Considering that there are about 2.14 billion digital consumers in the world, it does not come as a surprise that the number of eCommerce websites has been increasing in recent years. There is nothing better than shopping online since you can buy anything you like without worrying about traffic, parking, crowds, or bad weather.

As a result, starting an eCommerce business can be a great idea if you are looking for a way to earn extra income. As a matter of fact, setting up an eCommerce store to sell products is now easier than ever before, with the help of WooCommerce, Shopify, and Magento.

Therefore, people often get confused when choosing an eCommerce platform. To make the understanding of these three eCommerce platforms a little bit easier for you, we are going to dive deep into each of them in order to make it easier for you to select. So, here it is WooCommerce vs Magento vs Shopify comparison.

Comparison Between WooCommerce, Magento, and Shopify

FEATURES
WooCommerceMagentoShopify
Launch Date
2011
2008
2006
Ease of Use
Easy
Difficult
Easy
Scalability
Require Developer Assistance
Yes
Only with Shopify Plus
Security
High
High
High
Flexibility
High
High
Medium
DNS & Hosting
Plugin that works with WordPress
Premium: Yes, Community: No
Yes
Site Performance
High
High
High
Customer Service
Yes (Support Form)
Yes (With Enterprise Edition)
24×7
SEO
Integrated with WordPress
Built-In + Inbuilt Analytics
Built-In
Cost
Free
Premium or Free
$29/Month

WooCommerce

WooCommerce

Originally, WooCommerce came from a company called WooThemes. The WooThemes company was founded in 2005 by Mark Forrester, Magnus Jepson, and Adii Pienaar and produced premium themes for WordPress.

Later on, James Koster and Mike Jolley joined the team to work on WooCommerce. The two of them were working on an eCommerce program, Jigoshop.

In 2011, WooCommerce released its first version, and since then it has become extremely popular. Within two years of its release, there have been 1 million downloads. Within three years of its release, WooCommerce had reached four million downloads.

The growth of this product was impressive, which is why Automattic acquired it from WooThemes in 2015. Since the acquisition of this plugin by Automattic, they have become a leader in WooCommerce development.

It was the same year that Automattic first acquired WooCommerce that the plugin garnered over 7 million downloads. Over 22% of the top 1 million WordPress websites are running the WooCommerce plugin, and more than 28% of all eCommerce stores are powered by the WooCommerce plugin.

Ease of Use

The WordPress platform is not hosted, so you have to handle things like installing, managing updates, keeping backups, and ensuring that your store is secure.

In order to install WooCommerce, you have to install WordPress first and this can be quite complicated. There are several steps that you need to take in order to install WordPress:

  • Get a domain name on WordPress
  • Sign up for a hosting account
  • Install WordPress
  • Find and install a WordPress theme.

When you have completed these steps, you are able to set up the WooCommerce plugin onto your WordPress platform. Upon activating WooCommerce, a setup wizard will appear on your screen. To run your store, you will have to complete five steps.

As a matter of fact, we highly recommend you choose a trusted WordPress hosting service that will take care of the entire setup process for you, including domain registration, hosting, and WordPress installation because the last two are steps that require some level of understanding about the web. A WooCommerce development company will help you in simplifying the process if you find it a bit confusing.

Features

Because WordPress is open-source, it allows third-party developers to create extensions and plugins. Adding tons of interesting features to WooCommerce taps into that further. It’s easy to edit aesthetics, sell on Facebook, increase email marketing techniques, understand user behavior, and much more.

Here are some of the features you’ll find inside WooCommerce:

  • Payments through PayPal and Stripe built-in (and additional gateways for a fee).
  • Rates and taxes for shipping can be adjusted Product categories and products are unlimited.
  • Control of the stock level.
  • Adapted to mobile devices.
  • In terms of data control, you are in total control.
  • It is compatible with the current theme of your WordPress site.
  • There are literally hundreds of plugins to choose from.
  • It allows you to advertise on Facebook and manage your stores on Facebook for free.

