Running an online store is made easier thanks to using content management systems, but it can sometimes prove costly. Luckily, there are a couple of options available to use completely free, meaning small business stores can use an eCommerce content management system to build, manage and grow their store.

Magento was built with the purpose of allowing users to create an eCommerce store. However, WordPress is a standard content management system, utilising various plugins to transform it into an all-round eCommerce solution. Both options can meet various requirements for an online store, but your objectives will determine which is right for you.

Let’s face it, we all want to pick up the best ecommerce software to ensure our store runs smoothly and becomes a success, so its important to understand the differences between each platform and whether it meets the needs and requirements of your online business.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of the variations between WordPress and Magento, their strengths and weaknesses and more.

Variations Between WordPress and Magento

Although WordPress and Magento are hugely powerful platforms for supporting eCommerce, they both differ vastly. Essentially, WordPress has no option of becoming an eCommerce platform out of the box, while Magento is made to build an online store. With a few clicks, WordPress can be set up to allow online store functionality with the use of extensions such as Woocommerce.

Blog posts, shopping carts, order history, products and customer accounts are features both WordPress and Magento offers. However, Magento needs a plugin to allow blog posting, while WordPress needs an eCommerce plugin.

WordPress and Magento technical differences

Magento is often considered to be more advanced than WordPress from a technical perspective, mainly because it is not intended to be developer-friendly and extensive but to be an eCommerce platform that stands at an enterprise level. Quick frustration is to be had when a WordPress developer tries to build a theme in Magento, as although templating is possible for Magento, the programmatic know-how is much more intense than that of WordPress. 

WordPress, on the other hand, is much more simplistic in allowing newbies to pick up and start building their online platform. The only potential downside here though is you’ll need to connect a range of plugins to match the existing capabilities of Magento. Having a single outdated plugin can be the difference between a working site and a malfunctioning one.

Fortunately, for those concerned about the possibilities beyond the programmatic code, its good to know that REST APIs exist for both platforms, allowing you to embed third-party apps with the backing of Magento or WordPress behind you.

How secure are both platforms?

If you’re concerned whether WordPress or Magento is a safe eCommerce solution, we can tell you that the core code for both platforms is highly secure. Both platforms have the backing of years of security patches, meaning the question of how secure they are comes down to the plugins and add-ons you select, along with how well you manage your security if you use your own hosting.

A managed hosting solution is another factor that impacts your site security, as it allows total flexibility of your site without having to worry about any security flaws due to server misconfiguration.

Is there a ‘best’ platform for SEO?

Magento and WordPress both include a range of SEO features out of the box, and they can both be improved with the use of plugins and tweaks. If you opt for Magento, you should select a well-scripted theme, this is because Magento content marketing is not usually a priority when Magento themes are built, so it may take some effort to tidy up your SEO with this platform. Many users overlook the ability to add alt tags to every image within Magento, which can drastically improve SEO.

WordPress, on the other hand, requires the use of themes that are well-coded following best practices, and you can use plugins such as RankMath to manage important details such as meta descriptions, track focus keywords and more. WordPress is the better choice for SEO as it’s built with textual elements in mind and makes it a little easier to tweak and optimise.

Can you combine both platforms?

You can indeed! To do so, you’ll need the primary solution to be Magento to manage both the design and the store. using the two platforms in unison means the WordPress front end will be invisible, but you can use the WP dashboard to utilise the powerful posting tools for WordPress.

For those just starting an eCommerce store, the first objective of a long-term marketing plan would make sense to focus on product sales or content marketing. If your objectives surround that of your online store, or you have several products to sell, Magento is a great way to go. If content marketing is your focus, and you only have a handful of items, then WordPress is best. 

If you have an established Magento store that now needs a content marketing focus, then you could benefit from combining the two platforms.

It is not the easiest decision to choose from WordPress and Magento, but one of the most crucial decisions is choosing a host that’ll support your new site. You’ll need a hosting provider that’s reliable, and that can handle large waves of traffic.

Magento Vs WordPress: Here are some questions to help you make the right choice

  • Are you offering over 1000 products on your site?
  • Do you need a multi-vendor solution or a marketplace?
  • Will a POS system be integrated?
  • Would you extra-large amounts of traffic from the start?

If your answers to the above are a resounding yes, Magento is your choice.

  • Do you have a small number of products and a low budget?
  • Looking to get set up quickly?
  • Do you need only minor theme customisations?
  • Will you be content marketing, i.e. blogging?

If this sounds more like you, then WordPress is your go-to.