E-Business growth has been on a constant rise and it promises to grow much more in the coming years. Most brick-and-mortar stores are now leveraging online platforms for sales, a term known as e-commerce. To build an effective e-commerce website, choosing the best Content Management System (CMS) is very crucial. This is why we have compiled a rundown of the best free CMS for eCommerce that you should know.
What is a CMS?
CMS(Content Management System) is defined as software that helps users create, manage and modify content on a website with the aid of any specialized technical knowledge.
In other words, CMS (Content Management System) is defined as a tool that helps you design a website without the use of writing any code from scratch or without the knowledge of how to code.
Content Management system works in such a way that in place of designing your website; that is inputting your slides and images, and other functions, the content management system helps establish necessary infrastructures, allowing you to focus on other parts of your website. Part of our expertise at Iconic Digital World is to help recommend the best CMS for your specific business. Already own a website? Start by taking advantage of our free online website evaluation tool today.
What features should I look out for in an eCommerce CMS?
There are vital features of a CMS (Content Management System) which is essential for your eCommerce to run efficiently. They include:
a. It is Optimizable for UX (User Experience):
User experience is arguable the most important feature to consider when choosing a CMS for your eCommerce business. Basically, it should be easy to navigate, with designs that allow the user to find what he or she is looking for in the shortest amount of time.
b. Flexible Design:
For your CMS (Content Management System), having a flexible design option implies that you can decide to create the content on every page to your personal taste and also meet the demands of your customers (i.e, an engaging and itch-free experience). As an individual with little or no knowledge of coding, selecting an easy-to-use CMS(Content Management System) is very important. This will allow you to upgrade your design, as well as your page layout responding to industrial upgrades and special events.
As more people shop online from their mobile phones, and peradventure your online store isn’t developed for this, you will be missing out on many convertible opportunities. This means that your CMS(Content Management System) should be able to power up your online business from being slacked to improving its performance regarding speed, easy mobile navigation, and other elements that can enhance customer experience.
d. It is SEO(Search Engine Optimization) Friendly:
The purpose of SEO is to ensure that the online store is found ranking, and highly resourceful to the owner and also the consumer.
e. It is Easy to Use:
The Sole Purpose of a CMS (Content Management System) is to help businesses manage their store efficiently. However, when using the software, it should not give the owner of the online business more work. This implies that if you are a small-sized business owner, you will have to look for CMS platforms that will be easy for you to use and also manage yourself.
Furthermore, this platform admin should also be user-friendly and also you to carry out basic tasks like updating content, and changing page layout ceaselessly. It should also be flexible to allow you to try out new things which will continue to improve the User Experience(UX)
f. Availability for integrations:
Not every CMS is perfect, more reasons why third-party extensions and plugins are necessary. However, you could check out how easily the system synchronizes with other tools and the available number of extensions for a particular CMS. The number of integrations available reveals if the platform is popular.
BENEFITS OF USING CMS FOR ECOMMERCE
In choosing the best free cms for eCommerce here are some benefits which will help in your decision making:
- Simplified Collaboration.
- Simplified Content Scheduling
- Improved Security
- Mobile friendly
- Faster Installation
- No Coding Experience needed
- Excellent Support
- Cost-Effective and Affordable
People tend to refrain from difficulty to use the software. What CMS( Content Management System) for eCommerce does to the user is that it simplifies the usage as it does not require any foreknowledge to be able to navigate through.
ii. Simplified Collaboration:
Using a CMS makes it easier for multiple users to do a combination of a single content. For example, is where a writer can decide to write an article post while the designer can input the images. Then the content manager can go through it and then publish it on the website.
iii. Simplified Content Scheduling:
Having to schedule content from various ends can be a bit messy and disorganized. However, using a content management system helps draft your content and place it for later publishing. It means that you can schedule content weekly, monthly, etc. so you do not have to be bothered about it getting misplaced.
iv. Improved Security:
A breach is data is a constant threat that lurks around businesses both large and small, especially during the pandemic period( Covid-19). Online Businesses have been the primary target of hacking.
However, if your business has a website, creating a strong security system is very important. Though some type of CMS comes with security featured backings, there are instances that they are not sufficient enough.
One of the benefits of the CMS(Content Management System) is that the cloud-based system helps you access them as long as you get access to the internet. This makes it practical for you and the team to work remotely anywhere around the world.
The use of mobile phones has a long time surpassed the use of desktops as even Google itself puts more on mobile websites. This means that you need to ensure that your website looks very good and can run fast on mobile phones.
However, some CMS are most time mobile-friendly from the moment of installation but you have also ensured that the plug-ins you use are also compatible with your mobile devices.
vii. Faster Installation:
Another benefit of a content management system for eCommerce is that it is fast in installing and upgrading compared to when you code a website from scratch. CMS is equipped such that business owners can get the website up very quickly.
viii. No Coding Experience Needed:
Using CMS (Content Management System) does require that you have a piece of knowledge about how to code to set it up. Most CMS comes equipped with a what you see is what you get toolbar which makes it easy for editing.
ix. Excellent Support:
When using your CMS System, you would not want to encounter a problem whereby shows you an error 404. However, you want the support team for CMS to be reachable every time and day. Most CMS open-source does not offer any support so it is advisable you go with one that offers excellent support.
x. Cost-Effective and Affordable:
Having a static website to maintain can be very expensive. Asides from the cost, you might also have to consider the processing time which can take a few days before updates on your website go live on your site. However, using a content management system can save you both time and money. You no longer have to pay a web designer/ developer to help make certain changes. You can make the changes yourself and have them published at the time you need them.
