Planning to open your own eCommerce store?
But, on which platform? Magento or OpenCart?
On one hand, we have an existing, already tested, and renowned Magento platform.
On the other, we have OpenCart that is relatively new and easy to use eCommerce solution.
Nevertheless, the market is filled with comparison guides and long blog posts.
Those who want to create an online store may find several dozens of different eCommerce systems on the market.
Our post on Magento vs OpenCart is not just another addition.
By the end of this article, you will be able to make a final decision on which eCommerce platform you need for your store. Hence, here is a complete guide of Magento vs OpenCart.
So, let’s dive right in!
- Magento – An Overview
- Magento – Pros
- Magento – Cons
- OpenCart – An Overview
- OpenCart – Pros
- OpenCart – Cons
- Magento vs OpenCart – Similarities
- Extensions and Installations
- Design and User-Interface
- Search Engine Optimization
It’s no secret that choosing an eCommerce platform is not easy.
All the popular platforms available in the market have their pros and cons, so it can be a little confusing to pick one.
However, here at RLTSquare, we’re always working hard to solve your problems.
And if Magento vs. OpenCart is bothering you, then worry no more.
Both platforms – Magento and OpenCart, are known as reliable solutions to your eCommerce needs, however, their capabilities are certainly not identical.
Magento is very different from most of the popular eCommerce platforms in terms of its complexities and core structure.
It’s highly scalable and flexible to work with any requirements that you might have.
However, with recent upgrades and features added to OpenCart, there are some substantial benefits to using Opencart. Opencart is fast, easy to use, and great for a small business that wants something simple.
Whereas, Magento requires substantial customization, web development, and a strong server to maintain.
When considering between Magento and Opentcart, you may need to do some research.
We have already covered Magento and in great detail in our more recent blog posts, yet, we will try to cover some basics here as well.
Launched in 2007, Magento is one of the biggest eCommerce platforms in the world with more than 250,000 live stores.
Having been around for a decade, Magento has been through some major changes in recent years.
Hence, it is currently available in two main configurations: Magento Open Source and Magento Commerce.
The difference between the two is that the former is entirely free while the latter charges for official licensing and support (as well as hosting if you want to get the cloud version).
We have already compared the two platforms in detail. You might want to check them out Magento Community vs Magento Enterprise.
It offers one of the most robust feature sets in the field, which makes it ideal for large enterprises.
Some of the highest-grossing stores on Magento’s platform (all versions) have a turnover of more than $1 billion annually.
However, many of the recognized stores are still operating on Magento 1.x versions but, it is on the verge of extinction by the end of 2020.
It supports a range of a number of products, themes, and layout interfaces and includes efficient APIs that can connect with any third-party solution. Not only that, but it is also great for SEO, since you can create custom URLs.
- Highly flexible
- Complete user-interface customization
- Custom URL Structures for SEO
- More built-in payment options
- Enterprise reporting and trends analysis
- A massive developers community
- eBay integration
- Wholesale capabilities and multiple stores management
- Dynamic themes and extensions available
- Built-in excel product uploads and downloads
- More flexibility and extensions for integrating with POS/ERP
- The higher cost of ownership compared to other eCommerce platforms
- Difficult to learn or get used to
- Less user-friendly
- Requires strong technical skills to customize design and features
Released in 1999, OpenCart has quietly become one of the most popular eCommerce platforms out there.
However, not quite as large as Magento.
It still boasts a strong developer community and has many built-in features that can be very beneficial to almost any online business.
The major benefits of Opencart are its speed to market capabilities.
It’s very easy to add categories and products, apply filters, and add add-ons.
It is also very lightweight on the server and can load quickly.
The admin dashboard is also easy to use.
OpenCart was designed with simplicity and usability in mind.
- Easy to use Admin Dashboard
- Faster load time – less strain on the server
- Numerous built-in features
- Less time consuming to develop than Magento
- Cheaper to hire a developer for OpenCart
- Not as customizable user-interface
- Cannot customize URLs for SEO
- Cannot automate product uploads without plugin
- Fewer payment integration options
- Fewer shipping options
- Cannot have multiple stores for wholesale
Before starting to compare them, let’s have a look at some of their similarities.
Both platforms are open source and developed in PHP.
Hence, both allow the ease to add products by using the templated approach and offers many extensions and add-ons. They also support multiple languages and currencies.
And allows your customers to make recurring payments.
Individually, they both have strong developer communities.
Either you use Magento or you go with OpenCart, both platforms pack tons of exciting features to give you a competitive edge over your rivals.
Where Magento is great for a large-scale business or wholesale business, OpenCart is ideal for someone looking to get their products to market as quickly as possible. OpenCart works best for small- to medium-scale businesses.
We have compared both platforms in detail to help you to come to a decision.
However, in the case of Magento Commerce, you will need a pay a hefty amount to get started. But it does open a door to multiple possibilities. You will also incur expenses such as hosting services and development costs.
We have written a detailed blog on Magento Pricing.
However, the hosting expense is much cheaper when it comes to OpenCart.
Being a light platform, OpenCart uses fewer resources. You can also start using OpenCart with a free demo, available on their official site.
For hosting, you can get a hosting provider for as cheap as $11.95 per month.
If you are a total beginner in eCommerce and you want to install a simple, easy-to-use platform for your first eCommerce store, OpenCart will certainly be a better option for you.