Security and Performance

Payment security is one of the most important aspects of eCommerce. It is important to maintain security when providing online payment services to your customers. WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform, so you might need to take help from a hosting provider to get an SSL certificate to secure your store. In addition to keeping your security system up to date, you will also have to keep up with plugin updates and any other tasks needed to ensure the optimal operation of your security system. WordPress always keeps updating their system for security and bug fixing and their team constantly monitors and edits the code to mitigate any threats.

Design and Customization

In terms of customization, WooCommerce provides its users with unlimited options. It is possible to enhance the look and function of your store in almost any way you wish. The result will be better control of the appearance of your store and the ability to add unique features to meet the needs of your business. It is possible to customize the WooCommerce product gallery, edit the shop page, change the header of your website, etc, in order to improve the appearance of your eCommerce store.

Apps and Add-on’s

With the WooCommerce plugin running on WordPress, WooCommerce users can access the amazing plugin repository of WordPress, which has over 58,000 free and paid plugins across all areas of logistical, technical, and marketing needs. Furthermore, WooCommerce offers 592+ extensions that are designed specifically for use in eCommerce. We’ve also developed so many plugins and extensions for WooCommerce store owners and some of our best WooCommerce extensions are WooCommerce PDF Vouchers and WooCommerce Social Login.

SEO

There is no question that WooCommerce is the best choice among SEOs and marketers. It is mainly due to the fact that WordPress, on which it runs, is a very SEO-friendly platform.

Aside from that, WordPress is also a platform that is used by some of the world’s most robust and powerful SEO solutions. You can use various WordPress plugins like Rankmath and Yoast to optimize your eCommerce store smoothly. These types of plugins will help you to optimize product pages, add the Alt text of product images, define the title and meta descriptions of each page. As a result, your eCommerce store is more likely to appear on top of the SERPs.

Customer Service & Support

As one of the most popular eCommerce platforms in the world, WooCommerce offers a wide range of support options that you can take advantage of when in need of help. Various guides, tutorials, and documentation can be found on the official website. The WooCommerce support team also has a support forum where users and experts can seek assistance. WooCommerce.com now offers 24/7 chat support to all customers who purchase premium extensions or themes from them. For third-party WordPress themes and extensions, those developers are responsible for any queries and support regarding their products.

The only thing to remember is that because WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform, your hosting provider is responsible for resolving server-related issues.

Pricing & Additional Costs

You can use WooCommerce for free, which is its greatest advantage. Even so, it is still important to note that there are some additional expenses aside from the fee for web hosting, the cost of a domain name, and the cost of an SSL certificate.

There is a chance that you will see an increase in your hosting costs as your store grows and more people come to your site, but your domain name fees will not change.

In addition, a WooCommerce store can incur costs if you purchase paid extensions. These are, however, typically one-time purchases. Free alternatives are often available as well.

A growing number of hosting companies are now offering WooCommerce hosting plans that are designed to significantly reduce the cost from the initial setup of a website.

Pro’s of WooCommerce

  • No limits to customization. There are no limits to creating an online store that is unique and has its own identity.
  • Many WooThemes can be found in this category, specifically designed for WooCommerce websites.
  • A search engine optimization-friendly site that allows you to edit your store’s metadata.
  • Reviews and ratings for products and stores pre-installed on the website.
  • Organize and filter reports based on the categories they fall under.

Cons of WooCommerce

  • The lack of customer support is one of the main issues with WooCommerce compared to other eCommerce platforms.
  • The cost of setting up a WordPress website is free, but the cost of hosting it will need to be paid.
  • Using it for WordPress sites is easy, but setting it up from scratch is a bit challenging if you don’t have coding knowledge.

Brands using WooCommerce

  • Blue Star Coffee
  • Clickbank
  • Awesome Invention
  • The Specter Magazine Shop
  • Porter and York

Magento

Magento

In 2004, a UCLA student went looking for a way to earn some extra money. Rather than wait tables or pour cocktails, though, Roy Rubin decided to create his own business with his friend Yoav Kutner. They decided to call it Varien.

