WooCommerce vs Magento – how do you decide between two great website builders? With both services offering solid features and being widely popular, we’ve taken the time to sign up for each option to try and test everything on offer.
When it comes to eCommerce websites, there’s no “best” solution, as one size doesn’t fit all. To make the right choice for your needs, you need to have the facts in front of you, and that’s what we do best.
Each platform will have its own supporters who claim one is better than the other. Instead of listening to everyone’s opinions, we took WooCommerce vs Magento head to head in order to give you an unbiased and honest account.
We’ll compare both options, including key features, performance, pricing, security, and more. Once you’ve finished reading, you should have a good idea of which solution is best for you.
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WooCommerce vs Magento
WooCommerce is a powerful eCommerce plugin for WordPress. It provides necessary and additional features for an eCommerce solution, while being incredibly easy to use.
Magento is an eCommerce platform designed for web professionals. It's ideal for medium to large online businesses, offering some of the best features on the market.
WooCommerce vs Magento: Features Overview
- Complete free to use
- Requires self-hosted website
- Supports unlimited products
- Supports most WordPress themes
- Includes extension system
- Comes with basic security
- Very easy to use
- Free community version + premium
- Self-hosted community version
- Add unlimited products
- Theme-based system
- Supports multiple extensions
- Advanced security features
- Requires basic knowledge of web development
WooCommerce Vs Magento: What's On Offer
We’re going to first explore what each platform has to offer, including pros and cons, key features, and pricing.
If you’ve ever used WordPress, you’re probably familiar with WooCommerce or have at least heard of it. This eCommerce platform has over 400,000 websites and offers all of the functionality you could need to open an online store.
- You can add unlimited products to your online store
- Includes a robust extension system based on WordPress’ plugin format
- Most payment gateways work with WooCommerce
- There are lots of premium and free themes available
- Setup of your online store is free
- It’s really easy to get used to
- There’s plenty of documentation available and you’re able to contact support if needed
- Integrates well with Google Analytics
- Includes SSL support (you’ll need to obtain your own certificate)
- If you don’t have experience with WordPress, you’ll need to learn WordPress and WooCommerce
- Premium themes and extensions/plugins can add up quickly
WooCommerce is an open-source platform, meaning anyone can use it for free. However, if you want to extend the base functionality of WooCommerce, you’ll need to invest in premium extensions and themes.
These can start to add up and get expensive, so you need to assess what you really need before developing your website. Some extensions require annual subscriptions, whereas others don’t.
You’ll also need to consider your web hosting costs, as WooCommerce and WordPress.org are self-hosted solutions. There are some fantastic WordPress web hosts that we recommend, including Hostinger, SiteGround, and Bluehost. All of these hosts offer great uptime, speed, and performance.
Magento is more focused on companies, meaning medium to larger-sized businesses will benefit the most from their platform. Magento offers a free community edition of their platform as well as an Enterprise edition for larger companies.
- Supports unlimited products
- Includes its own theme and layout system
- Comes with efficient APIs to connect with third-party solutions
- Intuitive interface
- Ideal for scalability meaning you can easily grow your online store without having to move the platform
- Shoppers can checkout quickly and offer guest checkout
- Integrates well with PayPal
- More geared towards developers rather than general or beginner users
- Enterprise edition can be quite expensive
Magento’s community edition is what we’re focussing on for this comparison. It’s free for anyone to use, so you’ll only need to factor in the cost of your hosting provider.
If you want to consider the Enterprise Edition, the costs will rack up very quickly, which is why we only recommend it for larger businesses who have the budget to cater for it.
WooCommerce vs Magento: Performance
Speed is crucial for any website, especially for eCommerce stores. If your website takes too long to load, your customers will shop elsewhere, taking their money to someone else.
Performance is therefore incredibly important and quite difficult to test as both platforms offer entirely different coding behind them. The performance of your online store will fall quite heavily on your hosting provider, which is why we suggest you take a look at our list of the best web hosting companies before making a decision.
Other factors include whether your online store has a CDN, if your images are optimized, and the theme you’ve chosen to use.
WooCommerce vs Magento: Security
When it comes to security, there’s absolutely no compromise for an online store. Customers expect their information to be kept secure and private, and you need to make sure you can deliver.
WooCommerce and Magento both offer security options that you should explore. Most of these are done through extensions or manual work, but if it was a case of choosing the best base platform for security, Magento wins on this front.
They offer dedicated security patches to their users, however, they aren’t that easy to apply. If you’re new to eCommerce, you may struggle and could risk your online store becoming out of date.
WooCommerce vs Magento: Products
If this is your first time building an online store, you’ll want to find a solution that offers easy product management. Straight out of the box, WooCommerce is incredibly easy to use, allowing you to add physical and digital products to your store.
You can set up new items very easily, or customize your products with product add-ons. While WooCommerce is very simple and straightforward, you will need to install extensions to further customize and personalize your online store.
Magento on the other hand provides lots of features WooCommerce doesn’t include. It supports product reviews wish lists, grouped items, pricing rules, etc. There’s definitely a clear leg up in terms of functionality, but as you can imagine, it comes with a steeper learning curve.
If you don’t need many advanced features on your eCommerce store, WooCommerce is our recommended option. It’s completely free, comes with great basic features, and the option is there if you want to expand.
WooCommerce vs Magento: Pricing
When deciding between WooCommerce vs Magento, you’ll want to consider how much it’s going to cost to set up your online store.
We already know that WooCommerce is completely free, with no hidden premium plans available. Magento offers a free community version, but Magento’s Enterprise edition costs a lot and is only available if you talk to one of their sales team.
Both platforms allow you to start your eCommerce store without costing anything. The only thing you’ll need is a domain name (which you can get for free), a decent web host, and an SSL certificate. All of the web hosts we mention in this article include a free SSL to protect your online store.
How much it costs to keep your online store running depends on the extensions you use, the web host you sign up to, and how you want to expand your website.
Take the image above, for example. If you want to add the Twitter widget to your online store so customers can keep up with your latest news, it’s going to cost you $29. If you then want to add abandoned cart emails to your eCommerce site to ensure you don’t miss out on valuable customers, that’s going to rack up a bill for $129.
Similarly, with WooCommerce, you’ll need to pay extra if you want added features like Pinterest. On the whole, I think WooCommerce offers slightly better features, and more that are free, but all in all, it’s a tie for this round.
WooCommerce Vs Magento: Winner
If you’re a beginner, it’s a really simple choice when it comes to WooCommerce vs Magento, with WooCommerce being the better option. It’s easy to set up, it’s free, and WooCommerce hosting is far more common and available at an affordable cost.
You can set up almost any kind of online store with WooCommerce, from fashion to tickets, jewelry to online gym glasses.
However, Magento is still a solid eCommerce solution and is more scalable than WooCommerce. If you’re more advanced with web development and want to expand your online store into the higher realms of eCommerce, Magento is a great option.
The choice ultimately comes down to you and your online store requirements. For new users, WooCommerce is the winner, although it’s a very close second for Magento.