I created this cart comparison to help online brands with common questions about Magento and Shopify, their cost and feature sets. Whether you’re re-platforming or setting up your first eCommerce store, the information you need is here. Recently updated 3-30-2021

Magento vs Shopify which is better?

By the end of this article you’re going to learn a ton, you might be scared of Magento and will probably be excited about the ease of Shopify. Remember though that Magento can do some exciting custom stuff and you will hit the limits of Shopify eventually. These two carts continue to dominate the B2B and D2C Retail Landscape as of the creation of this article.

Finding the right eCommerce Platform
Finding the right eCommerce Platform

Finding the Right Ecommerce Platform for Your Store

One of the most important factors in starting your eCommerce business or a manufacturer going online selling direct is finding the right e-commerce cart or platform for your company.

At present, two of the best and most popular are Magento and Shopify. Each one has its own distinct benefits and drawbacks, but one of them is clearly going to fit your business better. They are very different.  In this guide, we’ll go over all the finer points of these two alternatives to help you decide which one best meets your needs and expectations.

What eCommerce cart is right for your business…well it depends, doh!

If you have a complex catalog and you need it organized perfectly, you’ll love Magento…but it’s got a serious cost of ownership. Shopify can only do so much with catalog organization with tags and it can get messy very quickly.

Magento deals with absolutes using attribute sets which are collections of attribute fields and detailed rules to organize your catalog vs Shopify relies on tags that are modular but kinda limited and can get really messy. I’ve gotten creative with Shopify tags to make dreams come true but… be prepared to hit a blocker at some point.

Take a complex eCommerce catalog like Grainger or Napa Auto Parts where you have very deep category levels and filters, Year Make Model (YMM) selector, shop by filtering features within the YMM. Magento absolutely dominates in this area, if it’s set up correctly.

UPDATE: I’ve got a comprehensive solution to add powerful layered navigation filtering to Shopify…that’s actually better than Magento in many cases! Reach out anytime if you’d like more on this.

But wait, Travis, you can install an app for that, can’t Shopify do attributes and filtering? Actually no, many of the more advanced apps work outside of the Shopify host using Shopify’s API. Pretty cool but…it can be very clunky, importing, exporting, bulk editing, and creating a true trill down shopping experience for a complex catalog in Shopify…don’t even try, it’s just the wrong tool for the job. Magento will win that battle every time.

Magento Community is a free open source software…wow free! So…yeah it’s free but it’s got one of the highest costs of ownership of any eCommerce platform out there. Even with a decent developer for the code and feature setup, the developer isn’t going to set up your catalog properly for you. That’s a very critical element of a healthy Magento eCommerce store and often doesn’t get the appropriate attention.

How do you find the right developer that actually knows how to set up a Magento catalog…or wait who would that person be, maybe a developer…? Actually, we bridge that gap often as part of our eCommerce consulting packages at Sharp. And yeah there are other peeps who setup Magento catalogs properly, they’re just a few and far between.

A Brief Background on Magento vs Shopify

Where did Magento come from?

Magento was officially launched in 2008 under the name Bento. Initially, the company offered a free, open-source e-commerce platform geared toward smaller businesses and start-ups. Just a year after being released to the public, though, Magento unveiled its Enterprise Edition, a premium paid version of the platform designed for larger, more established companies. That’s called “Commerce Edition” now.

Within its first year on the market, Magento quickly rose to fame among members of the e-commerce realm. It was downloaded more than 500,000 times during that period. Over the years, it has undergone numerous changes and advancements and acquired quite a few well-known users, including Nike, North Face, Samsung, and Ford. More than 250,000 merchants across the globe now use the platform to power their online shops.


Shopify was created in 2004 by three entrepreneurs. This Canada-based platform actually began as an online store that sold snowboards.

Just a couple of years after the fact, its creators transformed it into a platform for other entrepreneurs to use for their own businesses. Like Magento, Shopify has gone through several evolutions over the years, including the addition of numerous new features and functionalities.

