Updated: Jun 10, 2022
Why You Should Choose Shopify Or EKM Over Open Source eCommerce Solutions
If you are an SME (Small, Medium enterprise), you should be looking at a cloud-based website builder solution for your next eCommerce project.
Why? Because you can get started quickly, with the minimum of fuss and keep the development costs to a minimum.
If you are the CEO or the decision-maker for your company, you won't go wrong with my recommendation. You can start immediately and never look back—no need to burn the candle deep into the night, making endless comparisons of eCommerce platforms and their features.
That's it. That's all you need to know.
Now go ahead and create your digital masterpiece!
On the other hand, if you are the IT manager or a decision-maker who has to report to the board and whose job could be on the line if this doesn't work out, then you are going to need some facts, figures and a persuasive argument to back up your case.
I'm going to make that argument for you.
By the time you've finished reading this article, you'll be able to confidently state the case for starting your next eCommerce project "in the cloud" and give good reasons for ditching "free" open-source software like Magento.
Here are seven excellent reasons why you should build your next eCommerce website using Shopify or EKM:
We've all heard tales of the new Ferrari owner who drove out of the showroom and straight into the river, right?
Letting people loose with expensive equipment that they don't have the experience to use is guaranteed to end in a disaster.
It's the same with software, and just because you CAN open a hosting account today and install Magento doesn't mean that it's the best way forward for your company.
Because Magento is "Open Source" and therefore "free", people overlook that it is complicated software.
There are three security issues or "layers" that require monitoring to ensure you don't become a hacked shell of a company.
The first is the hosting layer. In this layer, we are looking at ways an intruder can access the server either by using a brute force attack or a known exploit.
The easy way to ensure that you don't fall victim to an attack is to buy quality hosting.
If you buy hosting on a shared server, then you have no control over what other users install in their space for their website.
Hopefully, your hosting company has control over this, or you could be a hacking victim through no fault of your own.
VPS servers are more expensive but more secure, and already we are getting away from the notion of "free software".
On your Magento installation, you need to ensure that you set the correct file permissions and don't allow unauthorised access.
The automated Magento installer will set things up for you, but occasionally things don't work as they should, and file permissions get changed. Setting incorrect file permissions is the easiest way for an intruder to access your installation.
Are you sure your website developer knows what they are doing?
The second layer is the software layer. Magento is always being patched with new updates to resolve security issues, and you must keep your site up to date with the latest version.
Out of date versions get hacked and sad people with more time on their hands than is good for them purposefully set out to find those old sites.
That's true not just of Magento but all Open Source software. Don't leave yourself open to kiddie scripters looking for an easy target.
The third layer is the payment gateway.
All eCommerce installations need to be PCI compliant. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is the information security standard for businesses or organisations that handle credit and debit card information.
Shopify meets all six PCI standards, and every new shop created is automatically compliant. You don't need to do anything to make your store comply with the regulations.
Also, every Shopify store gets hosted on the Shopify cloud-based hosting network, which has a dedicated team of professionals monitoring its performance. The software is updated automatically behind the scenes, and every store runs the latest version.
When you start building your site out of your back bedroom, the minimal amount of traffic you get isn't a worry for your hosting company.
But look out!
Magento is a known resource hog and eats up CPU and memory resources for fun. If you start doing well and business is looking up, your hosting costs can be a dead weight dragging your business down.
To keep your site speed respectable you'll continually be increasing your web hosting costs.
By contrast, all Shopify stores share the same cloud-based network, so performance issues are not a problem. Of course, you'll need to upgrade your plan as you grow, but you'll need to do that whatever option you choose.
Shopify's hosting technology is the best in the business, and you won't be left crawling along in the slow lane.
Magento is clunky and cumbersome to set up. There are so many options to be configured it can feel like you are spending endless days just getting the software ready to do something.
Shopify has a rapid user setup wizard, and its cloud-based control panel is straightforward to use. Don't be fooled by the simplicity, though, because Shopify packs a punch under the hood.
When a new feature gets added to Shopify, it gets added for all those using the platform and not just those that requested it. It means that custom website development is not an easy undertaking, but my advice is that if you think you will be leaving the essential Shopify roadmap, then EKM would be a better option for you.
Shopify has an inbuilt blogging platform you can use that is SEO friendly. With Magento, you'll be bolting on WordPress and introducing a whole new set of problems to be overcome. Why make all the hassle for yourself? The idea is to sell your products without spending all day configuring software.
UX And User Design
User design is a commonly overlooked advantage of an eCommerce platform centrally controlled and administered by a professional team. Making the software user-friendly is the goal of UX (user experience). By tapping into a global network of eCommerce stores, you benefit from a combined experience.
If you choose Magento, you'll be left to your own devices to find out what your customers like or don't like about your site.
Shopify uses REST API for integration with third-party software providers. You can integrate with "best of breed" providers like Kashflow to manage your accounting functions.
Every new integration uses this API to "Talk to Shopify", making integration development easy.
Cost Of Implementation
A typical Magento developer charges out at £65 per hour in the UK. That makes regular patching and bug fixing an expensive business. Never mind the hours spent on setup and configuration.
The constant maintenance and development means that an average Magento installation will set you back around £10,000.
That's a lot of money to sink into a software development program that might not make its investment back for many months.
By contrast, the "Pro" plan from Shopify at £69 per month means you can run for several years without even coming close to that sort of outlay.
Oh, I forgot to mention that you'll also need to pay around £80 per month for hosting costs to run a Magento site.
It does not make financial sense to invest in Magento when many other alternatives are continually improving. Secure hosting, scalable hosting technology, fixed monthly costs, and the benefit of knowing that you are using a tried, proven and tested solution in the user experience field.
Magento may once have been the only viable solution for new eCommerce stores, but that's not true today. Cloud-based solutions give you many benefits and considerable cost savings.
Now go and impress your CEO.