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Magento vs. WooCommerce: Which is Better?

magento vs WooCommerce which is better

In the fiercely competitive landscape of e-commerce, two dominant platforms often emerge at the top: Magento and WooCommerce. As businesses strive for digital supremacy, the decision between these industry giants takes center stage. It is critical to make the right choice while keeping the future of your business in mind.

As you read further, we will delve into their strengths, migration strategies, and more. To find out which platform is better suited to your online store. We’ll discuss scalability, customization, and user-friendliness – to name a few aspects.

Let’s get started.

A Glance at the Two E-commerce Platforms: WooCommerce & Magento

Here’s a quick rundown of the two platforms.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a powerful and adaptable e-commerce platform developed exclusively for WordPress, owned by the WordPress team. One of the significant advantages of WooCommerce is its integration with WordPress, the software runs more than 45.8% of the web. Leveraging the power of WordPress, WooCommerce enables businesses to build more than just an online store. 

With access to WordPress features, themes, and an extensive plugin library, businesses can create various types of pages, set up forums and online communities, and offer membership programs. Furthermore, WordPress’s search engine friendly nature ensures that your content receives maximum visibility.

It offers incomparable customization abilities as well. The availability of plugins allows store owners to easily incorporate necessary features into their WooCommerce stores without requiring coding skills. This makes it a well-liked choice among small to medium-sized businesses looking for an accessible and scalable e-commerce solution.

With an impressive number of 6,138,002 live websites, WooCommerce dominates the e-commerce Platform category, securing the top spot in terms of ranking. With a global community of contributors constantly improving WooCommerce, there is a wide range of solutions available to address any challenges that store owners may encounter while managing and running their stores. 

With its user-friendly interface, broad plugin ecosystem, and reasonable pricing options, WooCommerce enables businesses of all magnitudes to build and manage promising online stores.

Magento vs. WooCommerce: Which is Better?
(Source: Image from Barn 2 Plugins

Magento

On the other hand, Magento, now known as Adobe Commerce, is a robust and feature-rich e-commerce platform known for its enterprise-level capabilities. It is one of the most powerful open-source platforms for e-commerce enthusiasts on the market today. 

Acquired and maintained by Adobe in 2018, it is designed for larger businesses and extensive flexibility. Magento offers advanced functionality, scalability, and customization options. It’s a good choice if you have plans to expand your store and grow into a significant,  enterprise-level business. 

With its modular architecture and powerful backend, Magento allows its 144,444 live websites to create highly personalized and complex online stores. 

Adobe Commerce leverages AI and advanced data-sharing capabilities to deliver personalized B2C and B2B commerce experiences from a flexible, extensible, and scalable platform. 

Magento 2 was introduced in 2015 to address the limitations of its predecessor, Magento 1.x. Merchants on Magento 1 were encouraged to upgrade to Magento 2. However, in June 2020, Magento officially ceased support for Magento 1, implying no further patches or updates would be available. Magento 2 welcomed a new era of growth for online stores with new and improved features and processes – like enhanced page load speed, a better admin interface, and more. 

illustration: comparing Magento and WooCommerce - a historical trends
Historical Trends: Magento vs. WooCommerce Usage (Source: Image from w3techs

Comparing WooCommerce and Magento Platforms

In this detailed comparison, we will examine the essential differences, features, and perks of WooCommerce and Magento. This will allow you to make an informed decision about the best e-commerce platform for your online store’s vision.

Usability and Customization

In terms of usability and customization, WooCommerce offers a more user-friendly experience. Here’s why.

  • Ease of Use

Magento requires expert developers to manage and customize the platform, making it less accessible for a regular business owner. The learning curve is steep, and customization often requires intricate coding and expert assistance. 

Basic store-level changes also require technical knowledge and skills. For instance, for customizations, seemingly as simple as making changes to the theme format, store owners need to declare their themes in the Magento folder before proceeding.

WooCommerce and Magento E-commerce Platforms
Declaring a Magento 2 Theme

Contrarily, WooCommerce allows changes to the theme format through the Editor tab in the admin dashboard. Also, a wide range of free and paid themes are available, and WooCommerce empowers users to customize their stores through the intuitive WordPress Customizer. This offers unparalleled flexibility and ease of use.

  • Convenience Using Extensions and Plugins 

Moreover, Magento also requires accessing the Web Setup Wizard and signing in to the Magento Marketplace to install extensions. While the process is not overly complex, it may involve additional steps. For instance, manually installing the extension to the Magento installation directory and navigating through different admin panel sections. Magento’s interface may be more suitable for users familiar with the platform or with more technical expertise.

In contrast, WooCommerce was built specifically to create high-level, visually appealing stores without coding experience. WooCommerce is equipped with its own setup wizard, and with the support of a dependable hosting option, you can install it in a matter of seconds. 

To complement this, WooCommerce offers a vast library of plugins through its official marketplace, on the WordPress plugin repository, since it is based on the WordPress platform and third-party vendors as well. You can enhance your WooCommerce store with Tyche Softwares’ essential plugins to transform your e-commerce success. With over 150,000 satisfied customers, our popular plugins, such as Abandoned Cart Pro, Order Delivery Date, and Booking & Appointment, have proven to boost sales. You can add and enable WooCommerce plugins with a button on your WordPress admin dashboard. 

