Magento vs Shopify (2023): Which Is the Absolute Best?

Your ultimate guide to Magento and Shopify.

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Selecting the most suitable ecommerce platform for creating, managing and maintaining an online store is of critical importance, as it can be the factor responsible for either success or failure for your business. This is particularly important for small businesses since they have to make do with limited resources and budgets.

We outline all sorts of ecommerce platforms on this website, but none are more popular than Shopify and Magento. Shopify has somewhat of a stranglehold in the “hosted, all-in-one” platform market, while Magento is the biggest player when it comes to larger, more complex ecommerce sites. They're very different platforms, but we'd like to pit Magento vs Shopify to see which one is right for your business.

As someone planning to create an online store, or migrate your current store to another platform in the near future, you might be considering your options. Shopify (read our Shopify reviews) and Magento Open Source (read our Magento review) are two widely acclaimed and used ecommerce store creation and management platforms today. There are, however, some huge fundamental differences between these platforms that you should be well aware of before making a comparative evaluation of the two:

  • Shopify is a commercial product (that you need to pay for) while Magento Open Source is a free, open-source software.
  • Shopify is a hosted solution (where your store is hosted by them) while Magento requires that you provide your own hosting, install, setup and configure everything before you can actually start creating your store – something requiring medium to high level of web development and programming skills.
  • Shopify is more for beginners, with a simple user interface, while Magento is packed with features but more suitable for advanced developers.

magento vs shopify - shopify homepage

Magento does have a paid version, but it gets extremely expensive and is only meant for large enterprises that can spend 10s of thousands of dollars on a website per month. We won't be reviewing the paid version, since most startups and small businesses don't have the money. Most small businesses should think about the opensource version of Magento if you have an experienced developer on the team–or if you have development skills yourself. Otherwise, you're far better off going with Shopify for your entire online store.

With these differences in mind, here's our head-to-head comparison of Magento vs Shopify.

Magento vs Shopify: Table of Contents

Magento vs Shopify: Pros and Cons

Let’s start with a basic rundown of what you can expect from each solution in terms of pros and cons. Both Magento and Shopify have a number of benefits to consider, but they also have places where they may fall short for your eCommerce website too.

Shopify Pros 👍

  • Tons of beautiful responsive store themes to choose from
  • A comprehensive eCommerce builder
  • Great app store for extending the functionality of your website
  • Pretty good customer support
  • Easy to use
  • Lots of checkout and payment options
  • Large community of dedicated fans

Shopify Cons 👎

  • Most themes have a price attached to them
  • Integrating apps into your store makes it more complex
  • There’s a fee for every transaction (unless you use Shopify payments)

Magento Pros 👍

  • Excellent community with tons of support for users
  • Flexible platform with lots of customization options
  • Good range of themes to choose from
  • Phone support available
  • No real coding knowledge needed for magento commerce
  • Magento is open source and free to use
  • Magento 2 extensions

Magento Cons 👎

  • Has a bit of a learning curve
  • Quite difficult for beginners
  • Requires a lot of time to set up
  • Lots of costs associated with setting up your store

Magento vs Shopify: A Feature Comparison

Basic online store functionality – Both Shopify and Magento offer basic store functionalities that are fairly powerful to use and maintain on an ongoing basis. Shopify is significantly easier to set up and use when compared to Magento. You'll find that basic features like shopping carts, checkout modules, collections, and product pages are all included with both Magento and Shopify. The main difference is that Magento has far more intermediate and advanced features built into the system. With Shopify, you often have to get an app for extended functionality.

Inventory management – All Shopify plans allow for unlimited products in your store. Magento also lets you create and sell an unlimited number of products. You can easily create products and collections on both of the platforms, but the reason Shopify gets the thumbs up on this one is because of its direct integration to dropshipping inventory apps like Oberlo.

It should be noted here though, that while Magento allows a virtually unlimited number of products, your host (server) performance and site loading speed might turn out to be serious issues if you add too many products on your Magento store – something you don't have to worry about with Shopify, since it is a fully managed and hosted solution.

Calculation of shipping charges – Both platforms allow flexible and powerful options for the calculation of shipping charges–which is one of the most basic and essential aspects of selling physical goods via an ecommerce storefront. Shopify also integrates with some dropshipping tools (with shipping estimates) and more exact shipping calculators, which might be helpful if you're trying to be as accurate as possible for your customers.

Provision for coupons and discount codes – Shopify, a bit of an underdog here, does not offer this feature on its Lite plan, but it is available on all other plans. Magento allows discount code creation and calculation functionalities from the start.

