What is the best E-Commerce Script/Solution for SEO?
This article only covers e-commerce script/solutions, if you are looking for a cms for SEO check out last week’s blog post: What is the best CMS for SEO?
If you want to start up an online business or just expand and start selling products online you will need an e-commerce solution. The common CMS’s can be customised to add e-commerce functionality (such as adding VirtueMart to Joomla) but they are normally inferior to a stand alone e-commerce solutions.
Before we begin looking into all the e-commerce solutions available you need to know the basics of a search engine friendly website.
These are just a few of the e-commerce solutions available, if you feel we have missed an important solution please get in touch, we would love to hear from you.
ZenCart is a free, open-source e-commerce solution that actually branched from another e-commerce solution, osCommerce, in 2003, so there are a lot of similarities between the two systems. Unfortunately, just like osCommerce, it shows its age in terms of design but unlike osCommerce it is possible to set the title and meta tags without use of a plugin, which is great. However, to get all the basic features of a search engine friendly website to make it search engine friendly, you will still need plugins such as Ultimate SEO URLs. From my experience though, just like with osCommerce, the plugins are not user friendly or as easy to install compared to other solutions. In many cases you have to manually modify and add to the code, insert rows into the MySQL databases etc, which for people with no technical knowledge can be very difficult and not something that should really be necessary in 2012 when other e-commerce solutions offer one click installs.
Presta Shop is more recent open source e-commerce solution. Originally released in 2007, it was named the Best Open Source E-Commerce Applications in the Packt 2010 Open Source Awards. From our experience, Presta Shop is the easiest e-commerce solution to work with straight “out of the box”. It does a lot of the basic SEO features automatically or gives you the option to set things yourself without having to use third party plugins.
Magento is an open source e-commerce that is fairly new to the scene. It was originally released in 2008 and is continually updated by its developers which is great. Unfortunately only the “community edition” is free but just like Presta Shop it offers the majority of the basic search engine friendly websites straight “out of the box”. You can set urls, titles and meta tags and much more without third party plugins which means no extra costs or difficult installations. Yoast have written an excellent guide to Magento SEO that’s worth a read if you do decide to use Magento.
Our Favourite E-Commerce Solution for SEO
This is a difficult one, unlike CMS’s for websites, there are a number of e-commerce solutions which offer all the basic features of a search engine friendly website and no clear cut winner. Our favourite is Magento but it isn’t miles above Presta Shop; it’s just down to the fact you can set the URLs yourself with no extra bits thrown in such as category id’s which Presta Shop likes to do. As the difference between Magento and Presta Shop is fairly minor, you should also look at the features of both and choose which you feel will be most suitable for you because both, with tweaking, should perform well within the search engines.