WooCommerce vs Magento: Which E-Commerce Platform Is Right For You?

Posted on March 26, 2015 by in Resources | 72 comments

WooCommerce vs Magento: Which E-Commerce Platform Is Right For You?

Two of the most popular e-commerce platforms on the market today are WooCommerce and Magento. A source of many blogger debates, they both have their strengths and suitability for different needs. One is a standalone product, now owned by eBay, whereas the other is a plugin for WordPress. They have the backing of their own strong communities: WordPress users for WooCommerce and eBay advocates for Magento.

The debaters feel so strongly about their e-commerce platform of choice since they’ve seen success in their own businesses. Joining them is fairly easy because online businesses are a lucrative area to get into in this digital age. The e-commerce platforms are so easy to set up and use, and come with minimal set up costs, so the barriers to entry are low.

If you’re thinking of setting up an online business, these two platforms will undoubtedly appear somewhere on your short list. So which should you go for?

The Similarities

Firstly, both WooCommerce and Magento are open source products. This means that the original code is freely available to anyone and they can build on it or modify it to create a product that works specifically for them.

One of the reasons WooCommerce and Magento have such large communities is because open source software creates an appreciation of sharing. Developers go on to share their own versions of the open source software to carry on this aspect of giving.

What this means for you as a new business owner is 1) the initial product is free to use and 2) you’ll have an abundance of help from the community.

Community

The way WooCommerce and Magento make their money is through the extras you’ll likely need to purchase over time as your business grows. This “freemium” business model can catch the unaware, so consider your future needs.

For instance, you’ll want to customize the branding of your website to your business and you’ll need to unlock this ability through plugins or a developer’s time. It’s worth keeping in mind that being able to customize your site is only achievable because both WooCommerce and Magento are self-hosted.

If you opt for a hosted solution, for example through Shopify, you’ll have the benefits of quickly building an online store through a few clicks of buttons, plus you won’t need to worry about managing the security of your checkout. However, your customization options will be severely limited. Therefore, WooCommerce and Magento are both brilliant for making your e-commerce shop your own.

Finally, what’s most important when building an online store is, of course, the products and communication with your customers. Both WooCommerce and Magento allow you to upload unlimited products and manage them effectively. You can also add a blog to add a friendly voice to your e-commerce site and help with SEO.

Blog

Differences

Setting Up

Starting up any business will come with hurdles but you don’t want the e-commerce platform you choose to be one. Obviously if you’re already a WordPress user and want to add an e-commerce element to your site, it makes sense to choose the e-commerce plugin, WooCommerce. Therefore you won’t need to get used to another interface or migrate your site to another platform.

Even if you don’t already have a WordPress site, WooCommerce is perfect for beginners. WordPress is so easy to use and WooCommerce is simply an extension of that. Customizing your site through WordPress is really simple due to the number of plugins available. Plus, WooCommerce has tutorial videos to help with the set up.

Tutorial video

Magento’s interface is also really easy to use and it comes with tutorial videos and documentation. It has a full installation wizard too. However, Magento’s difficulty is increased when you want to start adding extensions to your site. In this instance, you might want to think about hiring a Magento-specialist developer.

Costs

This leads us nicely onto costs. Initially, both e-commerce platforms are free (although there is an Enterprise version of Magento). You can download them and get started on building your shop straight away. However, you’ll find that certain things like a full range of payment options beyond just PayPal and bank transfers are essential if you are to grow your business. WooCommerce is limited on these basic options and the plugins and extensions that you buy will add up.

Extensions

However, adding extensions to Magento is also a necessity as you grow and offer your customers a superior shopping experience, and you’ll find that you’ll need to fork out money with Magento too. Magento developers are harder to find than WordPress developers and you do really need one to install the extensions properly, so this is another cost that needs to be considered. WordPress is easier to use by individuals of varying experience, whereas it’d take you a long time to do it yourself through Magento.

A cost that you might not have considered is hosting. WooCommerce is fine to run using WordPress’ hosting, whereas Magento is a little more complicated. You should use dedicated servers or a cloud plan of your own as your product portfolio grows, otherwise your website will run slowly. I know I get frustrated with slow websites when shopping, so think about the user experience of your customers.

Right from the beginning, you ought to be thinking about your long-term goal and your budget. The initial costs associated with setting up WooCommerce and Magento won’t be your only costs, as we’ve already established. But you should also think about your needs – would the extra features that Magento provides over WooCommerce be wasted on you? Or if you predict that you’ll need them, are you willing to put in extra budget now rather than spend the money migrating your site to Magento in the future?

