When it comes to running your own online store, you will without a doubt need to decide which content management system and shopping cart to use. There’s many options, but only a few are really worthy of your money and time.
In this article, we will compare WordPress against Magento. Although one is clearly just a shopping cart platform (Magento), the other one can do pretty much anything you want (WordPress). And despire the fact that WordPress started as solely a blogging platform, it has evolved into much more than that.
If you are looking for software platform to run your website, the choice is rather easy. WordPress is the way to go. In 99% of the time, WordPress will be the perfect choice. It has a really simple and intutitive administrative interface and gives the website owner a lot of control over every aspect of the website.
There are also literally thousands of WordPress themes and extensions, many of which are free. If you’re looking for really professional themes, I would recommend either buying one from ThemeForest or hiring a web design company to develop a custom one for you.
Ok, so now that we decided WordPress rules non e-commerce, what’s the verdict when it comes to e-commerce websites? That answer is much more complex and varies on what your individual needs are.
For example, if you are looking for a simple store to sell a few products or digital goods, then WordPress and WooCommerce extension are probably the best you can get. If, on the other hand, you need a much more shopping cart-centric product with many e-commerce features out of the box, then Magento might be the way to go.
The only problem with Magento is that it is considerably slower than WordPress and most developers do not like working with it due to the way it was coded. Developing Magento themes is much more difficult and time-consuming than developing WordPress themes.
So if I had to choose a platform to run my own personal e-commerce store, I would choose WordPress and WooCommerce plugin over Magento. If I didn’t want to worry about hosting my own store, I would simply opt for software such as Shopify.
Shopify is sort of the best of both worlds. It is exteremly simple and easy to use, yet developers still feel comfortable working in it and making enhancements to it. The downside of Shopify is that it has a monthly fee, so if you’re trying to avoid that, it won’t be the answer to your problem.
Comparison of Features
Below are some of the most important features that are included out of the box with WordPress + WooCommerce and Magento. It’s important to understand that both platforms have many extensions so you could technically do the same thing with both, it just might take more money or time.
|Feature||WordPress + WooCommerce||Magento|
|Basic Shopping Cart Functionality||Yes||Yes|
|Accept Payments Right Away||Yes||Yes|
|Configure Shipping and Tax Rates||Yes||Yes|
|Full-Featured Blogging Platform||Yes||No|
|Many Themes Available||Yes||Yes|
|Many Extensions Available||Yes||Yes|
|Mainly Shopping Cart Platform||No||Yes|
As you can see, both platforms offer very similar functionality and either one you choose can get you to your goals. However, WordPress + WooCommerce is generally a better option because it gets more frequent updates, it is much easier to use and setup., and is much future-proof.
Although WordPress is not natively a shopping cart platform, that can be an advantage too, because it does everything else better than Magento. Blogging with Magento using various extensions is generally clunky and not a pleasant experience.
And if you get sick of WooCommerce, you can simply choose a different e-commerce extension such as Cart66, Exchange, Jigoshop, and WP eCommerce. With Magento, you would need to change the entire platform, which could be a huge undertaking depending on how your store is set up and how many products you have.