If you have a small business and you are looking for an ecommerce solution for your website, it can be tempting to go the whole hog with a package like Adobe’s Magento. But is this the right choice, particularly if you have a small enterprise? We have taken a look at the benefits of WordPress and why you should use WooCommerce and not Magento.
First of all, what’s the difference between Magento and WooCommerce? WooCommerce is a powerful plugin for the WordPress platform. It offers all the features you need from an e-commerce solution, while retaining the ease-of-use of its parent platform. Magento is an e-commerce platform tailored to web development professionals, and medium to large online stores. It offers one of the most robust feature sets in the field, which makes it ideal for stores with high aspirations.
How do you decide and what are the pros and cons WooCommerce and Magento?
WooCommerce is cheaper
WooCommerce is entirely open source and free to use. You can build a fully functioning online store, with hosting and a domain name, for a considerably lower cost than you are able to with Magento.
Both Magento and WooCommerce offer extension libraries so you can add more functionality to your store, however WooCommerce extensions are typically a lot more affordable. An extension that integrates accounting software Xero with your store is $399 (£282) with Magento while the WooCommerce extension is about 20% of this cost. To offer discounted product bundles in Magento, you’ll need to pay $199 (£150), the same on with WooCommerce is a quarter of the price. These extra costs can soon mount up but the benefits of going the WooCommerce route go a lot further.
A work of caution here; whilst the WooCommerce plug-ins are extensive, integration here is key; use a professional company that can help ensure that the ones used have high security and will work together without conflicting with each other.
Magento can be customized, but without hiring an expensive expert developer to build and manage your store it is basically impossible. There is a steep learning curve that you may not have time for, it is geared towards developers rather than small business owners so the build and running costs are high.
WooCommerce, on the other hand, was built specifically for small business owners, and it can still grow with you. The build costs are a lot lower, as are the costs of running the site. Once built it can have high-level functionality, look great and be highly user-friendly when you want to update it.
Since WooCommerce is built for WordPress, so they integrate perfectly and an expert development company (like one2one digital) can normally get you exactly the look and feel that you want at a very reasonable cost and create pages that are as simple or complex as your store requires.
It has unlimited flexibility – but more importantly, it is accessible flexibility.
There are more WordPress resources on the internet. WordPress is the highest used CMS and there are many online resources that can help learn how to use it and many companies that can manage it for you.
Magento Open Source doesn’t provide any support directly from the Magento team. Magento Commerce offers customer support via phone, chat, and support tickets. There’s also documentation for DIYers, but the help documents for both Open Source and Commerce are written for developers and assume a good understanding of the code.
Because every WooCommerce store is built on WordPress, your business will harness the powerful features of the software that runs 35% of the web. And with access to everything WordPress offers, you can build more than just an online store – create pages of any kind, set up forums and online communities, offer membership programs.
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In fact the sky’s the limit, since you have access to many WordPress plugins, over 55,000 of them, many of which are free or low cost. Including ones that can help with your SEO.
And since WordPress was originally built as a publishing platform, your high-quality, well-designed content is always search engine friendly.
Whilst having a WordPress WooCommerce website is a far better option than Magento for most small and medium eCommerce businesses, you need to ensure that it is created in a way that provides the largest benefits to your business and that you navigate the massive number of plug-ins from a position of knowledge. Your web developer should also provide you with great design and SEO experience so that you get the maximum from your investment. The first question to any development company should be; how good is your SEO experience as mistakes at this early stage will cost traffic later.