Let’s take a look at those features in more detail.

Features

With any e-commerce platform, you’ll need to be able to have a shopping cart facility and upload infinite products and categorize them. You get these basic features with WooCommerce and Magento. But which allows you to further customize your shop and give your customers extra facilities when buying from you?

Magento wins on this point. You’re able to cross-sell or up-sell your products, compare products, add discount codes, and use an advanced filter to navigate your products. Plus, if you have more than one store, you can view them all on the same account. This is great for creating localized versions of your store.

WooCommerce is simpler, which can be a good thing for those just starting out. You can rate products and feature best sellers or sale items through the available widgets, but anything else more complex will require an add-on. However, keep in mind that because WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin itself, it can work with an array of other WordPress plugins. The navigation is sophisticated, but not as much as Magento’s since you can only filter by one attribute.

WooCommerce features

Either within Magento or as another WordPress plugin for WooCommerce, you’re able to view Google Analytics for both platforms. This is important to see the success of your business as a whole, or for viewing individual items and using this to work out a strategy across your product portfolio.

So, to make a choice based purely on features, Magento comes with the better basics. However to improve on your site, you’ll need to invest more. You have access to Magento Connect, which offers thousands of extensions to add to your site, but you’ll need a developer to install them properly.

Magento Connect

WooCommerce also offers extensions through the WordPress plugins, which are a lot easier to manage and some are even free. Examples of plugins include WordPress SEO by Yoast to help with your search engine rankings, Askimet to filter spam, and Gravity forms to provide a form solution.

The bottom line is cost. If you can afford to hire 3rd parties to improve your site, it’s well worth expanding on the features of Magento. You can’t really try to do it yourself and save money, since it’s more of a steep learning curve with Magento.

Themes

What makes both WooCommerce and Magento attractive to both developers and online business owners alike is how customizable they are. With hosted products, you just don’t get this flexibility. The first thing to choose when customizing is the theme of your site.

Within both WordPress and Magento, there are thousands of free and premium themes to choose from. They all come with their own features like responsive layouts across all device sizes and demo content that you can simply download and import into your own site. Many WordPress themes use their ability to integrate with WooCommerce as a selling point – the developers choose this e-commerce plugin themselves.

For instance at Elegant Themes, there are six  WordPress themes to choose from that focus on e-commerce. Looking specifically at eStore, it’s an elegant design that you can configure easily and sell your products through WooCommerce. If you chose this theme for your online store, you’d benefit from a secure and valid code, browser compatibility across all popular browsers, and easy translation so you can localize your store. You’d also have fantastic support and you would be assured that you’re always up to date since the themes are updated to the latest version of WordPress. It’s incredibly easy to use – you simply design and manage your site through the page templates and ePanel, rather than messing around with code and PHP files. See the live theme demo here.

eStore

The Final Choice

Magento tends to be popular with larger businesses or agencies who manage e-commerce sites on behalf of clients. Magento is scalable, so it’s perfect for those with grand plans or an existing successful online store. It has a few more basic features and once installed by a developer, the extensions are brilliant too. However, you’ll need a big budget to set this kind of store up.

WooCommerce through WordPress is perfect for smaller businesses and those with less developing experience. It does the job of selling your products and as you grow, you can add the many plugins available to build a better experience for your customer. It’s also the best solution if you’re used to the WordPress interface or already have a domain set up and you now want to make products available to buy through your site.

One thing to remember is that Magento was designed specifically for e-commerce stores. However, that doesn’t make the plugins and extensions to a WordPress site any less effective. WooCommerce isn’t a standalone CMS, but it works within WordPress, and as a WordPress enthusiast, that makes it an even better choice for me!

Article thumbnail image by IdeaGU / shutterstock.com 

72 Comments

  1. I would choose WooCommerce in combination with the Divi theme. Also, I wouldn’t probably go for Magento, as like you wrote, it needs dedicated or cloud hosting and that is more expensive that just a shared hosting plan.

    • I second your opinion with WooCommerce and Divi.

    • This is not a scenario where there is a right or a wrong answer. Sometimes WooCommerce is the right choice. Sometimes it is categorically and indisputably the wrong choice.

      Hosting costs are a small factor for e-commerce, and I would suggest that if you are building a serious e-commerce presence on any platform, shared hosting is probably not the way to go anyway.

