These days, website builders and content management systems (CMS) have advanced capabilities that allow business owners to have full control over their website, without high costs and complicated development. Even something that seems complex, like an online shop, can be created using one of these tools; even by users without design or coding experience.
In this article, we will compare Magento and WordPress for building e-commerce websites, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both. If you’re planning to build your own e-commerce website, and are shopping for website builders, we hope this comparison will help you make an informed decision.
What is Magento?
Magento is a CMS and e-commerce platform that allows users to create online shops and manage their inventory and sales. It is one of the most popular choices when it comes to e-commerce websites.
What is WordPress?
Many see WordPress as the top blog website builder, but it is a very powerful CMS that can be used for any type of website. Using the WooCommerce plugin, users can easily and quickly create their online store, manage inventory and sales, and much more.
Magento: Pros and Cons
While Magento is considered a very popular choice for online shops, it is important to understand all aspects of the product instead of choosing blindly.
Magento is an open source platform, which means that the possibilities are endless. Developers can pretty much do anything and create new elements, while non-developers can benefit from the variety of modules that have been built for Magento shops. Many of these modules are available for free, and are used by developers as well to save time, costs, and effort. Because Magento is open source, there is a huge developer community that contributes extensions which anyone can use, for example to add payment options, galleries and views, and what may seem like complicated features and functionalities.
Magento is free, but you can opt to pay for the enterprise edition for additional features and support from Magento developers. This is particularly helpful for people with very little coding experience.
Installing Magento can be very easy, depending on the hosting service you use. Top hosting sites like HostGator and eHost allow easy 1-click installation of Magento from the control panel.
While the platform itself is free, it does require significant maintenance, which isn’t. Magento is usually recommended for large stores, due to the ongoing costs of maintaining the site and making any changes to its functionality and features as the site grows.
Development skills aren’t a must, but they are highly recommended. Magento users should either be developers, or hire Magento developers to make the most out of what this platform has to offer.
WordPress: Pros and Cons
WordPress often seems like the automatic go-to choice due to its popularity, but it has its own advantages and disadvantages to explore.
Like Magento, WordPress is a free, open source platform, which means it is constantly being improved and updated. Like Magento, there is a huge community of developers you can consult with when you need help with something technical in WordPress. In addition, there are thousands of available plugins you can quickly and easily install to add interesting and useful capabilities to your site; such as, social sharing, email marketing, and SEO. In fact, the online store capability requires a plugin. WooCommerce is the most popular choice, but there are several others that should be explored before choosing.
WordPress can sometimes require development skills, but if you purchase a WooCommerce template that is very close to what you’re looking for, you can build a site with minimal edits and zero development or design experience.
Many hosting companies support WordPress, and most provide easy 1-click installation, like HostGator and BlueHost, which are considered some of the best hosting sites for WordPress.
Because WordPress is an excellent blogging platform, it makes it very easy for business owners to create a great website that has a shop and blog, which is a must for content marketing.
WordPress is essentially made for blogging and not e-commerce. Because of this, it is not as great as a platform originally designed for online shops, like Magento. There can be bugs, plugins that don’t work together, and templates that simply don’t look like what you expected.
Security is also an issue with WordPress, especially if you have an online shop and you intend on processing sensitive information like credits cards, addresses, etc. You’ll need to pay for additional services, like secure hosting and SSL certificates to ensure the protection of your site and customers.
There are different website builders for sites with different goals. As a website owner, you need to define what your needs are, and what features are important to you before making a decision. As you can see, Magento and WordPress have qualities that could be positive in one instance, and negative for another person. The solution that’s right for one business may not be the best solution for another.
Things you should consider: the number of products you intend to sell, the customization capabilities to the design, layout of your site, security, and budget. This will help you decide which platform and small business web hosting service is right for you.