With so many Content Management Systems (CMS) platforms to choose from, how do you know which is the best fit for your e-commerce business? To help you choose the right CMS platform for your e-commerce business, NetElixir has compiled a cheat sheet to explore the advantages and disadvantages and well as common SEO issues of each platform so you have a better understanding of what will work for your brand.
CMS platforms allow you to create and manage your website quickly and efficiently with minimum technical knowledge and resources. You can customize your website’s design and functionality according to the requirements of your e-commerce store. Each platform has its own SEO advantages to help your store rank in the search engine results page (SERPs) when people are searching for products related to your business.
For a full overview of Magento, Shopify, and BigCommerce, download our e-Book on How to Choose the Right CMS Platform. Keep reading for a quick overview to help you narrow down your search.
What is the Best CMS Platform for E-Commerce?
Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce are among the top three user favorite platforms, though there are plenty to choose from. MIVA offers a flexible and adaptable e-commerce platform. Shopify currently hosts over 1 million websites and holds a market share of 2.8%, while Magento holds a market share of 1.8%.
Each platform offers different SEO and e-commerce advantages, detailed briefly below.
Choosing Shopify As Your CMS Platform
Smaller and first-time enterprises typically favor Shopify. Shopify offers a hosted solution with limited customization available for themes and templates. It is an user-friendly CMS platform with a drag-and-drop interface and simple inventory management feature. Additionally, Shopify has a basic set of SEO options to start getting your website attention on SERPs.
Shopify Advantages and Disadvantages
Shopify has a host of advantages to make developing your e-commerce website easier, especially for startups and beginners. There are a few disadvantages in terms of additional features, themes, and plugins costing a decent amount of money and there being limited customization options.
While offering basic SEO features, there are still a few common SEO issues found in Shopify, such as:
- Forced URL structure
- Duplicate content in collections and product pages
- Inability to edit Robots.txt files
- Setting up 301 redirects
To update your Robots.txt files on Shopify, create a text file named robotsnew.txt and upload it to the nearest root directory. Redirect the example.com/robots.txt to example.com/robotsnew.txt with a 301 redirect. Add no index tags for blocking search engines from crawling old robots.txt files.
Prioritize your redirects and make use of redirects import when setting up a new store to lessen the issue of setting up 301 redirects.
Overall, Shopify suits a wide range of customers, from e-commerce startup to enterprise-grade clients and is one of the most beginner-friendly options.
Medium and large enterprises usually prefer Magento, as it is a self-hosted, open-source platform with numerous customization possibilities. Because of the various advanced features and customization options, Magento has a more complicated interface than Shopify and is better suited for experienced e-commerce developers. Magento allows you to customize and update store design and SEO strategy for maximum output.
Magento Advantages and Disadvantages
Magento boasts of a wide range of solutions, from a cloud-based environment geared for a startup to dedicated hosting for an enterprise-grade site. Magento has a highly active community to offer guidance and support to your site. Your website is easy to customize through Magento’s multiple features and numerous extensions, including multi-language, multi-currency, and multi-storefront options. However, the extensive customization may be too complex for beginners. Migration from M1 to M2 is complicated and users need strong technical knowledge to operate the platform.
In terms of SEO, users of Magento often face issues with:
- Query string URLs from faceted navigation.
- Duplicate meta tags from product variations.
- Indexing search pages.
- Slow load speed on small or shared servers.
To address parameter URLs that are indexed from faceted navigation, block these filtered pages in robots.txt and add a no-index tag. Use canonical tags to point toward the actual product page and turn on the setting to use only top-level product URLs to fix duplicate meta tags.
Overall, Magento is advisable for those who have an existing website and/or those who are building a multi-channel web e-commerce store with complex functionalities to integrate with enterprise-grade applications.
Small and mid-sized e-commerce businesses typically prefer BigCommerce. It is a beginner-friendly CMS platform with hosted solutions, but no customization available. With BigCommerce, you have dedicated customer support and basic SEO features.
BigCommerce Advantages and Disadvantages
BigCommerce has a no frills store creation process with low pricing and no long term commitment, so it does not require much technical knowledge. BigCommerce fully hosts your site and offers limited themes and extensions to cater to your e-commerce needs. You can easily manage SEO activities and social links. However, through BigCommerce you have a limited email subscription list and certain design elements are not highly flexible. There are only a few free templates available and premium templates can get expensive.
Some common SEO issues for BigCommerce are:
- Complex implementation of canonical tags.
- Lack of testing environment.
- Default blog setup is on a sub-domain.
- Transaction limits are set on annual online sales.
Similar to Shopify and Magento, to address tagging issues, block filtered pages in robots.txt and add a no-index tag. To fix your blog default settings, use a third party blog platform like WordPress to install a blog on sub-directory.
Overall, BigCommerce is suitable for small and mid-sized businesses.
Choose Your CMS Platform
Choosing the right platform for your business is an essential e-commerce decision. For a deeper dive into the pros and cons of Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce, download our CMS Platform e-Book.
At NetElixir, we specialize in implementing high-quality web development solutions for your e-commerce store and website hosted on Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce, MIVA, WooCommerce, PrestaShop, and other platforms. With our vast experience of managing digital marketing solutions for more than 500 e-commerce clients, we understand the nuances of different e-commerce platforms. A strong e-commerce foundation is critical to supporting your other digital marketing efforts. Our e-commerce and web development experts can provide comparisons between solutions to help you make an informed decision. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to experts at NetElixir.