If you’re starting a new business or looking to switch up your current eCommerce platform, you have a lot of options. Magento and Shopify are two of the most popular.
Choosing the appropriate platform for your online store is critical. It lays the groundwork for your store’s development and lays the groundwork for a successful eCommerce business.
Magento and Shopify are frequently pitted against one another in the race for the best eCommerce platform, but in reality, they are two completely distinct tools with a slew of distinct features.
While Magento has been popular for a long period of time, Shopify has emerged as one of Magento’s primary competitors in recent years. Magento may climb even higher on the list with the release of Magento 2, an upgraded version of the original platform that makes it an ideal solution for businesses of all sizes.
We’ll compare Magento and Shopify – examining the fundamentals and most important features, as well as discussing some of the new features in Magento 2 – in order to assist you in selecting the best eCommerce platform for your business’s needs.
Usage / Popularity
To begin, let us examine the two platforms’ popularity.
Magento has historically been the most popular platform for eCommerce stores since its inception in 2004. However, Shopify has seen a surge in popularity over the last few years, accounting for 21% of all eCommerce stores. Shopify has established a reputation as an easy-to-use platform that anyone can master, as we will see in subsequent sections.
Magento, on the other hand, has established itself as more than a one-size-fits-all website builder, and thus retains a sizable user base. Magento remains extremely popular among eCommerce owners, powering 1.2 percent of the internet and approximately 12% of all online stores.
Magento and Shopify are diametrically opposed when it comes to coding and the level of knowledge required.
Magento is written in PHP, whereas Shopify is written in the Liquid programming language. Magento is an open source platform, whereas Shopify is a proprietary platform. The coding language used is critical to understand when making your choice because it limits what can be accomplished.
Magento 2 vs. Shopify: Which Should You Choose? Magento 2 vs. Shopify: Which Should You Choose?
Open source refers to source code that is freely accessible and modifiable by anyone, whereas proprietary code cannot be modified. Magento’s template code can be customized to meet the needs of a particular store. This is not possible with Shopify.
This makes Shopify an excellent solution for simple stores, but not ideal for more complex ones that require modifications to the source code.
When determining the best platform for you, it’s also critical to consider your budget for website development. We’ve broken down the potential cost into different sections here to help you get a better sense of what to expect.
Shopify is a software-as-a-service, or SAAS, platform, which means that users pay a monthly subscription fee to use the Shopify software.
To begin, users can take advantage of a complimentary 90-day trial. Following that, three pricing tiers are available: Basic Shopify costs $29 per month, Shopify costs $79 per month, and Advanced Shopify costs $299 per month. By upgrading to a higher tier of Shopify, users gain access to additional features such as abandoned cart recovery, gift cards, and advanced reporting.
By comparison, the Magento Community software is completely free. Additionally, they offer an Enterprise edition, the cost of which is determined by the unique requirements of your online store.
Magento 2 vs. Shopify: Which Should You Choose?
While Shopify is hosted by the company, Magento 2 is a self-hosted solution, which means users must pay for hosting through a third-party provider. Most Magento 2 sites to perform well need servers located in the $20 – 80 a month range to perform responsively.
A successful store requires reliable hosting. Hosting can have an effect on the speed of a website, its storage capacity, and the number of products that an online store can handle. Magento users now have the option of selecting the hosting solution that best fits their needs and budget, rather than being limited to the one offered by Shopify.
Add-ons and Extensions
You must factor in the cost of any add-ons for both Magento and Shopify. Assuming the basic software is insufficient to create the online store you desire, the anticipated price will be higher.
By paying a higher monthly subscription fee, Shopify users gain access to additional features such as abandoned cart recovery, gift cards, and advanced reporting. Magento users, on the other hand, can obtain these features for significantly less per year.
For instance, Idea Forge offers a one-time purchase of premium Magento extensions that includes one year of support and upgrades.
Naturally, you’ll want your eCommerce business to thrive and grow over time, which is why choosing a scalable platform is critical.
At its core, Shopify is a more straightforward tool – which means that if you’re looking to create a website for a new, small store with minimal commitment, Shopify may be an excellent choice.
Magento, on the other hand, is well-known for its increased flexibility and scalability, making it a popular choice for businesses looking to migrate from other platforms.
Magento is capable of handling high volumes of traffic, which means that if you want a website that can grow and evolve without the hassle of changing platforms in the future, Magento is a better option.
Plugins & Extensions
Additionally, you should consider each platform’s capability in terms of add-on extensions.
Magento truly shines in this area, with thousands of add-on extensions (both free and paid options). Indeed, there are 2,367 extensions compatible with Magento 2, providing an infinite number of ways to enhance your website’s functionality.
In comparison, Shopify has far fewer add-on ‘apps’ and is far behind in terms of integrations and extensions. This is partly because Magento is a community-driven open source platform that enables anyone to create their own extensions.
Any ideas you have along the way are almost certain to be integrated into your store via affordable Magento extensions. Want to customize coupon error messages or create multiple employee logins with varying levels of access? Extensions simplify the process, even for non-coders.
Additionally, Magento includes a broader range of frontend features for customers, including coupon codes, gift cards, customer dashboards, related products, wish lists, and order status modules. You’ll discover that Magento gives you complete control over every aspect of your website.
Magento 2 vs. Shopify: Which Is Better?
Creating a successful store requires developing a distinct brand that customers recognize and respect – a large part of this is design, which translates into the website theme you choose.
Magento and Shopify both offer a variety of themes, both free and paid. Shopify currently offers 65 templates, while Magento 2 offers thousands of themes created by independent developers worldwide.
Both platforms’ themes are typically responsive, which means they work across a range of screen sizes. Having a mobile-friendly online store is critical, as an increasing number of customers shop online using their mobile devices.
Due to Shopify’s proprietary coding, the themes available do not allow for extensive customization. You can easily modify the fundamentals such as colors and fonts, as well as add images and change the wording of features. Apart from that, customization options are limited.
Magento, on the other hand, offers a significantly greater variety of design options. Magento 2 introduced drag-and-drop visual editing, which enables non-coders and coders alike to quickly create beautiful websites.
Developing and maintaining a website is only a small part of your job as an eCommerce business owner, and if you’re going it alone without the assistance of a developer, you’ll naturally want an easy-to-use and maintain platform.
Therefore, how do Shopify and Magento fare when it comes to user experience?
Shopify, on average, is easier to use than Magento, making it the preferred option for non-developers. Once you’ve signed up for the service, it’s usually quite simple to create a website.
Magento is frequently misunderstood as being more difficult to use. Magento, on the other hand, becomes significantly easier to work with when pre-built extensions are used. There is no need for coding when simple solutions already exist.
Additionally, Magento 2 addresses a number of user-reported issues with the original version, making it even easier to use. For example, Magento 2 includes a user-friendly administration panel that is much easier for new users to navigate.
In comparison to Shopify, it is now easier for the administrator to perform tasks such as accessing advanced reports, managing payment processors, sorting customers, and marketing products. Without advanced web development skills, admins can now manage their store behind the scenes much more easily.