What’s the most challenging part of building an eCommerce store for your brand? It’s finding the right platform. Though there are several options to choose from, you will be evaluating only two platforms closely to decide what to consider. We’ve picked two platforms that most brands would want to assess during their decision-making phase – Magento and WooCommerce.
In this blog, we’ll be covering key areas like:
- Overview of Magento 2 and WooCommerce
- What’s common between Magento 2 and WooCommerce
- Magento 2 vs WooCommerce – comparison of features
We believe it’ll help you make an informed decision.
Magento vs. WooCommerce – Overview
WooCommerce is the eCommerce arm of the popular content management system WordPress. The CMS, known for its content management capabilities, launched its eCommerce capability via WordPress in 2011. Since then, the platform has become the preferred platform by stores that are more content-driven and websites already using WordPress.
WooCommerce powers almost 28 percent of eCommerce stores, according to Builtwith. That’s around 5,106,506 live websites. The USA tops the chart with 235,300 stores using WooCommerce. The UK has 24,715 live websites powered by the platform.
Magento is a robust platform with capabilities that cater to the end-to-end requirements of eCommerce brands. The brand was launched in 2007 and is currently owned by Adobe. As far as the nomenclature of its various versions is concerned, Magento Open Source continues with the same name. However, its premium offerings, Magento Commerce and Magento Commerce Cloud, have been rebranded as Adobe Commerce and Adobe Commerce Cloud, respectively.
Magento is the leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce platforms for the third time in a row since 2019. The platform’s built-in features, 100 percent customizability, and ability to accommodate third-party systems are the key factors making it one of the most sought-after platforms.
Magento powers 8% of the online stores, according to the data from BuiltWith. That top market share goes to the US with 64,741 websites, and the UK stands second with over 14,438 merchants using Magento.
WooCommerce and Magento are PHP-based platforms that provide a free, open-source version for users. Both platforms offer a multitude of extensions and features for store owners to build a personalized experience and simplify operations.
The open-source platforms are free of cost to install. However, you will have to invest in hosting, the development of custom themes, and premium extensions. Now let’s look at how WooCommerce is different from Magento.
Magento vs WooCommerce – Performance comparison
The loading speed of your website determines the ratio of visitors turning into your customers. The faster your pages load, the more likely visitors will become customers. 70% of consumers admit that page speed impacts their willingness to buy from an online retailer. – Unbounce 2019 report.
A 1-second delay in loading time can affect 7 percent of your online store’s conversions. Given the short attention span and plenty of options to shop from, less than 3 seconds is what you’ve got to engage your visitors online.
Ensuring that your store is working at top performance will deliver significant benefits, including satisfied customers, more return visitors, more conversions, and brand advocacy.
WooCommerce fares well compared with Magento in terms of availability (93.13% for cart pages), but the average page loading time is less. The cart page takes 1.32 seconds. WooCommerce is a close contender with Magento in terms of availability but loses out in loading time. Now, let’s see how Magento’s performance is despite its heavy architecture.
Based on the response time taken by the platform to respond to a request in home pages, category pages, and cart pages, Magento is stable. The average page loading time is 665 milliseconds, while cart pages take 568 milliseconds. This is fine, considering the platform’s heavy structure. However, the average availability rate is up to 99.71% despite checking during high traffic (3000 visits per day).
Magento has been working on improving its performance with every release, including the latest version, 2.4.3. Here are some of Magento’s performance improvements in 2.x compared to 1.x.
- 38% faster customer
- 51% faster guest checkout
- 117% more orders can be processed per hour
- 66% faster add-to-cart response time
- 2.1 million more page views per hour
WooCommerce vs Magento comparison – Extensions and built-in tools
In the Magento landscape, the add-ons are termed as extensions, while the same is termed as plugins in WooCommerce. Both the platforms own marketplace websites in which you can find a wide range of add-ons to enhance your store, right from storefront experience and admin operations to fulfillment.
WooCommerce is overwhelmed with over 55,000 free plugins that are available for users in its marketplace. Since the platform is built on the WordPress CMS, it offers a collection of marketing and content-management-related plugins. It’s an advantage for websites where frontend experience and content matters the most.
WooCommerce marketplace also offers free themes and plugins for commerce operations like shipment, order management, payments, etc.
Magento offers a vast collection of free extensions that users can gain access to in its marketplace. The platform has the combined strength of a global community of 300,000+ developers and 1,150+ solution and technology partners.
The marketplace offers almost 6000 extensions for handling various requirements like marketing, payment, shipment, order management, product data management, connectors for integrating third-party systems, etc.
