Two of the most popular platforms for eCommerce on the market today are Magento and WooCommerce. Both of them have their suitability and strengths for different needs. One is an eCommerce plugin for WordPress, whereas the other is a standalone product, now owned by eBay.
Both platforms have their own strong communities: eBay advocates for Magento and WordPress users for WooCommerce. They are really easy to setup and use, and with minimal setup costs, the barriers to entry are very low.
If you’re confusing of setting up your online business, these two platforms will be sure appear somewhere on your list. But which should you go for?
The major basic similarities are that both WooCommerce and Magento are open source platforms, which means that anyone can build a website from those platforms basically.
There are a lot of professional developers work on these platforms, so what they can do are much more than it would be possible like developed with a single company.
Flexibility is the biggest benefit of an open source system: If the original version does not give you what you need, it should have someone developed an extension for it, or getting someone do that for you. Both platforms have a powerful community behind it to support any time you need.
WooCommerce has a huge community of WordPress users, while Magento has its own dedicated community that develops constantly. Sometimes, the big community is even better and more effective in supporting than simple support. More substantially, the two platforms have some common features in terms of communication and product management.
You can upload and manage an unlimited number of products in one place with both systems. You can run your blog page on both systems, with an extension in Magento or have it by default in a WordPress-based plugin – WooCommerce.
We can see that there are a lot of similarities in general. Next, let’s take a look at the differences.
If you want to create an online store in your WordPress-based website, you should choose WooCommerce to start with. It is really easy to handle while you are familiar with WordPress platform. However, you can also learn the basics of Magento easily.
As a beginner, both platforms are very easy to start. However, the situation is going to be more complicated when you need some extensions for your online store to match your needs.
Both systems are completely free. However, when you need to expand the functions of your website, you may need to spend some money. Both systems have a lot of free and paid extensions, so this still has not so many differences.
But if you need to hire a developer, you can find a WooCommerce programmer more easily and cheaper because of thousands WordPress developers outside. Developing in Magento can cost more because it is more complicated, so you should choose an experienced company in Magento to get quality control and have multiple testing processes.
About hosting, Magento also costs more than WooCommerce. You can run WooCommerce on an average hosting service, while Magento requires a company’s own server or even paying money for a cloud-based system, or buying a dedicated server.
With this high requirement, Magento can manage a massive eCommerce networks or a lot of online stores due to its scalability. It has all the great qualities to offer fantastic customer service and satisfying user experience.
What makes both Magento and WooCommerce attractive to both online business owners and developers is how customizable they are. With other products, you may not get this flexibility. The first thing to customize is the theme for your online site.
You can pick a theme for your site with thousands of WordPress themes for eCommerce or Magento. With modern design, they all come with responsive layout and demo content to import to get the first look on your site.
Functions and possibilities
For an eCommerce platform, the ability to feature a virtual shopping cart and to handle an unlimited number of products is a must. There is no problem with both systems. However, another important function is customizing site functions, product features as well as the whole shopping process. In this case, Magento is the winner.
With Magento, you can exploit a whole bunch of cross-selling and upsell opportunities, and the customers can make some comparisons between products. They can also narrow down their search results to find out what they really need.
In WooCommerce, developers mainly focus on coupons and special deals. WooCommerce also has the narrowing search results function, but Magento is much more ahead with versatile and complex search solutions.
For merchants who want to fully manage and customize their product pages, the Magento dashboard offers everything you need to process based on your customer activity.
Magento offers a remarkably flexible eCommerce system, which is a huge advantage because no matter what you are selling, you can adjust the product characteristics nicely in the system.
Magento or WooCommerce?
If you are new to online business, you should start with WooCommerce, and then, when your business starts experiencing huge tide of customers and growing fast, you can switch over to Magento.
Magento is mainly built for eCommerce purposes. Therefore, Magento is really better than WooCommerce when you need complex functions because WordPress was expressly developed for providing content, creating corporate websites, presenting portfolios…
If you need an eCommerce website for your small business, go with WooCommerce. WooCommerce is much lighter, easier and cheaper to start with. But if you want to build an advanced online shop, it is well worth the money, time and energy investing in a Magento project. It is no coincidence that some major global companies like Gant, Nike or Samsung use Magento.