Magento vs. Shopify: Which one wins? |

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Magento vs. Shopify

Consider whether you want a readymade e-commerce solution or to build it from the ground up.


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Magento is a free website builder, but you’ll need some in-depth technical skills or a small army of developers to get started. And while Shopify doesn’t require any coding or web design experience, you can’t fully customize your storefront.

How do Magento and Shopify compare?

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Shopify logo

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Which should I choose?Choose Magento if you need a highly customizable website.Choose Shopify if you’re a small business trying to launch an online store.
OverviewA solid option for businesses that have an in-house development team or have at least $50,000 to hire one.A strong option for small- to medium-sized businesses that need a hosted e-commerce website.
  • Website builder
  • Payment processing
  • Website builder
  • Inventory tracking
  • Shopping cart software
  • Shipping software
Price starts atFree$29/mo
Contract required?NoNo
  • Open-source. The free option requires you to build your site from scratch to create a highly customized, bespoke digital storefront.
  • Magento partners. Hire an agency or independent contractor from its network of experienced external developers.
  • Gateways galore. While many e-commerce platforms limit your POS system choices, Magento lets you choose from over 50 payment gateways.
  • Scalable. As your company evolves, your developer can code your website to grow. Or choose from its thousands of prebuilt extensions, including live chat, SEO and email campaigns.
  • 24/7 support. Get help by phone, email, live chat and Twitter.
  • Multiple sales channels. Sell in person, online and through social media with a centralized dashboard that seamlessly syncs and tracks your sales.
  • App integrations. Shopify’s app store houses over 3,200 plugins to expand your website’s functionality, including customer support and email marketing .
  • Shipping discounts. Save on USPS, UPS and DHL shipping costs with discount thresholds according to your plan.
  • Web hosting. Shopify includes website hosting in all of its plans except Shopify Lite.
  • Need a team of developers. For Magento Open Source, you need to pay multiple developers to build and maintain your storefront. And if you hire an agency, it needs to be Magento Certified.
  • Features cost extra. Small businesses can pay approximately $2,000 annually to access additional features, including marketing tools, customer loyalty programs and faster page loading.
  • Limited support. Unless you’re on a paid plan, your options for troubleshooting are limited to help articles and public forums. Paid customers unlock 24/7 tech support.
  • No hosting. Merchants need to find their own hosting provider and handle their own security to use the software.
  • Monthly subscription. Shopify’s service tier starts at $9 monthly and goes as high as $2,000 per month.
  • Limited website themes. Unlike Magento, whose design options seem to be limitless, Shopify only has four free and eight paid design themes.
  • Limited users. Most Shopify plans cap the number of users on your account.
  • Transaction fees. Unless you use its integrated payment processor, you’ll get hit with a transaction fee on each order.
  • Account closures. Can suspend or close high-risk merchant accounts.
  • Order management. Keep track of your sales across multiple sales channels, including in-house brands, brick and mortar stores and third-party sites like Amazon.
  • Analytics. Create custom reports and interpret sales data with charts and spreadsheets to help boost performance.
  • Integrated checkout experience. Magento’s one-page checkout helps expedite the checkout process.
  • Business name generator. Pick a custom URL for your store.
  • Business marketing. Design digital marketing campaigns to reach potential customers.
  • Free stock photos. Access a library of high-resolution, royalty-free images to enhance your website’s aesthetic.
BBB letter ratingNot availableA+
Trustpilot rating





Reputation and customer reviews
  • Customer reviews are mostly positive.
  • Customers praise Magento’s ability to customize.
  • Customers complain about its cost and the time it takes to design a website. One user spent 40 hours programming one site, while another hired a Magento developer partner and ended up paying $66,000 for a website — more than they had intended.
  • Customer reviews are mostly negative.
  • Customers praise Shopify’s functionality.
  • Customers complain that Shopify closed their accounts because their business was considered high risk.
  • If you’re a free version user, you’ll need to troubleshoot issues by browsing articles in Magento help center and posting in the public forum.
  • If you pay for Magento Commerce, you’ll get 24/7 access to live technical support.
  • Phone. Merchants in North America can call 855-816-3857 to speak with a Shopify rep.
  • Email. Fill out a secure online form on Shopify’s website for a response within one business day.
  • Live chat. From Shopify’s website, open up a live chat window to connect with a Shopify rep.
  • Twitter. Tweet at Shopify for a direct response from the support team.

Bottom line

Magento is a solid option for larger businesses that need a fully customizable website and have the budget for a developer team. But you’ll need to find your own website host and payment processor. While Magento gives you a lot of control over your e-commerce solution, that also means you’re responsible for every aspect of your storefront, including security and troubleshooting.

Shopify offers a nicely packaged e-commerce platform, from website hosting to payment processing. If you don’t need all the bells and whistles of an open-source platform, its small collection of premade templates and thousands of plugins should be enough to get your small business up and running.

If neither of these platforms fit the bill, compare other e-commerce platforms to find the right fit.

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