      We use both platforms, and we’re becoming more ambitious with every WooCommerce project we take on, but sometimes when you’re scaling to 1000s of products, 100s of categories, and big turnovers, you need to look to Magento.

    • Agreed, WooCommerce is a better option as Magento requires alot cloud hosting and it ends up becoming very expensive.

  2. Nice article, Brenda. I think Shopfiy is also a great ecommerce platform, worth mentioning. In my experience its one of the easiest to get started quickly and easily with all the functionality most small online retailers would require.

    • Shopify is not in this conversation because it is not self hosted and has monthly costs for the platform. Although to extend shopify its going to cost… per month per add on/extension/plugin.

      I work with both Woocommerce and Magento, both have their merits. WooCommerce seems to be more ideal for very simple products whereas Magento allows for multiple attributes and custom options for each product.

      • Just get the official Product Add Ons for WooCommerce

  3. I just recently looked at Abantecart recently and they have improved things immensely.

    If they can keep the open source model they’ll soon be a much better cart solution than Magento (and they don’t require the hefty hardware that Magento does – shared hosting is fine).

    I personally find the core WooCommerce to be horribly limited. You need a LOT of paid plugins to make it purr.

  4. Andrej I wouldn’t use woocommerce on a shared hosting under any conditions.

    There are a lot of WP oriented hosting providers nowadays. Plus cloud and vps hosting is relatively cheap as well.

  5. I recently switched to WooCommerce from Jigoshop, and for the 4 store sites we have built so far, I have to say, I’m very impressed. The plugins work seamlessly, and are well worth every penny. Highly recommend the StyleShop theme, with a few edits, it is a very dynamic, mobile-friendly theme.

    I haven’t touched Magento in some time (eBay, YUCK!) but have worked with Shopify, trying to support an existing custom site built by someone else, and found it to be a mess of relying on third party plugin developers to support their plugins, most of which didn’t work.

    The amount of free plugins available with WooCommerce that actually work is reason enough, the flexibility, the freedom, the ease of finding extra help if you need it. eBay is NOTORIOUS for squeezing every last penny out of their customers, I’d be scared to death to attach my store/business to anything they touch, even if it is open source.

  6. Nice write up. I know Megento gets all the attention because of eBay, but there is better. As an eCommerce developer, I find that BigCommerce is better and more flexible that Shopify or Magento. WooCommerce is great, for smaller shops, but Medium to Large, go BigCommerce. 🙂

    • That’s a flawed remark. WC stores can easily handle tens of thousands of products. If your sales volume is really big, go for enterprise solutions like Demandware & Hybris.

      If you look at a full featured WooCommerce store and BigCommerce/Shopify store, just from the add ons, BigCommerce will cost you dearly

      • Oh, did I say WC couldn’t handle 10K products?

        Who cares how many products a platform can hold, that doesn’t make them successful. I’m talking about the price a company puts into it’s eComm marketing. Real time analytics, built in abandoned shopping cart marketing and a lot of other marketing built it, for $79 will cost you dearly? How many WC shop are on a CDN? For BC it’s 100%. Does WC have built in feeds to major selling platforms like eBay, Google stores, etc..? I could go on.

        There are a lot of similar features in eCommerce platforms, but for me, the built in marketing is the deciding factor weather it’s for a big shop or small. Once WC starts to add a lot more built in marketing, it’ll be for smaller shops starting out.

        Demandware is a joke, 50k to get through the front door on top of their monthly high prices.

        WC is great, and I’m not bashing them, they’re great, I’m just saying that when you’re ready to get serious about your eCommerce, $79 a month isn’t “costing you dearly”.

        • It’s not really 79/mo. If you factor in the add ons, it adds up to a couple of hundreds or more every month 🙂 In that sense, WooCommerce and their extensions are better

          For example
          Autoresponder
          BC – 99/mo upwards
          WC – 199/year

          CDN
          BC – Built in
          WC – Just subscribe, it won’t cost much

          Abandoned Cart
          BC – Built in
          WC – Built into the auto responder

          Affiliate Marketing
          BC – 19.99/mo
          WC – 49/year or 449/lifetime – plus WC’s version is much more advanced

          LMS
          BC – none
          WC – many options

          Plus, there’s some things we can do with WC that BC can’t.

          I can go on and on, but why? Real time analytics? – Get an extension. Real time sync with Amazon and eBay? The same, get an extension.

