When developing an ecommerce site, it can be difficult to choose the right platform. There are so many to choose from, each with its own pros and cons. Just reviewing the vast number of platforms can be a dizzying experience!
If you’re getting ready to create an ecommerce site, and have no idea which platform to use, we’ll help narrow the field for you. This article will focus on two of the most popular platforms to create your ecommerce site. We’ll look at Magneto and WordPress, including a review of their pros and cons.
Both of these platforms are popular for a reason—they’re both powerful and versatile when it comes to building sites.
Before we delve into these platforms, let’s take a look at what you need to consider before choosing the platform that’s best for your site.
WordPress + WooCommerce
WordPress is a free opensource platform that’s based on PHP and MySQL. This platform is versatile when it comes to choosing a hosting service, as it works almost everywhere on the we b. In addition, it’s one of the easiest when it comes to adding and maintaining site content, such as blogs, etc.
This platform is also very popular with theme and plugin developers. As a result, you’ll find a wide range of themes and plugins, many of them free, to use for your site. And you don’t have to worry when it comes to quality—even the free offerings are high-quality and help to make your site more versatile.
One of the most powerful plugins for ecommerce sites is WooCommerce. With this plugin, your ecommerce site will be hot competition for sites that use other platforms.
Magneto is another popular choice; in fact, this is a platform dedicated to ecommerce. It used to be owned by eBay but was bought by Adobe in 2018. The community edition is free and opensource, making it available to anyone who wants to create a great ecommerce site.
Built to handle the complexity of online shops that offer lots of products (over 500, to be precise), it features product comparisons, multi-store management, vouchers and discounts, and more. In addition, you’ll find a multitude of plugins of all types to make your site even more versatile and functional.
Pros and Cons of WordPress & Magneto
Each platform has much to offer, but let’s take a look at the pros and cons to help give you more information to make a more informed choice. Sometimes a side-by-side comparison helps:
WordPress + WooCommerce Pros
1). Modifying or changing a site’s look is fast and easy: WordPress makes it fast and easy to change the look and feel of your site. Just review the themes on offer, directly from within your WordPress dashboard, click on one you like, and you’re done. Fast and easy.
2). Updates: WordPress is regularly updated, keeping website vulnerability to a minimum as long as you choose to keep the platform updated.
3). Free or low-priced options: the platform is free to use. You only have to pay for hosting and for some plugins.
4). Documentation & community: you’ll find WordPress offers documentation, even with WooCommerce, and there’s support from the community when you need it.
5). Analytics: easily works with Google Analytics when using an extension.
WordPress + WooCommerce Cons:
1). Use of two platforms: you’ll have to learn both WordPress and WooCommerce.
2). Plugin vendors can be bad: as with any marketplace, you’ll find those who are on the dark side; sad to say, but it’s true. Some plugin vendors are not trustworthy, so when choosing plugins only choose those directly offered in the WordPress marketplace. Avoid third-party plugin marketplaces like the plague.
3). Security: being a popular platform, WordPress has become a favourite target of hackers.
1). Community: you’ll find a large community here that’s ready and happy to be helpful, just like WordPress.
2). Wide variety of features: you’ll find a multitude of features, such as the ability to create websites in different languages, currencies, prices and even locations.
3). Flexible: this platform allows you to customise the codebase as you’d like. You can create any type of ecommerce site the help of third-party plugins and APIs.
4). Mobile-friendly: Magneto caters to the creation of mobile-friendly and responsive sites. Your site will look beautiful and stunning on any size screen—from smartphones to desktops.
5). Scalable: if you want to start small and expand when you’re ready, Magneto allows you to easily to do this. Grow you site naturally and easily.
1). Price: this platform is free, but if you need an enterprise version for a large site, you’ll have to pay and it’s not cheap.
2). Customization can slow load-speeds: while you have the versatility to customise your site with Magneto, some of the extension and plugins have been known to slow down site load speeds. This is a huge drawback—if your site is slow to load, you’ll lose site visitors and receive a penalty from the search engines (meaning your site will rank lower).
3). Hosting: shared hosting can also cause your site to load slowly, leading to a bad UX. To avoid this problem, developers usually choose to use a dedicated server or VPS.
As you can see, each platform offers pros and cons, so how do you choose which one to use for your site? We’ve put together a list of questions that can help you choose between Magneto or WordPress + WooCommerce and which is best for your site.
Questions to Ask to Choose the Right Platform
Here are some questions you should ask yourself before making the decision which platform is best for your site. It may help if you write the answers down—use pen and paper, a spreadsheet or a Word doc—whatever works for you. Writing it all down makes it easier to read through your answers, making the decision process a little faster.
1). What’s your site’s purpose? The very first question and one of the most important to ask yourself! Will your site provide company services? Will it sell virtual products, physical products, or a combination of both? Will the site offer a multi-vendor marketplace?
- Both Magneto and WordPress and Magneto work well for these types of sites. For example, while WordPress might be a good choice for a multi-vendor marketplace, Magneto is usually the better choice. This platform is better fit to the complex solutions necessary on such an ecommerce site.
- While Magneto can work with virtual sales, WordPress is the better choice. It’s easy and fast to set up digital downloads, tracking orders and more.
- Company service sites can work with either platform, but Magneto has built-in tools for these types of sites. WordPress requires additional plugins, which makes the process a little less straightforward.
- Sites selling physical products can be done with either platform; however, if your site has over 500 products, Magneto is the better option.
2). Questions about your ecommerce site:
- How many products will it offer? Will it have over 500 products?
- Will you need to integrate a POS system with your store?
- Will you have high rates of traffic from the beginning?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, Magneto will be the better option for your site.
3). More questions to ask about your site:
- Will your site have a small number of products—say, under 500?
- Do you have a small budget for creating your site?
- Do you want to keep things simple with minimal customisation of your site’s theme?
- Will you need to add content, such as a blog?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, then you’ll be better of choosing WordPress for your site.
WordPress + WooCommerce and Magneto are great options for ecommerce sites. Which one you choose depends on the size of your online store, your web development budget, etc. We hope this guide has helped you decide on which platform is the best choice for your ecommerce site.