 
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In a Nutshell

  • Magento is developer-focused and developer friendly. Requires technical expertise for modifications and management. 
  • WooCommerce is easy-to-use for business owners with all levels of technical acumen.
  • Magento has a narrower extension and plugin repository than WooCommerce. Setting up extensions, plugins, and themes is simpler and more intuitive on WooCommerce.

Pricing 

When it comes to cost, WooCommerce outshines Magento with its affordability. While Adobe Commerce offers both free and paid versions, the free Magento Open Source comes with limited functionality and lacks support. To unlock the full potential of Magento, businesses often need to invest thousands of dollars in development and maintenance costs. 

However, if you’re willing to shell out reasonably, you can access the vast potential of Magento through one of its paid editions: 

  • Adobe Commerce Pro (Formerly Magento Commerce): This premium option, meant for merchants of all sizes or business models, offers more features and support as compared to Magento Open Source by Adobe Commerce. It is typically adopted by larger businesses, given the higher monthly costs associated with it.
  • Adobe Commerce Cloud or Managed Services (Formerly Magento Commerce Cloud): This premium version provides the same features as the Commerce Pro Edition but eliminates the need for self-hosting. It offers expert services for your Magento store.
Comparing the Two E-commerce Platforms: WooCommerce and Magento
Estimated Magento Costs as per Edition(Source: Image from Firebear Studio

On the other hand, WooCommerce is entirely open-source and free. You can build a fully functional online store with hosting and a domain name for as little as $135 per year. 

In a Nutshell

  • Adobe Commerce offers three editions of Magento: 
  • Magento Open Source (free to use).

And subscription-based editions: 

  • Adobe Commerce Pro (formerly known as Magento Commerce, fit for B2C and B2B business owners with more extensive operations).
  • Adobe Managed Services/Commerce Cloud (formerly known as Magento Commerce Cloud, fit for those looking for outsourced hosting, optimization, and more).
  • WooCommerce is fully free and open-source.

Support

While Magento provides customer support for its paid version, the documentation is primarily geared towards developers.

However, WooCommerce offers extensive documentation tailored to store owners of all skill levels. The vibrant WordPress community, including Happiness Engineers and developers, actively monitors support forums, ensuring that users receive the assistance they need. Users of WooCommerce can receive support directly from plugin and theme authors as well. Additionally, WooCommerce provides a support ticket system for paid extensions and themes, connecting users directly with WooCommerce Happiness Engineers.

In a Nutshell

  • Magento provides reasonable customer support only for paid editions.
  • WooCommerce has a rich ecosystem of support, from forums to meetups and plugin authors.

Scalability 

Magento is recognized for its speed and scalability, surpassing WooCommerce in these aspects. Its architecture, design, and features are mindfully designed to handle high volumes of traffic, large product catalogs and SKUs, and complex e-commerce requirements. This makes it a preferred choice for enterprise-level businesses.

Additionally, Magento provides a comprehensive reporting system that offers detailed insights to store owners, allowing them to make wise and positive decisions and optimize their operations. While Magento performs well in these areas, it’s important to understand that its management and modification may require more technical expertise and a skilled team.

Let’s consider WooCommerce now. It offers a user-friendly and accessible platform businesses can scale as required. However, WooCommerce is not as robust in terms of scaling as Magento and often requires more effort and expertise to scale and maintain. It also does not offer an in-built system for gaining insights that are as efficient as Magento’s. Constant optimizations are also necessary to prevent issues like slow site loading speed. 

Despite this, its integration with WordPress and the extensive availability of seamlessly functional plugins make it an excellent choice for SMEs. WooCommerce provides a wide range of extensions designed to enhance scalability, making it accessible to beginners and budget-conscious businesses. With various extensions, businesses can keep their costs relatively lower while benefiting from the platform’s scalability features. WooCommerce’s Scaling FAQ further provides valuable insights into the factors that influence its ability to scale effectively with your business. 

However, it is worth noting that Magento outshines WooCommerce in terms of scalability, albeit at a relatively higher cost.

Ultimately, Magento’s superior speed, scalability, and reporting capabilities make it a compelling option when considering enterprise-level stores with complex requirements. However, it’s vital for store owners to have the necessary technical knowledge or access to skilled teams to handle the intricacies of Magento. 

WooCommerce, on the other hand, provides a more straightforward and user-friendly experience that is easier to maintain, making it a popular choice for businesses that prioritize ease of use.

In a Nutshell

  • Magento is more scalable and better for enterprises but requires technical expertise and comes at a higher cost.
  • WooCommerce is affordable to scale, fit for SMEs and those who lack technical expertise.

Read Related: Shopify vs. WooCommerce: Which is Better?

Why is WooCommerce Better than Magento?

When it comes to choosing the ideal e-commerce platform for SMEs and those who prioritize ease of use, WooCommerce emerges as a compelling option over Magento. WooCommerce also emerges as the more cost-effective and user-supporting option. We drew this conclusion based on a comprehensive and multi-faceted assessment of both platforms. You may want to consider migrating! 

