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Updated by Gail Zahtz on Aug 22, 2017
Headline for Platforms for websites and ecommerce
Gail Zahtz Gail Zahtz
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Platforms for websites and ecommerce

It used to be that the vast majority of people only went to wordpress to create their own blogs, now as content marketing and blogs and corporate sites merge, the options are much larger....

About picoCMS | Business Content Management System

PICO CMS is like a simplified wordpress, but there are add ons (like for membership you can use with appricot that may be built together as one system). It is all completely separate from wordpress and does not seem to integrate - this would be your CMS, or platform to use that's all inclusive. It's coded in PHP5 and driven by MySQL5 so this may be an issue in hosting costs (check ahead). It is now merging to be Brio.

aMember is the perfect membership software for selling digital products and downloads

Accept membership payments, manage profiles, deliver digital content, integrate with your blog, CMS, send newsletters, run affiliate program with this software. Developers can also be trained members and offer it within their services (for $179.95 lifetime and first six month of updates free.)

Features include:

  • Free installation included - Professionals will install aMember to your website and help you with the first steps
  • Full-featured affiliate module - Thanks to subscription system integration, you can precisely track recurring commissions, create a run a full affiliate program.
  • Unlimited Membership Levels and Items, Full-Featured Member Management, 20+ comprehensive reports
  • Integrated Helpdesk - The customer support module helps you keep customer requests and responses organized
  • Easy Protection - aMember Pro can protect your site folders, files, scripts, blog posts, forums, and more
  • Easy web-based administration
  • Quick access to the most useful functions, and advanced settings for professionals
  • Numerous payment systems - PayPal, CCBill, ClickBank, 2Checkout, Stripe, Authorize.Net, and 200+ more integrations support out of the box
  • Translated into 6 languages - German, Spanish, French, Greek, Russian and Chinese translations are available
  • Integration plugins - Easy and powerful integration with Wordpress, XenForo, vBulletin, and others

They power Facebook Pro which enables you to automate your Profile, Page and Group Posting. $17 or $27 a month.

  • Start building a list of targeted prospects and buyers with every automated campaign that you run.
  • Schedule Unlimited Campaigns
  • Post to Groups, Profiles & Pages
  • Unlimited Group Lists (Segmentation)
  • Fully Mobile Responsive
  • Available in English, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
  • No more FB Jail!
Ecommerce Software, Online Store Builder, POS

Everything you need to sell. Build your online store with Shopify's ecommerce software and easily sell in person with Shopify's iPad POS.

Some Features:

  • 100+ professional themes
  • Mobile commerce ready
  • Work with an expert
  • Full blogging platform- Publish and categorize articles, create lookbooks, encourage discussion, and moderate comments on your Shopify blog.
  • Your own domain name
  • Host your entire website on Shopify. Your online store comes with a full-featured content management system.
  • Shopping Cart with many features already included
  • Store Management Features
  • For marketplace: Shopify integrates with apps like Ordoro, Inventory Source, and eCommHub to set up your dropshipping business.
  • Order Fulfillment views
  • Customize your automated store emails with the design and language you want.
  • All Shopify websites include social media integration, such as Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr
  • SEO
  • sitemap
  • Facebook store
  • Organize products by category, type, season, sale, and more. Use smart collections to automatically sort products based on vendor, price, and inventory level.Multiple images
  • Add multiple images for your products, so you can show off your product from all angles.
  • SEO product tags- Optimize your product pages for search engines with product specific meta tags, titles, and URL handles.
  • Digital products right from your online store.
  • Import/Export using CSV files, or one of Shopify's importer/exporter apps.
  • Unlimited products

Social Media Selling

  • Pinterest: Be among the first merchants to sell to millions of Pinterest users: Shopify and Pinterest have partnered to let customers buy your products without leaving the Pinterest app. Pinterest also works with your online store
  • Twitter: Any product that's ever been Tweeted from your online store will automatically include a buy button, and shoppers can immediately start buying without leaving Twitter.
  • Facebook: Customers can easily browse your products and collections using the new, always visible, Shop section on your Facebook Page.

