You’ve got awesome products and you want to share them with the world. To do that you need a website, not just any site, but one that you can turn into your web store. There are lots of different options out there, so how do you know which one is the best for you? Do you go the Etsy route? Nah, while you could you don’t have the level of control over your shop’s appearance that you want. You want your shop to show off your brand not your platform’s brand.
So which web store platform is right for you?
WordPress is one of the major workhorses of the web. It powers literally millions of sites on the internet from blogs, to business sites, to yes, online stores. One of its strengths is it’s ability to be completely customized through plugins, and its strong developer community that will help you do anything a plugin can’t. WordPress is also free. All you need is your own hosting, a domain and you are ready to set up your shop. There are several main plugins that can be used to turn your WordPress site into a full web store. The two most popular options are WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads. If you are selling physical products then WooCommerce is the way to go. It’s easy to install and works with many different payment portals from Paypal to Stripe to Authorize.net. If on the other hand you are selling digital goods, Easy Digital Downloads may be a good option. It’s also very easy to use and is built just for digital goods.
What if you don’t want to deal with your own hosting and all that setup? Want something easy to use with no coding required? Check out Squarespace, they make it very easy to set up your own beautiful website with no coding knowledge required. Instead of dealing with a host and a domain registrar you pay a monthly fee to Squarespace, so they take care of all that back-end stuff for you. You get to select your own beautiful template and completely customize it to meet your brand’s needs and design aesthetics. Squarespace also handles all of the financial transactions so you don’t pay any payment gateway fees and they give you some really nice label printing and shipping options.
Want a platform that specializes in e-commerce? Then you want Shopify. Squarespace and WordPress are great, but they are not web store specialists. Shopify is made specifically to be an eCommerce provider and offers you all of the features that you want in your web shop. Like Squarespace it takes the domain and hosting tasks out of the equation. You don’t have to deal with any of that, instead you pay your fees to Shopify and they provide you with all the tools you need to create your store. They offer you pre-made themes and easy editing options. You have full control over your site and offers you some really nice features including a free SSL certificate to keep your customer’s data safe & secure,70 different payment gateways so chances are the one you are already using is supported, and free shipping – because we all know your customers love free shipping.
Each of these three different web store platforms offers their own benefits. They all can be the base of your successful online shop, but the key is selecting one that works for you and your brand’s needs.