However, the case may be different if you’re a significant enterprise-level business. Magento, with its more robust design geared towards handling big businesses, might be a better fit. You may need a dedicated team of developers or managers with technical expertise for smooth functioning. 

Migrating from Magento to WooCommerce

If the Magento vs. WooCommerce debate has convinced you of the advantages of the latter, you may be looking to migrate. Migrating from Magento to WooCommerce requires careful consideration and technical expertise due to the underlying technology differences between the two platforms. 

Unless you have significant coding, server, and database management experience, it is not recommended to undertake the migration process independently. A single misstep during the migration can result in extensive work and valuable customer data loss. Therefore, creating comprehensive backups of all your Magento store data is important before proceeding. 

Let’s explore the migration process in relative briefness.

Step 1: Backup your Magento store’s database.

Before initiating the migration, ensure your Magento store’s database is up to date and securely backed up. This precautionary step is essential to prevent any potential data loss. To perform a data backup in Magento 2, follow these steps:

  • Access the Magento Admin Panel and navigate to Select > Tools > Backup.
  • Choose the appropriate backup type, such as System Backup, Database, or Database and Media Backup.
  • Configure the backup options according to your requirements.
  • Assign a descriptive name to the backup file for future reference. Optionally, enable maintenance mode during the backup process to avoid any data modifications.
  • After the backup process completes, Magento will automatically disable maintenance mode, and you will receive a notification.
Backup your Magento store's database.
Backing Up Your Magento 2 Store. (Source: Image from Mageplaza)

Step 2: Create your new WooCommerce store.

Once you’re done backing up your Magento database, you can go on and set up your WooCommerce store. Follow the provided guidelines from WooCommerce to establish your new store.

Step 3: Manual import/export.

The manual import/export method (although cost-free) requires careful execution. You’ll have to export data from your existing Magento store. This data includes everything from products, customer details, coupons, orders, and more. Then, import them into your new WooCommerce store. 

It is crucial to exercise caution, especially when dealing with larger databases and complex product structures, as data connections can sometimes be lost during the export/import process. 

To manually migrate product data from Magento to WooCommerce, follow the steps below. Please note that this is a simplified guide focusing on product data migration, and you will also need to apply similar steps for other data points.

  1. Export product data from Magento in CSV/Excel format. Consult the Magento documentation for detailed instructions on exporting data, including filters and attributes.
A screenshot showing how to export data from Magento
Exporting Data from Magento
  1. Access the WooCommerce Products section in your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Select “Import” from the top menu, which will open the built-in product CSV importer.
A screenshot showing how to export data from Magento
Importing Product Data into WooCommerce (Source: Image from WooCommerce)
  1. Choose the CSV file exported from Magento by clicking “Choose File” and selecting the appropriate file. Then, proceed by clicking “Next.”
  2. On the Column Mapping screen, WooCommerce will attempt automatic column matching between the Magento CSV file and the corresponding WooCommerce product fields. Adjust the mappings manually if required.
  3. Select the “Run the Importer” option and wait for the process to complete.
  4. Repeat these steps for other CSV files containing different data points, ensuring accurate mapping and successful import.

It is essential to thoroughly test and verify the migrated data to ensure your website’s design and functionality remain intact. If you lack the necessary expertise to execute the migration successfully, consider seeking professional assistance to avoid potential pitfalls and challenges.

Cart2Cart Alternative for Magento to WooCommerce Migration

The Cart2Cart extension may make things easier for you. You can use it to migrate from Magento to WooCommerce while your Magento store runs in the background, saving you the pain of lost time and revenue.

Using Cart2Cart for Magento to WooCommerce migration can help you migrate all of your data in a few easy steps. Keep in mind that this is a brief version of the entire process. It is advisable to go through the detailed instructions on the Cart2Cart website.

  • Connect your Source Cart (Magento) by providing your current URL and API details.
Using Cart2Cart for Magento to WooCommerce Migration
  • Connect your Target Cart (WooCommerce) by installing the required Connection Bridge on your WordPress site manually or automatically.
  • Choose the data you want to migrate, select the relevant data types, and map them to the corresponding WooCommerce fields.
  • Launch the migration and wait for it to complete. The duration may vary depending on the size of your website.

Your migration will then be complete. Run tests, and you can begin using WooCommerce for your online business. 

For a side-by-side comparison of major e-commerce platforms read: Wix vs Shopify vs WooCommerce vs BigCommerce vs Magento vs OpenCart

Endnotes: Finding the Right Fit

Choosing between Magento and WooCommerce ultimately depends on your specific business needs, budget, and technical expertise. Both platforms perform well in terms of flexibility and support systems. 

However, WooCommerce emerges as the victor if your priority is affordability, user-friendliness, and its integration with the WordPress ecosystem. On the other hand, Magento wins if you’re looking for a powerful e-commerce platform to handle enterprise-level operations and high flexibility.  Its highly efficient and scalable nature is an advantage, especially if you possess technical skills or are ready to hire a dedicated team of developers or managers. 

Browse more in: Ecommerce Platforms, WooCommerce How Tos, WooCommerce Tutorials

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