Shopify Vs Custom Site – Which Is Best For Your eCommerce?

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Are you looking to start an eCommerce business? The first question you should ask yourself is, “Which platform is best for me?” When you’re deciding on creating an eCommerce store, the two most popular options are Shopify and custom websites. 

Both offer unique advantages and drawbacks that can be difficult to compare. 

This article will discuss what makes each option great for eCommerce businesses, so you can choose the best for your business. But first, let's define what each option is.

What is Shopify?

Shopify is an eCommerce solution that provides merchants with a comprehensive platform for creating their own online store. This service includes everything from hosting and domain registration to customizing the look of your store.

Shopify Vs Custom Site

It also offers features like inventory management, payment processing, marketing tools, and customer support.

You can choose Shopify if you’re looking for a hosted solution to quickly get you up and running. With Shopify, there is no need to worry about managing hosting or backend infrastructure since it’s all taken care of. Additionally, you don’t have to develop your own website or customize the look of your store, as Shopify provides templates to get you started.

Advantages of using a Shopify website

There are various advantages of using Shopify for your eCommerce business. Here are the main advantages: 

  • It’s easy to set up and use – Shopify provides an intuitive user interface, making it easy to start setting up your online store. It also integrates with third-party apps and services like payment processors, so you can quickly set up everything you need for a successful business. Be sure to read through the tutorials on the Shopify website to get started.
  • Scalable – As your business grows, you can easily scale up your store. Shopify offers plans for businesses of all sizes, so you don’t have to worry about outgrowing your hosting solution. For instance, you can upgrade to a more expensive plan with better features if your business grows.
  • Affordable – The basic Shopify plan is affordable, so you can get started quickly without breaking the bank. You can also choose from a range of additional features and services to customize your store and make it more efficient.

Disadvantages of using a Shopify website

There are also some disadvantages to using Shopify for your eCommerce business. Here are the main disadvantages: 

  • It’s a hosted solution – One of the biggest disadvantages of using Shopify is that it’s a hosted solution. This means you don’t have control over the backend infrastructure and must rely on Shopify to keep your store running.
  • Limited customization – You can only customize your store within the limitations of Shopify’s templates and features. So if you need something more custom, you must use other tools e.g., Shopify's headless commerce capabilities or hire a developer.
  • No access to email storage: Shopify does not provide any email storage, so you will have to use a third-party app or service.
  • No access to marketing automation: Shopify does not provide any marketing automation tools, so you will need to use a third-party app or service.

What is a custom site?

A custom website is one that you build on your own using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It allows you to design the look and feel of your store exactly how you want it. You can also work with experts to create unique features that provide a great user experience. 

For instance, you can hire an E-commerce Web Development Company In Dubai, UAE, to create a custom eCommerce site with advanced features such as product recommendations, order tracking, and more. Ensure that your custom website is tailored to meet the specific needs of your business.

You can opt for a custom website if you want to create a unique and powerful eCommerce store with the latest features. This option is more expensive than Shopify but allows you to customize your store exactly how you want it. Additionally, custom websites often have better performance than hosted solutions like Shopify.

Advantages of using a custom site

Using a custom website for your eCommerce store also has its own advantages. Here are the main advantages: 

  • Fully customized – A custom website gives you full control over how your store looks, functions, and performs. You can create unique features that will give customers an outstanding experience when buying from your store. Additionally, you can customize and optimize the website for SEO, so your store is visible in search engine results.
  • High performance – Custom websites are usually faster and more stable than hosted solutions like Shopify, as they don’t rely on third-party hosting services. This makes it easier to handle large amounts of traffic and provides customers with a smooth shopping experience.
  • Tailored to your branding: A custom website can be designed to match your brand and create a cohesive look for your business. You can use your designs, logos, images, and videos to make the store more engaging and demonstrate your brand's personality. This is unlike Shopify, which relies on templates and themes that you can customize to a certain extent.
  • Improved SEO: Custom websites are optimized for SEO, so you can ensure that your store is visible in search engine results. With a custom website, you can control how and when content is indexed by search engines, allowing you to take advantage of new keywords and trends. You can customize the website to ensure it works well across all devices.

Disadvantages of using a custom site

Disadvantages of using a custom site

Using a custom website for your eCommerce store also has its own disadvantages. Here are the main drawbacks: 

  • Expensive – Building a custom website is expensive and time-consuming. You must hire professionals to create and maintain it, which can be costly.
  • Complex – Custom websites require more technical knowledge than hosted solutions like Shopify. For instance, you must manage the website, ensure it is secure and up to date, and work across all devices.
  • Time-consuming – Creating a custom website can be time-consuming as you must make sure that it matches your brand’s look and feel. Additionally, you must test the website regularly to ensure that it is functioning as expected.

Which website option is best for your eCommerce?

When deciding which website option is best for your eCommerce, you must weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

Shopify is the best choice if you want an easy-to-use platform that can be set up quickly and doesn’t require any technical knowledge. Additionally, Shopify offers a wide range of features and tools to help you build and manage your store.

On the other hand, a custom website is best for businesses that need more control over their store’s design and functionality. Additionally, custom websites can be optimized for SEO and tailored to match your brand’s look and feel.

The answer depends on your business needs and budget. If you have the resources and technical knowledge, then a custom website is the best option for creating a unique and powerful eCommerce store. However, if you want an easy-to-use platform that doesn’t require any coding skills, then Shopify may be the best solution. 

Tips to consider when choosing a website for your eCommerce

Tips to consider when choosing a website for your eCommerce

Regardless of your website platform, there are some key points to consider when setting up your eCommerce store. 

  • Search engine optimization – Make sure that your site is optimized for SEO, so it will appear in search results when customers search for products or services related to your business. Things to consider are the page titles, meta descriptions, keyword research, and page speed.
  • Responsive design – Make sure that your store looks great regardless of the device customers use to access it. This means using a responsive design that works well on desktops, tablets, and mobile devices.
  • Security – Ensure that your website is secure and protected against cyber threats. You should also make sure that all customer data is stored securely and not shared with third parties.
  • Speed – A fast-loading website will improve the user experience for customers, ensuring they can find what they need quickly and easily. Ways to increase speed include using a content delivery network and optimizing images.
  • Mobile friendly – Make sure that your website is optimized for mobile devices, so customers can shop on the go. You can make your website mobile-friendly by using a responsive design and optimizing images for mobile devices.
  • Customer service – Ensure that your website has a good customer service system in place, such as live chat or contact forms. This will ensure that customers can get help quickly and easily if they have any queries or issues with their orders.
  • Payment gateway - Choose a secure payment gateway to ensure customers can check out securely. Popular payment gateways include PayPal, Stripe, and Square. You can add several payment options to your website to make it easier for customers to pay.
  • Social media integration - Connect your store to social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. This will allow customers to share products with their friends and followers, increasing brand awareness and driving more sales.
  • Customer Support - Make sure you have a good customer support system. This includes providing contact details, such as an email address or telephone number, so customers can get help if they have any issues with their order.

Final words: Shopify vs custom site - Which is best for eCommerce

When choosing the right website for your eCommerce store, you should consider your business needs and budget. Shopify is a great option if you want an easy-to-use platform that doesn’t require any coding skills. 

However, a custom website may be the best option if you need more control over design and functionality. Whichever option you choose, ensure that your store is optimized for SEO, secure, fast-loading, mobile-friendly, and has good customer service. 

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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