Payment gateway optionsShopify has a major edge here, with support for over 70 payment gateways while Magento is relatively at a disadvantage with support for a far lower number of gateways. More gateways, however, can be added to Magento store via third-party add-ons. The main problem I see with Shopify is that it kind of forces you to go with its built-in payment gateway. Shopify's gateway has 0% transaction fees, while they make you pay fees for third-party gateways.

Themes and Templates – Both Shopify and Magento offer a large collection of themes and templates to give your online store a look and feel to suit your products and taste. While the number of free themes provided by Shopify is significantly smaller than that of Magento Open Source, it can be noted that the free Shopify themes are generally more contemporary as compared to the themes offered by Magento Open Source.

magento vs shopify - shopify themes

Both offer paid/premium themes but here, Shopify is at a great disadvantage, with premium themes starting at $80, while Magento paid themes start at – an almost unbelievable – $1!

» Try Shopify «

In keeping with today's must-have requirement of responsive website design (a design that works well across a range of commonly used devices with which people get online), both Shopify and Magento Open Source offers a good number of responsive templates, free as well as paid.

Apps and Add-ons – Well over 100 apps and add-ons are available for Shopify. The apps for Shopify assist in enhancing and expanding the functionality of your online store in various ways. The Shopify App store is constantly growing, with apps for things like loyalty programs, accounting, and email marketing. Shopify also moderates its app store pretty well, so you're not going to install some junk app that's going to damage your site.

magento vs shopify - magento marketplace

Magento, again, is at a strong advantage here, with a whopping 5000+ apps and add-ons. This is primarily because of the large, open source, community-driven nature of the platform. A mix of free, as well as paid apps/add-ons, are available for both platforms.

» Try Magento «

In general, you should be able to find free apps for pretty much all tasks on both platforms. I often stumble upon premium apps on Shopify, but then complete a quick search to locate something similar and free.

Multi-lingual capabilities – Shopify does not offer full multi-lingual capabilities directly. For creating fully multi-lingual stores, third-party/paid apps are available for Shopify. Another option available at Shopify is to custom code your theme so that it has multilingual capabilities. However, you would most likely have to find an expert Shopify developer to complete the task. Magento is again at an advantage here, with more built-in multi-lingual support.

SEO capabilities – Both platforms offer extensive SEO capabilities in order to help you drive more organic traffic to your store via search engines, scoring almost neck-to-neck on powerful SEO features and benefits, as extensively described in this article: Choosing the best ecommerce platform for SEO capabilities.

Customization capabilities – Both platforms offer robust customization capabilities, via an advanced interface that allows you to edit the raw HTML/CSS code directly to give you total control over the design and the look-and-feel of your store.

However, as mentioned above, Shopify scores better here by providing a simple, menu-driven method to change the basic attributes of your store such as fonts, colors etc. very easily while with the customization capabilities with Magento are as high as it can get because all its code is open source, any of which you can modify in any way you wish to. Albeit, this unrestricted freedom to customize can be used only by those who have deeply entrenched web programming and HTML/CSS coding know-how.

Also, Shopify offers a theme editor that allows you to play around with the look and feel of your theme, and it has the ability to hide sections, so that you can work on future updates beforehand without having the duplicate the theme, or work on a staging server.

Finally, Shopify provides drag and drop sections, which are nice for organizing the content on your website. It's nothing like an actual drag and drop builder, but it makes for a much easier design interface when compared to Magento.

Blogging functionality – Easy blogging functionality is available as an integrated feature at Shopify. This can be achieved with Magento. As long as you have a developer, your Magento blog should be far more customizable than what they provide at Shopify.

magento vs shopify - magento functionality

Magento vs Shopify: Themes and Design

Although there’s a lot more to your website than how it looks, an attractive site is often more appealing and much easier to navigate. Having access to the right theme can allow you to offer a better user experience, as well as ensuring that you stand out from the crowd.

In terms of frontend appearance, Shopify has a lot of fantastic and fully customizable themes to choose from. What’s more, Shopify’s themes are easy to start using. As long as you can add your own content and products you’re basically ready to go.

Another great thing about Shopify from a design perspective, is that it’s themes are optimized for mobile. This means that they’ll impress Google and your customers whether they’re browsing on a desktop or not. There are features like product zoom to explore too.

