Shopify vs Magento: Which eCommerce Platform is the Best Choice?

May 15, 2018

Shopify vs Magento: Which eCommerce Platform is the Best Choice?

Artur Shevchenko

Shopify Expert in building themes and stores


min read

If you see yourself as a future owner of an online store, you should choose a powerful platform for electronic commerce.

Magento and Shopify comparison

Magento vs Shopify – are well-known services developed for eCommerce holders who have an idea to open an online shop. The first thing you should know is that they can help to maximize your sales. The second point is that there are a number of differences between Magento and Shopify. 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?

Notice that the success of your business depends on the solution you will make after reading this report. We know how valuable your time is, which is why we only cover the practical facts based on our own experience. Take just five minutes to read this review and you will be satisfied.

Magento advantages and disadvantages

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 is a very compliant feature, 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.

Pros and cons of using 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 that are created in a modern design, adapted for mobile devices and supported by the Shopify team. You are given the opportunity to add new pages, for example, blocks of a variety of 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, so you can expand the functionality of your online store in various ways.

“Good news for you: installation doesn’t take so much time”.

For example, Shopify has a distribution functionality; however, the native function only concerns the client's lifecycle (a letter of registration, an order, the sending of an order, the receipt of an order, and so on). To start the newsletter, you will need to install an application - for example, MailChimp - which will allow you to integrate MailChimp into your store. Then, you need to create a subscription form (or use a template) and create mailing lists. The same goes for the extended-type functionality, which can be easily installed with free applications. The application is put in a semi-automatic mode and often doesn’t require deep intervention in the code.

Magento vs Shopify comparison


One of the main criteria of working with these services is ease of use. 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 is a complex system that is built on the basis of components of various frameworks, such as Monolog, Symfony, Zend Framework and many others. Unlike to 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 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


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.


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


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 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.


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 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.


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 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).

P.S. Your Shopify plan determines the category of analytic you can use

Shopify admin panel


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


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 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.


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, Magento vs Shopify is a comparison between two of the most popular services in the eCommerce niche; however, to date, there is a list of studies that highlight the facts on the topic of ratings among the known platforms.

Let’s transfer them into what that means to us:

  • with the number of sales, Shopify leads (due to ease of use);
  • magento's superiority lies in making money (not from sale percentages, but for developing services);
  • cost of creation in Shopify is cheaper than in Magento.

To create this list, we used the study which is presented in the blog, dedicated to online sales. The study that we outlined was released in December 2016. Since then, the overall picture has not changed: the Shopify rating prevails over 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 opt for Shopify over Magento. The fact is that Shopify is a complete eCommerce solution that will produce excellent results in the near future.

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 own 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.

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