For the novice entrepreneur, there’s few decisions more painstaking than choosing which eCommerce platform to begin an online business. It can be especially difficult thanks to the variety of options with several of the leading ones all offering something unique. While Shopify, Zen Cart and WooCommerce appear to be growing in popularity, two platforms still remain at the forefront; OpenCart and Magento.
Which one to pick is largely dependent on the individual which is why you’ll want to read this handy guide. Here’s a showdown of both platforms with advantages and disadvantages across some of the fundamentals. Hopefully, you’ll find a clear winner and that platform which will give your online business the best chance for success.
Magento is a powerhouse of unlimited possibility where a website can be tailored exactly to your liking. Even in the (unlikely) event that your layout desire isn’t already found on the web, that design can easily be created by a smart developer in Magento.
But with this power comes great complexity which may deter the novice user. Taking advantage of those features is only possible if you have experience with web development.
Otherwise, it may be worth utilising the much easier, but less advanced OpenCart. It still offers an impressive shopping cart layout and intuitive setup but without the need of technical know-how at every step of the process. Instead, it’s quick and efficient to get started meaning you can focus on the important things like attracting new customers.
Both platforms are free but obviously require a hosting service which will come at a fee. And that cost is likely to be impacted for Magento users where shared hosting isn’t an option. Given the power mentioned earlier, this platform is likely to consume far more resources and therefore requires more substantial hosting.
As such, OpenCart is the cheaper alternative and won’t require costly hosting services. For the small to medium store, it’s a great choice and should avoid unnecessary costs. However, if you’re planning on expanding quickly, it may be advantageous to invest early with Magento.
Support & help
Magento and OpenCart are both highly regarded amongst developers for their robust support and help infrastructure. However, Magento takes a slight advantage due to the sheer volume of support on hand. Additionally, Magento gives certain developers a recommended seal of approval, making it easier to find help from credible sources.
That said, both platforms are geared for customer service and finding a solution to an issue is never too far away.
When it comes to SEO, the clear winner has to be Magento. In fact, this is way ahead of all rivals thanks to the unlimited features. Aside from optimisation of tiles, images and URLs, there’s even a feature to connect your Magento site to a WordPress blog. Social media extensions enable better transfer of information with users while helpful guides allow you to optimise everything on site.
Although OpenCart has come a long way, it still doesn’t come close to Magento in terms of SEO. While you can implement SEO friendly URL’s and other techniques, carrying out simple actions such as rel canonical and optimising metadata can become overly complex.