Jumping into the Deep-End of Customization When You Hire an osCommerce Developer

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How an osCommerce Digital Agency Will Improve the Customization of Your Website

Every business has to begin somewhere, and very often that can feel a long way from needing to hire an osCommerce developer. For many adventurers into the world of eCommerce that “somewhere”is selling a small number of products on a peer-to-peer eCommerce site, such as Etsy, or launching a simplistic Magento website of their own. These initial steps into online selling and sales are likely to be filled with a few hiccups and mistakes, but over time an e-business will garner its sea legs. It is ready to take on deeper waters to ensure the branding of your business is cohesive and clear.

This is when customization of your site, often through osCommerce development from an agency like 1 Digital Agency, becomes essential for branding and successful advertising of your products. Whether using Shopify, BigCommerce, Volusion, another hosted platform, or an open source platform, it could be your time to hire an osCommerce developer and discover what a great website can do for your bottom line.

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SaaS vs Open Source Platforms

The question of choosing a software as a service (SaaS) eCommerce platform or an Open Source eCommerce platform is likely to be the first questions a business owner must answer when setting up a new website or revamping an existing shopping cart. In some regard, deciding which type of platform is right for you business is about specific needs, ideas on growth, and technical abilities. However, the ease of SaaS often entices merchants who lack a technical background or are unable to provide in-house IT. Here’s why.

SaaS platforms are often called hosted platforms because your information is input into the eCommerce software and then stored and managed on the technical side by the SaaS. A lot of the technical inner workings, particularly  when it comes to the backend development of your site, will be handled by the SaaS. This alleviates IT pressures for a small (or big) business, and when starting out most vendors won’t need to hire an osCommerce developer. On the other hand, it can also restrict customization options and your ability to build a unique website. Some examples of SaaS platforms are the popular Zoey, BigCommerce, and Shopify.

On the other hand, open source platforms require more technical work, but are typically free. The popular open source platform, osCommerce states on its website that its goal is to, “make our products available to everyone worldwide and to make that possible we release all of our products for free with Open Source licenses.” Directly addressing the fact that SaaS platforms can charge high fees that start-ups and businesses in developing countries are unable to pay.

The downside of this more affordable option is convenience. Largely, the technical development of the site and management will fall to the business owner. This can mean it is necessary, not just optional, to hire an osCommerce developer from the onset of your website. Despite the technical demands the potential cost to hire an osCommerce developer right away, a number of small businesses opt for an open source platform. Why?

The answer is tied to customization Open source platforms allow you to customize from the get-go and without limitation. If you are a small business, it is likely that you want to set yourself apart from other, similar sellers with great social media and website advertising. When using a SaaS platform, it is easy to rely on the themes and basic customization tools offered by the site. The result is a website looking uneasily similar to thousands of others. With an open source platform, a hired osCommerce developer, and a bit of information, you can code a unique look and feel that speaks directly to your branding and advertising.

A business owner can take some time to learn a few of the technical tricks that are required of an open source platform and fill the gaps with information from a hired osCommerce developer.  By working with talented osCommerce developers, such as the team at 1 Digital Agency, a business can avoid the monthly fees to a hosted platform and build a site that is directly on message with its branding and advertising. Each social media post that a company puts together is carefully orchestrated for message and content, why wouldn’t your website be the same?

Big or Small, the Need for a Customized Website

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Regardless of what platform you choose, it is inevitable that as your business progresses and develops you will want to diversify your site from the competition. Many companies have placed undue reliance on the ability of their social media to tell the brand’s story. Social media presents the business in snapshots and snippets. Customers may catch some posts to Facebook, but miss others on their Newsfeed. A website, alternatively, tells your entire story in a cohesive manner.

It could be that un-customized themes cannot portray the exact look and feel you envisioned or a layout does not align with the rest of your advertising. These are signs that customization could improve your branding, and help portray the complete story that your carefully crafted social media cannot. This is when hiring an osCommerce developer, such as 1 Digital Agency, is necessary.

Every business will hit the point that they need customization at a different time. As expressed above, a new merchant may determine it needs a  fully customized website from the start, while a larger business may be content with the traffic and sales generated from their un-customized Shopify site for years. The good news is, when you do reach the point of wanting more options and control over how your website and shopping cart look and feel, it is available to you.

Both SaaS and open source platforms have room for customization and unique coding, when you begin to modify aspects of this coding it is jumping into the deep end of customization of your online store and identity. Through an SaaS platform, the osCommerce developer you hire is able to make quirky changes to layout and other frontend development, and some SaaS platforms even allow for full stack development, which truly gives you the power to modify your website.

However, you will always find more ability to build something unique with an open source platform. Every aspect of the coding on an open source eCommerce platform can be modified by a knowledgeable developer. That truly provides endless ways you can set your website apart from the crowd.

At 1 Digital Agency we feel that our ability to provide a deep dive into customization through osCommerce development is essential to any growing business. However, we want to hear from you! What are the signs that your business has outgrown the functionality of standard themes and let us know if you’re ready to hire an osCommerce developer! Send us an email to info@1digitalagency.com.

 

Resources:
  • http://blog.capterra.com/best-free-open-source-ecommerce-software-solutions/
  • https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/282348
  • https://www.slatwallcommerce.com/resources/articles/5-benefits-of-using-an-open-source-ecommerce-platform/
  • https://www.oscommerce.com/Us

 

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