Choosing the right ecommerce platform for your business is a big decision and one you shouldn’t take lightly…

The first thing to consider is whether a “hosted” or a “self-hosted” platform is right for you. Here at Authentic Style, the only time we would recommend a “hosted” solution over a “self hosted” one, is for business owners looking to get their store online in super quick time to test the market.

Hosted solutions tie you into contracts and you don’t own your website or your data, BUT to get an MVP (minimum viable product) up and running, they are a good option. For more established businesses “self-hosted” is the way to go for the following reasons.

  1. Cost effective development – the ecommerce software itself is free so we don’t have to pass on any costs to you the client.
  2. Constant improvement – “hosted” open-source solutions are always being improved upon with updates being released regularly.
  3. Once we build it, you own it – this is the big one. Once we finish your project and you make the final payment, you own your website and all the data.

Woocommerce vs Magento – which is the right choice?

In this article we’ll be comparing Woocommerce vs Magento – two really customisable “hosted” solutions. Let’s get going…   woocommerce-vs-magento-img1


Magento has a massive amount of features that can power anyone from a small online retailer right up to massive multinationals (Nike and Samsung use Magento). One of the best features is the ability to manage multiple stores from within one installation. It has all the usual ecommerce features you would expect, like discounts, coupon codes, related products, upsells and cross sells, but also allows for things like polls, customer groups and newsletter management all from within Magento. Woocommerce on the other hand is still exceptionally powerful and customisable. Just like Magento it includes all the features you’d expect in an ecommerce platform, like product variations, upsells cross sells, discounts, related products etc, but you need to utilise the power of plugins to achieve some of the more complex functionality. Doing this though is a breeze, since the Woocommerce community is huge and there are a plethora of really powerful plugins out there to utilise. Woocommerce is built to integrate seamlessly with WordPress (which you may have heard of), and the number one benefit of this is easy of use over a solution like Magento. But more on that later.   woocommerce-vs-magento-img2


Woocommerce (against common beliefs) does scale well. We’ve worked on Woocommerce ecommerce stores with around 3,000 products and 15,000 customers, doing around £40k of sales each month, and it handles this without any issues. Magento – obviously being used by multinationals – scales exceptionally well and can pretty much handle anything. One important thing to note with Magento is that once your business hits a certain point and requires more specialised functionality, you need to upgrade to the “Magento Enterprise” which is the nasty sum of £10k per year!   woocommerce-vs-magento-img4

Ease of Use

This is where Woocommerce shines in our opinion. Because Woocommerce is part of WordPress:

  1. Many people are already extremely familiar with the interface
  2. There is a huge community and there are countless YouTube video tutorials if you get stuck doing something.

With Magento there is a definite steep learning curve. As Magento is exceptionally powerful, there are a huge number of options under the hood and things can get confusing. Magento is also more complicated from a web development stand-point, so you will be looking at higher costs for a Magento ecommerce store web design project.   woocommerce-vs-magento-img3


How much of your businesses accounting and bookkeeping you want to run through your website is a big point of consideration. Woocommerce has the ability to integrate with accounting packages like the following, so that your orders and even stock can flow back and forth:

  • Quickbooks
  • Xero
  • Freshbooks
  • …and more

You’ll need to purchase plugins to achieve this, but they are all affordable when you weigh them up against the convenience of having your website and accounts synced up together. Magento also connects with a massive variety of accounting packages.   woocommerce-vs-magento-img5


As previously mentioned, Magento is a much more complicated piece of software, and yes it does offer more options, but with that comes a price tag. Firstly Magento web development is more expensive, and secondly if you do need to use Magento Enterprise Edition (typically only if you’re a large enterprise business yourself) you’ll be looking at £10k a year for the additional functionality it provides. When comparing that to Woocommerce, much of the additional functionality you might require can be purchase through plugins. Even if it’s a really bespoke requirement you have, often it can be created by an experienced Woocommerce developer – which is likely to be significantly less than that £10k a year Magento fee!

Which is right for me?

There’s no outright winner here because every customer has different requirements. Both platforms are extremely capable and professional to build and scale a business on. We think Magento is the solution for you if you’re a large company turning over in excess of £1.5m and comfortable budgeting around £15k and upwards for your website solution. Woocommerce is perfect for SME’s typically turning over up to £1.5m a year, who are perhaps looking for an ecommerce solution around the £4k – £8k mark (exactly where you fall on that scale depending on the amount of bespoke functionality you might required). So to sum up, here are some key points to help you with your decision:

woo-logo PERFECT FOR:
  • Online sales of up to £1.5m
  • Selling up to 4,000 products
  • Your products have different variations
  • You have none or some bespoke requirements

Learn More

magento-logo PERFECT FOR:
  • Online sales in excess of £1.5m+
  • More than 4,000+ products
  • Your products have extremely complicated variations
  • You have extremely bespoke requirements

Learn More

Are you planning an Ecommerce project? If you’d like to get in touch with us about your ecommerce project, please give us a call on 01747 852298. We’d be delighted to talk to you and offer some advice.

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