seo

Choosing a new e-commerce platform? Don’t ignore the basics

Jim Stewart /

One of the most common questions I hear from clients is ‘what is the right e-commerce platform for me?’ It makes sense, because there are myriad platforms to choose from, and each one has its own drawbacks and benefits. If you choose the wrong one, it can cost you a lot of time and money.

Last week Google announced they were rolling out the Google Search Console from beta. Unfortunately, we’re going to lose some of my favourite parts of the old Google Search Console, including the Crawl Stats area. I learnt a lot from that because it gave so much valuable information, but it looks like they’re going to get rid of it.

One of the things I used Crawl Stats for was to compare different sites, helping me to answer the above question about e-commerce sites. The answer always depends on the type of site you need, and whether you have a budget. If there’s not a lot of budget, or you just want to test something, you might want to just go with Shopify’s $30-a-month plan. If you were talking about something more serious, I’d usually recommend something like Magento.

Hosted systems, such as Neto and Shopify, are much easier to set up. But it means you’re on their platform. That means if you want to move your site, you’re going to have to rebuild it all over again. A Magento site is going to be more expensive, but it’s portable. 

The sites have big differences in speed too. I used the Crawl Stats to compare Shopify and BigCommerce, and Shopify just blew it out of the water. That’s one of the other things to consider. Slow sites mean fewer customers who will stick around to buy, and the bottom line should always be your main concern.

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Jim Stewart

Jim Stewart is a leading expert in search engine optimisation. His business StewArt Media has worked with clients including Mars, M2 and the City of Melbourne.

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