If you’re looking to start an online business, ecommerce can be a solid choice.
Whether you’re dropshipping — that’s when someone else handles logistics for you, and you source from retailers like AliExpress —
Or you’re creating and selling a product of your own, there are a lot of online stores out there that are incredibly successful.
Building an ecommerce website is a bit different from building a website that focuses on blog content.
There are a couple of different ways to go about it.
You could use Shopify, a content management system created especially for online retail.
It’s designed to be easy to use and accessible for nontechnical users.
Or, you could use Magento, another popular platform that has a bit of a learning curve to it.
These aren’t the only options out there, but usually, ecommerce solopreneurs will find themselves choosing between Magento and Shopify.
The best fit for your business can depend on your technical skills, your target audience, the kinds of products you’re selling, and other factors.
In a recent article, an Entrepreneur contributor explains how the two platforms compare when it comes to pricing, web design, and other important factors.
For advanced users, Magento can be the easier of the two to edit files, as it will connect you directly to an FTP client.
But for less experienced users, this might be a bit confusing and possibly very difficult.
There exists a decent theme marketplace but, unfortunately, many of the themes aren’t quality-controlled so using one could be dicey.
Some are free but most of Magento’s themes will cost anywhere between $50 and $300.
Shopify has a good many more varieties of themes overall, which are easy to adapt without any knowledge of code or coding.
A casual glance over the look of the builds show an abundance of themes that are sleek, powerful and, most importantly, mobile friendly.
As a business, we pride ourselves on always being available to our clients, and when we were looking for a platform, we wanted the same customer service made available to us.
To that point, and to vastly oversimplify it, Shopify has support and Magento doesn’t.
To be fair, Magento has a dedicated community support forum full of knowledgeable and helpful developers.
But unless you yourself have a background in developing, or have hired someone that does, this may be of no use to you, especially if your site goes down at 3AM Christmas Eve and there’s no one to troubleshoot with.
Shopify’s customer support is unmatched.
They provide 24-hour support staff available over live chat, email or phone, a blog — Ecommerce University — full of valuable advice, and, yes, even user forums.
So do you have some coding skills, you might want to try Magento.
But if that’s not your skill set, then Shopify might be best for you.
You can read more about choosing between different ecommerce platforms over at Entrepreneur.