Choosing the Right Shopping Cart for You Based on Hosted vs Self-Hosted eCommerce

Profitable online e-commerce stores must have an established shopping cart software. Choosing the right shopping cart is difficult, especially when you are trying to find one that will fit the needs of your company best. One of the first steps that you should take when finding the right software, is choosing which solution would benefit you most: a self-hosted or a hosted e-commerce platform.

A self-hosted shopping cart is the perfect option for you if you are looking for both flexibility and full control over your shopping cart. In addition, you have the responsibility of setting it up. Usually these softwares come as open-source packages. Chose this option if you are an advanced user who is knowledgeable in the language that the software is written in, such as PHP for example. With the right skills, you are able to customize it the way that you’d like to and the pricing is usually much cheaper. In fact, often times, you only have to pay for a one-time fee in addition to the normal cost of paying to host your site.

Here are a few options of self-hosted shopping carts:

1. Magento

2. WooCommerce

3. OpenCart

4. Spree Commerce

5. Solidus

6. osCommerce

However, if you do not want the hassle of managing a shopping cart on your own, find a hosted shopping-cart. This is the solution for you if you are a beginner with limited knowledge of software languages. These e-commerce platforms often have customer support available to you at any time of the day. They also provide you with the software and hosting, also known as SaaS (software as a service). On the other hand, you cannot access the software code. However, be ready to spend a little more money on this option. Often, there is a monthly fee that you have to pay. Some softwares take a share of your sales. Additionally, if you do end up switching from one shopping cart to another, be prepared to have some difficulties in the process.

Here are a few options that you can chose from:

1. Shopping Cart Elite

2. Volusion

3. BigCommerce

4. Shopify

5. ekmPowershop

To get a better idea of which type of solution to choose from, think about this analogy that some people have begun comparing it to. Make this decision the same way you would when choosing to take the bus or car. If you decide to take the bus, you’ll only go the way of the bus route. Additionally, you don’t need to own or maintain the bus. On the other hand, if you take your car, you have the luxury of going wherever you want with it. You aren’t stuck with taking only one route. However, you are in charge of paying for it and maintaining it. The same goes with a hosted versus a self-hosted shopping cart. With the hosted solution, you have less responsibility whereas with the self-hosted one, you have more freedom in addition to the responsibility.