Magento vs OpenCart

When you decide to go online with your business, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing an eCommerce platform. When you are checking out the various platforms, keep in mind what the goals for your business are, the amount of time you have to devote to customizing your site, your technical skills, and just how much you want or expect your business to grow. You should choose a site that can handle growth, if that’s what you anticipate, because you don’t want to have to change platforms once your business begins booming. Two excellent eCommerce platforms are Magento and OpenCart.

Hosting and Installation

OpenCart is free, but you have to host it yourself or contract with a web hosting company. Magento has a free option which includes hosting. The free option is not as robust as the paid options, however, and is more geared towards small businesses. Magento offers a 30 day free trial of its paid options, and the pricing is tiered depending on the storage you require and the number of products you have. The advantage to this is that as your products increase and your customer base expands, you can stay with the same sales platform and simply move to the next tier.

For both platforms, if you have a web hosting company, you should ensure that they will work with the eCommerce platform you choose. Some web hosting services are not compatible with all platforms, and OpenCart and Magento are not exceptions to this rule. Both platforms are easy to install,l but due to the many features offered by Magento, it’s somewhat more complex to set up.

Features and Customization

Magento wins hands down in the features department. Your online store’s design and layout can be customized very easily, you have nearly complete control over your SEO settings, and you can even tag your products to better enhance your SEO options. Its administrative features for your customers are superb and offer order history and recent searches, and it has a robust inventory system.

OpenCart’s design and customization ability are limited, as are its SEO options. However, OpenCart requires little to no technical skills. Though Magento has far more features, setup does require technical expertise, and this is one of the main considerations when choosing between the two platforms. If you are not technically skilled and are not in a position to hire an IT person to set up and maintain your site, then OpenCart is probably the better choice for your business. If you believe your business will expand and you can handle the technology, Magento is the platform for you.