Magento vs Shopify: 10 Key Differences – One Winner

magento 2 vs shopify

Magento vs Shopify, which is the better e-commerce platform, has become a controversial topic in recent years. There are a lot of opposite opinions around that, which make the merchants so confused when choosing the most suitable foundation for their stores. If you are one of them, this blog post will help you to make the selection easier by comparing Magento and Shopify comprehensively in terms of 15 different aspects. Many people misunderstand that these platforms are similar but actually, they are immensely different in almost every aspect. Let’s figure it out now!

Advantages and Disadvantages of Magento


  • With an enormous community of users and developers, the Magento Forum will provide you with an in-depth answer to almost all of your concerns.
  • Magento, which is an open-source platform, has almost no restrictions on website customization and integration. Merchants can also equip their sites with all necessary and functional extensions available on the marketplace.
  • Magento is the best fit for medium to large businesses especially those who have their in-house developers or have the capital to hire a website outsourcing company.


  • Magento is not a turnkey solution; you will need to hire or outsource a developer to build your site.
  • Magento is complex, with lots of moving parts, so you will need to dedicate time and resources toward learning its capabilities.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Shopify


  • Shopify is the easiest e-commerce platform to use and has amazing functionality.
  • The Shopify App Store makes it easy to add new functionalities to your store. As a hosted solution, Shopify doesn’t require any upfront costs or software downloads.
  • You can easily add and manage multiple stores from one account. Payment processing is integrated, so you don’t need to worry about setting up an external payment gateway.
  • The Shopify mobile app allows you to access your store on the go, making it ideal for merchants who are always on the move. You can start selling online in less than a day with just a few clicks of a button.
  • Shopify offers 24/7 customer support via phone, live chat, email, and Twitter. There’s also an extensive knowledge base that you can use for troubleshooting issues or posting questions regarding specific features.


  • There are no built-in SEO or marketing features.
  • The Shopify App Store has a limited selection of apps.
  • Shop owners have to pay submission fees monthly to Shopify, besides additional costs from paid apps and extensions.

Magento vs Shopify: 10 Key Differences

1. Prevalence Of The Platforms

Undoubtedly, Magento and Shopify are very popular e-commerce platforms nowadays. There are more than 250,000 e-businesses empowered by Magento and approximately 600,000 online stores built on Shopify. It seems that Magento is preferred by most of the medium-to-large firms while smaller companies are more interested in Shopify.

However, both platforms are designed to serve any size company. For example, from my point of view, Magento 2 is an ideal choice for not only large but also small stores that desire to expand their businesses in the future.


magento 2



Score (Magento vs Shopify): 1-1

2. Initial Costs

To begin with, Magento provides two editions, two choices for us, namely Magento Open Source (free) and Magento Commerce. So, if you choose the Magento Open Source platform, you can start at $0.00. At the same time, Shopify offers a free trial for 14 days, but after that, you will have to pay.

Nevertheless, the initial cost of developing a new website from the scratch based on the two platforms is significantly different. In order to build a Magento website, you need to have strong technical knowledge and experience; otherwise, you have to hire a professional Magento agency to do that, which comes at a cost. In general, it will cost you $2,500-$10,000 for hiring a website development company in Asia and at least $15,000 for working with companies in the US, UK, etc.

On the other hand, there is no setup fee for a Shopify store. What you need to do is choose a monthly plan to start with and then, configure the site yourself since it does not require lots of technical skills. To be more specific, Shopify provides the drag-and-drop website builder tool; hence you can customize your store by just moving elements around the page as you want.

That’s why most of the small companies go for Shopify since low early investment. However, for the medium-to-large e-commerce stores, Magento development cost might be not a big deal and will also help them to save in the long-term. Keep reading to understand why.

Score (Magento vs Shopify): 0-1

3. Operational Expenses

As I have mentioned, Shopify users must select a monthly plan to start and they will keep paying their bills on a monthly basis until they… shut down the store. There are three Shopify editions – Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify, which cost you $29, $79, and $299 per month respectively. It’s worth noting that web hosting has already been included in these packages.

On the other hand, you must not pay a monthly fee for using Magento but the hosting fee (from $3-100/month based on your need). Although it does cost, you are free to choose the most proper hosting solution for your store.

Apart from that, Shopify also charges 2%, 1%, or 0,5% per sale (transaction fees) if you use an external payment gateway instead of Shopify Payments. For example, if you want to include popular payment gateways like PayPal, Braintree,, etc. while using the Basic Shopify package, for every $100 order total, you will have to pay back $2. As a result, assuming that your revenue is $100,000 per year, $2000 from that will be paid to Shopify.

On the contrary, Magento does not charge the extra fee for external payment gateways and also integrates PayPal, Braintree, and,… on the website by default.

Score (Magento vs Shopify): 1-0

4. Ease Of Use

Here, I don’t talk about how to build the website anymore but the ease of managing the complete store.

