A question we often hear is - Should I choose a hosted webshop system or an open source webshop system?
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The difference is that at a hosted webshop, a company is behind the system and demands a fixed monthly amount for you to use it for online shopping. It also means that the code behind the system is difficult to change and therefore if you want changes, there is not the same flexibility as with an open source system. This leads us to some of the advantages and disadvantages of an open source webshop. This is because it requires that you, by the way, are responsible for keeping your shop up to date. You can pay for it if you use a hosted webshop. It also means that you own all the code yourself on the website of an open source webshop, and in the end it gives the greatest flexibility and improves your chances for success.
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Here are 6 great deals on the best webshop systems for online shopping
Shopware is not a new system as many would think, but they latest version 6 feels like a brand new modern webshop system. It's fast, easy to use and very effective. Right now it's one of my favorite webshop systems of them all. It's not cheap, but it's stable and easy to use, so even though you pay more than you would for a Shopify or Woocommerce system, you will save money in the long run.
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Shopify has become one of the most popular platforms for online shopping and with a good reason. It is a hosted service and the price is $ 29 per month for the most basic webshop. The interface is simple to navigate around and the admin panel is easy and intuitive. Since it is a hosted solution, of course, it also has its limitations. This is especially evident on the checkout page, which is not possible to change. Their payment module is easy to set up, and here you pay 2.9 percent per payment plus a small fee. If you sell a lot this can be pretty expensive, and you might be better of with another system or another Shopify plan.
Shopify also offers a wide range of apps that can help you scale your webshop. Here you can e.g. choose from SEO plugins, Social media plugins that can find out which followers are converting to sales and many more. With over 1500 different plugins, however, it can quickly seem overwhelming, especially for new users.
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Bigcommerce is like Shopify a hosted webshop for online shopping. They host thousands of webshops and have over time had transactions worth more than $ 9 billion. BigCommerce offers a wide range of tools that can help you well on your way to a successful webshop. They offer 83 different themes to choose from. Unfortunately, only 7 of them are free and then a theme costs from $ 145 to $ 235. Compared to Shopify, they are lagging a bit behind.
BigCommerce offers 4 different packages where prices start from $ 30 and up. In addition, they have no transaction fees! This applies to all their packages. Of course you have to pay for credit card fees and these depend on which payment solution is used. However, there is a limit on how much you may sell for annually. If you exceed this limit, you must upgrade your package.
Another feature worth noting is their "Abandoned cart" feature. It is incredibly easy to set up and allows you to create up to 3 automated emails if a customer has left your website at the last minute without making a purchase. Other webshop systems offer the same features, but they are often complicated. It's an incredibly easy way to generate a little bit of extra sales. In denmark and Aalborg it's not the most used system, but in USA it's pretty big.
Squarespace is the simplest system you will find on this list and also the least known for many people. The reason it is allowed to come with is its ease of use. Here you get a fully functional website for online shopping, without having to know a single code in web design. The system is aimed at the small business and can be operated at home from the bedroom. Of course, this also means that there are plenty of places where the system cannot keep up with competing solutions. Among other things. There are not many options in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or CRM (Customer Relationship Management).
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Magento is a platform that has been around for almost a decade. It is probably one of the most used in larger companies that have online shopping. The system is a living proof of the user experience you can expect when it is developed without thinking about the user experience. I would therefore rarely recommend developing a webshop for online shopping with Magento as the backend system. It is an incredibly complicated system and developing hours is therefore also more expensive when you start to have to further develop the webshop.
However, there are also examples of situations where it makes sense to use Magento. If you expect to have a huge stock and several thousand items, it requires a system that is geared for it. Although the interface is at the bottom, the developers behind the system have over the years managed to develop a stable platform. Often you do not have all the goods in your own warehouse at larger websites for online shopping. Despite the fact that it requires many developer hours, it is possible to set up automatic warehousing with manufacturers and other webshops.
Overall, however, it is not a recommendable system for e-commerce. The system by default is slow, and although it is possible to optimize by messing around with the cache and settings, it should not be necessary. The vast majority would be able to cope with another platform that is easier to navigate around.
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My favorite on the list is WooCommerce. WooCommerce is not in itself an on-line e-commerce system. Instead, it is an additional plugin developed for WordPress. WordPress is an open source system, which means that everyone has the opportunity to develop new plugins and extensions. It is thus users and developers all over the world who create the system. This approach has created one of the most popular CMS systems ever and contributes to the almost infinite number of possibilities.
Everything that can be changed in WordPress can also be changed in WooCommerce, and you have access to thousands of different themes, or you can choose to build one from scratch. Most functions are probably already available as a plugin, but should you need a function that is specially adapted to your webshop, there are a sea of ??developers who are ready to help.
Since WooCommerce has to be run through WordPress, you also get all the benefits of having a website built in WordPress. Eg. the whole blog feature is incredibly useful for generating more traffic to your website.
When it comes to payment systems, you can also be sure that the provider you have chosen also supports WooCommerce. It is one of the most popular systems, so if you are looking for plugins or payment systems, they will pretty much always be available for WooCommerce. It's so easy to use and it's code is fully free and can be modified as you please.
So should you get a hosted or selfhosted webshop system? I would say if you don't know much about computers and ain't willing to hire a webdesign agency to help you maintain your webshop, get a hosted. Otherwise go with an open source or selfhosted system.