Woocommerce, Magento, Shopify, and Prestashop all offer a robust platform for an online store, but each of them is aimed at a different type of audience.
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But what is the best platform to set up an online store?
Well, all platforms are great at what each sets out to do. They are packed with features and extensions, as well as being very popular on the interwebs. Each with its target audience.
Of course, we can already say that each of them has its peculiarities, but at the same time, they all offer a perfect eCommerce backend and frontend for your business.
So let’s do a comparison between top eCommerce solutions, Woocommerce, Magento, Prestashop, and Shopify. Which one is better for your online store?
For those familiar with WordPress, Woocommerce is a plugin that turns the world’s leading content manager into a professional online store. All in a simple, practical, effective, and fast way!
Woocommerce is the second most used tool in online sales. Without a doubt, its success is because if you need to leave your WordPress desktop, you can transform a blog into a virtual store. It is also a completely free and open-source plugin, recommended for businesses with not too extensive catalogs (around 2,000 products).
Remember that if you choose WooCommerce, you must choose a good WordPress Hosting (we show you how to choose it).
- Plugins in continuous development: there is a very wide community of users and you will find information of all kinds with which to solve design and operation problems.
- Integrated manager in WordPress: hundreds of templates and plugins in an environment that is already familiar to you and in which you can make basic adjustments in record time.
- A high degree of customization: you can modify practically everything to create a virtual store that best defines the personality of your business. Discover the best templates for WooCommerce.
- It is only available with a WordPress installation.
- If you are not familiar with WordPress, you need to learn two new platforms.
- Many plugins and extensions for Woocommerce are paid.
Magento is already a standalone e-commerce platform in its own right. That is, it does not depend on another to work. It is suitable for medium and large virtual stores, as it offers more robust and high-demand features.
- Free and open source platform: users from all over the world and major companies collaborate to improve Magento with their contributions to the code.
- A private system: it works from the user’s own server, so all information about products and transactions is strictly confidential.
- A large number of modules and services: with Magenta and eCommerce businesses have the opportunity to grow. The additional modules (also with a free license) allow you to customize the platform so that when you create an online store you also create your own brand identity.
- Simple SEO positioning: it is a platform that integrates very well with search engines so that your business is better positioned with minimal effort.
- Requires programming knowledge: to take advantage of all the customization options, it is essential to have knowledge that allows you to modify the code until you get what you want.
- Platform too heavy: the database contains an infinity of files (some of the little use) that can be a headache for the inexperienced user.
- Need for good hosting: the platform is free in all aspects, but to create an eCommerce with optimal performance, it is necessary to contract the services of a powerful server.
If you are a small or medium entrepreneur, the Shopify alternative is presented as one of the most attractive. This software was created in 2006 by a Canadian company and, although it was initially aimed at Anglo-Saxon eCommerce, its use has also spread in Spanish-speaking countries.
- Quick and easy: Creating a virtual store with Shopify is a relatively simple task even for those with no programming knowledge. The software has an intuitive interface that allows you to make changes and give your online store a professional look in just a few hours.
- SEO optimization functions: the software includes interesting marketing options so that your page is positioned correctly in search engines.
- Associated blog: at the same time that you design your business on the Internet, you have the option of creating an associated blog with which to promote yourself.
- Sales on Facebook: it is a very useful tool to sell on Facebook and make your products have more sales.
- Fees and commissions: it is a payment platform (there are different financing plans) that takes generous commissions for each transaction.
- Migration issues: When you cancel a Shopify account because you want to migrate to another platform, you lose all your data.
- Product limitation: if you intend to create an eCommerce with a large catalog of products, the options of this platform could be a bit short for you.
Prestashop is an older platform (approx. 2007), which has established itself as one of the best options today. It is very powerful. It was created in 2008 in France and already has 250,000 online stores. PrestaShop is an open-source eCommerce CMS developed with the participation of a community of more than a million members and contributors from all over the world.
PrestaShop is based on the Symfony framework and offers more than 600 features that will help you develop your online store. In addition, in its Addons marketplace, you will find more than 5,000+ modules and templates available.
Prestashop has been designed from the beginning to be an online store, so the focus is clearly defined to facilitate the loading of products. Prestashop also has a CMS section to create your informative pages, but with very very limited options.
- New functionalities can be incorporated into the online store in a simple way
- Languages: Supports more than 40 languages and almost all types of currency
- Security: It allows the use of SSL and different user roles with different catalog modes.
- Customizing: You can easily add attributes to products: size, color, size.
- Users can place an order without registration.
- Multimedia: Multimedia system, you can embed videos, downloadable files, audio, and images.
- You can manage several online stores from a single administrator
- Prestashop has other outstanding services such as a good support and training team, web audit and optimization, user guide, and eCommerce calendar.
- Scalability Limit: Prestashop is a good solution for small and mid businesses. But when it comes to expanding your business Prestashop has limited scalability.
- Few Free Options: Prestashop has a few free options when we talk about Add-Ons.
- Paid Support: If you look for official support it will be paid.
Comparison by Aspects – Woocommerce vs Shopify vs Magento vs Prestashop
Easy to use
- Woocommerce: Woocommerce is very straightforward to use. Everything will take you at least a full weekend of work. Most people spend two weeks or more. If you are a WordPress beginner, you will spend more time. Sure, there’s a setup wizard, but it won’t teach you how to tune PHP when you get an error on line 101. You will have to learn the basics before you can do anything. And you will spend a lot of time trial and error.
- Shopify: With Shopify, it’s easier to get the experience you need as you go through page setup. Anyone can enter the platform and know what to do immediately. Setting up a store can take just a few hours with Shopify.
