WooCommerce vs Magento – they have been battling it out to become the best eCommerce platforms.
If you are thinking whether to build your store with WooCommerce or deep dive into Magento development, then this article should help you to take the decision. Let’s see how they differ from each other, what limitations they have, and what advantages to pay attention to.
Unique About WooCommerce vs Magento
|WooCommerce is a powerful WordPress plugin for the eCommerce platform. It offers all the features you need from an eCommerce solution, while retaining the ease-of-use of its parent platform.||Magento is an eCommerce platform tailored to web development professionals, and medium to build large online stores. It offers one of the most robust feature sets in the field that makes it ideal for stores with high aspirations.|
A Close Look at Their Features: WooCommerce vs Magento
|Free platform.||Free Community version, as well as several premium services.|
|Require to find several web hosting.||The Community version is self-hosted, whereas premium offerings include hosting.|
|Supports unlimited products.||Enables you to add unlimited products.|
|Supports almost all WordPress themes, and offers a myriad of customization options.||Offers a theme-based system and a decent variety of options.|
|Comes with an different extension system and hundreds of options.||Supports variety of extensions.|
|Includes basic security features to secure your store.||Offers advanced security features, as well as dedicated patches to mitigate any vulnerabilities that arise.|
|Very easy to use.||Recommended for users that have at least a basic level of web development knowledge.|
Brief Overview: WooCommerce vs Magento
Both WooCommerce and Magento are open source platform, and that means they can be developed by anyone. Open source platforms provide huge flexibility, so if you need to customize something that is not included in the platform by default, then you can hire someone to develop an extension for it. WooCommerce has a huge community forum of WordPress users, and Magento has a dedicated community forum that helps each other and that work hard to find new solutions for the platform.
This is great because you’ll likely want to customize some aspect of your store like the branding and you’ll be able to do that with some sort of a plugin, and this is only achievable because both platforms are self-hosted. Open source platforms are brilliant because they allow you to make your own online store.
As a business owner the initial product is free and you’ll get help from the community at every step. The way they make their money is through the plugins and add-ons that most stores install as they grow.
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that made by WooThemes which came to market in 2011. This plugin is very easy for users to turn their WordPress website into a functioning online store. There are many advantages when it comes to WooCommerce, such as a very low barrier of entry. The only real drawback is that you are stuck with using WordPress so you must pay for a hosting each month.
Since you’re using WordPress, you have got the access to all plugins that WordPress offer, plus many great plugins that are made specifically for WooCommerce.
If you already have a WordPress website, then all you have to just install the plugin and configure your store.
Magento is owned by eBay and it offers a variety of features. It Connect to a marketplace that features thousands of add-ons that will improve the functionality of your online store, but this can be costly because the best add-ons are expensive. You will likely need to hire a professional developer to set up plugins on Magento store because there is technical affair related there.
The main drawback of this platform is that setting up your online store will require a high level technical skills, so if you are not exactly tech savvy, then you’ll probably need to hire expert to get things up and going. The high cost and time associated with running a Magento store make it more suitable for a large business that already has plenty of resources to spend.
Pricing: WooCommerce vs Magento
Price is something that is a big factor for most people when they try to select any platforms. Always consider your long-term budget and costs while choosing the right eCommerce platform. It is possible to start your online store without spending a peanuts, but you must take into the account how much it will cost to keep your store running over time, especially when you need to add more functions and expand. It might be a good idea to research what extra functionality you’d want to add to your online store before committing to any platform.
WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin, so you can simply install it and you’re ready to go. Some of the basic features might not be enough for everyone, so to take the full advantage of its potential, you will have to install some of the available plugins to get more functionality. Some plugins are free to install and use, but others will be expensive. For example, in the basic installation, you’ll have the option to accept payments through PayPal and bank transfers, but if you want to use a full range of payment options, you’ll have to buy some more extensions.
Regarding the web hosting costs, WooCommerce is a small, efficient, and fast plugin so it will take low server space. If you don’t have lots of products in your online store, then you will be well enough to use even lower grade servers, and this will reduce your monthly web hosting bill.
Magento is also free but again, you’ll have to install some extensions to customize certain things as your online store grows. For extension it may cost as much as $1000 to buy, additionally you will need to hire a Magento developer to install those extensions and customize them. It is harder to find Magento developer than WooCommerce developers, so you’re likely to pay them more as well.
Magento also offers an Enterprise option that provide a better support, enhanced content management, improved search functionality, etc. but it will cost at least $18000 annually.
Since Magento is a complicated eCommerce platform (if compared to WooCommerce), it is likely that it will put a strain on your server. You have to consider to use a dedicated server, otherwise your online store might run slowly which will hurt your performance and sales.
