Selecting the most appropriate e-commerce platform for creating, managing and maintaining an online store is of critical importance, as it can be the factor responsible for the success or failure of your business. This is particularly important for a small business, as it has to cope with limited resources and budgets.
As someone plans to create an online store or migrate their current store to another platform in the near future, you may be considering your options. Shopify and Magento Community Edition (also known as Magento) are two platforms for the creation and management of e-commerce stores that are widely acclaimed and used today. However, there are major fundamental differences between these platforms that you should know before making a comparative evaluation of the two:
Shopify is a commercial product (you must pay) while Magento Community is free open source software
Shopify is a hosted solution (where your store is hosted) while Magento requires you to provide your own hosting, install, configure and configure everything before you can actually start building your store, something that requires a medium to high level of development web and programming skills.
With these two important differences in mind, this is a face-to-face comparison between the two platforms.
- Basic functionality of online store – both Shopify and Magento offer basic store functionalities that are quite powerful to use and maintain continuously. It can be said that Shopify is much easier to configure and use compared to Magento.
- Inventory management – the Shopify Starter plan ($ 14 / mo) restricts it to a maximum of items from store 25, while Magento Community offers a virtually unlimited number of items. All other Shopify plans allow you to add and sell an unlimited amount of items through your store. However, in another note, Shopify now offers Oberlo as an integrated application for new users.
- However, it should be noted that although Magento allows a virtually unlimited number of products, the performance of your server (server) and the loading speed of the site can be serious problems if you add too many products in your Magento store, something that does not. I have to worry about Shopify, since it is a fully managed and hosted solution.
- Calculation of shipping costs – Both platforms allow flexible and powerful options for the calculation of shipping costs, which is one of the most basic and essential aspects of the sale of physical products through an e-commerce store.
- Provision for coupons and discount codes – Shopify, a bit discouraged here, does not offer this feature in its initial plan while it is available in all other plans. Magento allows the creation of discount codes and calculation functionalities.
- Payment gateway options – Shopify has an important advantage here, with support for payment gateways 70, while Magento Community is relatively disadvantaged with support for a much smaller number of gateways. However, more gateways can be added to the Magento store through third-party add-ons.
- Themes and Templates – Shopify and Magento Community offer a large collection of themes and templates to give your online store an appearance that suits your products and taste. While the number of free themes provided by Shopify is significantly smaller than that of Magento Community, it can be noted that the free themes of Shopify are generally more contemporary compared to the themes offered by Magento Community.
- Both offer paid / premium themes, but here, Shopify is at a big disadvantage, with premium themes starting at $ 80, while paid Magento themes start at $ 1 (almost unbelievable).
- In line with today’s indispensable requirement for responsive website design (a design that works well in a range of commonly used devices that people connect to), both Shopify and Magento Community offer a good number of templates receptive, free and paid.
- Applications and add-ons – More than 100 applications and add-ons are available for Shopify with which you can improve and extend the functionality of your online store in several ways. Magento, once again, has a great advantage here, with huge 5000+ applications and add-ons, due, no doubt, to the open-source nature of the platform. A combination of free and paid applications/add-ons are available for both platforms.
- Multilingual capabilities – Shopify does not offer full multilingual capabilities directly. To create fully multilingual stores, there are third-party applications available for Shopify. Another option available in Shopify is to customize the code of your themes with a simple level interface and an advanced level. Magento has an advantage again, with more built-in multilingual support.
- SEO Capabilities – Both platforms offer extensive SEO capabilities to help you drive more organic traffic to your store through the search engines, obtaining almost the same features and advantages of SEO, as widely described in this article: Choosing the best platform of electronic commerce for SEO capabilities.
- Customization capabilities – Both platforms offer robust customization capabilities, through an advanced interface that allows you to edit the raw HTML / CSS code directly to give you total control over the design and appearance of your store.
However, as mentioned above, Shopify gets better scores by providing a simple, menu-based method to change the basic attributes of your store, such as fonts, colors, etc., very easily, while Magento’s customization capabilities are As high as you can because all your code is open source, any of which you can modify the way you want. However, this unrestricted freedom of personalization can only be used by those who have deep web programming and HTML / CSS coding knowledge.
In addition, Shopify offers a theme editor that lets you play with the look and appearance of your theme, and has the ability to hide sections, so you can work on future updates in advance without having to duplicate the theme or work on the. a stage server
Blogging functionality – Easy blogging functionality is available as a built-in function in Shopify, while this can be achieved with Magento using an add-on (free).
Easy to use:
As mentioned earlier in this review, Shopify and Magento Community are quite powerful e-commerce store construction platforms. Both come with a well designed and designed user interface, which makes it easy enough for any user to get up and running with an online store.
Having said that, one should bear in mind that Shopify has an assistant mode that allows even novice users to set up their stores very easily, while the Magento Community lacks this feature.
In addition, since Magento is not a hosted solution, the acquisition of your own hosting and the configuration of your store with it are processes that typical end users would not find it easy or convenient to do alone.
Configuration fees – Shopify does not charge any configuration fee. In fact, they offer a free 14-day trial version with which you can test and evaluate the functionality and features offered by your e-commerce hosting platform. With Magento, the issue of installation fees simply is not presented, as it is completely free. (You will need to acquire, and pay, your own lodging, as explained later).
Monthly charges – Shopify offers four different plans with monthly rates ranging from $ 14 to $ 179 as follows:
Lite Plan: $ 9
Basic Shopify Plan: $ 29
Shopify Plan: $ 79
Shopify Advanced Plan: $ 299
With Magento, you will have to provide your own hosting, which is available at a monthly cost ranging between $ 5 and 100 dollars.
BlueHost It is a reliable, popular and powerful. Ecommerce hosting provider where you can buy accommodation for your Magento store very cheap.
Bandwidth loads – Shopify does not charge bandwidth usage fees in any of its plans. With Magento Community, this will depend on the hosting provider you have used to host your store.
Transaction Rates – Shopify does not charge additional transaction fees if you use your own payment gateway. If you use any other gateway or method (such as COD), your transaction fee structure is as follows:
Lite Plan ($ 9 / month): 2%
Basic Shopify plan ($ 29 / month): 2%
Shopify Plan ($ 79 / month): 1%
Advanced Shopify Plan ($ 299 / month): 0.5%
With Magento Community Edition, transaction fees are not charged other than the provider’s gateway fees (which vary from the gateway to the gateway). These rates, of course, would also apply to Shopify.
Theme / template prices – both platforms offer a good number of free and paid themes, with prices of Shopify and Magento premium themes starting at $ 80 and $ 1 respectively.
While the Shopify and Magento communities are quite powerful e-commerce hosting platforms, Shopify offers greater ease of use as it is a hosted and fully managed service.
Magento, in spite of being free, requires that you buy the hosting and carry out all the procedures of configuration and installation of the software / system, something that only people with knowledge of technology (and not the typical end users) could do.
In light of this, as well as some of the points mentioned above, Shopify is a winner as an e-commerce platform to build your online store with maximum ease of use and powerful capabilities.
Also published on Medium.