Magento or WordPress: How to Choose the Best Fit for Your Online Presence

Magento or WordPress – the ultimate battle for supremacy. With a combined market share of 40%, both eCommerce platforms enjoy a fair amount of popularity among online merchants. Whether one solution is better than the other comes down to the size of your enterprise and how big a budget you have to work with.

What Are Magento and WordPress?

Right off the bat, Magento and WordPress are both eCommerce solutions for building online retail stores. While you can use either of them to set up your online store, there are some fundamental differences between them with regard to the level of technical know-how required to work with them.

What Is WordPress?

WordPress is a powerful, dynamic, open-source content management system (CMS) and blogging platform. Users can customize their website and leverage the myriad of plugins available, all designed to increase the store’s functionality.

WooCommerce is an eCommerce plugin built for WordPress that allows individuals to convert their website into an online store. It integrates a storefront, shopping cart, checkout function, and several other store management features critical to the running of an eCommerce store.

For purposes of this guide, any reference made to WordPress specifically refers to WooCommerce. The two terms will be used interchangeably, so keep that in mind as you read this review.

WordPress Pros and Cons

The Pros
  • It is SEO-friendly.
  • Users get to leverage the active, thriving community of users and developers.
  • Users with an existing WordPress website will have an easier time expanding or converting it into an eCommerce store.
  • WooCommerce is highly customizable thanks to its rich repository of themes and plugins.
  • WordPress' backend is more straightforward to use, making it the better option for individuals with limited web development experience.
The Cons
  • If you’re not a big fan of WordPress for whatever reason, your feelings aren't likely to change with WooCommerce.
  • Most plugins and extensions come with a premium price tag attached to them, which can increase operational costs in the long run.
  • Users still require some technical expertise to get the most out of the platform.

What Is Magento?

Magento is also an eCommerce software developed by Adobe. Like WordPress, it is open-source. However, the fundamental difference between them is that Magento is designed for individuals with a background in web development.

If you’re setting up an online store for the first time and you’re not a web developer, you will have a hard time figuring it out. It has a steep learning curve owing to the software's heavy reliance on its API. On the plus side, if you know your way around it, the freedom you’ll have as far as customization goes is virtually unlimited.

Magento’s marketplace is also chock-full of extensions that store owners can leverage to enhance their stores' functionality.

Magento Pros and Cons

The Pros
  • Coders will find Magento's web development environment easy to use.
  • It has an impressive collection of customizable themes to choose from.
  • It is SEO-friendly.
  • The platform has an impressive array of sophisticated features, providing unlimited customization capabilities without heavy reliance on eCommerce plugins.
  • The platform is incredibly feature-rich, making it the go-to option for individuals who prioritize scalability.
The Cons
  • Magento's online forum isn't well-monitored and is often riddled with spam.
  • The Enterprise solution is quite pricey, making it unsuitable for small-scale organizations that can’t afford to retain a dedicated team of coding and web design experts.
  • Users with no background in web development will find Magento's learning curve steep.

See also: Magento In-Depth Review.


Magento vs. WordPress Features

Magento Features

One of the first things that jump out at you when you use Magento is how user-focused its features are. Everything about it is designed to deliver the most optimal shopping experience for customers. For starters, there’s no limit on the quantity or number of products you can sell. Adding product images, descriptions, variations, attributes, etc., is also reasonably straightforward.

Magento’s page builder is also impressive. Its drag-and-drop interface is highly intuitive and has a wide array of widgets users can leverage when building their online stores. The platform makes asset management, content staging, and previewing a breeze.

It doesn’t stop there. Magento’s capabilities with regard to enhancing the customer’s online shopping journey are nothing short of outstanding. Store owners can configure the platform to display product recommendations to buyers based on their purchasing habits. Merchants can even create personalized promotions, offers, and content marketing campaigns quickly and conveniently to boost sales.

Magento’s inventory management features are equally as impressive. They provide users with real-time insight into their store’s product availability. You can even sync the inventories in your online and physical shops and consolidate them into a single centralized order-fulfillment system. Now, that’s something you don’t see every day.

