A Content Management System (CMS), also referred to as an "engine," is an efficient tool that helps simplify the process of managing website content.
When choosing a suitable platform for an online store, it is necessary to consider the following aspects:
- Functionality: what capabilities does the engine provide? Does it meet all your requirements, whether it's product management features, delivery options, integration with other systems, etc.
- Cost: this includes not only the cost of the system itself but also expenses for setup, maintenance, updates, and expanding functionality.
- Ease of use: how easy is it to manage the website using this engine? Do you need any special skills or knowledge for it?
- Security: how secure is the CMS? Are security updates released regularly?
- Scalability: can the platform "grow" along with your business?
The best CMS for creating an online store
WooCommerce adds specialized features to a WordPress website, allowing you to sell products and services online. With WooCommerce, you can create a comprehensive product catalog, customize product description pages, and add functional buttons such as "Add to Cart" and "Checkout." Additionally, it provides tools for order tracking and inventory management.
It's important to note that WooCommerce is a free plugin, but there are additional paid extensions available that can enhance its functionality and add extra features.
- Free and open source.
- There is a wide variety of plugins and themes available, allowing customization of the website's functionality and design.
- User-friendly, suitable for beginners.
- A large community of users, many educational materials.
- The need to constantly update plugins and themes to ensure security.
- The implementation of complex features may require the services of a programmer.
Here are a few modules for WooCommerce:
- Yoast SEO for WooCommerce: this plugin helps optimize your WooCommerce project for search engines, improving the visibility of your site in search results
- WooCommerce Subscriptions: allows you to create subscriptions for goods and services, offer recurring payments, and manage subscribers
- WooCommerce Product Add-Ons: extends product customization options, allowing customers to add additional choices or customize products before purchasing.
- WooCommerce Bookings: this module allows you to create online bookings for various types of services, such as rentals, consultations, or class scheduling
- WooCommerce Advanced Shipping: adds additional shipping options and calculates shipping costs based on various parameters like weight, size, location, and more
- WooCommerce Memberships: allows you to create membership programs and restrict access to content or products only for specific users or user groups.
- WooCommerce Product Bundles: allows you to create bundle offers by combining several products into one bundle and offering discounts for purchasing them together.
- WooCommerce Dynamic Pricing: allows you to create a dynamic pricing strategy by setting discounts and special offers based on various conditions like quantity or past purchases
- WooCommerce Product Reviews Pro: this tool expands the capabilities of the review system by providing flexible customization and management of user reviews. In addition, it provides additional features, including moderation, the ability to add photo reviews, and many other features
- WooCommerce Multilingual: if you want to create a multilingual store, this module helps you add translation support for your products and pages.
The flexibility of Magento makes it an ideal choice for both small online stores and large-scale projects with a wide range of products and high visitor traffic. It is capable of easily adapting to various business needs and scales, providing optimal performance and efficiency.
- Magento has a robust security system, including data encryption, fraud protection, and more.
- Magento has an active community of developers and users who share their experiences, offer solutions, and help each other.
- It is necessary to have certain knowledge of web development or hire a specialist for setting up and maintaining a Magento store.
- Magento is a resource-intensive platform, and its full functionality requires powerful servers
- Updating Magento to a new version or migrating from one version to another can be a complex process
- Development and customization on this platform can be more expensive compared to other CMS.
Examples of modules:
- Magento SEO Suite: helps optimize your store for search engines by providing tools for creating meta tags, managing URLs, and other SEO aspects.
- Magento Advanced Reports: provides advanced reports and analytics for your store, allowing you to track sales, traffic, and other key metrics.
- Magento Blog: adds a blog to your store, allowing you to publish articles, news, and other content to enhance user engagement
- Magento Social Login: allows users to log in to your site using their social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, and more
- Magento Advanced Product Options: expands product customization options by enabling additional parameters, choice options, and more
- Magento Abandoned Cart Reminder: sends automated reminders to users who have left items in their cart but haven't completed the purchase
- Magento Mobile Shop: creates an optimized version of your store for mobile devices, providing a better user experience on smartphones and tablets.
- Magento Reward Points: enables you to create a loyalty program where users can accumulate bonus points and redeem them for discounts or gifts.
