Shopify VS Magento

Shopify VS Magento: Which Is Better in 2023?

Author: Helen Rebane

14 March, 2021

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Today starting your business is easier than ever. All can be done in the online format. You no longer have to rent a place if you are just a beginner. All you need is a website! But that is easier said than done. Creating a decent eCommerce website is a big deal, and if you do not take it seriously, it will be a failure. But what do you need for a good eCommerce website? A good eCommerce platform. 

Today, the most significant players in the market are Shopify and Magento. Both of them are great platforms for building your eCommerce business. However, it would be best if you chose them depending on your business needs. To make your job easier, we will have a quick Magento VS Shopify comparison to understand which is the best eCommerce platform for your business. 

Magento VS Shopify 

Before we dive into the feature comparison, let’s understand what each of these platforms is. So here is a quick recap for the beginners! 


Shopify is a CMS platform that helps anyone to create their online store and sell products. Shopify CMS was founded in 2008 by Tobias Lütke, who needed to sell Snowdevil snowboards. When creating the website, he realized how challenging it was to set up an online store. There was no easy-to-use platform for it. So, Tobias decided to create it, and that is how Shopify was born. 


Magento was founded in 2007 by Roy Rubin and Yoav Kutner. It was initially part of the Varien project and was created while Rubin was still studying at UCLA. Varien released their first product, named Magento, in 2008 as an open-source platform. The name was inspired by the color magenta, initially featured in their logo. 

Today, Magento is the software powering billions of sales. It gives its users complete flexibility and control over the functionalities and design, allowing them to create customized Magento websites. 

Of course, you cannot notice too many differences with the first look between the Shopify and Magento platforms. However, they have a lot of dissimilarities when it comes to their features. So, we will start our Magento VS Shopify comparison with:  

The Complexity 

One of the most crucial features to consider when choosing an eCommerce platform is its ease to use. Now, both Shopify and Magento platforms are known for their user-friendliness. But which platform is right for you if you are a complete beginner? 

Well, Shopify is a total winner in this contest. Remember how Tobias was annoyed with all of the complexities of building an eCommerce platform? That made him come up with a platform that makes the process as simple as it can get. 

Shopify is way easier than Magento as it has a drag-and-drop website builder and is a one-stop-shop. This means you can easily customize your website, moving the page elements around as you wish. Shopify does not require a lot of coding from the user, while Magento’s target audience is mainly developers. 

So if you are looking for a not-complex, beginner-friendly eCommerce platform, Shopify is the answer. However, if you are a developer and are not scared of a little coding, then Magento should not be a problem. 

Still, in this contest, Shopify CMS is the winner. 

The Look 

Although you should not judge from appearance, let's face it: we all want to have a visually stunning website. So yes, you can love at first sight does exist when it comes to websites. But how do you get your Shopify or Magento website to look magical? You need well-designed themes! 

That is why our second feature in the Magento VS Shopify contest is the themes. Having the right theme for your website will improve the user experience and help you stand out from the others. So which eCommerce platform is better? Let’s start with Shopify

It has a lot of fantastic themes that you can also fully customize according to your needs. And as Shopify is really user-friendly, its themes are pretty easy to use too. So all you need in the case of Shopify is to have your products and content. Anything else can be found in their themes. 

Another advantage of Shopify themes is that they are mobile-friendly. Because mobile traffic has increased by 222% in the last few years, having a mobile-friendly theme is almost essential. The only sad news is that although you can find a couple of free Shopify themes, you have to pay for the majority of them. Now, let’s move to Magento

First of all, you do not have much choice of themes when it comes to Magento. You have in total 16 themes, and they come with a selection of paid and free options. Only 10 of these themes are mobile responsive: meaning they will allow your Magento site to auto-resize depending on the device.

Though you can implement your theme and update its designs from the backend if you are a developer. This option is only applicable for developers as it requires a lot of coding knowledge. 

The great news with Magento is that it is way more flexible and has many customization features available. You can include product sliders to your homepage, add animations, or a newsletter functionality to your website footer. In short, if you are into it, with Magento, you can experiment endlessly and will have far more tools available. 

To sum up, if you do not have coding knowledge, then Shopify is the best solution. It has a wide range of themes available and is easily customizable. However, if you are a developer and want to get a more sophisticated look, then choose Magento has a couple of cool features not available in Shopify. 

So in this Magento VS Shopify round, there is no clear winner. It really depends on your preferences and coding knowledge. 

The Marketing Features 

Any eCommerce owner wants to boost its revenue, so his eCommerce platform should offer the right marketing tools to make it possible. That is why in our Magento vs Shopify comparison, we will include their marketing features too. 

As always, we will start with Shopify. Shopify offers a wide range of marketing tools. You can run email campaigns with third-party integrations such as Segundo, Constant Contact, and so on. Shopify allows you to advertise on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram directly. Plus, it supports multilingual websites, which means you can target your local market easily. 

Magento, on the other hand, uses Marketplace for its marketing tools. That means if you want to run an email campaign, for instance, you need to install the Remarkety extension. And as always, you will need some developer skills to be able to integrate the exceptional marketing tools. In the case of Shopify, the process was easier as it already had built-in marketing tools waiting for you. 

So, Shopify is pretty much the winner in this round too. Although Magento also offers a bunch of useful features, Shopify is still simpler to use. Plus, it does not require complicated extensions, as it has most of the tools built into the platform. 

Time for the final verdict! 

The winner is: Shopify 

In our comparison of Shopify and Magento platforms, we have looked at three major things: the complexity, look, and the marketing tools these platforms offer. In our comparison, Shopify turned out to be the winner as it was pretty easy to use, had a wide range of themes, and buckled you up with marketing tools. However, if you are not afraid of a little coding and want a more sophisticated platform, Magento is the right choice. 

Whichever you choose, make sure you also check their forums. Shopify forum provides an enhanced forum experience. You will have access to a community of over 500.000 Shopify merchants and partners and can have meaningful discussions with them. The same goes for Magento. Their forums will help you out in case you have any questions. 

So, choose the platform that suits your business needs the most, and scale up your eCommerce! 

Updated: 03 March, 2023

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