Best CMS for ecommerce

Thinking about opening an e-shop? You may have wondered what is the best CMS for eCommerce.

This is a smart question and also very important because I can tell you with full knowledge of the facts, since I have a web agency specialized in eCommerce, that making the wrong choice of CMS can compromise your entire strategy and your project of selling online

In today’s article I will present to you a brief overview of the various CMS used to build eCommerce sites by also illustrating their advantages and disadvantages. Of course I will also frankly tell you which is the best, according to my opinion and to my working experience, after 12 years of making electronic stores in several sectors.

Well now let’s get to the heart of the matter.

What is the best CMS for eCommerce?

I start by saying that there is no single answer because the choice of the best CMS for ecommerce also depends on the needs of that company that wants to start its electronic store. What I can say with certainty is that at least 6 are the CMS most widely used worldwide to make eCommerce and therefore are defined as the best. 

Of course, in order to determine which will be the best for you you will have to make a series of assessments based on your needs, goals, budget and other factors. Only a good eCommerce consultant and strategist can give you directions in this fascinating world of online sales, but also risky if you get lost in the maze of the many ideas spread on the net, some valid, others much less. 

I now share an interesting statistic related to the use of most common CMS for the management of online shops and I reproduced in this graph the way they are classified.

Best CMS for ecommerce 2021 compilation

In the 02.03.21 ranking compilation there is:

with a percentage of 32,79 % 


with a percentage of 22,01%


with 9,51%


with 3,95%


with 3,53%

Zen Cart

with 3,15%

Wix Stores

with 3,01%

Well, after this statistical review let’s now enter the core of this subject and see the features of each one of them.


If you know or use WordPress you’ve probably heard about WooCommerce plugin. WordPress is a CMS originally designed to do blogging. Over time this CMS has evolved thanks to the use of plugins. 

These are additional modules that allow you to add advanced features to the CMS, including the WooCommerce plugin that permits to integrate everything you need to create an electronic store within the CMS. In addition to the free basic extension, you can also add other advanced features, which one must pay for.

WooCommerce is suitable for every type of electronic shop? No. Although it is widely used because it is easy to manage, it is not suitable for eCommerce that sells hundreds or thousands of products.. However, if you are thinking about an eCommerce for the sale of a few products it might be suitable for your circumstances.

Obviously before making a choice I strongly recommend to get advice from an expert on the subject of online stores, it will help you understand what is the best CMS for ecommerce according to your needs.

WooCommerce’s strengths and weaknesses


Initial configurations and management are quite easyand with a little training you can manage your online shop yourself.

  • The support quality and availability are excellent.
  • This plugin is also SEO friendly and with the matching of Yoast SEO or similar, you can easily optimize both categories and product sheets.
  • This plugin is free in the basic version.

Although it seems tempting for its ease of use we cannot ignore the things that make it unsuitable in many cases.

  • CMS conceived for blogging and not for eCommerce’s management.
  • Few possibilities of customization.
  • If you want to add advanced features you will need to purchase additional paid for plugins.
  • Limited scalability.

Is Magento the best CMS for ecommerce?

Many speak of Magento as the “Ferrari of the CMS to create ecommerce” and in fact this statement seems to be true. 

But the questions to be answered are these: 

  • Would you recommend such a powerful machine to a newly licensed person? 
  • Would you recommend a car like that to someone using the car only in an environment where you can drive at most 70 mph? 
  • Would you recommend it to those who only have 10 pounds in their pocket to refuel knowing that as soon as the engine starts those 10 pounds spent will go up in smoke and there will not be enough gasoline even to start the journey, impossible going so far!
  • Would you put it in the hands of any mechanic for its maintenance and repair?
  • How much will it cost you to have a mechanic intervene on that kind of machinery?
  • How much will the spare parts cost and will you find them easily available?

Take a few seconds to process this example. Done? Well now I will try to explain to you in a simple way why Magento might NOT be the right CMS for you or maybe yes, it depends.

A CMS like Magento is as powerful as a Ferrari but the downside is that, although it is defined as the best CMS for ecommerce, it could instead become the worst CMS in these two hypothetical situations:

  • your project is small or medium sized and therefore Magento is oversized oversized compared to the type of ecommerce you need to realize;
  • you don’t have the skills to build it on that platform and so you will have to spend a lot of money to get it done to a really competent person and of course any maintenance or troubleshooting will also be much more expensive.

So even if the machine, that is Magento, is very performing, it is not necessarily the best CMS for ecommerce.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Magento

  • The customizations and configurations are really unlimited. If you want to be able to create an eCommerce in your image and likeness is ideal.
  • 100% scalable
  • This CMS is free, as well as other CMS for eCommerce.
  • Very complex to use.
  • As other CMS you will need to purchase paid modules to add advanced features.
  • You will need specialized developers on this type of CMS.
  • Even from the SEO point of view it will take a lot of work to get everything right.

