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Shopify or Magento? Which is the right e-commerce platform?


Any e-commerce website has to be chosen, taking into consideration a number of factors. If you want to digitise or start a new e-commerce business, it is much likely to get confused. Shopify and Magento are the biggest and most widely used ecommerce platforms to choose for website development for eCommerce. We have a very brief yet detailed description of the features and functionalities of both platforms. Read on to find the best match for your business!

What are Shopify and Magento?

Magento was launched in 2007. It is widely reputed amongst its users mainly because of high flexibility in customization. Magento has 2 versions; Magento Open Source and Magento Commerce. Before checking its benefits, let us first see the features of the 2 versions.

  • Magento Open Source: It is completely free of cost and a self hosted platform. It helps users to build an online store for their business from scratch.
  • Magento Commerce: This is a paid edition of the Magento platform. This version is highly recommended for merchants and dealers. It helps them scale up their business sales and provides good optimization of store websites.

Shopify is a proprietary e-commerce platform. It allows business owners to open a unique, highly optimised online store to run and scale their e-commerce business. It does not require much technical knowledge for operating. This also has 2 versions; Shopify and Shopify Plus. Let us see what the use of these versions is.

  • Shopify: This is a hosted platform. It helps people without much technical know-how, to open an online store and run a business smoothly. A store created on Shopify can also be highly customised according to the specific needs of the company.
  • Shopify Plus: It is a paid platform, spanning multiple channels. Shopify Plus provides all the features that Shopify does. But it comes with even more improved and refined features. It has much more variety of options for store customization, provides a highly sophisticated support system and also comes with other useful features not available on Shopify.

Before comparing the features of these two e-commerce platforms, it is wise to state that both Magento and Shopify have great beneficial uses. They are unique in their own ways and provide high-quality features. We will give an unbiased account of all the advantages and loopholes of both platforms. But keep in mind, that when you choose a platform for business growth, choose the one that suits your business needs the most.

Shopify Vs Magento

Ease of use—Shopify or Magento?

Before any other considerations, it is important to ensure which platform is easy to use. After all, anybody would want a platform where they can set up their online store easily and run their business absolutely hassle-free. Shopify and Magento come with an extremely user-friendly interface and easy to use store setup features. Read on to find out which platform is best suited for your business needs.

In spite of providing an easy to use interface, there is a huge difference between Magento and Shopify when it comes to coding. Magento is designed using PHP as the language of coding. Shopify uses Liquid as its coding medium for Shopify development. Most importantly, Magento has an open source code. This just means that its source code (the code with which the platform is originally designed) is freely available to anyone. So anyone can edit and modify the code according to their business demands.

Shopify, on the contrary, is proprietary. So it does not provide freely available open source code. Hence, Magento is highly recommended for enterprise owners since it can be modified and customised according to complicated business needs. Shopify, on the other hand, works best for simple stores that are just getting started.

But do not be quick to jump into conclusions yet. Magento can be a big hurdle for first time users. This is because it requires users to have a lot of technical knowledge to open their online stores in the first place. Users need to know at least some code to make use of the features and functionalities. Shopify is much more user-friendly. Moreover, Shopify provides 24×7 phone support that Magento does not have. This Shopify feature helps users with any doubt at any time of the day.

Which is more budget friendly — Shopify or Magento?

Shopify is a platform hosted by the company. This just means that users have to pay a certain fee every month to be able to access its software functionalities. But they do not need to pay at first. Shopify provides a free 15 days trial service to help users check if it is beneficial for them. They can then decide whether or not to use this paid platform.

The cost of the paid Shopify versions are as follows:

  • Basic– $29 per month
  • Pro– $79 per month
  • Unlimited– $179 per month

Shopify also charges fees on transactions. This means that for every transaction on payment gateways like PayPal or Braintree, Shopify deducts a small amount for itself from the total. Magento has a completely free edition.

Whereas, users just have to pay for purchasing a hosting solution for Magento since it is a self hosted platform. The price of a hosting solution ranges anywhere between $1 – $200 per month.

Which has more diverse features– Shopify or Magento?

Both of these e-commerce platforms are great in terms of feature diversity, to run and scale your e-commerce website. However, they do have certain differences which may be a crucial factor in your platform choice.

When it comes to themes and templates, both are equally good. Both Shopify and Magento have an amazing collection of template designs for an eye catching first time impression of potential customers.

However, when it comes to language flexibility, Magento takes the lead. This is because Magento serves many users with inbuilt multilingual features. Shopify does not have such features. So if your language is not included in Shopify, you have to rely on third party sources to make your store fully multilingual.

Lastly, Magento has created an amazingly strong and helpful community of Magento users, unlike Shopify. This helps users discuss the problems they encountered while setting up their store. This feature makes Magento a highly loved and respected platform in the e-commerce business.

What about security?—Magento vs Shopify

Cyber crimes are on the rise and thousands of websites are illegally hacked on a daily basis. So make sure your e-commerce business platform provides maximum security against cyberspace crimes.

Shopify is thankfully SSL encrypted and comes with Level 1 PCI DSS compliance ( a set of measures for handling online payments). This makes your online e-commerce website highly secure. Magento gives users the opportunity to improve security and keeps sending software updates to ensure high security. This flexibility makes Magento a more preferred choice amongst users.


We hope you now have all your doubts resolved. Magento and Shopify both are robust eCommerce platforms. You can choose any of the ones according to the factors that you find are essential for the failure or success of your eCommerce business. You are now all set and good to go to start your e-commerce website with a bang!

About Author:

Morris Edwards is a Manager at Awebstar, a web design, and development company in Singapore which is dealing with digital marketing, SEO, mobile app development, logo designing, social media marketing, and more. Follow him on Facebook to get his new articles and updates instantly.

  • By Asda Money

    Great content! Keep up the good work!

    / Reply