WooCommerce vs. Shopify vs. Magento: Pros and Cons
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WooCommerce vs. Shopify vs. Magento: Pros and Cons

28/07/2016

There are hundreds of ecommerce platforms available for online businesses today. Choosing the right one with the best shopping cart software is extremely important to ensure your business success in the future. The online shopping experience on your site should be seamless and highly user-friendly. If the shopping cart malfunctions, you will certainly lose customers.

Many CMSs now offer numerous shopping cart add-ons, plugins and extensions. It can be hard to pick just one when the options are many. However, most site owners choose one of the few that are popular. Currently, three shopping cart systems and plugins dominate the web design world: WooCommerce, Shopify and Magento. All three are highly popular among retail sites, so it can be difficult to determine which one is best for your online business. Here is a brief comparison guide to help you decide.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a 100% free plugin available on WordPress that can convert regular sites into a comprehensive shopping cart solution. The WooCommerce market share is currently a whopping 30%, which is around one million total users. This is possibly the best known shopping cart-ware among users, and it has a huge online community offering support to new users.

The WooCommerce plugin is easy to install and understand. WooCommerce is compatible with a number of programming languages, making it one of the easiest plugins to customise. Also, there are no licensing fees involved. It’s the best shopping cart for lightweight sites with mild to moderate traffic. Plus, when compared to Shopify, WooCommerce seems to have more SEO benefits.

The cons: WooCommerce can be slow on basic hosting plans, hence you should consider fast and reliable ecommerce hosting. It’s also hard to scale and works best with under 50 SKUs. Security for this plugin can be a bit simplistic especially when customers use credit cards.

Shopify

Shopify is a Software-as-a-Service (SAAS) platform. Shopify on WordPress is available as a standalone service. Users have to sign up and pay for the service, and Shopify will host the shopping cart site on their own servers.

Shopify is simple enough to use and customise. It sorts products using tags; therefore, no complicated categorisations are required. Shopify is designed using conditional logic and Ruby, therefore this software is harder to hack than others.

The biggest con of Shopify is the pricing. There are hosting charges involved as well as transaction fees, which can make this neat tool unavailable to start-ups strapped for cash. Shopify has an app store for various plugins, but the basic functionality is limited to being a shopping cart.

Magento

Magento is the go-to shopping cart software for big companies and content heavy sites. Magento is a complicated software intended to support large infrastructures. Considering the WordPress WooCommerce vs Magento debate, Magento has a smaller market share but is used by the most traffic-heavy sites.

Magento is rich in features, and offers multiple languages, multiple currencies, global accessibility, multiple price tags, elastic scalability and extra software integrations for large businesses. Despite the number of features and plugins, the software is highly flexible.

Magento’s cons are that it’s crazy expensive and requires professional maintenance. Hosting is expensive, and only well-versed programmers can effectively customise the software.

The Verdict

So, what does the Shopify vs WooCommerce vs Magento 2016 fight boils down to?

It depends on the size of the business and budget. Start-ups and small online businesses will benefit the most from WooCommerce, which is easy to use, cheap and comes with community support. Moderately sized businesses with a larger budget will benefit from the security and hosting ability of Shopify. Finally, huge online businesses that attract high levels of traffic will benefit most from Magento’s ability to handle massive customer demand.

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