Varien didn’t begin with a huge plan – it wasn’t exactly what business schools teach. However, it was just a way for Roy so he could continue to study while he kept his skills sharp.

The two of them did not have a master plan, but even so, they landed their first major contract for Varien in 2007, which would go a long way towards helping them fund their next venture, Magento.

The company’s first product, Magento, was released in 2008, which immediately swept the eCommerce world by storm because of its immense customizable features. It became an instant hit because of its unlimited possibilities.

In 2010, eBay came knocking at Magento’s door. They invested an amount that would result in them owning 49% of the company. Following the acquisition of the entire company by eBay, the company entered into an agreement with PayPal to integrate the company’s premium processor into their popular platform. In 2015, following the split of eBay and PayPal, Magento is once again an independent company.

Magento is the most flexible eCommerce platform available. It began in 2008 and now has more than 500,000 users. Magento offers two services: Open Source, which allows anyone to create a website for free, and Magento Commerce, which charges for all hosting services.

In 2018, however, Adobe acquired Magento for a whopping $1.68 billion by acquiring the business.

Ease of Use

Magento has a steep learning curve, which makes it difficult to get started. It is impossible to manage a website on this platform without the assistance of a Magento developer or a web hosting provider. Working knowledge of PHP, cloud hosting, HTML, and other programming languages is required; otherwise, running a website on Magento is not possible. It takes a considerable amount of time and effort to learn Magento. Therefore it is a bit tough to develop an eCommerce store by yourself, so a Magento development company will help you ease up your work.

Features

  • Inventory Management & Cataloguing
  • Managing Magento’s inventory in bulk is possible with Magento’s inventory management system. By using Magento’s inventory management system, you can synchronize your online shop with your warehouse stock.
    Moreover, the platform applies different tax rates in different locations, which solves yet another headache associated with large-scale operations.
  • International Support
  • The platform lets you register, purchase, and ship products using multiple languages and currencies.
  • Hosting Choice
  • Magento gives you the freedom to fully control the look and feel of your store. The platform has a web hosting solution built-in, which ensures that integration is smooth and swift.

Security and Performance

Magento provides you with the possibility to secure your site according to the level of security that you desire. There are regular patches and updates available for your site. Using these updates and patches, you can implement extensions that will enhance your site’s security and performance.

Design and Customization

Magento offers two default themes that can be used for theme creation: Blank, which can be used to create a custom theme, and Luma, which is a demo theme. This theme is designed to be responsive, which is intended to render your storefront’s display on a variety of devices.

In addition to that, Magento provides 16 other pre-made themes in its marketplace that are available for purchase, with a price ranging from $0 to $499. It is also possible to go to Themeforest, Magenest, or Template Monster in order to take advantage of more feature-rich options on this platform.

With a Magento store, you get access to unlimited customization options regarding the design of your store, due to the open-source nature of Magento. Regardless of the integration level, you choose to work at, you will be able to modify almost anything or even create your own theme from scratch.

Apps and Add-ons

In the realm of eCommerce platforms, Magento owns the largest marketplace, allowing it to be regarded as the most powerful one. In its marketplace, you will find a huge selection of almost 6,000 extensions, both free and paid, that will help you improve and expand the functionality of your shop incredibly.

Among its many features, Magento offers solutions that can cover the spectrum of content creation and customization, accounting and finance, payments and security, marketing, customer service, etc.

SEO

According to research, organic search engine traffic is the primary driver of traffic to eCommerce websites. That’s why having a properly optimized website is so important, and Magento 2 provides you with all the advanced SEO features that you’ll ever need to get your website on the first page of Google.

The fact that Magento was built with SEO in mind means that merchants can create SEO-friendly URL structures, incorporate meta-data throughout the website, implement rich snippets, which allow merchants to define mark-up data on product pages, create and optimize XML sitemaps, and take advantage of a wide range of other marketing features that are going to help you improve your search engine ranking.

Customer Service and Support

As of today, Magento 1 is not supported on the platform. Because of this, it is not possible for the developers to provide any updates or patches. The result of this is that you will have to figure out the platform on your own.

