“If you want to start selling online like a pro, you’ll need the best eCommerce platform.”
There are so many eCommerce platforms on the market, but how do you know which one is the right solution for you? By the end of this article, we hope you will have a clearer picture when choosing your ideal eCommerce website builder by going over the pros and cons of our top 2 options – Magento vs WooCommerce.
- Magento – a unique eCommerce website builder
- Magento packages
- Magento advantages and disadvantages
- What is WooCommerce – a top eCommerce website builder choice for WordPress fans
- WooCommerce reviews
- WooCommerce advantages and disadvantages
- Magento vs WooCommerce: The Winner of the best eCommerce platforms battle
- Which eCommerce platform is right for you?
Magento – a unique eCommerce website platform
In the very beginning, every eCommerce manager asked themselves this question: what is Magento? In simple terms, Magento is a highly powerful open-source platform explicitly tailored for eCommerce websites.
One of the key benefits of using Magento when building an eCommerce website is that everyone from the community can contribute to the final product development. Also, the free version of Community has higher levels available with Adobe since it acquired Magento. The flexibility of such systems allows the user to expand its website functionality through their efforts or by hiring external developers. A widespread saying in the world of eCommerce is that Magento is quite complicated to use, and it can be mastered only by tech-savvy people, but that is far from the truth! Once you get the hang of it and learn how to use it, there are endless and surprising benefits of using Magento for an eCommerce business that most people don’t even know about! Also, it’s worth noting straight from the beginning that you might start hearing that Magento has two different versions, Open Source and Adobe Commerce, formally known as Magento Enterprise. To find out everything you need to know about the key differences and benefits between these options, check out the Magento resources.
Both communities of Magento developers and bigger eCommerce businesses find Magento’s functionality extremely beneficial, especially as there are two different packages that users can choose from. A key fact to be aware of is that Adobe has acquired Magento in 2018, which incorporates Magento Commerce Could. This enables eCommerce businesses to be seamlessly integrated into the Adobe Experience Cloud, delivering a single platform that serves B2B and B2C customers worldwide. What does that mean for your business? That you now have the flexibility to quickly ramp and iterate your eCommerce capabilities for your unique business needs!
Magento offers both a free Open Source Edition accessible to anybody wanting to build an online store, formerly known as the Community Edition and the Adobe Commerce, formerly known as the Enterprise Edition, which is the paid version that comes with more advanced features.
The Magento Open Source Edition
This edition was built to meet the basic needs of eCommerce enterprises, where big business owners can set up their online shop website in no time. It’s a straightforward process where the user can fully customise everything he wants. The capabilities of the Magento Open Source Edition are:
- Payment and shipping
- Built-in checkouts
- Mobile shopping
- Product, order and multi-store management
- Tax management
- Customer care
- Customer group management
- … and much more
Also, another valuable aspect of the Magento features and benefits is that users can quickly improve their free website version functionality by using numerous extensions available in the marketplace. To go even deeper, let’s have a look at Magento’s Open Source Edition key features in greater detail, as well as its pros and cons.
- Support for an unlimited number of products
- In house theming and layout system
- Efficient APIs that can connect with any third-party solution
- Intuitive admin interfaces
- Easy to use product creation tools
- It’s built with scalability in mind
- Faster checkouts for shoppers due to a more streamlined process
- It can integrate with Paypal, Authorise.net, and Braintree right out of the box
- Magento seems more suitable for developers rather than the regular users
- Steep learning curve
- Can be quite expensive
Magento Open Source is a free platform for anyone to use. The only cost that you will have will be based on your current hosting provider.
Formerly known as the Magento Enterprise Edition (EE), Adobe Commerce is a commercial edition that can be installed and hosted in your server environment. Check out Magento’s comparison for the Open Source vs Adobe Commerce for more information.
This edition is the ideal solution for eCommerce businesses ready to upgrade their website and boost their sales. And it comes with fantastic benefits, especially ease of use and many capabilities that other eCommerce website building platforms lack. When compared to the Open Source Edition, Adobe Commerce comes in a bundle with many advanced features and tools, such as:
- Professional reporting
- Analysis dashboards
- Better search solution for shoppers
- Integrated drag-and-drop page builder
- Optimised cloud-based hosting
- Better customer support
- … and much more
If you are not sure if this is the right solution for you and your business, you can simply opt for the 30-day trial period and take it from there.