WordPress Features

WordPress isn’t too far behind in terms of its features. WooCommerce users have access to numerous themes and plugins, giving them virtually unlimited customization capability. There’s also the fact that you get to leverage a powerful CMS, WordPress, in addition to the eCommerce platform.

Like Magento, WordPress also allows merchants to sell unlimited products. You can customize your online store by setting the language, currency, and units of measurement based on your location. You can also integrate multiple images into your store's gallery so customers can get an accurate impression of the products they’re interested in.

The other feature that stands out is how easy it is for store owners to display customer reviews on product pages. While this might seem like a minuscule feature, you would be surprised by the level of credibility it adds to your business.

WordPress’ search function is another favorite. It allows customers to easily find specific products and even filter the results based on criteria like customer ratings, price, popularity, newness, attributes, and more.

Other features that give WordPress a competitive edge over other eCommerce platforms include the ability to offer one-click refunds, the option for customers to create user accounts or opt for guest checkout, and its robust order and inventory management capabilities.

WordPress vs. Magento for Ecommerce

Magento eCommerce

Magento has no shortage of built-in eCommerce features essential to the development and day-to-day running of an online store. Some of the ones that stand out include product tiers, product comparisons, multi-store management, discounts, coupons, and more.

What makes the platform unique is that it consolidates all the functions merchants require into its core framework, which, in turn, reduces the amount of work they need. Some notable ones include its payment gateways, sales and ads, inventory management, shipping and tax, and reports and analysis features.

Moreover, Magento’s built-in CMS also provides opportunities for SEO and mobile optimization. Merchants can choose from a plethora of exciting themes and add-ons, all designed to enhance the user experience as shoppers browse your store.

WordPress eCommerce

WordPress was initially developed primarily as a blogging platform. As a result, it doesn't have the out-of-the-box eCommerce functionality you would expect compared to other platforms like Magento.

WordPress solved this problem by building a platform-specific plugin – WooCommerce – to allow users to integrate eCommerce capabilities into their WordPress website. To set up your eCommerce website and start selling your wares online, you must first install the plugin.

It is worth noting that WooCommerce is nothing more than an add-on that provides you with the means to create an online store. You still have to install several other plugins to increase your website's functionality, and you would be solely responsible for every other aspect of the day-to-day running of an online store. Think – security, support, updates, compatibility, and more.

While WordPress is, no doubt, pretty decent in its own right, it is nowhere near as powerful as Magento as far as built-in eCommerce functionality goes. If you have the level of technical expertise to work with Magento, it is by far the better option. On the other hand, if you know your way around WordPress but lack the coding knowledge required to work with Magento, you're better off using WooCommerce. 


Magento vs. WordPress Price

Magento Pricing

As mentioned earlier, Magento is open-source, and, as is the case with all open-source software, you can download and install it for free. The catch is you would still have to factor in the additional costs that go into setting up an eCommerce website. You have to pay for your store’s domain, hosting plan, security modules, and every other efficiency-enhancing add-on required to run your website.

With that in mind, the exact cost of setting up a Magento store varies widely, depending on the additional plugins you install. Here's an estimate of the basic expenses to expect when setting up your online store.

  • Domain, hosting, and SSL certificate: $10 - $50 (per year)
  • Frontend and backend development: $5,000 - $70,000 (one-off)
  • Maintenance and security: $1,000 - $5,000 (ongoing or one-off)
  • Extensions: $1,000 - $2,000 (ongoing or one-off)

While it is abundantly clear that Magento’s pricing isn’t exactly competitive, it is important to keep in mind that the eCommerce solution targets medium to large-scale enterprises. Businesses with the financial muscle required to set up their online stores using Magento get to leverage this powerful platform and everything it has to offer.

WordPress Pricing

Like Magento, WordPress is also free to download and install since it is open-source as well. However, while the eCommerce solution itself is free, the plugins and extensions required to make your online store functional are not. Here are some additional costs you need to factor in:

  • Domain, hosting, and SSL certificate: $10 - $50 (per year)
  • Front and backend development: $50 - $100 (per hour)
  • Maintenance and security: $50 - $200 (ongoing or one-off)
  • Extensions: $100 - $1,000 (ongoing or one-off)
  • WooCommerce plugin: Free

Based on these figures, one thing is clear: Setting up your online store using WordPress is significantly cheaper compared to Magento, making it the natural choice for startups and small businesses on a tight budget.