On the downside, while there are a handful of free themes available, you’ll need to pay for the majority of the options from Shopify. This can mean that you end up over-spending on your site a little

On the plus side, if you have the cash, Shopify offers a ton of customization options, including the option to change your color pallet, add new pages to your website, remove and resize elements and more. You can also integrate social media tools onto your page.

Magento, on the other hand, offers a lot fewer themes to choose from. There are 16 themes in total, and they come in a selection of free and paid options. 10 of the themes are mobile responsive, which means that your site can auto-resize itself to any device.

Magento also allows you to implement your own theme and update designs from the backend of your online business. However, this requires a lot more developer knowledge than you would need with Shopify, or even Shopify Plus.

On the plus side, Magento also has a lot of great customizations to offer, including the option to add product sliders to your home page, or implement animations. You can also include newsletter functionality into your website footer.

Shopify is definitely the better option if you’re looking for a wide selection of themes to choose from. There’s a much wider range available from Shopify, and the sites always look great. However, Magento does have a few more powerful features to consider if you have the right knowledge to use them.

Magento vs Shopify: Ease of use

As mentioned earlier in this review, Shopify and Magento Open Source are both fairly powerful ecommerce store building platforms. Both come with a user interface that is well-designed and thought-out, making it fairly easy for any user to get up and running with an online store.

magento vs shopify - shopify dashboard

Having said that, it should be noted that Shopify has a wizard mode that allows even novice users to set up their stores very easily while Magento Open Source is lacking in this feature.

Also, since Magento is not a hosted solution, procuring your own hosting and setting up your store with it are processes that typical end-users would not find easy or convenient to do on their own.

When I look at Magento vs Shopify and consider ease of use, it's a no-brainer. Shopify wins.

Magento vs Shopify: The Costs

Setup fees – Shopify does not charge any setup fees. In fact, they offer a 14-day free trial with which you can test and evaluate the functionality and features offered by their ecommerce hosting platform. With Magento, the question of setup fees simply does not arise since it is totally free to use. (You'll need to procure – and pay for – your own hosting though, as discussed below.)

Monthly fees – Shopify offers four different plans with monthly fees ranging from $14 to $179 as follows:

Start a free Shopify trial by clicking here. More about Shopify Pricing here.

With Magento, you'll have to provide your own hosting, which is available at monthly costs ranging anywhere from $5 to 100s of dollars.

Bluehost is a reliable, popular and powerful ecommerce hosting provider where you can purchase hosting for your Magento store very inexpensively.

Bandwidth charges – Shopify does not charge any bandwidth usage fees on any of its plans. With Magento Open Source, this will depend on the hosting provider that you have chosen for hosting your store. In the Magento vs Shopify battle of bandwidth charges, I like Shopify because of the certainty.

Transaction fees – Shopify does not charge any additional transaction fees if their own payment gateway is used. If utilizing any other gateway or method (such as COD), their transaction fee structure is as follows:

With Magento Open Source, no transaction fees are charged other than the gateway provider’s fees (which vary from gateway to gateway). These fees would, naturally, be applicable for Shopify as well.

Theme/Template prices – Both platforms offer a good number of free as well as paid themes, with Shopify and Magento premium theme prices starting at $80 and $1 respectively.

Overall, it's tough to compare Magento vs Shopify in the realm of pricing. Shopify is most likely more manageable with its monthly pricing, but Magento is free. The problem is that you have many other larger expenses you have to look out for with Magento.

Magento vs Shopify: Apps and Add-Ons

While both Shopify and Magento have a lot to offer, you’ll still want to make sure that you can extend the functionality of your website with additional apps and add-ons. Whether you’re looking for a way to add WooCommerce or PayPal functionality to your store, that’s where integrations come in handy.

Apps and extensions are available from both Shopify and Magento, helping you to broaden the functionality of your website. You can turn your site into a community edition with links to various membership plugins. Alternatively, you might choose apps for things like countdown timers to boost your chances of making a sale.

When it comes to apps and additions, Shopify is much closer to WordPress in terms of options, there are thousands of free and paid apps to choose from. However, keep in mind that some of the options will require a little bit of coding knowledge.

The good news is that you can add most plugins just with the click of a button. These allow you to access things like trust icons that reduce your risk of cart abandonment, or social buttons to boost your chances of a community. You can expand your CMS and eCommerce solution however you choose.

On the other hand, Magento also has thousands of paid and free extensions to choose from. If you don’t belong to the subgroup of magneto developers on the market today, then you can still add a lot of functionality without coding knowledge.

magento apps

With a click of the mouse, you can add gift cards and abandoned cart functionality to your website. There’s also the option for business owners to implement things like pre-order functionality, or banner sliders with SaaS apps from around the web. Whether you’re looking to improve your order management options or expand your market share, you can do a lot with your ecommerce business through Magento.

