Magento vs Shopify

There are so many eCommerce platforms out there it’s hard to know which one is the best for your business. This is particularly true for those who are not tech savvy or haven’t gotten the web lingo down. You may simply not know if what they are offering is what you want or even what you need. You may think you should just go with the one that seems to be the best one out there according to the reviews, but even that’s hard because they seem to run neck and neck. By the time you choose one and get to the home stretch with a running website, you may find that isn’t what you needed at all. Comparisons are always helpful and this one compares Shopify with Magento – two of the leading eCommerce platforms.

Similar Yet Different

Shopify and Magento have similar offerings, but some of their differing characteristics can have a big influence on which platform is best for you. Shopify and Magento both have several editions. Shopify provides the Basic, Professional, and Enterprise editions while Magento offers Magento Go, Magento Community and Magento Enterprise. Each platform tailors their editions for the size and complexity of your company.

One major difference between the two platforms is that Shopify is proprietary and Magento is open source, which means programmers from around the world can develop new functionality for Magento’s offerings. One other major difference is that Shopify developed their own programming language that must be used to customize their templates.

Set up and Customization

Though Shopify is simpler to set up, it has the drawback of fewer templates to choose from than Magento, so you may end up with a website that looks like many other websites out there unless you customize it after learning Shopify’s template language. Magento comes with thousands of themes (the exact number depends on the edition you choose) and is very easy to customize. It has a huge third party template and plugin library to choose from. It also has very advanced reporting and inventory capabilities.

Shopify does its own web hosting, but with Magento, you will have to find a web hosting solution or host the platform on your own server. Magento does have the higher learning curve, but most users agree that’s a small trade off for the ability to set up multiple storefronts in various languages that will handle multiple currencies.