Most online retailers, who are looking for the best platform for their online store, often do not consider one of the most important factors – the design of the online store. The look of your online store is the first thing a customer notices, when he or she visits your website. If the design seems outdated or lacks basic functionalities, it will raise suspicions whether the retailer is trustworthy and professional. Hosted shopping carts offer multiple templates, which can be used to create a modern-looking online store, while self-hosted solutions offer more freedom to experiment. Which option is better and more recommended for online retailers? In this article we’ll examine hosted vs self-hosted shopping carts and their impact on the design of your site.
Hosted shopping carts
The main advantage of hosted shopping carts is the simplicity of use – you can create your first online store within a few minutes, if you use ready-made templates, and even the most basic online store will look decent. Most providers of hosted shopping carts make sure that you have more than one option to choose from and some of the free templates are really professional and can be easily adjusted to your type of business. Of course, the simplicity has its own price. The easier it is to create the online store, the more limited is your control over the design. If you can’t or do not know how to improve the basic template, you will end up having an online store, which looks generic and similar to the stores of your competition. Although the template of your choice might seem modern and in line with current design trends, be prepared that a few months from now the trends will change and the template will not look as good as it does now. Hosted platform providers are usually the last to apply modern trends, so it might take a while before you have new options to choose from. The same applies to responsive design – although more providers use responsive design these days, there is no guarantee that the website will look good on every mobile platform available, especially on the new models of smartphones and tablets. Less control means that you probably will not be able to do anything about it.
Self-hosted shopping carts