WordPress and Magento are both platforms that can be used to build a successful interactive website for your business or brand. Each one has key advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your needs and requirements, you might find that one of the two platforms is a better fit for your online presence.
Here’s a look at WordPress vs Magento – their main similarities and differences, as well as the pros and cons of each platform. Understanding these critical points will help you to make an informed decision about which one to choose.
What is WordPress?
For Blogging and Site Building:
WordPress.org is an open source (free) content management system or CMS. It is based on the PHP programming language and the MySQL database management system. Because it’s licensed under GPLv2, anyone can use or modify the software free of charge.
WordPress.org is an accessible, user-friendly platform for building and managing blogs and websites, requiring little to no coding knowledge to set up a basic site. This ease of use has made WordPress an extremely popular platform, both among development professionals and the DIY crowd.
Did You Know? More than 33% of all the websites on the Internet are powered by WordPress.
WordPress.com is owned and hosted online by the web development corporation Automattic, and run on a modified version of WordPress.org. The site provides free blog hosting for registered users.
WordPress by the Numbers:
These impressive stats show just how popular the WordPress platform has become.
- WordPress is used to power around 14% of the top 100 websites in the world.
- More than 409 million people view more than 20 billion WordPress pages each month.
- WordPress users produce approximately 70 million new posts and 77 million new comments each month.
- Approximately 500 new sites are built in WordPress every day in the top 10 million websites on the Internet, making it the fastest-growing content management system.
- Around 17 new WordPress site posts are published every second!
What is Magento?
Magento is an e-commerce platform built on open source technology and written in the PHP programming language. It is an especially popular content management system for online shops. The platform provides online shop owners (merchants) with a flexible shopping cart system. They are also able to customise the content, functionality and appearance of their own online store.
Magento by the Numbers:
These numbers demonstrate the skyrocketing appeal of Magento.
- More than 200,000 online stores currently run on Magento.
- Magento currently powers 1.2% of sites on the Internet – that’s 12% of all e-commerce sites.
- Magento can host up to 500,000 products on one website, and has the capacity to handle up to 80,000 orders an hour.
At the moment, there are two versions of Magento available, namely Magento 1 and Magento 2.
Magento 2 is a more powerful version of the platform, and there are plans to retire Magento 1 eventually, although no date for this has been confirmed.
Meanwhile, the majority of web stores continue to favour Magento 1 and avoid the adoption of Magento 2. This could be because when it was first launched, Magento 2 had far fewer extensions than its predecessor, making users reluctant to make the switch. Since then however, Magento 2 has started including many more options, and more Magento 1 users have started migrating their sites to the latest version of Magento 2.
For users starting out with Magento, it’s recommended that you use Magento 2, to make sure you have the most up-to-date offering available.
Similarities between WordPress and Magento
We wouldn’t be able to provide a fair comparison between WordPress and Magento without highlighting what the two platforms have in common before discussing their differences.
First and foremost, both Magento and WordPress are open source technologies which can be downloaded and used for free. This means you don’t need a big development budget to use them – if you have a bit of know-how, you can use one of these platforms to start your own personal blog, create an online presence for your business, or even sell your products and services online.
Note that while you can take the DIY approach, it makes a lot of sense for business owners to hire a professional team to build your site or online store. WordPress and Magento devs can create a smoothly functioning website with ease, saving you a lot of time and effort, and giving you more professional-looking results that will benefit you in the long run.
You may also have noticed when we introduced each platform, that both of them are written using PHP. This is an open source, general-purpose server-side programming language that is used to develop web applications. It is script-based, and is a widely-used language that’s especially useful for web development. It can also be embedded into HTML.
Control and Customisation:
Another key factor that sets both Magento and WordPress apart is their potential for customisation. Each platform gives users the ability to heavily (and easily) customise the appearance of their site or online store, and to integrate custom features, with access to an extensive suite of themes, plugins and extensions.
Differences between WordPress and Magento
The first and most crucial difference to note is the main purpose of the two platforms, and their suitability for different types of websites.
Support for e-Commerce:
Magento is specifically built to run online stores. WordPress on the other hand is not specifically built for this purpose. However, WordPress does offer plugins like WooCommerce, which help to extend the platform’s capability and offer support for e-commerce.
