There’s no doubt about the increasing popularity of e-commerce businesses; however, their success highly depends on the platform supporting them, and it’s not easy to choose a platform. If you’re thinking about which platform to pick between Magento and WooCommerce, then read further.
When entrepreneurs think about changing their current platform or starting a new business venture, they look at the possible platform from every angle. This is a vital step to ensure you’re picking the right fit for your business.
With the number of new e-commerce platforms, the solutions used to create these online stores have also increased in number. Now, in 2021, entrepreneurs look for an option that can offer all the essential features – the perfect solution. The preferred platform depends on the current needs of the business; for example, a small business won’t invest in a high-end, expensive platform in the beginning; in fact, they would consider cheaper options until they start generating profits.
A good platform is necessary to help you run your e-commerce platform, and it will facilitate order processing, online shopping, and dealing with customers.
While there are ample options out there, today, I’ll be tapping into the Magento WooCommerce battle of the CMS platforms. They’re both great options, so it’s understandable for you to get confused when choosing one for your online store.
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What Is Magento?
Launched in early 2008, Magento is a powerful and highly functional CMS (Content Management Systems) designed to support e-commerce websites. The CMS is an open-source system that is backed by a large community of developers.
Magento is a flexible solution to host medium to large websites, and it offers a wide variety of robust features which bring flawless functionality to e-commerce websites.
The CMS is more suitable for big brands and organizations, but that doesn’t mean small businesses can’t try it out. It also offers brands complete control of what their website looks like and marketing tools to promote their business offerings.
Magento is designed as a platform that even non-developers can use easily once they get the hang of it.
Small businesses can leverage Magento to build their website using the free version of the CMS. It comes with all the basics to run an e-commerce website and earn profits. Website owners can also take advantage of marketplace extensions to get the most out of the free version of Magento.
If you want more out of Magento, then you’re ready to upgrade from Magento Open Source to Magento Commerce. The Commerce version is a paid Magento version, which offers a wide variety of advanced features. However, before you buy Magento Commerce, you can experience the CMS paid version for free using the 30-day trial period.
At the end of the trial, you can decide if Magento Commerce is a good fit for your business or not, then subscribe.
The Features Of Magento
Magento is unbeatable when it comes to offering a wide variety of features to its users. Here is an overview of the features.
· Unlimited Product Support
Magento allows businesses to upload, edit, and sell an unlimited variety of products using the platform. Magento’s product description feature is highly detailed from the user-end and developer-end. You can adda completerange of products to create a comprehensive catalog.
· Smart Shipping
The Magento innovative shipping features use exceptional API and microservice technology, making installation, configuration, and integration very easy. The shipping solution is built using Temando, so it offers numerous options.
· Cloud-Based Web Hosting
You can take advantage of cloud-based web solutions when you build a website with Magento. This can go two ways, and if you’re using the open-source Magento version, you need to integrate a third-party cloud-based service; however, if you’re subscribed to the Magento Commerce version, then you can use the premium cloud hosting solutions. Either way, you can integrate a cloud web host to run your website smoothly.
· Analytical And Statistic Tools
The Magento developers claim to offer the best and most reliable analytical and statistical tools that help businesses monitor their Magento-based e-commerce websites. Sellers who use Magento Commerce can use the tools to pinpoint their best-selling products, their highest-ranking pages, and customer behavior. The data from the tools will assist them in drafting better campaigns in the future.
· Mobile Commerce
The CMS comes with a built-in option to create storefronts that are optimized for smartphone screens. The mobile interface uses HTML5 and supports popular Android, iOS devices along with Mobile Opera browsers.
· The Variety Of Themes
As an e-commerce store, if you need ready-made themes, you can easily get them from the built-in Magento marketplace, where you’ll find themes between free and $499. You can pick a feature-rich design for your e-commerce website.
The Benefits Of Picking Magento
Let’s look at the benefits Magento offers to e-commerce stores.
· Easy-To-Use Dashboard
The user-friendly dashboard is the cherry on top of the Magento ice cream sundae.
The new navigation of the Magento CMS is clean, smart, and intuitive, which allows the admins to create, delete, or edit webpages easily.
The admin panel is also sleek, flawless, and mobile-friendly, so admins can make changes while they’re on the go.
