Magento vs. WooCommerce

Looking for ecommerce software? Here's how Magento and WooCommerce stack up.

Daniel Adams

Daniel Adams

Last updated 10o July 2020


Magento

3.8  Stackupp rating


Pricing from

$ 2200.00 / month

Free Plan?

Yes


Best for

Magento “Open Source” requires development knowledge and is suitable for large enterprises. “Magento Commerce”, a fully-hosted version of Magento Open Source, available on a range of plans, catering retailers from mom-and-pop stores to global enterprises.

WooCommerce

3.8  Stackupp rating


Pricing from

N/A

Free Plan?

Yes


Best for

If you want to run your store on WordPress, then WooCommerce is hands-down the best choice. It’s ideal for small and medium-sized retailers, but larger enterprises might struggle.

Magento or WooCommerce: Which is best?

Can't decide between Magento and WooCommerce?

Find the best platform for you with our side by side comparison of Magento and WooCommerce. See how each platform stacks up across ease of use, design, support and value for money.

Let the comparison begin. Don't worry, we'll guide you.

Is Magento right for you?

Magento is an open-source ecommerce platform owned by Adobe which is offered in a range of formats. The best-known option is a completely free, open-source version called “Magento Open Source”. Retailers that want to use the platform while taking advantage of cloud hosting, customer support, and additional functionality, can opt for one of the paid options under the “Magento Commerce” banner.

Because of its extensive feature-set, scalability, high customizability, and popularity among developers, Magento is particularly suitable for retailers running larger stores. Medium-sized retailers that need a comprehensive and feature-rich solution will also be drawn to Magento.

For smaller retailers without any development experience, however, a more user-friendly and streamlined solution will probably be preferable.

Advantages

  • Open source version is free.
  • Powerful, feature-rich solution that scales easily.
  • Completely customizable.

Drawbacks

  • Paid plans are expensive.
  • Open-source version will be virtually impossible to use for retailers without in-house coding expertise.
  • Extensions are expensive.

If you’re a large retailer that needs a customizable, powerful solution through which you can manage multiple sites in different countries. Remember to take care of hosting, security, and troubleshooting yourself if you opt for the open source version.

Is WooCommerce right for you?

WooCommerce is an open-source ecommerce platform for WordPress users. It’s one of the world’s most popular ecommerce platforms, and retailers can add unlimited products.

WooCommerce has a lot of great features, including an intuitive management dashboard, an extensive integration and theme library, and an active community. What’s more, WooCommerce is completely customizable and completely free.

While WordPress users won’t find a better solution than WooCommerce, there are downsides.

Because WooCommerce isn’t a hosted solution like Shopify or BigCommerce, you are responsible for taking care of backend tasks like hosting, security and maintenance. Some features that larger retailers require are also missing.

Advantages

  • Integrates seamlessly with WordPress.
  • Open-source and customizable with unlimited products.
  • Comes with an extensive library of themes, integrations, and add-ons.

Drawbacks

  • Because it’s not a hosted solution, you have to take care of maintenance and security.
  • Costs for themes, customer support, and integrations can add up.

Use Woocommerce if you like WordPress and want an easy-to-use ecommerce solution. It’s ideal for smaller retailers that are familiar with WordPress and are looking for a cost-effective platform.

Ease of Use

Our first comparison criteria, ease of use. Why? Because it’s the most important.

Think about it. You don’t want to invest a lot of your precious time setting up an online store and tweaking the design only to find out that it’s a pain in the butt to manage day to day.

We take a look at how simple the Magento and WooCommerce platforms are to run.

How easy is Magento to use?

Rated 3.5/5 for Ease of Use

While advanced development knowledge is required to run the open-source and paid enterprise version of Magento, the management dashboard itself is pretty intuitive. That said, Magento does have a very large feature-set, so there’s a learning curve for new users.

The small business version has a page-builder for ease-of-use and assistance is available for getting set up. Smaller retailers interested in Magento should try the free trial to see if it fits with their needs.

What Magento customers are saying...

"Powerful e-commerce platform - if you are willing to get your hands dirty.”
“It's a great and versatile eCommerce platform, which gives plenty of flexibility and has support for a vast amount of features and products.”
“I like the security features that Magento offers. It is one of the more secure options out there. The support community is very large so if you need help or have questions, you can usually find an answer quick.”

How easy is WooCommerce to use?

Rated 3/5 for Ease of Use

WooCommerce is very easy to use. A set-up wizard walks you through the initial process of setting up your store.

Carrying out typical ecommerce tasks, like adding product inventory, processing orders, and launching promotions and discounts, is straightforward. WooCommerce offers a simple and intuitive dashboard that WordPress users will find familiar.

Choosing a theme and integrating with third-party services (like shipping providers, payment gateways, and email marketing apps) is also relatively straightforward. WooCommerce utilizes “extensions” to offer an array of features, although some of these extensions are quite pricey.

If you have any problems, you can pay for dedicated support or consult the large community of WooCommerce users.

What WooCommerce customers are saying...

“The best eCommerce platform available!”
“Such a good product running perfect for 6 months now. Thanks and keep up the good work.”
“This is incredible shopping cart. So professional solution with huge amount of add-ons. Thank you for your work!”

Magento is our winner for ease of use

Design

Powerful features are great, but we all know first impressions count. So, do Magento and WooCommerce templates actually look any good? See for yourself. We outline each platforms design options, plus showcase a few real life examples.