All products pinned from your Shopify store will automatically become Buyable Pins.
Included at $29 a month and all programs above it

  • Facebook
  • Shopify Buy Button
  • Point of Sale -
  • Online store
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • Retail Package
  • unlimited storage
  • unlimited products
  • 24/7 support
  • Fraud analysis
  • Manual order creation
  • Discount codes
  • Website and blog
  • Free SSL certificate

$70 a month also includes lower rates external payment gateways (1 percent instead of 2 percent)

  • Gift cards
  • Abandoned Cart Recovery
  • Professional Reports

$179 a month external gateway pricing down to .5 percent and includes

  • Advanced report builder
  • Real-time carrier shipping
Ecommerce stores from Yahoo's Aabaco Small Business

Start & grow an online store with Yahoo's Aabaco Small Business ecommerce platform. Includes easy store design, shopping cart, secured payments & 24-7 support. Features include templates, payment acceptance from major credit cards and paypal, shipping integration with UPS, SEO, insights and recommendations. Apps like live sales chat, local works, google shopping, olark chat, t-hub online Quickbooks integrated order manager, Cinsay video Ecommerce. Over 1 million stores use Aabaco Small business. Information includes local marketing, small business advisor and Aabaco small business blog.

Ghost - Just a blogging platform

Ghost is a open source publishing platform for those looking to create a clean content only driven site, this is not for business sites or ecommerce, etc. Free to use, but costs from $19/month - $199 a month with hosting and support. Each except the highest has a limited number of blogs and views.


  • Split-screen editor, with Markdown syntax on the left and a live preview on the right, allows you to type and format your writing simultaneously
  • Multi-user blog functionality so team members to get involved writing about the areas they specialise in
  • Manage your entire content archive quickly & easily: Browse through your content in the same way you're used to browsing through your email. Stay in total control of your workflow.
  • Everything we do is open source, so you can theme, extend and integrate to your heart’s content. Developers welcome.

Per the site:
Ghost is best if…

  • You care about a well designed interface
  • Your content needs to work well for social and search
  • Speed and performance are important to you

You might be better off with WordPress when…

  • You want a full business website, not a blog or publication
  • Extra advanced functionality like ecommerce, is needed
  • You want to build your own custom features with plugins
IM Creator

IM Creator is a new way to create a website. Start from scratch or use our free website templates. Finally, a simple and free website builder.

There are three ways to create using IM Creator:
Original Drag and Drop
New Stripes via XPRS:
Limited but all mobile app on iTunes from the road

The basic is free

For $250 (ask about a coupon for $200 first year) you can get a white label version that enables you to create as many sites as you need

Works with Shoprocket for eCommerce- a total payout to both companies of 7% per sale is total cost for all features - Build a mobile first site lets you build a mobile website on your smartphone, tablet and desktop. Build on any device, for any device. "actually builds itself." You only need your business name, Facebook page, or website address. uses it’s native intelligence to organize your existing content, apply smart design and simplify color choices. automatically adds your social media, rss feeds, photos, events, music, brand colors, logo and more.

It even applies mobile navigation choices that best represent you and your business. The best part? It all happens in under 60 seconds.

If you want you can then edit including choose navigation, backgrounds, fonts, icons and other features. Edit content that is already there or change up functionality with prebuilt “blocks".

Magento eCommerce platforms

Magento has a suite of platforms. The simple is free. For more information and pricing and the paid you need to talk to a specialist.

That said, it's one of the largest eCommerce platforms in use, so it's definitely worth taking a look at.

Here is how Magento breaks down their product offerings and examples of its' features (as we find out more we will add) If you know of feature specifics, prices or other relevant information, please add them in the comments. Thank you!