· Highly Customizable
Perhaps one of the best qualities of Magento is that it’s highly customizable. Magento is top on the list of CMSs that offer maximum customization to e-commerce businesses.
Whether you’re running a product-based website like a clothing brand or a service-based website like WP-Pals, you can use Magento to give your brand a unique identity.
Moreover, using Magento, you can run more than one e-commerce store and use different payment methods and currencies for each shop.
· Easily Manageable Catalogue
Catalog management is just what you need to make your products more detailed. You can set product attributes, manage taxes and prices, add shipping methods and costs on the product, and update meta titles and descriptions.
Moreover, if you’re migrating from one website to another, you can use the mass download feature to download the entire data. Simultaneously, you can also use mass upload to create new products.
Magento makes product management effective, and you can compare items easily then choose customer favorites.
· Dependable Reporting System
You need detailed reports of your e-commerce website to understand what you can do to make it better for your customers.
You’ll be pleased to use the Magento reporting system because the analytical tool monitors each product individually, analyzes product movement, and generate reports for the most-visited webpages of your website.
Magento’s official website claims that users can generate more than 100 different reports, which will assist in making the business better.
· Easy To Scale
As I said, you’ll enjoy using Magento because it’s highly customizable. The extent of its customization allows you to integrate different themes throughout the website. Each product category on your e-commerce store can have a unique theme that attracts users.
Magento also offers an extensive search feature making it easy for your customers to navigate through the store.
The memorable experience you create with Magento features will have your customers come back for more.
The limitations of Picking Magento
Let’s look at the limitations of using Magento.
· Complex Set Of Features
While it’s awesome to have a huge variety of features, it can prove difficult for people with limited development knowledge to handle such a complex set of features.
If you own a sophisticated website, then you need an experienced Magento developer who can make changes or add more features to your e-commerce store.
· Magento Is Still New
Magento isn’t very hard to use but dealing with complex Magento features requires a deep understanding of the CMS.
You can hire a developer, but because Magento is a new CMS, there are limited developers who can handle a Magento-based website. So, if you need to tweak the features or do something new, it’ll be a real challenge to find a developer.
However, you can counter this by reaching out to the wide Magento community, who will be happy to help for a small fee.
· Very Pricey
Magento’s high price is probably its most significant weakness. The Magento goodies do not come cheap, and if you want to scale further, you need to buckle up and spend $1988 per month.
In addition to that subscription cost, you’ll also need a Magento developer who can modify your e-commerce store.
· Limitation On Migration Of Magento 1 Themes And Extensions
Now that Magento 2 is slowly taking over, website owners have slowly started to migrate too; however, during the migration, you might be losing precious themes and extensions from Magento 1.
For your current third-party plugins properly, you’ll have to skip on the migration; otherwise, your web site’s performance will diminish. And as for the extensions, you’ll need to wait for the new releases before you can start using them, and the themes will have to be redesigned.
· Web Hosting On Dedicated Servers
Magento is a fast-paced CMS that comes with its own set of servers that you can pick from; it’s important you pick from the list only.
If you want your website to work at an optimum speed, then forget about the cheaper service providers because you’ll end up losing customers otherwise.
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What Is WooCommerce?
Launched in late 2011, WooCommerce is a free e-commerce plugin by WordPress. The plugin is open-source like Magento and has an adaptable codebase.
If you know how to work with WordPress, then using WooCommerce should be a breeze for you. There is an excess of videos and tutorials available online to get started right away.
WooCommerce has a very clean dashboard that is easy to navigate through and build websites. It has a non-obtrusive interface that anyone with WordPress experience can understand.
The CMS is backed by a large community of WordPress developers who try to bring change and make the CMS better for building websites. They generate new ideas and exciting plugins that make website management a breeze.
This platform is home to approximately 400,000 websites online, and the number increases a little each day. The versatile CMS is widely popular with small and medium businesses because it’s inexpensive. Users can get free plugins from the Plugin Repository or the WordPress dashboard.
On the basic level, WooCommerce is free of cost CMS available for anyone to download and create websites; however, it does come with some other premium features.
If you decide to use the premium features of WooCommerce, then that would require annual subscriptions, which can be expensive. You can also buy some of these premium extensions individually, which means no need for a subscription. However, when you subscribe to WooCommerce, make sure to use a high-profile web host; it will ensure your website performs well.
