When it comes to eCommerce in South Africa, few platforms can rival the offering and service of Wix, WordPress, and Shopify, also known as “the big three”. Each has its own variety of uses and benefits, and these largely depend on what your needs are when it comes to building and developing a website.
Wix may be the easiest option for a fully built website at your fingertips, while WordPress could arguably be the best option for total creative control on all fronts of your website. And still, it could be said that Shopify is the better capital generator of the three.
As you can see, there’s a lot to talk about! So, we thought it would be a good idea for us to chime in on the conversation and get to grips with what each platform brings to the table. Whether or not we come up with a definitive winner, you’ll have to read on to find out.
Probably the best-selling point with Wix in South Africa is that it’s free to use. This doesn’t mean it’s only free, though. At its core, Wix is an easy-to-use website builder, mainly created for people who may not possess the tech-savvy skills of a web developer or someone ‘in the know’.
It’s a drag and drop, cut and paste kind of website builder that has been designed with simplicity and easy functionality in mind. Users can choose from over 800 designer-made templates to create their website, and can also upgrade their free plan to a paid plan which removes ads and allows online payments.
At the end of the day, if you’re not overly concerned about the technical stuff regarding your website, Wix might be the best solution for you. There’s no maintenance required for a Wix site, but there are limits in certain functionalities that you wouldn’t necessarily find in WordPress or Shopify, particularly in the eCommerce space.
As we’ve mentioned previously, WordPress is the people’s champion of website development. Unlike Wix, WordPress is a content management system (CMS) which gives you full control of everything design and content-wise on your website. While it may seem a little more complex than a Wix site, WordPress is known for its user-friendliness.
WordPress hosting in South Africa is two-fold because there are essentially two versions of WordPress, those being hosted WordPress and self-hosted WordPress. The difference between the two is that hosted WordPress acts more as a SaaS (Software as a Service) and you pay a monthly fee to access all the features of your site or eCommerce store, while self-hosted WordPress is software that you download and utilize on your own web server.
While WordPress does require a bit more learning to understand the fundamentals, a quick read of WordPress for dummies will sort you right out. At Rocketsoft, we use WordPress in South Africa as our weapon of choice.
Shopify in South Africa seems to be growing, and for good reason. It’s a hosted web application that provides users with seamless eCommerce opportunities, all based in the cloud. This means that anybody with an internet connection can access and manage a Shopify store.
Like hosted WordPress, Shopify is a SaaS tool and is a great option for any eCommerce site. The Shopify payment gateway is not just one, but over 100, and Shopify pricing in South Africa is more expensive than WordPress and Wix.
Which is Better?
The main thing to ask yourself when wondering which platform to use for your website is what you’re wanting from your website. As we’ve mentioned at the beginning of this article, Wix may be the easiest option for a quick and fast website that involves minimum effort to maintain. If that’s what you’re after, then go for it!
On the other hand, you might want your website to be the gateway to your business as a whole and set up an online store. Wix is probably not going to cut it to that end, but WordPress and Shopify will both be good options. You’ll need to consider your budget and other costs like hosting or domain registration charges, but both of these platforms will serve you well.
We’ve already mentioned that here at Rocketsoft we generally go with WordPress, and that’s because we think it best fits our model of website development and design. If, however, you’d like to go with Shopify, we’d be more than happy to accommodate that and help make your website and online store the best thing on the internet!
So, the question of which is better is not a simple “this or that” unfortunately. There’s plenty to consider before deciding, and we hope this article proves to be of some help as you begin the process of deciding.