More than 800,000 stores now operate on the Shopify platform in 175 countries based on a write-up released last year. Some of the most well-known brands using Shopify to bring their products to consumers are Tesla, Sephora, Johnson & Johnson, Red Bull, and the Death Wish Coffee Company to name a few. Shopify has been growing by about 125 percent per year.

Magento Luma Theme -Template Setup
Magento Luma Theme -Template Setup

Getting Started with Magento vs Shopify

When setting up an online store, one of the first aspects to consider is how it appeals to viewers. Both Magento and Shopify give you a variety of options here. You’ll need to enter your store name and other basic information before starting on the design phase of the process. If you happen to put in a name that’s already taken, you’ll have to choose a different one.

After setting up your account with either platform, you can browse their lists of themes, fonts, and other design elements. They allow you to enter your company logo and choose from a wide range of layouts, color schemes, and additional options. Each platform offers free storefront themes as well as paid ones.

Setting up your catalog correctly is paramount. You can’t just throw up some half-assed listings and expect customers to feel comfortable buying from you. Also, you need to present all of the relevant buying info for your customers to make the purchase.

From there, you’ll proceed to upload images of your merchandise and add details about those products, such as names, descriptions, specifications, SKU numbers, prices, and shipping information. You’ll also have the option to create product collections.

Another aspect of the setup process is choosing which payment gateways to offer customers. This is critical because it determines how many options potential customers have for making purchases and affects their overall security among other elements.

Some of the more common Payment methods and payment method systems used on Magento are Braintree, Paypal, Applepay and Authorize.net for Credit Cards. Braintree is a complete solution that handles the popular methods under one service. Braintree can work great but it is complicated to setup and debug. Start with Paypal and Authorize.net when you’re starting out to eliminate headache.

Magento Hosting Plans and Pricing at Magemojo
Magento Hosting Plans and Pricing at Magemojo

Exploring the Costs Associated with Magento vs Shopify

Shopify is a far cheaper option and is way more user-friendly for inexperienced eCommerce peeps. Shopify is set up to be able to launch a simple store in a few weeks and is a self-hosted option vs Magento which often takes 3-12 months to design a custom store with advanced features and hosting is not included. Even with Magento Commerce (formerly known as EE) hosting is not included, you have to pay for a server to host Magento on, much like WordPress.

What the heck does that mean…that means you’re responsible for hosting Magento, yeah not feeling so free anymore and you’ll need to have a great hosting company for your server that is set up perfectly for Magento specifically. Hosting can cost anywhere from super cheesy $99/mo hosting to more significant server resources around $500-$1500+ a month.

Whoa! Are some companies paying $1500+ a month just for hosting on Magento vs Shopping hosting which is included?

Well… if you need a server costing $1500 a month for Magento you’re probably doing 10MM+ Magento is meant for serious entrepreneurs with big ideas or established businesses that want a powerful e-commerce website. The amount of hosting you need is directly related to the amount of traffic and thus sales you’re getting on your website.

Don’t try hosting Magento on some cookie-cutter Godaddy or Rackspace server, it will be a huge waste of time and never work right because it’s just not the right setup.

Most of the high-end Magento stores are hosted on Amazon EC2 instances of some kind. There are even companies dedicated to hosting Magento that resell Amazon space and it’s totally worth having them maintain and monitor your website, one less thing to worry about.

As an open-source platform, Magento is free for small businesses and startups. This means it doesn’t come with any upfront setup fees. That being said, you have to find your own hosting provider and developer, and this does come at a price.

Shopify provides hosting as part of its platform, so there are no additional hosting fees. Shopify foregoes setup fees as well, but it doesn’t offer any free packages. Its Lite Plan, which offers only the very basic functions and features online stores may need, costs $9 per month. The Basic Plan comes in at $29 per month, and its Shopify Plan for growing businesses costs $79 each month. The Advanced Shopify Plan runs users $299 a month.

Each plan offers a broader range of features and inclusions than the next. Free 14-day Shopify trials are available for those who want to experiment with the available options before committing to a specific plan.