- Magento Advanced Search: improves the search functionality in your store by providing more accurate and relevant results
- Magento Multi-Vendor Marketplace: transforms your store into a platform where multiple vendors can sell their products, similar to platforms like Amazon or eBay.
OpenCart is a simple and user-friendly platform for creating and managing your own online store, even if you have no experience in web development.
- OpenCart is an open-source engine. You can freely install and use it without the need to pay any licensing fees
- The platform offers a wide range of functional features. You have the option to choose from various extensions and modules to add additional functionality to your store
- It is flexible in terms of hosting requirements, allowing you to adapt it to different hosting parameters.
- OpenCart does have limitations when it comes to large e-commerce projects.
- Certain features may require additional payments.
OpenCart provides an extensive collection of free modules that can be used to extend the functionality of your online store. Here are some examples
- Module "Payment": allows you to add various payment methods such as PayPal, credit cards, bank transfers, and other payment systems
- Module "Shipping": enables you to configure various shipping methods, including postal services, courier delivery, pickup, and other options.
- Module "SEO": helps optimize your store for search engines by adding meta tags, managing links, and improving your store's visibility in search engine results.
- Module "Multilingual": with this module, you can create a multilingual online store where customers can choose their preferred language
- Module "Analytics": provides statistics and analytical data about visitors and sales in your store, helping you make informed decisions
- Module "Social Media": allows you to integrate your store with popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and others, enabling you to promote your products through social media channels
- Module "Customer Reviews": with this module, customers can leave reviews and ratings for products, helping to build trust in your store and improve its reputation
- Module "Product Filters": adds filters to allow customers to easily find products based on various criteria such as price, size, color, and more.
- Module "Call Back": provides the ability for visitors to leave their contact information for callback requests. This can help increase customer engagement and improve customer service
- Module "Automatic Backup": creates automatic backups of your store to protect data from loss or failures.
That's why many users consider OpenCart a good engine for online stores, as it allows for easy project launch and offers a range of useful modules.
- You can install and use OpenCart without the need to pay any licensing fees
- It comes with a rich set of features out of the box
- There is a wide selection of modules, plugins, and themes available for customization and extending the functionality of your OpenCart store.
- While the PrestaShop interface is relatively intuitive, achieving full utilization of its capabilities and customizing your store may require a certain level of technical skills.
- It can consume more server resources compared to some other CMS platforms
- Like any CMS, PrestaShop is susceptible to security threats. You need to take measures to protect your store, such as installing security updates, using strong passwords, and creating backups
Drupal is widely used for creating projects of various scales, ranging from small blogs and personal websites to large-scale corporate portals, e-commerce stores, and news resources
- Drupal is a freely available platform with open-source code.
- It has a large community and support network
- Drupal offers an extensive selection of ready-made modules that allow you to add new features to your website without the need for extensive development. There are modules available for creating online stores, forums, social media integration, and many other purposes. In case the desired module is not available, Drupal provides flexible Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for performing custom tasks
- Working with Drupal may require an experienced developer.
- Creating and customizing a store on Drupal can be more costly compared to some other CMS platforms
- Additional modules will be needed to build an e-commerce store on Drupal.
The best cloud solutions (constructors) for creating an online store
- A constructor has a user-friendly and intuitive interface, making it easier to work with the platform even for beginners without technical skills
- It provides tools that contribute to optimizing the search visibility of your store
- The platform allows customization of the appearance of your online store by selecting from a wide range of ready-made themes and templates. It also offers the ability to create a unique design.
- Cost: Using Horoshop can be costly, especially if you require additional modules and customizations that may incur extra expenses
- Scalability limitations: Horoshop may have limitations in terms of scalability, particularly for large-scale online stores with a high number of products and visitors
- Shopify has an intuitive and user-friendly interface that makes it attractive to users without technical experience
- The builder provides hosting for your site, helping you avoid the hassle of finding a separate hosting provider. They also provide store security, including SSL encryption and fraud protection
- Shopify offers support to its users. They also have an active community where you can find answers to your questions and share your experiences with other users.
