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6 min read

Top Three E-Commerce Website Platforms For SMEs 2021

 Since the pandemic, the number of e-commerce websites has exploded. Many traditional retailers who previously benefited from having a physical presence found that they needed to adapt to serve customers online. 2020 saw many people lose their jobs, who then decided to take matters into their own hands and jump into the exciting world of e-commerce. The best thing about setting up an e-commerce website in 2021 is how much easier it has become. You no longer have to be a developer or a technical whiz to create websites with platforms like Wix and Shopify – anyone can do it!
Content management systems like Wix, Shopify and Woocommerce have reduced the need to have development knowledge to build an eCommerce website

The biggest challenge is finding a solution that works for you and then making it your own. In this guide, we provide a detailed breakdown of three of the top content management systems available, helping you decide which one is right for you.

What Is a Content Management System?

A content management system (CMS) is a piece of software that lets business owners create, upload and manage content on an e-commerce website, without needing to be an experienced developer.

So Why Do You Need a CMS?

You don’t need to be a technical expert

Creating a website in 2021 is just as easy as updating your Facebook, it is that simple! Many platform providers have entirely taken away the need to be a coding expert. A CMS makes it so easy to unleash your creativity, giving you the tools you need to recreate your dream in pixels.

Search engine optimisation

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the art of optimising your website for search engines like Google and Bing. Most content management systems now offer great built-in tools, making this task more manageable and less daunting for people who are not search experts.


Many of the CMS listed below come with pre-installed templates to get you started. Some platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce offer the facility to install templates from external sources too. Templates are a good starting point if you are looking to build a website for your business, as they are pretty much ready to edit from the get-go. Most templates are mobile responsive, with user experience (UX) and layout already considered. However, just a word of caution! Most templates come with pre-installed assets (images) and pre-written content as placeholders. Use this as a base and make the site unique to your business. Use your pictures and write unique content; reusing the content in the template will not just look sloppy and it will also derail your SEO efforts!

Which CMS Would Be Right for Your Business?

Below are three of the most popular CMS systems available in 2021.

2020 was an exciting year for Shopify; the pandemic saw the Canadian company take full advantage of the millions of businesses that turned online as a way to continue trading. According to the WSJ, the company was valued at over $117 billion (about £86bn), almost double its value in 2019.

So why is Shopify the go-to choice for businesses globally? Simplicity is the key; Shopify is regularly regarded as one of the easiest to use platforms available. It comes with many stunning, well-designed themes that look incredible on both mobile and desktop.

Shopify has grown exponentially during the pandemic, almost doubling its revenue in 12 months

Shopify Pros

  • Very easy to use all-in-one solution for e-commerce websites
  • Well built templates that have everything a small business needs
  • Free integration with Facebook, Amazon, eBay and Google
  • No need to pay for separate hosting but you can still use your domain name
  • Offers a thriving marketplace with many apps that provide advanced functionality
  • Comes with several essential tools to get you started (such as SEO)
  • 24/7 support
  • Can scale with your business as it grows
  • No need to worry about security and backups as this is all done automatically for you

Shopify Cons

  • Functionality is quite basic out of the box, you can install add-ons for additional functionally, but these can become costly if you need quite a few of them
  • Third-party add-ons can break, which may cause you a bit of a headache trying to get resolved, especially if your customers are reliant on particular add-ons features
  • Can be difficult to migrate away from Shopify if you decide to move to another platform, meaning you may end up trapped in the Shopify ecosystem
  • Blog functionality is quite limited in comparison to WordPress (although WordPress is available as an integration)

WooCommerce is a powerful CMS that is powered by the popular WordPress platform.

It is no secret that at LoudLocal we love WooCommerce; in fact, this very website is using WooCommerce! WooCommerce is an open-source CMS for e-commerce websites, based on the popular WordPress platform. It is highly customisable, has a ton of integrations and a vast community of developers and designers. If you are an existing WordPress user, you will feel at home using WooCommerce and should be able to get up and running relatively quickly. However, if you haven’t used WordPress previously, you may find it a bit of a learning curve at first. Also, WooCommerce is self-hosted, which means that you will need to find someone to host your website for you.

Woocommerce is a powerful website e-commerce content management system that is powered by the incredibly popular WordPress platform

WooCommerce Pros

  • Open-source gives you almost unlimited freedom to do what you want
  • Powered by WordPress, the worlds most popular website builder 
  • The base package is free of charge. But you will likely want to install add-ons to enhance the functionality of your site
  • Highly customisable, the only limit is your imagination
  • Great for scalability and ideal for companies with an aggressive growth strategy
  • No development skills are needed and easy to learn if you are happy to invest the time
  • Powerful SEO features and works with the popular Yoast SEO add-on
  • Lets you download your website in XMS format, making it easy to migrate away from if you ever decide to change CMS
  • A huge supportive community of developers and designers
  • Lots of well-made add-ons and integrations

WooCommerce Cons

  • Not great if you lack technical knowledge and don’t want to spend the time learning
  • Extensions can be expensive in comparison to similar extensions on other CMS systems like Wix and Shopify
  • Customer support is minimal and raw with an expectation that you have a certain level of technical knowledge
  • Self-hosted so you will need to find someone to host your site, consider security and backups (although some providers help with all three)
  • It is not an all in one CMS so you may need to pay separately for premium themes, add-ons and hosting
  • The highly customisable nature leads to lots of options, which can be a little daunting for new users


Wix is an easy to use and it is excellent for people with little or no technical knowledge.

Like Shopify, Wix is an all-in-one platform for e-commerce websites with everything you need to get your e-commerce website online. In our opinion, Wix is by far the most straightforward content management system to use as a result of its drag and drop builder (which also comes with limitations). It also has nearly 600 themes to pick from, though some of these are pretty dated. Wix is a great CMS to get you started, but unfortunately, it isn’t great for scalability and is impossible to move away from (unless you like cutting and pasting). But if you are looking for an essential website and want to get online quickly and easy, Wix may be the site builder for you.

Wix is an incredibly easy to use CMS that is great for people with little or no technical knowledge

Wix Pros

  • The website builder is straightforward, and you can build a website quickly and easily
  • Free option available letting you try out the features without committing
  • No coding skills required whatsoever
  • Wix ADI will build a site for you based on what you need
  • Lots of guides and help on the site
  • Free HTTPS (with paid plans)
  • Large app market with add-ons that significantly expand the functionality of your site
  • Great for short term projects such as microsites which serve a one-off need

Wix Cons

  • ADI sites are not great and may need tweaking to be representative of your brand
  • Wix websites tend to perform poorly for speed when using Google Pagespeed Insights
  • Very basic, although add-ons available you may reach a ceiling quite quickly if you plan to grow
  • Limited e-commerce functionality
  • There is no way to export your data if you decide to move to another CMS, you may find you end up locked into the Wix ecosystem
  • Wix Editor X requires technical knowledge or agency assistance

In Conclusion

As you can see from the above, each CMS has its own merits and shortcomings when building an e-commerce website. Wix is great for small businesses who want something basic and easy to use. Shopify ticks the boxes for ease of use and offers good scalability (if you don’t mind getting locked in its ecosystem. And Woocommerce is a cracking choice if you are happy to roll your sleeves up and do a bit of technical work yourself.

Need a Helping Hand?

If you prefer someone to do all the hard work for you, we will help! We design and build websites on all three platforms. We offer both bespoke website design and fixed price packages (designed for SMEs). 

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. We hope you found it useful. If you have any comments or suggestions then please leave a comment or request a call from one of our team by using the form below.


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