        • It’s not really 79/mo. If you factor in the add ons, it adds up to a couple of hundreds or more every month 🙂 In that sense, WooCommerce and their extensions are better

          For example
          Autoresponder
          BC – 99/mo upwards
          WC – 199/year

          CDN
          BC – Built in
          WC – Just subscribe, it won’t cost much

          Abandoned Cart
          BC – Built in
          WC – Built into the auto responder

          Affiliate Marketing
          BC – 19.99/mo
          WC – 49/year or 449/lifetime – plus WC’s version is much more advanced

          LMS
          BC – none
          WC – many options

          Plus, there’s some things we can do with WC that BC can’t.

          I can go on and on, but why? Real time analytics? – Get an extension. Real time sync with Amazon and eBay? The same, get an extension.

  7. A few years back a client of mines migrated from Magento to WordPress and have never looked back.

    They are glad that they did. Magento is just not scalable and limited in scope even against woocommerce. Plus I just don’t like how Magento looks and their dashboard is a complete mess. I much prefer WordPress even for ecommerce.

    • Magento is scalable. It’s just a matter of spending more on the servers and getting expensive help on optimising the speed. That’s why developers like it :p

      Magento fanboys say the same thing about WooCommerce though. That we’re based on WordPress, making us…..unscalable =.=

      • Magento is scalable, but Virgil, you’re right their UX/UI is a horrible.

        The business owners I’ve worked with who moved away from Magento, hate it because to keep it up to par, you’ll need a full time dev on your team. So yes Leo, you’re right, dev like it, they get a nice paycheck. 🙂

        Online business should be paying for Marketing, not a dev to keep their site afloat.

        • Just for the record, I am a DEV and I hate Magento. The main reason being lack of documentation, the crazy EAV database model that moots any performance advantages MySQL has. The UI sucks (front and back) – usability sucks, no easy way to import, export products. Integration with ERPs costs a fortune (either in development time spent or money spent on an extension, which WILL break at some point either due to an upgrade or security batch or simply because … reasons, which all means more costs) – in both cases, the results are mediocre at best, reliability and otherwise.

          In short, Magento is the only platform/framework that I have encountered, where I had to spend more time figuring out the framework itself rather than focusing on getting the business logic right. And as a developer, I like focusing on actually solving the problems that a business has I am working for and expect the framework I use the aid me in doing so.

          Magento, however, is an Escherian maze of PHP code that is written like a over-engineered Java or .NET enterprise application without any of the failsafes of static typing and other features that environments like Java or .NET provide. So you kind of have the worst of both worlds here, combined with a severe lack of documentation.

          So TL;DR – Magento, just say no. Maybe only when you plan to use it without any customisation, with a pre-tested prebuilt theme – then maybe yes, but otherwise, stay the f*** away. You have been warned

    • Did the same a few months ago with the the help of cart2cart. Welp, what can I say – I’m absolutely satisfied with my new WordPress store. Magento was a bit too painful experience for me. Woo does everything what an average retailer needs – allows me to sell and not thinking about anything else.

  8. I have only used wooCommerce and do not mind them using the freemium method, but I do wish they were clearer about if the extensions integrate fully. I have asked them a number of times about how ext 1 might integrate with ext. 2 say……and they can never give me a straight answer. Surely they do integration testing of all their products? So why can’t they answer simple pre sales questions fully?

    • I was shocked that some of the official WooCommerce add-ons were not compatible. The Wooslider will not work with the QuickView. Support was unwilling to address the issue but did give me a full refund.

      Nonetheless, I have found WooCommerce to be much better than other WordPress-based shopping carts. With any solution, you must be prepared to “roll your own” or tweak the code if you want something special.

  9. I’m glad this post just came out so I can post my own experience on Magento vs Woocomerce.

    I started using Woocomerce when i didn’t knew a thing about wordpress, I amanged to make 2 stores and sell up to usd1000 in products with them, then I started practicing on CSS, wordpress and later linux.

    5 years later I know a lot about sysadmin in linux, I made my own hosting company, i have tons of customers and I did more than 10 stores already with Woocomerce and started learning about prestashop and others.

    I accepted a new customer with a Magento style commerce so I started learning all about it.

    I can tell you, without a shadow of a doubt that Magento feel like the WORST and most un-intuitive commerce system I’ve ever saw in my life, in fact I can say without a doubt that this feels about the worst system Ive ever used in my life.

    The dashboard is pure CAOS in form, the labels are all mixed up and misleading.

    For example, if you go to System, the configuration is just a submenu of system and then the submenu opens up into another menu that mix system options with plugins options.

