Let us talk about alternatives for Magento in this blog. Magento is an open-source eCommerce platform used by over 250,000 merchants worldwide and is estimated to power 1-2% of the internet. It has multi-store capabilities natively, meaning you can create and manage all the different eCommerce stores you own under one platform.
Magento is an enterprise-level solution for businesses to set up eCommerce websites with high customization levels that lets you create whatever component you want for your website.
Why look for an alternative?
Now then, with such comprehensive features, why would eCommerce store owners look for alternatives for Magento?
Though you have complete freedom to create whatever you want for your website with Magento, it also comes with a disadvantage of a slower website which requires more developer time to bring your site speed to desired levels.
Magento can cost upwards of $120,000 to run your website with it and not all eCommerce store owners can afford it. Small business owners and those with small budgets have to allocate their financial resources to other important parts of their business.
When Magento shifted to Magento 2, it required all its users to update to the new version as it stopped support for the old version. Merchants who did not move to Magento were vulnerable to security risks. Since Magento 2 was built with different technology than the original version, this also incurred costs for its users in the conversion process and to not lose their years of data.
For all these reasons, you might be looking for an alternative to Magento. Or you are getting started with setting up your eCommerce website and doing your homework on the available open-source platforms. Either way, let us take a look at some of the alternatives for Magento and how they can benefit you.
Features to look for in alternatives
Ease of Use
A main pain point of Magento is the complexity of the platform and users’ dependency on developers to set up and maintain their website. Alternatives for Magento should balance out the features it offers with ease of use to be a relevant replacement for Magento.
Not all eCommerce store owners can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on website building and maintenance. While building and maintaining a website does require spending, it should be affordable enough or at least cost per the scale of the store for financially choosing the alternative.
Customization and Scalability
An eCommerce store should have store management features for running efficiently in real-time to handle transactions, process payments, and handle stocks. So it goes without saying for the eCommerce platform to have these features, be it through plugins or through built-in tools to build a viable eCommerce store.
Open-Source Alternatives for Magento
Open Source eCommerce platforms give you access to their source code to edit as you need and are generally free, though you have to spend money on hosting your website and having a custom domain name.
WooCommerce is an open-source plugin for WordPress as opposed to some others in the list that are SaaS or dedicated eCommerce website builders. Nevertheless, WooCommerce is backed by WordPress and is the top pick of WordPress websites to add eCommerce functionality.
Both WordPress and WooCommerce are free, though you have to pay for hosting your domain. Even so, the cost for hosting a website with WordPress is nominal, starting at $2.75 per month.
Setting up WooCommerce on your website is fairly simple with a WooCommerce setup wizard assisting in every step. If you don’t have a WordPress website, you can set it up along with hosting from providers like Kinsta easily.
Besides this, WooCommerce has the support of the crowd of WordPress enthusiasts. Or you can always reach out to WooCommerce support staff known as Happiness engineers for a 24/7 live support ticket system to solve your queries.
WooCommerce also has loads of dedicated extensions for processes involved in an eCommerce store like shipping, payment gateways, tax calculation, and specialized extensions to modify your store based on the industry you are in.
You also get the added benefit of the WordPress theme store and websites like Themeforest offering an exhaustive list of free and paid plugins to customize your website as you want and support from the developers for dedicated support if you are opting for the paid options.
All in all, WooCommerce is light, has integrations with almost all popular solutions to get your store running in no time, and also has quick support in the form of both WooCommerce support and WordPress forums. WooCommerce wins hands down in a lot of parameters when compared with Magento in setting up and running an eCommerce store with relative ease and no technical expertise requirements.
OpenCart is another open-source eCommerce platform that is written in PHP just like Magento, making for an easier transition process. OpenCart is lightweight and simple in design and also has 13000+ modules to add to your website for customization.
It also has built-in features like support for multiple languages, product ratings and reviews, downloadable products, recurring payments, and guest checkout for a quick website set up even before adding apps for further editing your website even before adding modules.
Though OpenCart is free for you to edit as you want, given you have the coding expertise or are willing to hire developers, it costs to host your website again, as with all open-source eCommerce solutions. But it offers a robust set of features even if you lack the programming expertise as well.
PrestaShop is a French eCommerce platform with 600 functionalities built-in and offers more through a module store where you can install additional modules for additional website features. PrestaShop is easy to set up and you can edit it as you want as it is also open-source.
PrestaShop has 3000+ modules to choose from, while the number may appear low, it offers a lot of tools out of the box like email automation, free shipping, downloadable and physical products, and built-in support for Stripe and PayPal for payments.
