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In this post, I am showing you the best way to start an eCommerce website. There are many ways in starting your eCommerce store(like shopify,woocommerce,magento,bigcommerce, other shopping cart softwares etc). I assume you want to start an online ecommerce store, but you are not that sure about how to start it. This post helps you to start your eCommerce website in the best way.

So whats the best way to start your e-commerce store?

Answer: Bluehost+WordPress+Woocommerce+Woocommerce Theme.

Hmm… So what made me come to such a conclusion?

I am a Web Developer and has been working with various eCommerce platforms like Magento,Shopify, Opencart,Bigcommerce and many others(for 8 years) for various clients. I have also developed a shopping cart software. My judgment comes from this solid experience working in the eCommerce sector.

These are the factors I’ve considered in coming to this conclusion

  • Pricing – Woocommerce is totally free while for hosted shopping carts like shopify, bigcommerce etc , you need to pay life long(also a small amount of your sales as fee). Consider long term, even if you are using the most basic plan of shopify, you have to pay $3,480 (for 10 years). If you are going for higher plans you have to pay $35,880(plus the per sale fees). Keep in mind that its real hard to change the ecommerce platform once its chosen(you have to re-add the products, keep the url structure and all, believe me, its a real pain).
  • Design – I’ve developed some woocommerce themes for themeforest. And I can confidently says that woocommerce themes are the most good looking themes available in the industry. Themeforest wont approve sub standard designs, and you can see that a number of new woocommerce themes gets uploaded day by day in themeforest. All the designs are highly competitive, code is well written and highly secured.
  • You keep your code – If you are running an offline store, its better you be the owner of your own property right? By using woocommerce, you can achieve this. All the code, transactions etc will stay on your own server.
  • Light weight and fast loading – One of the biggest mistake in my life was to start an ecommerce store in magento for one of my important online business. Magento was notorious for slow loading speed and complexity, yet I decided go with magento(as my partner was a fan of magento, there was a general conception that woocommerce is suitable for small scale online business). But after 1 year of launch and facing lots of issues(like slow loading, bad feedback about design(we were using a magento theme), hacks(the store was hacked regularly)) we decided to change the store to woocommerce. Things got better afterall, the store loaded in seconds and the sales improved.
  • A wide range of plugins and easy customization– The WordPress plugin library is filled with woocommerce extensions. There are lots of free woocommerce plugins for many functionalities. Also, when it comes to customization, its far easier to customize woocommerce compared to magento and all.

So hope you are convinced with what I said from my experience.

Now, let’s have a look at 4 steps in starting an eCommerce store

Step 1: Register a domain and setup a hosting

The first step is to register a domain. You need a domain name for your e-commerce store, if you are not sure about your domain name, this article will help you in picking the right domain name for your ecommerce store.

Luckily, bluehost offer a free domain name along with their hosting, so that you can have it all in one account.

So, these screenshots will help you in setting up your bluehost account

1: Select the Pricing Plan

Bluehost does have 3 major plans(basic,plus and prime). To set up your first eCommerce store, I’d recommend you to take the basic plan. Initially, your blogs wont be having that much traffic so that the basic plan will be the perfect one to start with. Later on, once you build some traffic(visitors) to your blog, you can updgrade to bigger plans(this can save you some good money). The basic plan is $3.95 while plus and premium plans are $5.95 per month.

Well, you can go ahead with the plus or prime plans if you can get good amount of traffic initially. I am not at all against these plans, but what I meant is that you can always upgrade to higher plans anytime you want. This might probably save you some bucks.

Recommended: Basic Plan

bluehost-basic

2 :Register the domain

Enter the domain you want to register for your e-commerce store. You can enter a domain if you already have one, bluehost will show you how to transfer the domain to bluehost server.

bluehost-1

3: Fill in your details and the payment details.

bluehost-2

I am highly recommending you to uncheck the following options(which can save you some good money). Moreover, you don’t need this in the initial stage.

