Magento and WooCommerce are two of the biggest names that would pop up when a business looks between options for their future eCommerce platforms, besides Shopify or BigCommerce.
Magento and WooCommerce are often put on the table for comparison, yet their potential target segments can be quite different. Nevertheless, both have been developed to support eCommerce businesses to achieve their best potentials.
This article will compare the platforms to give you an idea about their advantages and disadvantages to help you in concluding which platform fits your business!
Brief introduction: Magento and WooCommerce
To address both platforms further in the article, it’d be helpful to first have a general idea about Magento and WooCommerce.
Magento is an open-source platform written in PHP, which helps programmers create eCommerce websites. It is one of the most used platforms by eCommerce businesses.
Adobe acquired Magento in 2018 with a whopping price of $1.68 billion. In 2020, more than 20% of users moved their stores to Magento, and now there are over 205,000 live websites on the Magento platform.
Some of the most reputed brands in the world have chosen Magento to build their platforms. The list includes Nestle Nespresso, Landrover, Ford, Christian Louboutin, Olympus, Ahmad Tea, Burger King, PostNL, and more.
Provided by WordPress – the world’s most popular website builder, WooCommerce has taken over the market and become a top choice for merchants looking to go online.
WooCommerce leads the market with the highest distribution of the eCommerce platform share with more than 2,7 million live websites in 2020, equal to 28% of the market.
Comparison: Magento vs WooCommerce
Magento and WooCommerce both offer free versions for businesses to set up their eCommerce store.
Magento, as an eCommerce-specific platform, has different pricing plans for a business owner to choose from. They are divided into two main options: Magento Community Edition (free version) and Magento Enterprise Edition (starts from $22,000).
WooCommerce, on the other hand, is free to download and use. It has several built-ins with the platform to help businesses set up their website. For newbies jumping into eCommerce and planning to set things up themselves, WooCommerce would be the most appropriate choice.
Of course, setting up and running an eCommerce store doesn’t end solely with a licensing cost. Here are what else you’ll need to consider:
Scalability is important to consider while choosing your eCommerce platform. While both platforms claim no limitations for added products, they all have strength and drawbacks:
Magento positions itself as a CMS for online shops with high aspirations, so scalability is the platform’s strength.
If your business provides somewhere from over 1000 products, then Magento is for you. It can smoothly handle businesses with many stores and thousands of products. There is a variety of Magento products and solutions available to meet the needs of the most demanding companies.
Take note that depending on how you want to develop your website with Magento, the cost may vary and the process sometimes can be quite complicated.
WooCommerce, too, claims that it has no limit on the number of products a business can manage online. The platform has solutions for scalability with plenty of extensions. The plus point is that there are several extensions that a beginner can work with, which allows a business with a limited budget to keep their cost relatively lower.
Be cautious that it may require more installations at once to be compatible with the business growth compared to Magento (with its built-in features). The issue is whether your WordPress hosting’s resources can handle all the extensions.
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Ease of use
Magento is built as an all-in-one eCommerce platform, designed to provide businesses with essential features right from the start. However, this leads to setting up your eCommerce business on the platform will require a certain level of technical expertise. The dashboard of Magento is not as straightforward as of WooCommerce.
The drawback is that for complicated projects, businesses may need to outsource Magento experts.
When it comes to ease of use, WooCommerce may beat Magento in this aspect. The plugin adds basic features to your WordPress website.
If you are already familiar with WordPress, getting started with WooCommerce is quite simple. Even if you aren’t, the process is straightforward, and with the help of online guides, it should not take you long to familiarize yourself with WooCommerce features.
No eCommerce platform is perfect, but they have solutions for the needs of businesses. Both offer plenty of extensions for web customization.
Magento offers a remarkable degree of customizability with out-of-the-box features. With the built-in essentials, businesses can set different languages, create product catalogs with detailed item descriptions, add images and features, etc. It lets you design your dream store as you wish.
Again, the setting process isn’t the easiest and you may need to work with Magento experts.
WooCommerce is more beginner-friendly, easy to customize for business needs. It helps when you have previously worked with WordPress.