Further, PrestaShop has themes starting from $65 and modules starting from $30. Hosting costs as well and while the PrestaShop is free, you need to pay to upgrade to the next version when updates are available or you will be stuck with the particular version of the software you got while installation.
Customer support is an expensive part of PrestaShop, with paid support starting from $250.
Drupal Commerce is an eCommerce platform built based on Drupal, a really powerful and popular content management system. Much like Magenta, Drupal is built with customization in mind and it offers users to build unique websites for their eCommerce endeavors.
Drupal Commerce may be developer dependent as it has a bit of a learning curve for non-technical users in setting up and maintaining websites as it was developed as a framework.
The platform requires both technical expertise and financial resources to build a comprehensive website with sufficient integrations.
Calculating the cost of running a website on Drupal Commerce is difficult to calculate3 as it depends on the scale of the store and the features you add which changes based on the resource you spend on technical expertise.
SaaS Alternatives for Magento
Shopify is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms available and it is used by more than 1,000,000 merchants around the world.
Shopify is a really popular proprietary SaaS application to create eCommerce websites. For a fixed subscription, you get all the features of Shopify in different tiers from the basic plan starting from $9 per month.
It is easy to set up and run an eCommerce website using Shopify and you get SSL encryption, hosting, and domain name are all covered in the subscription.
Shopify also has an app store with over 60,000+ apps to extend the functionality of your website in any way you want and a dedicated 24/7 support team to address your queries.
While there are a lot of apps for all the features you want to add to your website, it makes running your website complicated as you scale up. Additionally, Shopify also charges for payment gateways if you want to use other than Shopify payment.
BigCommerce is a complete website builder to get your eCommerce store going. It offers a hosted solution for eCommerce stores. With BigCommerce taking care of hosting, you can build the website directly right after signing up. It powers around 46,000 live stores around the world and is a rapidly growing name in the market.
It is also a SaaS solution, with subscription plans starting from $29.95 per month to the pro plan at $299.95 offering solutions to new startups to large enterprises.
An advantage of BigCommerce is in its offering of built-in tools that give you a lot of eCommerce features to your website and reduce dependency on plugins and apps like in WooCommerce or Shopify.
BigCommerce also offers themes based on a variety of classifications but the collection might not be diverse enough compared to some of the other tools on this list. While it has an intuitive website builder, the user interface has a lot of industry jargon, making it a difficult tool for beginners.
Overall, BigCommerce is suitable for mid-level stores with room for growth and capitalize on all the features the website builder offers.
WiX powers around 500,000 websites and not without a reason, it is a really feature-rich website builder with more than 500 industry-specific templates to build your website from.
It has an AI-powered drag-and-drop website builder which makes the website creation process easy and fun and you can set it live in a matter of minutes. The builder also gives you smart alerts on how your edits affect the website design.
It offers useful store management tools like worldwide shipping, abandoned cart recovery, and multichannel selling features. WiX also has an app collection with 250+ tools to add features you want to your website.
WiX offers a free plan to get your website started, once you are ready to do transactions and accept payments, you can upgrade to its premium plans starting from $23 per month.
WiX has a “buy now, pay later” feature in its payment method that allows you to collect payments after the product has been delivered. It also supports traditional payment methods like Stripe and PayPal.
Overall, WiX is a good website builder with great design tools and pricing plans that are aimed at beginner-level stores.
Squarespace is another drag-and-drop website builder that offers a quick website setup process. You can add content and set up the built-in analytics and SEO tool for your website and set it live in a matter of a few minutes.
While it is straightforward, Squarespace provides eCommerce-specific extensions like shipping, inventory management, payment, and other marketing tools to get all the functions necessary for your eCommerce store.
While there are extensions to add in Squarespace, the collection is not as extensive as other tools on this list.
Squarespace is an excellent beginner-friendly tool to build an eCommerce website with very little technical knowledge. What it offers in ease of use, it lacks in offering advanced tools to make high-level customizations on your website.
Squarespace starts from $14 per month to $49 per month and is a great tool for simple eCommerce stores.
While you might have a number of reasons for seeking alternatives for Magento, it never hurts to do a little research on the alternates available in the market before committing to one to save downtime if you decide to shift again.
I have provided a list of popular eCommerce tools both open-source and SaaS that can work for you as alternatives for Magento. While all of them are top-notch successful tools, if I have to pick one, it would be WooCommerce. Why? WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce tool which is backed up by WordPress, the most used CMS platform in the world. It has thousands of extensions to change and add endless features to your website to create an eCommerce website just as you want and stand out from the competition and support is never far away to solve your queries.
Know a tool you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comments.