If you’ve found this article because you’ve been trawling the web looking for a quick and easy answer to decide between two of the largest eCommerce programs; the difference is that WooCommerce is a plugin and Magento is a platform. That’s it. This is the essential difference but what does this mean in practical terms? Let’s take a look at a comparative analysis between Magento and Woocommerce.
WooCommerce and Magento Comparative Analysis
Both are open-source software: free to download and use with plenty of customization. A great benefit of any code or software being open source means that it brings plenty of user tinkering and development; functioning, out-the-box add-ons that can be loaded on to your site for free or for a cost. Along with user-provided modifications are user solutions in terms of finding plenty of answers to questions in online forums. While this may be a benefit to some, a less tech-savvy individual may struggle with resolving website issues without assistance. Much like creating a stunning website, it takes skill and experience and not something that can be done off the bat.
This is where Magento and WordPress offer their own unique solutions to this problem: Magento, which is owned by Adobe, will provide developers (problem-solvers) and everything else that goes with the smooth running of an ecommerce site. This, of course, comes with a cost. So while the code is free, maintaining and implementing it can be tricky despite the free and public online resources.
So if you don’t have time to tinker and solve problems yourself, Magento can cover all bases for a fee. The price is adjusted depending on the size of your business and what kind of services you need. Nevertheless, this cost could be prohibitive depending on the scale of your business. The bigger packages require monthly commitments which might deter a smaller company. However, the functionality that Magento offers is immense; it really covers the full ecommerce spectrum.
Woocommerce (owned by WordPress) on the other hand solves the issue of installation, usage, and upkeep by creating the program for WordPress specifically. What this translates to is ease-of-use: WordPress is famous for its user-friendly interface and customization options and WooCommerce is no different. This is because it’s built as a plugin for WordPress so it’s created on their framework. WooCommerce’s useability and popularity mean that, like Magento, there is a large online community that will have documented many issues and problems that you may face and how to resolve them. This does require a certain standard of IT skills but it does free up the user to have more flexibility to manually manage and implement features of the plugin.
WooCommerce For Sales Comparative Analysis With Magento
Although it seems that WooCommerce is for smaller ecommerce businesses, there are plenty of examples that sell goods on a large scale. As a result of expansion, much like Magento, WooCommerce has experts who can be on-hand for a fee. As mentioned earlier, there is also an array of functionality options for clients wanting services like currency conversion, MailChimp extension, anti-fraud and many others. Because it’s open-source, this also means that there are plenty of people continuously creating useful extensions for free or for a cost.
Magento, in line with other Adobe Suite programs, offers a “freemium” service that ultimately encourages buying into the platform. It’s possible to run it by yourself but only with plenty of know-how. Ultimately it’s towards professional-level services that offer the best functionality along with hosting services, business optimization, etc.; the full package. It’s a robust platform that handles major online marketplaces. If you foresee yourself expanding quickly and needing a feature-rich. But effortless ecommerce site then Magento has you covered, for a cost. If you feel comfortable with certain aspects of web-building or have experience with WordPress already then WooCommerce would be good.
Scale Of Business
Ultimately the decision boils down to the scale of your business and how you foresee it growing in the future. WooCommerce is a fantastic plugin with a vast array of functionality right out the box. It works on WordPress which makes it a very user-friendly experience thus allowing for more autonomy over your ecommerce site. This could be the best option for a new business or small to medium size. Where you have the knowledge and skill to implement changes.
Magento is banking on the fact that your business is your focus and therefore time-intensive activities. Like site customization or any troubleshooting needs to be with professionals. And this will be true in a great many cases. Magento offers peace of mind that your ecommerce platform will do what it says without a hitch.
Final Words About Comparative Analysis of WooCommerce and Magento
Obviously, there are other ecommerce platforms to consider but both WooCommerce and Magento offer fantastic functionality. Services that will stand any commercial website in good stead. The final decision should be on your needs and on the potential for future growth. Which would be most viable for your particular business?
Author: Jamie FitzHenry is the Director of Grizzly, a digital agency based in Bristol UK that specializes in enhancing clients’ online presence.