best eccomerce platform for web designer

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hey guys this is my first post here so go easy on me ha, i think its a great forum. my question is im looking to open an online shop so im looking for the best platform for me to-customize as i am familiar with html css php etc if such a platform exsists. any help appreciated

stuart
#designer #eccomerce #platform #web
  • Profile picture of the author OnlineStoreHelp
    Originally Posted by studaniel View Post

    hey guys this is my first post here so go easy on me ha, i think its a great forum. my question is im looking to open an online shop so im looking for the best platform for me to-customize as i am familiar with html css php etc if such a platform exsists. any help appreciated

    stuart
    Unfortunately you are asking a very vague question and it is not as simple as, use this platform.

    1. How many products, categories, subcategories do you have?
    2. Do you want to do self hosted, or hosted?
    3. if you do self hosted, are you using inexpensive shared hosting or higher quality hosting?
    4. What functionality does the cart need to have? Recurring orders? Not all support it. Multi-store or single store? Multi-vendor?
    5. Downloadable or physical products?
    6. Does it need to PHP or can it be Ruby or .ASP?
    7. What is your monthly budget?
    8. How good are you with javascript?
    9. What payment platform do you want to use?
    10. is it every day or high risk products?

    When you give us all these details, we can then point you in the right directions, otherwise everyone will tell you their favorite platform. I personally use BigCommerce, Shopify, Americommerce, 3dCart and Opencart right now. All have different pros and cons.

    The Magento developer is gonna tell you, use Magento as it's the bomb. I personally not a big fan of it. The wordpress guys will tell you wordpress and woocommerce, I personally like my sites to be secure. Prestashop is also nice and lightweight though their modules are a bit pricey.
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    • Profile picture of the author studaniel
      thankyou very much for your reply firstly im a newbie to eCommerce the products i will be selling are small electronics so physical products, i want to go hosted because i already use my current host names.co.uk and im familiar with everything.

      php preferably so i can have some kind of blog ir testimonials page and payments paypal/debit card, im just looking for help

      thanks
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      • Profile picture of the author dburk
        Originally Posted by studaniel View Post

        thankyou very much for your reply firstly im a newbie to eCommerce the products i will be selling are small electronics so physical products, i want to go hosted because i already use my current host names.co.uk and im familiar with everything.

        php preferably so i can have some kind of blog ir testimonials page and payments paypal/debit card, im just looking for help

        thanks
        Hi studaniel,

        Sounds like your requirements are the basic core functions included in any of the popular shopping cart scripts on the market.

        Even though you have your own domain name, you still might consider a hosted solution as most allow you to use your own domain name with their service. However, since you are looking to build your own custom theme, a self hosted option will probably suit you better.

        The important question that you didn't answer is "how many product SKUs will your store end up carrying?" Also, how complicated are your products for ordering, will all items be ready-made products, or will you have color, size, or model choices, or made-to-order products? The answer to those questions will help us advise you on suitable carts.

        As a general rule, if you plan to be in it for the long haul and build web stores of substantial size, look first at Magento, as it is not only is the most popular shopping cart script, it has the largest community for support and plugins, the largest developer community, and is generally the most robust script for large stores built on PHP. However there is a steep learning curve as it is has such a large code base.

        Magento offers a premium paid package, Enterprise Edition, that is very expensive, a low priced hosted solution, MagentoGo, and the extremely popular open source Community Edition for free.

        At the other end of the spectrum, if you are just doing a short term test and looking to get up and running fast you might try OpenCart, Prestashop, or perhaps Woocommerce plugin for Wordpress if security is not of great concern.