If you own a larger business and are looking to expand upon your basic website or you’ve outgrown the needs of a small business, Magento offers a couple of paid plans that may be more suited to your needs.

Its Enterprise Plan starts at $22,000 per year while a Magento Commerce EE Cloud Package with integrated hosting and other services starts at $2,000 per month. You can try out a free demo of these via the Magento website. Magento Cloud hosting still has some bugs to work out, yep it’s not perfect.

With the recent acquisition by Adobe we’re seeing more reliability and consistency with releases and I have faith Cloud will be a killer turnkey solution for serious Enterprise level businesses at some point.

For now, there are some great options like Magento hosting at Magemojo we use often with our clients of all sizes at really reasonable rates.

These are the basic costs of Magento and Shopify. Additional charges and fees apply to various aspects of these platforms. We’ll discuss them in greater detail later in this article.

Magento vs shopify featuresComparing the Basic Features of Magento vs Shopify

Knowing the features available from an e-commerce platform is crucial because this gives you a better understanding of the options you’ll have to work with when you build your online store. Both Magento and Shopify make ample features available to their users. Still, the two vary greatly in which options they offer as standard protocol and which ones must be added to the basic package.

Storefront Themes

What is a theme, is it important? Yes! It’s one of the most important choices you’re going to make aside from the platform. It’s not just aesthetics either, it’s functionality and click path, product grid options, product presentation and special features can be built into themes. Understand that choosing the wrong theme or a really heavy theme will make your developer’s job a nightmare and cause lots of headaches with trying to make it run faster.

Magento offers a selection of free themes and templates to choose from, and paid options are available for as little as $1. Of course, some of their themes cost as much as $499. Many users feel Magento’s themes are a bit dated when compared to Shopify’s. Shopify has earned a well-deserved reputation for having some really attractive themes that are plug-and-play for the most part.

Shopify offers fewer free storefront themes than Magento with only 10 being available right now. Still, more than 100 paid alternatives are at users’ disposal. Even their most expensive paid themes are less costly than those from Magento with the more high-end ones costing around $200 and the basic versions starting at about $80. Spend the money on the right theme, you’ll thank me later.

Both platforms provide several responsive themes to help merchants accommodate the growing number of mobile sales now taking place. Those options automatically adapt to the devices shoppers are using for optimum functionality. Shopify and Magento also allow users to bring in themes from other sources if they so choose.

Add-Ons, Plug-Ins, and Apps

Magento vs Shopify both offer thousands of additional features beyond those available in their basic packages. Each one helps expand the functionality of your store and gives prospects more incentives for making purchases. Magento’s selection is quite a bit more sizable than Shopify’s, but Shopify’s options are typically easier to deal with and break a little less but are less powerful.

More complex and powerful tools require more setup, more learning and ultimately investment. This is a cornerstone point between the power of Magento and ease of Shopify.

Both platforms offer add-ons and extensions for email marketing campaigns and social media feeds as well as various advertising solutions, such as banners. Shopify has analytics add-ons to help with honing your marketing and advertising efforts and tracking sales among other important functions. You can also add an order-tracking feature for customers.

Magento offers coupon and discount capabilities, which is one area where Shopify tends to fall short. These options are available with some of Shopify’s plans but not with the least expensive Lite version.

I’ve used Amasty’s Advanced Promotions Suite and Free Gift extension to do some really amazing stuff with Magento discounting and complex offers for my clients.  Shopify falls short in this area even with plugins and you have limit control of offers and coupons with Shopify. Maybe you don’t need the magical shell games Magento offers for your customers and have more of a dedicated audience.

You can also offer gift cards and other options beyond basic products. Site optimization add-ons and abandoned cart reminders are available as well.

Magento has more than twice as many extra configurable options as Shopify. On the other hand, Shopify seems to have a broader selection of free add-ons than Magento (be ready for upgrading to paid plugins though at some point).

The pricing trade off with Magento vs Shopify…

You’ll find Shopify plugins start to add up quickly and those are monthly fees that will follow you forever. You might think, dang Shopify is getting expensive, $79 a month plus all these plugins and you’re at $1000 a month suddenly. Recognize those SAAS fees for apps cover some support from the app developer as they have vested interested in keeping you using the product.

Magento vs Shopify, we’re entering a whole new world of budgeting. First building a site on Magento requires an amazing development team. Not just 1 Indian dude hacking away you found on Fiver. That will be the most expensive shortcut of your life and you’ll question your sanity daily.  I’ve personally been through over 10+ developers since 2008 and finally have a small collection of Magento and Shopify developers I trust and hold dear.

Magento Shopify Payment Processors
Magento Shopify Payment Processors

Which Payment Processors Are Supported by Each Platform?

Magento has more to offer when it comes to payment processors. It supports virtually all the well-known options, allowing you to integrate more than 150 payment gateways. Since its Community Edition doesn’t come with integral hosting, adding them all to your repertoire can be complicated.

Shopify comes with its own payment gateway, but it may not support the options you and your customers are accustomed to using. You can add almost any processor you like to the mix, though. More than 100 external payment gateways are supported by the platform, giving you plenty of freedom in this department.

This is where transaction fees come into play. With Magento, the only transaction fees you’ll have to pay are those associated with your chosen payment processor. You have some choice and control over this which is nice.

Shopify doesn’t impose transaction fees as long as you use their payment gateway. Shopify’s model is great for startups because they handle the payments for you or a fee and have small low-cost plans. Their business model is to hook you in and charge you more as you grow…which is sort of ok, just realize that upfront. With Magento, you’re paying more upfront for your own developer, hosting, payment processor, etc but you have more control over a more powerful system.

For all others, fees vary based on your plan. With the Shopify Basic and Lite Plans, you’ll pay two percent per transaction. This drops to one percent for the Shopify Plan and half a percent with the Advanced Plan. You’ll have to pay your chosen gateways’ transaction fees as well.

Magento certainly brings more options to the table for international sales and payment gateways. Their pricing is lower here as well. Shopify offers its own gateway and plenty of freedom to use external ones, but the costs tend to be a bit higher if you go with the latter and Shopify wants you using their payment system. Magento is more difficult to work with when it comes to adding payment gateways but you’re in control and a good developer or Magento consultant can be a create asset.

Weighing in the Ease of Use Magento vs Shopify

Shopify is hands down, the simplest of the two alternatives to use. Being a hosted platform alone takes quite a bit of the burden off the shoulders of the user. On top of that, Shopify takes you through all the steps involved in setting up and managing your storefront and offers plenty of prompts and advice along the way. Adding new features and further customizing your store are both fairly self-explanatory.

You can easily arrange various elements on the page the way you want them. Adding your company logo and other images to your storefront is a straightforward process. Uploading pictures of your products and adding new ones later are fast and simple.

Magento doesn’t quite measure up in this respect. Countless potential users have found themselves overwhelmed from the very beginning when trying to use this platform. Its website and even its initial setup process are filled with coding and development terms and concepts most store owners don’t understand. Powerful tools, take time to learn and apply, Magento is certainly one of them.

Creating your virtual storefront, managing your inventory, incorporating add-ons, and every other element involved requires help from a developer or at least a minimal amount of coding knowledge. Magento offers in-depth guides to help with all those aspects, and you’ll have access to their user forum for extra help, but it’s still an intricate undertaking for most people.

It’s only fair to mention some of Shopify’s add-ons require a basic understanding of coding. This makes them more difficult to use for novices than more advanced users. Even with this hurdle factored in, Shopify is the simpler platform and geared more toward those who are new to the e-commerce realm.

Where Does Each Platform Stand from an SEO Perspective?

SEO, or search engine optimization, is defined as “the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine”. If your store doesn’t rank high on search engine results pages for the types of products you sell, chances are consumers will never know you exist. You’ll be set up for failure no matter which e-commerce platform you use.

