magento vs opencart

Needless to say that shopping cart is considered to be the key to an online store's success that’s why it is so important to choose the proper one which will suit your business needs and requirements best. Making the right decision between Magento and OpenCart is a difficult task faced by many entrepreneurs, but it is an important choice. So take your time to consider the advantages and disadvantages of these two shopping cart solutions and once done, get ready to take your online business a level up to success.

Magento and OpenCart have established themselves as one of the most stable and robust shopping carts that are currently available at the market. They both have a potential for becoming if not perfect, then very approximate to this definition. There is a good deal of debate on which one is better, but we consider them to be not one-to-one comparison. There are benefits and pitfalls in each of these platforms, that’s why the final choice between them is not an obvious one, and mostly depends on personal preferences and business requirements.

What are the key similiarities between Magento vs OpenCart?

Generally speaking, these two e-Commerce solutions have a lot in common. Both Magento and OpenCart are open source, developed in PHP, and free-to-download. Supporting multiple languages and currencies, each of them has gathered huge user & developer communities, which resulted in the creation of numerous custom extensions. Both platforms are powerful and functional enough to power stores of nearly any scale and fairly comprehensible.

What are the key differences between Magento vs OpenCart?

User-friendliness and capabilities

One of the greatest differences that set these two platforms apart is the management simplicity, or rather to say, the lack of it in Magento. Indeed, Magento’s learning curve is steep enough to confuse an average user and requires some amount of programming knowledge and technical expertise. As a result, quite often store owners are forced to hire a developer.

But as soon as Magento gets into a skillful pair of hands, this shopping cart is able to do about anything an e-merchant can dream of. Fully customizable design, utter flexibility, unlimited SEO resources and a countless number of extensions - that’s how Magento justifies its complexity.

On the contrary, OpenCart is considerably easier to use and manage. Straightforward and intuitive, it’s able to get a business rolling within a few hours of setting it up. The lightweightness and simplicity of OpenCart, however, will cost you about 20% of functionality Magento users are so proud of.

This, basically, what lowers OpenCart demand among owners of big-sized stores, but gives an advantage in the competition for powering the smaller ones. Magento, on the other hand, is often considered to be “too much” for shops with a moderate product quantity, and a perfect match for bigger online retailers.

Popularity and community support

According to CreativeMinds, Magento powers nearly 30% of market share that makes it the largest ecommrce platfrom in the world. Google Trends provides the following figures regarding both cart's popularity:

As for support, both Magento and OpenCart have nurtured robust communities always ready to help a merchant in need. The number of Magento specialized programmers is incomparably bigger though, which is related to high technical requirements this platform imposes. However, quantity has nothing to do with quality, right?

Hosting and extensions costs

Nothing comes for nothing. Even though Magento and OpenCart are free to download and use, you’ll still need to pay for hosting, extensions and premium templates.

Magento, however, will cost you considerably more. Being a resource-demanding solution, it requires a strong (and expensive) hosting plan to support your store performance. Additionally, you’ll need to pay from $79 to 179$ for most of the design templates and up to $1000 (!) for a single extension license. Such exorbitant price is, of course, more of the exception than the rule.

OpenCart, to the contrary, is much more lightweight, which means hosting expenditures will be less. Themes are also nearly twice as cheap compared to Magento ones, not to mention moderate extensions prices. This fact, however, results in a relatively humble variety of choice of the templates and plugins offered.

  Magento OpenCart
Cost Free to use, but additional cost associated (hosting, domain, SSL) Free to use, but additional cost associated (hosting, domain, SSL)
Performance Loading time: 568 milliseconds (Quanta) Loading time: 936 milliseconds (Quanta)
Ease of use
  • Reasonable interface, quick and self-hosting setup, navigational menu
  • Not easy to setup but suitable for professional developers with large hosting budget
  • Simple coding structure, intuitive interface, simple installation process
  • Easier for medium to small sized business
Theme More than 2.100 free themes and 30.000 paid themes (up to $500) Only 500 free and paid themes ($60 to $70)
  • Help to improve your ranking in search results
  • Free marketing tools
  • Limited SEO customisations
  • Does not have extensions which support individual URLs
Support Active Magento Community (300.000 members)
  • OpenCart forum
  • Dedicated support with a monthly fee of $99
Security Serious security which never ceases to monitor the platform for emerging security risks Riskier security because its extensions are not under as much security as those developed for other platforms
Payment methods Default integration with 2 leading payment gateways 160+ payment gateways (PayPal, FedEx,...)

What are the Pros and Cons of Magento and OpenCart?

Roughly, we can narrow down the comparison of advantages and disadvantages of Magento and OpenCart to the following points:

Magento vs OpenCart - What’s Best for Your Business?

Magento Advantages

  • Highly scalable and customizable
  • Matchless functionality level
  • Ideal for Enterprise usage
  • Extensive community

Magento Disadvantages

  • Costly extensions
  • Too many features useless for most stores
  • Steep learning curve
  • Performance much dependent on hosting

Magento vs OpenCart - What’s Best for Your Business?

OpenCart Advantages

  • Very easy to use
  • Free and cheap extensions or themes
  • Responsive and nimble admin UI
  • Nice documentation

OpenCart Disadvantages

  • Limited caching and SEO functions (extensions required)
  • Tough to customize
  • Not so good for big-sized stores
  • Moderate community size

Which is better, OpenCart or Magento?

OpenCart is great if you’re trying to build a store on your own with minimum financial infusions, Magento, alternatively, is a perfect choice for bigger stores with bigger budgets. However, both shopping carts are good for what they’re designed to do - selling and bringing profits.

Magento vs OpenCart - FAQs

Is OpenCart good for SEO?

The OpenCart platform lacks some advanced SEO capabilities, and you'll need PHP coding skills to modify some important SEO factors, such as meta tags and 301 referrals.

Is Magento the best platform eCommerce platform?

Magento is one of the class-leading platforms trusted by 213,057 plus eCommerce stores. Magento has been named the leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce platforms for 3 years in a row.

Though the platform’s technical knowledge and development expertise requirements are high, its advanced commerce capabilities, specifics that cater to B2B and B2C, frequent innovations, and out-of-the-box features make the platform a worthy contender.

Magento has three different versions – Magento Open Source, Magento Commerce, and Magento Commerce Cloud, which suits businesses of any size and eCommerce maturity.

Already have an online retailer built with OpenCart but planning to move to Magento? Migrate from OpenCart to Magento swiftly and easily using Cart2Cart. Or are you willing to do vice versa by switching from Magento to OpenCart? Automated Cart2Cart is still exactly what you need!