Nowadays online retailers can set up an online store in a matter of hours. They can choose to self-host or use a hosted platform. Both provide the basics of eCommerce businesses: a content management system, a connection to the internet, a basket, and product pages. Other than this, self-hosted and hosted platforms each have their own pros and cons. Let’s find out what these are, so you can make the right choice!
Self-hosted eCommerce platforms
Self-hosted eCommerce platforms are open-source applications that require web hosting. The best thing about self-hosted eCommerce platforms is that they give you absolute control and can be set up and run on a shoestring budget.
Having absolute control means that you or your developer can tweak the platform to fit your needs. You can add any additional features that you may need by adding plugins or extensions, creating them yourself, or hiring someone to make them for you. Furthermore, having full control means that you can choose your preferred hosting service.
Having a self-hosted eCommerce platform is the best option if you’re planning to grow your business because they make it easy to move your store.
The cons of self-hosted eCommerce platforms
You’re probably wondering: what’s the downside?
- One of the biggest downsides is that these platforms are often harder to set up. Often, it’s up to you to find a good hosting provider, a good eCommerce platform, and set the whole thing up.
- Furthermore, with self-hosted eCommerce platforms, there is often no technical support. This means that you will have to solve issues yourself.
Hosted eCommerce platforms are perfect when you need things up and running quickly, and don’t want to worry about all the technical details. Hosted eCommerce platforms are all-in-one solutions that offer everything you need ánd technical support. Depending on the size of your eCommerce business, you pay a price per month. eCommerce platforms often offer a discount when you pay several months in advance.
The biggest advantage of hosted eCommerce platforms is that they don’t require a lot of technical knowledge. They are easy to manage, offer good support, and are customizable.
The cons of hosted eCommerce platforms
- Hosted eCommerce platforms are often more expensive than self-hosted eCommerce platforms
- Whilst you can often customize your platform, the options will be limited.
- Whenever you want to switch the platform, this will be expensive and time-consuming.
Conclusion: Self-hosted or Hosted?
Both self-hosted and hosted eCommerce platforms will offer you the basics. Which one you choose depends on the amount of control you need, if you’re planning to grow your business, your budget, your technical knowledge, and the amount of time you have to set everything up.