Choosing an Ecommerce and CMS Partner—a Pros and Cons Approach
Choosing an Ecommerce and CMS Partner—a Pros and Cons Approach

By on in Ecommerce Website Development

Choosing an Ecommerce and CMS Partner—a Pros and Cons Approach

Deciding upon the right ecommerce and CMS platform isn’t as straightforward as you might think. The options vary pretty widely, with some unified solutions providing ready-to-go content management and ecommerce features, others offering a variety of separate, flexible platforms that are designed to be used together, and a third option—the ability to start from scratch.

Before you attach yourself and your future to a specific offering, consider:

  • Who are your primary and secondary audiences?
  • What are your site priorities—static information, shopping or subscriptions, regularly updated content, a blog?
  • What’s your budget?
  • How much will you hope or need to scale?

Knowing these answers will help you choose an efficient, effective, scalable, long-term solution the first time—because nobody enjoys switching platforms midstream. To help you see how your needs map to various platform types, we’ll describe some of the options below.

 

Enterprise Solutions Such As Bigcommerce, Magento Commerce and Shopify

Ideal for relatively straightforward environments that don’t require a lot of customization. These will help you achieve best practices pretty quickly, but may limit your options down the road.

UPSIDES
  • Quick development windows
  • User-friendly, out-of-the-box functionality
  • Long-term stability and scalability through vendor-managed hosting
DOWNSIDES
  • High vendor licensing costs
  • Restricted access to source code can limit design freedom and integration capability
  • Responsibility for server maintenance and costs
  • Reliance on vendors can become a roadblock in maintenance and feature development

 

Integrated Solutions Such As WordPress, Woocommerce and Magento Open Source

Joint content management and ecommerce solutions often provide ease of use that rivals enterprise solutions, compounded by greater flexibility in feature development, integrations and customization.

UPSIDES
  • Quick development windows
  • User-friendly, out-of-the-box functionality
  • Source code access ensures development flexibility and scalability
  • Data access allows for creation of custom data points and reporting
  • Active user community provides frequent feature and security updates
DOWNSIDES
  • Need to maintain security and certificate management best practices
  • Responsibility for server maintenance and costs
  • New feature development and testing handled internally

 

Purpose-Built, Custom Solutions

Drawing upon a variety of frameworks, API, content management systems and more, custom solutions give you maximum long-term scalability and flexibility wherever you may need.

UPSIDES
  • Complete design and development freedom
  • Unlimited scalability
  • Ability to create custom data points and reporting
  • Maintenance and development efficiencies gained over time
DOWNSIDES
  • Longer planning, development and testing windows
  • Need to maintain security and certificate management best practices
  • Responsibility for server maintenance and costs
  • New feature development and testing handled internally, with limited community support

Ultimately, choosing the right platform is finding the balance of convenience and flexibility that will suit your organization’s needs over the long term. Having worked with all three types of arrangements, FATFREE has seen that the only right answer is the one that’s right for you.