icon
image

Daniel Law

September 1, 2020

Magento vs WooCommerce

Magento vs WooCommerce? When picking the best eCommerce platform, most people will recommend these two, among other popular choices. If you can’t decide between both of them, you’re not alone.

Magento and WooCommerce are popular eCommerce platforms with a handful of similarities. However, two things draw the line between them.

Magento

Magento is an open-source eCommerce platform that installs as an application to your computer. Since it is open-source and self-hosted, you have to pay for web hosting and security, plugins, and other features.

Moreover, Magento relies on technical code for most of its functions. Hence, people who know how to code should find Magento an excellent platform. Magento is more suitable for enterprise-level brands with a dedicated team of webmasters and developers.

WooCommerce

Similar to Magento, WooCommerce is another open-source eCommerce plugin. But unlike the former, WooCommerce works as a plugin for WordPress and isn’t a standalone platform. You will need to first discuss WordPress development, and then integrate the WooCommerce component on top.

That said, WooCommerce is scalable for small to large-sized online merchants. While it isn’t a CMS of itself, it is more user-friendly and affordable — offering several resources to scale your business.

To objectively choose which platform is best for your brand, you need to consider various elements and how both platforms utilise them. In this article, we will compare Magento and WooCommerce in-depth to answer whether Magento or WooCommerce is better for your online store.

Magento vs WooCommerce: Pros and Cons

At this point, you should already have a vague idea about the pros and cons of both platforms. But we still need to dig further if you’re seeking for more insights.

Let’s dissect every up and down of Magento and WooCommerce as well as how they compare with each other.

Magento Pros

  • Packed with reliable features
  • Competitive SEO features
  • Limitless design potential (with coding)

Magento Cons

  • Steep learning curve
  • Can be challenging to set up
  • Individual costs can build up over time
  • Virtually no help support

WooCommerce Pros

  • Gives you more customisation and control
  • Has an expansive online community
  • Has more themes and plugins
  • Easy to configure on WordPress
  • Free to use

WooCommerce Cons

  • WordPress, which WooCommerce installs upon, has some learning curve
  • Some plugins, themes, and third-party hosting can be expensive
  • You’ll need to manage everything from site hosting, security to maintenance

Ease of Use

Since both platforms are self-hosted, Magento and WooCommerce require you to source and set up with a hosting service provider first.

Moreover, several hosting services have integration features that make WordPress hosting more convenient. From there, installing WooCommerce only takes a couple of clicks. Then, WooCommerce’s setup wizard will walk you through the fundamentals in managing your eCommerce site.

While there are lots of hands helping you around WooCommerce, there isn’t much to say about Magento. Don’t get us wrong; some hosting providers easily integrate with Magento. However, setting up your website using WooCommerce is a few clicks faster than with Magento.

Finding Your Way Around

After completing the installation stage, working around both software can be different. Even so, Magento feels like developer territory when you begin adding and setting up extensions. In contrast, installing plugins in WooCommerce can be a lot easier for most users.

Fortunately, Magento and WooCommerce have intuitive dashboards that make it easy and convenient to run your store daily.

Ease of Use: Verdict

Hosting and setting up WooCommerce is more convenient than Magento. While both make handling your online store a simple task, the installation, setup, and customisation stages draw the line between the two.

Themes and Design

Themes are storefront decorations for your online store. For that, WooCommerce and Magento have an expansive theme marketplace where you can browse for the best website designs for your brand and apply them directly to your store.

Since both platforms are popular open-source eCommerce options, there are tons of templates and themes you can download and install from third-party websites. However, always keep design quality in mind, as some third-party templates could be unresponsive for mobile or are outright unappealing.

Furthermore, WooCommerce has roughly 20 themes to pick from, and 13 of them are entirely responsive for all devices. That may seem like a small figure, but it covers a wide range of industries. Also, some themes have exclusive features dedicated to a particular industry.

On the other hand, Magento offers ten (10) out-of-the-box themes that you can purchase in its marketplace. Unlike Magento, that has a live view feature; it is difficult to visualise how your store looks on every theme. And all the same, the templates work on developer-oriented languages and may not resonate with the average user.

Themes and Design: Verdict

WooCommerce has a more expansive range of themes in its marketplace. Also, applying and customising themes is easier in WooCommerce than it is in Magento. However, Magento’s themes pack more features but require developer knowledge to bring them to life.

Built-in Features

Another thing that WooCommerce and Magento have in common is that they are expandable. You can add features to your eCommerce site by installing extensions and plugins to the core software.

For now, let’s focus on the sales features you get out of the box — or rather, what lacks between both platforms.

Inventory Management

When dealing with large stocks and inventories, Magento has you covered with more inbuilt inventory features than WooCommerce. These features include customer login, product variant comparisons, wish lists, anchor menu, vouchers and gift card payments, as well as admin/staff login.

Product Types

Right off the bat, Magento enables sales of all types of products, as well as retention campaigns.

On the other hand, WooCommerce will cost you extra for some product types.

  • Subscriptions — A$271/year
  • Memberships — A$271/year
  • Product Kits (customer can choose from different variations) — A$107/year
  • Appointment Services — A$339/year

Magento has more advanced analytics than WooCommerce, which puts it at an advantage. Key metrics and analytics give you an in-depth data dive and insights about how your site is doing.

Search Engine Optimisation

In terms of SEO, both Magento and WooCommerce have the fundamental features to help your brand climb Google’s rankings, such as:

  • Mobile-ready themes
  • Customise URLs and meta descriptions
  • Add image alt tags
  • SEO guides and prompts
  • Expand SEO capabilities through SEO plugins

Built-in Features: Verdict

By far, Magento has better features than WooCommerce right off the bat. While you can still expand WooCommerce’s features by installing extensions, having more tools out of the box is a considerable advantage.

