There has never been a better time to get into the world of eCommerce. However, if you are considering selling online, it may be difficult to determine which platform to use.
Many people find themselves debating between Magento and WooCommerce.
These two platforms are rich in functionalities, popular and powerful. To determine which one is best for you, you just need to know more about what each option has to offer.
In this post, we will introduce Magento and WooCommerce and discuss their main characteristics.
Then we will compare the two platforms with a handful of important factors, including security and prices.
An overview of Magento and WooCommerce
Magento and WooCommerce are two of the most popular self-hosted eCommerce platforms.
They both have a lot to offer, as well as individual disadvantages.
Before getting to the heart of the matter, let’s take a quick look at each platform.
Presentation of Magento
Magento is a content management system (Content Management System or CMS) built specifically for eCommerce.
Purchased by Adobe in 2018, it is also called “Adobe Commerce”.
This platform is somewhat complex because it is mainly aimed at developers.
While this is not the most suitable option for beginners, it can be a robust solution if you are fond of technology and are looking to create sophisticated and large-scale e-commerce projects.
There are two versions of Magento: Magento Open Source (also called Magento Community) and Magento Commerce (also called Magento Enterprise).
For this article, we will mainly focus on Magento Open Source compared to WooCommerce.
Here are some of the main features of Magento:
- Support for an unlimited number of products
- Hundreds of free extensions
- API integrations
- A theming and layout system
Although Magento is a flexible and intuitive platform, it may not be the best option for beginners because it involves a certain learning curve. It is much more suitable for development professionals.
Presentation of WooCommerce
Launched in 2011, WooCommerce is one of the most used e-commerce platforms on the planet. It is an open source extension built on WordPress, the most popular CMS.
It is incredibly user-friendly, with a simple and fast configuration process that can allow you to create your online store in a few minutes.
It also offers numerous extensions to improve integrated functionality.
WooCommerce has many useful features, including:
- Unlimited products
- A massive library of extensions
- A quick and easy installation process
- Integrated security functions
- Tons of payment processors
- Useful documentation
There are not many drawbacks to WooCommerce. However, the main disadvantage is that if you are not already a user of WordPress, CMS may request some time of adaptation.
This means that you must learn to navigate both in WooCommerce and in WordPress.
Magento vs WooCommerce: A face-to-face comparison
Now that we have presented each platform, it’s time to dig a little deeper.
Below, we will take a closer look at Magento and WooCommerce and see how they compare to crucial aspects.
If you want to improve the purchasing experience of your customers, it is essential to offer them practical payment gateway options.
This is easier to do when choosing a platform that supports the most popular payment processors.
Magento and WooCommerce both offer a large number of options. WooCommerce has integrated support for PayPal, Stripe, checks, bank and offline transfers, and cash options.
It also offers extensions for additional payment gateways, including Amazon Pay, Square, Google Pay, Alipay, etc :
Meanwhile, Magento offers support for PayPal, Autorize.net, and Braintree from the start:
For additional payment gateways, there are extensions available for Stripe, 2Checkout, Skrill, Google Checkout, and more.
There is no real winner in this category. With each platform, you benefit from integrated support for some of the largest payment channels, as well as numerous extensions.
Ease of use
Ease of use is important to consider in an eCommerce platform, especially if you are a beginner. In this area, WooCommerce is the best.
As we mentioned, Magento is more aimed at developers and people with technical knowledge. Therefore, it can be quite confusing for ordinary users.
For example, you will need to learn some basic codes and much of the technical terminology. It is a more complex platform that requires certain development skills.
On the other hand, WooCommerce is an incredibly suitable solution for beginners, especially if you are already familiar with WordPress:
To add it to your site, you must go to Extensions> Add. Once activated, WooCommerce will take you through a configuration assistant.
Magento also has a user-friendly dashboard and an intuitive navigation system.
However, the installation and configuration process is far from being as fluid. You must have developmental knowledge to configure it.
For example, you must use a command line to install it and configure a server that meets Magento requirements.
In addition, if you are already familiar with WordPress, learning a brand new platform can be difficult.
Speed and performance
The speed and performance of your online store play an essential role in your success.
After all, customers will not stay if your pages take time to take care of or if your payment process is slow.
A Quanta study comparing the performance of some of the most popular eCommerce platforms found that Magento had faster loading times than WooCommerce.
However, comparing Magento’s speed and performance with WooCommerce can be tricky due to the number of factors involved.
For example, the hosting plan you are using, the number of extensions and plugins you are installing, and the fact that your images are optimized can all affect the speed of a site.
As an online business, it is of the utmost importance to ensure that your shop is secure.
Security risks have never been higher. You must choose a solution that will help protect your data and personal information from your customers, such as payment details.
Magento and WooCommerce are both open-source platforms. This means that shop owners must take active and proactive measures to protect their sites.
That said, Magento usually requires fewer extensions than WooCommerce.
In return, this means that there is less risk of introducing security breaches. The extensions he offers for security functions tend to be more complete than those of WooCommerce.
