With eCommerce having become a booming field, the demand for online store building tools is also increasing. The companies and stores dealing with physical as well as virtual entities are going online with a fast pace. While planning to launch a self-hosted eCommerce solution, two major names may strike the mind of a developer, i.e. Magento vs WooCommerce. Both are highly powerful tools for creating a shopping website and very popular among the users. In this scenario, it becomes difficult to find out which one is superior to the other. For the solution of this ambiguity, I have tried my best to compare and contrast the plugins while elaborating all of their major aspects. Hopefully, after reading the full post, you will be in a better position to select the better one for your online shopping store. Let’s go ahead with the critical evaluation and comparison of WooCommerce vs Magento:
A Platform versus a Plugin:
The first major difference between Magento and WooCommerce is that the former is a complete platform with advanced structural & functional framework designed exclusively for the eCommerce websites. The later, on the other hand, is merely a plugin that has to be installed on some content management system (CMS) to make it utilizable for the intended purpose. Obviously, on these particular grounds, you may consider the former as superior to the latter. But, the ground realities might be a bit different. No doubt, Magento is already a complete online shopping solution, at the same time, you can take the help of WordPress CMS to get the same functionality from WooCommerce. Surprisingly, you won’t be required to invest a penny or do extra labor for it—integration is the matter of a single click only!
One of the greatest disadvantages of Magento is that it requires professional skills and sound background knowledge for setting up and launching a furnished shopping website. WooCommerce, on the other hand, is extremely easy to use and can be handled even by the novice users who do not have any ‘know-how’ of web development. With just one click, this eCommerce plugin can be installed on WordPress base which, in turn, is extremely easy to use.
Setup and Customizations:
Working with Magento is not a piece of cake for everybody—it requires sufficient expertise in the field. Moreover, setting up the website also demands adequate effort on the part of the developer. The customization and personalization activities are also time consuming. If you opt for WooCommerce, you would definitely be using WordPress as the structural and functional framework for your website. It is an admitted fact that WP is comparatively very easy to use and a fun to work with. On its intuitive and interactive admin panel, the users are self-guided to do everything that needs to be done. In short, a fully-accomplished and completely customized website can be launched within a few minutes.
Premium Versus Free:
WordPress—the base for WooCommerce—is totally free to download and use or modify. Undoubtedly, it was originally created for blogging, the extreme level of flexibility makes it suitable for all kinds of sites, whether it is a buying/selling platform, an online portfolio, a business forum or any other type of project. In case of Magento, though the Community version is free to download, the Enterprise version is essentially a premium offering. It means, Magento is defeated by WooCommerce also on the economic front. Here it is also worth noticing that themes and extensions are comparatively very costly, often reaching $1000 a piece! The premium WP templates, on the other hand, are less expensive and easily affordable. Moreover, the WP products available for free number in thousands. The free WordPress shopping themes are particularly worth mentioning here.
As the requirements and tastes vary from person to person, the flexibility of a web building tool has got primary importance. Looking for the same functionality in the products under discussion, there is a considerably large pool of themes and plugins supported by WordPress. This is what renders it enormous amount of flexibility both in design and performance. Magento, on the contrary, supports comparatively small number of templates and extensions.
Limited versus Limitless Functionality:
The utility of Magento is limited only to eCommerce sites. It can provide the functionality of online buying and selling on no other site but a shopping platform. Turning to WooCommerce, though it is also exclusively devoted to shopping functionality, its parent framework (i.e. WP) comes with limitless web solutions. Here you can build almost any kind of website you want. At the same time, you can impart the web-based trading and payment system on any section or page of any kind of website.
“Shopping on Shopping Site” versus “Shopping on Every Site”:
Magento is not a plugin or extension to be installed on some content management system—it is itself a CMS crafted specifically for eCommerce sites. In other words, with this tool you can create only a shopping site. Essentially being an eCommerce plugin, WooCommerce can be installed on any type of WP-based website. It means, even a blog or saloon can be having trading and money transfer system integrated into it.
Search Engine Friendliness:
Stuffed with too many features, the Magento-based websites face difficulty while loading on browsers. The slow speed connections require even more time to fully display the pages. Such a condition serves to distract the attention of the users from such sites. The search engines too give them less priority and thus low ranking. On the other side, WooCommerce is comparatively very lightweight. Owing to quick loading, the WooCommerce-powered platforms can easily secure higher ranking on search engines. Higher ranking means your site will be listed on the top of the search results and there will be more visitors and, consequently, more income!
Beyond any question, Magento enjoys overwhelming popularity on account of its par excellent shopping functionalities. It has exclusively been developed as one of the best eCommerce solutions. But, when compared against WooCommerce (WC), it gets defeated on several fronts. Firstly, its functionality is limited only to shopping, while WC can impart online buying and selling feature on every kind of web-based project. The former is bulky due to overstuffing of features, while the latter is very lightweight. Working in combination with WordPress, WC allows for immense flexibility, while its counterpart is not that much flexible. WC is totally free to download and use, while the Enterprise version of alternative tool has to be purchased for download and utilization. In short, it will not be wrong to say that Magento is an excellent eCommerce solution, but WooCommerce becomes an even better choice when powered by WordPress.