Setting up a new e-commerce store, or turning your current site into a store can be overwhelming. There are many options to sell products online and it can be hard to pick if you don’t know the differences.
Magento (owned by eBay), and WordPress (usually WooCommerce) are the two most popular choices. They are both made for a similar purpose, but there are clear differences between them. The main things are development skill and flexibility of use. WordPress is easier for beginners, but Magento has some extra features.
Let’s take a look at the full strengths and weaknesses of both.
WordPress Vs. Magento – A Quick Comparison
Both Magento and WordPress are built with similar functions. You can customise both with themes, plug-ins, and plenty of other features including SEO. They are both content-management-systems, meaning they allow you to add, edit, and organise content. The main difference is purpose – WordPress is more for content, Magento is for eCommerce.
WordPress started as a blogging platform and has now evolved into a full-blown content management system. It powers at least 25% of all websites on the internet – the most popular CMS in the world. Even the owner of Magento – eBay uses WordPress for their blogs. As well as being simple to understand, it is known for having a large number of plug-ins for almost any purpose. Being an open-source platform, they allow anyone to create and use their own themes as well.
To use WordPress as an e-commerce store, you will need to use a third-party plug-in. The most popular option by far is WooCommerce, currently used by 80% of e-commerce stores on WP. It allows customers to rate products, filter by one category, and see best-selling products. For anything more complex, you will need extra plug-ins or to use something like Magento.
As well as WordPress, Magento is also an open source platform. People can create extensions to add extra functionality and customisation to their online stores. It is used by many small businesses as well as some of the most popular retailers in the world.
With Magento, there is more choice of features and more freedom to customise details of the sites. Other features include managing multiple stores, built-in SEO, mobile commerce, marketing, and report generation. You can also create menus, categories, and content pages like in Wordpress.
Another popular benefit to using Magento is the security it provides. Using 3rd party plug-ins on WordPress can introduce flaws.
The main drawback is the learning curve. It’s likely not worth learning it yourself as it’s a bit more complex and could take a lot longer to use.
Ask yourself the following:
- Do you want to show more than 500 products?
- Are you expecting a large amount of traffic from the start?
If your answer to both of these was yes, you may want to consider using Magento.
- Do you need minimal theme customisation?
- Will you want a lot of content on your site?
If you answered yes to these two questions, WordPress may be better for you.
The Third Option – Combining WordPress and Magento
Combining WordPress and Magento can bring you the benefits of both. If you set up a Magento store and connect a WordPress blog to it, you can host content and products on the same site. Giving information on your blog can help guide customers and point them to the best products for them. This allows you to give visitors the best of both by making the most of both platforms. You can even manage your blog using the backend interface in Magento.
The differences between the two platforms should now be clear. Magento is the recommended option to run an online store, but is harder to understand. As it stands, WordPress is set up as a content-based platform. In the future, there may be better features for selling products, but right now, it is not optimised to do so.
It all comes down to what the purpose of your site is and how much you value optimising it for a purpose. Think about the intended purpose of each platform, and how much time and money you are willing to spend.