If we compare two popular ecommerce platforms — Magento and OpenCart —Magento is better in many aspects: functionality, security, SEO, customizability, and community support. For these reasons, Magento is the preferred choice for over 204,000 businesses worldwide and one of the top three ecommerce platforms. OpenCart is a good option for beginners since it’s also free and easy to use.
Magento and OpenCart are both PHP-based ecommerce platforms designed to help online businesses build and manage their web stores. The platforms have many similar features, which sometimes makes it hard for ecommerce store owners to choose between the two. Both Magento and OpenCart are open-source, thus allowing developers to modify the source code in any way they want: enhance functionality, fix bugs, and customize to meet their needs. They both have free plans, making them attractive for small businesses who can use Magento Open Source and OpenCart with zero monthly fees.
Features & functionality
As for the functionality, they have a lot in common too. Magento and OpenCart provide an easy and convenient way to add products by using templates: store owners just need to fill in the required fields with product information and publish products to the site. Furthermore, both platforms support multiple store management and allow their users to make recurring payments.
However, OpenCart is lagging behind Magento in the number of functions and features it offers. Being one of the most feature-rich platforms, Magento offers the most advanced catalog management functionality with unlimited products, categories, and attributes, what’s missing in OpenCart. It also provides limitless marketing and promotion opportunities, including flexible coupons that can be restricted to stores, customer groups, time periods, products, and categories.
Another essential feature of Magento is mobile readiness: responsive themes, mobile-friendly checkout, PWAs are built into the platform for developers to create a mobile-optimized site quickly and easily so that customers could use it even when they’re on the go. Taking into consideration the fact that nearly 50% of sales come from mobile shopping nowadays, the importance of mobile readiness cannot be underestimated.
Apart from this, Magento is highly robust and allows supporting stores with huge traffic volumes and lots of products.
Moving on to the differences between Magento and OpenCart, it’s worth noting SEO. Magento provides powerful SEO features, allowing its users to automatically generate sitemaps, create search engine friendly URLs, and automatically generate popular search term pages to allow Magento stores rank high on search engines.
By contrast, in OpenCart SEO functionality leaves much to be desired. It only provides a limited number of basic features such as editing meta tags or adding 301 redirects. To get more advanced features, OpenCart users need to install additional SEO extensions. So does Magento, but its out-of-the-box SEO functionality is much richer.
When it comes to security, Magento is the real winner. Magento team regularly releases security updates and patches to protect storefronts against known and newly emerging threats and hacker attacks. Hence, Magento store owners and their clients can rest assured that sensitive data and credit card information won’t be compromised. To achieve additional security, one can use the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate and Web Application Firewall (WAF) in Magento 2 stores. Extension security is taken seriously too: Magento extensions must be PCI compliant and meet rigorous security standards to become available on Magento Marketplace.
OpenCart is trying to keep up with the protection against cybersecurity threats and provides merchants with an official document describing best security practices to follow. However, OpenCart extensions are less trusted and safe since they aren’t monitored so scrupulously as Magento extensions are.
The Magento community is over 300,000 developers worldwide, who constantly share their knowledge and provide answers to popular questions online on Magento forums. Whenever merchants or developers need a solution to their problems, they can address a Help Center for free tutorials and user guides.
OpenCart provides free community support by means of forums as well, but its community is three times smaller in comparison to Magento, and, respectively, provides fewer resources needed to troubleshoot website issues.
Magento and OpenCart have their strengths and weaknesses, that should be carefully evaluated by merchants to choose the most suitable solution for their ecommerce business. If you don’t need a complex storefront, you should opt for OpenCart, which is lightweight, free, and requires virtually no technical knowledge to use it. If you need more advanced features and want to create a beautiful and highly robust website with the potential to scale your business in the future, Magento is the right choice for you.