SEO helps ensure the public knows you’re there and greatly improves your chances of success. This entails a wide range of measures and elements to make you more visible to search engines. In turn, they’ll make you more visible to consumers. That means choosing an e-commerce platform with SEO functionality is crucial to your shop’s survival.

Magento and Shopify cater to users’ SEO needs. They give you plenty of opportunities to optimize your site so Google’s crawlers and those of other search engines will be sure to index it and bring it up when the right consumer searches arise. Both platforms feature search-engine-friendly designs on the most basic level. Users’ sites come ready to be optimized for their specific products and market niches as well.

Some of the SEO options you’ll have include modifying page titles and descriptions to let the search engines know what to expect from your store. You can also add image alt text to describe pictures and explain their purposes to web crawlers. These are only a few of the helpful SEO actions you can take while setting up and managing your store in the Magento content management system and Shopify editor.

While plenty of SEO solutions are available in both platforms’ setup processes, they also offer several add-ons for this purpose. Shopify requires links to social media sites on all its themes and provides sharing buttons to encourage viewers to share your site with others. Various additional apps and extensions are available to help you with this element of your store as well.

This may sound a bit overwhelming particularly if you’re unfamiliar with the concept of SEO, but both platforms aim to make it simpler for their users. They offer scans to seek out SEO problems, like broken links, missing descriptions, and inadequate page titles, and tell you how to fix them. They also check your site for load speed and other aspects to further enhance your rankings.

Magento has a better range of SEO tools than Shopify, and they are more of a one time cost for the extension instead of SAAS monthly fee like Shopify. Some of the Magento SEO tools extensions cost as much as $300 per extension and are a one-time cost. Many of Shopify’s options are $9-$29/month but for the life of your store… The Shopify apps can also be incorporated into your store more easily than some of the ones available for Magento with less need for a developer.

Although both platforms give you quite a bit of SEO assistance, this can still be a confusing field for many store owners. If you’re new to store ownership, e-commerce, and digital marketing and advertising, the tools available through Shopify vs Magento may not be enough to improve your online presence.

Getting some help with SEO from a consultant can make a huge difference in the success of your project. These platforms also overlook many of the more in-depth details of the online marketing sector. Having an e-commerce SEO specialist in your arsenal will certainly turn the tides in your favor.

Additional Considerations for Magento vs Shopify

Now that we’ve covered the basics of Magento vs Shopify, we’ll move on to some of the more in-depth features. Both e-commerce platforms offer a wide range of helpful inclusions and optional supplements to keep your store going and improve upon it.

Customization Options

We’ve already mentioned some of the apps and add-ons available with Magento vs Shopify to give you all the functionality you need for an online store. Numerous additional extensions are also offered; in fact, there are too many to cover in a single sitting. They may not be enough to create the storefront you’ve envisioned, though.

If that’s the case, Magento and Shopify also allow you to further tailor your website. Customization options are open throughout the setup process and Magento can be customized extensively, but as mentioned, they require in-depth coding experience. Shopify comes with simpler basic setup and maintenance requirements, but it also offers an advanced user interface for editing HTML and CSS code.

Through this option, it’s possible to completely alter the look and feel of a Shopify storefront from numerous angles without using add-ons. Many basic changes to the theme are hard to edit in Magento vs Shopify where you can update soft configurations much easier without a Magento developer.

This is particularly helpful for well-established brands that want to incorporate their own color schemes and other unique elements into their site designs. Keep in mind, though, you’ll need to understand coding or have a professional developer on your side to take advantage of this option.

Keep in mind the more plugins and extensions you add to either platform slow down the website and need to be treated as a liability of sorts. The more code you’re adding together allows for more problems to occur. If you have a piece of code throwing an error your site can crash or have unexpected conversion regularly. Proceed carefully when installing extensions and plugins and only install what you absolutely need and keep your developer in the loop so they can assist appropriately.

