The market is filled with many eCommerce platforms and their comparisons. Our post on Magento vs OpenCart is just another addition.
Why are we doing this even when there are so many comparisons available?
Because, in our post about Magento vs Shopify, people were still confused about Magento vs OpenCart.
We had to take matters into our hands!
By the end of this article, you will be able to make a final decision on which eCommerce platform you need for your store.
Magento vs OpenCart: Similarities
Before starting to compare them, let’s have a look at some of their similarities:
- Both platforms are open source and developed in PHP.
- Allows the ease to add products by using the templated approach.
- Offer many extensions and add-ons.
- Supports multiple languages and currencies.
- Allows your customers to make recurring payments.
Magento vs OpenCart: Differences
This comparison will broadly cover the following areas:
#1 User Interface
Whether you are an amateur or an experienced developer, you will always look for a user-friendly interface. Let’s explore the UI and admin panel of both the eCommerce platforms.
If you had a chance to explore any of the eCommerce platforms, you would already know that Magento is no child’s play. Packed with features and functionality, Magento does come with a steep learning curve. Many store owners also look to hire a Magento developer to avoid dealing with the UI.
- Easy to navigate sidebar
- Require some level of technical expertise
- Comes with official documentation for help and support
OpenCart offers a much simpler UI and is also easy to install and setup. It comes with an easy to navigate sidebar on admin panel. You can download extensions, change the design, and add products easily with the help of different tabs on the left side.
- Easy to navigate side panel
- Presents simplified statistical data
If your website goes down at 3 AM you will need support? Community support, as well as official support, are both very essential. Magento and OpenCart have a very different approach to their customer support.
Magento doesn’t offer Support as a service. But over the time, this eCommerce platform has developed a huge community of developers who love to share their knowledge online. Magento Expert and Magento Stack Exchange are examples of some trusted Magento forums.
You can also refer to their official knowledge base for tutorial and FAQs.
- Both free and paid support available
- Large online community
- Offers official documentation
OpenCart has a dedicated support system for all its users. But this will cost you extra money, the pricing packages start from $99 for one time fix and $99 per/month for a dedicated support team. If you want unpaid support you will have to rely on the community and forums. OpenCarts community, keeping in mind it’s popularity, is very small.
- Dedicated support, Community forums, and Marketplace support available
- OpenCart installation + configuration support
- Trusted certified experts help
- Guaranteed response time
#3 Hosting Cost
The eCommerce platform that you choose does have a huge impact on how your store will perform. But you simply cannot ignore the hosting service provider. Hosting services will decide the speed and security of your store. There are many companies offering to host for Magento and OpenCart. The only difference is the cost involved.
It is a commonly known fact that Magento requires many resources. We highly recommend you to stay away from shared hosting. A shared host will always negatively impact your store performance. Managed Magento hosting is your best bet when it comes to better store performance.
At ServerGuy, you can get Magento hosting starting from $29/month. You can also get plans suitable for your business here.
- Requires you to separately buy a domain name
- Complete control and flexibility
- Works well for growing and developed businesses
- You can host multiple stores
Hosting expense is much cheaper when it comes to OpenCart. Being a light platform, it uses fewer resources. You can also start using OpenCart with a free demo on their official site. For hosting you can get a hosting provider for as cheap as $11.95/month.
- Requires you to separately buy a domain name
- Complete control
- Works well for small businesses
Today, security is a huge concern. When using an eCommerce platform, it is very essential to protect the data of customers who are making online payments.
Magento takes security very seriously. It offers regular updates with security patches for any loop. But it is still an open source platform and you will have to add extensions and follow certain Magento security guidelines. Other than that you can also use SSL and WAF to protect your store.
- Release regular security patches
- Offers many security extensions
Since OpenCart is a simple and light platform, it is also less vulnerable to a security breach. The basic defense system offered by the platform is more than enough. Although many people claim that OpenCart’s extensions can be unsafe since they are not monitored very closely.
- A strongly patched central system
- Offers official documents for security practices
- Security extensions available
#5 Features and Extensions
When it comes to Magento vs OpenCart we need to decide which platform offers better shopping experiences, design options, powerful SEO resources, and unlimited plugins and integrations.
There is almost everything you can get in Magento Marketplace. Magento was designed for larger eCommerce stores and offers features and extensions for the same. Also, there is a huge market for Magento developers who can easily develop any new extension required for your store.
- 5000+ extension available
- Offers both free and premium versions
OpenCart has a large number of extensions to offer, but it doesn’t come close to Magento. It does allow you to access and maintain order history but it is rather complex for a beginner.
- 13,000+ extensions available
- Fairly easy to setup
#6 Search Engine Friendliness
Designing a high-quality eCommerce store is just not enough when you don’t have any traffic. You have to make your store SEO friendly to rank higher on the Search engines. And you need extensions and plugins to make this work.
Magento has endless possibilities when it comes to SEO. You can download Magento SEO extensions, optimize titles, images and URLs. Many people do complain about the difficulties in eCommerce SEO since you can only add limited content. There is a solution to that too, you can easily add a WordPress blog to your Magento store. You can target many new keywords using your blog content.
- Easy to install SEO extensions
- Allows you to edit URLs, meta tags and headings
- Redirects and canonical tags are very accessible
OpenCart has a long way to go when it comes to SEO. It does allow some modifications like editing the meta tags and adding 301 referrals and rel canonical. You can rank your page but you won’t get any high-end SEO solutions.
- Allows you to add meta keywords and descriptions
- Creates out-of-the-box SEO URLs
- Additional SEO plugins available
Talking about popularity, Magento always takes the lead. Have a look at this Google Trends chart:
But we do recommend not to go by the popularity of a platform. Evaluate your needs, if you are a beginner and just want to sell some products and services, you should stick with OpenCart.
And if you are aiming to grow your business and establish a brand, we do recommend going for Magento. Even though it comes with a learning curve, it does offer the scalability and support which is needed by every store owner.
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