Before we get into analysing the platforms, ask yourself a couple of questions:
- Do I have good experience with websites and an understanding of website coding with html, css etc?
- Do you have time to dedicate to your online business to make it successful without detracting from other business activities?
- Do I understand the ways that the search engines work and the basic principles to good SEO and promotions within the major search engines?
If you can answer yes to all three of these questions it is not going to matter what your website is built on, you will be able to make it work. But, some in our opinion are better than others.
eSolutions have viewed many of the leading platform in the industry along with building our own customised ecommerce solution for many customers. Each platform has features to entice with unique strengths and weaknesses, but for us if you are looking for a platform that can do it all with little training, it is SEO friendly, there is global developer support, you are not tied to any one host or company and can always expand your online presence to larger more powerful platforms, WordPress with WooCommerce is the answer.
From our experience, Magento is a high end solution that requires powerful web servers and web server management to enable a site load speed that passes the Google speed test. Development costs with Magento are 3-5x what you would expect to pay for a WordPress solution. The platform is more robust but for us the management of this platform and costs associated are hard to justify unless you are selling more than 1000 – 2000 products / day.
Where are customised solutions, although you have the flexibility of getting the product that you are after from the outset, you will always be dipping in to your pocket for additional modifications. If the sales are there no problems but it is really hard to tell what customers are after when launching a new website, which leads to a side point… when should I launch my website? Short answer, as soon as possible! Get it to market and customers will tell you what they like and don’t as long as the checkout process is secure and functional and good old customer service is in place.
Customised solutions do have there place, but long term you should consider having something that is open source that can be upgraded without needing to totally redevelop your website when it gets a little tired.
Hosted platforms have there benefits but same thing here, if you are looking to take your website to the next level, you are building the site from scratch again.
This is only brief and our view but for the cost of building a WordPress website with all of the bells and whistles it will pay you back in droves when compared to other solutions on the market today, 26% and increasing of all websites built today on the Internet are built with WordPress, it must be doing something right.