When it comes to choosing a platform for an e-commerce website there are plenty of options. Having options can be a good thing, but in some cases having too many options can make it difficult to know which one to choose. In this post we’ll take a look at 10 leading options and we’ll provide some details about each. They are actually broken down into 3 categories: hosted, open source, and hosted shopping cart.
Hosted e-commerce platforms will charge a monthly or yearly fee, which will include web hosting, use of the e-commerce system, and support. You’ll have to host your site with them in order to use the system. The downside to this is that you won’t be able to choose your own host, but the upside is that you’ll get support for hosting and the e-commerce system from the same place, and they will know their own system very well. Also, since it is hosted they can take care of most security details.
Open source e-commerce platforms can be downloaded and hosted anywhere. You’re not committed to a particular host, which can be a good thing. The downside is that support is likely limited to a forum or wiki. For designers and developers open source solutions can be a good choice, but end users who are looking to set up their own site will likely face more obstacles with an open source, self-hosted system as compared to a hosted platform.
Hosted shopping carts will allow you to use the CMS and host of your choice, and they will just host the shopping cart and checkout process for you. So they’ll still handle the security details since the payment will be processed through their site, but you won’t host your entire site with them.
So now we’ll take a look at the specific platforms. Certainly there are plenty of other options that could be included, but we have tried to limit the number to a few in each category to avoid overload.
Hosted E-Commerce Platforms: