Choosing the right online platform for your store is vital, and can make or break your ecommerce business. With so many options available, however, it can be tricky to choose the right one. The main two contenders on the market are Magento 2 and Shopify, and are often pitted against one another when choosing a platform, but they are vastly different to one another. 

When you are building an ecommerce website it is important to choose a platform that suits your business. With the recent release of Magento 2, Magento has risen in popularity but Shopify does still have its faithful followers. There are pros and cons to both, so for those who might not be sure which one to choose for your business, keep reading for some helpful information.


Magento Version 2.0

The Pros

  • Coding Compatibility: Magento 2.0 uses PHP for its coding language while Shopify uses a language called Liquid. Magento is also an open source platform while Shopify is not, which can have an effect on what can and cannot be done. Open source code can be easily modified for custom ecommerce websites, making Magento 2 a better choice for more advanced businesses.

  • Large Community For Help: With the popularity of Magento 2 on the rise, you will notice that there is a large community of users who can answer any questions you might have about the code or the platform itself. This can help novice developers if they run into problems as the solutions are often clearly laid out and explained.

  • Flexible And Scalable: One of the major benefits of using Magento 2 is that it is highly scalable and flexible. You can build an online business that will grow as your website does, which is what every business owner wants. If you know some coding, or can hire someone to code for you, you can easily scale your ecommerce website up or down as you need.

  • Better Branding And Design: The branding and design of your ecommerce website can help to set you apart from the crowd. With Magento 2, you are able to use either the ready-made templates that offer drag-and-drop capabilities, so that even non-developers can create a stunning branded website with very little hassle and stress. However, be sure that you understand how to make these elements cohesive. 


The Cons

  • Requires Coding Knowledge: While the branding and design side is easy enough for those who may not be able to code, if you are not a website developer, Magento 2 can be difficult to grasp. It is not as straightforward as Shopify and might become daunting if you do not have a developer helping you.

  • Longer Learning Curve: While Magento 2 does allow for some easy tweaking to your ecommerce website, it can take much longer to learn how to use the platform. This might not be beneficial to your business, especially if you want a website to be up and running quickly so that you can start selling goods.

  • Cumulative Costs: Magento ecommerce websites are hosted through third parties, which does make them highly affordable for smaller businesses. However, if your website and business grows, you will need to pay for more hosting, which could become costly for a business of any size. Keeping your ecommerce website simple can help with these costs. 


The Pros

  • Mobile-Ready Themes: A vital component to the success of any online store or website is to be mobile ready, which Shopify allows for all of its themes. These themes automatically resize and optimise for various devices without you having to make any coding changes or resizing of any elements. This is ideal for any modern website.

  • Large App Store: Shopify has an impressive app store for people to use, allowing you to easily expand or extend the functionality of your website. The apps are also relatively easy-to-use, but this does depend on the app you wish to use and what it will be used for.

  • 24/7 Support: Having readily-available support teams at Shopify is a major benefit, especially if you notice an issue with your store or if you have a question about how to design or implement something in your store. The community is also helpful and knowledgeable, ideal for those who are not technically-minded. 

The Cons

  • Limited Free Themes: The number of free themes available for free use is quite limited, which can be highly detrimental to those on a small budget who cannot find what they are looking for in the free options. This is where Magento 2 wins out, as it is highly customisable and you do not need to pay much extra for these customisations.

  • Apps Add Complexity: While there are numerous apps to choose from in the app store, adding too many can increase the complexity for users when browsing your store. It is best to start small and choose only the apps which will enhance your store rather than looking at every new, shiny app that draws in your eye.

  • Transaction Fee Per Sale: Arguably the biggest disadvantage of using Shopify is that they charge a transaction fee per sale, which can become hugely expensive in the long run. You can use the Shopify payment gateway to alleviate this, but it might not be as effective as other options, especially for international markets. 

Who Wins Out?

Your choice depends on what type and size of ecommerce website you wish to build, but when it comes to scalability and flexibility, Magento 2 is the clear winner. Magento also offers more front-end options and better customisation, but Shopify can be useful for those who want a simple ecommerce website without too many frills. 

In terms of branding and design, Magento 2 is heads and shoulders above Shopify, but it can take a while to learn the ins and outs of Magento for non-developers. Overall, Magento 2 is the ideal choice for medium to large businesses, and can provide the perfect starting point for smaller online stores. If you would like a Magento website for your business, feel free to contact NetMechanic for more information on our packages.