None of these evaluations are exhaustive. This is just documentation from what was discussed at our meetup.
Jordan Haber demonstrated some Shopify magic he had done. Jordon emphasized that Shopify is good for small, simple E-commerce sites.... period.
- Learning curve. There is a minimal amount of learning required for the end user. However, it might take a bit of time for a developer to learn their structure.
- Content types and fields. Limited predetermined field and types. Pretty much limited to products, collections, pages and blog posts.
- Permissions and access control. Storefront password, customers and staff members (admin's).
- Community. Solid documentation exists, but it can be difficult to find an answer if it isn't specifically in the documentation. The Shopify forums are there to help as well.
- Theming. There are many themes available to choose from, most are for sale. A full template editor tool provides some degree of customizability.
- Contributed ecosystem. Large number of available "apps". Most charge a monthly rate.
- Plugin/module development. Shopify Partners can contribute after approval process.
- E-commerce. Diverse amount of options available. Easy to set up payment gateways. Automatic taxes by county. Shipping costs by weight. Customizable notifications.
- SEO. There are meta descriptions for all pages, blog posts, collections and products.
- System requirements. No installation. No local development. Completely hosted solution.
- Scaling. So far, no issues as far as scaling is concerned, but monthly pricing could really add up.
- Other categories. As Shopify is a hosted solution, you don't need to worry about security updates, the provider manages the software on their end on your behald.
The bottom line: If you need a simple shopping site and nothing else, Shopify could be the way to go. It's slogan is it provides everything you need to sell anywhere, and it really does seem like a suitable e-commerce solution for a right-sized operation.
if you found this analysis helpful, be sure to check out the other CMS comparisons in this blog series.