Generally, our clients have a clear focus when they ask us to design and implement a website for them: they want an easy way to manage and deliver their blog and website content, or they want an effective e-commerce software for selling products. And, of course, sometimes (ok, most of the time) they want both!
E-Commerce and Content Management System (CMS) products rarely do both of those things well. So, what should a business owner if the business website needs to have CMS functionality and a comprehensive e-commerce solution? Easy! Use the best tool for each job.
Here are 5 reasons why it’s a good idea to keep your CMS and e-commerce software separate :
Most e-commerce solutions have some kind of content management feature that allows you to create static pages, but they rarely have full-featured blogging, media and editing functionality that our clients need. Most CMS systems have plugins available that provide a way to sell products but they rarely have inventory management, tax calculators, shipping calculators, etc.
For e-commerce, we always suggest using a hosted solution like Ecwid (for smaller stores) or Bigcommerce (for larger operations). Hosted solutions have your entire online store hosted on their servers. That way, they can keep your software up to date and provide the safest environment possible. This means that your store stays safe, even if you forget to run your website updates.
In our experience, the workflow for generating and managing your content and the workflow for managing your online store and products are very different from one another. Having two separate types of environment allows keeping the tools you need for the specific task at your fingertips, thus eliminating the interface clutter.
Often, the person who manages inventory and order fulfillment is not the same person who needs to be writing blog posts, especially in larger operations. Having two discreet systems makes keeping those roles separate much easier. This in turn can protect you from “accidents” made by someone stumbling into the wrong part of the admin dashboard!
5) Future Proofing
What happens if you grow out of your e-commerce solution? What happens if you grow out of your CMS? If they are separate, you can just upgrade the part that needs the attention rather than having to migrate everything to a new system.
Are there any drawbacks to keeping things separate? Sure there are – it means two templates, two sets of logins and two pieces of software to learn. But, in the end it can make life a lot easier to use the best tool for the job.
What do you think? Tell us in the comments below.