Although Shopify often stands out as one of the top solutions for apps and extensions, it still doesn’t compete with Magento 1 of the reasons that this site builder is so popular is its addons.

Magento vs Shopify: Payment Processors

When you’re comparing options like BigCommerce, Magento, Shopify, and many others for your website, you’ll need to ensure that you have plenty of great ways to take payments. After all, your site can only be profitable if you can complete transactions safely.

Both Magento and Shopify allow you to take online credit part payments and other transactions from your customers. Shopify even has its own integrated payment processor, named Shopify Payments. If you use this option, then you’ll be able to avoid the transaction fees that you would otherwise need to pay with Shopify.

Alternatively, if you prefer to use a payment solution that your customers are already familiar with, you can still use things like Paypal and Amazon Pay. However, it’s worth noting that you’ll need to pay for each transaction.

Shopify supports more than 100 different external payment processors, which makes it one of the most incredible shopping tools there is.

On the other hand, Magento developers and beginners can also access a bunch of payment options, although they can require a bit more work to implement. Because you’re not working with a hosted platform, you will need slightly different skills.

Magento supports all the major payment processors that you know and love, with over 150 payment integration options. Additionally, you can access a bunch of payment options in different languages and countries, so you can sell to customers overseas too.

While Shopify might be the best option for implementing your payment processor quickly and easily, Magento has a few more options for international selling.

Magento vs Shopify: Which One is Best for Your Online Store?

While both Shopify and Magento are fairly powerful ecommerce platforms, Shopify provides greater ease of use since it is a hosted and fully managed service.

Magento, while free itself, requires you to purchase hosting and carry out all the software/system setup and installation procedures yourself – something that only fairly tech-savvy people (and not typical end-users) would be able to do.

In light of this, as well as some of the points discussed above, Shopify comes out a winner as an ecommerce platform for building your online store with maximum ease of use and powerful capabilities. If you have any other questions about our comparison of Magento vs Shopify, let us know in the comments section below.

In case you want to see some real examples of Magento vs Shopify online shops in action, here are some fantastic Shopify stores and some Magento website examples.

To get started with a free trial of Shopify, click here.

To download Magento Open Source, click here.

Just before you start though, you might want to take a look at our Shopify reviews and Shopify Pricing guide.

Joe Warnimont

Joe Warnimont is a Chicago-based writer who focuses on eCommerce tools, WordPress, and social media. When not fishing or practicing yoga, he's collecting stamps at national parks (even though that's mainly for children). Check out Joe's portfolio to contact him and view past work.

Comments 71 Responses

  1. Yes, Shopify is specifically built for E-commerce businesses whereas Squarespace is intended for general website building. Squarespace came up with E-commerce later on for the needs of users. Thanks from SynergyTop.

  2. Hey there, Great article, Are there any limitations to the Magento software? If there can you please add some.

  3. Magento 2 is unwieldy over-engineered and extremely buggy. Minor updates cause core parts of Magento 2 to simply break without any recourse.
    Developing for Magento 2 is ridiculous with about five different file types and a myriad of templating languages just to change a store template…and you will need a dedicated team of Magento people to do anything remotely custom, who will charge a fortune, or you can risk getting it done on Fiverr and cut corners so much you will be running around in circles.
    I have never used Shopify but we have attempted to develop a website in Magento 2.2 that was a complete waste of time and that got eventually rolled out in WooCommerce with the exact same functionality / requirement over the course of a week where it had taken three months just to stabilise Magento and ‘nearly’ launch it. We were constantly frustrated in QA by finding show stopping bugs in the Magento core that would take time to identify and fix.
    Once fixed, another minor ‘bug fix’ upgrade would then send off another load of breaking changes elsewhere in the core. We were not even customising the core functionality, just changing very minor aesthetics to make the store look nicer!
    I read in reviews that Magento 2.3 is ‘better’ and ‘less buggy’ but when you’re looking up from the bottom of the sea in a ship wreck, everything is up.
    I have built and deployed about 70 e-commerce websites in various languages from php to .net alongside various teams of full time developers. Never have I encountered such an unstable mess to work in than Magento 2. If you are a developer or a team of developers then rolling your own custom solution would be cleaner.
    You can get an idea of how many open bugs there still are just by looking at the git hub repo.
    https://github.com/magento/magento2/issues
    If you want to make money and keep your sanity then I would avoid Magento 2. If you have deep pockets, a masochistic desire to fix what should not be broken in the core before you even begin to sell online then drink the Magento 2 Kool Aid. Your competitors will love you for it.
    There’s a reason why all of the cool kids on those annoying Youtube adverts that claim to make $1mil a day selling fluorescent pink cat bikinis use Shopify…because they know what works through trial and error.