Magento Commerce Order Management
For pricing and more information talk to one of their specialists

  • order management from multiple sources including web, mobile, store network, customer service, marketplace
  • inventory distribution from multiple sources including: distribution centers, stores, dropship partners
  • inventory management
  • payment - PayPal, Braintree,, CyberSource, WorldPay; additional payment extensions in marketplace
  • accespt checks, money orders, purchase orders, bank transfers, cash on delivery, PayPal in-context checkout, saved credit cards
  • tax and fraud
  • analytics
  • can be modular or fully integrated solution
  • cloud based
  • customer options with flexible fulfillment including ship from store, ship to store, buy online and pick up in store.

Magento Community Edition

  • Powers 250,000 open source commerce online stores worldwide
  • Create websites
  • Promote websites
  • Manage websites
  • Global ready out of the box
  • Multi language support, currencies and local tax rates automatically available
  • Get extensions at Magento's marketplace
  • Forums for community support
  • Training, documentation, courses, and resources for development.
  • Meant for small business; large or growing to use enterprise edition with 24/7 support.
  • SaaS


Personalized Selling Experience

  • Elasticsearch - handle large catelogs and easily scale search capacity as queries grow. Offers suggestions for misspellings, support for stop words and attribute weighting, synonym management.
  • Multiple navigation including by price, color and category
  • Set automated rules for products for up-sells, cross-sells, related products to each customer segment via condition-based tool allowing target product suggestions
  • Use on any device
  • Two step checkout
  • Create account during checkout without interupting checkout experience
  • Personalized shopping: content, promotions, pricing to specific customers based on location, geneder, order history, lifestime purchase value, wish list items and more
  • Fast checkout

Loyalty Programs

  • Incentivize repeat purchaes
  • Reward high-value customers
  • Reward points for activities such as: registrations, product reviews, new customer referrals
  • In-store Credit - Product returns convert into in-store credit option on return items
  • Gift registry and wish lists
  • Gift cards, personalized coupons, export coupons for offline distribution and email, track coupon usage
  • Private sales and other exclusive shopping experiences for high-value customers
  • Recurring and bulk ordering (for- not sure if only for) wholesale, manufacturing buyers
  • Promotional Pricing for specific stores, categories, customer segments, or products.

Fast Deployment

  • Customizable Platform with configurable features and off-the-shelf extensions
  • Integration with third party ERP, PIM, OMS, CRM, CMS using APIs
  • Complete design control with built-in responsive design themes which adjust menus, images, checkout and other features.
  • Cloud, managed hosting and on-premise
  • Add new features with SaaS-like upgrades
  • Global partners for development, integration, hosting


  • Dashboard
  • Visual Merchandiser with drag and drop and automated sorting rules by best seller, color, highest margin, newest addition. Set rules to automatically assign products to categories based on attributes such as brand, price or date.
  • Staging and preview site- create, preview and schedule content updates. Preview changes by store or date.
  • Orders and return management
  • Reporting and analytics and support for Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager
  • Multiple master databases to support checkout, orders, product data.
  • SEO automatic Google sitemap
  • Search engine friendly URLs
  • Multiple roles and permissions
  • Page hierarchy tool - organize content pages, add pagination, navigation, menus

Per their site: "The world’s most advanced website publishing app. Built for designers, but designed for anyone with a browser. "

Drag and Drop- not just content. Drag and drop everything. Do you want that chart out of a spreadsheet? Sketch? Keynote? No problem. Just drop it in. Same with images, copy, and even widgets. It’s a new-but-familiar creation experience. No other platform allows this.
Photoshop design: Have a design in Photoshop? For the first time ever, you can copy layers straight out of any desktop design tool (and web ones too!) and paste layers directly onto your pages. No file upload / FTP or other mess. Just copy/paste.
Import your website from within your browser, make changes and updates, then save.
Make both minor and major changes in the moment, fine-tuning your design and content.
With full access to the page code a built-in JavaScript editor, PageCloud is perfect for those who just want to add an effect, some interactivity, or link to a 3rd party data source on the fly
PageCloud offers you a long-awaited seamless solution to building a custom font support into a user’s workflow that doesn’t rely on code- just copy text using Google fonts.

Pricing is $20 a month paid annually or $24 a month is paid month by month.