Magento also offers dedicated security patches. However, it is important to note that these are not easy to implement and that you may need the help of professional developers.
If you don’t mind paying for help with the safety of your store, Magento may be the best option.
When it comes to comparing Magento’s scalability compared to WooCommerce, Magento is a major competitor. However, this only applies when talking about the Commerce version rather than the free open-source platform, which can be limiting.
With Magento Enterprise, you can handle thousands of orders without problem. The same can be said of WooCommerce. The two platforms support an unlimited number of products.
Whichever platform you choose, it is important to make sure that you choose powerful eCommerce hosting accommodation capable of managing unexpected traffic peaks.
Cloudways offer very fast cloud hosting with fully managed hosting for both WooCommerce & Magento
Magento immediately offers an impressive amount of functionality. This includes multi-language options, multi-shop capacity, and complex configurable products.
WooCommerce is not delivered with as many default functionality. However, the two platforms are highly expandable thanks to extensions, themes, and modules.
The WooCommerce marketplace offers thousands of extensions, free and premium:
You can also find other e-commerce tools in the WordPress extension directory. Likewise, Magento offers thousands of extensions, free or paid:
However, when comparing the extensibility of Magento with that of WooCommerce, it is important to note the price of premium extensions. Overall, WooCommerce modules tend to be more affordable than Magento’s. On the other hand, since Magento’s extensions are more complex, they tend to be more powerful.
Extensions are also easier to install on WooCommerce than on Magento. As the platform is more complex, installing and configuring extensions on Magento generally requires skills in web development.
Optimization of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and online marketing plays an important role in increasing traffic to your store and, therefore, in increasing sales. Therefore, another important consideration of Magento in relation to WooCommerce is to know which marketing functions or options and SEO are available.
WooCommerce is built on a CMS which was originally intended for blogs. As a result, it already includes a large part of the characteristics and functionalities necessary for the publication of articles and other content marketing campaigns. It can also be combined with dozens of other marketing and SEO extensions to help further optimize content, such as Yoast SEO :
By default, Magento is not delivered with an integrated blog functionality. For this, you will need an extension. However, as with WooCommerce, there are many extensions that you can use to optimize your site and integrate it into marketing tools such as Google Analytics.
Magento does offer advanced marketing tools. However, they are not included in the Community version, but only in the Enterprise version.
Since they are so widely used, Magento and WooCommerce both have large and united communities. This means that it is relatively easy to find resources and answers to questions online.
WooCommerce provides a public knowledge base filled with tutorials and useful guides:
Beyond that, support is only available for paid extensions. With the free version of Magento, you can find an online medium:
Dedicated or direct support by email, telephone, or ticket system is only available if you buy a Magento Commerce plan. You may need to hire a developer for more complex problems.
When trying to choose between multiple platforms, cost probably plays an important role in your decision. Magento and WooCommerce are open source, which means you can download and use the main code of the two platforms for free.
However, this does not take into account customization or long-term costs. For example, you are probably considering using themes and extensions to expand the appearance and functionality of your store rather than sticking to what is provided ready for use.
The costs of these platforms can vary considerably depending on the premium extensions you buy. As we mentioned, WooCommerce’s premium extensions tend to be more affordable than Magento’s.
Magento Enterprise does not include a price on its website. However, you can expect to pay around $ 2,000 a month.
With Magento Community and WooCommerce, you must also take into account the costs of purchasing a domain and a hosting plan. However, WooCommerce still tends to be cheaper.
Summary Magento vs WooCommerce
At this point, you should have a strong understanding of the differences between Magento and WooCommerce. Before concluding, however, let’s take a moment to summarize how they compare in key areas:
|Payment bridges||Integrated options and extensions (PayPal Autorize.net, Braintree, etc.)||Integrated options and extensions (PayPal, Stripe, etc.)|
|Ease of use||Oriented towards developers||Adapted to beginners|
|Speed and performance||Variable||Variable|
|Security||Safety extensions and corrective measures (require developers)||Regular updates, integrated security functions, and numerous security extensions (free and paid)|
|Evolutivity||Takes care of an unlimited number of products||Takes care of an unlimited number of products|
|Extensibility||Highly expandable with thousands of extensions, but they tend to be expensive||Thousands of free and premium extensions|
|Marketing and SEO||Extensions available||Integrated blog functionality; SEO extensions available|
|Support||Online support forums; dedicated support available with the Commerce pack||Knowledge base; dedicated support available for paid extensions|
|Pricing||Free (with premium trade version available)||Free|
Magento vs WooCommerce- which is best suited to your eCommerce store?
Choosing a platform for your e-commerce business is not an easy task. There are many factors to consider, especially when comparing Magento and WooCommerce, both of which are robust solutions with much to offer.
If you are a small business and do not have a lot of development experience, WooCommerce is the most logical solution. However, Magento can be a solid choice if you are good at technology and are looking for a more advanced solution.