If you’ve considered setting up an online store, then you probably already know that you have many decisions to make – some easy, some fun, and some that will be a little more complicated. Like, say, picking the right content management system (CMS) platform. This might be a bit of a tricky choice because selecting the wrong CMS can lead to lost time, money, and general confusion. However, with careful research and consideration of your needs, it's possible to find the perfect fit for your online store.
In this blog post, we'll explore the various CMS platforms out there so that you can figure out which is best suited for the products or services you're selling - and maybe even have a bit of fun in the process. From WordPress plugins to eCommerce-specific content management systems like Shopify and Magento, there are plenty of options – so let's get started!
Evaluate Your Business' Needs
First and foremost, it's important to take a step back and evaluate your online store's specific needs. Consider what you are trying to accomplish and how much customization you require.
Some aspects about your business to think about might be the type of product or service you’re selling, the projected growth of your online store, and the level of technical expertise it will take to manage the platform (after all, we’re not all tech wizards).
Research the Features of Each CMS Platform
Now that you’ve got a clear understanding of your needs, it's time to explore the different features of popular CMS platforms (spoiler alert: this might be one of the fun parts!). Included in this list of options are Shopify, Magento, Wordpress, and WooCommerce, which all have different levels of user-friendliness and customization options.
When doing your research, you might ask yourself how easy it is to set up and manage these respective platforms, or what level of distinction and custom elements you can achieve. And, don’t forget the importance of reviewing payment processors and shipping options available.
Consider the Cost of Use
When it comes to cost, we’re not going to ignore the importance of price on your journey to selecting the right CMS. That’s why we’re going to emphasize how crucial it is to factor in the financial investment of setting up and maintaining an online store on each platform.
Some of the elements you should consider comparing are the startup costs, the monthly or annual fees, the transaction fees, and any other additional charges for plugins, themes, or custom features that come with the use of your CMS.
Examine Online Shopping Capabilities
Everyone loves a smooth, easy, and fast shopping experience. Which is why, when you’re sifting through CMS options, you should consider how user-friendly each platform is for your customers when they’re shopping, as that’s likely a big factor in keeping them coming back!
While you peruse the many possibilities, you might want to look into what the process is like to search for products or navigate the store, and how easy it is to add items to any cart and proceed to checkout. And of course, don’t forget to consider mobile accessibility for your consumers, since most of us do the majority of online shopping on our phones!
Ensure a Scalable & Flexible Experience
While you may just be starting out, it’s important to think of the future. That’s why you’ll want to choose a CMS platform that can grow and evolve with your business. As you narrow down your final selections, take into account the level of flexibility and scalability that each option offers.
By keeping in mind long-term goals, you’ll open up the potential for integrating with other platforms, tools, or services later on, and increase the ability to handle a growing number of products, customers, and transactions.
Research Support Services Available
Finally, it's essential to research the support services that are available with each platform. After all, even once your fabulous new online store is set up, you still may need help with development or troubleshooting as you grow.
As part of your final decision, you should look into the availability of customer support, the language diversity, and time zone details. It’s also a bonus to have access to 24/7 resources like tutorials and documentation, and active user communities that you can rely on for peer support and advice.
Get the Best CMS for Your Product & Service
From Shopify to Wordpress and everything in between, each CMS platform has its own share of pros and cons. We’re sure that having read this article, you can see why it's so important for you to carefully evaluate which features would be right for your business before embarking on the development of your online store.We’re also fairly certain that now that you have (or haven’t) decided which platform is right for you, you may still need some help - and that’s where we come in! Our team can help you navigate which online CMS platform is right for your business, and give you a boost in getting started. Get in touch today using our contact form below to find out more!