  4. Something that should be noted, being the article, kind of mid-informed people, Adobe bought Magento and it remains open source. Additionally, the negative reviews below was with Magento 2.0 (release 1), which did have issues and why did they rush to put active store on a brand new complete rebuild is beyond us! We used Magento up until today (Feb 2020!) and fast forward Magento is at 2.3 with a host of major updates, bug fixes, new features, etc. With that at hand Shopify has its place and would recommend it for small shops, especially first time e-commerce folks that just want to sell 100 items. If you plan on getting into the 10,000++ e-commerce arena, welcome to Magento!

  5. After the read this article, I have clear my doubts about build my online business website…
    I will go with Shopify store development… Thanks for this amazing article…

  6. I am going to start a multi vendor marketplace which might have up to 700,000 products which one do you recommend ?

  7. Informative comparison! Thanks for sharing this helpful information, I have a Bigcommerce store and considering to move to Magento or Shopify. I found an automated migration tool called LitExtension and ran a free demo to preview how my data is stored and managed on each platform backend. For my store, I will choose Shopify because of its easy-to-use function.

    1. Hi
      Did you make the move? To which platform?
      Why did you move away from Bigcommerce?

      I am in the research for building an eCommerce website to sell gifts and chocolates.

  8. Hi Joe,
    Hope you are well.
    I want to add 500,000 products on my website. What would be best? Shopify or Magento??
    it is currently on Magento.
    Thanks,
    Kam

  9. 9 months into a Magento 2 migration and I am now ready to give up. I used professional developers but it is obvious that Mag2 is broken. Bugs, continuous conflicts with extensions, basic things like checkout speed, bugs in checkout….are just not fit for purpose. Security issues unless you are spending significant time on updates etc. It has been like paying someone to build a kit car for me and having to specify 4 wheels…& engine. A good ecommerce site needs to be fast, well formed, easy to drive and look good. Don’t even think about it. Just taken 21 days to create a different Shopify Plus site and the difference is night & day. Live and engine purring, apps work, admin is clean, simple API integration with fulfilment company easy, checkout works! We will work out flattened url structure issues shortly. Mag2 we are still doing csv file updates for key business data. 1500 skus. 15k daily sessions. Do not touch Mag2 unless you are happy to see your business die and personal stress levels rocket.

  10. As an IT project manager (day job) I have found Magento extremely frustrating. I would not recommend it for non-tech people as you invariably will need to engage a developer for customisation’s but also bugs (which Magento 2 has plenty of) – most startups just don’t have that sort of cash to burn. We have launched our site and it works great but I believe I could have had it up and running months ago had we gone for Shopify. Frankly, I am now trialing Shopify to gauge whether it’s worth the migration now (before the site gets too big). There are benefits to Magento but the reality is Magento 2 was/is full of so many bugs (some quite major) that it was not fit for original release. e.g. An ecommerce site where the checkout/payment process was taking over 30 secs due to bad code (only recently fixed) should never have gone to market. I guess my point is – if you have money and time to burn OR are technically capable (at a developer level) then go Magento. For everyone else you should not be going anywhere near it.

  11. hi

    great article. We are currently forming a business with monthly subscription to a saas platform. there will not be very much variety less than ten subscription packages. what would be a preferred solution to this special
    case. would be very grateful for an answer.
    best regards sam

  12. i am about to start a marketplace (like Alibaba) with vendors across different countries. Carrying about 100 vendors with multiple products each (up to 50). We would be selling into Canada, US, Europe & Australia but items would be listed in USD
    i was going to have a custom platform built but i’m concerned about security, speed, mailer function(for order notifications to all parties), shipping integration and user experience.
    2. i also want to know best remittance option to vendors
    i am not tech savvy and would want my team to focus on the task of verifying and managing the vendors rather than the platform. Though we forecast starting with the above, i need a platform that can be scalable.
    What do you recommend would best suit my need

    1. Hi Jazz,

      A project like this would require having some web development skills, so you might need to hire a web developer to help you build your marketplace. Here you can find a list of multi-vendor online solutions.

