WooCommerce has long been the go to storefront option for many Wordpress users. Its easy integration into existing Wordpress blog setups coupled with the fact it’s free and has an extensive feature list makes it a clear winner for most. But there are alternatives, some of which may well be a better solution for your e-commerce needs. That is what we’re going to look at today.
Magento has to be our favourite ecommerce platform here at HostPresto. Our customers agree as our Magento Optimised Hosting packages are proving popular. But what is it exactly and what makes it a genuine competitor to WooCommerce?
First and foremost, as you’ve probably gathered WooCommerce is an e-commerce platform that has been around roughly 10 years now (in development anyway). It is fully open source and written in PHP. It uses MySQL/MariaDB to store its data and is built used elements of the Zend Framework.
What sets Magento apart from the competition is the sheer vastness of its feature list. Most notably the fact that you can manage multiple stores and users from a single admin area. You can also integrate Magento with third part applications via its API services and the content management tools are second to none.
All the usual shipping and billing options are included out of the box as is the ability to accept cheques and money orders.
Due to its popularity, Magento boasts a large amount of themes and add-on modules so you’ll be able to put together the perfect site in no time.
Another popular offering in the e-commerce marketplace is Shopify. Owned and operated by a Canadian firm, Shopify has been around since 2004 and has a wide market share of around 400,000 users and counting.
Part of Shopify’s popularity is primarily down to its simplistic nature and ease of use for first time e-commerce sellers. Whilst there are lots of off the shelf Shopify themes available, it is also easy to create your own look and feel using the ever popular drag and drop store builder feature. All of the built in themes are also fully responsive too so you can make use of that valuable mobile and tablet traffic without the need for cumbersome design changes.
Shopify claims to be “optimised for growth” and comes with a wide range of reporting and analytical features in order to assist with that. You can also example the feature range of Shopify at the click of a button with easy integration of popular services such as Xero Accounting and Mailchimp.
One of the most popular free options on the table has to be PrestaShop and with over 250,000 active stores it seems that others agree.
Founded in France back in 2005 and originally named phpOpenStore – PrestaShop has gone from strength to strength in order to become a major player in the e-commerce marketplace.
As you’d come to expect for such a popular e-commerce application, PrestaShop comes with all the bells and whistles you’ll need in order to get started with e-commerce. Payment integration and shipping modules make transacting a breeze and given the fact that it is open source there are lots of plugins, modules and general add ons available to enable you to completely customise how your shop performs.
If you truly want to be able to design your shop from the ground up then BigCommerece should be your e-commerce platform of choice. It is effectively a website builder that allows you to create your store as you see fit, element by element, module by module. But of course it does come with some ready made designs – so don’t let that put you off.
All of the elements are mobile responsive, a feature BigCommerce claims can increase your conversions and revenues three fold. It also has some fantastic integration features to allow you to punt your offerings on Facebook, Amazon and Google Shopping.
BigCommerce comes with all of the regular features such as customer management, order management and inventory control and integrates seemlessly with all major payment processors such as PayPal, Apple Pay and Stripe.
A lesser known application but one that most definitely deserves its place on this list is Jimdo.
Whilst it’s not a traditional install and build e-commerce suite its feature list and ease of use make it a clear competitor – at least for new users.
Jimdo claims you can create your e-commerce website in mere minutes which is certainly true as the majority of leg work is done for you. However if you’re a business user who requires complex inventory control and such then perhaps this solution isn’t for you.
Pretty much every aspect of your build can be carried out with the click of a button or the drag of your mouse. It’s as simple as filling in the blanks in the template, adding your products and then filling in the connection settings for your payment processor such as PayPal. The whole thing is extremely straight forward and can enable even the most novice users to get up and running in no time.
Not just about Wordpress!
Just because you’ve become accustomed to doing things in Wordpress it does not mean it’s the be all and end all. As far as Wordpress has come, it is still only a blogging platform at heart and whilst its extensive collection of plugins, themes and widgets make things easier for most, other options should at least be considered. Particularly if you’re a large, professional outfit.
Hopefully the list above provides you with some food for thought and if you are looking for an alternative ecommerce platform please do give the above some consideration.
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