    The plugins are also mixed with their own menus inside the main menu, so you have Users, Configuration, Rocket Facebook plugin and then Help, it’s like reading a book backwards in russian and then trying to find meaning in persian without knowing the language properly.

    The performance is all over the floor, I assinged a dedicated VPS on my hosting to magento, ask client to load up all the products and started working on a custom framework template, it’s been a nightmare

    Magento is uber SLOW, each request takes YEARS, this is a VPS with 4 cores and 2GB of RAM, plenty of hard-disk and it uses up all cores doing a simple “click on a product”, I can’t imagine what will happen with 10 customers trying to buy at the same time, really, can’t imagine.. this surely will need a dedicated server.

    Doing the exact same thing with woocomerce took me just 1 week of work and the store was up and running (when I knew few about wordpress).

    This project is now 1.5 months old and I still wasn’t able to show a single raw of products with a proper search (search is not working properly) and the checkout is broken (nobody knows why).

    Magento, allow me to put it into simple words is S.H.I.T. it is a bloated software that will crush your server, it’s slow as hell, it’s cumbersome, it’s dashboard is a developer’s nightmare and half the stuff you gotta tweak the core magento files to do it, or buy ultra expensive plugins that will give compatibility issues with the other plugins faster than you can say magento.

    As a developer, please, do yourself a favor and stay away from magento, unless you think that the best way to drive a car is with rectangle tired, which is what magento predends from their developers.

    This software was developed by a russian for a work, he was forced to do the most expansible commerce software ever in short time, this was the result and it shows.

    • In short, to run Magento properly, go for Enterprise and get an expert to do it for you 🙂 That’s why a lot of “developers” out there pushes for Magento over other solutions.

      1) They get to charge you a lot
      2) They get commission over the hosting

      Running a Magento Enterprise store with custom extensions and theme can easily set you back USD 50-100k 🙂 Upgrading can be really expensive.

      Oh btw, if you dropped by Envato’s forums, Magento fanboys will tell you that if you’re not willing to spend that kind of money, don’t start =.= How many people starts a business with that much of money, just for an ecommerce store?

      And we haven’t counted in the buying of stocks, hiring staff, etc…

    • Magento on a VPS with 4 Cores and 2GB RAM? That must be slow. From our experience you need at least 8GB RAM for Magento.

  10. Hello
    THinks different : Prestashop !
    you can test ;=)

    • Only for French people 🙂 Prestashop has
      1) botched updates – you might lose all data even with the official update
      2) really expensive extensions – some every three months
      3) lacks a CMS
      4) not all extensions work with the latest version of Prestashop – causing you to not update and have issues with security

      =.=

      • Check out the price comparison between WooCommerce vs OpenCart vs Prestashop. Appreciate if you’ve some comments or feedback on why Prestashop/Opencart’s better

        http://goo.gl/GQuT6I

  11. I can’t believe you’re comparing Woocommerce and Magento, these products aren’t even in the same league… As a professional developer who has installed and launched using multiple ecommerce platforms in the last 6 months (4 woocommerce, 1 shopify, 1 Magento, 1 prestashop) I have to say they are wholly dichotomous.

    WooCommerce is a simple-to-use, lightweight eCommerce plugin that is easy to configure albeit more limited in options, best for a small e-store attached to a website.

    Magento on the other hand is a rigid, behemoth MVC framework that is not simple to install, extend, or customize. The barrier to entry is at least a couple of days of studying the architecture and understanding the structure. It requires creation of XML files that refer to other XML files that in turn refer to PHP files. It is close to impossible to configure everything in a short period of time; while I can launch a WooCommerce site in a day.

    I think the more apt comparison would have been to PrestaShop, which is also open source, well documented and supported, and follows a more similar PHP parafigm to WooCommerce and WordPress. It is my first choice for a more full-fledged ecommerce site than WooCommerce without the huge development hassle of Magento.

    I think that would have been a better comparison.

    Thanks for your breakdown though, it was a good read!

    • The problems with Magento, plus the expensive maintenance required (often in the range of $20-40k for a major upgrade version), makes Magento unsuitable 🙂

      Upgrading yourself often breaks the installation. That’s why developers like Magento 🙂 It’s a cash cow for them. And then they perpetuate the myth that Magento is for enterprise solutions, while WooCommerce isn’t.

      Isn’t that a lie? What can Magento do that WC can’t?

