Magento vs Opencart: e-commerce platform comparison

Category: Popular

Introduction


Here we compare two of the most popular eCommerce platforms available, Magento and Open Cart. They’re both widely used and are both solid choices for online retailers, but which is better? And importantly, which one is right for you? NOTE: Magento offers different platforms. We will be comparing the Enterprise Package.


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Criteria


We will judge these platforms based on the following areas:


· Ease of use


· Customization


· Features


· Cost


· Scalability


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Ease of Use


What most business owners need is a quick and easy solution that gets them selling online with little fuss. This is where Open Cart excels. It can be set up by people with little or no experience in web design. Open Cart has free template available, simply choose one and starting inputting your products and off you go. Managing orders and inventory and updating products is straightforward and users really like the intuitive control panel.


Like Open Cart, Magento offers a few free templates, so again, you pick the theme you want and you are ready to start entering your product details. There is a huge amount you can do with Magneto if you have web design and programming skills. That said, straight out the box, it is simple and easy to use. Like Open Cart, managing inventory and orders is straightforward.


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Customization


This is where the two platforms differ. Open Cart is a simple off the shelf solution that relies on standard templates and themes. However, the templates are not that customizable – what you see is pretty much what you get. There are no custom URLs with Open Cart. This is disappointing, as any professional outfit will want this as standard. But is it a deal breaker for start-up? Probably not.


This is where Magento shines. The templates are very customizable. You do need programming skills or have access to a developer to make them your own. If you’re looking for a totally unique site, you can have it with Magento. If you don’t fancy hiring a developer, you can take advantage of a wide range of paid templates. There are a huge amount of plugins and add-ons as well.


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Features


Open Cart has a decent range of features. You can host multiple stores in different languages and sell in different currencies. Payment options are varied, as are delivery options. It also boasts sales reports, reviews, ratings, complaint logging, invoices unlimited products and categories, shipping weight calculator and more. It has everything you need in terms of front end and back end retail features. One area that let’s Open Cart down, though, is its poor SEO features.


If Open Cart is good when it comes to features, Magento is superb. It has all that open Cart offers plus more advanced inventory management and analytics. Unlike Open Cart you can incorporate eBay, PayPal, Mil, Where, Red Laser, GSI Commerce. This is pretty advanced stuff. The SEO options on Magento are far superior to Open Cart with custom Meta descriptions and tags and blog capabilities.


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Cost


With Relatively few add-ons and plugins, hosting for an Open Cart will be quite affordable. Magento sites will require more bandwidth and many of the templates and add-ons come at a cost. Needless to say for the customization, you will need to hire a developer, and that is never cheap.


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Scalability


Open Cart is ideal for startups who want to get established as soon as possible. It is not great for the long term though. The customization options are limited and the SEO holds it back. Other than that, there’s no reason a large company cannot use Open Cart successfully. But with more sophisticated platforms available, the question is: why would they?


The Magento package is scalable. The customization allows firms to tweak and change as they grow. If you outgrow this package, simply upgrade to the Community edition.


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The Bottom Line


Magento is a highly sophisticated platform for medium and large sized businesses. It’s SEO, analytics and marketing allow for targeted campaigns and growth. The features and customization are hugely valuable and make for stunning and powerful sites. The downside? It comes at a cost.


Open Cart is a solid platform that is ideal for startups. It is easy to setup and maintain. It is affordable, but some companies may soon outgrow this platform. But at the end of the day, it will get your business operational quickly and easily.