  • Domain Privacy Protection – Only select this if you want privacy for your domain,. Means you dont want to disclose the identity of the domain owner
  • Site Backup Pro – Your blog wont be having tons of contents intially. So that, it wont be hard for you take backup initially. You can easily take your blogs backup using the Backup WordPress plugin. You can always select this option later(if you need this)
  • Search Engine Jumpstart – This is not necessary, you always have the yoast seo plugin to make your blog seo friendly
  • Site security lock – Not needed intitally, you can use this later once your blog gets established. This can save you some money

I am saying this because I dont use any of these additional features for my eCommerce store and everything is super cool for me.

Again, its all up to you, if you think you need privacy and backup feature, just go for it.

Approximate Pricing for Bluehost: 45-72 USD a year

Step 2: Install WordPress in your domain

Now you’ve set up the domain and hosting. The next thing is installling the WordPress in this domain in your bluehost. The one click install of bluehost makes this process so easy(like installing a software in your pc). If you want a complete guide about installing WordPress in your bluehost account, read this tutorial . I’ve given a quick tutorial below about installing WordPress in your bluehost using 1 cilck installation.

1. Login to your bluehost and select the Install WordPress option.

step 1 installing wordpress bluehost

2. Click the Install Button

step 2 clicking install button wordpress bluehost

3. Select the domain you want to install WordPress
step 3 selecting domain to install

4. Enter the WordPress site title, username and password(to access the WordPress admin dashboard of your website)

step 4 setting wordpress user name and password and installing

5. Completing the WordPress Installation

step 5 installation complete and logging in

6. Logging into the admin dashboard using the admin URL
step 6 logged in wp panel

Step 3: Install Woocommerce plugin in your WordPress

Now lets set up the WordPress ecommerce (Woocommerce) store.

1. Select Plugins>Add New
Once you log in to the dashboard, select the Plugins> Add New button

woocommerce1

2. Search for “Woocommerce” and Press enter

This will prompt WordPress to search for the Woocommerce in the WordPress Plugin Repository. The Woocommerce Plugin will be shown in the list. Click the install button to install Woocommerce
woocommerce-install

3. Activate Woocommerce

After all you need to activate the Woocommerce. After activating woocommerce, you will be directed to a small survey page. You can select the Not Right Now(which can save 3 minutes of your life time) or complete the survey.
woocommerce-3
That’s all! You are done! The store functionality is ready.

Step 4: Buy a Woocommerce theme and install it in your WordPress website.

The next step is to buy an apt Woocommerce theme for your woocommerce store. I would only recommend themeforest woocommerce themes as they have the best quality and the most good looking and high quality WordPress themes available in the industry(I’ve developed many WordPress themes for themeforest and their quality guidelines are top class).

Download the WooCommerce theme(installable zip file) and upload it to the WordPress theme directory.

Go to Appearance>Themes>Add New>Upload Theme

 

theme

 

Once the theme has been uploaded you have to Activate the theme.

Approximate price of WooCommerce theme – 50$

Step 5: Integrate a Payment gateway in your WordPress-Woocommerce store.

After uploading a Woocommerce theme, your store will be ready. Now you need to integrate your payment gateway into your Woocommerce store. You have to take an account some payment gateway which is convenient for your like(stripe,braintree or whatever).

You’ll get WordPress integration plugins for the payment gateway you are using. For instance lets try an example with stripe.

Go to Plugins>Add New and search for “Stripe” and press Enter.

stripe

 

Select the right plugin you are looking for and install it. Here you can use the first one and second one(I prefer the second one).  Make sure, the plugin does have good start rating (I’d say something above 3.5).

Install the plugin and Activate it.

Configure the payment gateway plugin

You can configure the payment gateway at Woocommerce> Settings > Checkout > Stripe Payment

 

stripe-payment

I am saying about Stripe here. If you are installing another payment gateway, you can take the settings of that payment gateway.

You have to enter your stripe account credentials here, like Secret Key, Publishable Key, Live Secret Key, Live Publishable Key etc. There are two modes Test mode for test transactions and Live Mode for live transactions.

Any payment gateway should have these basic configurations.

How to integrate Paypal with Woocommerce.

Go to the same Woocommerce payment checkout settings

Paypal comes default with Woocommerce, so you don’t need to install any separate plugin for that.

Woocommerce> Settings > Checkout > PayPal

You can enter your paypal email, paypal receiver emails etc.

