Building an online shop requires you a lot of effort to consider the proper ecommerce platform for your website. It is even more confusing to realize the differences between Magento and Shopify – two of the most famous ecommerce platforms available in the market. Both of them have their own strengths and weaknesses in providing e-commerce platform to their customers. The following is a comparison between the features of Magento and Shopify. This can help store owners have a better understanding of both platforms so as to make the most suitable decision.
Magento provides a wide range of both free and paid templates. These designs are always fresh and modern. As for Shopify, it invites independent designers to create themes which results in so many different ideas added to themes. These themes are impressive and continuously updated.However, the number of free themes provided by Shopify is much smaller than that of Magento Community.
Both Magento and Shopify platform generate high SEO capabilities so that their customers can drive more organic traffic to their store via search engines. While Magento provide powerful SEO features like friendly URLs, a Google sitemap, and a handy Google Content API, Shopify provides only basic essentials for SEO with robots.txt and sitemap.xml files.
Robust customization capabilities are available on both Magento and Shopify.
Shopify is hosted and runned by users’ ecommerce solution. It not only spare store owners pretty much time but also provides amazing support and are always available. However, the downside of running a hosted solution is that users can’t make as much changes as they desire. In contrast, Magento is self-hosted, which means that the store owners would need to either manage their own servers and stay on top of software updates, or hiring a hosting partner or Magento agencies that can handle the workload for them. It may seem a bit complex here, but it’s worth the effort. Once the servers are controlled, users can get access to many well-organized business tools providing them more experiences of the software. Moreover, there are no restrictions on products and store owners can roll out updates and features at their preference.
Setup and Maintenance Fee
While Shopify requires users to pay for a monthly subscription fee to access the platform, Magento Community Edition offers the products to their customers for free. At the beginning, Shopify users have to pay $29 per month to get access to its Standard plan. In order to access more features such as gift cards, advanced reporting users have to pay more $79/month and $179/month for Pro and Unlimited versions, respectively. Some customers may see this is a bit expensive investment. Fortunately, Magento users can add these features for significantly less per year.
Magento and Shopify have a significant difference in terms of coding. Shopify is proprietary and cannot be altered to suit specific store needs. On the other hand, Magento is an open source using PHP which means the source code can be freely accessed to, and it also can be modified. Store owners have full control to make their eCommerce site the way they want to. Moreover, a wide range of applications are available in Magento for showcasing usefulness which is better than the one of Shopify. This makes Magento a preferred solution for more complex stores that require specific advanced functions.
When you factor in the scalability of eCommerce platforms, it is true that Magento is better than Shopify for large-scale stores that’s likely to scale to over £1,000,000 in turnover.The reason for this is that there’s more flexibilities around Magento platform and it’s much easier to adapt to feature requirements. Shopify also has merchants that make turnover millions pounds online, however there’s definitely more of a glass ceiling for an average retailer whose turnover is more than £5m online.
In summary, there is no best solution for every single online store. Deciding which one is the best for an ecommerce business requires a lot of considerations on budget, expertise, and the store’s ability to develop. Shopify is a fine solution for small and medium sizes while Magento is significantly useful for large and potential ones.