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WooCommerce vs Magento: Which Is the Best E-Commerce Platform?

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Nov 5, 2019                   Blog                 By JOHN HUGHES      

WooCommerce vs Magento – both pack a punch when it comes to features, as well as being wildly popular. It’s not easy to pick an overall winner, and weighing up the features of each platform could leave you scratching your head in confusion, while leaving your customers without a way to purchase from your site.

Fortunately, we’re here to help you make an informed decision. There’s no one ultimate solution when it comes to e-commerce, but you can always make the right choice for your unique needs – as long as you have all the facts at hand.

Every platform has their own group of die-hard supporters championing its cause, and claiming it’s the best. We decided to wade through the noise and take a look for ourselves, giving you an unbiased opinion to help make your decision.

In this article, we’ll compare WooCommerce vs Magento – their key features, performance, security, pricing, beginner-friendliness, and even product management. By the time you’ve finished reading, you’ll know exactly which solution is right for you.

Let’s get cracking!

What’s unique about WooCommerce vs Magento?

WooCommerce vs Magento: A look at their features

WOOCOMMERCEMAGENTO
Completely free platform.Offers a free Community version, as well as several premium services.
Requires you to find your own web host.The Community version is self-hosted, but their premium offerings include hosting.
Supports unlimited products.Enables you to add unlimited products.
Supports nearly all WordPress themes, and offers a myriad of customization options.Offers a theme-based system and a decent variety of options.
Comes with an extension system and hundreds of options.Supports extensions and offers a wide variety of them too.
Includes basic security features to protect your store.Offers advanced security features, as well as dedicated patches to close any vulnerabilities that arise.
The platform is remarkably easy-to-use.Recommended for users that have (at least) a basic level of web development knowledge.

What each platform has to offer

For those of you who want the whole picture, we’ll cover all the information you’ll need to know about both platforms. Then we’ll go over the results together and decide which one deserves the crown.

WooCommerce is a familiar name to most WordPress users. This wildly popular e-commerce platform is home to almost 400,000 sites. It comes with almost all of the functionality you’ll need to open an online store, and it also has several advanced capabilities through its extension system.

Key features:

Pros:

Cons:

  • If you don’t use WordPress, you need to learn two new platforms.
  • Premium themes and extension costs can add up quickly.

Is it good for beginners?

WooCommerce is a good pick for users with no e-commerce experience – doubly so if they’ve used WordPress before. Even those who haven’t will find WooCommerce’s excellent documentation, and abundance of online tutorials appealing.

Price:

This is a fully open-source platform – anyone can download and set it up on any server they want. That being said, its premium extensions tend to be expensive, and some require annual subscriptions. Aside from that, your web hosting costs will depend entirely on the size of your enterprise and the packages your provider offers.

There are a handful of quality web hosts that work well with WooCommerce, but the top ones we always recommend to our customers are SiteGround and InMotion. You can get either for around $5-9 / month (try not to opt for any of the cheaper plans, as they might not be optimized to run e-commerce setups).

Magento

The Magento homepage.

Whereas WooCommerce bills itself as a community solution, Magento is more geared towards companies. However, that doesn’t mean small businesses can’t benefit from its functionality too. Magento offers both a free Community Edition – which is plenty powerful on its own – and an Enterprise Edition for large companies. For this comparison, we’ll focus on the Community Edition’s features.

Key Features:

  • Supports an unlimited number of products, as any respecting self-hosted platform should!
  • Comes with its own theming and layout system.
  • Includes efficient APIs that can connect with any third-party solution.
  • Intuitive admin interfaces and product creation tools.

Pros:

  • It’s built for scalability. Magento should have no problems handling large stores, as long as your host can manage them.
  • Shoppers can check out faster thanks to a streamlined process. Plus, guest checkout is turned on by default.
  • Integrates with PayPal, Authorize.Net, and Braintree right out of the box.

Cons:

  • Magento feels more geared towards developers than regular users, what with its steep learning curve.
  • Its Enterprise Edition can be quite costly, but that’s to be expected due to their target market.

Is it good for beginners?

Out of the box, Magento doesn’t feel as beginner-friendly when we look through the lens of WooCommerce vs Magento. However, users can overcome that by referring to the extensive documentation – and the platform does offer additional advantages for those who stick it out. It’s perfect for ambitious users who want to scale their shops quickly, and who also have the necessary time for mastering the platform.

Price:

Magento’s Community Edition is open-source and free for anyone to use, so your only cost will be based on your current hosting provider. On the other hand, users who are interested in the Enterprise Edition will have to shell out a pretty penny.

What about performance?

Loading times are a big deal for any website, but doubly so for e-commerce. If your website takes too long to load or feels sluggish, some people will leave, taking their money – and ultimately your income – with them.

When it comes to performance, it’s complicated to figure out which solution is the overall winner. Each online store – regardless of platform – will behave differently due to its functionality and size. Furthermore, there are several more factors at play here, such as your choice of web hosting provider, whether you’re using a Content Delivery Network (CDN), or even whether your images are optimized.

To put it simply, the performance of your online store will depend mostly on you, and your hosting provider. This round is a tie.

What about security?

The importance of security when it comes to e-commerce platforms can’t be overstated. Customers expect both their private information and payment details to be protected – and you need to deliver.

Similarly to performance, your online store’s security is in large part up to you. Both WooCommerce and Magento enable you to implement several advanced security measures, but mostly through extensions and manual tweaks. However, while no platform can be 100% secure, Magento takes the lead in this aspect by offering dedicated security patches to its users.

The downside here is that Magento security patches aren’t particularly easy to apply. E-commerce newbies might feel out of their depth doing so on their own, which in turn leads to a significant amount of Magento stores being out of date.

Nevertheless, if you take security seriously – and you have some experience with web development (or don’t mind paying for help) – Magento is the clear winner.

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