How do Magento and the WooCommerce plugin stack up against each other?
|Provides “out the box” functionality – this is an e-commerce product first and foremost||Added to WordPress as a plugin, often requires numerous additional plugins for full functionality|
|Multiple versions available – Enterprise, Open Source, Cloud, etc||Only one version available (no enterprise edition available)|
|A steeper learning curve for non-professionals||Easy for non-professionals to use, with a smaller learning curve|
|Backed by an extensive community of skilled developers and agencies||Has the largest open source community and user base of any platform on the web|
|Excellent scalability, geared towards business rather than personal sites||Not very scalable, especially when it comes to larger sites|
|MVC framework supports scalability, robust order management capability||Not well-equipped for high order volume and scalability|
|Cost of hosting and ownership is typically higher, most extensions cost money as well||Cost of hosting and ownership is typically lower, plus multiple free plugins are offered|
Magento has strong product data capabilities, making it suitable for large and complex catalogues, while WordPress has much weaker product data capabilities. If selling online is the primary purpose of your website, then Magento is a stronger choice for your needs. Magento is great for B2B (business to business) e-commerce stores, and recommended for more complex. High-volume setups.
WooCommerce is more suited to smaller, highly customised and content-focused web stores. If you have a personal website or small business website selling content like e-books and podcasts, A WooCommerce plugin is a smarter and simpler choice for you.
Cybersecurity is a big concern for business owners and individuals alike. Which of the platforms offers you better security measures?
The good news is that both Magento and WordPress are mature platforms with highly secure core code. Your site’s security comes down to the added extras like themes and plugins. This gives Magento a bit of an edge over its rival. WordPress is known for having a huge selection of third-party plugins, in addition to its own extensions. Third-party products are not always secure, so it pays to be very selective about which plugins you download when using WordPress.
Magento doesn’t require any additional plugins, relying instead on its native functionality. Any Magento plugins that a user chooses will be compliant with stringent security standards.
Magento also has some strong security measures in place, to ensure the safety of online payments and the confidentiality of classified information.
- Security patches: The Magento security centre has released a number of strong security patches over the years.
- Timely notification: All users who join Magento’s security alert registry get immediate notifications about the latest security updates. This keeps merchants in the loop and gives them peace of mind when it comes to the protection of their online stores.
- Free scanning tool: Magento allows users to scan their website, free of charge, using a special scanning tool. The tool is designed to detect vulnerabilities on the site.
- Multiple security plugins: Magento offers a selection of reputable security extensions. Whether a merchant wants to block threats, enable better password protection or scan changed files, there is a plugin to assist them.
This isn’t to say that WordPress is not at all secure for e-commerce. While it does have its limits regarding online selling, as we covered above, it does have security well-covered should you choose to use it over Magento.
WordPress security measures include:
- SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate integration
- Secure payment gateway integration
- Strict password and login requirements
- Trustworthy security plugins like Defender
- A choice of WordPress themes that are well-vetted
- A selection of well-vetted plugins, such as WooCommerce and MarketPress
WordPress regularly rolls out patches to deal with security issues as they are detected. There is also a large volunteer review team that works to vet the trustworthiness of every new theme and plugin submitted. These measures help to keep the WordPress community on top of potential major security threats.
Pro Tip: Managed hosting will also offer better overall security than self-hosting. Both WordPress and Magento offer managed hosting options.
Magento offers users a choice between managed cloud hosting and self-hosting.
- Magento Commerce (formerly known as Enterprise Edition) allows for managed cloud hosting;
- Magento Open Source (formerly known as Community Edition) enables self-hosting for users.
It is recommended that merchants host their Magento online stores on a dedicated server, as using a shared hosting solution may cause slower loading times.
WordPress users have the option of managed hosting with WordPress.com, or the ability to host their own site on WordPress.org.
There are some notable differences between Magento and WordPress from a development perspective. Magento is broadly considered to be more advanced than WordPress. This is primarily because it is designed to be an enterprise-level e-commerce platform, rather than one that is developer-friendly.
Themes and templating are available in Magento, but the process is more complex and programmatic than it is in WordPress. There is much more flexibility – and a smaller learning curve – for those looking to do the same things in WordPress.
Search Engine Optimisation:
SEO, or search engine optimisation, is a practice that no successful website should be without. The idea is to make a website as relevant and recognisable to search engines like Google as it is to human users.