- Endless solutions for B2B, enterprises and international retailers
- Omnichannel – an ideal option for those that want to link their offline business and online shop to achieve a competitive edge over their rivals
- Magento for digital information – if you are thinking of possible business alterations to become more agile
- Unique order management – which helps sales associates increase customer loyalty by enabling the latter to buy whenever and wherever they desire
- Business analytics and tools
- Smart shipping options
- Premium cloud-based hosting solutions
- Extensions marketplace based on your business needs
- Already made themes for your online shop, with various prices between £0 and £500
- High-quality and credible reviews by users all around the world
- Seamless shopping experience with minimal response time on any mobile device
- Quicker checkout, which results in better customer satisfaction
- One-click account creation, which can increase conversion rates
- Minimised cart abandonment rate due to a registered customer auto-recognition feature
- Added enriched media content
- Integrated elastic search, which makes it very easy for large product catalogues to be set up and handled
- Secured payment getaway done with Braintree, PayPal, Authorise.net, CyberSource, and WorldPay
- Complicated management & handling, but once you start, you’ll find it the best eCommerce website platform out there
- Limited actions when making changes, as full access is given to the developers assigned by Magento
Magento’s Adobe Commerce pricing is slightly higher than before, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not worth every penny! Keep in mind that the price of building your eCommerce website with this edition greatly varies, depending on the type of plan you will choose, however, it’s worth the investment!
Now that we’ve looked at the two different options that Magento has to offer let’s dive straight into the overall reasons why this eCommerce platform is so unique by looking at some of its general advantages and disadvantages.
Magento advantages and disadvantages
As we previously said, Magento has a lot to offer, especially if your goal is to create the best eCommerce landing pages and online shops for your customers. There must be some good reasons why so many eCommerce businesses choose Magento as their ideal eCommerce solution, so let’s look at them closer.
This is the icing on the Magento cake, regardless of the edition you choose! It has a very smart and intuitive navigation system, allowing admins to quickly move between pages, add product attributes, and fill in forms on various devices. A significant advantage of Magento is that it will enable you to make any changes on the go, thanks to its fully customisable and dynamic home screen via the ioS and Android app, which provides automated real-time synchronisation.
This is one of the key features of Magento – its flexibility in allowing you to create large product catalogues with detailed descriptions, images, and features, and much more. Additionally, Magento allows you to create and maintain several online shops at the same time, set various languages, pricing methods and currencies, all within a user-friendly admin interface.
Great pricing policies
Shop owners can differentiate prices and discounts according to different groups of customers.
Advanced security features
One of the biggest concerns that every eCommerce business faces! With Magento, only one admin user can run the back-end while continuously detecting unusual activity when working in the admin area.
Handy catalogue management
This is precisely what any small or large eCommerce business wants! Magento also allows you to mass import all your product content at once, which can save you a lot of valuable time and effort. With Magento 2, you can access advanced data grids with custom filters, views, columns, and dropdown menus to simplify the process of adding new products and items to your online shop.
A highly intelligent reporting system
You can monitor everything from the product movement to your shop visits and so much more! Having access to compact business reports can help you excel in your business performance, which is precisely what Magento does.
Cutting-edge user design
Magento has been built according to the latest cutting-edge trends in UI and UX (user experience) design. What does that mean? That you can fully customise your online website by choosing any design or theme that can be applied to particular product categories. A memorable user experience means that your customers will come back to your online shop time and time again!
Magento positions itself as the leading platform for open source eCommerce innovation, aimed at online shops with high goals. Even the most demanding customer needs can be met with Magento, both due to its free and pro plans, business and industry-oriented solutions.
Overwhelming number of features
For those that require technical skills, working with Magento might come with a few sets of challenges. But there’s always the option of partnering with an experienced Magento developer to create and enhance your online shop, so there’s no need to overcomplicate things!
Lack of good Magento developers
Finding experienced Magento developers is a challenge, as you won’t see too many of them available on the market. This is because Magento requires serious skills in object-oriented programming and a deep understanding of the core software.
This is true only if you want to scale up your eCommerce business, so always keep in mind that you will have some additional costs for a highly qualified Magento developer besides the premium plan price.
Web hosting limitations
When building an eCommerce website with Magento, you can host it both on dedicated and shared servers. However, running your website on shared servers is not as good as having it on a dedicated server, as this option will make your website load and function much faster.
Enough about Magento, so let’s move on to exploring WooCommerce!
What is WooCommerce – a top eCommerce website builder choice for WordPress fans
WooCommerce is a very familiar name to most WordPress users, and it’s a wildly popular eCommerce platform choice, as it hosts almost 400,000 websites. It’s a highly flexible and user-friendly platform as well, just like Magento. But an important thing to know is that WooCommerce is not a standalone eCommerce platform but a free plugin for WordPress that works on self-hosted websites.
It’s one of the best eCommerce website builder platforms, and it’s an excellent free choice for beginners when thinking of starting a brand new online storefront in just a few minutes. Learning how to use WooCommerce is very straightforward for both novices and pros alike. To get started, you will need your domain name and a trusted website host where you can install the free, open-source WordPress core coding. Once this is active, WooCommerce can be installed from the WordPress plugin directory or straight from the WooCommerce home site. If you’ve missed it, we have a great article on Squarespace vs WordPress that has a lot of valuable information about the benefits of using WordPress.
Whilst being one of the best eCommerce platforms, WooCommerce is easier to use than Magento. This system is aimed at merchants of all calibres, however, it lacks most of the valuable features that Magento has. So let’s have an in-depth look at how WooCommerce can benefit your eCommerce business.
