Choosing the Best CMS as the Foundation for Your E-Commerce Site

By Mike Johnston November 16, 2017 Articles and Editorials

When you build a house you make a mess of the site, you dig lots of trenches and pour tons of concrete. You spend thousands, and then you cover it all up. Nobody ever won House of the Year because of their foundations.

When you build an e-commerce site, you choose a CMS, but you never want to see it again. You just want it to do its job: To work.

Can You Have an E-Commerce Site without Blogging?

You just want an e-commerce store without any content marketing?

Not possible. Won’t work.

Check out this Demand Centric study that shows content marketing out-performing traditional push-marketing.

Blogging and other content marketing generate three times more leads per dollar spent than traditional marketing.

Screenshot source

No company can ignore the possibility of getting thirty leads per week rather than ten. Blogging is a necessary and indispensable part of making your e-store profitable. It puts you higher in Google searches, attracts new prospects and establishes you as an industry expert. Write posts yourself, or work with a local blogger but, one way or another, you need regular content added to your blog.

And it needs to be top-notch content, not spun or illiterate, low quality $2 articles from an Upwork “writer.” Readers who see semi-literate writing judge you by it. Their opinion plummets, they hit the ‘Back’ button, and you lose a sale.

Store-Centered Blog

If your first priority is your Shopify store, and it should be, then a Shopify blog is the way to go. This is doubly true if you are driven by the need for simplicity.

Check out the Shopify site to see just how simple the CMS platform is to use. If you are concerned about SEO, you needn’t be, as this Shopify SEO guide explains. Shopify encourages you to use title tags, meta-descriptions, and alt-image tags, all of which will help Google to find your site.

Setting up a Shopify blog is as simple as pouring your coffee into a mug. It has the added advantage that you can set it up as a yourshopifysite.com/blog sub-directory on your main site. A Shopify blog is probably better for SEO purposes because any links to your blog content are more likely to enhance your e-commerce site’s standing.

This is the option to choose if you are primarily an e-commerce business owner and blogging is a secondary interest.

If you have doubts about using Shopify, then read this CMScritic review. It dates back a few years, but the improvements since then make your decision even more obvious. Shopify must be the CMS choice for anyone looking for simplicity.

Blog-Centered Store

If you anticipate blogging being the core of your business, you can install a Shopify plugin on a blog.

This has two disadvantages; you may need to pay a developer to set up your blog, and your blog address will be a sub-domain, e.g., blog.yourshopifysite.com.

Having a separate WordPress.org blog does mean you will be able to customize your site to your heart’s content, but it will take time, which is the one thing you are desperately short of as a business owner.

This is the option to go for if you are primarily a blogger and your e-commerce store is a secondary interest.

The Short Version

If you don’t have a few thousand to throw around and you don’t want to see your CMS once you have set it up, then use the Shopify blog option. It isn’t all-singing and all-dancing, but it does the job and is more straightforward and quicker than setting up a separate WordPress blog.

The exception is if you already have a blog set up that has natural links directing visitors to it. In this case, keep your blog going and install a Shopify plugin. You will need a Shopify subscription anyway, so set so set up a separate Shopify site as well as your blog and interlink the two.

Your separate e-commerce store will take next to no time to set up, and minimal weekly maintenance to boot. You could even do two versions of each blog post with one for your WordPress blog and one for your Shopify blog.

Mike Johnston

Mike Johnston Author

Mike started CMS Critic in 2008 and has become a recognizable face and valued expert in the world of content management. He has worked with many small business and enterprises to establish their online presence and to assist with marketing strategies. If you are interested in working with him, drop him a line.

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