Once an eCommerce business has arrived on the market and sales are on the rise, the question quickly arises as to which shop system can best serve the increasing success.
In 2016, we noticed that this question is more and more a decision between Magento and Shopify. We have already moved many pages from Magento to Shopify and would like to share a brief comparison of the two systems with you.
Magento was released in 2008 and is a classic open source eCommerce system. The user must accomplish the installation on its own Web server – even if in the meantime many Web hoster like 1 & 1 pre-installed systems offer. As a consequence, updates and security patches have to be installed on Magento itself.
Since the user has full access to the source code, Magento can be adapted very strongly to own needs and processes. This also allows complicated sales processes and extensive functionalities to be integrated directly into your own shop. Also, the variety of plugins and extensions is justified here. However, this open approach also often leads to compatibility issues, and even small maintenance and modifications always require software engineers or Magento experts.
Founded in Canada in 2006, Shopify is a cloud/software as a service solution. This means that Shopify manages both the servers and the software for the stores themselves.
Due to the service-oriented approach, maintenance and upgrades are not an issue at Shopify. The web shop can be used after just a few steps and can be operated very comfortably. The dealer can use a variety of templates, the appearance is of course 100% configurable.
To extend the core functionality is a variety of apps available that also enable the integration of features such as shipping, accounting or marketing with Shopify. As a result, other systems such as SAP, Salesforce and the like can be connected directly to Shopify.
Magento is the more powerful system, but difficult to maintain and requires a lot of knowledge. Shopify initially restricts the flexibility, but with the interfaces and the apps, it provides options for customization. We do not find Shopify’s guidelines disturbing – they often help define more efficient processes.
|system||Cloud (Software as a Service) model, monthly rentable webshop. Server and technical infrastructure are on Shopify.||System is self-installed and hosted. Many 1-click options on known web hosts. Technical responsibility and maintenance must be assumed.|
|Template and layout||For Shopify there are a lot of partially free themes, which are very easy to set and redesign||A centrally managed template store is missing, resulting in less quality control. Reorganization often more complex.|
|backend||Simple user guidance and very stable administration area. Only available in English.||Since Magento 2 developed much more responsive and consistent, often sluggish slowed by plugins or by in-house developments.|
|Integration and extensions||As a platform, Shopify offers an open interface (API) that enables a large oil ecosystem of apps. A variety of systems and extensions is available.||Being open-source, it is possible to make changes to virtually any part of the system. A variety of plugins is available but again lacks a uniform quality standard.|
|safety||Shopify continues to take care of the maintenance and development of the infrastructure. SSL and secure checkout active in all stores by default||For Magento updates and patches must be recorded by yourself. Also, the encryption must be installed separately.|
|price||Shopify offers different packages, it is about 29 € / month lost||Magento is available free of charge but must be installed on a web server. Now also available as a cloud application.|