The Features Of WooCommerce
WooCommerce has its own set of features that can help in making your website better and faster. Here are some fantastic features of WooCommerce:
· Sell Anything With WooCommerce
WooCommerce is an all-rounder CMS which you can use to sell tangible products and digital services online.
However, when it comes to product management, Magento takes the cake because its features are much more extensive than WooCommerce.
· Create Marketing Campaigns
WooCommerce is a WordPress-based plugin which means it’s great for blogging and marketing your products and services. The WooCommerce digital marketing tools allow you to publish blogs on the built-in blog feature.
If you want to modify your landing page, you can use shortcodes to add extra elements and features. Moreover, the latest WooCommerce update comes with formats for transactional emails, which are far better than the old ones and helps with email marketing.
· Maximum Customization
WooCommerce allows you to customize every single element on each landing page effortlessly. You can tweak currency settings, set different languages, and modify the measure settings tailored to your website.
Moreover, to make the shopping experience better for your customers, you can add unlimited product photos.
· Extensive Variety Of Themes And Plugins
Much like Magento, WooCommerce also offers a plethora of themes and plugins to help you in customizing your website. You can find solutions for enhancing your payment methods, shipping requests, and UI better.
Also, you can visit the WooCommerce website to download exciting and beautiful themes for your website.
· Track Your Website
The WooCommerce analytics offer many filters that can be used to track different performance aspects of an e-commerce website.
It also has visual reporting tools like bars and graphs to better understand and present its performance metrics.
· Complete Product Control
Since you have the advantage of customization, that also means you have complete control of your product catalog.
You can customize how the product pages look and what content goes on the pages. You can also download or upload an entire product catalog in a few minutes.
The Benefits Of Picking WooCommerce
Let’s look at some of the positive aspects offered by WooCommerce.
· Easy-To-Use & Highly Flexible
The best part about using WooCommerce is that it’s as easy as eating a piece of cake and highly customizable.
It offers a variety of themes that you can customize according to your preference to attract customers. Some third-party integrations allow small businesses to leverage shipping and payment methods.
· Offers SEO Tools
SEO is crucial for any e-commerce store because it helps them rank higher on Google. WooCommerce offers an exceptional variety of SEO tools that help in optimizing your website and make it SEO-friendly.
Additionally, you can hire an SEO expert who will use these tools better and increase your website’s visibility on search engines.
· User Security And Support
In regards to security, WooCommerce is highly dependable and reliable. The plugin is regularly updated to remove any bugs and errors, which keeps your website and the data protected.
· A Worldwide Store
The WooCommerce website you develop can be worldwide, meaning it can be open to customers around the world, which will give you a chance to earn more profits.
· Great User Experience
The biggest concern with any new website is making it user-friendly to offer an optimal experience to customers. WooCommerce keeps the customer needs in check and ensures the website is nothing short of amazing. You can integrate plugins to make the experience better.
The Drawbacks Of Picking WooCommerce
Let’s look at the risks you need to consider when using WooCommerce.
· Pricey Extensions
Like Magento, if you want to enrich your WooCommerce website with more features, then you have to splurge. The CMS offers some exceptional but pricey extensions that can make your website better and faster.
When you decide to purchase WooCommerce premium extensions, then you can’t benefit from the free version anymore.
Although this has one benefit, if you go to WordPress Premium extensions compatible with WooCommerce, then you’re investing high-level security for your website and user data.
· Update Compatibility Issues
CMSs are updated frequently, and not every WooCommerce update will be compatible with your website version. This is bad news for a website built on older WooCommerce versions.
· Skills For Development
Like Magento, if you need to integrate advanced features, you need a WooCommerce developer who can do it all, especially if you lack development experience.
· Limited Free Features
While WooCommerce offers all the essential features to build and run a basic website, advanced features like payment methods, shipping carriers, data import, and export come at a price. These add-ons have to be invested in if you want to scale your website.
· WooCommerce Depends On WordPress
Another major drawback is the fact that WooCommerce is highly dependable and bound by WordPress, which will be a problem if you don’t have a WordPress website. You can only use WooCommerce to customize your website if they’re on the dedicated CMS.
The other option is completely rebuilt your website, but of course, that’s a time-consuming process. Moreover, WooCommerce doesn’t have the functionality to host your website, which means you need a dedicated website host.