Is Prestashop the best CMS for ecommerce?

Personally I think that Prestashop is the best CMS for eCommerce and I’ll explain why.

An eCommerce site must have some fundamental features, for example it must be simple to use but at the same time complete with all the functions necessary to make it efficient.

It must also be fast. The volume of products sold also depends on the loading speed of web pages and Prestashop, from this point of view, is really fast

If we want to go back to the car example we could imagine Prestashop as a Maserati and then something in between WooCommerce and Magento

A few paragraphs above we stated that WooCommerce (a normal vehicle) could be a good solution for small eCommerce with few products and Magento (Ferrari) a powerful CMS for ecommerce sites of great size. 

So Prestashop is well placed halfway between the two, not bad to drive a Maserati, no? Powerful, able to travel far, therefore scalable, but with much lower development and maintenance costs.

Prestashop is the best CMS for eCommerce and is the best solution for small and medium-sized companies that have the goal of selling products online. Just think about it: especially during this historical moment when the Coronavirus pandemic has amplified the need to buy products online, realizing an eCommerce with Prestashop could be the solution to diversify and sell your products not only in a physical store

Strengths and weaknesses of Prestashop

  • This CMS is also free.
  • Maintenance is not expensive.
  • Easy configuration and management.
  • Excellent from a SEO point of view.
  • For some technical configurations you will need specialized support but much less expensive than Magento.
  • As for the other CMS some modules for advanced functions are paid-for.
  • Good scalability.


OpenCart is a professional CMS for eCommerce with all the basic features that an online store needs to have in order to sell products online including 20 different payment methods.

In addition to its elegant appearance, which one does not despise anyway, it is also quite easy to use. OpenCart is free as well. Please note that software setup can be difficult.

If terms like ftp, server, hosting or database seem unintelligible to you maybe it is not the solution for you. To customize OpenCart with advanced features you will need to buy some modules separately.

In my opinion it is NOT the best CMS for eCommerce if you have a company that wants to build an online store selling many products, then scalable and trafficked.

Strengths and Weaknesses

  • Software is free.
  • Fast navigation.
  • Many modules are free.
  • Some modules are paid-for and at a high cost.
  • It requires specialized support.
  • It’s not very scalable.

Shopify and such

Among the solutions to make eCommerce there are then some systems named Saas. These are online platforms that offer the possibility of having an online store already done and ready to sell. A kind of “turnkey” eCommerce where the user, who could also be a child, without any expertise can enter his products. 

The graphic design is customizable with many graphic themes to choose from. You can also try the many free plugins and promotion tools like email marketing services.

These systems are easy to use, often they have a drag and drop builder by which you can build your eCommerce intuitively. Usually one pays a monthly subscription whose cost may vary depending on the chosen plan. 

Okay, does this feel like heaven? Come back down to earth because even though everything looks very nice and maybe you’ve even heard of companies selling and earning big profits with Shopify, remember that these are exceptions and not a rule and so you’ll realize that Shopify is not the best CMS for ecommerce.

What are the things to consider? 

  • For example, the subscription fee. If you are the owner of a company you will need a fairly wide bandwidth and consequently you will have to buy the most expensive subscription of 344 pounds per month! You will pay more than 4,000 euros a year!
  • You can’t operate on the code except through their programmers whose costs are quite high. So if you want to make customizations independently or by your trusted programmer you can not do it.
  • You are hostage, even if you have a domain you are not the real owner of the site. What does that mean? The day you decide to migrate to a different Internet service provider you can only transfer the domain but not migrate your website. With CMS like WordPress, Prestashop, Magento and others you can do it and migrate the site you bring with you everything you need: system settings, code, graphics, layout, customizations, SEO etc…
  • Also from the SEO point of view it is very limiting and this is a big problem considering that the sale of online products is proportional to the SEO positioning.

Let me give you an example: suppose you make a long-term life project: would you pay a high rent for a house that will never really be yours, that you will never own or you just prefer to buy it?

I think the answer is obvious, isn’t it? Now we’ll give you some pointers to assess what are the best CMS for ecommerce.

Before choosing the best CMS for ecommerce

Well at the conclusion of this article I would like to give you an important suggestion. Before you even think about CMS you should think about the strategy, the practicability of your project, the costs and many other aspects on which the success of your online project will depend.

Understanding what will be the best CMS for eCommerce in your specific case will be much easier. 

I started this article by stating that making the wrong choice of CMS can compromise the whole project. I hope that, after having read this article, you found some useful ideas that you can really digest by taking some time to reflect on what you have just read.

I remind you that you can also request a free consultation to deepen the topic.