Is Shopify a CMS?

Shopify is the world’s leading online store builder with almost 20% of the market share. It’s one of the fastest ways you can start to set up your business and sell online to consumers.

If you go by a rough description of Shopify, then technically yes, it is a content management system because you can use it to manage the creation and modification of digital content, just like WordPress. But if you look below the surface, Shopify is much more than that.

What Makes a Good CMS?

A content management system is a piece of software that helps you create and manage a website with all the different types of pages and content you want.

A good CMS generally needs to first address your needs when it comes to your website, and preferably also be:

  • Easy to use and configure
  • Easy to customize
  • Perform well
  • Have the capacity to accept plugins for extra functionalities
  • Optimised in terms of search engine optimisation (allows meta descriptions, optimised page speed, easing navigation, etc.).

Because you’re interested in creating an online store, it makes sense to consider using Shopify as your main CMS, since the platform was specifically designed for this purpose.

Let’s look closer at what Shopify includes.

Everything You Need to Know About Shopify

Unlike other eCommerce platforms, Shopify works as SaaS (Software as a Service), meaning you don’t need to install anything on a personal computer since everything is stored in the cloud. In a way, it’s a combination between a CMS and a website editor.

Since it’s designed to help people create commerce platforms quickly, it also means that most of the elements of an online store you’d need for a functional website can be easily added to your site, such as add to cart buttons, product catalogues, payment gateways and more.

Let’s quickly analyse Shopify and what it can offer:

The Cost

Shopify is not a free service, but it does offer a 2-week free trial to test the platform. Then, you can choose a Shopify plan that best suits your need and budget:

  • Basic plan $29/month
  • Shopify plan $79/month
  • Advanced plan $299/month (best for large businesses)

Plus, you will also have to pay a fee for each credit card payment you accept, which can vary depending on the type of plan you choose.

Major features of Shopify

The eCommerce platform builder comes with many benefits:

  • Easy to use – Shopify is designed to help anyone set up an online store, no matter how extensive their technical skills are. Modifications can be done in real-time, templates can be quickly customised, essential functions such as a shopping cart are easily integrated, etc.
  • Included hosting – you can host your site on the Shopify server;
  • Customer service – for any issues or questions, you can always fall back on Shopify’s customer service, and even courses should you want to learn more.
  • Shopify app store – if the theme lacks a particular functionality, you can browse the app store and install an additional app in minutes.

Shopify vs. WordPress

Another very popular content management system is, of course, WordPress. But in the Shopify versus WordPress battle, who would win?

Well, WordPress doesn’t have eCommerce solutions on its own, but it does have the WooCommerce Plugin to help you set up an online business. The problem is, while Shopify makes the process as easy as possible, there is a slightly steeper learning curve when it comes to WooCommerce.

By comparison, features on Shopify almost seem automatically generated, since you can add them to your site with just a few clicks. So if you’re coming in with no technical skills and a tight deadline, Shopify lets you get your store running quicker.

Here are some other differences worth mentioning:

  • WooCommerce is completely free and doesn’t charge any commissions on payments;
  • WordPress and WooCommerce rely on plugins for additional functionalities, and too many plugins can slow down your loading time;
  • When it comes to SEO abilities, WordPress is more optimised for search engine positioning and any other platform, and you can easily add blog posts, titles and meta descriptions to improve SEO for your online store.

Final Thoughts

Commerce platforms must rise to certain consumer standards if they want to succeed in this market, and Shopify does all it can to ensure people have the chance to quickly set up fully functional online stores.

If you need help perfecting your Shopify store, book a free 30-minute strategy session with shopify ecommerce website design experts at Australian Internet Advertising now.