Magento Vs. Shopify: Top Contenders Compared!
Hosting and Customization
These are the fundamental features where Magento and Shopify prominently differs. Magento is a self-hosted solution, which means user have a full control over their choice of hosting provider and servers. Due to Magento’s open-source nature, users also get endless possibilities to customize together with the upper hand over the looks and feel of your online store. Hence, you can update and customize the site at your wisdom without being restricted to certain integrations and level of technology.
On the contrary, Shopify is a hosted solution, which doesn’t require users to have a high level of development expertise. Being a store owner, you don’t have to face web hosting hassles or configuration trouble. Similarly, the platform also restricts the accessibility of source code to users. Thus, the options of customization get limited.
Magento and Shopify are the most prominent ecommerce platforms available today. Often, they both are compared against each other. However, in reality, they both are different. When put together, these two platforms run overall more than 850,000 online stores. This figure somewhat proves why they are called the champions in the ecommerce world.
Shopify and Magento, both are functional, scalable, comes with amazing ecommerce website designs and most importantly, they make it really easy for beginners to launch their own ecommerce website. Being that said, these two platforms differ in a way they are structured. Both platforms cater to entirely different audiences. While Magento is built for larger enterprise businesses, Shopify is the best platform around small businesses who want a simple site creation.
Let’s delve into several different areas and figure out where both platforms share the common ground and where they part their ways.
Undoubtedly, both ecommerce giants are extremely favored in the realm of ecommerce website builders. Generally, small online stores find Shopify as a more suitable option. This is because of its ease of use which attracts inexperienced online store owners instantly. However, when it comes to Magento, usually it is perceived that the platform is built for medium and large-sized online businesses. This is not completely true. The fact is, Magento can be an excellent choice for small entrepreneurs that expect to have an effortless scalability in the upcoming days.
As a compensation for all the limitations in customizability, Shopify provides user-friendliness and ease-of-use to its users. With its simplest tools and drag-and-drop interface, Shopify enables users to easily perform basic modifications. On the other hand, Magento’s learning curve is a bit steep. This is because Magento is a considerably more complex system, but it ensures limitless possibilities to customize everything. There’s so much an online entrepreneur can do with the platform. Let’s say you want to freely shape the products, or their overall look, or want to assign any new sort of categories to the system, the Magento platform would let you do that as it’s professionally optimized.
Since the both platforms work for different schemes, it’s quite tough to compare the pricing of Shopify and Magento. You can easily download Magento open-source. However, if you’re an average user and needs to further develop and modify the platform, you might want to seek the help of professional developers. Broadly, it would be no wrong to say that creating a Magento store for meeting the needs of mid-sized online business costs around $10,000-$40,000. For larger businesses, Magento pricing depends on annual revenue. On top of this, ecommerce entrepreneurs need to measure the costs associated with hosting, installation, extensions, support, additional development, and web design. Sounds expensive? Well, large enterprise market reckons Magento as the most cost-effective ecommerce platform. Besides the significant cost involved in operating a complex Magento store, it is worth investing on it. The advanced performances, high standards, ability to generate revenue, level of customization are few reasons that no other platform could compete with Magento.
Shopify works on subscription-based pricing. Starting from free trial option, you can choose from different monthly packages according to your business needs. While the most reasonable plan costs around $29 per month, cost may go up to $299 for the Advanced Shopify plan.
In terms of support, both platforms provide it differently. While Shopify has 24/7 customer support, Magento’s support is provided by the huge, well-committed community that focuses on developing, testing and improving the open-source code system. Magento users have two options. Either they can get valuable information and answers to their queries through community forum, or they can turn to a professional development firm that can certainly help them to find the solution.
Functions, Features and Options
Concerning the basic functions of an ecommerce site, the two ecommerce giants can be considered functionally equal. If you want to run a simple startup ecommerce store, then try Shopify Lite or Basic Shopify that comes with restricted features. However, enterprise entrepreneurs can choose advanced Shopify and Shopify Plus to avail endless possibilities.
Magento comes with remarkable number of features such as responsive design, marketing and SEO tools, order management, various payment options and so on. The platform offers twice the number of extensions compared to Shopify.
Design and Themes
Both platforms provide responsive templates by default, which is quite an important aspect. This depicts how your online store will appear on smartphones and on desktop computers. Shopify offers a great user experience because of variety of themes available, both free and paid. These themes can also be customized to line up with your unique brand image.
Because of Magento’s flexibility, creating your own brand theme is possible. Though that’s a long process and requires extensive coding knowledge. Yet, it comes with heaps of benefits. Unlike Shopify, Magento has advanced functionality and integration to offer throughout the site.
All in all, no platform is a winner. However, when it comes to which platform is better, it really turns on what do you want to do with your store and your expertise level. Shopify is a great option for starters where no deeper technical knowledge is needed.
It’s not the features that determine which system is better. It’s simply about the target audience which differs. Both platforms cater to different leagues. If you have technical experience, Magento is highly recommended. If you can’t afford spending time or money on creating something unique then Shopify is going to provide you with a better storefront to keep up with the needs of your customer and market. Check out