  12. Thanks for good article. No doubts WooCommerce is popular as it is WordPress extension. If it comes to e-commerce my first choice is Drupal Commerce, I simply don’t trust WordPress…

    • Have fun with Drupal. Major upgrade versions breaks everything and then you’ll have to spend tons of time or money to rebuild your site. Or just leave in there as a security hazard

      • You right about b/c in major versions of Drupal, but previous version has very long support. For example Drupal 6 ( released Feb 2008 ) will be supported for three months after Drupal 8 release. Current version is DR 7 and will be active for years, nothing to worry about. Time what I spend porting my website to Drupal 8 may not be such extreme, since all required modules are ported to DR 8 it is really SASS, jQuery.

  13. I work extensively with both Magento and WooCommerce and both have characteristics that I hate. My biggest problem with WooCommerce is the way it completely breaks everything with major updates, as well as some non-existent functionality that would seem to be no-brainers, like sorting alphabetically.

    I have just started testing out WP EasyCart and really like it. It’s still pretty new and there are some functions that I wish it had, it looks like it’s going to be a contender in the near future.

    • And it is lifetime too!

      • Which one is better if someone wants to setup a multi vendor marketplace like eBay of flipkart ??

      • Which one is better if someone wants to setup a multi vendor marketplace like etsy og 11main.

  14. WooCommerce is best, we create many websites using WooCommerce plugin and premium WordPress theme. Like http://vastrang.com, http://stylishsaree.com, http://asopan.com and lots more. WooCommerce is easy to use and specially extension give an amazing experience. Thanks to Brenda Barron for this article.

  15. Based upon your analysis woocommerce has obvious advantages when it comes to setting it up, the total cost of ownership and long term maintainability. Best part is that, most of us these host our websites on word-press, so it would be easier to add another component to our business with out changing much.

  16. Hi Brenda

    Yet another great article on time 😀
    Today one of my clients asked me to create an eCommerce site for him. I agreed with the deal but I was confused because I’ve always worked with WooCommerce so far and he demanded me to create his site on Magento. Now I got it why he urged me to make his site on that platform.

    Thanks for the great article.

    Regards,
    – Ritesh Saini

  17. Hi Brenda,
    Love the article! Can you tell if it would be necessary to increase the server memory from a basic 512mb to more to improve the speed of a large Woo-Commerce site? Magento seem to have better capabilities in handle large online stores. What are your thoughts?

  18. Anyway, I would choose WooCommerce.
    Thanks for nice article!

  19. Ofcourse Woocommerce is better than magento.Woocommerce is also a money saving option.Magento needs cloud or dedicated hosting that cost much.Though Woocommerce has some limitation but I like it more than magento.Anyway thanks Brenda for another great and useful article.

  20. I have implemented both Magento and Woocommerce sites. I have installed Magento Shared Hosting packages (up to 3000 products) without any issues. Magento has out of the box functionality for Multiple Product Uploads and Updates and it is relatively easy to add new product attributes if necessary. Where it lacks and presents difficulties is in its CMS.
    Wordpress is far better from a design point of view and the ease of customizations. Woocommerce will need a relatively expensive plugin on a per site basis to implement multiple product uploads an updates. I have integrated 3 plugins to carry out this task with the help of a Spreadsheet application. Woocommerce does not write to a dedicated Product Table in the database but instead creates a Post. I have found that Digital Downloads have broken with updates.
    I have also integrated Magento and WordPress within a single website so as to add WordPress’ blogging capabilities.
    Overall Magento best for specific E-Commerce but lacks in ease of design customizations.
    Woocommerce with WordPress best for design aesthetics and great for smaller stores but can prove more difficult to implement large stores.
    Currently I am steering towards Woocommerce having developed a workflow for multiple product updates.

  21. Which one is better if someone wants to setup a multi vendor marketplace like eBay of flipkart ??

  22. Thanks Brenda for the article…really informative and eye opening. I am in the process of building up my ecom venture portal and frankly must say people here in India are fooling everyone. Trying to push in Magento to people who dont know about the technicalities and using it as a cash cow to earn more and fool everyone. During my research I also came across that Woocoomerce is more cost optimizing and good for people who are venturing new rather than having to bear the huge costs of magento. I will be going forward with woocommerce and will wait for its evolution in the times to come as i knw developers will be developing new apps and plugins that would solve the problems listed above by my friends. We should work towards solving these problems and going in with a collaborative approach to make such plugins to solve the issues in woocommerce and help others who are entering into this with a cost optimized approach so that they are able to reap returns on their investments soon rather than fall into a well of cash cows trying to hatch on their backs …. 🙂 I am not a developer myself but will try and learn and come up with innovative solutions or hire a team to solve these !!

