In this steeply competitive e-commerce realm, choosing the right platform to run your online store is truly challenging. In this post we would perform a comparative evaluation of Magento vs. Shopify for empowering you to decide which technology better suits your e-commerce development. Please note that in this blog we are discussing about Magento Community edition.
Before we explore in-depth some of the features of both the platform, it is crucial for you to know the fundamental differences between them as mentioned below:
- Magento Community is free and open source software whereas Shopify is a commercial product and you need to pay for it.
- With Magento, you would need to provide your own hosting and some Magento development and programming skills in order to build your Magento Store. Shopify, on the other hand, is a hosted solution which means your store is hosted by them.
Now that you are aware of these primary differences, let’s begin a head-to-head comparison between the two popular e-commerce platforms.
Features of the e-commerce platforms
Basic store functionalities
Both the platforms offer basic online store facilities that are very rich and powerful to use as well as for ongoing maintenance. However, Shopify is essentially easier to install, configure, set up and use rather than Magento.
Shopify allows you to keep a maximum of 25 items if you opt for its Starter plan ($14/month) and with other plans you can have unlimited product items; with Magento Community also there is no such limit.
However, it is crucial to note here that if you add too many products on your Magento Store then host server performance and site loading speed might get seriously affected. Shopify, on the other hand, being a fully managed and hosted solution won’t require you to bother about these things.
Calculation of shipping charges
The calculation of shipping charges is a very basic of many essential aspects for an ecommerce website selling physical goods online. Both Shopify and Magento Community empowers customers with these facility.
Discount code creation facility
Both the platforms offer you with discount coupon code creation facilities as well as calculation functionalities except the starter plan of Shopify.
Shopify offers support for more than 70 payment gateways whereas Magento Community offers much lesser number of gateways. However, Magento allows you to add more gateways via third-party add-ons.
Themes and templates
Magento has a major edge here over Shopify as it offers a larger collection of themes and templates to enable you to decorate your e-store as per your brand moods and values. Even though the number of free themes offered by Magento is much higher than Shopify the latter offers more modern themes than the ones offered by Magento Community edition.
Premium themes are available at both the platforms but there is a huge difference in the prices! Shopify themes start at $80 whereas Magento paid themes start with an incredible $1.
Both the platforms offer you with the flexibility to fulfill the requirement of responsive web design with free as well as paid responsive templates.
Availability of apps and add-ons
You can easily expand and enhance the functionalities of your online store in different ways with more than 100 apps and add-ons for Shopify and more than 5000 apps and add-ons Magento.
It is of utmost importance to drive more and more organic traffic via search engines to your online stores. And both the platforms exhibit almost equal SEO capabilities with powerful optimization features and benefits to help you gain organic traffic.
As you are reaching out to the global audience, giving a local touch to your approach with a multi-lingual website would be an added advantage for your business. Magento is at an edge over here as it has more in-built multi-lingual support than Shopify. The latter provides this facility with the help of third-party apps.
When it comes to customization capabilities, both the platforms offer the flexibility to edit raw HTML/CSS code directly via an advanced interface. Thus, gain control over the look-and-feel as well as design of your e-store.
Shopify allows you to easily change the fundamental attributes of your web shop such as fonts, colours, etc. While with Magento, you can modify its open source code in any way you want to, provided you are well-versed with HTML/CSS coding and web programming.
Blogging is a highly significant feature to boost search traffic and sales of your e-commerce site and this functionality comes integrated with Shopify platform. You can also achieve this with Magento but by using a free plug-in.
Ease of use
Both the e-commerce platforms come with a user interface that is well thought-out and designed to empower store owners to run the store easily.
Here, it is very important to note that Shopify is a hosted solution and also comes with a wizard mode. This wizard mode allows you to set up your store very easily while Magento lacks this feature.
Moreover, with Magento you would need to procure your own hosting and set up your own store by hiring a Magento Certified Developer.
Speed and performance
The success of an e-commerce website depends on many factors; speed and performance are critical among them. Contemporary users prefer fast-loading site and if it takes more than 3 seconds to load they might abandon your site for your competitors’.
So, you can understand that how critically importance is website speed and performance. While comparing these two platforms, it is often found that Shopify sites are faster and loads up swiftly than when compared to Magento sites.
However, getting your site developed by a professional and experienced Magento Development Solutions Provider could definitely help you with the performance and speed of your Magento store.
In this digital era, the news of cyber crimes often hit the headlines and therefore safeguarding your online store is of utmost importance and is usually the biggest concern.
While Shopify is Level 1 PCI DSS compliant and also offers you SSL encryption to ensure you have a secure web shop, Magento provides you the flexibility to make your e-store as secure as you want.
Magento releases patches and updates regularly and entrusting your e-commerce development to a professional and experienced Magento Development Agency you can build a robust and secures online store.
No matter whichever platform you choose, community support is indeed crucial to ensure the smooth functioning of your e-commerce website.
Magento has a larger community worldwide compared to Shopify and that infers that you get enormous support and available solutions to all your Magento related issues. You get to meet thousands of merchants and Magento Developers in numerous events and meetups that frequently take place all around the globe.
The popularity of Shopify is also accelerating in the online merchant community, however, in case you need a robust support system you must opt for their premium plans. Magento, on the contrary, has better support system for the basic community version itself.
Expenses associated with each platform
Being open-source, Magento community edition doesn’t need you to pay any fee for using it. However, you need to provide your hosting services which might cost you minimum of $5 up to 100s of dollars.
Shopify, on the other hand, offers four separate plans which charges monthly fees ranging from $14 up to $299 for the Advanced Plan.
With Shopify, you are not charged separately for bandwidth charges, however, with Magento the charge depends on your chosen hosting provider.
Finally, which one is your choice?
Both Shopify and Magento Community are feature-rich and highly reliant e-commerce platforms which come with their own sets of benefits.
If you are capable to hire Magento Developer then you can avail all the flexibility and robustness offered by this highly popular digital commerce platform.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a fully managed and self-hosted service, then Shopify is just what you are looking for.
Which is your better fit and why? Let’s begin a conversation! Be the first to initiate a discussion.