Choosing a CMS for ecommerce has become harder than it should be. As the industry continues to expand, seemingly more and more companies are producing content management systems to take part in the recent growth. This guide will define what a CMS is, provide examples of the most popular CMS, and discuss which are the best ecommerce platforms to choose from.
What Does CMS Mean?
In digital marketing, when the acronym CMS is used people are referring to a content management system(s). Popular CMS that you may have heard of include WordPress, Shopify, Magento, Squarespace, Wix, and many others.
A content management system (CMS) is a pre-built website backend that helps manage the production of site resources and content. A CMS helps site developers produce content more efficiently and consistently when compared to their hard-coded counterpart. Chances are, you’ve already worked with a CMS. In fact, roughly 66% of websites that run on the internet today are using a CMS (w3techs.com)
What are CMS Platforms?
Occasionally, you may hear the term “CMS platform” arise. There is no difference between a CMS platform and a CMS. Both are generally referred to as the same thing. That is, a website backend that aids in content production.
Example of Content Management System
You’ve likely heard of one of these names: WordPress, Shopify, Drupal, Joomla, Wix, Squarespace, OpenCart, PrestaShop, Webflow, Weebly, BigCommerce, Magneto, HubSpot CMS, and many more too numerous to list here. All of these are examples of content management systems. Due to such volatile competition in the CMS space, companies have chosen to make their CMS incredibly great at one aspect of content production. As a result, choosing the best CMS for ecommerce has become much harder due to the varied capabilities of each platform.
Best Ecommerce Platform
Choosing a CMS for Ecommerce
One of the largest markets for content management systems today is ecommerce. Currently, the primary industry leaders include WooCommerce, Shopify, Magneto, and BigCommerce.
WooCommerce is a plugin used with WordPress that allows for all ecommerce pages to blend seamlessly into either an existing WordPress site or one being built from scratch. Many choose to use WooCommerce due to its ease of use. Whether adding product images, changing product descriptions, or redesigning an entire store, WooCommerce makes the process as easy as possible. WooCommerce is also outstanding since it is built upon WordPress. Being able to access the wide array of WordPress plugins, themes, and massive community allows for lesser experienced developers to still create highly functional websites.
WooCommerce and WordPress are both free to install and use, just keep in mind that additional functionality may be needed for your site that tends to come at a premium.
Renewal Digital has chosen WooCommerce as our preferred ecommerce CMS to build with. Our custom ecommerce web design service might just be the right solution for you. To find out more, schedule a consultation.
Shopify is one of the largest ecommerce platforms out there today. From the ground up, Shopify has been built to manage ecommerce websites of any scale. The platform has an easy to use interface that allows for products to be quickly added, launched, or disabled. Launching a website with Shopify is incredibly easy. Using the drag and drop builder users can find themselves creating relatively attractive designs without the added cost of development.
Shopify does come at a monthly charge ranging from $29-$299 as of March, 2022.
Magneto is generally considered to be more of an enterprise level ecommerce solution. Developed by Adobe, Magneto offers a lightweight platform that is highly scalable and offers in-depth analytics, product fulfillment using ShopRunner, cloud storage integration, and much more. For those looking to scale at a rapid pace, Magneto would be a great contender to look at.
Adobe has been changing the pricing of Magneto (Adobe Commerce) for the past few months and as of March, 2022 pricing can only be found by scheduling a demo.
BigCommerce is an enterprise level solution. One of main differentiating factors between BigCommerce and Magneto (Adobe Commerce) is that BigCommerce can be integrated into an existing WordPress site using the BigCommerce for WordPress plugin. The platform provides greater flexibility for custom code as well. Strongly consider BigCommerce if your business is already on WordPress and needs an enterprise level toolset to maximize growth.
As of the time of this post, pricing for BigCommerce is only available through a consultation. Prices will differ per individual and use case.
Best CMS For Ecommerce
Out of the four ecommerce platforms listed previously, we have found WooCommerce to be the best solution for most businesses. Reasoning is, WooCommerce provides an impressive degree of control and features without any additional costs. Although some companies may need access to premium WooCommerce features, the plugin provides more than enough complimentary functionality to get started. Being that WooCommerce is built entirely for WordPress, the ability to integrate into other third party tools has proved tremendously valuable in our experience.
Many believe that WooCommerce cannot handle large scale ecommerce operations. This is not the case. While there may be faster and more lightweight solutions out there, WooCommerce provides more than enough room to expand and grow. For small businesses just starting out, the WordPress and WooCommerce combination has a lower cost of entry and offers essential flexibility for growth without hidden fees.
Please note, there are many more content management systems for ecommerce out there. The four listed in this guide are some of the most prominent names in the industry. While choosing a popular CMS can be an indicating factor for a quality piece of software, a lesser-known platform may offer everything you’re looking for at less of a cost. That is why we encourage most to at least start with WooCommerce to understand what features are essential. If WooCommerce does not seem as though it would meet your needs, then little investment would be lost due to its low cost of entry.
Hopefully you found this guide helpful in deciding which CMS to use for ecommerce. If you’re interested in working with Renewal Digital for your next ecommerce website check out our ecommerce web design service. If not, no worries! Feel free to share this post to anyone who may find it useful and comment your thoughts below.