Magento vs Shopify: Which is the best eCommerce platform?

Building your eCommerce store but can’t decide which platform to choose between Magento and Shopify? Undoubtedly, these two platforms are two of the most popular eCommerce platforms in the market today. Since choosing the right platform can be confusing,  this post highlights the main point of difference between the two, to help you choose the right platform for your upcoming eCommerce store.  

Let’s compare the two based on their functionalities & features:

Coding & store functionality – Magento uses PHP, while Shopify uses Liquid. Magento is open-source, while Shopify is proprietary. Since Magento is open source, the source code is freely available and can be easily modified, which is not in the case with proprietary. However, you will find that all the basic features like shopping carts, checkout modules, product pages, etc included with both platforms. Comparing the two, Shopify is easier to set up and use but is not ideal for more complex stores with specific advanced functions.

Payment Gateway Integration –Shopify has an upper hand here as it supports over 70 payment gateways while Magento supports a less number of gateways. However, more payment gateways can be added to the Magento store via third-party add-ons. Shopify’s gateway has no transaction fees, but you will have to pay fees for third-party gateways.

Themes and Templates – Both platforms offer a wide range of themes and templates to give your online store a perfect look for your products. Comparing the two, Shopify is definitely a better option if you’re looking for a wide and great selection of themes to choose from. Developers feel that the free Shopify themes are usually more contemporary as compared to Magento. However, with the upgrade to Magento 2,  it has introduced great themes which allow non-coders and coders to create beautiful sites easily. Both the platforms offer paid and premium themes but Shopify’s premium themes start at $80, while Magento paid themes start at very cheap prices.

SEO capabilities – Both platforms offer extensive SEO capabilities that help you drive more organic traffic to your online store. Magento excels when it comes to built-in SEO capabilities, and comes with a range of SEO guides to help you get started. Even with Shopify, it’s quick and easy to create an online store that is SEO-friendly and comes with SEO built-in functions.

Customization capabilities – Both platforms offer robust customization capabilities and allows you to edit the HTML/CSS code directly to give you total control over the design of your online store. However, comparing the two, Shopify provides a simple, menu-driven method to change the basic attributes of your store. It also offers a theme editor that allows you to tweak & experiment with the look and feel of your theme. On the other hand, customization capabilities with Magento are high as its code is open source, and so, you can modify it anyway as per your requirements.

Scalability: If want your eCommerce business to grow over time, choosing a platform that offers great scalability is crucial. Shopify is a more simple tool that implies that if you’re looking to build a website for a new & small store, it can be an excellent choice. On the other hand, Magento is popularly known for its more extensive flexibility and scalability. It is an ideal choice for businesses that are looking to migrate after reaching limitations with other platforms. Magento can also easily deal with high levels of traffic. Thus, if you want a website that has the ability to grow and evolve,  it is a better choice.

Community & Support:Magento is its large and active community that provides great support to its users with more than 250,000 Magento developers worldwide. This implies that you can easily hire a Magento developer to work with. In addition, there is are a lot of available resources for beginners looking to learn more about Magento. Similarly, there is much more customer support available directly from Shopify that offers  24/7 round-the-clock support to its users.  The platform excellent support its customers, however, it comes with a paid subscription package.

Blogging functionality – You can have easy blogging functionality as an integrated feature at Shopify. Likewise, this can be achieved with Magento. As you have an experienced Magento developer by your side, you can customize your Magento blog to what they offer at the Shopify platform.

Pricing: Talking about the costs, Shopify is a hosted platform, while Magento is self-hosted. As a hosted platform, Shopify takes care of all your hosting worries for you as all hosting costs are a part of your monthly plan, with no extra expense. On the other hand, Magento is free to install, but you need to pay for web hosting, security, extensions, and your domain.

As you see, both the platforms have their own sets of advantages, and choosing the right one depends on your store’s unique requirements. Thus,

You should choose Shopify if: 

  • You want to develop a store  & run it as quickly as possible
  • You want to migrate to something more powerful platform
  • You’re just starting your business, & keen on developing a fully-fledged eCommerce store
  • You like the convenience to make all-in-one payment, and have a great support team by your side

On the other hand, you should use Magento if…

  • You want to build a store for your medium or large-sized business
  • You want total creative freedom through coding, for a customized store
  • Your goal is to create a big brand, established business  with big revenue, and are ready to invest time and money into eCommerce design

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