Once you’ve saved the settings, you can see the payment gateways integrated automatically in your checkout page.

Have a look at how I implemented paypal and stripe in my checkout page.

woocomerce-checkout

 

You can select your preferred payment gateway and make the payment and complete the purchase.

That’s all with setting up your first eCommerce store! And all under 100 $.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial in setting up the best ecommerce store for you using WordPress and Woocommerce.

You can contact me to help or implement an e-commerce website for you (I won’t be charging for the first 50 enquires).

 

 

Most of us know PHP – is a server side scripting language commonly used to write web applications. MySql – is an RDBMS (Relational Database Management System) used to store data handled by web applications. We have written a handful of amazing articles on how to make money online as a PHP Programmer. All these articles guide you through different opportunities available for a programmer or web developer to make money from internet using his skills. I am listing the most useful articles below:

You might also like – How a PHP beginner can land their first job

We have been working with PHP, MySql and many open source web apps like WordPress, Magento, OpenCart and frameworks like Yii, CakePHP, Zend etc for many long years. We know these languages and systems inside out. In this article, we are listing some of the best books and resources to learn PHP and MySql – which will help you to polish your programming skills and command over the language and database.

Programming – is a skill that you master with experience. We all begin with a “Hello World” program and we work our way up from building single web pages to full-fledged websites to complex web applications. We have taken utmost care while developing this resource article that we haven’t listed any book/website that will waste your precious time. We have also carefully structured this article for beginners, medium level programmers and advanced web app developers. Let’s have a look at the  six best books through which you can learn php and mysql.

For Beginners

W3Schools – We don’t need to mention this website (which is the best reference resource to begin learning any scripting language). Everyone knows about W3Schools and its usefulness. If you are a complete benginner, this website will really help you. It does have a lot of practical examples in PHP which are written in simple language so that it will be easier for the php beginners.

Book #1 PHP and MySql Web Development by Luke Welling and Laura Thomson

php1

This is one of the best and highly recommended (by other readers and programmers) book on PHP and MySql.  This book is well structured and the contents are so well selected that this book is more than enough for your journey from a beginner to a mid level programmer. The contents of this book are divided into 5 main sections. The first 2 sections take you through the basics of PHP and MySql – like storing and retrieving data, usage of arrays, regular expressions, object oriented PHP, designing database, accessing MySql database using PHP, advanced MySql administration and programming. The final 3 sections – are what makes the book outstanding and unique compared to other similar books.

The authors have carefully included a dedicated section for E-Commerce and Security. In this section, they have included chapters to explain E-Commerce systems, security issues that arise while developing E-Commerce systems, implementing authentication techniques using PHP and MySql, implementing secure transactions using PHP and MySql etc. The fourth section takes you through many advanced PHP techniques like sessions control, interacting with file system and server, using network and protocol functions etc.  The final section (5th) takes you through building practical web based applications using PHP and MySql – like building a shopping cart, a mailing list manager, web-based E-mail service, web based discussion forum and many other interesting projects.

To conclude, this book by Luke Welling and Laura Thomson is a complete resource for any one serious about PHP and MySql. The simple and easy to understand writing style of authors with well selected content makes this book a unique and best resource to learn PHP and MySql.

Price: $32.34

Book #2  (Kindle Edition)- Learn PHP and MySql – Zero to Hero Programming Crash Course – by Paul Madoff

php2

This is a good beginners book who wants to quickly skim through the language and understand the concepts. This book by Paul Madoff is not comprehensive as the first book (Book #1) we recommended. But this book is an easy to read and understand one, which can be handy for a new comer.

Price:$2.99

Book #3 Learning PHP, MySql and Javascript: with Jquery, CSS and HTML5 – by OReilly (Author – Robin Nixon)

php3

This is an all-in-one packed book to learn web development. This book published by OReilly is one of the best-selling books on Amazon and has very positive user reviews. We find this book very useful as it covers the very important and essential scripting languages (in addition to PHP and MySql) – Javascript, CSS and HTML5 along with Jquery. A web developer’s learning curve comes to full circle when he masters a server-side scripting language (like PHP), an RDBMS (like MySql), a browser side scripting language (Javascript and Jquery), finally Markup and Styling (HTML and CSS). This book helps a beginner to grasp the essence of all these languages and how to effectively use them to build web applications.