- Magento: This is hard to say that Magento is easy to use. When it comes to the learning curve, other platforms are better than Magento in terms of ease of use. Even you need to hire a developer to build your online store. So if you are not able to afford that much, I suggest you go with Woocommerce or Shopify.
- Prestashop: Once installed, PrestaShop offers a simple and functional administration panel. With a simple glance, you can see the summary of sales, order status, or notifications from your store. In the left area, you will find the main menu, from where you can access the main functionalities of the store. They are grouped into sales, customization, and configuration. Initial setup is easy to do. Once you finish configuring your PrestaShop you can add products to your online store.
- Woocommerce: Calculating the price of setting up a WooCommerce store is particularly difficult. Although the plugin itself is free, there are many factors to consider that can make up the total investment you make in your store. From the server where your page is hosted, the development and maintenance costs, the monthly price of the different plugins you buy, the sales commission charged by the chosen payment operator, etc. The only payment you will have to make to access it is $15 for the domain name and $70-$120 for the payment of a hosting server.
- Shopify: Shopify has three plans: The Basic Shopify Plan costs $29 per month plus a 2% transaction fee; the Shopify Plan is $79 per month and a 1% transaction fee; The Advanced Shopify Plan, finally, is $299 per month plus a 0.5% transaction fee. They also have a Shopify Lite plan for $9 per month where you can add products to previously developed websites.
- Magento: On Magento, you need to purchase hosting and domain as it is on Woocommerce. We can even say it will cost almost the same as it costs on Woocommerce. For example, if you purchase hosting from a Hosting company like Siteground, it will cost you $12-15/mo (depending on the plan you choose) and a domain costs $10-15/year.
- Prestashop: Well, Prestashop is free to download but it is not free to use entirely to manage your online store. You need to get a hosting plan and a domain name for your online business. It will be the same as I mentioned above for Magento. But Prestashop is not as easy to use as other competitors as I mentioned in the “Easy to use” section. So you might need to hire a web developer that can vary your total cost for building an online store with Prestashop.
- Woocommerce: All WooCommerce stores are built on WordPress. WordPress is a very secure system, but it has one caveat. WooCommerce cannot obtain a PCI DSS certificate as it is a WordPress plugin. In this sense, it can be integrated with many security plugins, but you have to install or purchase them on your own, both for the site in general and for the payment gateway. WooCommerce allows you to even accept offline or cash-on-delivery payments between your payment methods, something that can be useful for some entrepreneurs but could also hinder the purchase process.
- Shopify: Platforms like Shopify take care of doing that maintenance for you, so you never have to worry about the security of your account. Shopify has its security certificates included by default. It has a Level 1 PCI DSS certificate. This is an international security certification issued by the PCI Security Standard Council to prevent credit card fraud.
- Magento: Magento has a great security layer to secure your online store. If we compare it to Prestashop, Magento is far better. Magento fixes its security issues regularly in its security patches core updates. Also, there are third-party add-ons available like other platforms do. So Magento is absolutely a secure platform to work with.
- Prestashop: In Prestashop, you need to buy a dedicated security plan or security Addons like Security Pro that will cost you extra money. Prestashop doesn’t have inbuilt security features as another eCommerce has. If you are not going to secure your Prestashop store with paid Addons, you are free to secure your store with coding.
- Woocommerce: Because it’s not technically a paid product (although ultimately the price of paying for a server, developing a page, and hiring plugins can add up to astronomical amounts), WooCommerce doesn’t offer support. What it does have is detailed documentation and subform within the WordPress forum, where users post questions and try to help each other. It should be noted that most users of this forum are programmers and sometimes the language becomes too technical.
- Shopify: Shopify, meanwhile, only offers 24/7 support via email and live chat. All other means of help, documentation, and many articles, are available. Like WooCommerce, it does have a forum in which users can post their questions and help each other.
- Magento: Since Magento is an open-source platform, there is a support forum. And users can seek their queries in the support forum, documentation, and knowledge base. Along with a support forum and documentation, Magento offers free support via ticket.
- Prestashop: Prestashop doesn’t offer free support, you need to purchase their support plan which includes quick support and expert consultancy. Prestashop support plan costs around $249 to $1399 (depends on the support level you want).
Comparison Table with Aspects
|No. of Users||3,300,000+||300,000+||1,300,000+||250,000+|
|Price||Hosting – $8-14/mo (depends on plans)|
Domain – $10-15/year
|Hosting – $6-12/mo (depends on plans)|
Domain – $10-15/year
|Shopify Lite: $9/mo|
Basic Shopify: $29/mo
Advanced Shopify: $299/mo
|Hosting – $40-45/mo (depends on plans)|
|Commissions||Depends on payment gateway||Depends on payment gateway||From 0.5% to 2%||Depends on payment gateway|
|Free Trial||No||Hosting trial||14-day trial||Hosting trail|
|SEO Tools||WordPress SEO plugins||SEO add-ons||Shopify SEO apps||SEO Extensions|
|Support & Help||Documentation, & forum|
(No official support offered)
|Official support (paid)||Phone, chat, email,|
|Phone support available & forum|
|Extensibility||Lots of WordPress plugins||Thousands of modules||Thousands of Apps||Hundred of Extensions|
WooCommerce is ideal for you if you are thinking of complementing your online store with a good blog and want to have an open and flexible platform to incorporate new features.
Shopify is perfect for you if you want to go to market quickly, without technical complications, and use one of the best eCommerce platforms that currently exist.
Prestashop can come in handy if you have a high volume of products, need to be in sync with your physical store, or want to easily internationalize your eCommerce.
Magento is a perfect solution for medium and large eCommerce setups. Also, Magento is a very secure eCommerce platform with its inbuilt advanced cache.
I hope this comparison between Woocommerce vs Shopify vs Magento vs Prestashop helped you come up with an eCommerce platform to start your online store.