Both WooCommerce and Magento are popular platforms for developing eCommerce stores. However, it is easy to get confused when you’re trying to pick anyone between Magento and WooCommerce.
But then again, you cannot choose both, can you? It ultimately depends on your eCommerce store and its functionalities. In this article, we put together a comprehensive discussion on Magento vs. WooCommerce to help newbie eCommerce merchants pick the right platform.
So, let’s get started!
Overview and Uniqueness of Magento and WooCommerce
Before switching to the Magento vs. WooCommerce discussion, let’s get to know these two platforms better:
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is an open-source software system to create eCommerce stores, websites, and blogs. This powerful WordPress plugin is currently hosting over 4 million websites globally.
What is Magento?
Magento is a powerful eCommerce platform that develops medium to large eCommerce stores with numerous robust features. As per reports, Magento is responsible for developing over 750000 websites across the globe. Magento is a hit among eCommerce stores for its cutting-edge customization functions, seamless integrations, and state-of-the-art features.
Magento vs. WooCommerce – A Comprehensive Discussion
Let’s get into a detailed Magento vs. WooCommerce discussion to find out which one will suit you the best:
Extensions and plugins
Extensions and plugins are imperative to add several new features to an eCommerce store. You need to install these add-ons to build an advanced and enticing eCommerce store.
WordPress backs WooCommerce and it gives you access to 50000+ free plugins. You can use these plugins and themes to design your store in terms of product type, store management, shipping, subscription, and so on.
Magento also has a large variety of extensions and plugins to select from. There are both paid and unpaid extensions and developers can make their selection based on store requirements. However, Magento’s stock of extensions is way lesser than WooCommerce. Currently, Magento has close to 6000 plugins and extensions for different purposes like marketing, finance, sales, content, etc.
Security is often the #1 priority for eCommerce store owners. You need powerful security features to protect your store from any unpredictable cyber threats.
WooCommerce is a rather secured platform with no severe privacy issues marked yet. However, there have been issues with third-party plugins in the past. 22% of WooCommerce stores were hacked in the past due to the external plugins they were using. It is a must that you stay extra careful when choosing a third-party plugin for your store.
Alternatively, Magento has its own strong security patches to keep the stores safe from external threats. Numerous built-in features protect your store from external attacks, cross-site attacks, and other cyber threats. With its security extensions, Magento is definitely ahead of WooCommerce when it comes to security measures.
Ease of use
Ease of use is a major factor, especially you’re a beginner with no prior technical expertise. This pointer can make a huge difference in the Magento vs. WooCommerce discussion.
WooCommerce is a beginner-friendly platform with several customization options. Users can personalize their stores based on the available designs and themes in the store. WooCommerce has a set-up wizard to guide the users throughout the store setting up process. It takes you through the fundamental setups like product pages creation, currency selection, shipping options, and so on.
Magento is specifically designed for developers. You need at least some fundamental idea of programming to build your store within Magento. Hence, beginners with no technical expertise can hardly use this platform to set up an eCommerce store. Even though there are enough tutorials available, it can be challenging for new users to set up a store on Magento. In fact, if you can build the store, you’ll still need assistance to add suitable themes and extensions to complete the process.
When it comes to the ease of use feature, WooCommerce is definitely ahead of Magento. But then for large-scale businesses, Magento is a wiser choice, considering Magento’s technical features.
Marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The platform you select Magento and WooCommerce should include some marketing features. Mostly because online stores are standing on the foundation of digital marketing and SEO. So, it is always smarter to look into these aspects right from the time of building your store.
Being a WordPress-supported tool, WooCommerce comes with multiple features related to blogs, content marketing, and other marketing campaigns. In fact, if you opt for WooCommerce, there’s no need to use a CMS system separately as it is in-built and comes with a different set of content ideas. Plus, if you want to add any new landing pages or blog features to your store, all you have to do is use some shortcodes and you’re done.
Magento is also a smart solution to your SEO and marketing problems. It is well-equipped with an extensive SEO toolkit that helps you promote your store on different search engines. Magento is specially designed to manage promotional campaigns, SEO, and content with the Marketing Menu feature.
However, unlike WordPress, Magento doesn’t have a built-in CMS. So, if you want to publish blogs, you’ll need a separate extension for it. This is a notable point in the Magento vs. WooCommerce discussion.
The performance of a website depends on multiple factors like loading time, speed, availability, etc. It is a must to ensure that your eCommerce store’s performance is top-notch. No matter how many good products you have on offer, users will never stay for long in your store if the performance is poor.
In fact, an eCommerce store that takes a long time to load will not perform well in the search engines too.
WooCommerce might be a good platform in terms of ease of use, but from a performance perspective, it actually shows a low response time. The average page loading time of a WooCommerce store is 776 milliseconds. The cart page alone takes 1.32 seconds to load.
Magento too has issues when it comes to loading speed. In fact, an analysis shows that none of these two platforms live up to the expectation when it comes to a website’s performance. Magento’s stability is remarkable and that accounts for a good performance. Despite having 3000 visitors a day, the availability rate of this store is 99.71%.
As you can see, Magento’s speed is not up to the expectation. The average loading time of this platform is 665 milliseconds, which might be lesser than WooCommerce, but pretty high compared to other platforms like Shopify. However, Magento is run by a group of skilled developers who are always putting efforts to increase its speed. So, we expect its performance to improve in the future.
Pricing is an essential factor, especially for the newbie eCommerce stores. You should ideally look for an affordable eCommerce platform that comes with all the features you need.
You can download WooCommerce for free. That’s really affordable.
Magento has a free plan too. However, there is an advanced Enterprise plan that costs $18000/year. That’s pretty costly for beginners but an ideal plan for large-scale eCommerce stores.
Pros and Cons of WooCommerce
Here are the pros and cons of WooCommerce:
- You can set up a store for free with minimum technical expertise
- WordPress backs WooCommerce and you’ll get a ready-made, free CMS
- WooCommerce has a vast library with 50000+ extensions, plugins, and themes.
- If you’re not a WordPress user, you might take some time to figure out how WooCommerce works
- The store speed and page loading time may not be up to your expectations
Pros and Cons of Magento
- Magento has a remarkable scalability option. That’s why it is a popular choice for large-scale businesses
- Magento is evolving every day and its performance is boosting at a high rate
- Magento has a free plan to get started with your eCommerce operations
- To use Magento, you need fundamental technical expertise
- Magento’s Enterprise plan is very costly and out of the affordability range for beginners.
Before wrapping up, let’s have a quick summary:
You should go for WooCommerce if you are looking for an easy-to-use, affordable, feature-rich eCommerce platform that offers strong security and SEO support. Alternatively, you should go for a Magento if you have a strong team of developers and your business is a large-scale one.
So, make your decision wisely and start your eCommerce journey at the earliest.