We highly recommend Book #1 and Book #3 for any one serious about PHP and MySql. These 2 books can make a profound impact on your web development knowledge and skills. The ideas you grasp from these 2 books will help a lot in building your career as a web app or software programmer. Book #2 is for quick skimming – for those who are interested only in learning the concepts of PHP and MySql.

Price: $31.98

For Mid Level and Advanced Programmers

Book #4 PHP and MySql for Dynamic Website: Visual QuickPro Guide by Larry Ullman

php4

This is a very interactively written book on PHP and MySql. The author himself is a software programmer and teacher, who has years of hands-on experience in developing dynamic web applications. The book is very comprehensive and covers every important aspect of developing web applications using PHP and MySql. Though this book goes easy with beginners as well, we would like to recommend this book to intermediate level programmers who already has a base of PHP and MySql. However, a beginner can also go ahead with this book and will find it easy for grasping. The author has a very vivid style of writing and he explains the basic concepts with utmost care and ease of understanding. We found this book very useful in polishing your knowledge in PHP, improving web development skills, understanding core concepts thoroughly and to know the world of dynamic web development deeper. We also found this book useful for job aspirants who have to face interview questions around core concepts of PHP and MySql.

Price: $31.28

Book #5 PHP Advanced and Object Oriented Programming by Larry Ullman

php5

This book helps to take your PHP skills to next level through real world applications. The book teaches you how advanced techniques are used in developing real world applications and advanced database techniques. Larry Ullman – author of this book has given great focus on OOP (Object Oriented Programming) concepts of PHP, which is the programming method of software industry as a whole. OOP concepts are very essential to be mastered by any web development professional. We highly recommend this book to advance your PHP skills and we are sure this book will be an asset for your career.

Price:$31.28

Book #6 Advanced PHP Programming by George Schlossnagle

php6

This is a handy and useful book for all professional PHP programmers. This book covers the best practices to be followed while developing web based applications using PHP. This book by Schlossnagle is purely for professionals as the author focuses a great deal on scaling PHP to develop enterprise level web applications. The book covers important chapters on how to optimize for performance, stability andy. We consider this as a great reference resource for every professional who works on PHP based Web Application Development.

Price: $43.58

Hope you guys find these php learning books helpful, as said these are the best books to learn php and mysql currently in the industry. Its totally worth the price!

Motive

To create a good looking website (DIY) with the minimum possible budget.

In this blog post I am going to explain how you can create a good looking website with the minimum possible budget. What would be the minimum cost to create a website if you approach a web design company? For sure, nothing less than 250 $. Here in this blog post, I am going to show you how you can create a good looking website for just 10 $ (minimalist features) and up to 95$(with all required features and top quality design).So what all are the Cheapest ways to start a website ? How can you make the worlds cheapest good looking website? Lets have a look at the 4 steps in creating the website at low cost.

cheap website

 

Step #1 – Register a Domain name – Total Cost-10 $

First of all you need  a domain name for your website. You need a unique available domain name for it (like google.com,facebook.com etc) . Here lets assume that you are going to start a burger website , you need to register a domain name for the website from a public domain registrar.

Step 1.1 – Check whether the domain name is available

First of all you need to check whether the domain you need is available. Make sure the domain is catchy and suits your purpose. Check ,
How to select a Good domain name
Best domain name suggestion tools
Here for our burger website I looked for a domain name tastyhotburgers.com , Oh yea! its available .
domain

 

step 1.2 Register the available domain name

Now we’ve fixed the domain and made up our mind to register it. You need to continue the purchase and register the domain. The average registration cost for a domain for 1 year is 10$ (you may get it for a price lesser than 10$  depending on the offers provided by Godaddy).

Step #2 – Get a web hosting – Total Cost ( 0$-40$ per Year)

We need a space to host your website . Internet is a connection of computers. You need to buy some hosting space (to store your website data(files,images etc)) or being more specific, some space inside some computer hard drive. So what all are the cheapest ways to host your website? Here I list three methods through which you can cheaply(or freely) get a hosting space.