Inventory Limitations

Technically, both platforms allow merchants to list unlimited products and make infinite sales on their websites. Whether you offer customers two items or more than 1,000, there’s room for them in your catalog. You won’t be charged extra for adding more products, exceeding a predetermined threshold, or making more money than expected. That’s not the case with some other platforms and marketplaces.

That being said, certain restrictions lie beneath the surface. With Magento, you have to be careful not to exceed the number of products your hosting solution can handle. When you increase the size of your database and adding 1Mb of images to each product listing, the data the system has to manage grows significantly. This will affect your load speed and site capabilities. Ramping up your inventory may lead to the need to upgrade your hosting package or switch providers. Alternatively, you could upgrade to Magento’s EE Cloud package.

As a fully hosted solution, Shopify doesn’t pose this problem even with the least expensive plans. Its included hosting services can handle the volume regardless of your inventory and traffic. You can also link to outside drop shipping services through a Shopify storefront to further diversify your inventory.

Sales Abroad, International Sales Magento vs Shopify

If your company has gone multinational or you’d like to take it to that level, you’ll need to be able to display your site in multiple languages. Magento accommodates several languages, so you can sell to customers in numerous countries without having to make a lot of modifications.

Magento has great International, Multilingual presentation options, and Multi-Store solutions on top of that where Shopify still struggles with a proper, modular, International sales system and doesn’t offer multi-store options. Shopify doesn’t do International e-commerce very well…yet. They are promising big things but have yet to deliver at the time of this article.

You won’t find multi-language support with Shopify. Though this platform allows users to create multi-lingual stores, it’s not a built-in feature and each store is different! You’ll have to purchase additional apps to get this level of functionality and even that’s a little sketchy. If you’re adept at coding, you can program this feature into your storefront through the previously mentioned advanced interface instead of using paid apps but I personally haven’t done that yet in production.

Shipping Calculators

Shipping charges are often afterthoughts for store owners, but they’re incredibly important factors when it comes to serving customers. Knowing exactly what your shipping costs will be is helpful in many ways, not the least of which is being able to give customers definitive figures instead of rough estimates. It’ll also help you determine prices for your products while remaining competitive. Being able to shop around for lower shipping rates from various sources can be helpful as well.

Both Shopify and Magento offer various options for calculating shipping costs. Magento allows users to compare shipping rates in different ways to determine the best options, such as weight versus destination. You can also customize your delivery methods and use multiple shipping alternatives.

I’ve used some amazing apps like the $500 Amasty shipping suite for Magento which is very powerful and allows ultimate control over shipping. It’s super complex and modular and yeah has a learning curve, but it’s awesome.

You can create specific custom shipping over-rides for that large pallet of bricks or Giant Rooftop Tent easily with some custom rules.  Shopify comes up short with complex shipping option requirements from what I’ve seen.

Shopify’s shipping calculators are basic and let you determine shipping prices based on package type, size, and weight; destination; and other factors. Shipping rates are based on your Shopify plan, and having a storefront through this platform may give you access to discounts through popular shipping companies, such as DHL, UPS, and USPS. Various calculators are available, so you can choose the one you find simplest to use and more suited to your requirements.

Written Content and CMS Pages

Many store owners believe written content isn’t necessary for e-commerce sites aside from product descriptions and other information. Few things could be further from the truth. Blog posts and other written materials give you added opportunities for using keywords that are relevant to your niche and products. This makes you more visible to the search engines. At the same time, written content allows you to provide helpful information for viewers that isn’t a direct attempt to make sales.

Magento offers the opportunity to add a blog to your website and create new posts at will. Doing so requires adding an extension to your basic package, though. Both free and paid extensions are available for this purpose. Again, you’ll need website development experience or a professional developer to make this element work for you.

Blogging capability comes standard on Shopify sites. You can post new content as it’s written or save it to be released at a specific date and time. You can also display excerpts from posts on your blog landing page and incorporate other features into your materials through Shopify’s written content portal.

This is a simple process with Shopify, but the available customization options aren’t quite as sophisticated as they are with Magento’s extensions. Still, it’s a complementary feature with Shopify as opposed to a paid add-on. Shopify’s blogging functionality is comparable to that of Magento.