      I would recommend using WordPress and the Marketify Theme or Magento with the Marketplace extension.

      Best,

      Bogdan – Editor at ecommerce-platforms.com

  13. Hi,

    I found this page as i was on Mailchimp and it says you can re target users in store but only if you have shopify

    Now i have a magneto store which cost a lot to build and is still not done, the last thing i want after all this expense is to switch to something else.

    Is there a way to bolt on some shopify functions to a magneto store so that you can re target in mailchimp? I suspect it is a big fat no but hope it isnt

    ta

  14. Hello! I already have my e store on woocommerce, but trying to build a corporate fashion e store for the company I work with, which is a big company (5000 items) but on a low budget. I do not want to pay the 15 000$ for magento enterprise, do you know if the magento community free version can handle this task? Size, security, payment etc..
    And how do I know which hosting plan to purchase and where from for such a huge store to avoid space running out and slow transactions?
    Thanks.

  15. Hey there!

    I currently work for a large company that works on Magento. My job is only exposed to a small portion of Magento as I only ever upload product, or organize attributes for uploads.
    I want to put up a small business aside from my current job. My product is very customize-able and would need many attributes available like Magento has. I’m worried that takign on Magento from scratch will be very difficult although I’m quite tech savy. Would shopify be a better option for a small side business or is my current knowledge with Magento a decent enough start to take on an entire website?

    1. Hi Tina, Shopify provides greater ease of use since it is a hosted and fully managed service but if you need some custom features then some web development skills might be necessary.

    1. Hi Faizan, Magento Enterprise Edition has B2B capabilities and Shopify supports B2B (or wholesale) functionality via a number of B2B wholesale apps.

        1. Hi Tamara, you can use an extension like Multi Vendor Marketplace to convert your Magento Store into an online marketplace shop. It works with Community Edition, you will just need to find a good developer.

          Cheers!

          Bogdan – Editor at ecommerce-platforms.com

  16. Do not use Shopify to build your site, because you’ll be stuck on there proprietary store. They own your store and you won’t be able to move it.
    Go with software like Magento, Prestashop or even Woocommmerce and host your store on eComLane.com or another hosting company.
    You’l save thousands of dollars and be happy you did!

    1. Hi Heather, you offered your opinion and insight above back in Feb. 2017, do you still feel the same way? I ask because I am shopping an ecommerce site to move my online business to. I tried Shopify but only got one sell in a year to my 100+ sales on Etsy and the shipping I found to be confusing.

      1. Etsy does the work of driving traffic to your products. If you haven’t invested in driving targeted traffic to your Shopify store you can’t expect to be making sales in equal volume.

        Switching to Magento wont fix this, you need to create a marketing strategy for social media and start running paid traffic to your site. Once you get consistent traffic you can start optimizing your store to convert at a high percentage.

        I’d recommend testing ads to all of your products to find a winner.

  17. Hi,
    Any thoughts about server requirements to run an online store with about 5.000 products?
    I am thinking of getting a SSD 16 VPS from rosehosting (8 CPU Cores and 16 GB of RAM). Is it enough to run and install shopify on it, or should I go with a higher plan?

    1. Hi Jeremy,

      If you are planning on going with Shopify you won’t need to worry about hosting as the websites will be hosted on their servers. Each plan includes unmetered hosting and daily backups for you store.

      Cheers,

      Bogdan – Editor at ecommerce-platforms.com

  18. Thanks for this!

    I have two questions:
    1) which is better for security? Our current (custom built) ecommerce has been hacked twice in the last month. Which is why I’m looking for move over to Magento or Shopify.

    2) We are based in Canada and sell products into the US. To make it attractive and compete with the Amazon consumer mindset we have a very low flat rate shipping (we absorb the loss and pay for it in product profit). Our current store payment is on Stripe and we were able to charge the same prices in both CAD and USD to help offset the customs and shipping costs. For example a product is $20 no matter what currency you’re paying in. The gains in the conversion of USD to CAD are lost in shipping fees etc. Maybe 8 months ago I asked Shopify if they could do this and they told me I’d have to have two stores: US and Can. I could likely have a singular landing page so the customer experience would be seamless but the idea of having to update if or promos twice for every product is daunting. Do you know if this exists on Magento or any other platform?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Fiona,

      Both services handle security issues very well, but Shopify always keep their security systems up to date with best practice so you won’t have to worry about a thing. With Magento you’ll have to keep on top of your updates (including plugins) and make sure you don’t install plugins from unidentified developers. Magento 1 is still being maintained to ensure security issues are addressed.

