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The best e-commerce platforms of 2019

Here are six of the best e-commerce platforms.

Take a look
Save time with ready-made platforms
Simplicity: E-commerce platforms are simple to use
Security: Online store is more secure

What is an electronic commerce platform and what is it used for?

The definition of an e-commerce platform is a software technology solution that enables you to build an online store and run a business online. E-commerce software provides you with tools that facilitate inventory management, help you to calculate taxes, and make it easier to add or remove products in your store. E-commerce platforms can be very beneficial for those without technical backgrounds since the software takes care of a lot of the operation.
E-commerce software enables you to have everything you need to run your store in one place. If there are tasks that the platform cannot undertake, it’s possible to link other integrations (e.g. Twitter, Facebook) to the platform so you don’t have to switch between different services all the time. Choosing the right e-commerce platform is crucial for your business. The general rule of thumb is that the more flexible the software is, the less simplistic it will be.
Many design possibilities
Top notch site security
Easy to create pages and content
Ability to grow as your store expands
Expand capabilities with third party plugins
Online support
Multi-channel functionality

A comparison of the top 6 e-commerce providers of 2019

E-commerce platformAdvantages/disadvantagesSuitable for?
Magento+ Flexible and scalable
+ More features than most platforms
+ Mobile friendly
+ Large community
- Expensive
- Dedicated server needed to host platform
Small-sized business
Medium-sized business
Enterprise
WooCommerce+ Large community
+ Great choice of free and paid themes
+ Customer and admin accounts with different rights
- More difficult to set up than other platforms
- Security could be improved
Small-sized to large-sized businesses
PrestaShop+ Simple to install and use
+ Flexible and doesn't require fast internet connection
+ Supports multiple currencies and languages
- Expensive modules
- Minimum scalability
Small-sized to large-sized businesses
osCommerce+ Huge active community
+ Over 8,000 free integrations available
+ Easy to use
- Security could be improved
- Difficult to customize
Small-sized to large-sized businesses
Freelancers
b2evolution+ Top security
+ Easy to upload and edit web content
+ Possible to run multiple blogs on one platform
- Not a vast range of plugins available
- User interface quite outdated
Small-sized to large-sized businesses
Freelancers
1&1 IONOS eCommerce WebsiteBuilder+ Well priced
+ Lots of embeddable features
+ Scalable
+ Templates cover wide range of industries
- Templates aren't as well designed as with other platforms
- Slightly outdated interface
Small-sized to large-sized businesses
Magento
Hosting with Magento gives you a flexible, open-source e-commerce solution that provides you with opportunities for expansion as well as integrated SEO tools. It’s possible to run multiple stores and the solution caters for different languages as well as currencies.
12 months £1/month then £5/monthexcl. VAT
Learn more about Magento
PrestaShop
Create and install online stores with the open-source PrestaShop. The community-provided updates and extensions further its development. The Click & Build app can be easily installed in a couple of steps and the appealing design and ease-of-use helps customers and store owners no end.
12 months £1/month then £5/monthexcl. VAT
Learn more about PrestaShop
b2evolution
With b2evolution, you can create and manage several blogs at the same time and coordinate large web projects. An integrated SEO tool helps with optimization and expert support is always on hand. b2evolution is especially suited to projects with forums or image galleries.
12 months £1/month then £5/monthexcl. VAT
Learn more about b2evolution
WooCommerce
WooCommerce offers seamless integration with WordPress, and endless possibilities when it comes to the type of products you can sell. Many core features and multiple add-ons are available. Installation is easy and there are no transaction fees.
6 months £1/month then £6/monthexcl. VAT
Learn more about WooCommerce
osCommerce
osCommerce’s versatile features including heaps of templates, example shops, and an unlimited number of product and category pages make it very appealing to store owners. Over 8,000 free extensions are available as well as add-ons specifically tailored to the US market.
12 months £1/month then £5/monthexcl. VAT
Learn more about osCommerce
1&1 IONOS eCommerce Website Builder
Build an eCommerce website in just a few clicks. The setup is simple, and no technical expertise is required. Increase traffic to the site by syncing with marketplaces like Amazon. Security is top notch and all transactions are protected with an SSL certificate.
6 months £1/month then £20/monthexcl. VAT
Learn more about the IONOS eCommerce Website Builder