Search engine optimisation makes a website or web store more visible to search engines, which in turn makes it more easily accessible to potential customers. This improves brand awareness and helps a business to stand out above its competitors. For more in-depth information about optimisation, have a look at Lilo’s SEO Services page.
Both WordPress and Magento include solid SEO features, which can be improved with plugins and customisations.
For good SEO in WordPress, it’s important to choose trustworthy, clean-coded themes and a reputable plugin like Yoast SEO. WordPress is quite intuitive and quick to set up for successful SEO. When a user is logged into the site’s dashboard, they have the ability to fill in the SEO-powering fields quickly and ensure that every page is compliant.
Arguably the most famous SEO perks associated with WordPress are the Yoast SEO plugin and the All-in-One SEO Pack plugin. You can get free and premium versions of these plugins, depending on how many features you need. These features include:
Yoast SEO (free version):
- Snippet preview
- Google Preview
- Full control over site breadcrumbs
- Advanced XML Sitemaps
- Canonical URLs
- Readability check
All-in-One SEO (free version):
- Good for fine-tuning your optimisations
- XML Sitemap support
- Image XML Sitemap for Image SEO
- Support for Google AMP and Google Analytics
- Advanced Canonical URLs
- Automatic META tags
- SEO Integration for e-commerce sites, including WooCommerce
WordPress also has a great choice of auto-sharing features and plugins, to complement a user’s SEO efforts.
For good SEO in Magento, users must be sure to choose a well-scripted theme. Unlike WordPress, Magento is not really built with content marketing in mind. That means it may take a little longer to clean up the onsite SEO.
However, Magento is a really strong platform for e-commerce SEO, because it doesn’t sacrifice key elements like user experience in favour of search engine optimisation. With Magento, users can implement the following SEO elements:
- Independent navigation links
- Independent page titles
- Customisable H1 tags
- Canonical URLs
- Integrated content pages
- Faster page load times
Pro Tip: Magento also gives users the ability to add a title and alt text to each and every image. Adding these attributes to all product images in a web store can significantly boost traffic to the store from image searches.
We’ve said already that both WordPress and Magento are available for free, but of course, there are additional features, functionalities and upgrades that do cost money.
For example, WooCommerce itself is free, but there are numerous additional costs. A user will need to register a domain name, acquire their SSL certificate, and set up a WordPress hosting account in order to launch their WooCommerce store.
Typical costs are:
- $14.99 per year for a domain name
- $69.99 per year for the SSL certificate
- $7.99 per month for hosting
WordPress offers a free plan for up to 3GB storage, plus a choice of paid plans.
- Blog Plan: $3 per month with 6GB of storage and a custom domain name; good for branding a personal blog.
- Personal Plan: $5 per month with 6GB of storage and a custom domain name, plus access to email and chat support. Good for promoting a personal website.
- Premium Plan: $8 per month with 13GB of storage space and a custom domain name, plus the ability to monetise your ads. Recommended for freelancers.
- Business Plan: $25 per month with unlimited storage space, Google Analytics support and a range of features to promote a business. Ideal for small to medium businesses (SMEs).
- E-Commerce Plan: $45 per month with unlimited storage space and the ability to sell products online. A good choice for those looking to use WordPress to support e-commerce on a content-heavy site.
Is it Possible to Combine WordPress and Magento?
Yes, Magento and WordPress can also be used together. In a setup like this, Magento would be used as the primary platform for managing both the online store and the design. The front-end of WordPress would be left out, but the back-end of WordPress would be used to manage all the powerful blogging features available for the platform.
Why would Magento and WordPress be used in tandem? Let’s say for example that a large, well-established Magento store needs to adapt and refocus its strategy to include more content marketing. In a case like this, the combination of Magento and WordPress can offer them the best of both worlds. The WordPress engine also offers benefits to sites that use Magento as their e-commerce platform, alongside their WordPress sites.
Magento Work by Lilo
Lilo sets up new Magento 2 websites and also migrates older installations to the latest version of Magento 2. Our developers are skilled at creating fully operational e-commerce platforms with user experience as a priority.
One of the things we love about Magento is the many extensions available in the platform’s official marketplace. We use these to customise the functionality of client websites, to create a unique and seamless user experience for shoppers.
Whether you want to improve your existing installation with more advanced features and functions, or if you are looking to move from another platform – hiring a skilled Magento development team to implement it all is the right choice.