With Magento 2, the type of support you receive depends on the version of the software that you are using. If you are using Magento 2, you will also be using Magento Open Source and Magento Commerce.

Pricing and Additional Costs

The cost of Magento is almost zero when only using the Magento open-source version. This version can easily be downloaded and installed without spending any money.

However, if you decide to purchase the Magento Commerce edition, you will have to invest a great deal of money. In this edition, the fee for a yearly license starts at $22,000.00 for business owners who do not make more than $1,000,000 in revenue per year. This fee will increase according to the estimated annual gross sales of your business. That is to say, the higher your income, the greater your fee will be.

If you decide to use Magento Commerce Cloud to run your store, the license fee is two times higher than that of Magento Commerce, varying from $40,000.00 to $190,000.00 for the same gross sales revenue tier as Magento Commerce. It is because of this reason that you should only pay for this version if you have a large business.

Pro’s of Magento

  • The platform is flexible in terms of how users can use it.
  • Provides free of charge services through the platform.
  • A supportive community is available and is able to assist lost users to navigate issues that they may encounter.

Cons of Magento

  • It sometimes takes a long time for the page to load.
  • It would be necessary for non-technical users to learn how it works, especially for both admin and user management.
  • The application requires a large server in order to function smoothly.

Brands using Magento

  • Ford Motor Company
  • Coca-cola Company
  • Jaguar
  • LandRover
  • Tommy Hilfiger
  • AsusTek Computer

Shopify

Shopify

During Tobias Lutke’s desire to create a website to sell snowboards online in 2006, he realized just how challenging it is to build, run, and manage an eCommerce website and business. So he created an eCommerce platform, which enabled it to be as easy to sell online as if you were doing it as a hobby – Shopify.

One of Shopify’s biggest contributions has been redefining the point of sale (POS) for eCommerce. A Shopify payment service was implemented in 2013. With this addition, merchants are no longer dependent on third-party payment gateways. In 2017, they produced brick-and-mortar stores, which accept debit and credit cards directly through an iPad POS system. Even small businesses without large POS systems still use the iPad POS every day.

Additionally, Shopify’s presence in the eCommerce space enabled power to be possessed by many, revolutionizing the process of conducting business. In 2015, when Amazon closed its Webstore, which hosted merchant services, the company recommended Shopify as its “preferred migration provider,” resulting in a surge in Shopify stock. In 2017, Shopify announced direct Amazon integration capabilities.

Ease of Use

It provides you with a working structure of an online store that is ready for you to use. It is, therefore, preferable to edit the existing items that already exist in a store, as opposed to creating a custom store from scratch.

  • Pre-made designs are available for you to choose from, so you don’t need to be an expert in graphic design.
  • The templates are responsive, which means that they will adjust themselves to any screen size, which is good news if you have a website that is going to be viewed on desktop computers, tablets, and mobile devices.
  • There are several online payment options available to you. You do not need to work with sensitive information related to your credit card. On top of that, Facebook can be used to sell your goods.

Features

In addition to the core function of an online shop, Shopify comes with a host of additional features.
Whether you are looking to improve your shop’s frontend performance or just make your life a little bit easier in the backend, these features are sure to please:

  • Calculate Real-Time Shipping
  • Shopify excels at simplifying complicated tasks. Regardless of where your business is located, Shopify calculates shipping costs.
  • Build Detailed Customer Profiles
  • Shopify facilitates re-targeting your clients with tailored offers by giving you the tools to understand your clients.
    A buyer’s journey is fully documented for you – their preferences, the medium they prefer, and the price range they are willing to pay. Customer loyalty can be built on the information you have about them.
  • Embedded Analytics & Reports
  • In addition to tracking your traffic, sales, and user journey, Shopify’s embedded tracking system provides you with key insights about your customers.

Security and Performance

Despite Shopify is an eCommerce platform that’s as secure as any top-tier platform, it is vulnerable to attacks as well. Many merchants consider it to be the most reliable eCommerce platform. Level 1 PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliance is achieved by Shopify, which meets all six PCI requirements. It is also responsible for maintaining a secure network, for a vulnerability management program as well as a regular examination of test networks.

