There are many platforms which offer similar platforms which offer similar services when you must start an e-commerce business. The increasing availability of these platforms gives you the complete control of the decision if you have to develop a full online store or start from the beginning etc. The choice of the right platform will be the main factor which can make or break your online business. Magento and WooCommerce are two of the well-known names when it comes to setting up a self-hosted e-commerce solution. While Magento forms a state-of-the-art enterprise solution, WooCommerce is a wonderful choice for various WordPress stores of every size.
It is known as the best sought-after solution for setting up e-Commerce stores at the enterprise-level. Although, Open Source, it also makes a sound option for small-scale operations. Also, setting up any Magento store is easy with the help of a hosting provider. It also lets you install the solution by yourself using cPanel. The most intriguing part of the process is to learn the configuration of the store and get it set for the final presentation. Also, there are many options for customization which means that one needs to be little technically sound to be able to use it effectively. But it can also be said for any e-Commerce platform if you do not have any previous experience of running a website. So, if you plan to take up Magento you will have to go through lengthy documentation for the same.
WooCommerce is basically a WordPress plugin and not a complete platform. But it is highly robust and offers comprehensive features which are necessary to build and run a full-fledged online business. Furthermore, if you are well-versed with WordPress you will not have a hard time in the implementation of WooCommerce. You will need to activate the same after it has been installed. After activation, you must go through the onboarding wizard for beginning the set-up process. Latter usually takes very less time to walk through all the options to get started with your website. You need to remember that the onboarding wizard does not span all the option of WooCommerce, so it is advisable to go through the documentation of the plugin to ensure everything is covered. It, however, has an edge above Magento, as it does not need a detailed and steep learning experience which makes it a great option for all those who want to start their online business quickly.
Cost is one of the major decisions for every start-up. When you are planning to start your own website, you will have to evaluate all the costs including the fact that how the costs will grow with your business. Starting with Magento, being a self-hosted and open-source software usually comes in two editions namely the Community edition and Magento Commerce. The former can be downloaded and installed by yourself on any hosting provider and it does not come with any kind of support. You need to remember that although you can download the core software for free, there are plans for VPS hosting. Magento Commerce, on the other hand, has paid plans which already include cloud hosting. The price list of these plans is not mentioned on Magento although it is available as a monthly subscription and also has a license cost based on revenue. Paid plans are found to be costly although they include many features, cloud hosting, and professional support. In other words, even if you are using the free version the bill for your hosting will be quite high.
WooCommerce, on the other hand, is a free software which can be downloaded and installed by anyone. As it runs on top of WordPress you can install the same on any WordPress site. Although the platform is free, you will need to register your domain name, SSL certificate and a WordPress account for starting a WooCommerce store. When compared to Magento, the price is far lower and there are many choices for hosting plans. There are many free plugins and themes which can enable you to lower your costs.
Many new start-ups are undertaken by people who not tech-savvy. They, thus need a platform which is easy to use and does not require any dedicated developer as it weighs high on cost. Also, this lets them focus on their business growth. Magento is a robust platform which has many built-in features and advanced set-up procedure. Magento is not easy to install and many companies for hosting do not give pre-configured installers for Magento. Even the installation language is techy and oriented towards developers. Thus, you need to spend the time to learn the basics from the various tutorials and documentation which is found online.
WooCommerce is relatively easy to use and the hosting providers install it automatically with WordPress. It has a set-up wizard which usually takes you through initial set-up pages, payments, choice of currency etc.
Every eCommerce store has to accept and make online payments. Many companies provide payment gateway options although there are some gateways which are not present in specific regions. Options for Magento include PayPal, Authorize.net, Cash on Delivery, Bank Transfer. Extensions are also available for 2Checkout, Braintree, WePay etc. The API developers of Magento allow easy integration of payment gateways.
In the case of WooCommerce, the payment options include PayPal. There is support for other payment gateways via add-ons and extensions. It also gives support for various regional and not so famous payment companies. Its easy extension offer allows for the creation of an add-on and support by any payment company. Thus, both the platforms offer support for more than one payment option.
Every eCommerce platform has a limit to the number of features it can add to the core site. This allows ample space for third-party extensions, features, tools, and integrations etc. Magento has a big community of developers, agencies and freelancers. Also, the availability of both free and paid third-party extensions for Magento is huge. These usually allow easy addition of new features and tools to your online business. It has about 3751 extensions.
WooCommerce, as it runs on WordPress offers more than 55,000 plugins which are free. This means there is always a plugin for features like contact forms, Google Analytics, etc. In other words, this also means that you can connect your WooCommerce store to third-party services like CRM software, payment gateways and more.
Thus, both Magento and WooCommerce are complete eCommerce platforms which can be instrumental in building any kind of online store. However, you will have to make a choice weighing many features. WooCommerce has an apparent advantage of having a huge user base and a great market share. Another major advantage is that it runs on WordPress which gives the users a comfortable feeling while operating. It takes over Magento in terms of ease of use and cost. Magento, on the other hand, presents a more preferred platform for various enterprise-level businesses especially the ones who have the money for taking care of their developing processes.