      Regarding your second question, I would advise you to find a web developer and see if he can implement your request with Magneto.

      Best of luck,

      Bogdan – Editor at ecommerce-platforms.com

        1. After reading this I assume Shopify should be much better option for most startup with limited tech capabilities – It is like having a massive tech supporting your business from the start. I would prefer that.

    2. Your effort to protect your Magento installation starts with the initial setup, and continues with the security-related configuration settings, password management, and ongoing maintenance.
      Use the latest version of Magento to ensure that your installation includes the most recent security enhancements.
      f for any reason you cannot upgrade to the latest version, make sure to install all security patches as recommended by Magento. Although Magento issues security patches to fix major issues, new product releases include additional improvements to help secure the site.
      Use a unique, custom Admin URL instead of the default “admin” or the often-used “backend,” Although it will not directly protect your site from a determined attacker, it can reduce exposure to scripts that try to break into every Magento site. (Never leave your valuables in plain sight.)
      Block access to any development, staging, or testing systems. Use IP whitelisting and .htaccess password protection. When compromised, such systems can produce a data leak or be used to attack the production system.
      Use the correct file permissions. Core Magento and directory files should be set to read only, including app/etc/local.xml files.
      Use a strong password for the Magento Admin. To learn more, see: Creating a strong password.
      Take advantage of Magento’s security-related configuration settings for Admin Security, Password Options, and CAPTCHA.
      Keep file permission as required
      Involve one developer.

  19. Shopify is great but only if you can customise its checkout page. Too bad, it’s not customizable (can’t add additional fields, dropdowns, re-arrange fields, change from multiple steps to one step, and other important checkout customisations) and it’s hosted in a shopify.com subdomain. T___T

  20. I have had my site with Magento for 3 years. I run a small company and I have no software expert other than freelancers when I need changes, security patches, etc. I cant afford to run into problems with the virtual server like I do now having my own Magento installation. I should have built my store in a hosted solution instead so now I have to change. I am considering shoppify, weebly, wix and squarespace. I sell services so i need to get rid of the shipping option and I do not want to have to deal with template or system or even app updates or integration problems. I will have about 300 product when I am done.
    Any recommendations?

  21. Bogdan,
    Which platform is best when it comes to analytics? I would atleast like for Google Analytics to work seamlessly with my eCommerce site and to have accurate tracking of my conversion ratios coming from different ad buys.
    Thank you,
    Geo

    1. Hi Geo,

      Google Analytics can be integrated with most major ecommerce platforms but some services offer in house statistics and analytics.

      You can check out this chart to see what are the strongest and weakest points (including analytics) for five of the most popular ecommerce platforms.

      You can also compare two platforms at a time side-by-side or read individual reviews covering the most important criteria including analytics.

      Hope you’ll find this useful.

      Best,

      Bogdan – Editor at ecommerce-platforms.com

  22. Hi, what are the limitations of magneto when it comes to number of products that it can handle?

    Are websites written using magenta slow after after some point in time?

    In this regards, is it better to write custom code instead of using any template?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Matt,

      Magento allows a virtually unlimited number of products.

      Your host (server) performance and site loading speed might turn out to be serious issues if you add too many products on your Magento store – something you don’t have to worry about with fully managed and hosted solutions like Shopify or BigCommerce.

      The build in templates you choose should not affect your site performance.

      Best of luck!

      Bogdan – Editor at ecommerce-platforms.com

  23. Question – I have the resources to pay a 3rd party to develope my e-commerce website and have zero knowledge and desire to do any maintenance myself after the site gets running. Is Magento my best option? Also, I don’t even see Magento on your previous list of Top 10 e-commerce reviews. Thanks for this site bye the way. It’s great!!

    1. Hi Bill,

      We haven’t listed Magento in our top 10 list because of it’s complexity, therefore it very difficult for a novice user to start a new store without the help of an expert.

      I you don’t want to do any maintenance then Shopify will be the best solution for you. You can invest your resources in developing a unique design and maybe adding custom features to your store.

      Read a more in-depth comparison between the two platforms here.

      Best of luck!

      Bogdan – Editor at ecommerce-platforms.com

  24. Hi,
    if I decide to run with shopify for started , then is it easy to migrate to Magento if my business grown ? Can I get back all data, template, ect. ?
    Thanks

  25. In my country people prefered to pay in cash when deliver ? Can i have this payment method in Shopify or Magento?

    Thanks!
    Natalia

  26. Hi, We have our online store http://www.romoch.com and is built on Magento community edition and we keep facing challenges on getting the configuration done as per our needs due to lack of skills on development front and getting resources with good knowledge on the same. Also, with the latest patches from Magento, there is cost involved to get the changes done as per the website theme. If we consider to shift to Shopify, will the website address remain the same? Additionally, we have invested on SEO in past few months which has assisted in improving our ranking so will that get affected?