Magento vs. WordPress Security

Magento Security

Magento, being an open-source solution, leaves all aspects of your store’s security in your hands. You are responsible for your website’s SSL certificate, security plugins, PCI compliance, two-factor authentication, and everything required to keep your store’s sensitive data safe from hackers and other bad actors.

It is worth noting that Magento periodically rolls out security patches and updates. Site admins are then required to download them and manually install them to the backend of their website, something non-tech users find pretty challenging and time-consuming. If you fail to install these security patches and updates, you leave your online store susceptible to hacking.

WordPress Security

A recent report by Sucuri indicates that 94% of all cyberattacks target CMS-powered sites like WordPress. If these numbers are anything to go by, it highlights the need for online merchants whose stores run on WooCommerce to beef up their site’s security to avoid becoming another statistic.

While Magento requires users to manually download and install security patches and updates, WordPress is more efficient in this regard, thanks to its automatic update mechanism. Site admins can schedule the installation of automatic updates as soon as they become available. This hands-off approach to security management gives WordPress a slight edge over Magento since users can configure auto updates and focus on other aspects of running their store.

The downside to WordPress, as far as security is concerned, has to do with the fact that non-verified third-party plugins pose the biggest threats. Some plugins have malicious code embedded in them, which provide backdoor entryways hackers can use to gain access to eCommerce websites. Magento, on the other hand, doesn’t grapple with this particular threat.

Magento vs. WordPress for SEO

Magento SEO

Right off the bat, it is important to note that no eCommerce platform is inherently "good for SEO." However, some platforms make it easier for site admins to optimize their websites for search engines, allowing them to feature among the top results of search engine results pages (SERPs).

Magento is one such platform. It features a rich repository of SEO guides and SEO prompts to help users optimize their online store. Some noteworthy SEO features include:

  • Google sitemap, redirects, and no-follow links to help search engine bots crawl your store more efficiently
  • It makes it easy to incorporate page titles, product images, alt-tags, image descriptions, canonical meta tags, meta descriptions, keyword-optimized URLs, etc.
  • Rich snippet support

You will need to implement these SEO upgrades while adhering to SEO best practices for best results.

WordPress SEO

WordPress isn’t all that different from Magento when it comes to optimizing online stores for search engines. The eCommerce platform allows you to create the necessary metadata for posts and pages, optimize the structures of permalinks, create meta tags for posts, and more.

However, unlike Magento, WordPress’ true SEO power lies in the vast collection of SEO plugins available. Yoast SEO, All-in-One SEO, and WP Rocket are some of the SEO extensions you can leverage to optimize your eCommerce website and boost its visibility on search engines.

See also: Optimizing Your WooCommerce Store for Google.

Magento vs. WordPress for Blogging

Magento for Blogging

Magento doesn’t have any built-in blogging functionality. If you want to incorporate a blog into your online store, you will need to install a custom extension, which you can download from the Magento marketplace.

A popular blog plugin for Magento is the AheadWorks extension that adds a “Blog” section to your eCommerce website. You can then configure it to meet your specific needs, at which point you can add posts, organize them into categories, add images, and more.

The downside to blogging on Magento is the interface. Users don’t find it intuitive, making it harder to navigate compared to WordPress.

WordPress for Blogging

To reiterate, WordPress was initially developed as a blogging platform. Although it has evolved dramatically over the last two decades into a multipurpose CMS, it has maintained its core blogging functionality, which is built directly into the admin dashboard.

The platform’s block editor provides intuitive drag-and-drop functionality, allowing users to create content quickly and conveniently. You can add images, modify the column layouts, integrate call-to-action buttons, and add other elements to the page.

What’s more, WordPress has a diverse collection of themes and plugins built explicitly for blogging. The templates come in various styles, so you can pick the most appropriate layout for your online store. For instance, some themes display recent blog posts on the homepage, while others require site visitors to click a link that then redirects them to the store's blog section.

