When it comes to designing and developing your website for an online store and to get your small business off the ground, unless you’ve studied these fields for a very long time, you’re going to want to call in the experts to help shift your products or services online. The problem is knowing who to call. Do you go with a freelance web designer, a front-end developer and a back-end developer or an all-in-one eCommerce solution? Both have their pros and cons and sometimes it just comes down to which one will be better suited to help your business thrive.
Freelance Web Developers
There are many great freelance web developers out that there that choose to work for themselves opposed to being employed by a larger organisation. But is choosing to hire a freelance web designer better for your business than opting for all-in-one eCommerce solution for web development? Take a look at some of the pros and cons of freelance web developers to help you answer that:
Knowledge and skills:
- Pros: They’re extremely versatile and good at what they do. You can talk directly to a freelance web developer, tell them exactly what you want and they will go off and create it for you. Any changes that need to be made can be tweaked as and when and because they’d be familiar with the code and layout already, shouldn’t take too long to do. You can’t do that quite as easily with a package bought eCommerce solution.
- Cons: Most web developers are highly skilled in various areas. However, there are not many out there who excel in all areas. There’s only so much knowledge one person can possess and a single freelance web developer will never be able to match the knowledge and skills of a whole team.
- Pros: Because they work for themselves, freelancers are often a lot more flexible than if you were to need the providers of your eCommerce solution. They may even be prepared to work on site should you need them too. That won’t happen with the alternative. Even though web developing is a tough job, it’s still incredibly competitive and so often they’ll be more than happy to work around your requirements.
- Cons: On one hand, having a flexible freelance web developer working for you is great. However, unless you check their schedule in advance, you may find yourself fighting for their time which is not very productive when you’re in the middle of building or fixing your website. If you choose a freelancer that’s often away overseas and unreachable, you may want to consider an alternative.
- Pros: If you have a web developer build your site from scratch, then you know that it will all be original. With eCommerce solutions, you are choosing a design package from what’s already available and will be limited in terms of what bespoke features you want to add in.
- Cons: If for some reason your web developer is ill or ends the contract, because of its uniqueness, it may take another developer a while to get up to speed with it.
All-in-One eCommerce Solutions
These platforms are built for simplicity. All the foundation work has already been done and any time a client requires the services of an all-in-one eCommerce provider; all that’s needed is a little customisation. It’s essentially an out-of-the-box eCommerce solution, also known as eCommerce solutions, that’s designed to get your website up and running as quickly as possible. Some of the main ones businesses use are WooCommerce, Magento and Shopify.
Knowledge and skills
- Pros: With most eCommerce solutions you’ll do your own modifying. These platforms have been designed to be user-friendly and for those with very little experience. Plus, other than a few customisation options to choose from, everything else has been done.
- Cons: You are limited to what you can do with many of these eCommerce solutions. Of course, there is help on hand to help, but the bulk of the work will be carried out by you in terms of personalising the platform. So, if you’re not very creative or at least competent with a computer, this may not be the best option for you. Remember that you also need a front-end developer and a back-end developer.
- Pros: You can easily add app extensions to your eCommerce package as long as you know what you’re doing. These apps are already pre-made and can be implemented on your site within minutes.
- Cons: You can only add what’s available and what’s there might not be quite what you were looking for. Customisation options are limited. While there is slightly more scope available by getting into the code, it is still very restricted.
- Pros: If you go for an all-in-one eCommerce solution you can still adapt it in some ways to make it unique, but your options are quite limited in comparison to what a web developer can do. On the plus side, it will be implemented much quicker.
- Cons: You probably won’t be able to implement all the features that you think of with this option as most of the foundation is already in place and much of the site won’t be so easy to manipulate.
A word about price
Building and maintaining a website is a serious investment, whichever way you look at it. With freelancers, you’re normally paying a daily or hourly rate depending on how many hours they put in. With the packaged eCommerce solutions, you pay a monthly subscription (and for some premium packages a hefty upfront cost too) and get as much help as you need throughout the month. Depending on your situation and how much tweaking you think you’ll need to do, may sway your decision on that one.
Hopefully, you will now have some idea of which solution will work best for you. As you can see both options have their advantages and disadvantages, you just need to find the one that will give you what you need but not cost over the odds in the long run.