    1. You should be able to migrate your website with no problem, including keeping your URL structure for SEO. You can find some resources that you can refer to during your migration hereThere is also the option of hiring a Shopify expert to help you with the migration.

  27. One thing you failed to touch on is with Magento you can have a core set of products and then have multiple stores using the same products under the same magento platform. A huge plus in time management, website creation and inventory management.

  28. I think these two solutions are vastly different and it comes down to what you want to do with your store.

    If you have a store as a side income or you want to take your brick and mortar store online, Shopify is a quick an easy solution. So is Squarespace, if you want it even easier and cheaper. However this comes at price: Flexibility. There will be times when you will be starkly limited.

    If you want to build a store that looks unique and you want full control over each function, Magento is the way to go. You can customize absolutely everything. There are extensions (plugins) for absolutely everything that comes to your mind and more: “Oh, I want to integrate Ebay! Oh, a loyalty points programme would be cool! And while we’re at it give me a custom email marketing tool too!”

    Yes, you will need a programmer for the first months but that will be getting less and less as you learn how it works. Have a freelancer set up your store for you and ask him/her for help only when you really need it.

    My conclusion is: start small with Shopify if you’re unsure and your project is small. If you want a powerhouse shop (and all that goes along with it) go for Magento.

  29. Hello,
    I want to do ecommerce supermarket for a fresh Food.
    Im from Brazil, what do you think its better?
    Magento or Shopify?
    Thanks,
    Diego

    1. Hi Diego, if you don’t have strong development skills or the budget to hire a company to help you with this, I would definitely go with Shopify.

    2. Hi Diego,

      it depends what you would like to do. If you will sell mostly B2B or B2C. Magento, by my oppinion is superior to any other ecommerce system. If you run serious business, you will do anything to hnderstand your customers. And writing your own extensions becomes necessary. It is also important that you know if you will need to integrate ecommerce store with your ERP and CRM. Magento is slow when it comes to updating products and if you have actions where you daily update tousands of products to set special price or something, it takes some time to do so.
      In your case I wouldn’t choose eather of two systems but would build custom system, which would serve as an extranet for your suppliers and buyers.

  30. Magento comes out to be winner instead of Shopify as per your own article. Any serious online business would like to have full control over the host( hosting location/CPU/RAM etc). Any serious business will go for 3rd party web development instead of doing it themselves. If in any case we are going to delegate website development to 3rd party, the advantage of shopify just vanishes!! Magento being free definitely becomes the obvious choice

    1. Thanks for your comment Wasim! Most of our readers though are not technical enough to use Magento though.

      1. Totally agree. We use Magento and as a small startup with a non-technical founder, it is very expensive, not to mention frustration to have to use a developer for every single little thing we want to do. I really regret not going with an out of the box solution like Shopify from the her go.

    2. Not obvious for most small startups and businesses who don’t have the cash, time or knowledge to get a Magento implementation. I am tech savvy (work in IT) and have been frustrated by the bugs and complexity of Magento. Any serious online business needs to be focused on customer engagement, sales, and cashflow not on managing the complexities and bugs of the ecommerce platform. As someone who has just launched on a Magento platform for my online business I can’t recommend it at all. If I had known when I started what I know now I would have gone with Spotify. However I totally see the benefit of Magento for established businesses with cash to burn. In that instance i would recommend Magento.

  31. Well-written and well-organized article; thank you.

    Which do you think would be a better choice for an existing SaaS business that is moving towards providing other types of services — all of which would be delivered electronically, i.e., no “hard goods”? There’s also a need to provide pay-as-you-go pricing as well as a “member” level that would yield discounts on all services. The need to take care of hosting is not an issue (since the existing business is already providing SaaS on Amazon= and Rackspace-hosted cloud servers) and likewise development and customization is not a barrier, since there are existing developers on staff.

  32. What about when dealing with large amounts of traffic? Shopify and its integrated hosting solution may fall flat when dealing with heavy traffic loads and/or the inability to handle thousands of products.

  33. In comparing these 2 I have a question about SEO/SEM. Is shopify at a disadvantage when it comes to SEO/SEM?

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