We have not been able to determine how they work with content hubs or ecommerce.

Presta Shop e-commerce platform

You can create your online store with Prestashop's free shopping cart software. Prestashop enables you to build a basic e-commerce website for free. Like some of the other "free" e-commerce platforms, most of the features and design is sold extra through its' marketplace of individual modules and themes. To make a marketplace, for example, they have a sub-category of specialized modules. Their most recommended e-commerce basic module is JA Marketplace for $249.

A subscription management module can run $99 - $600.

Each module or function with PrestaShop, like many of the other "free" e-commerce platforms is sold separately.

ShopStyle Collective

Use ShopStyle's affiliate links to monetize your influence across your blog and every social platform: Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, video, and Instagram. Partners with thousands of brands. Link in, customizable widgets and video-tagging to engage audiences. Developers can access the API that powers as well as the apps to reach the products.

Square Space

Squarespace is the all-in-one solution for anyone looking to create a beautiful website. Domains, eCommerce, hosting, galleries, analytics, and 24/7 support all included. Over 1 million paying customers.

Add and arrange content and features
Use your custom domain (free first year)
eCommerce without plugin
Templates using HTML, CSS and Javascript
Style Editor
Social Integrations
SEO, XML sitemaps, XHTML code
Hosting in the cloud
24/7 Customer Service

$12 a month

  • 20 Pages, Galleries, and Blogs with Unlimited Bandwidth and Storage, and 2 Contributors
  • Mobile-Optimized Website
  • Powerful Website Metrics
  • Free Custom Domain
  • with annual purchase
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Fully Integrated E-Commerce
  • Sell Unlimited Products & Accept Donations
  • 3% Sales Transaction Fee

$18 a month

  • Unlimited Pages, Galleries, and Blogs, with Unlimited Storage, Bandwidth, and Contributors
  • Mobile-Optimized Website
  • Powerful Website Metrics
  • Free Custom Domain
  • with annual purchase
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Fully Integrated E-Commerce
  • Sell Unlimited Products & Accept Donations
  • 2% Sales Transaction Fee
  • Professional Email from Google
  • $100 Google AdWords Credit
StoryStream - the smart content platform

Real-time storytelling for brands. The next generation live content management system.


  • Using StoryStream's content search engine technology, you will have access to relevant user generated, brand created and 3rd party content.
  • StoryStream gives you simple to use content management and workflow tools helping you to concentrate on publishing great content at the click of a button, rather than navigating through complex software.
  • StoryStream works across any digital channel empowering you to deliver consistent content dynamically across websites, apps, digital signage and more.
  • Using StoryStream’s insight and analytics tools you will be able to see what content works, learn about your audience and measure the impact.
  • StoryStream connects marketing teams across the globe enabling workflow and content management efficiency. It can be used standalone or integrated with other marketing platforms and CMS.



Webs: Create a free website with professionally designed website templates, free web hosting, and easy to use free website builder. No coding skills needed!

Free includes their advertising choices on your site to offset free pricing.
All Webs Includes

  • Non Premium Themes aka templates by type of industry- much more company sites than traditional blogs (blog as features within)
  • Social Media Integration (not pinterest)
  • Local Listings with Map
  • Photo and video Galleries
  • Web analytics
  • Cloud Hosting
  • Drag and Drop Builder
  • Theme Customization (colors, fonts, backgrounds)
  • Applications (like webstores, blogs, etc)
  • Blogs
  • Calendars- (integrated- not sure how integrated)
  • Map on your contact page
  • Site Membership
  • Password Protection
  • Contact Forms
  • HQ Video Storage
  • Documents and Files, forms, PDFs, etc stored on website (limited to unlimited based on level)
  • Features and pricing

$5.99 a month

  • Custom Domain Names
  • Unlimited Pages
  • Webs Branding Removed
  • Password Protected Pages
  • Mobile Website
  • Basic Statistics
  • 1GB storage
  • Email Support Only

$12.99 a month also includes:

  • Advanced Statistics
  • 5GB storage
  • 20 web store items
  • Premium Themes
  • 3 custom email addresses with your domain
  • Live Chat Support and Email Support

$22.99 a month also includes

  • Unlimited Storage
  • Unlimited Web Store Items
  • 25 custom Email Addresses
  • Search Engine Submission
  • SEO Booster
  • Email, Chat, Phone Support

Create a free website with Customize with Wix' free website builder, no coding skills needed. Choose a design, begin customizing and be online same day. Over 80 million people use WIX.