  23. Hey! Magento is the best ecommerce software and I would say it has enormous features to build an ecommerce website. I would really thank to you for sharing this info with us.

  24. Thanks For Sharing !

    According to me, Magento is the best ecommerce software, because of its exclusive features. It is less costly than WooCommerce.

  25. Hi Brenda,
    Great post! Thanks for sharing this insightful differences between Magento and WooCommerce. But as a developer, I would prefer Magento because it has the best features that help to fulfil all requirements of clients.

  26. I’d suggest OpenCart as a reliable uptodate platform for small and big stores as well. It’s very easy to set up and works out of the box. If you need any customizations they have 15 000 + extensions and themes.

  27. Nicely Explained..!

  28. I wouldn’t recommend opting for woocommerce before googling “woocommerce admin ajax”. I did that mistake and eventually had to scratch out a month of work and switch to magento. The problem is woocommerce depends on a file called admin-ajax.php and it will keep lagging and prevent you optimizing your page speed. It is really awful coding because if you see a php file when you check your site with pingdom, you know it is a bad sign.

    It’s true magento looks intimidating at first sight (even for a developer) but it’s not because it’s bad, because it is far more superior in many aspects. At first I felt the same about Magento like many of you. I thought wtf? What kind of an architecture is this? But it keeps amazing me as I understand it more.

    On the other hand, wordpress even don’t have a native front end login panel! An effing login panel… How can you expect to create a reliable eCom store with it? It is simply not made for it.

    Right now I’m running two Magento stores and a wordpress blog on a simple VPS with 1 gb ram. Magento loads in 1.4 seconds with redis cache and cloudfront CDN. It never came under 3.5 seconds with woocommerce on the same server with literally no visitors.

    The best part is I’m running magento without a single plugin! Everything I need and don’t need is already built in.

    My 2 cents

    • Hi, please just check my woocommerce speed. If you know what you have to do, you manage to achieve everything with woocommerce, and from my development pov, woocommerce is a money and time saving.

  29. I’m really confused by this point:
    “Magento wins on this point. You’re able to cross-sell or up-sell your products, compare products, add discount codes, and use an advanced filter to navigate your products. Plus, if you have more than one store, you can view them all on the same account.”

    WooCommerce has cross-sell and up-sell built in…
    http://docs.woothemes.com/document/related-products-up-sells-and-cross-sells/

    It has discount codes built in…
    http://docs.woothemes.com/document/coupon-management/

    It has advanced filters built in…
    http://docs.woothemes.com/document/managing-product-taxonomies/
    http://docs.woothemes.com/document/variable-product/

    Oh and did I mention WordPress has great Multi-site functionality so you can run more than one site through the same account?
    http://codex.wordpress.org/Create_A_Network

    Also if anyone tells you WooCommerce can’t handle “more than 1,000 SKU’s”, it’s a lie (or they’ve just read the myriad of non-truths on the internet). We built a WooCommerce website running 21,000 SKU’s no problem. We’ve also built high volume sites on WooCommerce that have performed without a hitch. WooCommerce is built using the same structure as WordPress, specifically the posts set-up, WordPress runs time.com, cnn.com, techcrunch.com, ted.com and the list goes on. How much traffic do you think they have? How many posts do you think they have? Probably a lot more traffic, and a lot more posts than your sites will ever have to deal with…

    Both systems are on par with scalability, where they differ is in running cost, ease of theming, cost of plugins and stability.

    Magento is more expensive to run as it requires a lot more resources, WooCommerce is 1,000 times easier to theme (no-one can debate that), plugins are generally more expensive and way more difficult to install than Magento and due to Magento’s scale, finding and isolating bugs is a nightmare – don’t even get me started on trying to upgrade…

    • *plugins are generally more expensive and way more difficult to install in Magento than WooCommerce

      • Hi Jason Are you a developer?

    • thanks for this Jason, we just had a discussion about this.. we are looking to migrate from opencart to wordpress woocommerce and there were a few concerns about the stability of wordpress and the ability to handle 3000 products..

    • Thanks Jason, I was wondering the same! You cleared it up for me 🙂

  30. I have to opt with Woocommerce,

    It’s a lot more flexible without having a Magento developer. You can have a look on http://www.blue.solar. I have been able to sell solar panels Uk and internationally to many customers and has been quite easy to integrate payment and shipping options, however when the amount of visitors increases I am intrigued to know if woocommerce can handle that.

