So you want to grow your business by adding some real eCommerce power to your website, and you’re wondering what your best options are.
Ok then. The two most popular options by far are WooCommerce and Magento. Both these platforms are packed with features, are great performers, and have loads of supporters.
WooCommerce is one of the most technically sound eCommerce software platforms and content management systems, powering up almost 30% of the whole eCommerce market, with around 10 million users worldwide. Built on WordPress, the world’s most popular website platform, it’s user-friendly with an easy-to-embed plug-in architecture and customisation.
Magento also has many dedicated e-Commerce features to let you create an online store, accept payments and manage products. With 8% of the total eCommerce market, Magento is also one of the best & most robust eCommerce applications available, and is trusted by some of the world’s prominent brands, from small businesses to large multinationals.
So much for the similarities, but what about the differences?
Which is easier to use? Which fits your budget more comfortably? Which supports your payment gateways? Which will grow more comfortably with your business?
Which is easier to use?
If you are familiar with WordPress, WooCommerce is easy to use, it’s easy to manage and gives a familiar feel to WordPress enabling easy content management, with a mobile app enabling you to check your store on the go. And for those of us who are devs, it’s relatively straight forward to build and develop on. With lots of genuine plug-ins, it’s got a lot of capabilities ready to go.
Magento feels more geared towards developers than regular users and comes with a steep learning curve. It’s more time consuming to build and develop on, and its interface is also less intuitive than WordPress. However, if you’ve got a dedicated team and time to learn, once you’ve got your head around it, it’s like riding a bike.
Which fits your budget better?
As WooCommerce is totally open source, the cost of starting a WooCommerce store is a lot lower than Magento. Magento has both a free and paid version, but those who are interested in the Enterprise Edition will have to shell out a pretty penny.
Generally, Magento is more expensive to maintain and develop and requires more hosting resource to run, ultimately increasing costs. However, it’s the right choice if you have a lot of products, and we mean A LOT.
Setting up payment methods?
Both Magento and WooCommerce have support for multiple payment options and do an equally great job in terms of payments support.
As you scale your store, WooCommerce remains the cheapest alternative, since you don’t need to install more powerful (and premium) versions of the platform, as may be the case with Magento. WooCommerce also has a vast plugin market to enable you to increase functionality as you scale.
Both WooCommerce and Magento have their merits, but in our opinion, unless you have an eCommerce store with over 50,000 products, WooCommerce will give you what you need, is easy to use, and is more cost-effective in terms of initial outlay and on-going web development, hosting and support.
A final note.
Magento has officially announced that all versions of Magento 1 will become end of life (EOL) on June 1, 2020. This means no quality fixes or security patches will be deployed for Magento 1 after this date.
If you’re using Magento 1, you’ll need to migrate to another platform this year otherwise your business could be vulnerable to future security breaches, although you shouldn’t panic too much about the June 1st deadline.