Pricing and Features by Pricing
Wix does not include responsive themes, the ability to export the website, email service, multiple editors,
All but the free or most basic plan includes 1 Year free of domain,

All plans - starting free to $4.08 a month include:

  • Connect your Domain
  • Google Analytics
  • Free Hosting
  • Premium Support
  • Drag and Drop
  • Designer Made Templates - over 500 available for just the free version, more for others
  • Galleries
  • Mobile Optimized
  • Image Collection
  • Secure Hosting
  • SEO
  • Over 200 apps - many for extra fees

At $.4.08 a month you get:
500 MB storage
1 GB bandwidth

For 9.75 a month you also get:

  • 3 GB total storage
  • 2 GB bandwidth
  • Removal of Wix Ads
  • Customized Favicon
  • No mobile Ads

For $12.92 a month you also receive:

  • $300 in free ad vouchers
  • 2 free premium apps ($118 value) - site booster app and form builder app
  • total of 10 GB storage
  • unlimited bandwidth
  • $125 local listing voucher
  • $100 bing ads voucher
  • $75 google AdWords voucher

The $16.58 eCommerce package also includes:

  • 20 GB storage
  • 10 GB bandwidth
  • online store

The VIP package for $24.92 a month also includes:

  • VIP Support Line
  • 20 GB storage
  • unlimited bandwidth
  • priority call back
  • instant response
  • professional site review

*Ownership: *
For free sites: The owner of any sites or content is the owner of the Wix account under which the content was created. In most cases, the owner of the account is considered to be the person or entity who has access to the email address listed in Wix's records.
For premium sites connected to a domain: If a site is/was connected to a domain whose registration information is publicly available via the WHOIS database, the owner of the site is considered to be the person or entity registered as the owner of this domain.

WooCommerce - eCommerce for WordPress

WooCommerce powers over 37% of all online stores. It is an open source platform that is connected to Wordpress and is free at its base, and included with most wordpress themes.

In addition, Woocommerce has its own themes or child themes, extensions that enable it to do more or to be more customizable and WooCommerce extensions. These are all available at the main WooCommerce site as well as other website marketplaces.

For $79-$199/ year, you can add the WooCommerce Product Vendors which enables WooCommerce to become a multi-vendor aka marketplace for physical and/or digital products. If you want to accept time-sensitive bookings, an add-on to the Product Vendors is $249-$449 / year which enable bookings for services, rentals and appointments.

To turn your WooCommerce site into a membership or subscription site, the plug-ins (each needs to be purchased separately) includes: WooCommerce Memberships for $149- $249 / year which includes membership sales, restricted content, discounts for products for members only, and "drip content" which is content that is automatic based on when a user starts their membership. To then turn it into subscriptions, add WooCommerce Subscriptions for monthly or annual payment and renewal at a cost of $199 - $399 / year.


WordPress is web software you can use to create a beautiful website, blog, or app. We like to say that WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time. is free, uses your own domain and host where you select.

  • Stay tuned as we merge our numerous multi-media properties into Living Labs. Lists will be one foundation of the thousands of curated resources, products and services offered for Baby Boomers, patients and the organizations and professionals who work to make their lives easier. Contact us now to sell your innovations at our marketplace, share spaces that inspire Design for Life or create or curate your best expertise including service, sensory, accessible, user-centered, sustainable, evidence based and universal design experiences. Pre-launch opportunities to be selected from your expertise for media, travel, products and pay. Living Labs is connecting creators and users for independence, dignity and beauty for all.

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