September 26, 2021

Magento vs Shopify: Which Platform Is Better for You?

Artur

Shopify Expert in building themes and stores

18

min read

Shopify and Magento are well-known services developed for eCommerce holders who have an idea to launch an online shop. Both of them help to maximize sales when used correctly: they have loads of features that can bring your website to the top, but at the same time, not every store needs the full set of possible features. The fine line between a good store and a store that is full of features is almost unnoticeable. Besides, when comparing Shopify vs Magento, you will also understand that some slight details can affect the whole result of your work.

There are advantages and disadvantages for both Shopify and Magento platforms. But what are they?

In this article, you will find the full answer to this question, step by step. Our view will structurize the facts in regards to the possibilities of these services.

Finally, you will learn:

  • What platform is easier to use?
  • Is Magento really cheaper than Shopify?
  • Which possibility gives you these platforms?
  • What are the Shopify pros and cons?
  • What are the Magento pros and cons?

Magento and Shopify comparison

Shopify Magento platform services can impress with the huge choice of options. At the same time, they can mislead you. Here, we will concentrate on the basic information you should know about two platforms to make the final decision which of them to choose.

Ease of Use

One of the main criteria of working with these services is ease of use. We will compare Shopify versus Magento to understand which service will perfectly meet your demands and requirements.

To get high results, you must interact well with the service and understand how to work with the admin panel, how to create products and text pages, and how to register sales and deliveries. Looking ahead, we want to clarify one point: we are considering this point from the perspective of the user who has, first, created an online store.

Magento

Magento is a complex system that is built on the basis of components of various frameworks, such as Monolog, Symfony, Zend Framework and many others. Advantages of Magento are multiple. Unlike the first version, Magento 2 is no longer built on the only one framework. Also, Magento uses various additional libraries for its work. To arrange the correct loading of all the components and modules in Magento 2, use the Composer dependency manager.

Composer is an application-level package manager for the PHP programming language that provides a standard format for managing dependencies of PHP software and required libraries. Composer runs through the command line and installs dependencies (e.g. libraries) for an application. It also allows users to install PHP applications that are available on “Packagist”, which is its main repository containing available packages. It also provides autoload capabilities for libraries that specify autoload information to ease usage of the third-party code. The control panel in the Magento 2 has changed significantly and has become more comfortable than the first version. Therefore, if you are just starting your path with Magento, then it will not be difficult for you to learn the control panel interface.

However, if you compare the control panels Magento and Shopify, then the last control panel still wins in terms of simplicity. Shopify developers released an early beta version in six languages: French, German, Japanese, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, and Spanish. They test this experience to do your cooperation with the Shopify platform more comfortable. To select one of six languages you need to activate the beta version and enjoy new opportunities.

free absolute template for Magento

Shopify

Is Shopify open source platform? Yes. Besides, Shopify is an easy-to-use and customizable platform. With this service, you don’t need to take the time to delve into programming or master the maintenance of the site. You can spend your time developing the advancement of your online store, which is more important.

Shopify pricing

Shopify definitely has more benefits in terms of available topics to choose from. This development has greater stock and also looks more modern. Users like Shopify because of the number of different themes on its interface, and you know it can save you money. You don’t need to pay large amounts for a designer to create attractive graphics. In this area, Magento concedes Shopify. So, if you are a newbie creating an interface for an online store, follow our advice and select the Shopify platform. We assure you, you will not go wrong.

diversity of Shopify themes

Cost

Magento vs Shopify: what platform is cheaper? The question of which payment system to use is one of the most important things that influence us when making a decision on which eCommerce platform to choose. Let’s look at this theme a bit closer.

