If you’re in the process of creating an ecommerce website, choosing a content management system (CMS) ought to take priority. The right CMS can help you achieve a number of tasks like controlling your content, optimising SEO and integrating payment options without the need for expert programming experience. Who doesn’t prefer an easier life?
However, before you can enjoy the benefits of a CMS system, you need to choose the right one. While the two are in different leagues – Magento is a complex standalone framework while WordPress needs plugins like EasyCart and WooCommerce to do the ecommerce work – those unfamiliar with the platforms may find themselves caught between the two.
While it’s impossible to say whether one is ‘better’ than the other as suitability depends on your specific needs, analysing the pros and cons can be useful to help you make the right decision for your business. Let’s go through a few of the highlights.
Reasons to go with WordPress
WordPress has certainly grown up from its humble beginnings as a simple blogging platform. These days the platform is fully customisable with a wide variety of themes, plugins and integrations that can transform a basic site into exactly what you need. The same applies to ecommerce functionality.
For example, when you install a WooCommerce theme on WordPress, you can embed ecommerce functionality with customisable themes and a wide variety of plugins and extensions.
Pros include: a wide range of plugins, from Shopify and PayPal to Yoast SEO; an incredibly user-friendly dashboard; simple upgrades, with a team of developers ensuring your site stays updated and secure.
WooCommerce and similar plugins are popular amongst small and medium sized businesses, but the ability to scale up to thousands of SKUs is there, should you need it.
Reasons to go with Magento
The mighty Magento is the preferred option for many ecommerce businesses due to its flexibility, scalability and range of extensions. It tends to be a front runner choice for larger companies and offers an Enterprise as well as Community edition which some high profile brands have taken advantage of.
While the level of customisation with Magento is unparalleled, this makes it an extremely complicated platform. It’s advisable to hire an experienced Magento developer to help keep it in top shape.
Pros include: enhanced customer browsing with a range of quality features such as product filtering and reviews that can be enabled; top customer account management capabilities; API flexibility – any third part service can be configured as an API with the right code.
Magento vs WordPress
The features these two platforms have in common include the fact that they both:
- Are built on PHP.
- Offer excellent developer APIs.
- Offer mobile-responsive, customisable themes. Both platforms offer a mix of free and premium plans, though with a Magento theme, the world is your oyster – you can make it look however you want by customising or even designing your own. However, WooCommerce also offers some themes with excellent customisation capabilities – the same goes for WordPress frameworks like Genesis too.
- Extend core functionality with a range of impressive add-ons. Magento Connect, in particular, offers a whole marketplace of add-ons that cover every ecommerce requirement under the sun.
- Free and open-source – though with WordPress you will be responsible for paying for your own hosting and domain.
- Offer flexible shipping options with different carriers. Magento might have the edge here for larger companies due to the internationalisation capabilities, though WooCommerce offers easy integrations with carriers like UPS.
- Require set-up, installation and hosting. Although Magento developers are a little harder to track down that those experienced with WordPress.
When it comes to database integrations, Magento uses an EAV-based database model which can track all aspects of a transaction. However, both Magento and WordPress support integration with MySQL and MariaDB – though an extension can be used for work with PostgreSQL.
So, which platform is right for you? This all depends on your skills, the size of your business and the functionality you require. WordPress is the easier of the two to learn your way around, but although Magento will need a little more investment and input to really make the most of its features, it can be an incredibly powerful platform for complex stores.
If you have an ecommerce project in mind and doubt which direction to go – get in touch with us and we’ll help you sort it out!