Many beginner businesses, before ordering an online store, do not ask themselves, “What platform does it make sense for me to make a future store?” A lot depends on choosing an online store platform: functionality, security, costs for improvements, opportunities for growth and development, and its success in the end.
Every modern site is not just a set of HTML pages but operates on a specific platform, which is a system of software scripts for dynamic content.
Such platforms are called CMS (Content Management System) and thanks to them you can easily edit entries, vote, add comments, view page views, etc.
Therefore, choosing one or the other online store platform determines the future fate of the site: as a rule, it is almost impossible or very difficult to switch to another system in the future. So, to choose the right “engine” for the store, you have to approach very responsibly. We are talking only of full-fledged online stores in the form of separate sites, not of online services, constructors and others, which, of course, allow the store to be made for free, but such online shops do not belong to the one who created them. there is no full access at all.
Remember that if your online store is hosted by someone else and cannot be transferred to your hosting then this is not your store with all the consequences.
Therefore, we will only look at full-fledged dashboards for stores hosted on your site as a separate site.
Two main types of online store platform
There are hundreds of online shopping platforms, but all of them can be divided into paid (commercial) and free (so-called “open source”).
Open source is when you have access to all the files that this store usually runs, and you can change it without restriction, even changing the kernel of the system.
In commercial CMS, you can only modify the basic configuration files, appearance, etc. without access to the kernel.
But “free” does not mean “bad” or “unreliable.” On the contrary. Tens of thousands of professionals around the world work over the most popular free CMS for online stores; they work on millions of websites.
But why then is there a commercial CMS in general, what is their advantage? The main advantage of a paid online shop platform is that it is aimed at solving specific, very important for customer tasks.
So, if you are putting in front of an online store any narrow, specific tasks that you see solved in a paid way, in this case it makes sense to think about buying a paid platform for an online store instead of creating something from scratch.
And, the creators of commercial CMS have already understood this, because they stopped releasing universal solutions and went the route of creating ready-made versions with clearly limited functionality.
The second point when choosing a paid online store platform is more or less rational is when you have an unlimited budget.
If you want not just a programmer to work on your site, but an almost ideological creator of this CMS, then it’s hard to do that with free platforms, since their founding fathers are people, typically, with millions of dollars living abroad.
And the founders of paid CMS, by contrast, are actively offering their services in the money market, in fact, they are heads of companies and departments. Of course, for a lot of money, but still offer.
So if your finances allow you why not hire a whole team of teleworkers who know CMS perfectly?
Of course, this way you will be tied to this CMS and these people forever.
And you will pay as much as you need. But you will get guaranteed service from a team of authors. This is the way of big business.