Shopify is one of the famous e-commerce platform based on SAAS model based on Ruby On Rails. Shopify is a closed source solution. Means the source code will not be available, unlike Magneto. The Shopify offers robust API to customize and develop additional functionality on top of existing one.
Shopify offers 14 days trial period to give a try to Shopify especially for the newbie who is not sure about their platform commitment.
Currently, owned by Adobe, Magento is the most popular standalone e-commerce platform tailored for large companies. The feature set of Magento is robust which is ideal for large as well as small companies. Magento offers Community Edition for free, Enterprise Edition is the advanced and paid version of Magento, and the third one is Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition.
Planning to switch to Magento platform from your existing Shopify platform? Or planning to start your online business? Before doing so want facts to review your decision once? Yes, we do understand the pain of choosing a right e-commerce platform for your website. So let’s have a comparative journey through the capabilities and features of Magento and Shopify.
Below is the screenshot from Google Trend depicting shopping cart popularity of Magento and Shopify. Both the platforms are quite popular.
Is the Google Trend result is sufficient to conclude your decision? Certainly not. In this article, we will focus on other parameters which need to be considered before opting for any platform.
The platform and hosting difference are the prime parameters which separate the two platforms. Magento is a self-hosted solution ie; the store owners need to manage their own servers which means they have the full control of the server settings. They can even reach out to the third party to manage their servers. Being an open source, Magento code is easily available that too for free means anyone can download it and can start the online store. You can even modify it’s code the way you want to meet your business needs as the code is fully open.
On the other hand, Shopify is a SAAS(software-as-a-service) based hosted platform means you will get the licensed software on Subscription plans which is centrally hosted. Shopify is an ideal platform for those who don’t want to deal with technology as Shopify manages the hosting. Though the store owners have no control over server settings but this also eliminates the time incurred in managing the software glitches. Before committing to any monthly transaction plan, Shopify also does provide a free trial period that too for 14 days. So that, you can experience the Shopify at your end before opting for it.
Magento and Shopify are the two most prominent players in the e-commerce industry. But the Magento community is very large and active than that of Shopify. Since you can easily find professionals experienced in the development of Magento. This eliminates the hassle of finding a good developer to get your platform functionalities the way you want to meet your business needs.
Magento has a huge and dedicated community with continuous development and improvements for the open-source code system. You can consider this committed community to get valuable solutions for your business requirements. You think of an add-on and you will find it in their respective marketplace.
Along with the community forum, Shopify also provides a reliable 24/7 customer service.
Google Analytics is one of the best analytic tools offers deep insights into website traffic and sales. As Shopify supports Shopify Analytics and Google Analytics. You can enable Google analytics by feeding your Google Analytics tracking code.
By default, Magento supports Magento Analytics as Business Intelligence with all the advanced and basic tracking needs like page view tracking of your e-commerce visitors and the sales. You don’t require to integrate any analytic extension to your online store. Magento also supports Google Analytics for which you need to provide the Google Analytics Account Id in your Magento.
Versions of both the platforms are PCI-compliant taking security a prime concern. Magento offers patches and the most advanced built-in security features ground to top sell products online because it’s dedicatedly developed for e-commerce tasks. Basically, Magento patches are small changes/updates made to the code for providing security protection. That’s why patches are the most recommended updates.
While being a SaaS-based solution, Shopify manages all upgrades, security patches and takes care of security without the need for any action from the client end.
Your website speed and load time determine its success rate. There is no doubt that Magento 2 is fast when compared to Shopify. However, if we compare Magento 1 Vs Shopify then, Shopify grabs the quick win.
Magento 2 supports almost all the cache handlers/ performance tool and modern technologies like Memcached, Redis, Varnish support, FPC, Static Code generation, DI command line utility etc tailored for achieving high-performance needs. Also, Magento 2 support Php7 with full page cache.
- Flush all cache items completely.
- Flush default Magento cache items.
- Flush catalog images cache.
