Anyone can create their own web store nowadays. Content management systems like WordPress make building an eCommerce shop easier than ever. But what if you need more resources to build a bigger web shop?
Magento is an eCommerce platform that can provide those resources, but it’s not the best software for everyone. So, in this article, we’re going to look at both platforms and decide who needs to use either for their web shop.
A Look At WordPress and eCommerce
So, WordPress and eCommerce work surprisingly well together. In fact, there are many plug-ins made to add eCommerce functionality to a WordPress website.
Most of the plug-ins made to support WordPress eCommerce provide basic eCommerce features, such as your usual online point of sale system. To provide an example, a basic WordPress eCommerce plug-in would add in functionality to allow users to browse products, add products to a shopping cart and place orders via PayPal checkout.
But that’s where eCommerce starts and ends for WordPress. If you wanted to add in other advanced features, WordPress plug-ins wouldn’t be enough to support the type of infrastructure that a larger eCommerce store would need. Fortunately, eCommerce platforms like Magento work incredibly well in conjunction with WordPress.
As a popular content management system and blogging platform, WordPress has plenty of positive advantages for users:
Plug-ins, widgets and templates afford users a great amount of control when customizing important visual and code-based elements of their site. Even on the back end of things, WordPress makes it easy for users of any skill level to modify their site’s inner workings as needed.
WordPress is free to install, but you do need to pay for web hosting. But the good news is that web hosting and buying a domain name is cheap nowadays.
Search engine optimization is the art of building visibility on the web. WordPress has a lot of little features that make implementing SEO a lot easier than some think.
Easy to Use.
It only takes a day to install and set up a basic WordPress site, as long as you have all of your website resources (graphics, content, etc) ready to go.
Like many website platforms, WordPress does have some disadvantages:
Since it’s an open source platform, WordPress can be very vulnerable to security exploits often utilized by hackers and spammers.
Some website types, such as an eCommerce store, may need more resources to effectively build. While you can build an eCommerce store with WordPress, you’ll need an eCommerce platform like Magento or WooCommerce, to really make the site work.
Sometimes, WordPress pages do perform slow, especially if its site code is too bogged down with unnecessary and/or generic code.
A Look At Magento
If there was an eCommerce version of WordPress, Magento would be that platform. Magento is an open source eCommerce platform that’s used by well over 150,000 online websites, ranging from small businesses to large corporate entities.
Magento opens up eCommerce to a wide variety of users, providing much more customization and functionality than what WordPress plug-ins would offer when used alone. Some of the better features offered by Magento include multi-store management, mobile eCommerce, marketing and eCommerce oriented search engine optimization.
As an eCommerce platform, Magento is as complicated as it looks simple. But it’s not that complicated to use. Magento’s software is free to use, but most users will have to invest into the software to get the most out of it. The software is also pretty rich in features, and comes with a large database and file system. Once you get Magento running, it becomes one of the most powerful tools you can use to build an online store.
So, it’s not the easiest software for complete beginners to wrangle. But it’s the most powerful once they get it going.
Magento is widely used for a reason. Let’s see three reasons why people rely on Magento for their eCommerce needs.
Open Source and Free to Use.
The Community edition of Magento is completely free to use and relies on the Magento community for support. Since the software is open source, the savvier community members can easily troubleshoot widespread problems as the software’s code is accessible to anyone.
Rich in Features.
Magento provides the most diverse selection of eCommerce features on the market. Through its administrator system, you’re able to take full control of the inner workings of your store without a hitch.
Plenty of Community Support.
Whether you have the free or paid version, Magento is heavily supported by the community. The software has plenty of documentation, tutorials and user reviews out to check out on the web.
While it’s a popular eCommerce platform, it’s not for everyone. Here are two reasons why that might be the case.
Steep Learning Curve.
Magento is infamous for its incredibly large file structure and database, so learning how to properly utilize both can take some time. Not only that, beginners may have a hard time working with Magento due to its steep learning curve.
Magento uses a lot of resources when it’s operating, so you’re going to have to get a high end server to run the software. You’ll have to invest in a high end server and dedicated business hosting to run a Magento eCommerce shop.
WordPress versus Magento – The Final Verdict?
When it comes to eCommerce, beginners should start with using WordPress in conjunction with eCommerce plug-ins. Many eCommerce plug-ins for WordPress plenty of options to build a simple, yet effective web shop.
If you’re looking to graduate to something a bit more nuanced, Magento is a great eCommerce platform for dedicated web stores. As long as you have the funds and resources, Magento can turn your simple little web shop into a powerful eCommerce shop.