A CMS Standoff: Magento vs. WooCommerce

Magento vs. WooCommerce: Head to Head Comparison

The world of websites, online stores, CMS, and other such platforms is a crazy one. Making the proper judgments has never been more challenging as technology exceeds all expectations in terms of growth and utility.

Magento vs WooCommerce article cover image

Users are confronted with a plethora of questions, as well as a plethora of answers to those questions: Which CMS is the best? Is this CMS appropriate for me, or is there a better option? Is this CMS capable of assisting me in accomplishing my goals?

All of these issues might be intimidating for anyone, especially for individuals who wish to start an online store but lack technological skills.

But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. After all, what good is my Vendor vs. Vendor series if no one benefits? This essay will dissect the two current competitors and compare their performance in various categories.

We have Magento and WooCommerce to compare and contrast for our standoff of the day. But let’s begin with getting to know the providers a bit better.

A Little about Magento

Magento is an open-source PHP-based eCommerce platform. Magento was first launched on March 31st, 2008. Adobe Inc. purchased it in 2018. Magento is a well-known eCommerce platform that both small and large businesses can use.

There are three versions of Magento: Magento Open Source, Magento Commerce, and Magento Commerce Cloud. Magento Open Source is a self-hosted, free version of Magento that allows customers to build their own online store from the ground up with a variety of features. Magento Commerce and Magento Commerce Cloud are paid premium editions recommended for businesses and developers searching for an all-in-one cloud platform to boost online store performance and sales.

Magento Hosting

Let’s see what Magento hosting entails. Some may consider the fact that Magento does not come with a hosting provider to be negative. Yet, most users see it as a positive because it allows them to choose the provider that will host their eCommerce platform. So, to receive the most extraordinary Magento hosting experience and ensure your success, you must meet the following requirements:

  • The technical Magento hosting environment
  • The Magento hosting plan
  • The Magento hosting provider
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  • User Friendly
  • Support
  • Features
  • Reliability
  • Pricing

So, when it comes to choosing a Magento hosting provider, keep these three factors in mind. Once you find the appropriate provider that meets these requirements and all else they entail, it’s nowhere but up for you, your customers, and your store.

You can also pick from the following hosting options for your Magento hosting, depending on whatever best suits you and your company:

  1. Shared hosting
  2. VPS hosting
  3. Dedicated hosting
  4. Cloud hosting (the most recommended)

However, the final decision on which provider to choose and what type of hosting to buy, whether managed or unmanaged, cloud or VPS, and so on, entirely depends on what you want and need.

The Good Sides

  • Excellent user community and support
  • Flexible platform with lots of customization options
  • Good range of themes to choose from
  • Phone support available
  • No actual coding knowledge is needed for Magento commerce
  • Magento is open-source and free to use
  • Magento 2 extensions
  • It is built exclusively for eCommerce
  • The SEO Edge feature
  • Multiple store management possible

The Bad Sides

  • Has a learning curve
  • Quite difficult for beginners
  • It takes a long time to set up
  • Lots of costs to set up your store

screenshot of Adobe Commerce page within Adobe Experience Cloud website

A Little about WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a free, open-source platform written in PHP. It is designed for small and large businesses and was initially released in 2011. It is a WordPress eCommerce plugin that attracted merchants due to its ease of use and simple installation.

Due to it being a WordPress plugin, WooCommerce is not a stand-alone eCommerce tool. What this means is that WordPress creates the foundation for your website, while WooCommerce adds the eCommerce feature.

The Good Sides

  • It’s free to set up your store initially
  • You can quickly get started if you’re familiar with WordPress
  • Extensive documentation is available
  • You have complete control over how you adjust and develop your store
  • Tons of great features for online sales
  • Straightforward back-end environment
  • It has SSL support, although you need to source the certificate
  • Premium and free themes are available
  • Dozens of payment processors

The Bad Sides

  • You’ll need to learn WordPress first if you’re not already familiar with it
  • Premium extensions and themes can add up
  • Requires a WordPress-based website
  • Several plugins are required to achieve the needed functionality, which might be challenging to scale and even unpleasant
  • The possibilities for catalog and order management are relatively limited

screenshot of WooCommerce website

Safety First!