- Monthly payments: Shopify operates on a subscription-based model, meaning you'll need to pay a monthly fee for using the platform. This can be a disadvantage for some small businesses with limited budgets
- Limited control over data: as a cloud platform, Shopify stores your data on its servers. This can result in certain limitations in accessing and having full control over your data. If you have specific data storage requirements or restrictions on using cloud services, this can be a drawback
- Limitations on customization: in some cases, you may encounter limitations in customizing your store
Ease of use is one of the key features of Wix. It provides an intuitive visual editor that allows you to create websites without the need for programming or design skills. You can easily drag and edit elements on the page, customize fonts and colors, and add functionality through ready-made modules and apps. Additionally, Wix offers a vast selection of designs and templates for various types of websites. You have the opportunity to choose the one that best suits your needs and easily customize it to match your brand and style.
Indeed, the drawbacks you mentioned, such as scalability limitations, payments, and SEO restrictions, are common among website builders
In conclusion, choosing the right CMS for an online store is a complex task that requires careful consideration. It's important to weigh the pros and cons, align them with your business needs, and make an informed decision. This approach will help avoid unexpected development costs and define precise requirements for your website's functionality. Before starting any work, it's advisable to request examples of websites built on the chosen CMS from the partnering company to assess its performance speed and other aspects.
CMS or Framework: Which option to choose?
|Development speed||CMS offers a wide range of ready-made themes, plugins, and extensions, which allows speeding up the project creation process||The framework provides a basic structure but requires the development of custom solutions and integration of third-party libraries. Additionally, there are numerous packages available for additional functionality or implementation examples on platforms like GitHub or other similar platforms|
|Website loading speed||The performance of a website depends not only on the choice of engine or framework but also on various other factors such as image optimization, caching, the use of Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), proper server configuration, and so on. However, a framework has greater potential for optimizing page load speed|
|Development flexibility||It is significantly limited compared to a framework due to the presence of the CMS core, which is not recommended to be modified. Otherwise, the platform may cease to support updates or function improperly||They provide a more flexible approach to development, allowing coders to have complete control over the structure and functionality of the website.|
|Safety||The security level can be considered as low to medium. There are numerous examples of vulnerabilities in both the CMS itself and in installed modules||High|
|Engaging Developers||Although there are numerous additional modules available for all CMS platforms, often developer involvement is required for their installation and configuration. This is due to the potential for module errors arising from incompatibility with other modules, previous code modifications, or other factors.||It requires the involvement of programmers to add new features|
|Development cost||The low entry barrier for programmers allows for a lower cost of website development. However, experienced developers may have an hourly rate that is not lower than what is applied in framework development||The entry-level can indeed be high, which affects the cost of development. However, there are also novice programmers who may offer a lower cost for implementation.|
|Functional||May be limited within the engine||Unlimited Possibilities|
|Administration panel (admin panel)||In most cases, CMS platforms are not easily customizable and operate with default settings out of the box.||Indeed, it is possible to install themes and customize various aspects such as colors, structure, dashboard, and more according to one's preferences in a CMS platform.|
When choosing development tools, it is important to carefully consider the business logic in order to determine the best approach. Frameworks are often more secure than any content management system and are less likely to be hacked
Additionally, experienced developers and companies have their own solutions for typical tasks, which can offset the advantage of CMS platforms that offer a large number of modules. There are ready-made solutions for e-commerce, including filters, catalogs, products, shopping carts, search and everything you need for an online store.
From experience, we can say that at the initial stage, installing a "clean" CMS takes little time, but further development may not be as smooth as we would like. There are many solutions for frameworks. In this article, we talk about frameworks and their benefits in detail. Our specialists recommend drawing up a detailed technical assignment to estimate the final cost of implementing your product on both the CMS and the framework
We have been developing online stores since 2017. We have chosen the popular Laravel framework and have accumulated expertise and ready-made solutions over the years. We are ready to surprise you with competitive prices and implementation timelines. You can also view examples of our work on our portfolio page.
If you lack the technical skills, time or desire to hire programmers to develop and extend the functionality, and the cost of creating a site on a framework seems excessive, or you need a website with basic functionality, then online store platforms are a good choice. When it comes to choosing an engine for online stores, there are many factors to consider. This is an important and responsible decision that can greatly affect the success of your business.