Payment Gateways and Fees

To start with, Magento supports reliable and popular payment methods such as:

  • Check/money order
  • Cash on delivery
  • Bank transfer
  • Purchase order

Additionally, Magento supports more than 150 gateway partners such as PayPal and your local processor, but to integrate with them, you’ll have to install them via its marketplace.

On the other hand, WooCommerce lets you accept payments using the following methods:

  • Check payments
  • Direct Bank Transfer
  • Cash on Delivery

WooCommerce also comes with the following gateways built-in:

  • PayPal
  • WooCommerce Payments
  • Braintree

Again, you can integrate with other payment gateways by installing plugins (you can follow the tutorials in its setup wizard). 

Transaction Fees

Neither Magento nor WooCommerce charges extra fees. Any transaction fees that you incur for every purchase comes straight from your chosen payment gateway.

Payment Gateways and Fees: Verdict

When it comes to payment gateways, the match is equal between WooCommerce and Magento. Hence, regardless of which you choose, expect a reliable and robust payment process for both platforms.

Plugins and Extensions

Aside from payments and fees, both eCommerce platforms perform well in terms of plugins and extensions.

It is worth noting that WooCommerce has fewer plugins than Magento. However, WooCommerce has direct access to WordPress’ plugins library — thus, things are a lot more even.

The only thing that draws the line between WooCommerce and Magento is the price of their plugins. While Magento has over 1900 free extensions, it comes out more expensive than WooCommerce.

For instance, the cost of social media integration plugins greatly varies with WooCommerce versus Magento. 

  • Facebook — Free for WooCommerce, A$271 for Magento
  • Instagram — A$107/year for WooCommerce, A$400+/year for Magento
  • eBay — A$107/year for WooCommerce, A$680/year for Magento

Keep in mind that you can use Magento for more product volume and orders. But seeing these costs per social media extension, you can see how the expenses would eventually stack up.

Plugins and Extensions: Verdict

WooCommerce and Magento have excellent extensions and an expansive plugin library. While Magento’s extensions are more expensive, it is proportional to the platform’s capacity to handle the larger product and sales volumes.

Pricing

As mentioned, WooCommerce and Magento are open-source software. That means you can download and use them for free. However, it doesn’t end there, as they both come with an array of extra costs. Many of which we’ve touched on already.

Developing your site with WooCommerce will cost you around A$150 to A$2000+ per year, depending on your scale and your products/services offered.

In contrast, expect a fully-fledged Magento store to cost you roughly A$20,000+ per year. Keep in mind that Magento focuses on large brands with an ROI that makes A$20,000 seem reasonable. Hence, it is not for people who want to build an online store cheaply.

Pricing: Verdict

WooCommerce’s price range caters to a vast array of users since its pricing is more accessible. Moreover, Magento’s sales features, scalability, and other capabilities still make it an excellent value for the right business type.

Security

To give your WooCommerce store the top-notch security, you’ll need to choose a reliable and secure hosting to provide and install some plugins. That said, WooCommerce, as a WordPress plugin, is not PCI compliant — although you can make it so by establishing a certified payment gateway.

In contrast, Magento is as secure an eCommerce platform as you can get. Its latest version comes with two-factor authentication, and it is automatically PCI compliant. Magento also has regular security patch releases which are crucial in maintaining the highest level of security.

When it comes to Secure-Sockets-Layer Certification, you need to source a hosting service that offers a free SSL certificate. That’s because WooCommerce and Magento are self-hosted platforms and do not have a dedicated hosting service.

Security: Verdict

All in all, Magento has better built-in security features than WooCommerce. However, that doesn’t leave WooCommerce as an insecure platform. It just means you’ll need to install security plugins for every layer of safety.

Help and Support

Neither WooCommerce nor Magento has a dedicated support team to assist you through every issue you encounter. Even so, you can get support their respective online communities, forums, and through your preferred hosting provider.

However, WooCommerce has a helpdesk support ticket system that lets you manage user issues seamlessly via your company’s helpdesk system. While this benefits the consumer-end more than the brand, it is still a step in the right direction.

Online Resources and Forums

Because Magento and WooCommerce developed thousands of eCommerce sites, you’ll quickly find an engaging user forum for each. Both platforms have excellent online resources and tutorials to help you build and launch your online store.

Hosting Provider

There are tons of third-party providers out there that easily integrates with Magento and WooCommerce. Make sure to check those who offer round-the-clock support as well as reliable service.

Help and Support: Verdict

WooCommerce’s ability to submit event tickets for review, paired with reliable help and support via third-party hosting service, is a winning combination. Magento still has an active online community, and with the right extensions and hosting, you can manage to stay on top of help and support.

Summary

WooCommerce and Magento are open-source eCommerce platforms that guarantee a unique online shopping experience for brands and consumers.

WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that lets you gear up your site for eCommerce. At the same time, Magento is an eCommerce platform that’s battle-hardened for businesses and experienced users with professional knowledge on the technical aspects.

Consider using Magento if

  • You will be selling thousands of products
  • You have a team of developers or is willing to seek one
  • You have an enterprise-level brand on a global scale

WooCommerce is an excellent option if

  • You are setting up your online store yourself
  • You’re a new business with expansive growth plans
  • You will be selling hundreds of products on your page

Regardless of which software you choose, both of them can produce user-friendly and reliable eCommerce websites. All that’s left to do is develop an innovative web design that will streamline your vision to life.

Achieving your long term eCommerce goals is possible through a best-in-class eCommerce website. At G Squared, we provide e-Commerce web design & development solutions that suit all your eCommerce needs.

Still have questions? Call us at (02) 9339 4500 or submit an enquiry and speak with us today.

Daniel Law

Continue reading