Hosting not only concerned with your website security, it is much more to that of your website performance. But in Shopify, store performance is itself a challenge as you don’t have any control over server settings, and what we can edit on the page is very limited– due to Shopify’s theme structure. Yet you can manage to get a decent speed improvement. While Magento 2 requires a dedicated server support for better performance.
And for marketplace business model it’s suggested to opt for a scalable hosting like Amazon cloud or Google cloud. Recently Amazon released a cost-effective solution for VPS, Amazon Lightsail – https://amazonlightsail.com/.
Shopify could be a decent choice for small-scale stores with no future expansion plans. Because Shopify is the hosted solution and you can’t access the source code which limits your options of store customizations. But this doesn’t mean you can’t scale or add additional business requirements to your store. You can visit the Shopify app store and choose the app as per your growing business requirements. You can simply scale up or down by opting the plans available with Shopify. But there is a pitfall, lower your Shopify plan, the higher are the transaction fees and credit card rates you pay per transaction.
If you want an online store that can develop and grow with smooth flexibility then, Magento should be the prime choice. Being a self-hosted solution, Magento store owners have got full control over server settings. And can access the source code and have a wide range of customization possibilities due to open source. They can customize the store without any restriction. Magento enables merchants to go at the highest with highly customizable shopping experiences, adaptive design restraints, and great SEO resources.
Magento offers much-needed features of a web store including products, site design, shipping, payments etc and you can even extend the functionality by using Magento Marketplace extensions. This makes the Magento be the most picked e-commerce platform by the merchants who are looking forward to expanding business with a large volume of products, customers, transactions etc. Because Magento architecture is highly scalable and lets you support your growing business needs in near future.
Magento uses PHP and is embedded with major open source technologies like RequireJS / Knockout.js, composer, symfony2, code standards PSR, dependency standards etc. While Shopify uses the language Ruby on Rails and technologies such as MySQL, memcached, Redis, Kubernetes, Nginx, OpenResty, jQuery, batman.js, react and typescript, GraphQL etc.
Both the platforms are fully loaded with tech-stacks. While you can view Magento public GitHub repository visiting https://github.com/magento/mtf project but Shopify has no public GitHub repository stats available – https://github.com/Shopify makes it hard to learn about Shopify code-end.
Also, Magento is based on composer with TDD (Test Driven Development)technique. The composer is a dependency management tool. And TDD is based on Magento Testing Framework(MTF). It is an automated testing suite comprises performance, functional and unit testing.
Being a cloud SAAS based system, Shopify won’t let you access the source code of the platform. However, Shopify provides a REST API to customize and develop but for that, you should have a Shopify Plus plan. While Magento by default provides web services API in REST and SOAP format.
But prime features like order and product catalog management are not supported by Shopify. Therefore, such kind of customization is extremely hard to achieve in the Shopify. But this can easily be achieved in Magento like – https://store.webkul.com/magento2-multivendor-split-cart.html.
SEO(search engine optimization) resources are very important for any website as most of the internet activities involves searches which makes it mandatory to get your website visible in Google SERP. Magento and Shopify are almost neck-and-neck in terms of SEO features like SEO friendly URLs, Meta-information for products and categories, Google Sitemaps, URL rewrites, Description, etc makes both the most powered SEO enabled platform.
But Magento has much more than that of basic SEO capabilities like bundle products, promoting new products, and listing related products ie; up-sells and cross-sells.
- Product Types: Shopify supports only normal products but you can use other apps to have downloadable or digital products. While Magento by default supports a wide range of types of products.
- Tier Pricing tends to offer a quantity discount to the specified customer groups.
- Catalog Price Rules are the price rules applied to the product added to the shopping cart.
- Layered Navigation provides efficient and easy to use product filters for the store visitors.
- Using a single instance, one can create Multi-Website in Magento. While Shopify doesn’t support multi-website.
- Attribute defines the character and property of the product. In Magento, there is product attributes to outline the product type while in Shopify there is no such thing.
- Rating types: In Magento, one can create rating types like price, quality, experience for the customer to review the product. While in Shopify, there are no such rating types.
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