        These are just a few of the popular choices, many more options exist, and most are low priced or even free. Nearly all self-hosted scripts allow you to use HTML/CSS/Javascript to build your own custom theme and open source versions provide the source code which you can modify to your heart's content.
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        • Profile picture of the author lackcy
          Wordpress and Woocommerce are the way to go. They are really user friendly with lots of support. This is speaking from my experience designing eCommerce websites for my clients
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          • Profile picture of the author overtonis
            my advice would be to start with open cart. Its great introductory ecommerce solution which you can utilize your php, html, css skills with. Magento is monsterous and will bang on your servers like no other....but does look like enterprise level ecommerce.
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            • Profile picture of the author OnlineStoreHelp
              I have to agree on Opencart. Big development community behind it, inexpensive modules to change functionality, lightweight, and written in PHP. Lots of great responsive themes on themeforest you can check out.

              I have so far only met one customer that has needed Magento, and they are a website that has multiple (50+) separate merchants inputing their product on the site that Magento supports outside the box. Go figure, the site hasn't worked right since April of this year and they can't seem to fix it.

              With Modules, Opencart will do the same thing. Right now there are just as many opencart stores as there are Magento. But, because Magento was designed with the enterprise market in mind, you see lots of large organizations on the platform and it gets a lot of press.

              Edit: When I said hosted, I meant a platform such as Shopify or BigCommerce where they give you the application, handle hosting, bandwidth, etc, you just design and sell. Big fan of them.

              Self hosted means you get the hosting, you do the installs and maitenance, get the SSL, etc.
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              • Profile picture of the author dburk
                Originally Posted by OnlineStoreHelp View Post

                Right now there are just as many opencart stores as there are Magento. But, because Magento was designed with the enterprise market in mind, you see lots of large organizations on the platform and it gets a lot of press.
                Hi Chris,

                Where are you getting your data on OpenCart's meteoric growth in market share? The most recent data I can find, from trusted 3rd party sources, shows that Magento continues to widen it's lead in shopping cart market share, adding nearly 4 times the number of new stores per month to it's installed base as Opencart.

                While I agree that opencart is a fine platform for building a webstore, it is hardly comparable to Magento in the number of installed web stores, size of developer community, number of themes, extensions, or core capabilities.

                As OpenCart is a much simpler script, with far fewer capabilities, and that can be very appealing to someone that is new to eCommerce, or just doing it as a hobby. You will certainly find it a bit easier to learn, because there is far less to learn. In fact, it may be idea for the one man operation that does everything himself.

                There is no point in taking the time to learn Magento if your needs are very simple, and you want the ability to customize your theme. OpenCart will work for many people that are just staring out. Obviously, you may want to asses your needs and verify that OpenCart will fit your requirements. However, if the core capabilities of OpenCart are not sufficient, you may want to look at other options before going the custom module route. It could be that another cart has that needed functionality built into the core features, at no extra cost.

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  • Profile picture of the author Ecommerce Advice
    I just suggested Magento in another post. It's part owned by PayPal so not going away anytime soon.

    You want to have the code and host it on a server of your choice. If you choose a shopping cart that you don't have the code to your hands are tied. What happens if they raise their prices, go bust....

    Magento is well supported and can do almost anything you want. There are loads of developers that can do stuff very cheaply. Plus a fantastic range of plugins.
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  • Profile picture of the author igorska
    Hi.
    I'm using opencart , and I think (with basic php,css knowledge) it's verry easy to costumize.
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  • Profile picture of the author PeckhamPirate
    Am I the only one using ECWID?
    Had nothing but good results and experience with them over the last 3 years.
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    • Profile picture of the author javarog
      Originally Posted by PeckhamPirate View Post

      Am I the only one using ECWID?
      Had nothing but good results and experience with them over the last 3 years.
      I used to run ecwid early on when they first announced it, had unlimited products along with coupons, wasn't any good way for seo at the time so I dumped it, before that I had x-cart which is owned by the ecwid guys and boy what a bunch of nickle and dimers and their script was just ok,, I have used open cart extensively until their current release, its a nice sleek cart but wait until new releases go to .1.... Working with Magento now and I have to say its just a gem, one thing I don't like is the way configurable products have to be made but there are some good mods for that.

      So I think if you need to get up and going fast then opencart will be good but if you have server resources then go with Magento.
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  • Profile picture of the author zenichanin
    I've had the best experience with Shopify. It's not in PHP, however, you can customize it using their own liquid language, which is well documented.

