Magento and the WooCommerce plugin. WooCommerce is a plugin for the WordPress (WP) Content Management System that’s used by up to 380,000 online retailers around the world, and Magento is a standalone product owned by eBay, with around 240-250,000 online retailers using the service. Considering how WordPress and Magento both have a significant market share in the E-commerce software world, there has to be some distinguishing features that separate the two. Let’s have a quick look at the pros and cons of WooCommerce and Magento.
Both WooCommerce and Magento are open-source software. What this means is that you can easily take the ‘source code’ of the software and customise it to your own specification, without having to worry about copyright or other laws affecting copying another’s work. This is part of the reason why they’re so popular, as a lively community of programmers can contribute to the improvement of the base product while working on their own version.
Both Magento and WooCommerce use a ‘Freemium’ price model for additional features and upgrades to the base product. The costs can start to add up here, but the basic version will usually suit your needs just fine.
Due to being a WordPress plugin, it’s far less hassle to set up a WordPress website with WooCommerce than Magento, as WooCommerce won’t complicate your website plan and drag load times down. In general, WooCommerce is beginner-friendly and has a helpful video tutorial series on its website, as well as an active community that can help you with just about anything. If you’re teach-savvy enough, you can just skip the middle-man approach and install the plugins yourself.
The slightly larger user base of WooCommerce is also an advantage, in that WordPress developers are much easier to find than Magento specialists, as you may need a developer to handle installing any other plugins you need on the site. By contrast, Magento can involve some additional tweaking and messing around to get working.
The main complaint with WooCommerce is that it isn’t as customisable or deep as competing products, such as Magento. There are also some inconsistencies with how WooCommerce updates itself compared to other WordPress plugins, which might break the site if you’re particularly unlucky.
Magento at first is very easy to set up, coming with a full installation wizard and a wealth of tutorials in video and text. But things get more complicated when you want to add extensions to your site. In some ways, Magento’s biggest weakness is also its strength: its lack of user-friendliness is because it offers more functionality that wouldn’t work on WooCommerce’s software.
Just with a basic “Community” pack, you can cross-sell or up-sell your products, compare products, add discount codes, and use an advanced filter to navigate your products. Plus, if you have more than one store, you can view them all on the same account. This is great for creating localized versions of your store. So if you’re looking to run a more complicated service, Magento is the perfect E-commerce package for you.
Magento’s biggest weakness is that it’s complicated once you get into the nitty-gritty of it. Magento specialists don’t come cheap and it’s hard to learn how to use it by yourself. If you’re running a startup site, WooCommerce is a better choice as it comes with less features, but it’s much easier to use.
Ultimately, what you choose is up to you. WooCommerce is best for small-to-medium businesses or hobbyist websites, as it’s cheaper, easier to use and people can help you more readily with any problems, while Magento is best for established E-commerce businesses. At Chetaru, we can provide CMS support for your website, including WordPress and Magento Website Development, in a time and cost-efficient service you can’t get anywhere else.