  31. thanks for the article

  32. I’ll go with Magento. From last 2 years I’m working on Magento eCommerce development and created many websites. And as my experience this all are the benefits, why Magento is better for eCommerce Website.

    1 Multi-site functionality. I enjoy this feature. Creating added websites by themselves unique domain name is outstanding. Each website can have a special shop. Each web site may have it’s very own layout too. You would certainly never ever understand my websites were all running on the exact same set up of Magento.

    2 Ability to import huge spread sheets of product.

    3 Searching and sorting of product by numerous standards.

    4 SEO functionality is integrated, tags, description, very clean URL’s, site navigating and clean html.

    5 Integrated Google analytics– I live by my stats and monitoring– crucial feature!

    6 Builtin functionality for all the major client accounts.

    7 Newsletter

    8 No limits on variety of product or purchases

    9 Integrated sales and store Tracking

    10 Google base formatting & support for downloada products.

  33. Hi,
    I am now searching and researching many options for my online shop and I have tried many of them. Magento is really nice but my website needed 22 seconds to open. WP 5 seconds. After some time I have found freewebstore.org
    Only 3 seconds and they have many free addons and great other things.
    Only con is that they have only free themes.
    I think I will make frontend website with WP and then link to shop with freewebstore..

    Regards

    Rasim

  34. I’d agree that the is no right answer. Really depends on someones needs. BTW, do you plan to compare Magento 2 with Woocommerce?

  35. I’ve setup WooCommerce sites and Magento Stores, one with over 15,000 products.

    MY PROFESSIONAL opinion is to use something simpler, WooCommerce or even something like Shopify for new, small, start up businesses.

    Magento was nothing but a headache for me. Spent 40 hours alone editing and formatting CSV file for proper upload to MySql Database, wow. Spent another week just learning the framework to whip up a theme, and extensions are freaking expensive ! Magento is just to hard to support unless you are a dedicated developer for that customer. Unless Magento 2 has some major UI/UX improvements, more documentation, and speeds up a bit since after 10K products it was operating slowly for me, I’ll look into other eCommerce solutions.

    Go with WooCommerce or something even simpler, Shopify. I’ve used Shopify only because clients already had that going and wow was it easy.

    • Hi Myke,

      I am an entrepreneur currently working on my new business plan for setting up a marketplace in India. Its is going to require a lot of functionality and the major one is to enable the seller to sell their products by registering on my website.

      I am currently confused about selecting the proper platform, that whether I should for CMS or customized one. Most IT-companies I am interacting with are suggesting Magento, and yes! I am allured by less investment comparing to customized one. But please give me your opinion for the same. As I will be spending a huge budget on Promotion and Marketing of my website, I don’t want my website to perform slow or have any problems when users proliferate.

  36. STAY AWAY FROM MAGENTO. MY ONLINE BUSINESS FAILED DUE TO THE SLOWNESS, CRAPPY Backend, OVERDESIGNED DB and a ton of other stuff mentioned above.

    Magento: Took me 2 months to get my store online with broken search and 3000 products AND it was SLOW even on 12 GB + 8 Core Machine.
    Woocommerce: Took me 2 days to get my store running with 3000 products.

  37. I am an entrepreneur currently working on my new business plan of setting up an online marketplace in India. Its is going to require a lot of functionality and the major one is to enable the sellers to sell their products by registering on my website.

    I am currently confused about selecting the proper platform, that whether I should for CMS or customized one. Most IT-companies I am interacting with are suggesting Magento, and yes! I am allured by less investment comparing to customized one. But please provide your opinion for the same. As I will be spending a huge budget on Promotion and Marketing of my website, I don’t want my website to perform slow or have any problems when users proliferate.

  38. Been using woocommerce for over 6 years. However as clients demands have grown with their business I am biting the bullet and getting to grips with magento. Still prefer woocommerce as a personal choice.

  39. Hi Myke,
    I am professional Magento web developer from four years and i have worked on both platforms for website development. According to me, the both have its own unique factors to attract web developers and users.
    I can tell one thing surely about Magento that i found Magento as a most flexible as well as supportive platform for e-commerce website development.
    Thanks for this great and informative article.

  40. I’d choose woocommerce too, i have always preferred wordpress as a CMS.

    I didn’t use Magneto, it seems like another good option. But as this requires a learning curve, more upfront costs & maintenance costs. I think woocommerce will be the best option for anyone looking to build an e-commerce without the hassle.

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