User Support

We’ve already alluded to Magento’s user support resources. The platform offers several guides and helpful articles about setting up a storefront, troubleshooting various issues, using add-ons, and other situations. Limited phone and online support are likewise available, and users can speak with others in the Magento community about problems and concerns they may have.

Shopify offers around-the-clock user support as well as guides and additional options. Users also have video tutorials and webinars at their disposal. Like Magento, Shopify grants users access to its community forum. Numerous other support resources are available as well.

Recapping the Benefits and Disadvantages of Magento vs Shopify

Magento and Shopify both offer plenty of advantages for those who are looking to build an e-commerce website. They also have certain weaknesses to consider. Let’s take a more condensed look at the pros and cons of each platform.

Magento’s Strong Suits

  • Free Open Source Edition
  • Numerous Resources for Users
  • International Language Capable
  • Lots of configuration options
  • Powerful Extensions for Experienced Store Owners and Professional Developers
  • More than 5,000 Themes Available
  • In-Depth Functionality
  • Less monthly SAAS charges for extensions etc.

Magento’s Downfalls

  • Complicated for Beginners and Those without Coding Knowledge
  • Magento Outside Hosting Required for Free Edition
  • No support for Community Edition, some support for Commerce Edition
  • Extensive Extra Costs Involved (Web Development)
  • High Upfront Setup Costs and Ownership

Shopify’s Benefits

  • Easy to Use for Beginners
  • Requires Little, If Any, Coding Knowledge
  • Integral Hosting and Payment Platform
  • Full-Time Basic Phone Support Available (Great for newbs)
  • Numerous Plans Offered for Varying Ecommerce Needs (Scales small shops well)
  • More attractive Themes out of the box

Shopify’s Downsides

  • Weak control over your catalog (not great for complex catalogs like automotive/parts etc)
  • Fewer Free Themes and Templates
  • Extra Fees for Transactions Made outside of Shopify’s Payment Gateway
  • No Free Plan for Users (but you can setup a free trial website on Shopify here)
Ecommerce Store Icon
Ecommerce Store

Which Ecommerce Platform Is Best for Your Online Store?

Considering the many benefits of both platforms, there’s no straightforward answer to which one is best. No platform is right for everyone. Determining the right one for you depends largely on your needs and expectations. Don’t hesitate to reach out to some experts for advice and assistance for help.

Both Magento and Shopify give you plenty of options for customization, scaling, and other aspects of owning and managing an online storefront.

Shopify is definitely simpler to use and less expensive overall than Magento. Since it comes with hosting included, you don’t have to worry about this extra, potentially costly element. Although many of its themes and additional features come with a price, several free alternatives are also available.

In the grand scheme of things, Magento offers more themes, plug-ins, and other extra features than Shopify. Magento can do anything with the right developer and Shopify has limitations. Magento also gives users a broader selection of free themes to choose from, but many of its paid alternatives are much more expensive than the ones Shopify offers.

In terms of flexibility and functionality, Magento has much more features and configuration options than Shopify hands down. That said, you need to have coding knowledge or be a developer to fully understand all the options available. Shopify takes less time and hassle to set up, and many feel this makes up for its downfalls.

All things considered; Shopify is the best option for those who need a fast, simple solution to their e-commerce website needs.

I’ve worked in eCommerce successfully since 2005 as a retailer and currently consult for 7 and 8 figure eCommerce brands using Shopify and Magento. I’ve written for numerous eCommerce publications including a Shopify feature in Entrepreneur Magazine. This is a legit review I hope you’ll find helpful based on my experience selling millions of dollars online myself and for my consulting clients.

Stores that have a more complex catalog and have the budget and need to create a highly competitive custom shopping experience should look strongly at Magento.

Remember when it comes to getting help from a consultant with your eCommerce store vet and choose wisely…

“cheap comes out expensive” -Judge Judy 🙂


Travis Romine