It’s time to look at the features of the platforms in more detail. And, because security is one of the essential aspects of everything done online, I believe it’s a great place to start.

Magento is the icebreaker for today. Magento allows users to strengthen their store’s data security on their own. Installing the Magento extension under the payment and security section might help to secure corporate data and add further protection.

Magento is as safe as you’d like it to be. Even simple stuff like SSL will require certification and maintenance. Magento will release updates to address security holes that have been discovered (the SQL site injection vulnerability that put 300,000 Magento stores at risk in 2019). Your team is still in charge of keeping your site up to date. You will also be responsible for adhering to PCI rules if you use Magento. Magento does not take care of this for you.

However, Magento issues security patches periodically so that you can update your website’s security for free. The patches can help you to:

  • Keep a close watch on your website
  • Look for unauthorized access
  • Check for malware
  • You can apply Magento premium security extensions to protect your online store more efficiently and effectively if you have more advanced security extensions

screenshot of Adobe Security Center

WooCommerce is actually relatively safe, and WordPress does not have any significant security flaws. Complications may develop only if other parties are involved in the extension installation.

However, WooCommerce is a terrific choice for a beginner-level store, but you’ll quickly learn that its powers are limited. If you choose WooCommerce to give your store extra functionality, you may wind up paying more of that cost.

screenshot of Jetpack tool page of WooCommerce

So, I have to declare Magento as the winner for this category. The security patches it releases help keep your online store more secure, and they’re free.

About the Finances

It is essential to know that both WooCommerce and Magento are open-source platforms with free source code that can be easily improved and modified.

As Magento is open-source, it is free to install, but all additional features, such as web hosting, security, extensions, and domain registration, are not. However,  all of the fundamental features you’ll need for your store are already included in the Magento Open-Source free edition. Still, the total cost of using Magento is determined by a variety of factors as well as the features you desire. You’ll also have to pay for themes and add-ons, which vary in price.

However, it’s worth noting that Magento caters primarily to corporations and enterprises, which can, in most circumstances, spend money. Magento also does not require its users to pay a monthly fee.

screenshot of Magento website

WooCommerce is an excellent choice for businesses that are just starting out and are on a budget. However, the limitations of WooCommerce become more evident as the business grows, and purchasing additional WooCommerce capabilities for your site may be more expensive.

With WooCommerce, you have to pay for a domain name, SSL Certificates, web hosting, themes, and other such features. Thus, the cost of WooCommerce cannot be precisely predicted because it is determined based on the number of required features purchased. So, choosing the necessary features and free services for low-budget businesses is the best course of action.

screenshot of WooCommerce website

I have to pronounce Magento as the winner for this category, as its features and pricing options are more effective. However, WooCommerce has lower prices than Magento. So, even though Magento has better value for money, you should choose the platform that best suits your personal needs.

Customer Support

It goes without saying that no business would be complete without excellent customer service. This applies to CMS platforms as well.

The good news is that both platforms provide fantastic customer service and treat their users with respect.

Let’s have a look at Magento first. It provides user instructions that walk you through the complete process of creating an online store because it is a community-based platform. Step-by-step instructions are included, as well as a wealth of helpful information from other Magento developers.

However, because Magento is a self-hosted platform, it does not provide any typical support options along the route of live chat, phone, or email assistance, unless you sign up for the Magento Commerce Cloud plan for B2B.

Regardless, Magento provides other features such as troubleshooting, a help center guide, and support tools.

screenshot of Adobe Commerce Help center

WooCommerce falls a bit behind Magento in this category. Seeing as it is also an open-source platform, it has a large community of developers that can help you and offer support for any issues you might have. Additionally, through the WordPress.org forums, you can get community support for WooCommerce.

It also provides extensive documentation and video tutorials online, but only for paid extensions and plugins. Basically, with WooCommerce, you get support and professional assistance for paid add-ons, plugins, and extensions only.

screenshot of WooCommerce Documentation

So, even though WooCommerce’s association with WordPress is a big boost for the platform, I have to give the win to Magento, as it has a larger community and offers more support features than WooCommerce.