Unlike Opencart, Magento is complicated and recommended for experienced users who have already dealt with an open-source code.
Still, in exchange, you will get an amazing range of possibilities and features to begin with.
Customize the store, optimize the purchasing processes, or request data about the customer activities, Magento has got you covered.
To be able to install the most recent security updates in case of OpenCart, you will need to update the files on the server, unfortunately, there is no other solution for that.
On the other hand, if a new version of Magento is released, you can choose whether you want to update the entire system or only the security files.
Similar to Magento, OpenCart also has tons of extensions.
Whether you are an amateur or an experienced developer, you will always look for a user-friendly interface.
Unlike Magento, OpenCart is relatively easy to use, navigate, install the themes, and offers a much simpler UI. It also comes with an easy to navigate sidebar on admin panel.
You can also download extensions, change the design, and add products easily with the help of different tabs on the left side.
Whereas, if you have ever worked with Magento before, you might have an idea of how difficult it is to set up your eCommerce store.
With tons of great features and functionalities, Magento does require a steep learning curve.
One major difference between Magento and OpenCart is rooted in its features and functionality.
OpenCart does not support transcriptions of the URLs and is less mobile-friendly. Whereas Magento has been gaining worldwide recognition for its customization abilities.
It offers a highly personalized shopping experience, a huge selection of design options, powerful SEO, and numerous plugins and integrations.
With flexibility comes complexity, which probably isn’t a problem if you’re a Magento developer and knows what you’re doing.
OpenCart, on the other hand, is a lot easier to program but has a smaller community basis.
It’s great for start-ups that need to deliver quickly without many integrations and extensions.
Although there is a huge difference between the two platforms, there are some areas where the differences are negligible.
For example, they both support multi-store management, which means that you can manage the systems of more than one online stores simultaneously from one centralized administrative int
Both platforms have some specific SEO functionalities.
Unless you want to focus on content publication, in case of an eCommerce store, the main issue remains with optimizing products and categories.
As we have already mentioned, OpenCart does not support individual URLs, while Magento does. Which makes a huge plus point for Magento.
When it comes to SEO, OpenCart still has a long way to go.
Although there are various extensions that can help OpenCart with its extensions, but it doesn’t even come close to the endless possibilities that Magento has to offer.
Both platforms have a huge community – close to several thousand members, so there isn’t an issue there.
This makes a huge difference when unexpected problems emerge or when you are looking for some kind of extension, or simply if you want to ask for a piece of advice.
In the case of Magento, there an added benefit from the community.
You have an option to ask for assistance from the official developer team.
Today, security is a huge concern when using an eCommerce platform.
So, it’s essential to protect the data of customers who are making online payments.
Magento offers regular updates with security patches for any loop.
Nonetheless, it is still an open-source platform and you will have to add extensions and follow certain Magento security patches.
Other than that, you can also use SSL and WAF to protect your data, and ultimately, your store.
On the other hand, being a light and simple eCommerce platform, OpenCart is also less prone to security breaches.
The basic defence system offered by OpenCart seems to be more than sufficient.
Although, many claims that it is nowhere near as safe as the other eCommerce platforms since it is not monitored as efficiently.
In Magento, not only can you create an exceptionally versatile online store with its help of highly customizable product categories and attributes, but with the right attribute, you don’t need to look for another eCommerce platform ever.
It’s an all-in-one solution for all your eCommerce needs.
Although the real strength of Magento is that you can modify the cart and the customer interactions as per your need, it also performs quite well in handling SEO.
You can even apply content marketing solutions well.
Magento also outperforms other eCommerce solutions, especially OpenCart, when it comes to data collection, extraction, and analysis.
You can view what products the individual users ordered previously, which are the most popular ones or which products are recently viewed.
You can apply special promotional features like coupon deals, make reports about the inventory, sales, and searches.
The best part? You can operate more than one eCommerce stores on Magento simultaneously from one centralized panel.
Whereas OpenCart may be an ideal choice for those who have a smaller budget, want to keep the cost of development down, or does not have any technical knowledge.
For an infant online store with a few products in inventory, OpenCart is clearly a more favourable option.
However, being a more simple system, it obviously has its limits.
You have fewer possibilities regarding SEO, you cannot create individual URLs, and you will definitely have to install numerous extensions to make the platform worthwhile.
Overall, you have fewer possibilities for the customization of the eCommerce store than in the case of Magento.
Still, confused between which platform to use?
Let us conclude it for you.
While looking for an eCommerce platform, it is essential to know what is more important for you and what will work better for your business.
If you are a beginner, OpenCart is the platform for you to run a small online store.
But if you want multi-store exposure with amazing SEO capabilities, custom features, and a lot more that helps you stay on top of your game, then Magento is downright the better choice.
Opencart is more suitable for small businesses because it’s more intuitive, more user-friendly, and almost free to use.
But, what if your business just takes off?
What would you do in a situation like this because OpenCart is not scalable after a certain point?
That’s when you realize, you’ve chosen the wrong platform.
Even though it comes with a relatively bigger price tag, it does offer the scalability and support which is needed by every store owner.
With Magento, the opportunities are just endless.
Whether you want to customize your store, add extensions, utilize numerous payment gateways, or optimize it for more organic traffic, Magento is the option to go with.
We do recommend choosing Magento over OpenCart.
However, whichever platform you choose to go with, we wish you Good Luck!