If you’re a medium to large ecommerce business looking to create a scalable and feature-rich online store, Magento is a better choice for you due to its flexibility, rich functionality, SEO-friendliness, and wider community support. Shopify, in turn, is ideal for beginners, as it’s easier to use and provides 24/7 support on hand.
Magento or Shopify: which to choose?
The main difference between the two platforms is that Magento is self-hosted, while Shopify is hosted. This means that Shopify provides hosting on their servers to all clients for no additional costs besides those included in monthly payment, starting from $29 for the Basic plan to $299 for the Advanced plan.
Meanwhile Magento Open Source is free to use, but requires additional payment for managed or unmanaged hosting, the cost of which starts from $50–120 per month. There are also free Magento hostings, however, they’re incapable of supporting live traffic and cannot be recommended for those looking for high performance and scalability.
In terms of functionality, there is no one like Magento. Being one of the most feature-rich ecommerce platforms, Magento is able to provide greater functionality than Shopify’s Advanced plan at a fraction of the cost. Many of Magento’s features are built into the system, while in Shopify, merchants often need to install extensions to get additional functionality.
For instance, Magento offers built-in multilingual store support, thus allowing merchants to create online stores in multiple languages from start. While Shopify offers limited multilingual capabilities: one should use a third-party extension or customize the code to create a store in more than one language.
Ease of use
Shopify is far easier to use than Magento. All merchants regardless of their technical skills can build and manage a Shopify store by themselves, as it has a simple user interface and drag-and-drop website builder. As for Magento, its installation and configuration requires some technical skills or even hiring a Magento development agency. However, the flexibility and customizability that Magento users get back are worth it.
Moving on to customizability, Magento is definitely second to none. Merchants can customize their websites’ design, content, and functionality in every way possible to meet their particular business needs. Shopify stores are mostly resembling each other as they are built with standardized web templates, which makes it difficult for businesses to stand out from the crowd. Magento stores are more flexible in terms of design and help to create a unique shopping experience.
As for SEO friendliness, both Magento and Shopify provide ample SEO capabilities to ensure high visibility of an ecommerce store and its content on search engine results pages. Merchants can edit image alt tags, customize page URLs and titles, set canonical tags, and configure 301 redirects thanks to in-built SEO features. It should be noted, however, that Shopify is a little bit more reliant on extensions than Magento for its SEO.
Magento and Shopify are two of the most popular ecommerce platforms on the market, suggesting that both are great for running an online business. Choosing the right platform depends on how large your business is and what your needs and requirements are.