WooCommerce Vs Magento – The Comparison
Okay, we’ve talked enough about Magento and WooCommerce as individual CMS. Both have much in common, but the debate is about which platform you should be choosing.
I’ve decided to compare both using core features to help you gain a better understanding of which one is the best for you and your business.
· General Information
Magento is an independent and open-source e-commerce CMS. The platform is great, but at the same time, it isn’t very beginner-friendly when we compare it to WooCommerce.
WooCommerce is a plugin bound by WordPress with a great community, and it’s very beginner-friendly, especially for people who own a WordPress website.
When you own a website, one of your concerns should be website loading time. If your website has a poor loading time, users, as well as Google, will disregard and ignore your website. So, you need to prevent website crashes because it can affect your SERPs rankings.
When it comes to website performance, it’s tough to pick between WooCommerce or Magento because both platforms will behave differently. The website’s performance depends on the hosting provider you choose. So, if you pick a low-cost option, you risk running a website with poor performance. On the other hand, if you go for a high-quality hosting service, you’ll have a high-performing website.
· The Price
Magento offers a free package known as “Magento Open Source” and a subscription called “Magento Commerce.”
WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin that you can customize by buying advanced extensions.
Magento is an all-rounder CMS that offers numerous customization options to small, medium, and large businesses.
The basic WooCommerce version offers limited features to small, medium, and large businesses; however, the paid extensions and add-ons can be purchased to modify the website.
· CMS Solution
Magento is a CMS solution that offers every possible solution to run an e-commerce store smoothly. The CMS is a great tool for large enterprises, B2B trading activities, and international retailers.
WooCommerce clients are mostly startups and small businesses who are fresh in the e-commerce market.
· Web Hosting Services
The platform offers you a list of dedicated providers you can use to host your website, and alternatively, you can use premium features to host your website as well.
WooCommerce doesn’t offer any web hosting services; the website owners are liable to find their own providers.
· Product Catalogue Limitations
WooCommerce and Magento both allow e-commerce owners to upload and sell an unlimited array of products.
· Product Management
If you want a CMS that offers a good product management system with basic features,WooCommerce is your best bet. Setting up new features and adding more products is incredibly easy with this CMS.
As compared to WooCommerce, Magento offers far more and better features for free, which alternatively you’d have to buy with WooCommerce.
The Magento market is full of numerous free and paid extensions and themes that can be easily downloaded and added.
WooCommerce allows website owners to either add built-in themes and extensions or integrate third-party integrations.
The platform is easy-to-use for people with limited development skills.
The WooCommerce CMS is simple to handle for people who have experience with WordPress.
· Developer Community Support
Magento is backed by a wide community of developers who know the inside and out of the CMS.
WooCommerce also has a large association of developers who are working to make the CMS better.
WooCommerceVs Magento – How Do I Choose The Platform?
Seeing the similarities between the two CMS, it can be difficult to pick the platform that is right for you, which is why here are some questions you can ask yourself before investing time and energy in a CMS.
- Who is my target audience?
- How extensive is my product catalog?
- How much traffic will my website attract?
- What kind of e-commerce store do I want to build?
- Can I make do with a ready-made shop, or should I invest in a customized shop?
- Is security an important factor for my e-commerce store?
- How much money can I invest in building my shop?
When you have the answers to these queries, compare the answers with the features of WooCommerce and Magento to figure out what you need.
Take your time deciding the right CMS for your business.
Magento or WooCommerce – Which Is The Right Platform For You?
I hope the comparison I’ve presented of WordPress vs Magento has helped you understand which platform is better for you and your business. If you’re a Magento user, you can even transfer Magento customers to WooCommerce without plugins and vice versa with a little research on Google.
Moreover, I can’t pick the right platform for you between Magento or WooCommerce, because that’s a decision for you to make according to your business requirements. They’re both very unique yet useful, and maybe that explains why both of these platforms are the top choices for e-commerce platforms and rule the market.
Keep these tips in mind:
- Magento is an exceptional and extensive CMS that can help scale e-commerce stores and make them better, but it’s not ideal for small businesses or startups. In that regard, there is no better choice than WooCommerce.
- WooCommerce is a reasonable option for small and large businesses, but you don’t get as many qualitative features as Magento at such a low price. Both CMS offer adequate features according to their prices; however, Magento can offer better features.
- WooCommerce and Magento are far from perfect, and there is still much to be explored.