All the pages, blocks, and design elements for your website can be modified with a few tweaks to suit your shop style. You can also configure currency, language, measure settings, add an unlimited number of photos, attributes, and tags to their items.
Since it is built on top of WordPress, users also get access to plenty of WordPress plugins that can be installed and used.
Your website performance will have different results considering its functionality and size. Whether your business is using Magento or WooCommerce, the performance relies on factors such as your web hosting provider, whether your images are optimized or not, and whether you are using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) or not.
But it’s worth taking scalability into account for web performance. In general, Magento deals much better with large amounts of traffic when compared to most other eCommerce platforms, WooCommerce included.
Extensions and plugins
In this aspect, both Magento and WooCommerce cater to all issues through third-party extensions and plugins, ranging from free to paid.
There are more than 5000 extensions available for Magento users, offering endless possibilities for customization to match your demands. These are built by community developers for sales, marketing, content and customizations.
You have about 312 extensions on the official website Woocommerce.com, with an addition of over 4600 extensions on WordPress.org. Plus point is that many of them are free.
Thanks to a wide variety of extensions, you can add in contact forms, integrate payment gateways, or connect to Google Analytics…
SEO & Marketing
WooCommerce is well-known for its SEO friendliness, as it’s built on WordPress. There are also great SEO extensions like Yoast that assist store owners to boost their website’s popularity.
Since WooCommerce comes with basic features, to use other marketing tools, you will need to buy extensions. You can add email marketing, coupon codes, points and reward system, connect your store to Facebook, …
When it comes to SEO, a business using Magento isn’t of disadvantage either. Magento is on par with WooCommerce’s SEO support with plenty of SEO extensions developed. In recent research, Magento came at #4 for the best eCommerce platforms for SEO.
With Magento, it saves you time with several built-in and ready-to-use marketing features for your online stores. For example, catalog promotion pricing, discount codes, newsletter management, … all will help your online store stick into your customer’s mind.
You can manage your online store easily whether it’s with Magento or WooCommerce.
However, Magento provides more ability to manage several stores at once, in multi-languages, discount and coupon codes, and more options if you look into it. These features explain why Magento is preferred by international and large enterprises in the market.
WooCommerce provides a smooth store management experience as well, but it has its own weakness. The platform isn’t meeting demands since it doesn’t let owners create more than one storefront, and in multi-languages. This is the reason many deem WooCommerce more fit for start-ups and small businesses.
The two platforms offer diverse methods for online payments and support through extensions and addons if they aren’t available already.
Magento has PayPal, Authorize.net, cash on delivery, bank transfer, and purchase order payment methods by default. And of course, there are more options available in store.
WooCommerce comes bundled with the ability to accept major credit cards, bank transfers (BACS), checks, and cash on delivery. It also has PayPal and Stripe by defaults, as well as other extensions to be integrated if required.
Magento has more security built-in as an eCommerce-specific platform and the provider takes security very seriously. They roll out updates for the security front and also offer a comprehensive best practices guide to enforce and strengthen an already formidable offering.
This is not to say that WooCommerce does not provide a high level of security. But due to its nature as an eCommerce platform with basic features, it tends to be more vulnerable due to the reliance on third-party plugins.
Magento support significantly differs between editions, while the support for WooCommerce is similar to those using Magento’s Community version.
Magento support significantly differs between editions. Those using the Community version will have access to Magento’s official documentation and communities solely – Magento Help Center, Magento DevDocs, Magento Forums, or technical blogs written by certified Magento partners.
For businesses using Magento Enterprise, they can raise the issues via email or live support.
WooCommerce is similar to the Magento Community version, with only support from official documents and help from the online community.
The final decision to go and build your eCommerce business with Magento or WooCommerce depends on the business’s type and scale.
Ask yourself these questions beforehand to make the best out of your available resources:
- What is my target market?
- How wide is my product range?
- How much traffic will my website possibly get?
- What kind of online shop am I going to start?
- What is my budget?
If you’ve got your answers to these questions, then take a look at this table to see which platform fits your business and can help it expand in the future.