Are you struggling to decide which e-commerce solution is right for your business? With dozens of options available, choosing a provider can be overwhelming. However, picking the right software for your needs is essential if you hope to maximise the potential of your e-commerce store and ensure a steady cash flow for your business in the future. So where’s the best place to start?
Hosted or self-hosted?
When you first start an e-commerce store, you’ll need to decide how to host (run), your business online. There are two distinct platforms to choose from: hosted and self-hosted. Self-hosted platforms require you (or your tech agency) to source, set up and manage the hardware that your e-commerce software runs on. A hosted platform, however, is taken care of by your service provider. Server and hardware maintenance is entirely their responsibility, so you don’t have to worry about additional tech costs.
If you’re struggling to decide which type of platform to use for your e-commerce store, ask yourself how much time you can commit to the maintenance of your site. If you want to be able to sign up and start building your site immediately, a hosted service could be perfect for you. If you are comfortable managing the technical side of things yourself and you want to be able to customise your site, you might prefer to choose a self-hosted platform.
Why choose hosted?
Hosted platforms like BigCommerce and Shopify are incredibly user-friendly and allow users with very little technical knowledge to have a store up and running quickly. The software provider takes care of all site maintenance and technical issues, leaving you free to focus on running your store. Choose hosted if:
- You’re not tech-savvy, or you don’t want to commit your time to learning how to use new technology
- You want a solution that’s ready to go, straight out of the box
- You’re looking for hassle-free templates and designs
Why choose self-hosted?
Self-hosted platforms like Magento and WooCommerce are incredibly flexible and advanced. If you don’t want to hire a developer to build your self-hosted e-commerce store, you’ll need to be confident about your ability to deal with the technical challenges of running and maintaining a website. Choose self-hosted if:
- You want to have full control over your blog and its layout
- You have strong technical skills, or you’re willing to hire someone to get your site up and running
- You want to be able to add new features and customise your store to suit the changing needs of your business
E-commerce accounting made easy
Are you ready to launch your online business? To find out how Flow’s cloud accounting experts can help you take charge of your e-commerce accounts, give our team a call today on 0330 123 5577 or send an online enquiry.