If incorporating a blog into your online store is a major priority for your business, you’re better off setting up your eCommerce website using WordPress.


Magento WordPress Plugin

What is more important to you as a store owner, blogging or eCommerce? Most people would say both, and they would be right. This would never have been an option a few years ago. Back then, you had to pick one. Today, you can enjoy the best of both worlds.

If you want to leverage the power of Magento and WordPress’ impressive blogging functionality, all you’ll have to do is integrate a WordPress extension into your Magento website or a Magento extension into your WordPress site. Here are two popular plugins worth exploring if you’re looking to integrate WordPress into your Magento store or vice-versa.

FishPig WordPress Integration for Magento

FishPig’s WordPress integration is a widely used, highly-rated extension store owners can use to integrate a WordPress blog into their Magento website. That way, users can easily publish content to their website to improve their store’s SEO.

By installing FishPig, you’re essentially integrating WordPress into Magento. You'll get to leverage WordPress' powerful built-in blogging features without compromising Magento's core capabilities.

Keep in mind that this integration only works when incorporating a blog into your Magento store. It does not, however, let you install a WordPress theme.

If you want to step up the level of control you have over your blog, you can install FishPig’s plugin – Shortcodes & Widgets – which will then allow you to install any extension that runs on shortcodes. Think – Gravity Forms, Elementor, etc. These will give you a more comprehensive range of customization options to tailor your website blog precisely the way you want.

Francis Santerre Magento 2 WP Storefront Integration for WordPress

The Magento 2 Storefront Product Showcase integration by Francis Santerre is a WordPress extension that allows you to display the products featured in your Magento store in your WordPress pages and posts. It works by linking your Magento store to your WordPress website using Magento’s REST API. Once you’ve linked your two sites, you can then input the shortcode [magento] to display your merchandise on your desired pages and posts.

The Magento 2 Storefront Product Showcase plugin integrates Magento into WordPress. As a result, you get to leverage WordPress's available themes, plugins, and features to customize your eCommerce website.

The Key Differences between Magento and WordPress

If you’re torn between using Magento or WordPress to set up your online store, here are some significant differences to keep in mind when choosing between the two eCommerce platforms.


While Magento and WordPress are both impressive in their own right as far as eCommerce platforms go, Magento is, no doubt, the more powerful of the two. Magento comes with a wide array of dynamic sales features already integrated into the platform. Some of these include, but are not limited to:

  • Addition of multiple product images per listing
  • Creation of custom price points for different customer groups
  • Free shipping options
  • Recently viewed products
  • Single-page checkout

Magento is built for medium and large-scale enterprises. Its uncapped ability for growth gives it a leg up over WordPress, making it the preferred choice for fast-growing businesses looking to scale rapidly.

WordPress also comes with a host of eCommerce features. The only difference is that, unlike Magento, these features are not built into the platform’s native capabilities.

To convert a WordPress site into an online store, users must first install the WooCommerce plugin. Only then can you leverage WordPress’ true potential to drive traffic, ramp up sales, and grow your eCommerce business. You also don’t need a lot of technical know-how to work with WordPress. The same can’t be said for Magento.

Ease of Use

The other thing that sets WordPress and Magento apart is their user-friendliness. WordPress is significantly easier to use compared to Magento as it was designed with beginner and expert-level web developers in mind. Magento is more geared towards medium to large-scale enterprises with the capacity to retain or outsource professional developers.

If you have no background in web development or intend to set up an online store yourself, your best bet would be to use WordPress. If you want to leverage the perks that come with a powerful eCommerce platform, including the unlimited capacity to scale, and you have the financial muscle to outsource the web development aspect of it to an expert, then Magento would be the better option.

Here’s an example of where the difference in the ease of use for both platforms becomes apparent. Installing WordPress and setting up your website takes less than five minutes. Some hosting providers like Bluehost (which WordPress itself recommends) offer one-click installation, which requires no effort on your part. Signing up for a Bluehost account automatically sets up your WordPress site at no cost.