Who’s the Better Friend to Beginners?

There aren’t many business owners that know how to code and are well-versed in technology. As a result, one of the most crucial factors to consider when selecting an eCommerce solution is ease of use. The more intuitive and convenient it is, the better.

Magento and WooCommerce are different in this aspect. Magento has a more demanding learning curve than other platforms. You’ll need some technical knowledge and expertise, as well as an awareness of internet jargon and code, to start an online business. So, if you’re not too tech-savvy, you’ll have to hire a web developer to help you.

screenshot of Products page within Adobe Experience Cloud website

WooCommerce is quite the opposite of Magento here. Because it’s a WordPress plugin, it’s much easier to set up than Magento. WooCommerce empowers even those with no experience with eCommerce platforms or technology to set up and maintain an online store. WooCommerce has a setup wizard that makes the installation procedure quick and straightforward and helps with creating pages, setting up payments, choosing the currency, set shipping and tax options. To customize everything, you only need to follow each step strictly.

Also, with the WordPress Admin panel, you can easily modify your website with theme choices that allow you to change the color of your design, add additional functionalities to your shop, and include photographs or videos.

screenshot of WooCommerce guides

The win for this category goes to WooCommerce, as it is much easier to use and is tailored for beginners and non-experts.

Extensions and Plugins

Add-ons are an essential feature of any CMS since they allow users to customize the store according to their own preferences and ideas. Let’s take a look at how the platforms fare in this category.

Magento features over 4000 free and commercial extensions, and installing them does not involve extensive coding knowledge. A few of the most popular Magento extensions are listed below:

  • Custom discount coupons can be added to orders via Amasty Multiple Coupons, and several discounts can be applied to a single transaction, making consumers feel appreciated and encouraging them to purchase again.
  • Product Pre-Order sends automated emails to consumers when a new product is available to gauge interest in your present offering.
  • You can connect your store to email marketing campaigns and social media using Remarkety.
  • Banner Slider increases revenues by adding advertising banners with personalized URLs to your store.

screenshot of Extensions for Adobe Experience Cloud

You can customize the product type, shop management, marketing, payments, shipping, enhancement, and subscription for your store with WooCommerce. Also, all of these are pretty easy to integrate.

Additionally, The good thing with WooCommerce is that you get access to all of the general-purpose WordPress plugins in addition to all of the WooCommerce-specific plugins. Over 58,000 free plugins can be found in the official WordPress.org directory. You’ll find thousands more premium options if you widen your search to premium marketplaces.

Of course, not all of these plugins are made exclusively for WooCommerce. However, even plugins that aren’t explicitly designed for WooCommerce might be helpful in WooCommerce stores.

screenshot of WooCommerce Extensions Store

So, for this category, WooCommerce is the winner because it supports all WordPress plugins on top of its own plugins, allowing for more options for customization. However, Magento also has a vast range and isn’t far behind.

The Better SEO Integrator

In the ever-changing world of technology, your website should undoubtedly rank in the top ten results in the majority of search engines. As a result, SEO is one of the most crucial elements to consider when selecting a platform for your company.

Both platforms offer high flexibility when it comes to SEO integration. Also, both platforms support the following features, among others:

  • Setting up templates with configurable placeholders for SEO titles and meta descriptions
  • URL structures/slugs
  • XML sitemaps
  • Canonical URLs
  • Robots.txt

The main difference between our competitors regarding SEO integration is how they support the above-listed features.screenshot of SEO and Search tab in Commerce user Guide within Adobe website

When it comes to Magento, most of the SEO-related options are built-in. Also, it provides more advanced SEO extensions for those who want them. These advanced extensions make achieving high rankings on search engines easy and help increase website traffic immensely.

For WooCommerce, it has all the SEO capabilities of WordPress, which come in the form of plugins and are not built-in.

screenshot of WooCommerce Extensions tab (search for SEO)

So, Magento wins this category only slightly because many of its extensions are already built-in. However, seeing as WooCommerce has the SEO feature of WordPress as its own, it is also a great SEO integrator and does not fall too behind.

