When I first started taking sales early into the engraving business I used to just use Instagram to show off what I could make and then send PayPal invoices to anything inquiring about getting custom work or wanting what I already had made.
After doing that for a few sales, I realized I needed an online presence. Since I was familiar with Wordpress I started there. All I needed was hosting and the installation of Wordpress was free. They have a plugin you can install called Woocommerce which allows you to take sales through your website. After about a month of toying with that - it ended up being more of a pain to deal with than it was worth. Wordpress needed constant updates which was super annoying. Everything seems so sluggish and slow. A lot of work to get one product page looking and working right.
My friend told me about Shopify. At the time, they were doing a free 90 day trial which seemed pretty crazy to me. Figured I had nothing to lose by signing up and trying it out.
After playing around with the admin panel and viewing all the themes and addons available, I knew that this was far superior to Wordpress. It is more expensive, but worth it for me. Keeps a way better track of inventory and product details, plus much better analytics and reports. There's not a million addons to make your website work that scream out for an update every time you log on. Shipping is built right in and you get a great discount. Plus, people who order from you can track their packages from the site.
It also scales with the business as it grows. Meaning the high hosting package I choose, the lower the transaction fees and shipping fees become. When you reach a certain threshold, it becomes actually cheaper in the long run to upgrade your package.
It's been about a year now I have been using Shopify and I can still say I love it.
But, that doesn't mean it's the perfect platform for everyone.
What's everyone else using for their website?