The Winner is WooCommerce.
Features: WooCommerce vs Magento
The number of features an eCommerce platform sounds a lot. While basic features are important, to run a successful online store, sometimes you need more than basics. Though both the CMSs have plenty of industry standard features, but it’s important to know which platform gives you more flexibility and greater customization options.
If you are familiar with WordPress, then WooCommerce will sound familiar to you also. WooCommerce is one of the most popular eCommerce platform that powers around one-third of all online stores in the world. It comes with almost every feature that you’ll require to run an online store, but you can always extend its functionalities with plugins.
WooCommerce can serve online stores of any size easily because it is a very mature and stable eCommerce platform. If you already have a WordPress website, it is easier for you to add the eCommerce functionality to your website just by installing the WooCommerce plugin. If you are not familiar with WordPress, learning how to use WooCommerce will also be very simple to you.
With WooCommerce, it is very easy to add and manage products, orders, reports, etc. You can always expand your online store functionality by using plugins and extensions.
Magento has some great set of features just out of the box. You can compare your products, use up-sells and cross-sells, generate discount codes, and many more. If you’re running more than one Magento store, you can view all of them from the same account. You can upload an unlimited products and it has an efficient API that you can use with third-party solutions. Magento is scalable and can handle large stores as long as your hosting can keep up. It also integrated with popular payment gateway like Braintree, PayPal, and Authorize.net by default.
Both WooCommerce and Magento will allow you to install several advanced security measures through plugins and manual tweaks. Magento’s security patches aren’t so easy to apply and any new user will feel out of their depth if he tries to do it by himself.
By default, magento supports wish lists, product personalisation, product reviews, advanced pricing rules, etc. Included features are great, but there’s steep learning curve.
The Winner is Tie.
Plugins and Extensions: WooCommerce vs Magento
WooCommerce and WordPress are known for a wide number of extensions and plugins that enhance the functionality and appearance of the website. The basic WooCommerce plugin is well enough for some online stores, but most will require to install additional plugins to get the full potential.
The main advantage is that you’ll get the full support from the vast number of WordPress developers who are constantly developing new plugins and also whom you can hire to help you achieve your goals.
Magento requires a lot of customization to achieve the desirable level of features and functionality. The basic installation is easy and you’ll have online documentation and videos to help you out. While Magento comes with a lot of features just out of the box, you will likely need to install some extensions.
Magento Connect and Magento Marketplace are the most recommended source for finding extensions. Adding new extensions is always a necessity as you grow your online store in order to provide your customers a superior shopping experience. What you will need to do is to pay enormous amounts of money for extensions. You’ll also need a Magento developer in order to install the extensions properly. Customizing the online store with extensions includes a steep learning curve for people with no coding experience due to the complexity of the platform.
The Winner is WooCommerce.
Design: WooCommerce vs Magento
Design is one the most important elements of an online store. It creates the very first impression in the mind of visitors that either to stay and explore the store or leave immediately.
WooCommerce offers a wide range of design options. The WordPress community is very active to develop amazing free and premium WooCommerce themes that are suitable for all types of online stores. There are various WooCommerce theme providers available, some of them are:
You can also find WooCommerce themes on the WooCommerce webstore.
Just like WooCommerce, Magento also offers you the option to install many third party themes. These Themes are optimized for speed and performance and can be found on the Magento Marketplace. Some of the popular theme providers are Themeforest, Colorlib and Template Monster.
Magento themes cost similarly as WooCommerce themes. The lowest can cost around $25 and the most expensive ones are around $200. A decent Magento theme will cost from $35 to $50.
You can also download and install free Magento themes for optimum performance and best design but it is recommended to go for a premium theme.
The Winner is WooCommerce.
Product Management: WooCommerce vs Magento
When you are setting up your online store, you may ignore the product management. WooCommerce offers a straightforward approach for the product management. It offers some great features for both, physical and digital products. Adding products is very easy. You can create product pages, add description and images easily from the WordPress admin panel.
Expanding your WooCommerce store’s functionality is also very easy. All you have to do is just to install WooCommerce product add-ons and you are ready to go.
Magento is a powerhouse regarding product management. It offers several features which are free and you don’t require to purchase an add-on. You can add product reviews, grouped products, wish lists, pricing rules and product personalization. To implement all of this, you would need to have a good understanding of Magento and Magento development.
It cannot be deny that there is a steeper learning curve for Magento as compared to WooCommerce. WooCommerce allows you to easily add these features and functionalities without using a single line of code through its extensions and add-ons.
The Winner is WooCommerce.
