I have a bit of a love affair with Shopify, and after a long term relationship with Magneto it’s come as a breath of fresh air.
Magento can be a cruel mistress at times, high maintenance and has an attention seeking attitude. Shopify however is easy going and fun to spend time with. That’s where I’ll leave the relationship metaphor but you get the idea.
Shopify is a hosted eCommerce platform that allows you to choose pre-made templates, or design your own to allow you to easily sell products online. We are Shopify developers conveniently located in Somerset and have worked on numerous Shopify sites over the years.
I’m a big fan of Shopify for a number of reasons.
1. Easy to Use Admin Area
Shopify is simple for customers to maintain and use day to day. It’s easy on the eyeballs and the store owners intuitively know where to go for the majority of their regular tasks (processing orders, checking stock, adding new products). Handovers from development to giving store owners the keys are usually trouble free and Shopify help documentation is plentiful.
2. Themes Look Great Out of the Box
We often start with the debut theme and then go to town modifying from there to give a custom feel for clients websites. We have brought graphic design studios visions to life using Shopify, and modifying the templates is straight forward and methodical in the hands of a pro.
3. Upgradeable Functionality
Developers can get under the hood and tune it up where needed. Most of the time for a lot of customers requirements other e-commerce platforms are just to full on and heavy weight for the majority of the customers needs. Being able to make tweaks easily on Shopify mean modifications can often be low cost yet give the shop owners what they want.
4. A Multitude of Apps/Plugins.
Now don’t get me wrong some of the apps, and when I say some I mean most, are aimed at joe public saving them having to write code and do such simple tasks that you could achieve similar results just writing a couple of lines of code. We have come across clients sites that have hundreds of plugins that could have been solved more simply by someone who knows what they’re doing. But as most of the apps are aimed at DIY entrepreneurs it can be useful. Just be mindful that it could be worth paying for an hour or two of dev time to write something custom to save £9 - £50 per month for the rest of the websites life time. For Shopify subscriptions there are useful pre-made apps that save a lot of time. For completely custom programming requirements we are able to develop our own apps that we connect to Shopify via their API.
5. Worry Free Hosting.
Shopify take care of the hosting and is included in the fee for using the service. Price wise it is comparable to the hosting fees required to run a server suitable to run Magento and when you consider not having to build redundancy and resilience into a hosting set up of your own, this is a big plus point when it comes to choosing an e-commerce platform.
Now there has to be a downside right? There are a couple of things to consider...
Payment gateway support.
The big guns are covered, Stripe, PayPal, SagePay etc. But when you have sites that fall into certain categories (Gambling, pseudo pharmaceuticals such as CBD oil, health supplements and the like) then the mainstream payment providers don’t want to know. With Shopify you can’t just hook up with anybody so think about this if you fall into these categories.
Price based and weight based rules are covered but if you want custom rates for specific products and size boxes then you require the premium plan that sees your monthly fees increase. It’s still negligible though really if you are running a decent eCommerce offering. But if you’re starting out it’s worth thinking about this, especially if it’s a toe dip to see if the business is viable.
Want to start your own love affair with Shopify? Looking for a UK Shopify developer to work on your Shopify website? Get in touch. We offer Shopify development, fixing existing Shopify websites and Shopify consultancy services in the UK.