    The problem with most cart software I've used such as Magento and OpenCart is that they're just so clunky and difficult to set up and manage. That's why Shopify is my favorite to work on and use. Everything is seamless.

    I would just say stay away from Volusion. Their theme customization capabilities are laughable at best.
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  • Profile picture of the author amcg
    I think a mistake many make (I've made it) is that they think too big from day one. It's not wrong to think big, but choose a platform that will get you started with the number of sku's/products you require.

    Shopify and other hosted platforms will work for the vast majority starting out. From there, pending success, you can build out your own platform using Magento or similar.
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    • Profile picture of the author sywebdesign
      Can anyone tell me what platform this store is built in , i am looking for a robust platform also but 1000+ items?


      lowbrowcustoms.com:confused:
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      • Profile picture of the author nicholes
        Nowadays some great web development companies that are putting forth uniquely based web requisition by fulfilling the client requirments. So its better to approach a few renowned worldwide web advancement.
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      • Profile picture of the author litmon
        Originally Posted by sywebdesign View Post

        Can anyone tell me what platform this store is built in , i am looking for a robust platform also but 1000+ items?


        lowbrowcustoms.com:confused:

        I would suggest Magento . It was designed with enterprise market in mind, anyone can see lots of large firm on the platform and it gets lot of press. Multiple store needs online portal and Magneto can create same. you can easily manege you big quantity products with the help of Magneto.
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  • Profile picture of the author Vahalla
    If I am going to open an eCommerce website I will not worry with plug ins
    for another content management system. Instead I will just go with Magento
    or OpenCart.
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  • Profile picture of the author tg9261
    I would suggest Bigcommerce and Shopify. Both platforms are great for designers because you can totally customize the store and one of the main reasons I like both of these platforms is because they have compatible with tons of other applications that can really take your e-commerce store to the next level and get it out there.
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  • Profile picture of the author dredman
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    • Profile picture of the author nicholes
      Magento is also good it has most creative attributes and suitability which most secured stage to set ecommerce store.
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      • Profile picture of the author osborne
        Assuming that I am set to open an ecommerce site I won't stress with modules for an alternate content administration framework. Rather I will only run with Magento additionally Opencart.
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  • Profile picture of the author Adamwilson
    This is a very informative discussion about Online Ecommerce Solution.
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  • +1 for Magento. It has all of the features you need out of the box, and also has a very robust and flexible architecture. It has some higher server requirements than other web applications, but if you avoid the cheapest shared hosts you should be fine. Check magespeedtest.com for some realtime benchmarking results of different Magento hosting providers.
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  • Profile picture of the author usvetsnet
    All my sites are with BigCommerce, everything you need.
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    • Profile picture of the author amcg
      Originally Posted by usvetsnet View Post

      All my sites are with BigCommerce, everything you need.
      Same. Shopify is also a good hosted ecommerce solution. Both allow web designers to customize the layout whilst they also offer a host of integrations.
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  • Those are fundamentally different solutions - hosted vs self-managed. It depends on your knowledge level and need to customize. For maximum flexibility choose a self-hosted solution (such as Magento). Self-hosted also tends to cost you less in the long run. To get up and running as quickly as possible with minimal technical needs, choose managed/hosted.
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  • Profile picture of the author LynxForte
    Studaniel,

    If you are a web designer, I'd suggest you go to ThemeForest.net and pick a template that you can then use to design your site as you see fit. There are way too many factors that go into an online store. If you are a competent web designer, I'd suggest you stick with your skill set and design templates to sell on themeforest.net. In effect, what you are selling is your ability to create awesome designs and selling them (there's your product!) Selling online is more difficult than it sounds and requires significant investment to be successful. If you're ready for it, we can talk further. Otherwise, I'd suggest you think twice.
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  • Profile picture of the author osborne
    Magento has the sum of the characteristics you require out of the container, and likewise has an extremely powerful and adaptable building design. It has some higher server prerequisites than other web requisitions,
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