Objectively, both Magento and Shopify provide user-friendly and easy-to-use management dashboards for the admins regardless of their level of technical knowledge. Thanks to that, we can effectively manage products, customers, orders, CMS pages and create sale reports, and so on. However, from my perspective, I prefer the modern look of the Magento 2 dashboard to that of Shopify.


magento 2 dashboard


Score (Magento vs Shopify): 1-1

5. Functionalities

Both of these popular platforms offer fundamental functionalities to start and maintain your e-commerce business. Here are some examples with the comparison:

In terms of the discount and coupon codes, Magento allows you to generate as many codes as you want by default. Although Shopify also provides this feature, it is not included in the Basic plan.

When it comes to inventory management, Magento users are able to control an unlimited number of items. The same thing is provided for Shopify stores except for those who are using the Basic Plan – only 25 items are allowed.

In regard to shipping, both platforms offer flexible shipping methods and automate shipping fee calculation.

Turning to a multiple languages setup, you can add as many languages as you want to Magento stores by easily installing language packs. For Shopify, you have to look for some language apps.

Another common feature of e-commerce stores is blogging, which is available on Shopify and can be added to Magento by using a free or paid extension.

The last essential functionalities provided by both platforms are related to SEO & Marketing. In fact, Magento and Shopify give us similar SEO abilities such as editing meta tags, meta titles, meta keywords, URL keys, alt text, etc., which help to improve website rankings on the SERPs.

Score (Magento vs Shopify): 1-0

6. Design & Customization

Website design is one of the most crucial things that determine a store’s success. There are numerous Magento and Shopify themes for you to choose from, both free and paid. In general, most of the templates are responsive and mobile-friendly, which therefore will be presented nicely regardless of the devices customers use.

responsive website design

The thing is that you can do nothing but alter the basic colors and font in Shopify themes. On the flip side, Magento is a flexible and extensible platform, which allows you to customize and create a beautiful and unique design with your creativity.

Regarding the code, Magento 2 utilizes PHP, whereas Shopify uses Liquid; Magento is open source while Shopify is proprietary. Due to being open source, Magento 2 gives you the power to freely customize the code to suit your needs while it’s impossible to modify the code of Shopify.

As a result, Shopify is just suitable for small firms that accept simple websites with a common look and feel. Meanwhile, Magento 2 can meet the needs of medium and large e-commerce businesses that often require unique and complex stores.

Score (Magento vs Shopify): 1-0

7. Speed & Performance

Website speed is a pivotal factor of an e-commerce store. Many surveys indicated that even a 1-second delay can lead to a 7% decrease in the conversion rate. There is a high possibility that the customers will leave your site if they experience a slow page load.

Since Shopify is a hosted solution, its website performance is guaranteed by the company. It’s true to say that Shopify websites in most cases have a stable and reliable performance.

For Magento 2 websites, their website speed majorly depends on the selected hosting services. If you choose a strong host with proper website optimization (codes and images throughout the site), you don’t need to worry about the site’s performance.

Score (Magento vs Shopify): 1-1

8. User Experience

One of the most important aspects when evaluating the quality of an e-commerce platform is the user experience, especially checkout convenience.

Magento 2 provides us with an easy and fast two-step checkout process (including Shipping Information, Review & Payment Information), with several outstanding features such as guest checkout and one-click account creation. Also, there is a discount code box placed directly on the checkout page.

Shopify also offers a convenient one-page checkout. The thing is that the Basic Shopify plan, it does not show the real-time shipping rates from the beginning, which can result in a higher rate of cart abandonment at the checkout.

Score (Magento vs Shopify): 1-0

9. Modules & Plugins

Although Magento and Shopify have already provided almost everything you need to go online, it’s highly recommended to consider using some third-party extensions to enhance the website’s performance and functionalities.

Up to now, Shopify offers more than 2,300 apps on its store, which is fewer than the current number of Magento 2 extensions on the marketplace (over 3,000). In comparison, Magento 2 not only provides more plugins in number but also in terms of quality. Its list of extensions covers all aspects of store improvements and enhancements, from accounting & finance, marketing, content & customization, customer support, payment & security, reporting & analytics, and so on.

magento 2 extensions

Score (Magento vs Shopify): 1-0

10. Scalability

There is no doubt that Magento is better than Shopify for medium and large-scale e-commerce stores with thousands of products. If you just want to build a small website without a long-term commitment, Shopify might be a good choice. But, if you want to develop an online business that is likely to grow and evolve strongly in the future, Magento 2 comes first place.

Score (Magento vs Shopify): 1-0

Magento vs Shopify. Who’s the Winner?

All things considered, the final score is 9-4 and the winner is Magento. However, it might not be true for all e-commerce businesses. In order to find the best platform for your firm, you need a balance between the platform’s potential and your goals and budget.

If you need to build a store with a small number of products within a short period of time, Shopify is exactly what you need. On the contrary, if what you expect is an online store with lots of features, scalability, and customization, Magento is the best choice.

For me, I’m more inclined to Magento. What about you?

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