Shopify

With this platform, there is a series of tariffs. The base plan is $29 dollars per month, while unlimited will cost you $179 per month. Thus, the more you are willing to pay, the more functionality you will be provided with. In addition, the rate for using the payment system will be reduced. At first glance, this addition may seem insignificant; however, when receiving a significant revenue from sales, a difference of 0.2% can be a notable amount. The managers of the service took care of all the cash transactions in the Shopify office. This is very convenient because you don’t need to look for additional service providers. Setting up a tariff arrangement is simple and less time-consuming. It also gives the option to refuse transaction charges if you use their own Shopify Payment system. Magento provides more payment systems that provide the ability to reach more audiences.

Shopify application store

Magento

The first thing we need to point out is the importance of monitoring a variety of different monthly payments. As your store grows, you need to choose the right hosting plan, as this will allow your shop to be on an easy street and provide enough bandwidth to serve all visitors on your site. The cost of hosting for Magento is between $30-50, which is very expensive. In Shopify, there is no headache. There is a monthly payment structure, with amounts based on the plan you have chosen for your business. It is universal, so it offers a number of advantages:

  • unlimited storage
  • unlimited bandwidth
  • free SSL certificate

The main plus is that you don’t distract from the promotion and improvement of your store.

SEO/Marketing

Optimization of your site is a key that will enhance sales. Speed loading allows your customers to get the best experience while making purchases in the online store.

Shopify

Shopify has upgraded to SEO and includes basic necessary elaboration functions in all plans. There are editable title tags, meta descriptions, page URLs, ALT tags for images, customizable image file names, etc. But, despite the fact that Shopify is optimized for boost, it has a number of restrictions such as:

  • it doesn’t give any control over the server. You can’t install Gzip and configure caching in a certain way
  • it restricts access to FTP editing and robots.txt files, there is no mention of XML Sitemap. Shopify creates a sitemap automatically
  • you have no opportunity to bypass a fixed URL structure  (since you can’t create a custom structure for the full page)
Shopify admin panel

Magento

Magento is well optimized for search engines; however, in order to take advantage of the full range of possible optimizations, you need to have basic knowledge of the settings. Magento has SEO optimization and offers extensive features, including:

  • meta tags for products and home pages
  • image optimization
  • canonical tags for categories and products
  • changes to robot.txt files, and so on

The heavy structure of this software can make working with the site quite inconvenient. To reduce the risks of slow loading, you need to regularly optimize it. Search engine optimization is an effective way to attract customers; however, its configuration should be entrusted to professionals. Your independent actions can lead to a number of negative and incomprehensible results. For example, the number of buyers on the site may increase, but sales will decrease. To prevent such an outcome, you need to operate a list of promoted requests and a promotion strategy.

Magento admin panel

Seo settings are extremely important when you choose between Magento and Shopify. You are to be sure that later on, it will be easy for you to optimize your store.

Security

The elaboration in the number of online stores also contributes to the spread of teams of intruders whose main goal is to rob owners. Moreover, this process takes place secretly, without explicit activity. The implementation of this process occurs in various ways, among which includes the theft of mobile traffic, mass infection, etc. A successful breach operation that compromises the protection of your site will result in a number of negative consequences for you, including:

  • useless expenditure of the advertising budget
  • reduction in client traffic to the platform
  • loss of persona

Shopify

Shopify provides a free SSL certificate that is responsible for your store. The core of Shopify is on the servers of the company and is constantly updated. The service is programmed to maintain a high level of safety.

Magento

By using Magento, you will be responsible for security and updates by yourself, as all the source code will be tied to personal hosting. Responsibility for the storage of your data is assumed by the performer. You can connect the certificate, but it should be done by the developers.

Undoubtedly, when answering the question of what to choose Shopify or Magento, we need to take into consideration many important things. Still, this information may not be enough especially if you have certain expectations from the platform.

Below, we will provide you with extra details on pros and cons Magento vs Shopify, so you could easily make up your mind and make a decision.

Pros and Cons Magento vs Shopify

Want to know why Magento is better than Shopify? There’s no clear answer to this question. The matter is that both services have certain pros and cons that play the decisive role for different ecommerce projects. Frequently happens that the features that are obligatory for Shopify vs Magento enterprise can hardly be used by the local stores.

