressing the backend process including security updates. The website’s code is already built and is extremely beneficial to businesses that want the standard configuration.
The drawbacks of hosted platforms is the inability to be flexible when altering the platform in time and expanding it to accommodate the growth of your business.
Self-hosted CMS solutions provide full flexibility which allows businesses to design the ideal user experience. These solutions are generally easy to switch to other systems in the coming years. However, the added responsibility that comes with paying the costs for website development as well as server rental and security upgrades can be expensive and long-lasting.
What are the factors I should take into consideration when choosing an e-commerce platform?
When you’re moving your e-commerce platform or building one completely from scratch, you’ll have to take into consideration a variety of factors.
The cost of the platform
The most important thing to consider is how costly the platform will cost. Certain e-commerce platforms work with an Software as a Service (SaaS) model, where you pay per month for their services. Other platforms offer a free basic version, but charge high one-time costs to upgrade. Additionally, there is a cost associated with specific designs and other add-ons. Each of these needs to be researched prior to making a choice.
Payment gateways/options for payment
It is crucial for you that your platform select will reflect the shopping habits of your clients. Certain e-commerce platforms don’t accept digital wallets like Apple Pay. If you have a business that has international sales, be sure that the platform accepts the most popular payment methods in the market.
It is recommended to verify the operating hours of technical support for the platform. Some support is available 24/7 and some only work from Monday to Friday. Having the help you require can be the difference between a few problems.
In 2021, security online is more vital than ever before. Companies must ensure that their personal data is secured and also the personal information of their clients. A reputable eCommerce website should be equipped with SSL certificates as well as secure hosting solutions, as well as multi-step security.
Your online store may require more features to get the most benefit from it. Automated emails for marketing abandon cart reviews, emails and more will aid in increasing conversion rates. Check that your e-commerce platform has the capability to support these functions.
The advantages and drawbacks of various E-commerce platforms
Shopify is among the most well-known e-commerce platforms available on the market. It is renowned for its user-friendly interface and fast setting up procedure, Shopify is a great option for setting up an e-commerce website.
Benefits of Shopify
- SSL certificates come with.
- Cookies and Butter SEO are simple to implement (metadata alt tags, metadata and 301 redirects are suggested to you whenever you modify an URL).
- Shopify has its own proprietary CSS editor, dubbed Liquid and gives you a good amount of personalization.
Advantages of Shopify
- Standard blog functionality is not available. There isn’t Yoast SEO integration and there is a general inability to customize the blog from the beginning.
- Shopify doesn’t offer drag-and-drop as a standard feature this makes the process of the process of updating content longer and difficult to do.
BigCommerce is another well-known managed (hosted) E-commerce platform that is managed (hosted). It was designed using a practical approach BigCommerce is regarded as an extremely user-friendly platform in it’s SEO community.
BigCommerce promises to offer greater promotional capabilities than other hosted e-commerce platform, including social media marketing as well as email marketing and multi-channel marketing as well as vouchers and promotions into their offerings.
More than 140,000 sites across the globe make use of Big Commerce. The platform also offers Big Commerce University which is an online platform for owners of websites to gain knowledge about the features that the Big Commerce platform can offer.
Benefits of BigCommerce
- It is a drag-and-drop site builder.
- BigCommerce provides an Image Optimizer as a standard feature this means that the quality, size and format of each image are adjusted to suit the size, quality and format of the device.
The disadvantages of BigCommerce
- BigCommerce is usually an expensive alternative to Shopify
- It also has a smaller marketplace for apps compared to Magento and Shopify in this way, meaning that certain features might be missing.
It is among the most well-known and extensively used e-commerce CMS that is used by more than 250 000 websites. Magento Enterprise Solution Magento Enterprise Solution is specially designed for growing and large e-commerce companies and provides a variety of sophisticated features that make it as simple as it is to manage large online stores.
Benefits of Magento
- Magento is open-source and completely customizable with the assistance of a developer This means that it is completely customizable for your SEO strategy.
- There’s a vast group of users that are able to assist with questions and create custom-plugins.
- The basic version is available for free and some themes that are standard are also available.
The disadvantages of Magento
- Magento requires more development, which makes it more costly to establish and maintain.
- Magento is hosted by itself, which means you’ll need to pay for and arrange web hosting as well as domain registration.
- The blog section of WordPress isn’t the most effective, and Magento websites usually opt to host their blogs on WordPress in subfolders or subdomains in an entirely different theme.
WooCommerce for WordPress
WordPress is among the top used CMS worldwide with more than 64 million sites created on WordPress around the world. It’s just 39.6 percent of all websites on the internet.
WooCommerce is an self-hosted platform that is built on WordPress. It’s flexible and open-source and has a variety of e-commerce themes. It can be integrated as a plugin for an existing WordPress site and installed within a matter of minutes.
Benefits of WooCommerce
- Self-hosted and open-source, WooCommerce is fully customisable to meet the specific needs of your company.
- Yoast SEO is now available and makes bread-and-butter SEO tasks like optimization of metadata easy to implement.
- It is the Gutenberg page editor is accessible via WordPress and makes content optimization extremely user-friendly.
Advantages of WooCommerce
- WooCommerce sites do not provide server hosting or SSL certificates as standard.
- WooCommerce websites depend on developers to be an add-on to WordPress is also a sign that it’s a content first CMS instead of completely ecommerce
- Depend on a developer to solve issues and update your platform with the most recent version
- Image optimization is not available as standard , so you will have to investigate other plugins or CDN
Picking an ecommerce site to optimize SEO
Selecting the right e-commerce platform to use for SEO is a significant choice. For a successful outcome make sure you examine your company’s and marketing goals to ensure the platform you choose is compatible with your needs now and in the future. After reviewing the factors discussed above, you’ll be in a good position to select the platform that can take your company to new levels.
Need help to help you with your online business strategy? Contact us to an one of our marketing experts will be delighted to talk with you about your requirements!