What is a CMS, and how do I choose the right e-commerce solution/CMS?

Posted on Feb 25, 2018

What is a Content Management System?

A content management system (CMS) is a software application, often browser-accessible, designed for easily publishing, editing, and organising content from a central interface.

At AB Web, we specialise in the development of customised CMS solutions for any purpose. Examples of some of our solutions can be found on our Portfolio page.

Website CMS

A web CMS is designed specifically to create, deploy and store content on web page. A web CMS includes text, photos, video, and audio which are displayed as easy to edit content, as well as the code which interacts with the user and provides layout/styling for the content.

A web CMS can index, select, assemble, and display content at any time based on the request of the user, such as for different viewing devices (mobile, tablet, desktop), in other languages, or for web-browser compatibility (IE, Firefox, Chrome, etc.).

Here at AB Web we have worked with numerous CMS platforms over the years, and have developed our own highly flexible, powerful CMS solution called AB Web CMS, which is used by many of our clients. Examples can be found here. To meet particular needs, we have developed a number of Plugins that can be installed on any AB Web CMS that provide specialised functions to your website.

E-commerce Solutions

Online shopping is a rapidly growing method for generating sales, which opens up numerous possibilities such as tapping into overseas markets.

In order to be able to sell online, you will need an e-commerce software solution. These can be stand alone, or built-in to an existing CMS.

How do I choose the right CMS / E-commerce Solution?

There are thousands of different e-commerce solutions and CMS platforms available on the market today. Many of these are specialised to suit a particular kind of website. E-commerce solutions and CMS platforms often go hand in hand, and are sometimes integrated into one package. The first step is to decide whether your website will be selling products online or simply offering services/information.

Selling Online?

In order to select the right solution for you, you should first consider a few important questions:

  • What type of products are selling?
  • How many products will you have online?
  • Do you need product variations?
  • Where will you sell to (countries/currencies/languages)?
  • How will you collect payment?
  • How will you calculate shipping cost?
  • Do you want blogs/forums?
  • Do you want to manage your own content and images?

If you can answer all of these questions, you have already achieved the first, and most important big step in determining the right CMS platform for you: Deciding exactly what you want out of your website. It is important to know exactly what you want before you begin, as a change of mind half-way through development can result in increased development time and costs.

Once you know what you want, you will then need to decide on an e-commerce solution to suit your needs. A website focussed on blogs, social media and news content, with a small online store, will require a very different CMS to a large e-commerce focussed website with thousands of products.

Choosing the right solution for your needs is very important, as it can greatly impact your shopper's experience, and your options for selling online. With thousands of solutions to choose from, this can be quite a daunting task on your own.

Luckily, we have years of experience in the matter and can offer you advice tailored to your needs. Simply Contact Us anytime to find out which CMS/E-commerce solution best fits your needs.