Therefore, let’s analyze these two platforms a little bit closer to know every single detail that might be important for us.

What’s good about Magento?

Magento is a powerful CMS platform that interfaces use for many popular and highly-loaded online stores with a number of product lines. Let's take a closer look at the service. There are two versions of this option:

  • Community Edition (free software with open source)
  • Enterprise Edition (paid software with open source

    The Enterprise Edition offers two Magento Commerce Starters from $2000 per month, and Magento Commerce Pro starting at $3,417 per month. This article will consider the free version for comparison purposes.

Magento offers high customizability, so you can configure almost anything you want in exactly the way you want it. To compose a marketplace on Magento services, you’ll need a lot of time to master this platform. You’ll also need to provide your own hosting that requires web-development skills, as the entrance threshold is quite high. You will need a lot of time to develop this platform because it is quite resourced intensive. You will need to provide your own hosting for the installation and your own domain. If you plan to launch a large store with a large database of products, you will need powerful hosting with a large capacity and high uptime. Magento provides many templates; however, it will be extremely difficult to install them by yourself. There is a fairly extensive guide for users who go through the complex processes of creating a depot step by step.

What’s good about Shopify?

Shopify is an easy-to-use and downloadable eCommerce application. It should be noted that this service has become the top leader among representatives of small and medium-sized businesses.

Shopify offers three different plans:

  • Basic  – $29/month.
  • Shopify Plan – $79/month.
  • Advanced – $299/month.

You can also try a free 14-day trial version.

Shopify is a SAAS (software as a service) platform, so you don’t have to think about your own hosting and security. That is the plus of Shopify. Also, there is around-the-clock support by phone, chat, e-mail, and with a large user support community. The official site supports 60 optimized themes for various devices, but most of them aren’t free. You can download additional samples on Themeforest and other marketplaces. The interface offers ten free themes created in a modern design, adapted for mobile devices, and supported by the Shopify team. You are given the opportunity to add new pages, such as blocks of various goods, the “About Us” page, or a blog. With the help of the editor, it is possible to change the color palette, font, images, and edit page elements (menus, headings, etc.). We calculated more than 2,300 free and paid applications available for Shopify. It means you can expand the functionality of your online store in various ways.

Advantages of Shopify and Magento

Advantages of Shopify are various: from the great choice of sales tools, and up to support. However, Magento also provides users with a list of different features that are equally attractive and effective.

Sales Tools

Both Shopify and Magento offer their clients sales tools that can be used to improve their online business performance.

With Magento, you can create different promotions for your marketing campaigns: set catalog price rules, related products rules, cart price rules, gift card accounts. It’s also possible to host events within Magento. Additionally, you can boost your communication with users: work with emails and newsletters. Magento is a great tool for SEO and search, as it helps to create easily customizable content.

Shopify has a similar approach to working with clients: you can reach them in different ways and create a customer journey supported by the different types of communication. One of the differences between Magento and Shopify is that Shopify offers a slightly better range of options for working with the audience. Emails, Google Smart Shopping, and Facebook ads help attract a better audience and convert them into leads. Dashboard reports will help you to keep the situation under control, no matter what happens.

Payment Processors and Transaction Fees

Both Shopify and Magento offer a variety of payment processors with flexible transaction fees. The fees depend on the processor. Therefore it’s better to check this information beforehand.

  • PayPal
  • Stripe
  • CartaSi
  • SagePay
  • WorldPay
  • 2Checkout
  • EBizCharge

These are seven basic payment processors that cover the biggest part of the needs of any store.

Help & Support

In Shopify vs Magento comparison, we should mention help and support. When you are working on one of these platforms, you expect to get the best assistance if you need it.

It is critical if you have decided to run a store on your own. 24/7 access and assistance in different languages will save your time and money. Still, we’re sure: the best way to create and run a Shopify store without any problems is to start working with professionals.

In both Magento and Shopify, there are support services for users where you can find answers to your questions at any time of the day. Not everything, however, is that easy.