Web Hosting and Performance: WooCommerce vs Magento
Each eCommerce platform has different requirements related to web hosting, and depending on the platform, these costs can have a big impact. Loading times is a great factor for online stores, and if your store feels sluggish, then a lot of visitor will leave your store.
What about the security? Customers expect that their payment information and personal credentials to be protected. Both platforms offer you to use certain security measures, some are built in, while others must be installed through extensions and some manual work. While no website is 100% secure, but Magento is slightly better in this regards as it offers dedicated security patches. These patches aren’t so easy to apply and a lot of store owners don’t utilize them and that’s why a large number of Magento stores are out of date.
Since WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, you can use any standard WordPress web host. The costs can vary from a couple of dollars per month if you go with a cheaper host and package, but you have to pay a lot for a fully managed service that can take a lot of traffic. WooCommerce is a small and effective plugin that will use very little server space and power. You can start with a decent shared host and after a while, if your store starts to grow very fast, there is always some room to upgrade to a better package.
Compared to WooCommerce, Magento requires some more server power and maintenance. You can see enlarged Magento stores on bad infrastructure that run poorly. Bad user experience and slow loading times will hurt your sales and drive away the potential customers. To run a Magento store properly, you should look at web hosting on a dedicated server, but this will cost high.
The Winner is Tie.
Support: WooCommerce vs Magento
Both WooCommerce and Magento are open-source platforms that give you the advantage of attracting a large user base and community.
With WooCommerce, you will get great help documentation that is very likely to answer all your questions. Since it is a part of WordPress, you will also have the entire WordPress community at your disposal. Also, you can go to the official WooCommerce website and submit a ticket to get the help.
Since Magento is free, Community Edition users will not have any access to get official support. To have a dedicated support from Magento, you will have to upgrade to the Enterprise Edition which will cost at least $18,000 per year. Besides this, you have the option for searching answers in the community forums and in the help documentation.
The Winner is WooCommerce.
Ease Of Use: WooCommerce vs Magento
This is one of the most important considerations when choosing your eCommerce platform. You want to install quickly and stress-free so it makes sense to use an eCommerce platform that is easy to use.
Since WooCommerce is a plugin, this means that the installation is very simple and easy just like the installation of any plugin. The first step is just installing the WooCommerce plugin where you’ll see the on-screen setup wizard like the below screenshot:
You just need to go through some steps where you’ll choose the main parameters of your store and get everything configured. This configuration includes choosing payment gateways, currency settings, basic settings etc.
Here WooCommerce and Magento take very different directions. When it comes to user experience, WooCommerce doesn’t require lots of work and things are very simple.
When you are just getting started with Magento, you will find that the learning curve is complex compared with WooCommerce. You’ll need to know at least some code and terms if you want to make the most use of platform’s potential. There is a bunch of technical terms that can be intimidating to beginner users and at the end, more potential stumbling blocks to navigate.
Even though Magento is a very flexible platform, this comes with difficulty. If you are facing any issues, you can check out their user guides or visit a large forum where you can interact with other Magento users. There is no 24/7 phone support available if you need to speak with expert about your problem.
If you are new to Magento, you will feel complicated to set up and its plugins and add-ons are not so easy to set up either. Once you complete the installation and setup options, it becomes a little easier to use when adding products, managing shipping options, etc.
The Winner is WooCommerce.
SEO: WooCommerce vs Magento
As a store owner, you can’t only rely on social media for people to find your online store. A big cake of your visitors will come from search engine results. Since WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, it is compatible with all the other WordPress plugins and third-party extensions that include SEO.
There are many SEO plugins available that help you in ranking your WooCommerce store higher in search results. YOAST is one of the best SEO plugins that allows you to add Meta Title, Meta descriptions, Alt image tags and more.
Also, WordPress is made on an SEO friendly code which further helps WooCommerce store owners to rank their online store on various keywords.
Just like WooCommerce, Magento also has SEO extensions that enhance Magento store’s SEO. For every purpose there is an extension available. For example, Image Optimizer for Magento 2 optimizes your product images and other images on your online store to improve its load time. Of course, speed is an important element to make your SEO strategies successful.
XML Google® Sitemap is used to create XML sitemap on your Magento 2 store. Some of these extensions are free to download and the rest are paid. It’s obvious that the paid ones have more functionalities and features and are much more effective than the free ones. However, if you are just starting off with your online store, free extensions might be good enough for you.
WooCommerce vs Magento: Conclusion
Selecting a winner between WooCommerce vs Magento isn’t easy, since no single platform will fit the requirements of every user perfectly. While some of you may agree with our decision to pick WooCommerce, others may find themselves comfortable with Magento. You’ll need to take into consideration several criteria including performance, security, product management, and your overall budget – along with your own unique requirements.