If you’re starting a new website from scratch, you have two basic options: do all the coding yourself, or take an off-the-shelf platform and fill it with content. The majority of websites nowadays use the second option for a variety of reasons, most importantly security, flexibility, time, cost and always having a community to turn to.
Two platforms stand head and shoulders above all other when it comes to popularity: WordPress and Magento, with WordPress alone accounting for more than 30% of all websites worldwide. But what are the differences between them? And which is best suited to your website? Let’s have a look.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS). Once it is installed and activated, you have a ready-made website. It comes with a default theme, so it’s up to you to fill it with content (text, images, video etc.) and change the look and layout of it. You can buy themes or get free ones online.
Anyone can set up a WordPress site with very little technical knowledge – most hosting companies have “one click install”, so you can set one up in minutes. If you want anything more complex than a basic site, with advanced customisation, you can always turn to a professional WordPress developer.
What is Magento?
Magento is an e-commerce platform. Its purpose is to make it simple to set up an online shop so you can sell anything from home-made crafts to super yachts. Like WordPress, you can design or buy themes to make your site stand out, or partner with a Magento developer for optimum results. Your job is to populate the site with your products, descriptions, categories, images etc., to set up payment and fulfilment options, and to promote your site.
What function does your website perform?
If you’re running a business, your website probably falls into one of two categories:
- A site that exists solely to inform customers about your business (for example to direct them to your shop, restaurant or other destination, or to raise awareness about your services)
- A site that allows customers to order goods that you will then deliver to them.
If your site exists mainly to inform customers, it’s overwhelmingly likely that WordPress will be your best option. You can take advantage of the thousands of beautiful themes and versatile customisation options to create a website that is uniquely yours and really stands out.
If you’re selling direct to your customers, it’s not quite so straightforward.
Magento is an excellent ecommerce solution that was designed specifically for the purpose. If you’re planning to sell hundreds of different products and want payments and shipping to be as automated as possible, it’s probably going to be the option for you.
If your shop is more modest, for example if you only have a small number of products and won’t make hundreds of sales a day, you will probably be fine using a WordPress site with the WooCommerce plugin. This will give you all the functionality you need, but you’ll benefit from a more user-friendly back end, more control over the appearance of your site, and a larger community of developers to draw assistance from.
Magento and WordPress/WooCommerce each has around a 30% market share in ecommerce websites worldwide. The remaining 40% is divided between more than 15 other platforms such as Shopify (about 4%), which gives you an idea of how popular they both are.
Talk to Gooey
As a white-label developer, we work alongside businesses and other development agencies to produce brilliant, functional websites. If you’re looking to launch or revamp your site, talk to our friendly team – we can help you decide which platform is best for you.