According to eMarketer, global retail eCommerce sales accounted for 19.7% of total retail sales in 2022, and it forecasts this share to grow further to 24% in 2026.
You can tap into this growth channel as well by getting your eCommerce store set up.
However, the path to selling online starts with selecting an eCommerce solution. And choosing the right eCommerce platform is vital to your business success.
Your top contenders for eCommerce platforms are WooCommerce and Magento. You can’t go wrong with either, but they work differently, and one might be more appropriate than the other, given the use case.
Let’s explore the differences between WooCommerce vs. Magento to decide the optimal solution for you.
Magento vs. WooCommerce – An Overview
Magento (now Adobe Commerce) and WooCommerce are two of the most popular self-hosted eCommerce platforms in the market. They both offer core eCommerce features, including order management, product listings, payment processing, shipping and reporting.
Let’s take a deeper look into both eCommerce platforms.
What is Magento?
Magento is a content management system (CMS) built specifically for eCommerce. It was purchased by Adobe in 2018 and is also known as “Adobe Commerce.” According to BuiltWith, It has a 7% market share among eCommerce platforms.
There are two versions of Magento: Adobe Commerce (formerly known as Magento Enterprise) and Magento Open Source (formerly known as Magento Community).
Adobe Commerce (or Magento Commerce) is the enterprise version of Magento Open Source. While the pricing varies depending on your use case, it can cost upwards of $20,000 annually.
On the other hand, Magento Open Source is free to download and install. But you’ll need to set up your online store yourself.
In this guide, we’ll focus on Magento Open Source.
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is an open-source plugin that lets you add eCommerce functionality to WordPress, the world’s most popular CMS. According to BuiltWith, WooCommerce is the leading eCommerce platform, with a market share of 23%.
WooCommerce was developed by WordPress theme company WooThemes before it was acquired by Automattic.
WooCommerce vs. Magento: What to look for?
Both WooCommerce and Magento offer almost all the must-have features for an eCommerce store builder. Still, they are different products and suit different use cases.
To make your decision easier, we’ve compared the two based on the following seven parameters:
- Ease of use: Is the platform intuitive? Does it allow the store owner and customers to navigate it without much help?
- Performance: Is the platform stable and powerful enough to support big and small stores alike? Does the platform scale with you as you grow?
- Customizability: Can you customize the platform to your liking?
- Security: Does the platform promise data security?
- Marketing and SEO features: Does the platform support search engine optimization (SEO)? Does the platform offer marketing features?
- Community and support: Does the platform offer direct support? Can you rely on the community to find answers to different issues?
- Pricing: How much does the platform cost? What are the typical associated costs?
Magento vs. WooCommerce – ease of use comparison
With so many no-code solutions out there, not everything has to be complicated. Let’s see how WooCommerce and Magento compare in terms of ease of use.
Both Magento and WooCommerce offer intuitive navigation and user-friendly dashboards. But that’s where the similarity ends.
As WooCommerce is targeted at beginners, you can expect its setup process to be simple and straightforward — more so if you have an existing WordPress site. You only need to install the WooCommerce plugin, which you can download on its website or via the WordPress plugin repository.
[If you don’t already have a WordPress site, check out how to set up a WordPress website in minutes.]
In contrast, Magento is targeted at developers, so its setup process is more complex and requires some coding knowledge. For instance, installing Magento requires a command line and server that meets Magento’s requirements.
Magento vs. WooCommerce — ease of use: verdict
WooCommerce wins this round. It’s more user-friendly for beginners.
Magento vs. WooCommerce – performance comparison
Your eCommerce platform’s performance is critical to success. But performance can mean many things — stability, scalability and speed.
Unstable platforms can be slow and buggy when you get high traffic or encounter security issues. They might cause downtime and data loss, affecting productivity and revenue.
Both Magento and WooCommerce are tried-and-tested stable platforms. They receive regular updates and maintenance to ensure everything runs smoothly. Still, Magento might handle sudden traffic spikes better than WooCommerce since its out-of-the-box features might make it more optimized than WooCommerce with plugins.
Scalability is crucial because it allows your store to handle changes once it starts expanding without being held back by structure or lack of resources.
Both WooCommerce and Magento are platforms catering to eCommerce stores of all sizes, but Magento is particularly suited to enterprise sites.
But let’s think of a hypothetical scenario: If you’ve two eCommerce websites — one built on Magento and another on WooCommerce — with the same eCommerce hosting plan with the same provider, which one will be faster? WooCommerce.
Magento offers many default features that require more resources to run. On the other hand, basic WooCommerce is incredibly light, and you can pick and choose only the relevant plugins to set up an optimized online store.
Magento vs. WooCommerce — performance: verdict
It depends on what you’re looking for. WooCommerce is lighter and faster than Magento but lacks many features that Magento offers out of the box.
Magento vs. WooCommerce – customizability comparison
Another aspect to consider when choosing eCommerce software is the level of customizability. You should be able to personalize your store’s look and extend its functionality.