- Support for an unlimited number of products
- Robust extensions system, based on the WordPress plugin format
- Dozens of premium and free themes
- You can pick almost any payment processing method when using extensions
- Unlimited customisation for all website pages, blocks and design elements (you can even configure currency, language, and measure settings to suit your exact selling style)
- Detailed insights into your online store performance
- Very easy to learn and use if you are already familiar with WordPress
- Extensive documentation and online tutorials available for users
- Easy way to contact the team if you have additional questions or issues
- It can integrate with Google Analytics through an extension
- SSL support, but only if you have a personal certificate
- In case you are not familiar with WordPress, you’ll need to learn it
- WooCommerce doesn’t have as many features out of the box, and you will likely need to buy more plugins to extend your website functionality
WooCommerce is a fully open-source platform, which means that anyone can download and set it up for free on any server. However, the WooCommerce pricing for its premium extensions are costly, and some might even impose that you commit to an annual subscription.
WooCommerce comes with a wide range of plugins that allow you to add new features and grow your eCommerce business. There are tons of free and premium plugins that you can use, but not all of them are as good. You can sell everything and anything due to the extensive plugin support, which is aimed at a wide range of products, starting from tangible items, digital products, and even services. Also, besides plugins, one of the top features that WooCommerce has just released are:
- Ability to export all products via a CSV exporter
- You can set notifications for the low-stock products
- You can easily manage the redesigned payment method section
Now let’s have a look at some of the general WooCommerce advantages and disadvantages.
WooCommerce advantages and disadvantages
Amazing user experience
WooCommerce was built with the needs of the end-user in mind! And this includes everything from installing the plugin on WordPress to integrating the right extensions you need. However, we have a small tip to consider – if WordPress has been giving you a hard time using it, WooCommerce might not be the ideal solution for you and your eCommerce business.
The best thing about WooCommerce is that it is straightforward to use. You can change your design colours, add different functionalities, galleries, and video elements for a touch of creativity. You can create your WooCommerce theme and equip it with everything your online shop needs whilst attracting as many new customers as you want.
WooCommerce is fully reliable when it comes to your online shop security. This is because the plugin is constantly updating, which means that any issues or bugs get fixed to keep your website safe. However, in case you need more support, WooExperts are always available to help.
Installing many extensions can become pricey Expensive extensions
If you want to make your eCommerce website top-notch, you will need extra extensions, which could come with higher costs.
Need of programming skills
WooCommerce is an excellent solution for basic eCommerce needs, however, to upgrade your site, you will need a professional programmer who knows the ins and outs of WordPress eCommerce development.
Lack of features
WooCommerce gives you everything you may need to start your online shop using its primary features. But if truly you want to expand the potential of your website, you won’t be able to do so without many add-ons.
It’s bound to WordPress
This is the biggest drawback of using WooCommerce. If you don’t have a WordPress-based website, you might come across a few problems. WooCommerce is only suitable for websites that have been built with WordPress, as it’s an add-on to WordPress. WooCommerce is not a standalone eCommerce platform, as mentioned initially, which could significantly limit the build, features and security of our online shop. However, there is always the alternative of completely rebuilding and redesigning your online shop, but we know that is quite time-consuming!
Magento vs WooCommerce: The Winner of the best eCommerce platforms battle
Much has been said about the two competing systems, we know! So it’s time to take stock of the debate. To help you decide, we’ve summed up the features, advantages and disadvantages of both platforms whilst presenting them in the comparison table below.
After soaking in all that information, start asking yourself some questions, such as:
- What is my perfect target persona?
- How large is my product range?
- How much traffic am I expecting to get to my online shop?
- What kind of features and functionality will I need now and in the future?
- Do I want to choose a simple shop or a complicated custom-made one?
- What is my budget for this project?
- How important is the security of my website platform for me?
Take all the time you need to find the answers to those questions, as this is a big decision to make!
Which eCommerce platform is right for you?
We truly hope that our article has brought you closer to understanding what is especially best for you and your eCommerce business!
The best answer is the one that fits with your exact needs and budget, so we can’t say that one is better than the other, as each of these two eCommerce platforms is unique. While Magento is a fantastic option for big online stores with many clients, WooCommerce is much better for trading startups. Also, even though WooCommerce is much cheaper, the list of features is much shorter when compared to Magento. Try to take into consideration the performance, security, product management, and your overall budget before choosing between Magento vs WooCommerce, along with your unique business needs. We know that choosing the right eCommerce website builder for your business is an essential factor in your website’s success. Why not book a FREE eCommerce digital marketing consultation with us, and together we can decide on the most suitable eCommerce platform for you and your business. In the meantime, take a look at some of our other articles, such as how to write product descriptions to boost eCommerce sales and how to save time and improve your eCommerce ROI with marketing automation. At Lnet Digital, we can help you launch, enhance and upgrade your eCommerce website to start generating more online sales, whilst all you have to do is to get in touch with us! We’re always around, either crafting great digital marketing solutions for our clients or brewing cups of freshly grounded coffee!