Custom Ecommerce by ITBOOST Australia or Shopify?
Last updated: 2020-11-04
Shopify or a custom website for my online shop? That’s the question many business owners find themselves asking, and we’re going to demystify it in this post.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is one of the numerous subscription-based online shop providers, and certainly the leading one in the market. It allows you to set up your online E-commerce website and begin to sell products online immediately. No coding experience or Webhosting knowledge is required, all you are required to do is to sign up for an account and build your online-shop choosing from a dozen pre-built templates and fill it up with your products. Currently, Shopify hosts over 1,000,000 websites ranging from local businesses / start-ups to big e-commerce stores.
1. Custom-built website vs. Shopify: Pricing
Shopify charges you for their online website-builder monthly. The rate depends on the plan you choose and the payment method in your shop. Basic Shopify provides all you need to start a new online business from unlimited products to gift cards and shipping discount for 29 USD per month (41 Australian Dollars/month), but imposes some limitations on the number of staff accounts (maximum 2 staff are allowed), locations and lacks some advanced features such as professional report generator or multilingual stores.
Shopify Plan is designed to meet growing shops and offers more features and a lower payment fee for 79 USD/month (111 Australian Dollars/month). A larger business with more than 5 users has no means but upgrading to Shopify Advanced Plan with a sudden price jump to 299 USD/month (420 Australian Dollars/month). Add to these costs few bucks you should pay to buy a domain name from Shopify or other third-party registrars as well as the transaction fee for every product you sell unless you use Shopify Pay.
When you go for a custom website you should afford for a domain name, hosting, templates and hire a professional web designer.How Much Does it Cost to Build a Website?. The price varies from a few hundred dollars to many thousands based on the size of your shop and what you need. The best is that you only pay for what you use and you have full control over the features and content.
2. Custom-built website vs. Shopify: Features and Customisability
Thanks to its rich array of features, you can change Shopify based on your needs. The Software comes with a dozen of themes you can customise to reflect your store’s goals and objectives. All Shopify themes are responsive and optimised for mobile shopping. So, you don’t have to worry about missing the growing number of customers that prefer mobile shopping. Shopify also includes a built-in e-commerce tool that lets you monitor your store analytics and make a better decision for customer satisfaction.
On the other hand, like all mass-market solutions, it’s very difficult to customise store features beyond the offered themes, and migrating to other e-commerce is a big headache. Besides, the shops built with online website builders almost look the same and lack personality and optimised user interface.
If you want an online store that designed keeping in mind your company’s needs and objectives, undoubtedly a custom-built website is your way to go. When you hire our web design professionals at IT BOOST Australia, we will look thoroughly in your website’s frontend and backend and make them more effective for both user-experience and Search Engines Indexing. Also, using a website-builder may lead to a website that is similar to your competitor, while, a custom-designed brings your online business to light and make your shop unique among others.
3. Custom-built website vs. Shopify: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
It’s said that if you provide the right content on your website, Search Engines like Google will assign your shop a high page rank in the search results. But that’s only half-truth. If your website is loading slow or its structure is not optimised to be visible to the Search Robots, even the best doesn’t help your shop appear on the first page of search results. That’s where a custom-built online store comes into the equation. Despite Shopify themes that give you limited options for SEO, you can tweak your website so that it would be ranked higher in Google and draw more traffic (and sales) to your website.
4. Custom-built website vs. Shopify: Site Maintenance and Security
Unless you have access to a large development team which includes Website Security Experts, ensuring that your online store will not be hacked is almost impossible. Instead, when you use hosted solutions like Shopify the responsibility of your shop security lies totally with them. They should keep the entire system up-to-date and fix any security vulnerabilities they come across.
Other than keeping your shop running and products updated, with Shopify you don’t have to worry too much about site maintenance. The technical staff will manage and configure servers, update software, etc. behind the scene. Conversely, when you have a custom-made shop you should constantly monitor your website’s hardware and software or hire a professional to care about your shop’s health and maintenance. However, we at IT BOOST Australia have tried hard to keep all our customers' website super-secure at the lowest price for them
5. Custom-built website vs. Shopify: Control Over Your Content
In Shopify, what you put on your shop is subjected to their acceptable user policy and Shopify can remove your content (or even the entire site) without your permission whenever they find a conflict. In comparison, you are free to choose what to put on your custom-built online store made by IT BOOST Australia. Admittedly, the company that has provided you with the hosting can still close your shop when they don’t like what you are publishing online. But in that case, you will have more options, for examples, if you have a backup of the website (as recommended and IT BOOST Australia takes backups regularly), you will be able to migrate to a hosting with a less strict content policy and keep your online shop and customers up.
Besides, it’s usually easier to transfer a custom website to another hosting provider or backup content than in Shopify. Although Shopify provides some tools that let you get the content from your online store, they’re not as effective and user friendly as tools suggested by other content management systems such as WordPress or even WooCommerce.
6. Custom-built website vs. Shopify: Multilingual / Multiple sites
Many international businesses require their shop delivered in multiple languages and can be accessed from multiple locations. Shopify offers multilingual and international websites, but the number of locations and flexibility to customise the online shop for each language is limited.
With a custom-made online store, you are welcome to add as many locations/languages you need. You can even distribute the web hosting around the world or use technologies such as CDNs to provide website visitors with a better experience and get a higher ranking in search engine results.
7. Custom-built website vs. Shopify: Customer Support
It’s no denying that Shopify offers the best support package in the industry. They have included a 24-7 support with Live chat, email and phone in all plans except the Lite one (Only Live Chat and Email is supported).
The situation is different with a custom-built shop in which you will receive a limited support for your website unless you requested the service at the time of ordering website. Hence, it’s fair to say that support, security and maintenance is where Shopify beats custom-built online stores, especially when aimed to use by start-ups or small-scale companies. However, if you have a large-scale enterprise or a fast-growing business and looking for a unique look and feel as well as a wider range of scalability and flexibility, you’d better go for a website made exclusively for you by IT BOOST Australia.