Magento vs. Shopify

Choosing the right ecommerce platform is important for any business. You need to make sure it works for you and your long-term goals. Magento ecommerce is a great choice for many businesses. One out of four businesses choose it, and with the release of Magento 2.0, it is definitely going to be an ideal ecommerce platform for most.

One of Magento’s main competitors is Shopify, which is rising in popularity. Both ecommerce platforms are great and suit different merchant’s needs. To someone who is new to ecommerce and web development, choosing between the two ecommerce platforms can be confusing, so we will go through what the main differences are!
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A big difference between Magento ecommerce and Shopify is the coding behind them. Magento is an open source platform, which means the code is available for developers to build and change as they please. Shopify, on the other hand, is proprietary code. Ths means the code is owned by Shopify and cannot be changed.

To some people this may seem no big deal. If you have a very simple store, then Shopify would work fine. However, if you wanted to change bits of the template or add more complex functionality, then you wouldn’t be able to with Shopify. This is where Magento works great as an ecommerce platform as you can make your store exactly how you want it with no restrictions.



Magento has two editions, Community and Enterprise. While Enterprise is quite expensive, Magento’s Community edition is free to use and comes with all the basic ecommerce features you would need from a platform. The only thing you would need to pay for is hosting, which can start from as little as £5 per month. Of course, if you want your website to run smoothly and efficiently, you would need to pay a bit more for hosting.

Shopify on the other hand is self-hosted but you will need to pay a monthly fee to use the service. Plans start from $29 per month for the basic and can go up to $179 for unlimited. The basic package is a decent price, however merchant’s are limited to the number of products they upload and don’t have access to ecommerce features such as abandoned cart. You would need to upgrade to the top package for this, which can become expensive.

Magento comes with unlimited product uploads and also a range of ecommerce features. You would have to buy extensions or modules for extras, however the cost of these is a lot lower in comparison to Shopify.  



Following from the previous point, both Magento ecommerce and Shopify come with basic ecommerce features, but both offer a number of different extensions to really personalise your ecommerce store.

The difference between the two though is how many each offer. Magento offers merchant’s over 5,000 different extensions (both paid and free) while Shopify only has about 100 different apps to choose from. Of course, if you are only looking for a simple ecommerce site then Shopify will work fine, but if you are looking to grow your business and add more, then you would be very limited with Shopify in comparison to Magento.


So, which ecommerce platform is right for you?

It is hard to give a concrete answer. Both ecommerce platforms are great choices. Shopify provides a great starting place for smaller shops or those who do not have much web development experience. However, if you are looking for an ecommerce platform that has good long-term capabilities, then Magento ecommerce is a clear winner, especially now with the Magento 2.0 update. 

Magento has all the bells and whistles needed to make the perfect ecommerce site. It was built to be scalable, so it can grow with your business with ease. It is open source and has countless number of extensions meaning you can build your site to be exactly how you want it without limits.

What’s more is, Magento has a great community of developers who are there to support you if you have a question about the ecommerce platform. This is a plus of course if you are new and need a bit of help with installing or code, but can also help as developers like to share their own designs, so you can get a bit of inspiration too!


If you are looking to use Magento for your ecommerce platform why not come and talk to us about it. We have over eight years of Magento experience, we’re Magento certified and have a proven track record of building bespoke Magento stores for our clients.

We are based in Cardiff and Cornwall, so can service all clients from South Wales to South West England. Why not pop in for a cuppa and we can go through everything you need!


Magento is the leading solution for eCommerce, and we’re specialists. Magento is easy-to-use, completely customisable and endlessly scalable.

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