In Shopify, you won't be left alone with the problem. There are two choices: find a solution in a blog or contact the support service. You can call managers, write to them directly by mail or email, or ask your question in the chat forum. You will be contacted and assisted immediately, at any time. Magento offers free and paid online educational courses.

Shopify has a blog that covers the following topics:

  • how to work with the store;
  • business promotion tools;
  • organization of the work process;
  • features of marketing;
  • how to choose a product that will make a profit.
  • This information will be useful for maintaining and developing your business. With Magento, you have to find a way out of the situation yourself. To understand the problem, follow the tips on the developer's blog. Unfortunately, Magento users do not have access to official platform support services.

Themes

The choice of themes is phenomenal. Neither Shopify nor Magento could tell the exact number of themes created for their platforms. From one point of view, this is an obvious advantage, but from another, it can even be called one of the biggest disadvantages of Magento and Shopify: it’s too hard for a user to change the theme. Besides, templates do not always cover the needs of the business. Therefore, custom themes are a better choice.

Custom themes can both be created at Shopify and Magento.

Disadvantages of Magento

Despite all the benefits of using Magento, there are still some disadvantages that can affect your decision to choose this platform.

Unsuitable for beginners

Magento is one of the platforms that are highly complicated to use. Therefore, if you have never had experience with e-commerce platforms, it will be hard for you to start working with it. Of course, when we’re speaking about Shopify vs Magento enterprise options, we suppose that the Magento client already worked with the platforms and knows how to run a store successfully. However, for many small and medium businesses, running a store on Magento becomes either a problem or a cost-demanding solution

Not easy to install

The difficulties with Magento start with the installation. For many users, the process seems to be too complicated, especially compared to Shopify installation. Users mostly prefer to follow some guidelines that will explain how to install Magento step by step. Shopify and other platforms have an intuitive installation. Therefore, this is another of the disadvantages of Magento.

Disadvantages of Shopify

Shopify platform also has several weak points which may change your mind on using this platform for your store. These two are known as the biggest disadvantages of Shopify.

Transaction fees

As well as any other platform, Shopify implies fees on transactions. It means that you will get a slightly lower income than expected. It’s important to consider transaction fees in mind when working on price policy and marketing strategy.

Cost of app

Shopify offers customers loads of apps to install. Due to apps, the stores look different and have different sets of features and options. They are easily customizable: you can change the layout, add or remove some settings, etc. However, many of the apps cost a lot. It creates a problem for the store owners: they need to pay more for the features they want to add to their website.

Which platform is better: Shopify or Magento?

Are you among the number of users who want to forget about the problem of hosting choices, configuration, and bandwidth? Do you like the idea of not paying a commission for a transaction at every purchase? If your answer is “yes,” we advise you to opt for Shopify over Magento. The fact is that Shopify is a complete e-commerce solution that will produce excellent results shortly.

In addition, Shopify constantly introduces new features and has even integrated with Amazon. Consequently, vendors can merchandise goods on Amazon directly from the admin panel. If you are attracted by the full freedom of action and flexibility, choose Magento, but remember that you will spend more time learning and exploring it. Unlike Shopify, you will need to buy a dedicated server, configure it and create your hosting provider, which can cost a lot. As your store expands, the price may increase.

Now you have a clear view of the differences between Shopify vs Magento platforms. We hope our report was helpful as you choose what’s best for you. In the table below, we schematically compare the Magento and Shopify platforms and indicate everything, in summary, that has been described in this article.

comparison table Magento vs Shopify

The eCommerce market grows every day. So, if you have a great product and a number of questions on how to get it off the ground, get in touch with the team at MakebeCool Co. We know what big sales look like, and how to get there.

We will take the process of creating a store for your business under our control and responsibility. We’re always ready to become your partners: a Shopify development company that helps you to grow your business by solving all technical issues. Give us a call to discuss possibilities. We’re sure: a great project is waiting for us ahead!

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