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Are you about to launch your new eCommerce store? Have you narrowed your choices down to Shopify vs. Magento? Can’t figure out how to choose the best selling platform? Not sure what the differences are, or how they will impact you?

Deciding between Shopify vs. Magento means taking a look at your own goals, needs, and vision for your store. While both selling platforms provide some powerful benefits, there are some key factors that set Shopify and Magento apart.

CompressorSource responsive shopify store v5 286x300

A Shopify sample from OCDesignsOnline.

Let’s take a look at the fundamental differences between Shopify and Magento, so you can figure out how to choose the best selling platform for your unique store.


Differences Between Shopify and Magento

For years, Shopify and Magento have been competing options for both new and veteran eCommerce sellers.  Let’s take a look at the differences between Shopify vs. Magento, so you can choose the best selling platform for your needs.



Of course, the quality of your store’s hosting has a major impact on your success. For instance, a two-second delay in your page’s load time could increase abandoned cart rates 20%.

Magento and Shopify have very different hosting options and capabilities.

When you choose Shopify, your store is hosted by the platform, and can be literally set up in minutes. Shopify does not require any in-depth technical knowledge, and you won’t hire a third party to host your store.

Magento requires you to arrange your own hosting, install, setup, and configuration before building and branding. If you want to choose your host and hire a third party to customize your store – it’s a great option.


Themes and Templates

Both Shopify and Magento provide themes in which you’ll build a design framework for your store.

Shopify gives you over 100 themes to choose from. Each of these themes allow you to easily customize everything yourself – from colors to imagery, and even fonts. All Shopify themes are fully responsive, and come at a one-time fee.

Magento gives you a comprehensive theme marketplace, although many of the themes aren’t quality-controlled. Some themes are free, while most of Magento’s higher quality themes will cost a one-time fee. You will need to hire a third party to fully-customize your theme.


Search Engine Optimization

35% of users begin their purchases using google, and so ranking as high as possible in search results is key for online businesses.

Both Shopify and Magento offer major SEO capabilities that will help you deliver search engine traffic. That said, Shopify gives you an additional Traffic Control app that allows you to manage redirects so you don’t lose traffic or fall in SEO rankings after a user leaves your page.



Magento is free to download and uses a coding system called PHP. That means there’s literally no limit to how your online store can look – as long as you are either highly technical, or willing to hire a third party to customize your store.

Shopify, on the other hand, has almost limitless themes, which are easy to adapt without any coding knowledge. While they may not be as fully-customizable as Magento’s themes, you will be able to easily customize your Shopify theme on your own, for little additional cost.



Today, Shopify’s renown is skyrocketing, and it’s now the lead as the world’s most popular eCommerce platform. In fact, it recently overtook Magento in terms of Google trends.

While popularity shouldn’t be a deal breaker; the number of buyers visiting your selling platform is definitely something to consider when making a choice.



When weighing the benefits of Shopify vs. Magento, it’s wise to note that setup and operating costs differ dramatically between the two platforms.

Shopify’s monthly flat fee includes maintenance, hosting, security, support, and bandwidth. You can choose between a variety of plans at different rates, and you may choose to pay for premium apps on a per month basis.

Magento is free to download, however, unlike Shopify, you’re responsible for your own hosting – which – depending on the company you choose to host – can be an expensive additional monthly cost.


Choosing the Best Selling Platform for You.

Shopify and Magento each provide you a whole host of features and benefits. In order to make the right choice, you need to know what you need and want for your unique online business.

Are you looking for a store you can customize yourself, at the drop of a hat? Do you already know you want to hire a company to host and manage your online store? Do you want to have all the support and hosting costs included in your monthly bill, or are you okay paying a third party for those services?

When you begin weighing the pros and cons of Shopify vs. Magento, take a close look at what you want to manage yourself, and what you want to outsource. Knowing your own strengths and weaknesses will reveal exactly what you need from your eCommerce selling platform.

Looking for an expert opinion? Need a professional to help you distinguish the benefits of Shopify vs. Magento? Give us a shout at OCDesignsOnline, or call us directly at 609-675-0912. Our friendly team is here to help!

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