About the Aesthetics

Another essential feature of any CMS is the themes and designs available to clients.

Magento has 11 fully mobile responsive themes and a large number of pre-made and custom themes. While the pre-made themes do not require any coding changes, custom themes require developer-level creation abilities.

The following are some of the features that Magento provides in the theme area that are worth mentioning:

  • It enables you to add animations to your store to make it more engaging (as long as you have a stable technical base)
  • It allows for more customization possibilities (as long as you have a firm technical foundation)
  • Include a featured product slide on your homepage.
  • Cross-selling blocks‘ are placed on your product pages
  • You can have subscription options in the footer of your website

screenshot of the theme page for Adobe Commerce

When it comes to WooCommerce, it also pre-made themes, meaning that you can get an already-designed theme instead of designing it yourself. WooCommerce has many themes that are made exclusively for WooCommerce stores. However, WordPress themes can also be used for WooCommerce stores, and WordPress offers both free and paid themes.

If you don’t want to use a pre-made theme, you can design your own with the Elementor WooCommerce Builder, which is a visual drag-and-drop builder that allows you to create your whole store. Because you can change all of your templates, including the single product page, you have more freedom than with an off-the-shelf theme. It also does not require you to know code or have any expert knowledge.

Also, WooCommerce on its own offers more than 2 000 themes, and when you combine that with the wide range of WordPress themes, the number gets exponentially higher.

screenshot of the Themes page for WooCommerce

WooCommerce steals the show here, as it has a broader range of free and paid themes available, and it is also easier to customize a WooCommerce theme compared to a Magento one.

Overview of Categories – Who did Better?

Ease Of Use
Mid to large business support
Small business support
Customer Support
Free Version

Magento vs. WooCommerce Key Differences

Provides a free Community version as well as a number of paid servicesCompletely free platform
The Community edition is self-hosted, but the company also offers premium hosting optionsThe company does not provide hosting options
Enables you to add unlimited productsSupports unlimited products
It has a theme-based system with a good scope of optionsSupports nearly all WordPress themes and provides a myriad of customization options
There’s an extension system included, as well as hundreds of alternativesIs compatible with and provides a wide range of extensions
Basic security features are included to keep your store safeAdvanced security features are available, as well as specific updates to address any vulnerabilities that may occur
Recommended for people with at least a basic understanding of web programmingThe platform is remarkably easy-to-use

List of Additional Features

No transaction feesNo transaction fees
Offline paymentsOffline payments
Supports crypto paymentsSupports crypto payments
Has  a powerful page builder with drag-and-drop tools, content staging, and preview optionsBuilt-in blog
Magento gives you complete control over your online storeFull customization is available with no coding knowledge needed
Supports multi-channel selling with access to Amazon and other pagesYou can sell an unlimited number of products
Magento operates on the Adobe cloud to give your store the speed and performance factors it needs and optimizes your performanceWide range of free and paid themes
Tons of integrations and extensions that you can work with are available but require code and technical knowledgeCustomers will find your products more quickly if you use categories, tags, and qualities. You can also use product sorting and filtering, as well as unlimited photos and galleries to display your things
Numerous shipping options are supported, including local delivery, express shipping, and free shipping. Additionally, there are many geo-location features
One-click purchases and refunds

Final Words

If you’re a beginner, the choice is a no-brainer. WooCommerce is the one for you, as it is easier to use, doesn’t require coding or technical knowledge, and is perfect for small businesses looking to hit the ground running.

But if you’re looking for a platform that can handle more traffic, has enhanced scalability, and more advanced options, then Magento is the one for you. Moreover, if you have an already-existing business and want to expand it to eCommerce, you can count on Magento for this and will probably be able to afford the higher prices. Also, Magento hosting makes the Magento experience unique and better for its users.

However, a winner must be declared. And overall, it is my opinion that WooCommerce is the winner, as it’s easier to use, offers more themes, is easy to customize, and has a broader range of add-ons.

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