That’s a good question and one that requires an in-depth answer. In today’s post I’ll cover my story on how I ended up with Big Commerce after trialling more than 30 shopping carts!
When I first started out in eCommerce, my cart of choice was Open Cart. It was simple to use, completely free and has a big community built around it… but I soon realised that function and feature wise, it’s very limited. And even though you can get hundreds of plugins, both free and paid ones, to work with Open Cart, in essence that just creates even bigger compatibility issues…
So I started to look for something more robust and feature-rich.
I knew that I wanted to go with a hosted shopping cart as I simply don’t have enough time to deal with all the technical problems that come with self-hosted carts. There are many advantages hosted carts offer over traditional, self-hosted solutions like:
Super-fast page loading times.
Most modern hosted carts use high speed, professional hosting and something called content delivery network (CDN). CDN is a way of distributing photos and other files from your shop to data centres all around the world. This means your shop loads fast no matter where your site visitors are and that’s hugely important for an eCommerce store, where you can get loads of international traffic and sales.
Live chat, email and phone support – I know that if something goes wrong with my shop, there will be professionals working 24/7 to help me fix it. I don’t want to have to rely on forums to help me find out what’s going on! I want to get professional help QUICKLY! And this is something most hosted carts offer.
On-going, hassle free updates.
This is what I love most about hosted carts – they do all the hard work for you in the background and just keep working on new features. We all know how fast eCommerce changes nowadays – there are new tools and marketing channels popping up every year – with hosted carts we don’t have to worry about making manual updates or compatibility issues as everything is taken care of for us.
Security, PCI compliance.
To take direct card payments on your shop, it must be PCI compliant. Now, to do this by yourself, with your own website, takes a lot of money and time plus you always have to stay updated with the latest changes. Hosted carts do this for you so you can spend your time on what matters most – traffic generation and sales.
Security of your site is another issue. Sure, you can pay a £1000+ per year on Mc Affee services (or similar) to secure your site but why do that when you can get almost the same service practically for free? [Read more…]