We use the Magento platform’s built-in SEO-friendly settings to help boost visibility and help our clients websites to rank higher on search engines. This helps to drive more customers and conversions to the sites.
We can configure Magento websites to accept payments via credit card, debit card, PayPal and more. As we mentioned, Magento makes it easy to offer secure online payments and protect confidential information.
Magento Case Study: Osborne & Little
Lilo developed an e-commerce website for Osborne & Little, a leading name in fabric and wallpaper design, with a reputation for quality and innovation. We created the site for this award-winning British brand using Magento.
The client wanted an improved platform that would allow them to showcase their own designs, as well those of the designers they already represent. Their most crucial requirement was that shoppers should be able to easily order fabric samples after viewing any collection.
They also required a streamlined, user-friendly back-end interface that would allow their staff to manage their large and varied collection of products. And finally, the site needed to be responsive, so that mobile users could easily shop the site as well.
We used Magento to build the site and implemented some other useful features, including:
- An interactive map of worldwide stockists;
- A French language version of the entire website;
- Payment gateway integration.
The result was a sleek, beautifully functioning site, resulting in a happy client and many satisfied shoppers.
Find out more about Lilo’s Magento work on our website.
WordPress Work by Lilo
Our team is able to work in WordPress to create blogs, company websites and web applications. We’ve mentioned earlier that it’s easy to get going with WordPress, and there is a smaller learning curve than you would have with Magento. However, it’s important to have the guidance of a professional to tailor a WordPress website, ensuring the best possible appeal to users and search engines alike.
We bring our clients’ visions to life in WordPress, combining excellent functionality and creative design.
Because WordPress is so intuitive, clients can also easily make their own content changes as needed, after the original site is set up.
WordPress Case Study: Amedeo
Amedeo is a company with 80 years’ experience in leasing widebody aircraft. They have strong connections to airlines and OEMs, as well as an exclusive relationship with Airbus.
Lilo was asked to update Amedeo’s existing WordPress website with a new look and an improved user experience. We worked closely with the client to create the new design and update the site.
Lilo implemented a few key changes:
- Added a scroll feature, allowing users to navigate between entire page sections with just a small movement;
- Added high-definition videos as headers on core pages;
- Removed unnecessary content to provide a more streamlined experience;
- Added SEO-friendly elements;
- Enabled responsive design.
The overall result is a more dynamic and engaging experience for Amedeo clients.
Find out more about our WordPress success stories and development capabilities on our site.
WordPress vs Magento Comparison Table
For easy reference, the table below gives you the rundown on the key differences between WordPress and Magento.
|iPhone app support||No iPhone app support|
|Android app support||No Android app support|
|No Windows Phone app support||No Windows Phone app support|
|Content management capabilities||Content management capabilities|
|Customisable branding features||Customisable branding features|
|Drag & drop interface||Drag & drop interface|
|Social media integration capabilities||Social media integration capabilities|
|Website management capabilities||Website management capabilities|
|Recommended for freelancers and personal bloggers, small and mid-size businesses||Recommended for small and mid-size businesses and large enterprises|
|Access to online support||Access to online support|
|Secure core code; the variety of third-party plugins available can pose a security risk||Secure core code plus robust security patches and updates|
|Good flexibility, suitable for building a variety of content-heavy websites and blogs||More robust but less flexible, with a core focus on e-commerce and extensions available for blogging|
|A very user-friendly content publishing platform for beginners||A bigger learning curve, usually a job for a professional development team|
|Very good potential for SEO||Very good potential for SEO|
|Quick and easy to set up||Requires more time and investment up front, but offers more scalability|
|Not suitable for handling more than 20 products, but good for growing a popular blog or membership site||Built to handle a very large selection of products, making it easy to expand an online store|
At the end of the day, both WordPress and Magento are strong, well-respected content management systems with a wealth of benefits to offer site owners. The choice between the two essentially comes down to your priorities for the website you want to build, and what you want to achieve.
Still can’t make up your mind about the Magento vs WordPress debate? That’s okay! Talk to the experts and we’ll recommend the most suitable platform for your website.
Whether you want to promote your small business services, or sell a large variety of products online, Lilo has the ideal development solution for your needs. We’ll advise you on the best possible platform for your website or online store. Our team is well-versed in Magento and WordPress development, as well as search engine optimisation.