Now, let’s have a look at the advanced built-in tools that Magento offers for its Open Source users:
- OMS – Order Management system to manage and fulfill orders and to track inventory.
- MBI (Magento Business Intelligence) – Advanced analytics tool to derive insights from users’ digital interactions with your store.
- ElasticSearch – A customizable search engine to provide results faster with more accuracy.
- Multi-source Inventory – Manage multiple warehouses and inventory levels centrally.
- Adobe Payment Services – Built-in payment gateway for secured payments
Both platforms offer enough unpaid plugins and extensions to their customers. But the security or the stability of the extension is a hidden matter to consider. Since Magento’s technology partners follow high coding standards and development best practices, stability and security are higher.
Magento 2 vs WooCommerce – Cost comparison
WooCommerce open source is free of cost. Since WooCommerce requires less technical knowledge to set up and configure, you can save on the development cost to some extent. However, in-depth personalization and integration will need developers’ help.
If you purchase premium plugins from its marketplace or build custom themes, those factors will add to your overall cost. WooCommerce premium themes’ cost starts from $50, while paid plugins start from $25.
Magento is available in three versions: Magento Open Source, Magento Commerce (now Adobe Commerce), and Magento Commerce Cloud (now Adobe Commerce Cloud). Magento Open Source is free, including basic commerce functionalities.
Magento Commerce is for medium and large business enterprises with advanced built-in features and on-demand support from the Magento team. Magento Commerce Cloud includes AWS cloud hosting along with all the Magento Commerce features.
If you choose Magento Open Source, you’ll have to spend on developers to customize the code for personalizing your store. Hosting plans, paid extensions ($50 to $500) and custom theme building also add to your investment cost. If you are going to integrate third-party systems, the license cost of the external system and the cost for integration will add up.
Magento Commerce license is based on gross sales revenue. If you are a business owner looking to build a store on Magento from the ground up or migrate from a third-party platform, the license cost is the same. For more details on Magento Commerce pricing, kindly check out our blog that explains the platform’s GSR-based license fee.
If you prefer the premium version of Magento, developers’ efforts required for data, theme, extension, and customization compatibility add to your overall cost.
Find a Magento Partner agency to work on your migration project so that they have certified developers and are up to date about Magento 2. The average range of developer costs in such agencies would be around $50 to $70 per hour.
Disclaimer: The cost mentioned in this article varies depending on your business’s size, requirements, and the agency you choose.
In terms of cost, WooCommerce beats Magento Commerce. For a small-sized business, choosing free plugins and basic features from WooCommerce should do good.
Magento’s cost is justifiable if you have aggressive growth plans that require adaptive scalability, advanced out-of-the-box features, and top-notch security.
WooCommerce vs Magento comparison – Security features
Like speed and availability, your store’s security needs to be at its best at all times. Fortifying your store against cyberattacks ensures your business data and customer data are safe. Also, make sure the third-party systems you use have the necessary compliances and don’t have security loopholes.
WooCommerce Security Features
Though WooCommerce is a plugin for adding commerce capabilities, it has undergone a series of improvements. Hence it is secure. But what makes its security a matter of concern is its strength – plugins and being accommodative to third-party systems.
If you go for third-party plugins or integrate external systems, chances are there for your store to be exposed to cyberattacks because of the security loopholes of those systems. It’s not that all WooCommerce or WordPress plugins are vulnerable.
Security vulnerabilities occur because of poorly maintained plugins or codes used from a sketchy source. Before you go for a plugin, check if its authors actively maintain it. Regular updates, version releases are indications for an actively maintained plugin.
Also, be cautious while using code snippets that can be copied from technical forums or other sources on the web to build or customize functionality in your store.
Magento Security Features
Magento is regular in improving its security with every version it rolls out. Apart from new security improvements, Magento provides security patches and bug fixes for stores using the older versions as well, providing a great deal of support for its entire user base.
However, it is a best practice for every Magento store owner to upgrade to the latest version of the platform to ensure the store’s customer and business data are safe all the time.
Magento provides a built-in Security Scan Tool that users can easily integrate with the backend. The tool does the job of monitoring the site for malware and risks and proactively reporting it.
Here are some of the key advantages of Magento’s Security Scan tool:
- Checking real-time security status
- Providing fixes to resolve issues quickly
- Provision to track historical security reports and monitor progress
- Performing over 21,000 security tests
- Provide complete scan report on failed tests with recommended actions
WooCommerce vs Magento – SEO and Marketing capabilities
WooCommerce – SEO and Marketing features
WooCommerce being a plugin based on the CMS WordPress, its content creation and marketing capabilities are impressive. It is easy to create and customize blog pages and landing pages. You can add new functionalities like comments (to leverage user generated contents), social logins, forums and more. With the availability of free and paid themes, you can deliver rich content and storefront experience.
