Over the previous 10 years we have used and tested several different Content management systems for e commerce. I am going to go through some of the different options available for a complete novice to save an awful lot of time and energy.
The first stage is to decide upon a content management system this is the key to the long term success of your online shop. The systems available all have there advantages and disadvantages where I look is the (SEO) Search engine optimisation features available and also the code used and its suitability and friendliness towards google.
The first system I am going to mention is oscommerce this system has been around for a longtime and as it is a open sourced system it has a massive amount of add ons available we use oscommerce and have found it to be a great system to use. The oscommerce sites also have a SEO pack that allows you to include a variety of titles and descriptions to each page. This is a must if all you items are going to be listed on google for the search results.
The next system is Joomla this is a system that is used by a lot of online shops but I have experienced problems upgrading from old versions of Joomla to new versions without losing important content. It does have seo plug ins available but I have found the entire structure of the Joomla system with the articles system not very user friendly it will take some time before you get used to the system but I am sure once you get to grips with it the system will work fine. But I do feel there are easier more user friendly systems out there.
Ekm Powershop is a fantastic system that we would recommend using available at around £30 per month you hire the shop from the company and log in online and add your content. The system is very easy to use what I would say is if you are serious about making the shop work well invest an extra £800 to £1000 in getting a custom designed template by there Photo shop experts. It really is so very easy to set everything up and you get the peace of mind of having a support team on the phone if required.
Another option is a custom designed CMS content management system by a smaller Web design company that is specifically coded and updated to your requirements. This will probably be more expensive but you will have one big advantage over the other systems that is total control which is one thing lacking in the other systems.
So to round things up if you are looking for a online shop we would recommend the following 3 systems –
1. Your own purpose built ecommerce CMS from your own Webmaster
2. Ekm powershop is a very cost effective proven system
3. Oscommerce a proven old system not to be over looked