How good are Magento's themes?

Rated 4.5/5 for Design

Magento is arguably the most customizable ecommerce platform on the market. But there’s a big caveat. To make design changes to the open-source and enterprise solutions, development skills are a must.

Magento only comes with one built-in storefront theme but a range of third-party templates are available. The downside is that these can be very expensive.

Small and medium retailers that want access to a user-friendly site-builder and library of free templates will likely prefer solutions like Shopify, Squarespace, Weebly and Wix.

If, as a small retailer, you’re drawn to Magento because of its wide array of features, “implementation plans” are available.

Magento Examples

  • Kurt Geiger
    Kurt Geiger
Item 1 of 3

How good are WooCommerce's themes?

Rated 4.5/5 for Design

WooCommerce is one of the most customizable ecommerce platforms on the market. The WordPress editor makes it easy for users with no coding experience to tweak their storefront.

Deeper backend changes are also possible because WooCommerce is built on open-source software. Plugins allow for a host of minor changes, while more experienced developers can alter virtually any aspect of the core files.

If you don’t have any coding experience but want to make more complex changes, you can always enlist the help of a WooCommerce developer.

Along with a handful of free themes, WooCommerce offers a number of paid themes, most of which cost $39.

WooCommerce Examples

  • All Blacks Shop
    All Blacks Shop
Item 1 of 3

It's a draw!

How much do they cost?

Everyone’s favourite topic - pricing. Let's dive in to see if Magento or WooCommerce offers better value for money.

How much does Magento cost?

Rated 3.5/5 for Pricing

It’s always difficult to fault a free solution. What’s more, Magento comes with an extensive feature-set that would cost a significant amount of money on a similar plan from another provider. Open-source features include support for multiple languages, promotional tools, content management, order and shipping processing, customer service, and more.

But there are a few important points to keep in mind. For larger enterprises, the cost of maintaining secure servers and the need for an in-house development team will be high. And extensions often cost hundreds of dollars. Pricing for fully-hosted Magento plans is not published. The enterprise-level options, however, are reported to cost tens of thousands of dollars every month. Small business plans are advertised as “affordable”.

How much does WooCommerce cost?

Rated 4/5 for Pricing

WooCommerce operates a unique revenue model. The basic plugin is free. Assuming that you have a WordPress site already, you can get up and running without having to pay anything.

WooCommerce makes money by selling plugins, themes, and support. So it’s important to account for these costs. Certain features that many retailers would consider essential, such as customer reviews, geo-targeting, customer services, and discount codes, can only be added through extensions that often cost several hundred dollars.

What’s more, customer support is only offered for WooCommerce products and via support tickets. For customization support, you’ll need to hire a WooCommerce developer, which can be costly.

WooCommerce is our winner for cost

Help and Support

If things go wrong (and they often do) you need to know someone’s there to help get you back on track. So, how does Magento's and WooCommerce's support measure up?

How good is Magento support?

Rated 3.5/5 for Help and Support

Technical support is limited on all plans on Magento. Users that have subscribed to a paid plan can submit support tickets. Additional support options - such as the “implementation package” for small businesses and “Magento Services” for enterprises - can be purchased for an additional cost.

If you decide to run Magento Open Source, you will need in-house IT support or an outsourced solution with an agency.

How good is WooCommerce support?

Rated 3.5/5 for Help and Support

WooCommerce support is a mixed bag. Because it’s a free WordPress plugin, customer service is not included as part of the core package.

If you need dedicated technical support, you’ll have to hire a “WooExpert”. WooCommerce provides basic general support and dedicated support for paid products like themes and extensions through help tickets.

That said, WooCommerce has an active community of users that are happy to help solve minor problems, along with extensive documentation.

It's a draw!

The Bottom Line

The final say. Let's wrap up our thoughts on each platform.

Magento: Our Verdict

Magento has an exhaustive of features. Enterprise-level stores should definitely consider it as a solution. Medium-sized retailers will also find Magento to be an excellent choice that scales as their store grows. The virtually unlimited scope for customization is another big plus.

Retail companies that don’t want to take care of hosting in-house can also opt for one of Magento’s paid plans. Just keep in mind that development knowledge is a must and that the cost of extensions and additional support packages can quickly add up.

For smaller retailers, there is a plan that provides full access to Magento’s features at a lower price. A free trial is available and well worth checking out. Just remember that simpler entry-level solutions - which are easier to use for people without any coding skills or access to developers - may be more viable.

WooCommerce: Our Verdict

WooCommerce has many positives and only a handful of negatives.

If you’re thinking about WooCommerce, first make sure you wouldn’t prefer a fully-hosted solution like Shopify or Big Commerce. Out-of-the-box solutions come with dedicated customer service, an array of features, and all backend tasks are taken care of.

If, however, you’re looking for a cost-effective solution that integrates seamlessly with WordPress, and don’t mind looking after hosting yourself, then WooCommerce is ideal. A large library of extensions means that you won’t miss any features, and an active community of users is on hand to help you troubleshoot any issues.

What’s more, as an open-source platform, WooCommerce allows for almost unlimited customization.

Evaluate the cost of extensions and hosting before you decide to go all-in. And don’t be afraid to give WooCommerce a test-drive. It’s free, after all.

Overall, we couldn't pick a clear winner as Magento and WooCommercescored similarly.

Stackupp is reader supported. If you buy through links on our site we may earn an affiliate commission.

stackupp.com © 2020 | Privacy Policy