A lot of people ask us which platform is better. They want to be sure when deciding between Magento or Woocommerce for their online stores. Those two are by far the most popular eCommerce platforms and together with Shopify run more than 2.8M online stores!
It’s not easy to pick the best; in this post, we will go through their key features, performance, security, pricing, learning curve, in order to give you an unbiased opinion so you can weigh up their pros and cons and decide which solution suits your business the best.
Open source eCommerce platform developed to create online stores. It has a Community edition which is free and a paid version that offers additional features, cloud hosting and technical support.
Free plugin for the WordPress platform. It offers all the features you need from an e-commerce platform, while retaining the ease-of-use of WordPress.
Key Features for Your eCommerce Platform
Comes in two editions:
You can download it for free and install it on the hosting provider of your preference. This edition does not include all features nor support.
Available in monthly paid plans, they offer cloud hosting and support. They are quite expensive, but they offer more value with high-performance cloud hosting, additional features, and professional support.
Even though Magento is in PHP, its structure is quite different than WordPress, hence the learning curve is quite higher in comparison. If you purchase third party extensions, themes, or hire a developer to work on your Magento store, it will significantly increase your costs.
Free to download and runs on WordPress.
The costs for deploying a WooCommerce online store are significantly cheaper than for Magento. There are a lot more choices available for WooCommerce hosting plans than Magento, which helps you choose a plan that fits your budget.
You don’t need a complex hosting plan for running WooCommerce, however we suggest you invest in a robust hosting provider.
Third party extensions and add-ons for WooCommerce are cheaper, and a plus is that you will have access to more than 50 000+ WordPress extensions and thousands of free WordPress themes.
Most people willing to start an eCommerce project are most likely not expert programmers, and you don’t have to be. If you are just starting you should look for an easy to use and deploy platform, one that does not require paying a fortune to someone or doesn’t have a high learning curve.
Even experienced users would rather use a platform that simplifies the technical aspects, so they can focus on growing the business.
Magento has an advanced and complex setup process that might be a bit complicated for newbies. It is not easy to install, and it requires specific hosting characteristics. Most hosting providers don’t offer magento oriented hosting plans, however
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The installer language is highly complex which may leave beginners a bit clueless about several important settings.
After the install, there are a few other things to learn. Installing extensions and styling themes is not easy, and if you are not a developer you might want to ask for help.
Magento offers a really detailed documentation and you can also find some video tutorials, however keep in mind that those are written by professional developers, so keeping track of them might no be as easy as a DIY tutorial
WooCommerce is a little easier to setup and use compared to Magento. The installation is simple as many WooCommerce hosting providers will automatically install it for you along with WordPress.
Since WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, you will need to install WordPress first. Even if your host doesn’t automatically install WordPress, chances are that there would be an auto-installer that would let you do it with just a few clicks.
WooCommerce comes with a setup wizard that will walk you through initial setup like creating pages, set up payments, choose the currency, set shipping and tax options.
WooCommerce still has a bit of a learning curve, but overall it is far easier to use than Magento.
You will have to look for online payment methods for your online store that work on your country. There are a lot of payment gateway companies you can choose to integrate on your website.
Magento comes with PayPal, Authorize.net, cash on delivery, bank transfer, and purchase order payment methods by default. It also has extensions available for Stripe, 2Checkout, Braintree, WePay, Google Checkout, Skrill, and more.
Magento’s APIs allow developers to easily integrate payment gateways. If the payment gateway you are looking for is not yet available, then you can hire someone to create a custom extension for that.
WooCommerce offers PayPal and Stripe by default. if you want another payment method you will most likely find an extension or add-on.
WooCommerce supports many regional and smaller payment companies. Since it is so easy to integrate, any payment company can create an add-on for WooCommerce and provide support for it.
Both platforms have support for multiple payment options and add-ons but the prices are a bit higher for magento than for woo commerce.
EXTENSIONS AND INTEGRATIONS
There is a limit to the features your eCommerce platform can add to the core software. This leaves room for third-party extensions, tools, and integrations to extend the platform by offering additional features.
Both Magento and WooCommerce have extensions, themes, and support offered by third-party integration providers.
There is an active community of developers for Magento. And also a wide variety of free extensions, the ones you have to pay for are not cheap though.
Since WooCommerce runs on top of WordPress this gives you access to more than 55,000 free WordPress plugins and thousands of paid plugins. This means you can easily connect your store for email marketing, or to a CRM software, payment gateways and more.
Magento and WooCommerce allow you to grow your eCommerce business, however it might be a bit challenging. As you grow you will need more server resources if you want to keep up.
You will face some cost and technical challenges when it comes to scaling. Magento is a resource intensive software, this means that eventually you will have to migrate from VPS to dedicated server. You will also have to setup for caching, backups and firewalls. You will definitely need to hire Magento specialists.
If your business can afford the growing costs, then the easier option would be to switch to Magento’s paid business and enterprise plans.
WooCommerce share the same technical challenges as Magento. However, overcoming them and continue growing come at low cost.
First, you have several easy caching options to improve performance which can be implemented even by beginners. This will keep your server resources low and allow you to continue growing for a while.
So.. which one do I choose?
Magento and WooCommerce are both full-featured eCommerce platforms that allow you to create an online store. In the end, it comes down to your budget and personal programming skills to choose between them.
Magento suits bigger businesses with own tech team or businesses that have a budget to hire an specialists.
WooCommerce has a larger user base and therefore more add-ons and extensions to choose from, and runs on WordPress which is the most popular website builder. If you are familiarized with WordPress you will find WooCommerce super easy to use. It is also cheaper to build and scalable.