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Magento vs Shopify - Which One Should I Use?

Posted by Aalia Khan on April 25, 2019

Ecommerce, Magento, Shopify

Shopify vs Magento, for the ecommerce world, is a discussion as redundant as the iPhone vs Android wars within the tech-geek community. Both have their pros and cons but at the end of the day, a disadvantage for another person could be an advantage for you. Instead of jotting down the pros and cons of the platforms like we’re biased, siding up with what we already prefer, we began analyzing the people who choose to go for one over the other. Unlike a personality test, we won’t tell you that your spirit animal is a monkey and you must be naughty. We’ll just let you know if you’re the kind of person who’d go for Shopify or Magento.

If you’re a Shopify person…

1. You don’t necessarily have a tech-related background

2. You will not want to bother with coding or starting anything from scratch

3. You want it done really fast

4. You want something really easy to navigate and set up, with a lot of amazing options to choose from. If you face any problem, you should have support instantly that could help you get through the issue

5. You do not want to invest too much money into it AND also get the quality from you eCommerce platform

6. You don’t want to have the burden of arranging or paying for a server or worrying about bandwidth

7. You don’t want to worry about security and data protection and want it done for you

8. If you find something is missing, you just want to buy an app, theme or plug-in instead of going through any effort of creating something or having someone do it for you.

9. Have everything available, from the blogging options, layouts to choosing from to payment options

10. Have SEO managed

If you really are a Shopify person, you should feel excited right now, because Shopify will offer you all of the above, if you’re looking for it. Well, not as excited as one would get over finding a scrumptious meal after a day of starving, but the uplifting feeling- “Yes, this sounds great!” So, how do the features relate to those characteristics?

  1. It’s easy to use

The simplicity and ease of use is basically due to everything been done beforehand for you. The coding, the website building- everything at the back-end. All you need to do is choose your theme from 60 available themes that are all mobile-optimised, decide the features, colours, layout you want, etc. and have it up and running within 24 hours! You don’t even have to integrate any payment option into it, arrange for a server, a whole team or a lot of money to see your e-store going live. That’s why a lot of people have started using Shopify- because practically anyone can do it. It’s not only easy to use, but it’s easy for people to navigate and find items on those websites, thanks to the SEO functions similar to Magento, but slightly cheaper.

2. Time

Naturally, the time it takes for a Shopify website to be up would be less, when you sign up to something that’s basically a DIY kit with every necessity already available.

3. Costs

It’s definitely less costly, and there are no additional, hidden costs. The server and bandwidth is managed, so is security. You will basically get a complete package of everything a proper eCommerce store should have. If you want something beyond that, there are more than 60 themes to choose from, and a wide range of apps to take advantage of. However, going from custom-made themes or apps could have additional costs.

Lite Plan: $9

Basic Shopify Plan: $29

Shopify Plan: $79

Advanced Shopify Plan: $299

These are all monthly. It also has a 14 day free trial.

4. Data Protection and Security

Since Shopify takes total responsibility of these, you don’t have to worry at all. What’s the worst that can happen if they fail to protect your website? Well, you’ll sue them, and that’s never happened and not what any reputable company wants. So you’re good!

5. The In-built Payment Processor

Since the payment option is integrated, you don’t really have to add any third party payment option or pay for any fees or share profit with them. You can and have all the revenue you generate.

If you find yourself shaking your head at this, it means that you might be a Magento person, the pros actually being the cons for you. Here is a contrast of the Magento features and the ways it’s different:

1. Magento is open-source and more flexible

Since everything is readily done for you, and if you’re a very particular person, you may not have as much control over exactly how you want your website to be. Shopify is, to an extent, but since it’s not an open-source website, it does limit you at some point. Magento, however, is an open source website, which means you can have total control over how it looks like and how you want it to work. With Magento, you’re a free bird! Yes, it takes longer to set-up a Magento website, but you’ll have a hand in every minute detail, making it as rich and complex as you want, with no limitations. Yes, you’ll have 12 themes for Magento (both free and paid) with 10 of them being mobile optimized. The themes here, however, are fully customizable, with no hindrances, adding way more flexibility. Magento has a wider range of plug-ins and more complex extensions.

3. The advantage of not having an inbuilt payment processor.

Magento doesn’t have an inbuilt payment processor. Connecting to other options like PayPal takes absolutely no time, giving a lot of people several accessible or preferable payment options.

4. The coveted multilingual option

It’s got the multilingual option, and you can have your Magento website in around 80 languages! Still not excited? Well, take a look at these statistics and re-think:

· 72.4% of worldwide consumers emphasized that they prefer to use their native language when shopping online.

· 52.4% customers buy only at websites where the information is presented in their language.

· 56.2% of customers confessed that having information in their native language is even more important than the price.

5. Costs

Coming to costs- while Magento is free, you tend to start facing a lot of other hidden costs- maintenance costs, adding plug-ins, upgrading the web host, or using help from an outsourced development team. However, if you manage it really well, it could add a lot of value to your investment.

6. Web Hosting

Now, Magento will not arrange for web-hosting, but this can be to your advantage. A good web host would cost you around $40 a month. You can always adjust the bandwidth to ensure you have the solutions for the requirements you recognize. In fact, it’s not really true that there’s absolutely no web hosting offered by Magento. Do check Adobe Commerce Cloud, which can be now be integrated with Magento

7. Data Protection and Security

Now, one would think that if you have got to arrange for your own web host, and Magento doesn’t come with guarantees protecting, it makes your website less secure. That’s not exactly true. Magento offers a lot of extensions to make it secure. It can be secure, but you have to make an effort. Magento Security Scan Tool is an excellent tool offered by Magento. It monitors your sites for security risks, updates malware patches, and detects unauthorized access.

To test my theory, I interviewed a developer, Haseeb. Of course, we could guess that he’d go for Magento, but the theory finally had some support after he said, “Magento.” I still went on and asked more questions:

What kinds of users typically use Magento?

It’s a heavy system that requires a big budget. To buy a VPS, it could take around $250. Technical people would use Magento. It’s the most feature-rich software, it’s got a complex CMS and an open source CMS, which they could customise to their heart’s content.

What would be at least one advantage and disadvantage Magento has, compared to Shopify.

The advantage is complete flexibility on changing any core feature, while Shopify won’t allow you to do that. You have to buy a compatible hosting. It’s a resource-hungry CMS. You will have to have a VPS plan. You have to invest a lot. You have to find a good server that can run Magento. Once you’ve purchased it, you have to hire a developer to manage it. You don’t need a developer or hosting for Shopify. And Shopify’s developers will set it up for you. Less stress!

So now, it should be way easier to decide which one to go for, based on what you need from an eCommerce platform, and how much you feel you want to meddle with it on the basic level, in the behind-the-scenes, technical part of your eCommerce journey.