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WooCommerce vs Magento

When it comes to opening an eCommerce website, the most important question often is “what platform should it be on”. Let’s face it, how many of us have asked themselves this question? Truth is, there are many eCommerce platforms out there to choose from, each of them with their own pros and cons.

But today isn’t about making the right choice between all platforms out there, but between 2 main ones, WooCommerce and Magento.

As you probably know by now, WooCommerce is the eCommerce extension of the open-source WordPress platform (more details on it here), while Magento is an eCommerce platform on its own, quite frankly the biggest one out there.

But what are the differences between these 2? Well, we’re going to look at them from 7 different aspects and see which one has what.

  1. Ease of use
    Out of the box, Magento doesn’t feel so beginner-friendly when we compare it to WooCommerce, simply due to its complexity of actions that you won’t find in WooCommerce, however both offer extensive documentations. If we were to pick an easier platform to work with, especially for beginners, we’d say it would be WooCommerce because of its simple interface and end-to-end actions
  2. Price
    When it comes to prices, both platforms are free to install and use as they’re open-source, however Magento does have an Enterprise Edition which costs quite some pennies if you were to go with it. Other than the hosting, which we’ll cover after this, and extension features, not WooCommerce nor Magento involve any other costs.
  3. Hosting
    The beauty of having a WooCommerce/Magento website is that you’re not conditioned by anything in terms of hosting plans. You can purchase a hosting plan and host the website yourself, or you can contact a professional company to do so. Unlike Shopify, BigCommerce, EKM etc. where you’re pretty much conditioned by their rules and prices, here you have the free will to host your website wherever you want.
    Yeah, but still, there have to be some differences between them, right? You bet there are! However, it’s not something that’s incompatible with both of them, but more like which one suits which better. Magento is a huge platform built to accommodate with ease medium-to-large companies with loads of product features, while WooCommerce might end up having difficulties sometimes with such high level of workload. Knowing this, it’s obvious Magento would require a higher hosting plan compared to WooCommerce, resulting in higher costs.
  4. Performance
    There’s no need for extra explanations here, simply put Magento is the best one in terms of performances, as mentioned above, it was built to handle the giants of eCommerce. WooCommerce being just an extension to WordPress, doesn’t have that many features and the power-of-use as Magento has. It’s like comparing a Ferrari 488 with a Mercedes AMG63 – while both of them are fast, Ferrari was built specifically for raw power and swiftness in sports and Mercedes is a comfort-class brand who built their own sport version extension.
  5. Security
    When it’s down to security, its importance is second-to-none especially with the new GDPR law coming out on the 25th of May (read more about it here). Both WooCommerce and Magento allow you to implement several advanced security measures, but mostly through extensions and manual tweaks. However, while no platform can be 100% secure, Magento takes the lead in this aspect by offering dedicated security patches to its users. The downside here is that Magento’s security patches aren’t particularly easy to apply. E-commerce newbies might feel out of their depth doing so on their own, which in turn leads to a significant amount of Magento stores being out of date.
  6. Product Management
    If you’re looking for a perfect eCommerce store, you probably have ‘good product management’ in your thoughts already. Talking about simplicity, WooCommerce offers a no-nonsense approach to its products management, both for physical and digital ones. Setting up new products has never been easier, especially when you’re already familiar with WordPress and you can always add more extensions that enhance its functionality.
    Magento on the other hand, already comes with pre-built features that normally with WooCommerce you’d have to purchase. For example, it supports product reviews, grouped items, wishlists, advanced pricing rules, advanced shipping options, product personalisation etc. If you’re looking for extra functionality and diversity over your inventory without crowding the platform too much, Magento is your pick. If you’re not really tech-savvy and just want simple inventory management, you’re probably better off with WooCommerce.
  7. Extensions
    Oh, extensions… How we love them. Or not? It depends on how many we have. Filling your website with extensions could really affect its functionality, which is exactly the case for most WooCommerce users. Its lack of extra functionality forces users to adopt extensions, crowding it up and possibly creating drops. Magento on the other hand comes with lots of extra functionality already built-in, requiring little to no extensions.
    But let’s say you do need extensions on both cases, well, you’ll be amazed by their prices on the Magento market compared to the WordPress ones, as they’re not really cheap. Most of the Magento ones range between $50-$100, while the WordPress/WooCommerce ones stay between $10-$30 (we’re talking about one-off payments here). Depending on what you need, that’s how much it will cost you in the end.