On the other hand, since the installation instructions for Magento are a little too developer-centric for non-coders, hosting providers like SiteGround (which Magento recommends) make it a little simpler. Installation is only one piece of the puzzle, though. Things can get a little dicey when it comes to actually setting up your online store if you’re not a web developer.

Content Management and Marketing

As far as content management and marketing are concerned, WordPress is pretty hard to beat. The platform itself is quite literally a CMS and was initially developed as a blogging platform.

WordPress has retained its core blogging functionality despite evolving into a multipurpose CMS. It is “multipurpose” in the sense that you can use WordPress to build virtually any type of site you want, including an eCommerce site. However, its blogging roots mean that it is built to handle an almost infinite amount of media and content. As a result, it is better equipped for content marketing, which is critical for SEO.

On the flip side, Magento’s core framework isn’t designed around blogging. If you want to incorporate a blog into your Magento website, you will need to install a custom extension that will let you do just that.


Themes and Customization

Magento and WordPress both offer excellent theme customization capabilities. The eCommerce platforms have a rich template library featuring professionally designed, ready-to-use templates that don’t require any coding input on your part. You can simply edit the existing template to reflect your brand messaging.

If you want a unique, higher-quality template, there’s the option to use a custom theme. WordPress’ WooCommerce Storefront theme is a free, easy-to-customize template that integrates seamlessly with WooCommerce. That way, you can conveniently manage your site content while driving sales. Depending on the WordPress hosting plan you sign up for, the Storefront theme will usually come pre-installed.

Magento, on the other hand, doesn’t offer free themes, and with good reason. Since Magento users are predominantly larger enterprise-level eCommerce websites, these companies usually have a bigger budget to work with. It means that they can invest anywhere from $500 to upwards of $25,000 for a custom theme.

See also: SEO Migration Checklist.

WordPress vs. Magento for Ecommerce – The Verdict

Magento and WordPress are both capable of building robust and scalable online stores. The choice of one over the other ultimately comes down to your business’s priorities. If you’re looking for a powerful eCommerce platform and have the financial muscle to outsource the web development aspect of its design to experts, then Magento would be a natural choice.

On the other hand, if you have a tighter budget to work with and lack the resources required to onboard a web developer to build your online store for you (meaning you intend to do it yourself), WordPress would be a better option. It is more user-friendly than Magneto and even offers free themes that you can customize to align with your brand messaging.

Are you looking to switch from your current eCommerce provider to Magento or WordPress? Cart2Cart can help you do just that. Our fully automated shopping cart migration tool can help you re-platform your store in a few clicks with no downtime or data loss.

Want to see Cart2Cart in action? Sign up today for a free demo.


Is WordPress better than Magento?

Not necessarily. The choice between WordPress or Magento comes down to your business priorities. If your primary goal is to scale and drive online sales, Magento might be the better solution. However, it does have a higher cost implication you need to consider.

On the other hand, if your business objectives center on content marketing as the primary means of driving traffic to your eCommerce website and have a somewhat more restricted budget to work with, you're better off choosing WordPress.

Which is better – Magento or WooCommerce?

Magento is built for large-scale enterprises that have the budget to outsource the building and management of their online stores to third-party developers. WooCommerce, on the other hand, is more geared toward small and medium-scale businesses that may not have the same financial muscle as their large-scale counterparts.

Overall, both platforms are capable of building exceptional online stores. It is a question of what your business’s short and long-term goals are.

Can I use Magento in WordPress?

The Magento 2 Storefront Product Showcase integration by Francis Santerre is a WordPress extension that allows you to display the products featured in your Magento store on your WordPress pages and posts. If you’re looking to use Magento in WordPress, this plugin would be your best bet.

Is Magento the best eCommerce platform?

“Best” is subjective. It all depends on the size of your business, your long-term goals, your technical expertise, and your budget. If you have a large-scale enterprise whose main objective is to scale, and you have the budget to outsource web development to a professional, then Magento would be the best eCommerce platform for you. If you have a smaller budget to work with and are looking for a more user-friendly eCommerce option, WooCommerce would be a better fit.