WooCommerce and Magento offer this via a block-based approach. You can extend default functionality using add-ons, extensions and integrations.
WooCommerce gets the benefit of being a WordPress plugin and gives you access to thousands of paid and free WordPress plugins and themes. Not to mention, you also have third-party marketplaces, such as ThemeForest and Etsy.
Besides WordPress plugins and themes, you also get WooCommerce-specific themes and extensions on Woo Marketplace.
Similarly, the Magento marketplace also has thousands of free and paid extensions and add-ons to customize your store. However, Magento doesn’t require as many extensions, given its powerful built-in functions.
Additionally, Magento encourages you to create your own custom templates. If you don’t know how to code, you might need to hire a developer to create a personalized theme.
Magento vs. WooCommerce — customizability: verdict
It’s a tie. Magento doesn’t have as many choices as WooCommerce, but then again, Magento offers a lot more out-of-the-box functionality than WooCommerce, so you won’t need to use as many add-ons.
Magento vs. WooCommerce – security comparison
According to Baymard, 18% of eCommerce customers abandon a cart because they don’t trust the website with their financial information. To succeed in this atmosphere, you need an eCommerce platform that gives online shoppers peace of mind.
Regarding built-in platform security, Magento and WooCommerce are both excellent choices. They both receive regular updates to remove vulnerabilities.
However, WooCommerce is more prone to security threats because it’s built on top of WordPress, which is a popular target of hackers since it’s the most popular CMS in the world. But if you regularly maintain your website, there’s no reason to worry about security.
If you have WooCommerce-specific hosting, you typically get automatic updates, so there’s even less to worry about.
When it comes to Magento, it regularly releases dedicated security patches to close backdoors. Besides that, it offers cross-site scripting (XSS) attack prevention and two-factor authentication by default.
Magento vs. WooCommerce — security: verdict
Both Magento and WooCommerce receive regular updates to patch vulnerabilities, but Magento has more advanced security features.
Magento vs. WooCommerce – marketing and SEO comparison
Marketing and SEO functions are integral to eCommerce stores because they help customers find your online business.
Both Magento and WooCommerce have built-in SEO functionality.
WooCommerce inherits WordPress’ SEO capabilities, such as the built-in blogging platform. And you can further add additional marketing and SEO features via plugins like Yoast.
Magento’s built-in SEO functionality includes generating sitemaps and controlling meta information for products and content pages. You can also establish and differentiate international storefronts from each other to customize the buyer’s experience.
However, Magento doesn’t come with a built-in blogging platform.
Magento vs. WooCommerce — marketing and SEO: verdict
Both platforms offer marketing and SEO features, but WooCommerce edges out Magento for ease and accessibility of getting additional functionality.
Magento vs. WooCommerce – community and customer support
WooCommerce and Magento are open-source platforms, so they don’t have customer service teams to assist you when you encounter an issue.
Instead, you must rely on self-service knowledge bases and community support forums.
Magento has a decent network of developers, but WooCommerce has more users and a larger community.
Magento vs. WooCommerce — community and customer support: verdict
You can find support for both platforms via community forums, but WooCommerce has a larger community of users to tap into.
Magento vs. WooCommerce – pricing comparison
While both WooCommerce and Magento are open-sourced platforms — meaning you won’t need to pay anything to download them — you’ll have to pay for other costs to keep your eCommerce store running.
Common eCommerce store costs include expenses on:
- Website hosting subscription
- Domain registration
- SSL certificates
- Add-ons such as extensions, plugins and themes
These costs vary depending on the quality of service, the types of add-ons you purchase and the platform you choose.
For instance, WooCommerce is lightweight, so you can use basic hosting until your needs grow. And you also get access to lots of free plugins and themes. Even paid WooCommerce extensions are typically affordable.
In contrast, you might not have to purchase many Magento extensions as you get most features out of the box. But if you do need one, they typically cost more than what you pay for a WooCommerce extension.
Besides that, Magento is more resource-intensive, so you might require more bandwidth for hosting — i.e., web hosting expenses will be higher.
Also, Magento Open Source provides limited options for free custom themes. If you don’t know how to code, you must buy a theme or hire someone to make you a custom theme.
Magento vs. WooCommerce — pricing: verdict
WooCommerce wins since it’s lightweight and offers many free plugins and themes.
Summary: WooCommerce vs. Magento
WooCommerce vs. Magento: What should you choose?
Magento and WooCommerce are two of the most popular eCommerce platforms in the market. They are both excellent choices and have similar functions and features. Choosing between the two ultimately boils down to your needs and priorities.
If you have a large store that requires more advanced functionalities, consider Magento. But if you’re just starting out, WooCommerce will suit you best.
Whatever you decide, remember a reliable hosting provider like Bluehost is your best partner. Sign up for Bluehost’s WooCommerce hosting plan today.