Custom eCommerce Websites

An eCommerce website is one that sells products, services or anything else that requires payment details to be entered – and taken – through the website interface. There are a number of eCommerce-specific solutions available, all of which we have a significant amount of experience developing on. These are:

  • Shopify
  • Magento
  • Big Commerce
  • Presta Shop
  • WooCommerce

All of these platforms both have their strengths and weaknesses and the appropriate solution for you comes down to the nature of your requirement. (These are just to name a few)

A highly customised eCommerce website that has a very specific set of parameters that it needs to follow, requires a highly customised solution. Platforms like Magento, Big Commerce, and WooCommerce allow for a significant amount of customisation to be achieved.

A simple website that is designed to sell product (as an example) but does not need any esoteric functionality, can be constructed using Shopify. Shopify is an out-of-the-box solution that works in a similar way to Wix or Weebly for smaller sites. Shopify is the host and you pay a monthly subscription to them to in effect “rent” your website.

Given that it is an out-of-the-box solution, there is a limited amount of customisation you can do before the website’s core code is compromised. However, the Shopify store has many themes, plugins and apps that you can take advantage of to build your perfect eCommerce solution.


Taking payment through your website has never been easier. PayPal was once the only way to effectively and efficiently capture payment, now there are literally dozens of merchant providers that will integrate into your eCommerce solution no matter where you are in the world.

The most popular merchant facilities are:

  • Stripe
  • PayPal
  • SecurePay
  • eWay
  • 2 CheckOut

All of these companies will allow you to accept payments through your website. Some, like PayPal, are often thought of as a solution that does not allow for credit card (or debit card) transactions to occur. This is not the case. PayPal will allow for credit and debit card transactions, you do not need a PayPal account to make a purchase via PayPal.

Other alternatives, such as Stripe, have become increasingly popular. Stripe is easy to integrate into most solutions and delivers money into your Australian bank account within 24-48 hours.

We can consult with you on the most appropriate solution for your requirements since the sort of eCommerce site you have, the nature of the business, the volume of the transations you expect to fulfil and the location of your target audience in relation to your warehouse (not relevant for digital downloads) will impact the decision on what is the best payment merchant provider for you.


Here are a list of the advantages and what we believe are the disadvantages of the main eCommerce platforms.

Shopify: Pros

  • It is easy to use for non-technical people
  • It has its own in-built POS system that makes setting up the payment gateway easy
  • It is very easy to scale your store inventory from a few products to thousands

Shopify: Cons

  • It is not opens-source, making customisation difficult
  • The basic plan has limited features
  • The “add-ons” required to make your website convert well can add up in monthly costs

Magento: Pros

  • It is open-source making customisations easier if you have developers at your disposal
  • It has multi-language features
  • It integrates into many other systems like Oracle, SAP and other leading CRM solutions

Magento: Cons

  • It takes time to build a website using Magento as the framework
  • Whilst the community-version is free, the paid subscription, (recommended for exceptionally large websites) known as the ‘enterprise edition’ comes with an annual licence fee starting at $18,000 USD.
  • Technical support is often required to maintain the site if you wish to scale

Big Commerce: Pros

  • It is a stable all-in-one solution for business with scale in mind
  • It has a 15-day free trial to familiarise yourself with the easy-to-use interface
  • It’s monthly pricing is comparable to Shopify but does not have transactional fees

Big Commerce: Cons

  • It is closed-source, making customisation difficult
  • Themes in the Big Commerce store are expensive
  • There is no ‘lite’ version of the system, making it better suited to larger projects

Prestashop: Pros

  • It is open source, so customisation is possible with the appropriate skillset
  • It is easy to install and maintain
  • It requires minimal system requirements to run the store

Prestashop: Cons

  • There is no ‘official’ support team
  • There is limited scaleability
  • The free, basic version does not come with many of the applications you’ll need, so the costs to develop a site will inevitably increase

WooCommerce: Pros

  • Setting up a WooCommerce site is easy and does not require any technical knowledge
  • It integrates with WordPress, both systems are licence-free to use
  • It is SEO friendly, making it ideal if you wish to rank your website organically

WooCommerce: Cons

  • Only works with WordPress
  • Security is the responsibility of the website owner (we can take care of this)
  • Advanced features, similar to Shopify, require additional plugins


We grow businesses through considered digital strategies and measurable outcomes. Contact Us Site Marketing Solutions are a Melbourne based, full service digital agency specialising in search marketing and online development.

Site Marketing Solutions are a Melbourne based, full service digital agency specialising in search marketing and online development.

  • Shaun

    0407 319 303

  • Richard

    0420 869 380

  • info@sitemarketingsolutions.com.au

  • LaunchPad – 132 Cremorne Street, Cremorne Vic 3121

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