Trying to choose an ecommerce solution isn’t easy. With all of the options out there and so much nonsense floating around about who the best is. Businesses should take the approach of deciding which is the best choice for them rather than choosing the so called “Top Dog”. Whether looking at Magento vs. Open Cart or BigCommerce vs. Zen Cart or any of the other choices, it’s important to figure out what you need and how the ecommerce solution will address your issues Obviously, when it comes to eCommerce, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
Here we are focusing on Magento Vs. Opencart, and will explore their features and options to help you decide which one of them (if any) is right for you.
Before we start to compare between the two, it should be noted that there are also many other eCommerce solutions, including the popular WooCommerce platform for WordPress, Shopify, Zen Cart, and many others. Each of these platform provides solutions for different sets of needs, so in order to make the right choice for your business.
What is Magento?
Magento is an ecommerce platform which is built on open source technology. It is especially suited to build ecommerce store. Magento is easy to use and we can extend its functionality by installing plugins in them. Magento provides the powerful marketing and search engine optimization and catalog management tools. It is believed that magento is one of the powerful ecommerce technology available today.
Benefits Of Using Magento
- Magento is easy to install and we can add layout and functionality by adding plug-ins.
- Magento is built on open source technology with which you can built flexible and scalable ecommerce stores.
- Magento is effective and cost sensitive program.
- Magento provides more than 50 payment gateways.
- Magento allows various discounts and promotions during check-out.
What is Opencart?
Opencart is another free open source platform for building ecommerce stores. We can simply choose our theme or template and can add products and we are ready to accept orders. The beauty of opencart lies in its simplicity. Open cart is SEO friendly and available in multi languages. Enough community support is available in opercart.
Benefits Of Using Opencart
- Open cart is open source so you do not have to pay a single rupee.
- Unlimited Categories and Unlimited Products are supported from open cart.
- Open cart supports automatic image resizing feature.
- Backup and Restore tools are also available in open cart.
- Open cart supports Unlimited Module Instance System.
- Open cart also supports unlimited information pages.
- Open cart gives you more flexibility on look and feel over templates.
Hosting Plans and Options
Besides the selection of the e-commerce platform, the quality of the web hosting service you purchase will also make a big difference in the performance of your online store. Bear in mind though that Magento tends to consume a lot of resources, which means you will need a stronger hosting plan to support your store performance. Forget about shared hosting as it will most likely be outgrown before you notice it. You may also receive recommendation such as hosting your back-end on a separate server.
Open cart in this case will be cheaper to host thanks to its light weight, and will tend to work better for small to medium size stores. Magento performs better in hosting medium to large sized business websites.
Usage and Features
The one major difference between Magento and Opencart is rooted in their uses and features. Magento has been gaining world-wide recognition for its ability to do just about anything you like and build the store of your dreams. It offers highly customizable shopping experiences, unlimited design options, powerful SEO resources and unlimited plugins and integrations. Every feature you can think of was probably built already and is available on MagentoCommerce. If it’s not on there, then surely a talented and certified Magento developer can create that solution for you.
With its flexibility comes also its complexity, which probably isn’t a problem if you’re a Magento developer and know what you’re doing. If you’re not a Magento developer or if you don’t know PHP, you’ll probably find Magento a bit too complex, especially when it comes to taking advantage of its flexibility and custom features.
OpenCart on the other hand is a lot easier to program, but has a smaller community basis. It is great for start-ups that need to deliver quickly without many integrations. It provides a powerful shopping cart and some great tools which are far more intuitive and straight forward, so much so that some professional developers may find it a bit too simplistic, with not enough features to play with. It’s a bit like comparing between WordPress and Wix, or Microsoft Office Picture Manager and Adobe Photoshop.
Both Magento and OpenCart have well-established developer communities that offer support and advice by demand, but obviously the Magento community is far more robust. Magento also certifies and recommends developers to grant them with credibility, which makes it easy to filter the advice you receive and know who you should listen to. We expect that overtime, as Opencart continues to grow, more tutorials and resources will become available, and the number of users that can provide online support will increase.
The SEO Perspective
Up until now we’ve remained more or less neutral about our choice, but when it comes to SEO, OpenCart still has a long way to go. Although it takes pride in its SEO friendly URL’s, it seems that modifying metadata and performing actions such as 301 referrals and rel canonical can be a lot more complex than they should be. And although there are various extensions that can help, it doesn’t even come close to the endless possibilities that Magento has to offer, such as optimizing titles, images and URL’s and connecting a store to a WordPress blog.
Magento is great for larger stores with larger budgets. It has scale-ability to support the growth of your business for years to come, and support any need you may have in the future.
Open cart is more suitable if you’re trying to build your store independently because it is more intuitive, and it is (almost) free to use, but take into consideration that one day, your business may grow out of it.