Choosing the right platform for your online store can become a very overwhelming process. With more than 30+ Content Management Systems (CMS) options available for ecommerce web development and not to forget the option to develop your website from scratch, business leaders are stuck between a lot of options with no actionable advice. Choosing the right method for giving life to your eCommerce idea can be a deciding factor for its success. If you make a wrong choice in the initial stage of web development you can either get stuck with limitations for your idea, unnecessary costs or worse you might have to migrate from one platform to another which is a big financial burden. Though the number of options are limitless, the choice usually boils down to three prominent players in the market – Magento, WooCommerce, and Shopify. We will answer all your questions shortly: a) What are they? b) How are they different from each other- Magento vs. Shopify vs. WooCommerce? and c) Which to choose Magento, Shopify or WooCommerce?
What are they?
Developed and founded by Varien Inc. in 2008, Magento is an open source CMS platform designed especially for building eCommerce stores. It is a php based robust platform developed to enable the most minute tweaks to an eCommerce store. It comes in two packages one is the community based open source and other is the SaaS-based enterprise edition. Magento is a developer friendly system and comes as an independent application i.e. you need to get your own hosting. 5 lakh plus websites are using Magento as of now and the number is ever increasing. It’s free cost and flexibility account for its high popularity in the market.
Shopify is full-fledged eCommerce solution with a feature rich system, in-built hosting and payment gateways. Shopify eases the entire development process by giving a single user interface with everything built-in. Shopify is easy to use even for people without a coding background. The only thing to worry about is getting people to the store and managing inventory. 3 Lakh plus websites are using Shopify for managing their online store.
WooCommerce is a WordPress extension aimed towards adding eCommerce capabilities to WordPress. It is a free to use plugin which integrates seamlessly with WordPress and supports a majority of themes and plugins. Being developed for the most popular CMS in the world has its advantages – WooCommerce is used on 2 million plus websites which makes it the most popular eCommerce platform today. WooCommerce brings a perfect balance between usability and features which have made it an obvious choice for many online business owners.
Magento vs. Shopify vs. WooCommerce – Which is Better?
Here is a 360-degree comparison between Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce to help you choose the right platform for your e-business. For ease of understanding we are comparing them to the following parameters:
Magento and WooCommerce are both open source platform which means they are completely free. On the other hand, Shopify starts with 29$ per month. The bright side with Shopify is that it comes with hosting included while you will need to invest in third-party hosting and management with Magento & WooCommerce. Magento also comes with an enterprise edition if you are planning something huge but it’s costing is not available openly.
All the solutions have high-security systems available with them. Fraud analysis in Shopify is available for plans starting from 79$/mo which leaves basic users at a disadvantage. Magento is the winner when it comes to security as it comes with manual security patches that can be installed by experienced developers. WooCommerce inherits its security from WordPress which is a CMS empowering 50% of the internet today. Much of the security patches come with WordPress updates so there is not much to be done by direct users.
Shopify’s source code is not available for developers and thus, you need to work with the pre-built features. WooCommerce and Magento both offer a high level of customization options as both are based on php and enable developers to make changes as they seem fit. But when it comes to core customization, Magento is again a leader. You will need to incur developmental costs but if you want high-level customization then Magento is the go-to platform.
All three platforms offer payment gateways for seamless transactions. Shopify offers 70+ payment options with the 3rd party payment applications available as well. Commission on Shopify ranges between 2% to 0.5% for inbuilt gateways. Magento offers Paypal as its primary payment option but you can add 3rd party gateways with plugins the same goes for WooCommerce as well. So here we see that Shopify comes with the best functionality at its core.
Themes and Add-ons:
Magento comes with an extensive library of themes and add-ons and so does WooCommerce. Though Shopify is scaling up on this it still lags far behind when it comes to add-ons and themes. In case of premium themes, Shopify is considerably costly with themes starting from 140$ while others are offerings that for as low as 1$. Comparing the numbers WooCommerce comes with 29000+ addons, Magento comes with 5000+ add-ons and Shopify has just 150 addons.
Magento offers cart tracking, coupons and discount options something lacking in both Shopify and WooCommerce which makes it the most functional CMS for eCommerce stores. But this functionality comes at a cost, you will need to hire an experienced developer to handle Magento. Shopify and WooCommerce, on the other hand, are very user-friendly so you can kick off without any technical experience.
WooCommerce being a part of WordPress comes with the biggest community of users which is followed by Magento. Shopify has a smaller community which is accompanied by customer support which other platforms fail to offer. Magento Enterprise comes with customer support but it is far more costly as compared to Shopify. Normally a good developer is able to deal with issues as most of the queries are already answered in open source CMS systems. But nothing compensates the support offered by humans in which Shopify excels.
Which Platform to Choose – Magento, Shopify or WooCommerce?
Now that we are through with comparison of Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce, it is time to choose the best solution. This is where our expertise comes in handy. We at NewGenApps have 9 years of expertise in developing web and mobile technologies with a vivid experience of working with eCommerce companies across the globe. If you have a WordPress store then it makes sense to go with WooCommerce. WooCommerce has good enough capabilities to power an eCommerce idea and you save the time and money spent on migrating from one platform to another.
If you are building from scratch then your better options are to choose between Magento and Shopify. For small business owners who are willing to manage entire store themselves or atleast want to do so in the begining then Shopify is the go to option. Magento is best when you have a big idea in mind and want to execute everything with with perfection. The level of customization Magento offers in incomprehensible but you need to have some coding skills to manage this. Magento has a steep learning curve so you are better off with hiring a developer instead of trying to experiment on your own. When combined with cloud computing, Magento is the most powerful solution for eCommerce businesses and gives great results in terms of ROI.
If you are looking for a developer to take care of your eCommerce needs than you are at the right place. We at NewGenApps offer robust solutions for eCommerce development and maintainence along with cloud hosting so all you need to care about is your core business and level entire IT development to us. Contact us for more information.