2.1 Method 1 – Godaddy Hosting

Godaddy provides a hosting platform ,so that the customers can get it all under one platform (The domain,hosting,email). This is one of the most hottest and easiest ways to start a website as godaddy provides Domain name+Hosting+Email+Website builder all in one platform, all you need tp do is to pay additional money for  each and every sections. And the good news is that godaddy have really cheap web hosting plans . As cheap as 20 $ per year (you will be getting a website builder too,through which you can build up your website.)

Have a look at their cheapest plans

goadday-2

 

The first package(Website builder+Hosting) should cost you approximately around 20 $ per year. What does this 20$ package mean? This package (website builder+hosting) package doesn’t give you access to the back end( file manager,database access etc).  It means you cannot create a website as you wish. They will have a predefined theme and a website builder through which you can build a website (keep in mind that their website builder has very limited features) . This is ideal if you only need the simplest website, like you only need two or three static pages or a website to notify some event. You cannot hire a designer and modify the website in your own manner. I’ll explain it little more vividly with a real world example, consider your hosting as a restaurant. In this case, your hosting is a vegetarian restaurant, and you need a chicken tikka from the restaurant.Being a vegetarian restaurant you wont get a chicken tikka from it.

The second plan gives you cpanel access with 1 mysql database which means you’ll get access to the back end engine of the website.  You can change the design and programmatic side of the website. You can hire a designer/web developer and do whatever in the website (the domain is all yours, you have no limitations). Say you want to create a website like facebook, yes it is possible as you have access to all the files,database etc. Coming to real world, this hosting would be a common restaurant where you can order a chicken tikka or a vegetable sandwich or whatever.

2.2 Method 2- Bluehost

Another great option in budget hosting is using bluehost. When it comes to efficiency and speed Godaddy hosting isn’t that fantastic as you think. Bluehost even though their cheapest plan is little bit costlier than Godaddy’s,it is a much efficient hosting provider with great support and reputation. I’d say you should go for bluehost if you are really looking for a serious and long term web business. The minimal plan with bluehost starts with $3.49 per month ,through which you get complete backend features like cpanel, filemanager, Mysql database etc.

SignUp for Bluehost

2.2 Method 3 – Get Hosting at Zero Cost
Not ready to spend any money for hosting? Try some of the free web hostings, it will never give the result or data security your are expecting but there are a lot of free web hosting with limited services.

Have a look at some of the free web hostings

Another option to cut down the hosting charges is using some others shared/dedicated hosting. If one of your friend does use a hosting (shared or whatever) and if it has the capabilities to host multiple domains , ask him whether you can host your domain on his hosting. When I started my website experiments(10 years before), I was not ready to spend money on hosting. One of my good friend was using a dreamhost shared hosting at that time, and when I asked him whether he can host my domain on his server, he was more than happy to do that. Well, that’s how I hosted my first website free of cost.
It wont do any harm for the hosting owner if your website is a normal website with ordinary amount of traffic and of moderate size. Normally multiple users uses shared hosting, like even if you buy a shared server, many other people would be using the same server to host their domain. So ideally using your friends shared hosting should not harm you or him in both sense.

Step #3 -Design & setting up the website – Total Cost-0$-50$

So what does it comes to your mind when you hear the term web designing? A web designing company or individual right? What would be the minimal cost you need to give to a website designing company or team to design and setup a website for you ? I work in the web industry for 9 years and I know the rates. A minimum of 250$ will be charged for the design/programming section alone. What if I say you can cut the cost down from 0$ – 50$ ? Yes! it is possible ! All you need to do is go over some of the basic tutorials. 3-4 hours of work around can make you handle it all alone. Well, don’t be misled, I am not saying you can learn designing/programming, but using platforms like WordPress and Installing its predefined themes.

step 3 .1 – Install WordPress – Free (0 $)

What is WordPress ?

You might already  be familiar with WordPress. FYI, 1 out of every websites you see is running in WordPress. WordPress is an opensource platform that can add lots of functionality to your website. WordPress is web software you can use to create wonderful websites or blogs. You can create pages and posts in WordPress . There are a lots of free plugins available for WordPress which can take your website to another level. WordPress has its image upload facility(media upload), so that you can easily upload images to your website and bring it up in the front end.Likewise, if you need a contact form in your website, you can install the contact form 7 plugin in your WordPress website and place the contact form anywhere inside the website.

