WooCommerce vs Magento - What’s Better for Your Business in 2020?
WooCommerce and Magento proudly stand as two of the most popular e-commerce solutions that power jointly nearly 40% of all e-stores on the web. While both have their strengths and weaknesses, it becomes quite challenging for a merchant to choose the best one amongst the two.
This article is aimed to help you give the answer to an ultimate question: What’s better for your business?
Firstly, both WooCommerce and Magento are open source products. Consequently, they’re both initially free to use, self hosted, deeply customizable and have an abundance of community help; but What makes them different then?
To begin with, Magento is a content management system built specifically for e-commerce, while WooCommerce is an ecommerce framework built on top of WordPress - another CMS. Thus, you first need to install WordPress and then add a WooCommerce plugin. Talking about the installation of those two, it’s quite typical.
As a small and efficient plug-in in an efficient CMS, WooCommerce is very light on server loads and takes up little disk space. That’s why even a shared hosting for five dollars a month may be perfectly good to keep the store running smoothly.
Magento’s complexity requires significantly more powerful hosting than WooCommerce though. You’ll most likely want to use a dedicated server to ensure a good store performance, otherwise your online retailer may get slow and sluggish. Naturally it will cost you extra, so the winner in hosting category is WooCommerce.
When it comes to e-commerce features Magento is a clear winner here. Multi-store capability, multi language options, complex configurable products, layered navigation. All these and even more you’ll find in Magento out of the box, but not in WooCommerce unfortunately.
That doesn’t make WooCommerce a lesser choice though. Most of these superb features can still be obtained with the help of plugins and extensions. As for the rest - WooCommerce has other benefits to compensate this kind of inferiority. For example: WooCommerce can store more in SEO due to its fast performance and impressive blogging functionality.
Nonetheless Magento rightfully wins in the features category.
Magento definitely does take some time getting used to. It’s also quite complicated from a development standpoint; but if you’re serious about putting in a bit of effort and climb over the steep learning curve, Magento will repay off your efforts many times over.
WooCommerce like its WordPress foundation puts a huge emphasis on intuitive design and navigation. Example: adding a product in WooCommerce is simple and fast just click on products menu, then add product - then you can give it a name, write descriptions, choose a type of the product, set attributes, price, add cross-sells and upsells etc.
Adding a product in Magento is quite simple as well: go to catalog / manage products, then you can either edit existing products or add a new one by clicking add product button. At first, you’ll have to pick an attribute set and choose a product type. Afterwards you’ll have to go through a time-consuming yet comprehensible process of product setup.
WooCommerce strikes back and wins in ease-of-use category.
In general, since Magento is a special-purpose platform built for e-commerce, it is considered to be more security reliable than WooCommerce.
Moreover, Magento store often requires fewer plugins, which, logically, reduces the number of possible security holes that can be exploited. On the other hand, WordPress, the CMS on which will Commerce is built, is a blogging platform originally.
Being much more widespread on the web and not meant to handle ecommerce transactions, it happens to become a victim of frauds and hacker attacks much more commonly. This flaw can be addressed with the help of security plugins, which however would increase your expenses and use additional resources needed for other extensions WooCommerce requires.
Thus congratulations to Magento - the winner in the security category!
Extensions and plugins
Both Magento and WooCommerce have an incomparable number of extensions and plugins able to power up your store considerably. So, if you have a specific need, it’s likely that there’s an extension or plugin available on either platform. Being similar in diversity, they’re different in price. Quite often WooCommerce add-ons are much cheaper and easier to install than those on Magento.
To add a plug-in or an extension on WooCommerce you need to go to your admin panel, then click on plugins menu, then add new. Here, you may search for any plug-in available, for example “yotpo”. When you get the needed result, click Install Now button. As an alternative you can also install WooCommerce plugins via FTP.
On the otherhand, the installation of extensions on Magento is not so straightforward. In fact, quite often you may need a developer to handle it out and proceed to setup correctly. The installation of a plug-in depends on the extension type.
There are community and commercial extensions. Community extensions are built by the Magento community and are free to install. To perform the installation, find the needed Magento extension on Magento connect, then click Install Now button, check the license agreement box and click get extension key. Now copy the extension key and go to your Magento admin. Navigate to system / Magento connect / Magento connect manager. Here you’ll be asked to enter your Magento credentials once again then enter your extension key into an appropriate field, click install and when the extension is found click proceed button. The installation process will begin and show a message when it’s finished. As for Magento 2, the recommended installation is made via composer, which is more a developer oriented tehnique.
Commercial Magento extensions can’t be always installed like that. Some of the extension providers, which are not found on Magento Marketplace, will send you a zip file containing instructions and extension files. Most often, all you have to do is extract a zip file into a root folder via FTP manager. Some other providers will give you instructions on how to install the module using composer using their own security credentials.
WooCommerce and Magento are both awesome in plugins and extensions category – ty.
Magento is known to be by far the most scalable ecommerce platform out there. Having a decent hosting, it can handle thousands and thousands of products and orders with an incredible ease.
For truly huge stores there’s even more powerful Magento Enterprise Edition.
All these make Magento a perfect choice for middle and big sized online retailers.
As for WooCommerce a comfortable upper limit for this platform is around 2500 products. After passing this number, the limitations of WooCommerce functionality tend to result in your website feeling a little clunky. That’s why most WooCommerce stores are small or middle sized with a few exceptions in the hands of professionals.
Magento wins in scalability category.
Both platforms have a vast array of themes.
Magento themes are more likely to be ready to go out of the box, while WooCommerce is tend to require widgets that add content and features to your website. On the other hand, WooCommerce themes are much easier to edit and tailor. Quite often, they’re cheaper too.
To add a theme on WooCommerce you need to go to appearance / themes / add new theme. Here, simply choose the one you like and click install. The installation of Magento theme is somewhat similar to adding an extension. You need to find it on Magento connect, then copy the extension key and go to system / Magento connect / Magento connect manager - where you enter the key into an appropriate field and click install. If you however buy the Magento theme from third party platforms like ThemeForest, they will provide you the files in a zip archive with all the instructions required for the installation.
Tie! Both platforms offer a vast variety of beautiful customizable and responsive themes!
While both Magento and WooCommerce are free initially the long term costs vary considerably.
WooCommerce requires less expensive hosting, has less expensive plugins and generally lower development costs. As for Magento unless, you stick to its out-of-the-box functionality, costs of platform maintenance may escalate quickly. It happens due to expensive extensions, higher development prices and generally more expensive hosting requirements. And the winner in price category is WooCommerce - one of the most cost effective shopping carts.
While both platforms have their merits and flaws it essentially comes down to your business model. If you’re running a small business with a limited budget and little developing experience, WooCommerce is definitely the way to go. It does just the job of selling simple products and can be significantly enhanced with the help of numerous plugins and extensions available.
Medium and big size businesses with a large number of products and greater financial resources are better off using Magento. It has a few more basic features and once installed by a developer or simply a tech savvy person, the extensions are brilliant too.