Design and Customization

You’ll be delighted to learn that Shopify offers over 70 themes in its theme store. There are some premium themes (between $150 and $300), but there are many free ones. Customizing them can often be done without touching a line of code, as they come with customization options. These templates are all mobile-friendly, making them compatible with any device.

The premium themes offer more customization options, but if you want to do it yourself or hire a Shopify expert to do it, you’ll have to master the Liquid programming language. There are more than 1,200 Shopify themes available on Themeforest, so you are not limited to what Shopify provides.

Apps and Add-ons

In terms of add-ons and apps, when it comes to Shopify, there are hundreds to choose from, both free and paid. Notably, most plugins can be included with just a click of a button. Using these tools, you can achieve things like trust icons which decrease the risk of cart abandonment, or social media buttons that improve your chances of building a community around your website.

SEO

It is also worth mentioning that Shopify’s SEO score is also quite impressive. Additionally, you can use a wide variety of apps to optimize your website so that it will perform well on search engines like Google and Bing.

Furthermore, Shopify provides product descriptions and titles for both your products and your pages, as well as the categories for which they belong. Furthermore, the robot.txt file and the sitemap are automatically generated by the system for you as well.

Customer Service and Support

Last but not least, why do business owners choose Shopify? They are offered 24/7 support no matter which plans they choose. There are times when you may encounter technical difficulties with your store, or just have a question you need to be answered, one of the team members will be able to assist you. I think this is a big deal for small business owners who don’t have their own developers on call, especially during a big online sales event like Cyber Monday when they don’t have their own developers available.

The community forum and help center are also available to you at any time if you do not require live support.

Pricing and Additional Costs

Shopify’s subscription fees are not insignificant and aren’t something to be taken lightly. In terms of the overall price, a website builder such as Shopify may be somewhat expensive depending on what you need from your eCommerce site. In general, a basic Shopify Plus plan costs $29 a month, a more upgraded plan costs $299 a month, and if you need an enterprise-level Shopify Plus plan, you can expect to pay at least $2,000 per month. The only drawback is that Shopify is all-in-one, so there is less of a hassle and you can take advantage of a bunch of additional features that are especially useful for people who are less tech-savvy.

Pro’s of Shopify

  • Shopify offers more than 100 mobile-friendly storefront themes.
  • You do not need to know any coding in order to create a website.
  • The company offers 24/7 customer support by phone, email, and live chat.
  • A user-friendly administration area.
  • Connect your website to social media marketplaces.

Cons of Shopify

  • The default product attribute set only consists of three options.
  • There are more than 100 themes available, but only 10 of them are free.
  • The company charges a transaction fee per sale.

Brands using Shopify

  • Redbull
  • Heinz
  • Taylor swift
  • Kylie Cosmetic
  • Fitbit
  • Penguin Books

WooCommerce vs Magento vs Shopify: Final Conclusion

That’s a relief! We have done our best to include everything needed to evaluate WooCommerce vs Magento vs Shopify.

Still, having trouble making a decision? Take a look at the broad criteria: Cost, technical support, themes, customizability, and performance. Look at your future expansion plans and make a decision once you have a brief idea of your requirements!

The following can be stated after comparing various eCommerce platforms:

  • Shopify is the best platform for small businesses expanding online.
  • WooCommerce can efficiently empower small, medium, large, and enterprise businesses.
  • Magento is the ideal choice for large companies.

Consider all characteristics of each platform to determine which is best for your business and future ambitions. If I were to give you a personal recommendation based on my experience, I would recommend you to choose WooCommerce in the beginning because it is free, then it is SEO friendly and it is also very easy to use. Get free consultations from our team of WooCommerce developers, who help you to find the best possible solutions for your business. Check out our other well-informative blog on “Best WooCommerce Checkout Plugins” and “What Makes WooCommerce the Best eCommerce Platform?”

WooCommerce vs Magento vs Shopify A comparison of the top three online eCommerce platforms