How to install WordPress in your website?

The theoretical way of installing WordPress is to download its core library files from the WordPress library , upload it in your server and configure the database. But luckily, many of the web hostings offer 1 click install,through which you can install your WordPress in 5 minutes with 4 or 5 clicks. Have a look at this detailed tutorial in installing WordPress in bluehost with one click install in 5 minutes. The one click install mechanism is almost same irrespective of the hosting(dreamhost,godaddy). Follow the same tutorial to use the One click WordPress install.

step 3.2 – Install a WordPress theme (0$-50$)

 

Your next task is to select a WordPress theme. What is a WordPress theme? Keeping it simple,it is a portable design or code written in PHP with respect to the WordPress standards. All you need to do is to install the specific  WordPress theme in your WordPress engine. If you are not sure, have a look at some of these WordPress themes. The best part of using WP themes is that, they are the best themes available in the industry. You can see lots of themes in each niche. For instance, we are saying about a burger website here. You can find lots of food WordPress themes or even burger themes in WordPress which would suit perfect for your website.

Well,  many says that using themes for a website spoils its uniqueness. But trust me, the new generation WordPress themes are highly customizable so that no two websites using the same WordPress theme look identical. Moreover, the chances that your competitor using the very same are slim to zero.
Read – How to install a WordPress theme in your WordPress

Next question? How much does it cost for a WordPress theme ? Well, it depends, lets say an average about 40-50$.

Dont want to spend money for WordPress themes ? Don’t Worry, you got lots of good looking free WordPress themes. There are lots of free WordPress themes in different niches with great quality. You can download it them for free,install and customize them.

Conclusion

Thats how the Worlds Cheapest good looking has been made! I’ve summarized the expenses into a table, have a look

Process Minimum Budget Minimum Expense Maximum Budget Maximum Expense
Step 1 : Registering a domain You cannot cut down the domain registration expense 10 $ The very same expense 10$
Step 2 : Buying a host and hosting the domain Use a free hosting or ask some one to host your domain in his shared/dedicated server 0 $ Buy a cheap hosting 40 $ / Year
Step 3 : Designing the website Install WordPress an use a free WordPress theme 0 $ Install WordPress and buy a Premium WordPress theme 45 $
Totals 10 $ 95 $

Its all your choice depending on your budget. Let me know if you need any help, I’m happy to help 🙂

Looking forward to start an e commerce website? Which platform is apt for you? Hosted or Self hosted shopping carts? I am writing this article with a motive of helping non technical people who don’t have much experience in online/e-commerce business. Your start should be perfect, selecting the right e-commerce platform plays pivotal role to success of your e-commerce store. Have a look at the worlds biggest and most successful e-commerce websites.

There are two kinds of shopping cart platforms

1. Hosted shopping carts
2. Self Hosted Shopping carts.

[steps number=”true”]1[/steps] Hosted Shopping Carts

Hosted shopping carts are those ones hosted by the providers. You don’t need any kind of technical knowledge to use a hosted shopping cart software. You don’t need to worry about hosting,installation,maintenance,security in the case of hosted shopping carts. What you need to pay is a monthly subscription fees and the providers will take care of the rest.

So what all are the best hosted shopping cart platforms?

[well]

1.  Shopify
2.  BigCommerce
3.  Volusion[/well]

shopify

Have a look at my detailed article about selecting the best hosted shopping cart software and advantages of one over other. You might also be interested in creating a shopify e-commerce website in 5 minutes.

[steps number=”true”]2[/steps]  Self hosted shopping carts

These are shopping cart softwares that need to be hosted on your server. You need to worry about installation and setup.
You very much need to worry about some steps if you are preferring a self hosted shopping cart to hosted shopping cart(given below).

  • Buying a hosting/server space to host your website.
  • Downloading and installing the shopping cart software(Magento,Opencart etc).
  • Setting up the right e-commerce theme.
  • Need to worry about data security and backup measures.
  • You may need to hire a web developer for support(Most of the Hosted shopping cart service gives you 24 x 7 customer support ).

What all are the best self hosted shopping carts?

