How to choose eCommerce and website platforms for online businesses.
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Before we begin let’s explain CMS! A CMS (Content Management System) platform lets you easily create a website without understanding any code (at least for most of them). There are lots of CMS options available, which means you might struggle to choose the best CMS for your needs.
To start off with there is no such thing as free CMS plans for business websites. Free CMS has major limitations. But there are very good starter (slightly cheaper) planes offered by many hosting companies to get you started for sure. Some hosting companies offer in-house (Website Builder) content management systems where you can build your site online. This is great for personal, blogging, and small business websites, but may have some limitations and restrictions. But it’s still worth looking into as they almost always offer free real-time online phone customer support, which is a key factor and for those who have less time to learn other content management systems like WordPress. So it’s worth your time to check them out as in-house content management page builder websites are getting better for sure.
Keep Your Eyes Wide Open When Choosing! WordPress.org is for most the number one choice for the best CMS platform. It’s the world’s most popular CMS software, and it powers around 35% of all websites on the internet. WordPress offers you the flexibility and freedom to build any kind of website. It has no online customer phone support except articles and guides with step-by-step instructions. WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce platform in the world. It’s really flexible and it’s easy to manage. WooCommerce isn’t technically a CMS platform itself. Instead, it runs as a plugin on WordPress, so you’ll need to have WordPress on your site in order to install WooCommerce. Once you get started with WordPress you will never go back to anything else. But beware, there is a learning curve here but well worth your time.
Wix is a popular CMS platform, though it has some limitations. It’s OK for small online businesses but lacking in Extensions, add-ons, and plugins. It has great tutorials for getting started and is fairly easy to use. Bloggers and small business owners can also take advantage of the simplicity and ease of use of Wix. Customer support involves you submitting a ticket or request a callback.
BigCommerce is a fully hosted eCommerce platform, which is sometimes called an all-in-one platform. It’s easy to get started with if you’re a beginner. BigCommerce hosts your site for you, as well as providing the actual CMS platform itself. It also handles security and backups for you. The cheapest pricing plan, Standard, is $29.95/month, for up to $50k/year sales. Also provides great customer support 24/7.
Shopify is an excellent platform for less tech-savvy people. Significant advantages Shopify provides that other eСommerce platforms don’t include assistance with managing the store’s technological needs. But this comes with a price! You will need to pay fees associated with using these apps. However, without these apps you will need to manually insert your data into your own software which takes time. Support is OK with 27/7
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Weebly offers a drag-and-drop website builder with 40+ mobile-friendly themes. It includes a blog, image galleries, and an online store. Weebly Professional at $12/month, which is the cheapest ad-free plan and lets you use your own domain name. Weebly is the best option for anyone who is a beginner in the realm of website building and wants a simple interface. Bloggers and small business owners can also take advantage of the simplicity and ease of use of Weebly.
Squarespace is evolving fast. It’s a visually led platform aimed at users who need professional-looking sites and want advanced functionality without the headaches that come with WordPress. Squarespace, like Wix sites, has a heavy emphasis on looks, mobile responsiveness, and speed. Templates have fewer customization options.
Always keep in mind, any CMS platform you choose is only good as the amount of work you put into it. There is really no BEST or BETTER CMS platform out there, but only ones that are best and better for you personally and your online business needs.