How to pick the right CMS – WordPress, WooCommerce or Magento?

Luke .

When you’re setting up an e-commerce store, it’s really important to choose the right content management system (CMS) for your business. WordPress, WooCommerce and Magento are all brilliant platforms with big benefits, and here at Nimbus we’ve got hosting options for all three. So how do you choose the best CMS for you?

Online stores can vary massively – from niche boutiques to all-encompassing superstores. And while one CMS might work wonders for your business, another might be, well, not such a great fit.

To find a CMS that’ll make your life easier, boost your customer experience and drive your sales, you need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of some of the major players. That’s why today we’re weighing up the big differences between WordPress, WooCommerce and Magento. Ready? Let’s take a look…

Why choose WordPress?
It’s the most popular CMS on the internet – by a very long way. Today, over 445 million websites use WordPress, meaning it powers almost 40% of all the websites in the world. All those people have got to be onto something, right?

Well, part of the reason WordPress is so popular is how easy it is to work with. Originally built as a blogging platform back in 2003, it was designed to be used by anyone, not just developers. So, if you’re a small business or startup, you won’t necessarily have to pay a developer to get your e-commerce site off the ground. On the other hand, if you’d like an expert on the job, it’ll be easy and affordable to find a real WordPress pro.

WordPress is also free to install, roll out and upgrade. As well as being perfect for blogs, it’s amazing at building landing pages, SEO pages… in fact any type of website, including e-commerce. And it’s really flexible and customisable too. Just pick from over 50,000 plugins (they’re often free) and put together exactly the site you need. Bingo.

Add low set-up and maintenance costs into the mix and you’re looking at a pretty appealing CMS. Which is why we’ve made sure WordPress is really easy to use in our homegrown hosting platform, STORM. In fact, we’ve even built a dedicated WordPress Tools section, where you can find all the plugins, themes and recipes, for every site you’ve built. See every version, know what needs updating, and do it all, in just one click. Pretty handy stuff. Take a look at our WordPress Tools.

Why choose WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is a one-stop e-commerce plugin for WordPress, specially designed to make it super quick and easy to get your online store off the ground. So, rather than rummaging through those 50,000 WordPress plugins, you just pick WooCommerce and away you go. You’ll get all the benefits of WordPress, like its easy-to-use interface and themes, in one ready-to-roll package.

That makes WooCommerce a great choice for smaller businesses or startups who don’t have a huge amount of time to dedicate to site building, and haven’t got heaps of tech expertise or e-commerce experience. It’ll hold your hand, skip you straight to what you need, and help you get up and running really easily.

Plus, if you’re hosting with us, WooCommerce works brilliantly in our STORM hosting platform. Take a quick look at why they’re such a great match.

The only drawback with WooCommerce? It’s easy to outgrow. As your offering and your visitors increase, it can leave you looking for more flexibility and capacity – and eventually a whole new CMS. So if you’ve got your sights set on rapid growth, it might not be the one for you.

Why choose Magento?
If you’re hoping to go big with your e-commerce site, Magento’s a great choice. It’s an open-source platform that caters really well for online stores that sell a large range of products and get a high volume of visitors. So you should be able to grow and scale with it, long term.

One great benefit of Magento is that it gives you a flexible shopping cart system and a huge amount of control over the look, content and functionality of your site, through a choice of simple plugins. You can create a shopping environment – and payment process – that works for your brand, your products and your target audience, making the whole thing smooth and seamless.

Plus, because Magento’s built for scalability, it also offers powerful marketing, search engine optimisation and catalogue-management tools to help you develop your store, and your customer base, over time. Having these built into your CMS can be incredibly helpful, especially as your inventory expands and your business becomes more complex.

Just like with WordPress and WooCommerce, we’re all set up to help you get even more out of Magento in our STORM hosting interface. You can add Varnish Cache in just one click, serving up pages sooner and making your website up to a massive 1,000x faster.

We’ve also made it easy to add Elasticsearch, a game-changing search tool that helps customers navigate your store better, dramatically boosting customer experience, and driving sales. Take a closer look at why Magento and STORM are such a great match.

How do I choose the right CMS for me?
Think about where your business is now – and where it’s heading. WordPress, WooCommerce and Magento are all brilliant CMS options, but they work best when they fit the size and scope of your company. Just because WooCommerce is really simple, or Magento scales super smoothly, doesn’t mean that’s necessarily the top priority for your specific business.

If you’re starting small and staying that way, WooCommerce deserves some serious consideration. It shortcuts your set-up journey and makes running your site easy and affordable. It’s especially handy if you’ve already got some WordPress experience, but if you haven’t, you’ll still find it a simple, practical, stress-free tool.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Magento is ideal for businesses looking to scale significantly. It’ll give you all the freedom and functionality to tailor your site and optimise your user experience, however big you grow. You’ll need some experience in e-commerce set-up and management, or a dev team who can do it for you, but once it’s in place it’ll help to propel your growth for a long time to come.

Whichever CMS you choose for your business, STORM is the perfect hosting platform, with a whole set of tools to optimise your WordPress, WooCommerce or Magento experience. Dive in and explore our packages – and if you’d like to talk things through drop us a line, raise a ticket or give us a ring on 0203 005 9180. We’d love to help.

Already on STORM? Love what it does for your sites? If you’d like to join our easy referral programme, you can earn a handy £50 Amazon gift card every time recommend us to someone and they sign up. Yep, every time. It only takes a minute and you can get started right here.

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