[well]

1. Magento
2. Opencart
3. PrestaShop

[/well]

I could have flooded this list of self hosted shopping carts with the available ones(like, zencart,cs cart,xcart,oscommerce,tomatocart etc). But I wish my readers could make a choice (rather than getting confused). Becuase of this specific reason I’ve shortlisted the whole self hosted
shopping carts into four(The best and practically useful four)

For sure first rank holder among these self hosted shopping carts would be magento.

[steps number=”true”]Rank 1  [/steps] – Magento

magento ecommerce

[alert style=”green”]Why and  When should you use magento?[/alert]

1. Wide Range of features.

Magento is feature rich, you will get all or more features than you require in Magento. The powerful extensions offered by Magento can make your store more powerful.

Visit Magento Store

2. Ideal for large scale business.

The bigger your business, its very much likely to use magento as your ecommerce platform. I’d recommend opencart for small business as it is very light,fast loading
and less complicated. But once your business gets big you’d be forced to use Magento . Opencart lacks many of the awesome feature magento does have. It
would really be complicated in migrating from one platform(opencart) to other(Magento). So, its always better using Magento in terms of long term benefits.

3. Great Support and theme availability.

Magento does have the support of a big community, where as opencart and prestashop doesn’t. If you need customization or some kind of error fix,you can ask the
help of the vast community of magento.

Lots of sexy magento themes are also available in the industry. As you all know,if you have a good looking website the half job is done.

[steps number=”true”]Rank 2[/steps] – Prestashop or Opencart

opencart prestashop

[alert style=”green”]Why and When Should you use opencart?[/alert]

1. Ideal for small scale business(minimalist features)

Well, if you are about to run a small scale ecommerce store ,I’d highly recommend opencart for you. Opencart is the lightest ecommerce platform you’ll ever get.I did use
opencart for my online artificial flower store and it is doing good. I’m very much satisfied with the features provided by opencart for this particular website(I don’t require much, I am not planning to take this store that big).

2. Better loading time compared to Magento

This is were Magento turns out to be a villain. As , someone said, Magento is good in theory but bad practically. Magento is an extremely heavy platform.
It does have more than 330 database tables (WordPress have 15 tables only!) Magento, with all those heavily coded library ,takes much more time to load compared to opencart.

3. Ease of use and low cost customizations

[alert style=”green”]When Should you use Prestashop?[/alert]

All the above mentioned features are applicable to Prestashop also.

1. Advanced backend features than opencart

I would put Prestashop and Opencart in same position but if you need a little more advanced back end and management features and paid support, go for Prestashop.

Visit Opencart Store

Visit PrestaShop Store

[steps number=”true”]Rank 3 [/steps] – WordPress E-commerce using WooCommerce

wordpress and woocommerce

[alert style=”green”]Why and When Should you use WooCommerce?[/alert]

Majority of the worlds website uses WordPress. 1 out of six websites runs in WordPress. Many million dollar business websites have been setup in WordPress.

Ok , I said too much about  WordPress , but this was just to let you know how strong is the WordPress Community and users.

It wont be a bad idea to start a shopping cart in  such a globally approved platform. Moreover WooCommerce plugin does have all the essential features demanded
by a shopping cart software. Being WordPress, the product management and customization will be easier. The vast WP community all over the internet can give you awesome support plus
woocommerce extensions are always there to make your ecommerce platform much better.

The best advantage of using woocommerce is the large availability of WordPress Woocommerce themes. Woocommerce themes are one of the most sold themes in themeforest now.

Are you familiar with WordPress?

Dont know much about WordPress ? Read this detailed article about the advantages of starting an online business in WordPress.
If you are already familiar with WordPress platform you wont find using Woocommerce any hard. So , Woocommerce would be a wise choice for you if you know WordPress very well.

Download WooCommerce for WordPress

Conclusion

The selection of the right platform depends on your business. If you are less technical and have some additional money to spend go for hosted shopping carts. You dont need to worry about the security,installation and all.If you are in a tight budget, go for self hosted shopping carts. Go for magento if your store is big. Use Opencart,Prestashop or Woocommerce for small scale business. I am always happy to help. Contact Me if you need some assistance in setting up your eCommerce store.