Choosing an appropriate e-commerce platform for your website can be a difficult task. There is a very wide range of offerings. While choosing the right platform is essential to the look of your website and the goal you want to achieve. Choices may have to do with cost, speed of build, features, available extensions, usability, etc.
Especially business owners who have gratefully used Magento 1 are now faced with the choice Migrate to Magento 2 or opt for another platform? Today we compare Magento 2 with the (also) widely used Shopify, which is slowly but surely settling on Dutch soil.
We are using the Open Source edition of Magento 2 in this comparison
Magento is a hugely well-known and valued e-commerce platform, including in the Netherlands. Shopify, on the other hand, has a very small market share in the Netherlands. This is partly because, until recently, integration with iDeal was not possible.
Magento has become an integral part of the Dutch webshop industry. The Netherlands is one of the countries where a huge number of entrepreneurs have Magento web shops created, and Magento is the most widely used open source web store platform in the Netherlands. And for good reason. In our blog, we regularly review an alternative option and weigh it against the benefits of Magento 2. It becomes clear that Magento has certainly earned its place, a view confirmed by renowned e-commerce specialists.
In terms of coding, Shopify and Magento are very different. Magento uses PhP, while Shopify uses a code language called Liquid. Furthermore, Magento is open source, and Shopify is fully patented. This is very important to include in your consideration because it determines what is or is not possible.
In terms of usability, Magento 2 has made up a lot of ground compared to Magento 1. However, it is still difficult to get along with it, as a non-technical person, without proper instruction.
Shopify, on the other hand, stands out for its simplicity and user-friendliness. That’s a big reason why many small retailers will choose Shopify. The Shopify dashboard is so tremendously simple to use, there is hardly any technical knowledge involved. You can use many automatic settings. The front and backend are both equally smooth.
With Shopify, hardly any installation is required. The platform is known for allowing you to have your website online within half an hour. You can use many templates. With Magento, you need both some time and expertise before you have your new shop properly installed.
Both platforms have a tremendous amount of features. Yet Magento takes the crown with this. It is a lot more powerful than Shopify, so it was created to enable web developers to create broad, comprehensive web stores.
Plug-ins and extensions
In numbers, Magento 2 and Shopify balance each other out. With both, you currently have a choice of 1300-1400 extensions. However, the number of Magento 2 is growing much faster and these support more complex options, which are almost non-existent with Shopify, such as multisites, predictive and advanced analytics, support for complex and digital products, etc.
Both platforms offer a wide selection of themes and templates with responsive design.
Magento 2 has the advantage here because of its built-in multilanguage support. Shopify requires the use of third-party apps, which do not always mesh well with the chosen theme.
Shopify releases many articles on how to use Shopify, and also has a help center. Behind Magento, on the other hand, there is a complete community, where people can help each other, for example by offering solutions to problems they encounter while setting up the online store. Entrepreneurs, partners & developers are constantly working on fixing all your Magento related problems.
There are three subscriptions: Basic $29/month, Pro $79/month and Unlimited $179/month. There can be a fair amount on top of that depending on what extensions you use. You also take those out by the month. Cheap in the short term, but more costly if you want to run it for a few years.
Magento 2 OS
The Magento system is free to use in the Open Source edition. But it clearly takes expertise and time to install it completely, with all the extensions included, after which the whole thing has to be tested as well. You pay a one-time fee for the extensions, after which you can get all the updates for free. Do consider costs associated with hosting or professional support, for example.
Extensions for Magento
Magento can be extended with new functionality through so-called extensions available through the Magento Marketplace.
These third-party applications perform the function of providing the features of
actually extend the Magento 2 platform. As a result, they are also
extensions called. The existence of the extensions gives a huge
added value to Magento 2. Installing and configuring extensions
So is a very important action within the development process.
Updates for your Magento 2 webshop
With the release of Magento version 2.3.x, the e-commerce platform has matured a lot and we can leave a lot of the teething problems behind. A Magento 2 webshop continues to require maintenance. There are the necessary Magento updates or Magento (security) patches, which happen several times a year and must be installed in the backend. The changes written into the Magento code by an update – in fact, pieces of the code are rewritten or replaced – cause your shop to react in a different way, making it faster, more secure, more comprehensive, etc., just what the update is supposed to improve.
Updates and AVG
But we also need to be alert based on new laws. In the new
(European) regulations, which take effect on May 25, 2018, will be
stricter data protection requirements. This AVG (General
Data Protection Regulation, in English: GDPR) provides, among other things
for strengthening and expanding privacy rights and puts more
responsibilities with the implementing organizations. A proper Magento 2
patching policy is crucial in this. We recommend that our customers use their
Paper up Magento 2 patching policies and implement them accordingly,
so customers know they are safe and business owners don’t have to risk
to run afoul of the high fines that lie ahead in this.
Optimization of your Magento 2 webshop
Also, to keep your Magento 2 webshop running as quickly and optimally as possible, it needs regular maintenance. This is specific support, focused mainly on stability and speed. For your customers, you definitely want your Magento website performance to be optimal so they don’t drop out before they’ve ordered and paid. On busy days (Black Friday, Christmas, St. Nicholas) you may also need more power in your Magento 2 shop; want bandwidth used by the shop to be scalable, something that can be taken care of with good Magento 2 hosting. Just some of the support tasks related to optimization.
Backend and frontend support for your Magento 2 webshop
In addition to patches and updates, other support is available for your site. For example, certain extensions may not work optimally when they also need an update. Or that you want to add additional payment functionality. Or that you have new agreements with a supplier or a transportation company, which you want to see reflected in an option for the customer. Or one of countless other options.
Magento 2 for B2B e-commerce
Dutch entrepreneurs have been enthusiastic about Magento’s capabilities for years. Not for nothing, as a reputable research firm like Forrester identifies the Magento platform as the best choice for medium-sized B2B companies, who want “open” solution, with lots of features and extensibility. And Gartner calls Magento a leader in agility and scalability, for companies looking to grow in an ever-changing market.
Shopify and Magento 2 are similar, yet also very different. Shopify leaves much to be desired in areas of features and extensions. We do notice the user-friendliness of Shopify. This makes it ideally suited for small online retailers. Magento is perfect for those who want complete scalability without any limitations, and do not shy away from the technical aspects. It is made for web store owners who want optimal power and operation. A Magento 2 shop takes longer to develop. This is a disadvantage.