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For people who want to build an e-commerce website, a good cause for concern is knowing which platform to use to build the website.
As it is right now, the best choices are narrowed to WordPress and Shopify. But what is WordPress and what is Shopify? In this article, we are going to talk more about the two so you can decide on which one to use.
WordPress as your Ecommerce Platform
Let's start with WordPress. It is a free website creation software that you can use to build your website. It is not built specifically to build e-commerce websites, however, it is a popular platform to use for just about any type of website.
If you decide on using the WordPress, you need to buy a domain name and attach it to a hosting account first. Then you login to your hosting account's cPanel and then install WordPress (which you can find in the web builder section).
Choose a proper theme that is compatible to sell goods and setting up a store:
Once installed, you need to customize the design and overall look and feel of your website AND then you need to install the Woocommerce plugin to turn your content-driven website into an e-commerce website.
If WordPress sounds like a lot of work, it is. And it is the reason why we would only recommend using it for e-commerce websites to people who already have WordPress websites and do not want the additional cost of an e-commerce platform like Shopify.
Shopify as your Ecommerce Platform
Shopify is an e-commerce platform whereby you only need to sign up for an account and an e-commerce website is already made for you complete with all the bells and whistles. The website is built as a subdomain of the main website http://shopify.com or you can use your own domain name.
The only thing you need to do is customize your e-commerce website.
The good thing about Shopify is that you can also use it online as a POS or point-of-sale system, so you can take payments wherever you go.
Shopify is best for people who want to get started selling online in the quickest way possible without having to deal with the technical stuff. Of course, something that convenient costs money.
A basic Shopify account costs $29 per month, with a regular account costing $79. An advanced Shopify account, meanwhile, costs $299. The monthly costs only cover hosting your e-commerce website. There is an additional charge. You pay a certain percentage every time someone buys from you. If you plan on using an external payment system, you will also need to pay an additional charge.
As you can see from above, WordPress and Shopify are actually two different creatures. Your decision on which one to use really depends on whether or not you have a content-rich blog and are only selling as a side note.
If you are selling stuff as a merchant, though, Shopify is definitely better because everything is already set up for you. You just need to be willing to pay the price.