The types of eCommerce platforms available

Take control with self-hosted e-commerce platforms

A self-hosted e-commerce platform means that you take care of the hosting. You are responsible for researching the best offers and setting up a server (usually in the cloud). All the files and data for your store are then maintained on that online server. Self-hosting, especially with open source e-commerce platforms, gives you control over every aspect of your online store so you have more freedom to design it to fulfil your exact needs. You can set up this type of platform anywhere since you’re not attached to a centralised service.

Enjoy all-in-one solutions with hosted platforms

A hosted platform is when the platform you’re building on (e.g. WooCommerce, osCommerce, Magento, etc.) hosts your shop’s files on their own servers. Hosted solutions provide you with an all-in-one e-commerce solution including hosting, a shopping cart function, and technical support. This option is the simplest to manage and because of the included support, it makes it especially suitable for the less tech-savvy. This enables you to focus solely on your products. There are many interesting designs to choose from so your store can still look unique.

Get the best of both worlds with mixed platforms

Often referred to as ‘hybrids’, these combine the features of self-hosted and hosted platforms. You have the complete flexibility and design control as with a self-hosted platform and can easily integrate with other systems, and at the same time you can enjoy the speed and ease that comes with a hosted platform, as well as the security and scalability. These can help your store run more efficiently and could mean that it takes less time to get it up and running. The reliability of this option makes it a popular choice among shop owners.
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E-commerce Platforms

FAQ
It's difficult to know which e-commerce platform to choose when there are so many on offer. Six of the best e-commerce platforms are Magento, WooCommerce, PrestaShop, osCommerce, b2evolution, and the 1&1 IONOS eCommerce Website Builder. Here's a brief e-commerce platform comparison explaining why our hosted e-commerce platforms are six of the best e-commerce platforms of 2019.

  • Magento is a flexible and scalable open-source platform, suitable for small and medium-sized businesses as well as enterprises. Its vast array of features and large support community speaks for its popularity.
  • WooCommerce is suitable for the same sized businesses as Magento and also boasts a large community on hand to help other users as well as to make improvements to the source code. Unique store designs are possible with this platform as well as the option to set up different accounts to give users different rights.
  • Another simple to use, easy to install solution is PrestaShop. Its flexible nature and ability to work without the fastest internet connection are definite plus points, as well as the fact that multiple currencies and languages are integrated in order to be as appealing as possible to store owners and customers.
  • osCommerce has a huge active community and support forum and with over 8,000 free integrations at your disposal, you can design your store to your exact liking. The open source solution is an especially good choice for those just starting out.
  • Another e-commerce platform that is easy to get to grips with is b2evolution. Uploading and editing web content is simple and the platform also boasts top security, making transactions secure and keeping hackers at bay. It's also possible to run multiple blogs on one platform if you wish.
  • The 1&1 IONOS eCommerce Website Builder is well priced and offers the store owner lots of embeddable features as well as great scalability if the store should grow. The available templates are suitable for a wide range of industries, making it easier for you to find your perfect storefront.

This e-commerce platform comparison can put things into perspective and help you decide on the best e-commerce platform for you and your store.
E-commerce platforms are usually based on a common programming language such as Java or PHP, with Java being used most frequently due to its 'object and standards' based nature. To get the platform online, you either host it yourself or have it hosted for you in the cloud. A third possibility is mixed hosting where you get the best of both worlds. 1&1 IONOS hosts six of the best e-commerce platforms, which makes it a lot easier for you to get started with half the work already being done.

1&1 IONOS offers several hosting packages so there's something for you whether you're a freelancer or a large company setting up their online store. Installation requires a few simple clicks in the 1&1 IONOS App Centre and then you can begin designing your store. Magento, WooCommerce, PrestaShop, osCommerce, b2evolution, and the 1&1 IONOS eCommerce Website Builder provide you with numerous ways to individualise your storefront to help you stand out from the competition.

Visit the Help Center if you have any more questions on how e-commerce platforms work.
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