Shopify Vs Magento: Which one is better for my business?

shopify vs magento

When it comes to building an online shopping store, Magento and Shopify are your one stop solution to create, manage and operate your business with ease.

With over 500,000 online stores under it’s umbrella, Shopify is universally know for it’s interactive themes, ease of use and excellent customer support. While it offers abundant of features for it’s users to customize their cart to best suit their requirements, it also rids them from the trouble of server maintenance. The hosting and security are taken care of, and it costs you a monthly subscription fee.

While Shopify is a SaaS solution, Magento is an open-source solution for the merchants. With over 240,000 clients worldwide, Magento online offers a ton of features to customize your cart completely free.

While both tech giants share a common market, they differ in terms of pricing, features, web design, and customer service. In order to decide which one to go with, one must consider all their needs and find the most compatible solution. The following guide will help you understand the offerings of both Shopify and Magento, so you can select the one that best suits your requirements.

Web-Hosting

Shopify is a SaaS. Since they charge you a monthly fee, the hosting, security and server maintenance is completely taken care of. The merchant is only responsible for maintenance of their storefront. They also offer technical support to their merchants.

Magento comes with no technical support but it’s completely free of cost. Furthermore, it offers more customization since hosting is a merchant responsibility.

We at Aquevix, use world class VPS servers to setup a proper server for hosting Magento sites. We have built sites ranging from 500 products to over 60000 products serving 70 different websites from a single Magento installation.

Technical Requirements

Shopify is easily accessible via a browser on your computer. It’s a completely cloud-based solution and all you need is a decent internet connection.

Magento carts are most commonly self hosted on Linode or Rackspace. You can checkout their websites to see what best suit your purposes. As for the technical requirements, you can visit their website to check the system requirements for the latest version of Magento.

Pricing

In a nutshell...

Shopify: $29 per month to $299 per month.

Magento: Hosting Costs only.

Shopify offers 4 different subscription models to chose from. The greater the price, the better features and customer support. Shopify also offers discounts on yearly plans.

Magento however is completely free to download. But you’ll still incur some expenses being completely responsible for the hosting, server maintenance and security. It’s still the best option to go with for small businesses who are just getting started. You don’t want to put a lot of money on stake, since Magento is completely free to download and get started. Also, if you lack technical expertise, you can always hire a developer to do your tough work.

Ease Of Use

When it comes to ease of use, Shopify simply takes the lead. Being a paid service, Shopify takes care of all things technical and it’s easier to get started on. Magento might require some users to hire a third-party to take care all the technical issues and get them started.

Shopify offers a free 14-day trial and comes with a ‘Getting Started’ tutorial to guide you through basic features like adding a product, adding discounts, choosing a theme, etc.

However, once things get up and running, you’ll find Magento much easier and smooth for daily usage. Having a 3rd party developer is pretty common for Magento users and it’s not hard to find one.

We at Aquevix, provide support for both building Shopify websites as well as Magento Open Source and Magento Enterprise sites. We further provide custom module development for Magento.

Features

Magento easily takes the win here. It has much more options and customization. While it’s completely free of cost, it’s pre-loaded with tons of advanced features like Demographics based Customer groups, SEO tools, Unlimited product attributes, Digital products, etc. Being an open-source, Magento has turned into a consistently evolving community with independent developers regularly providing free or paid support. Furthermore, there’s tons of extensions created by developers to increase your functionality.

While Shopify also offers a bunch of features like SEO tools, customer support, abandoned cart recovery and many more, they are distributed among it’s 4 subscription models. A bunch of pre-loaded standard features that are free in Magento might require an upgrade of subscription plan in Shopify. This limitation upsets a lot of users when they have to incur substantial expenses in order to get an additional feature that’s available in a costlier model.

Designing

While Shopify is widely acclaimed for it’s easy of use, Magento is loved for it’s customizability. Many prefer Shopify for it’s sleek design, while Merchants looking for distinctiveness go with Magento.

Shopify offers 68 interactive themes, 10 of which are free. Paid ones will cost you somewhere between $140 to $180. You can easily make real time changes to the images, colors and backgrounds using drag and drop in the editor mode. You can also edit the code using Liquid Programming Language.

Magento themes on the other hand are all provided by community. You can find a pile of interactive themes created by third-party developers which can be free or paid.

It can be difficult for technical noobs to get started in Magento, but it offers extensive customization. While there are tons of restrictions in Shopify, Magento allows you to make your store look and work whichever way you like.

Add-Ons and Extensions

Both Shopify and Magento stores are filled with tons of free and premium add-ons and extensions. You can find anything you need, from SEO tools to shipping and accounting.

However, they differ in terms of pre-loaded and standard items. You might have to pay extra for some features and add-ons in Shopify, that comes pre-loaded in Magento.

While Shopify stores are much more organized and easier to swift through, you probably won’t need to in Magento with all the pre-loaded stuff.

Customer Support

Customer support is another advantage Shopify has over Magento. Shopify provides 24/7 technical support so your issues get resolved as quickly as possible. This also minimizes the risk of losing customers to downtime. There’s also a giant pool of knowledgable resources for you to support yourself.

Magento on the other hand being self hosted, comes with the trouble of taking care of those issues by yourself. However, you can also depend on the community to help you out. If you still need technical support for your online shopping cart, you can always hire a third-party to save you the time and headache.

Reviews

Both Shopify and Magento are treated with tons of mixed reviews. There’s no telling which one is the best as it is subjective to different users. However, this bit will help you understand what users are saying about both and which parts of each make users tick or satisfied.

  1. While Magento users always complain about the lack of customer support, Shopify users are glad to have it. With 24/7 customer support it’s very easy for users to report and resolve any issues that they encounter. However, you can always depend on free support from Magento community.
  2. Magento is also reported for it’s difficulty to get started, while Shopify’s getting started tutorials make it extremely easy for users to learn how to use the interface.
  3. Magento is universally adored by it’s users for the it’s extensive features and customizability. Shopify on the other hand is widely criticized for it’s limitations. Shopify users have always been frustrated about how customizable Magento is to it’s comparison.
  4. While both are integrated with more than 100 payment processors, Shopify is widely criticized for payment issues by many users. It’s often reported by the users for holding payments and banning accounts. Magento on the other hand has the one-page checkout feature which reduces the risk of abandoned carts.
  5. Many merchants complain about the unprecedented hikes in monthly bills when it comes to Shopify. It’s reported in the feedbacks that they only expected to pay the fixed subscription rates, but ended up needing the additional features that it charges extra for.

Summary:

  1. Shopify has 4 different subscription models with different features sets, while Magento is completely free to download.
  2. Shopify offers exemplary customer support around the clock, while Magento merchants have to depend on the online community and third-party developers to help them out.
  3. Shopify is easier to get started on with self-help guides and tutorials, while Magento gets more smooth with daily usage.
  4. Shopify and Magento both come with tons of features. While you might have to pay for some standard features in Shopify, they come pre-loaded with Magento.
  5. Shopify has a history of holding payments and banning accounts. Magento doesn’t come with such issues being self-hosted. Magento also has lower risk of abandoned carts with it’s one-page checkout feature.
  6. Shopify offers an easy to use editor mode to create, manage and operate your shopping cart, while Magento offers extensive customizability to it’s users.

Ultimately, none of them is better than the other and the decision is completely subjective to your needs. Shopify and Magento both offers compelling features to their merchants and both are at the top of their game. Shopify is a completely stable and trusted platform to host your cart at fixed prices. However, If you want more customizability and more control over your site at no cost, you should go with Magento.

Contact Aquevix if you are still having trouble taking a decision on these and we will sort it out for you.