Magento – SEO and Marketing features
Magento has loads of built-in SEO capabilities. Using Magento, you can customize anchor text for navigation links, customize titles for home, category and cart pages, avoid content duplication via canonical URLs and the list goes on.
Features like Page Builder, rich snippets, XML sitemap makes it easy for store owners to build a great frontend experience, map site contents to search engines, earn high visibility and search engine rankings.
Integrating Google’s tracking and marketing tools like Google Analytics, Privacy Setting, Content Experiments, and Tag Manager with the backend is also easy.
Magento also helps in achieving better mobile web page indexing. Using Magento’s PWA Studio, you can build a mobile website with an app-like interface. PWAs (Progressive Web Apps) can help you achieve mobile loading time under 2 seconds and enable fast checkout experiences.
Having compared Magento and WooCommerce based on the five key decision-making factors, Magento outweighs WooCommerce except for the cost. Though Magento needs more technical knowledge than WooCommerce to leverage it to the fullest, you can get things done by partnering with a Magento development agency.
However, deciding the platform for your eCommerce initiative should consider your business requirements.
If you are a small or medium business looking to springboard into eCommerce with aggressive plans to expand and grow, Magento is the go-to platform. The platform’s built-in tools, multiple versions built for businesses of various sizes, B2C and B2B capabilities, and advanced tools offered with its premium versions, can help your eCommerce store grow continuously.
If you are an organization that’s content-driven and have products that are secondary to the content, WordPress would be the ideal deal.
Tell us in our comments section if you agree or disagree. Feel free to check out our other guides like Magento Vs. OpenCart comparison, Magento Vs. Shopify comparison, Magento Vs. BigCommerce comparison, and Magento Commerce Vs. Shopify Plus comparison.
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Frequently asked questions
WooCommerce is not natively built for eCommerce. WooCommerce is the eCommerce plugin from the most sought after content management system (CMS) WordPress. The platform is apt for small businesses for which content matters the most. For content-heavy websites that require minimal eCommerce capabilities, WooCommerce can be a good option to consider.
Magento is a commerce-focused platform that offers several features out-of-the-box. The platform is available in free and premium versions. The platform has bundles of B2C and B2B-centric capabilities enabling it to cater to the needs of retailers, wholesalers and distributors. The platform’s support for headless approach enables merchants to take advantage of Magento’s commerce capabilities and build experience-driven storefronts.
Magento is one of the most versatile and preferred eCommerce platforms in the market. The platform has been named as the leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce for three times in a row.
Backed by a global community of developers and solutions partners, finding a high-quality Magento development expertise is quite easy.
The platform has evolved its code base into B2B and B2C in order to provide specific capabilities required by merchants and customers of each market segment.
Yes, Magento is more secure than WooCommerce. Security is a matter of concern for WooCommerce users. Especially, when WooCommerce users go for third-party plugins, security loopholes in such plug-ins might expose the store to security attacks.
It is advisable to check how regularly the authors of third-party plugins are updating it. Codes copied from sketchy sources can also heighten security risks.
Magento is regular in updating its security features. The platform rolls out security patches for older versions as well ensuring that merchants using its older versions also stay secured. Magento’s Security Scan tool is a built-in feature that can be used to:
- Check security status
- Find solutions to fix issues
- Track historical security reports
- Perform 21,000 security tests
If content management and storefront experience is a priority over commerce, WooCommerce is the go-to option. If you are looking at advanced eCommerce capabilities, scalability and have aggressive growth plans, Magento is the appropriate choice.
Hosting – $10–50 per month
Domain – $10 to $ 400 per year
Premium Extensions – Magento’s premium extensions can cost from $50 to $500
Code customization –Your Magento development will involve code customization and purchasing paid extensions if you need any.
Theme –Magento provides both free and paid themes. The price ranges from $0 to $499. Building a custom theme will add to your overall development cost.
Development cost –If you sign up talents from an agency that’s an official partner with Magento the development cost would range from $60 to $100 per hour.
License Fee – Apart from the OpenSource version of Magento, Magento Commerce and Magento Commerce Cloud comes with a price tag.
Time –The last but the most important factor that’ll determine your overall cost is the time taken for development. From customizing Magento’s core functionalities, integrating third-party systems to building a custom theme or extensions, the hours of development cost needs to be calculated. The agency you are partnering with will be able to determine the scope of work and the associated time.