Magento Vs Shopify? This is the age old debate which has been going on for many years now. A battle of 2 behemoths; these two have dominated the web development industry in an unparalleled fashion. This is our attempt to dissect this to the T and figure out which is which for once.
Also, when it comes to picking a suitable e-commerce platform, you’re not only deciding a particular vendor; you’re in a way shaping up the future of your business. And leaps of faith don’t work here anymore; you need to make an informed calculated decision, one that is detrimental to the success of your business vision. You’ll have to dig deep and research and make sure you don’t fall prey at the hands of the so-called marketers out there.
Magento Vs Shopify – A Prelude
One of the most common myths in this industry is that both the platforms are fairly similar. Right off the bat, it is crucial to know that they might serve the same purpose, but in every small detail, they are strikingly different like payment options, functionalities, core structure, etc.
Magento is arguably the most popular e-commerce platform in the world. It is a self-hosted solution empowering millions of stores across the world irrespective of the company size. It is an open source platform offering premium (Enterprise) and free versions (community).
Shopify is a hosted solution focusing on those businesses which aren’t too concerned with the technical facets of different matters. All one needs to do is pay a subscription fee on a monthly basis in return for a shared hosting space. The e-commerce builder makes the process of creating online stores fairly seamless.
After we’ve established a pre-requisite, let’s focus on what makes Shopify and Magento so different and similar at the same time:
Call it like you see it but there’s no denying the fan following of both the platforms. Ask any Magento development company out there about why they started the business in the first place and they’ll have only one answer for you – International acceptance. According to a recent survey, there are over 2,40,000 different domains registered on Shopify whereas no less than 1,60,000 websites have been powered by Magento.
However, there’s almost a clear distinction between the type of businesses opting for either of them. Shopify attracts smaller online stores a whole lot more whereas the latter is more popular when it comes to medium or large sized businesses.
Payment Gateway Facility
One thing that just can’t be overlooked whilst creating an online e-commerce store is the simplicity of the payment gateway. Shopify combines popular payment options with a custom solution for the end user whereas Magento executes the same thing with the help of modules. There’s a presence of a wide array of modules and add-ons for payment configuration and integration.
Matter of Themes and Templates
Both Magento and Shopify offer a repertoire of themes and templates for you to work on. You might want to put the process to hire Magento developer on hold for a bit if you have a lack of clarity. In such a case, opting for a Shopify theme will prove to be better for you as they’re easy to install and modify. Magento’s collection is wider in all fairness and offers premium themes as well instead of the standard free ones.
Magento themes are generally more complex offering good levels of customization whilst maintaining the flexibility quotient intact. Ergo, if quick deployment is the need of the hour, opt for Shopify.
Hosting & Customization
This is one of the most critical differences between the two. Every Magento development service will try to reel you in by pointing out that Magento is a self-hosted platform i.e. you are in absolute control of the choice of hosting and the kind of servers in place. Shopify being a hosted solution doesn’t call for a lot of technical expertise. This is why the prospects of making store-level customizations is bleak, since you can’t freely access the source code, as is the case with Magento.
Magento being an open-source platform makes room for endless customization possibilities, putting the ball in your court as you can make modifications at will.
Before you hire Magento programmer, you need to know that it uses PHP through and through whereas Shopify uses Liquid (another programming language). As we’ve stated before, Shopify is proprietary whereas Magento is an open-source platform. Due to this, you can’t tamper with the code or make instantaneous customizations in Shopify, which makes it an ideal solution for smaller and simpler online stores. For bigger sized and more complex stores, Magento fits the bill.
The Case of Inventory Management:
As part of the standard features given by both platforms, you will get categorizing, filtering, inventory importing, pricing and product variations. Shopify hosts a simple inventory wherein you’ll get advanced features like discounts for registered users, promotional sales, etc. Magento isn’t too dissimilar to this minus the advanced feature-set. Eg. You can opt for multiple variation possibilities like product colors and sizes or make use of third-party services in case of a larger distribution network.
Up to a certain point, both of the platforms are extremely user friendly, which is common knowledge given their international popularity. However, what Shopify loses in terms of customization is what it gains when user-friendliness enters the picture. You can modify basic store attributes using drag-and-drop interface and easy-to-use toolkit. Magento as complex and flexible as it is, compromises on the user-friendliness bit as it has to accommodate a huge range of customizable aspects and elements.
a) Speed & Performance – Since Shopify is a hosted solution, page loading speed and performance are beyond your worries, but you have no control on these matters. Magento is renowned for its performance-based tweaks and you can choose your own hosting/server according to your needs.
b) Add-ons – Magento offers a lot more in terms of add-ons, extensions and functionalities than its counterpart.
c) SEO – Because of its open source nature, Magento platforms offer a lot more promise in terms of SEO, as the source is editable and you can make server-level configurations easily which is not the case with Shopify.
d) Customer Support – Magento has a community-based support system whereas Shopify comes with dedicated customer service.
After all that has been said and done, both platforms can be put to good use irrespective of the business type or size. However, if the business is small and simple, Shopify is your best bet and in medium-large sized businesses involving complexity, there’s none better than Magento.
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