Shopify is a fully-hosted e-commerce solution, meaning every brand on the platform is hosted on Shopify’s servers. Those opting for Shopify will benefit from this in a number of ways.
Non-hosted platforms demand a degree of web development and programming skills to get your store going. Many brands don’t want the hassle of this. By contrast, when you sign up to Shopify, they’ll show you exactly how to get started.
Sorting your domain name
If you already own a domain name that you’d like to keep, this can be easily sorted and just requires a small configuration change to your DNS settings at setup.
You can also buy a new domain name through Shopify, if you prefer. One bonus of this is that it comes with unlimited forwarding email addresses. These work by directing all incoming mail to an existing email account of yours, keeping your on-site contact information on-brand, consistent and professional. For example:
Your domain name: yourbrandname.com Related email addresses you might want to present: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Emails directed to:
No additional costs
Many competing platforms are what we call ‘self-hosted’. This means the brands using them will have separate server costs to consider. Whilst these may start low, they can soon rack to up thousands of pounds per month for a managed service. Whereas no brand on Shopify ever pays a penny for external hosting.
Limitless bandwidth means no overage fees
With alternative platforms, you’ll also have the costs of acquiring traffic and products to consider. Every new visitor and new product that arrives on your online store uses up additional bandwidth. Most e-commerce platforms limit your available bandwidth and charge you for exceeding this.
Shopify, on the other hand, offer bandwidth uncapped. This means you’re not punished for high traffic periods, but rather, they’re welcomed! Better still, unlimited bandwidth is included in every Shopify plan out there.
Your business and customers are kept secure
Another great thing about Shopify’s hosting is that all stores are PCI DSS Level 1-compliant, out-of-the-box. This means you can rest easy knowing your customers’ payment info and business data is always going to be safe. And not only this, but it will be easy to start accepting payments with your payment gateway of choice.
Instant software updates
On Shopify, not only will you be eligible for software updates at no additional costs, but they’ll all be handled for you — automatically. This means you’ll have immediate access to every new feature, before you even have time to think about them. Some recent examples include Apply Pay , multi-currency , and Augmented Reality .
Quick, reliable loading all over the globe
Shopify uses a large network of servers around the world to host merchants’ online stores. We call these ‘Content Delivery Networks’ (CDNs). Shopify’s CDN is run by Fastly , who have a great reputation. By using a CDN, Shopify promises that all stores can be loaded as quickly as possible, wherever customers are based.
Fit for high-volume
Aside from speed, handling capacity is another aspect that will take away your hosting worries. There can’t be many things more gut-wrenching than having thousands of visitors on your store, all ready to purchase, only for it to crash. Thankfully, Shopify handles traffic volume exceptionally. Your store will manage around 4,000 checkouts per minute before throttling kicks in — and this figure’s more than 99.999% of all stores will ever see!
So, what’s the catch?
The main difference between Shopify, as a hosted platform, and a traditional, self-hosted platform, is that you don’t get access to the full code base. Truth be told, this can make customising certain features for your online store quite tricky. But does this outweigh the above? We think not.
All the benefits we’ve listed are possible because Shopify is providing a cloud service. So it’s a pretty small tradeoff. If you even want to call it that — Shopify’s app marketplace and theme layer actually give us enough flexibility to deliver on business needs, big and small, whilst keeping your store futureproof.
For a full breakdown of Shopify prices and the benefits of each plan, visit the Shopify pricing page .