FREE CMS FOR eCOMMERCE
Now having understood the characteristics, and benefits of CMS (Content management system), some specific CMS will come In handy and are relatively free for your online business (eCommerce) and they include:
Wix comes packed in a user-friendly website builder that allows you to create your eCommerce website in a very easy way; which is with a mere drag and drop using Wix’s ADI artificial intelligence designer. Using Wix, you can design customize it without having knowledge about coding.
Free plans and features with using Wix:
- It helps with Online Presence with free and secure web hosting
- You have up to 500MB bandwidth and 500MB storage imputed
- Availability of over a hundred fully customizable templates, mobile-optimized website
- Access to the extensive collection of icons, imagery, and also free apps.
- You have the supply of SEO Assistance, Email Marketing, and other marketing gadgets.
- Plus it comes with a free Wix domain name
- It is SEO and Mobile Friendly
- Google Analytics is also Included
- It is hassle-free coding for advanced functionality
- More importantly, it is a great eCommerce website builder.
This is an extension of WordPress and a fully-featured tool that has all the essential features of an eCommerce you would need plus there is a huge extended ecosystem that allows you to build on WooCommerce’s main offering thereby making it fit your needs perfectly.
WooCommerce is a delight for professional users in that it gives you a complete grip over your eCommerce website. For a beginner, it is a complete solution package to start your online store, upgrade, and also learn as you grow the online business.
Free Plans and Features Using WooCommerce:
- You can sell anything whether physically or digital goods
- It is easy to install and use
- It is straightforward when you want to add your products
- The Free WooCOmmerce gives you free themes which help you in designing your online store the way you want it
- It allows multiple currencies to sell globally
- It integrates with multi-channel shipping options.
It is an open-source eCommerce Platform with extensive backend code. Over 300,000 online store owners have used their platform according to Prestashop.
Being a store owner, you have the leverage to choose a self-hosted or fully hosted version and customize the storefront easily. This platform has all the necessities for online stores, however, you can choose to improve your performance with the addition of plug-ins and themes.
Free Plans and Features Using PrestaShop:
- It can create products and add variants quickly
- You manage your inventory easily
- Customization takes place with ease( which includes shipping methods, and display of products)
- You can configure a one-page checkout.
- It gives room for promoting specific products and recommending products
- It is free.
- You have an overview of your main data and also helps you forecast.
- It is easy to install and configure
- As a user, you can work on it without any programming skills.
This platform is also free to open source is a featured package and is easy to set up and use. OpenCart offers a large number of templates for online stores and a thriving marketplace with over 13,000 extensions. Furthermore, OpenCart comes integrated with over 36 payment gateways and 7 most popular methods. If your online business is a small budgeted one, we can recommend you start selling with OpenCart.
5. Free Plans and Features Using OpenCart:
- It is mobile friendly
- It creates an avenue to manage more than one store in an account
- It gives room for unlimited categories and products
- It is free, easy to use and to set up
- It has plenty of functionalities to support your online business
- It includes Meta description and meta keywords for SEO purposes
This is an open-source platform established in 2008 which currently powers about 250,000 websites. Magento is reputable for its great flexibility, which is an important factor for businesses that requires a great level of customization.
It provides powerful out of box features like B2B functionalities and Multi-stores etc.
Free Plans and Features Using Magento
- It is optimized for mobile phones
- It has a page builder for commerce
- You can make instant purchasing
- The catalog can be effectively managed
- Payment, shipping, and checkout can be integrated
- It loads faster and has a user-friendly dashboard
- It gives a high level of security patches.
- It comes with a wider range of extensions.
Drupal is one of the most comprehensive eCommerce platforms available. It was built by the commerce guys and they offer multilingual, multicurrency, global functionality which makes it perfect for an e-learning course provider(example). Drupal is popular with large enterprises.
Free Plan and features using Drupal:
- It is highly flexible and customizable
- They have more options for creating mobile websites
- It supports the use of multiple languages
- Using Drupal, there is an in-built workflow system.
- Drupal separates the backend and front end of an online business such that it helps you create content easily and publish it when you like.
This platform is different from other eCommerce platforms because its model fits into a very unique niche. It is designed to add some eCommerce functionalities to an existing website.
This service provides a small piece of code that you can easily add to your website. Hence, the reason for their short alias (Ecommerce widget)
Free Plan And Feature Using Ecwid
- It is to plug into a website that is already running.
- It can translate into over 53 different languages
- It is very easy to start dropshipping while you use Ecwid
- Allows multi-currency payment methods.
- You can use Ecwid on its own
- It is easy and remarkable to start selling your products on the website.
In the industry of Online Business today, the quality of your website plays a large role in the share of the online market you’d get. Using a great CMS (Content Management System) for your eCommerce will help you create an outstanding website without any itch.
Looking for the best? Iconic Digital World designs under intuitive eCommerce websites with the most recommended CMS for your specific business. Reach out today to take your eCommerce business digital!