Well here is one of our most FAQ’s – usually you are either a lover (or hater) of one or either of these platforms – there are myriads of different platforms out there to use however the ones we choose to work with (mainly due to our clients requirements) are Shopify and Woocommerce.
These platforms both have their pros and cons but in this post I am going to spell out from our perspective in brief the #101 pros and cons of both and leave you to decide which you like the best, in our next post we will go into this in more detail (keep an eye out for the next post). Follow webbased on Facebook to keep up to date.
First up we will start with a Shopify – we have seen a massive gain in popularity for this platform mainly due to some very clever targeted marketing as well as the relative ease of use of the platform. It is a hosted solution meaning you can setup easily and get going – no finding a hosting provider etc – you can select from a range of free or paid themes alter away to your ability and then connect your domain (or purchase through Shopify) and have your website up and running ASAP. From this perspective it is great – the problem comes when you want to do anything outside of the fairly limited offering that it has available – I will list a few:
- Build out a new page that is more than a list of text and an image – for this you will need one of the Page builder apps that are on Shopify – which start at around $9USD per month and go upwards very quickly
- Adding additional fields into your products
- Offering subscriptions
- Adding accessories to your products
- Integrating with Xero
- Being able to download an invoice for your transactions as a client or store owner
- Use of collections and tags rather than categories and sub categories
- Ease and availability for backup options
- Hosted Solution
- 24/7 Support – although they usually direct to you to a help article or I end up teaching them about how to use Shopify 😂
- Base plans only allows access to 2 people – unless someone uses a partner account to access
- Integrate with social channels such as Facebook and Insta and setup your shop functions linked to your catalogues
- Ease of setup for products – easy to navigate user interface
- Shipping setup – ease of use
- APP add-ons available
- Easy to install themes
- Hosted solution
- Built in SEO solution for adding meta titles, descriptions, products and alt tags to all products and their images.
- Mobile ready – to a certain extent on certain apps – if you are building out pages you will have to build for desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile.
- 24/7 Support for basic things
- Setup payment options for your store quickly and efficiently
Basically it is good if you after a fairly standard website and you are looking to get up and running easily – the bonus is that it does integrate fairly easily in with other necessary tools in your sales funnels such as Facebook, Insta, Mailchimp, Google for shopping etc setup alternatively it can also be built out to be customised to look as you need at a cost as Shopify as its own code that most devs haven’t worked on – so can be tricky to get a cost effective solution for a very swish website if that is what you require.
Next up is Woocommerce – this tried and true platform is an add-on to the everpopular WordPress platform, so you need to have a hosted solution (someone to host it for you) then build on the WordPress platform to include Woocommerce. Personally we usually recommend this as a solution for businesses due to the customisation solutions available and long term future proofing for businesses. Yes we also host the websites we build and more importantly provide a management solution where we update the plugins, versions, themes and PHP for the websites to keep them up to date with all the latest patches to ensure that they are least likely to fall victim to being hacked and redirected to a porn site as we have had a few people come to us and require urgent help to get it cleaned and back up and running malware free.
If you are building on Woocommerce you will more than likely need a trusty website partner to build this for you – either from scratch using a page builder or sometimes starting with a structural theme and then having it modified to fit your business. Make sure that the partner you choose has strong web development skills and ideally has some expertise in the digital marketing area as they will be a strong candidate to make sure that your website is built properly to be found for your brand and long term potentially other keywords and products that you offer.
In my opinion this is the superior option but as mentioned it does require you to invest in having someone build out a website for you which can grow with your business. Not all web developers are created equal so please make sure to read some our other upcoming posts that we will feature to make sure that you ask and get the answers to these questions before choosing your provider as otherwise it can end up having to be reconstructed when someone with the knowledge you need to be found online comes along to audit your website.
- Need a hosting provider* unless you use WordPress.com
- Need an reliable plugin update programme
- Need to work for initial build with a website team
- Can be complex to update if not setup properly
- Shipping options are a little complicated with regional based items
- Can run slowly if not built properly
- User Interface a little clunky
- Lack of 24/7 support (unless you ask your website team or use WordPress.com)
- Limited in payment provider options
- Easily customisable to your business requirements with the use of plugins
- Easily import products into Woocommerce
- Integrations with other business management software – Xero etc
- Integrations with other marketing software – Mailchimp, Facebook, Instagram etc
- Have access to all your website files in your server so can easily transfer if required
- Easily accessible videos searching through Google and Youtube
- User access and level of access set by website admins
- Plugin add-ons available
- Easy redirects for new and updated page structures
- Easy to install themes
As an overview – we really like to talk to people to make sure that they are making an informed decision for what will work best for their business and to make sure that they are not going to outgrow the website within a short amount of time. Your website should have the capability to grow with you – but to do that you really need to have a roadmap so we can see what is in the pipeline for the next 1-5 years for your business and make sure you are starting on the right foot.
We are digital marketers who specialise in Online Optimisation meaning that when we build a website it built with the end goal in mind of being a lean mean marketing machine that will get good quality scores, visibility and have the power to convert your prospective customers when they land on your pages!
If you want to know more or chat – do not hesitate to reach out to us – we love talking to businesses that are focussed on their growth whether they be a startup or established giant!
🧡 Karrina and the Webbased Team