Magento vs WooCommerce

How to choose your e-commerce platform

Home>Ecommerce>Magento vs WooCommerce: Which is the Best Solution for Your Business?

Magento vs WooCommerce: Which is the Best Solution for Your Business?

 

Magento vs WooCommerce are the two most powerful e-Commerce solutions. Together, they run almost half of all online stores. These two solutions are the best choice if you want to unlock the full potential of you e-commerce store, and have full control over its design and functionality.

Both Magento and WooCommerce are open source products, which means the source code is available for basically anyone to develop. This results in a large community behind them ready to help in custom-fitting to anyone’s need. It also means that both Magento and WooCommerce are initially free to use and are very customizable. They are also both self-hosted.

What makes them different? First, Magento is a content management system (CMS) built specifically for e-commerce, while WooCommerce is a plugin designed to turn a WordPress site into an online store. To run a store on WooCommerce, first you need to install WordPress and then install the WooCommerce plugin.

But how to know which platform is most fitting to your business? We have compared Magento vs WooCommerce in several categories to help you decide.

Hosting

Magento vs WooCommerceSince WooCommerce is a small and efficient plugin, running on a pretty light-weight CMS, the hosting requirements are pretty standard. The smaller scale online store with small number of products may be fine running on a shared hosting for few dollars a month (we don’t advise running a store on a shared hosting, though).

Magento is a bit more complicated. It requires significantly more powerful hosting, due to its complexity and bulkiness. To ensure an optimal store performance you’ll probably best of using a dedicated server to avoid your store running slow and sluggish. It is still debatable whether the website powered by Magento needs a Magento optimized hosting. Yes, Magento can run on pretty much any modern shared hosting, but the company that invested in optimizing their hosting infrastructure for Magento will do a much better job making your site running smoothly than a hosting company that does not specialize in Magento. Obviously, it will cost you more.

Winner in this category: WooCommerce

Magento vs WooCommerce Features

When it comes to out-of-the-box features, there is no competition here. Magento, with its amazing features, such as multi-store capability, multi-language options, layered navigation, configurable products and many more, is a clear winner in this category. The only thing that WooCommerce has over Magento in the features category is the superb blogging functionality. Most of the extra features for the WooCommerce can be obtained by adding 3rd party plugins.

Winner in this category:Magento

Learning curve

Magento has a much steeper learning curve and it does take some time getting used to. Some of the more complicated options, fit for larger stores, can be very difficult for people who are new to Magento to grasp. In the words of Uncle Ben: “With great power comes great responsibility”. If you are not particularly tech-savvy, it is strongly recommended to hire a professional Magento developer to get your store running the best it can. Adding a product is not too complicated, but it does require going through a comprehensive process of product setup, with an impressive number of options.

WooCommerce features a straightforward and intuitive design, allowing anyone who knows a little bit about WordPress to manage their store with ease. Even someone completely new to the matter should be able to get up and running fairly quickly if they take the time to learn. Adding a product in WooCommerce is easy and fast from the dashboard.

Winner in this category: WooCommmerce

Scalability

Magento is, without a doubt, the most scalable eCommerce platform available. Combined with a decent hosting it can handle hundreds of thousands of products and orders with an incredible ease. For online retail giants, there is even a more powerful Magento Enterprise Edition.Magento is a perfect choice for large and mid-sized businesses with a growth potential.

A comfortable limit for WooCommerce is around couple thousands of products. After passing this limit it gets quite difficult to maintain both usability and stability. That’s why most of WooCommerce stores are small or mid-sized.

Winner in this category: Magento

Extensions & Plugins

Both Magento and WooCommerce have an impressive number of extensions and plugins able to power up your store considerably. If you have a specific need, it is likely that there is an extension or plugin that will make that possible for either platform. Woo Commerce add-ons are generally much cheaper and easier to install than those on Magento. However, Magento already offers a huge nuber of features out of the box, which means you won’t need that many plugins for achieving the desired functionality.

The installations of add-ons on WooCommerce is very easily done in your admin panel. On the other hand, installing extensions on Magento is not so straightforward. Quite often you will need a developer to set it up properly. Most providers of commercial extensions for Magento also offer great support and the option to tailor the extension to your specific needs.

Winner in this category: Tied

Security – Magento vs WooCommerce

Magento is built for eCommerce and eCommerce only. This generally means that it is more dedicated to security that WooCommerce. It also requires fewer plugins for achieving the functionality needed, which means fewer entry points and security holes that can be exploited. By following Magento’s best practice for making your website as secure as possible and keeping an eye on your store’s security status can literally save your business. There is also a comprehensive security extension that will make the job of keeping your store secure easy and hassle-free.

WooCommerce is built on the most widespread CMS in the world, which is primarily a blogging platform. WorPress is a very popular target for frauds and hacker attacks. This flaw can be addressed with the help of security plugins, which requires additional expenses and resources.

Winner in this category: Magento

Design

What makes both of these self-hosted platforms so attractive for developers and online retailers is how customizable they are. Both platforms have a vast array of beautiful and responsive themes. Magento themes are usually ready to go from the get-go, while themes for WooCommerce often require widgets that add content and features to your store. The design can also be fully customizable using templates.

Winner in this category: Tied

Costs

Both Magento and WooCommerce are initially free, so it all comes down to long-term costs. WooCommerce requires less expensive hosting, and generally lower development costs. However if you need a full range of payment options beyond PayPal and bank transfers, you’ll discover that WooCommerce is very limited and the expenses for plugins will add up.

To give your customers a premium shopping experience in your Magento store, you will also need to add some extensions and most likely hire a developer. Capable developers for Magento are harder to find than those for WooCommerce, and naturally, they charge more. But for eCommerce success you have to think of your long-term goals just as much as you think of the budget. Do you really need all those extra option that Magento offers? Will the limitations of WooCommerce hinder your business growth and end up costing more because you need to migrate to another eCommerce platform? But judged purely on the amount of money you need to spend to get the online store up and running, WoCommerce is the more cost-effective solution.

Winner in this category: WooCommerce

Conclusion

Both platforms have their strengths and weaknesses, so it essentially comes down to your business model. If you are running a small retail business on a limited budget, selling simple products, WooCommerce is the best option for you. Large and medium sized businesses, with a large number of products and greater financial resources should go with Magento. Magento has got scalability to support the growth of your business for years to come, and it is flexible and robust enough to support your future needs.