A guide to online store: OpenCart vs Magento vs Shopify vs WooCommerce

A guide to online store: OpenCart vs Magento vs Shopify vs WooCommerce

A guide to online store OpenCart vs Magento vs Shopify vs WooCommerce
Wed, 03/13/2019 - 15:19

Content management systems, frameworks, and online shopping portals have become an alternative for web/mobile development world. The conventional long span in developing a website or application has been replaced by available plug-ins, extension codes etc.

Earlier, each and every brick of a structure was being placed by the hands of a developer itself, and then the scratch used to convert into a full-fledged website. This whole process did consume multiple days and nights on its architecture along with multiple sessions of errors and their corrections, hundreds of changes, rechecks and whatnot altogether.

And what if the website/application is found unfit for any platform or device, or disliked by the public just because of an occult mistake that you have missed even after countless rechecks?


It merely does matter how much of your days and nights you have spent on it! 

Because the consumer expects more than what you’ve thought he could. And he doesn’t wait for anything deficient in any way. Even if he does, we should consider this as a product

When dilemma hits your head regarding the selection of best CMS/platform, and before making a crucial decision about it, get some idea about three of the world’s topmost e-commerce solutions, their features, nature of compatibility, about the services they render, how much they cost and their readiness with any other platform.

1. OpenCart


  • OpenCart is basically an open-source Frame-work.

    What is a framework?

    Fictionally explained - A framework is just a room in a house, provided with multiple compartments in it, which are adjustable and configurable in such a manner that you can design the model of your room again and again as you want.(In the case of OPENCART, you need to know PHP, XML, JavaScript, and CSS first to design or customize your room.)

    Here, Room is the Functionalities of software and Compartments is the Code or Extensions for functionalities.

  • OpenCart is an online store management system, which usually comes with a free demo installation. “It has PHP written code, MySQL database support, and runs on AJAX technology”.

    “AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) is a technology through which the application gets capable of sending and retrieving data without hindering the page and its behavior.”

  • Its basic installation doesn’t involve any add-ons and content. You have to purchase the paid version of OpenCart to get add-ons and its contrasting features.
  • OpenCart 2.0 allows you access the ADMIN panel from mobile itself.
  • Good thing is, unlike Shopify or WordPress, you won’t have to rely completely on them for your design, and functionalities.
  • The extensions and modules that OpenCart provide are customizable to the core.
  • A thing to keep in mind is; as it is customizable, you need to take care of its operation. If there are any changes made in the core of code or extensions, its update will be as difficult as its customization was.
  • It is an open-source free to use Framework, which has many add-ons(paid) which you can purchase, ranging in between $0 to more than $90,000...
  • It is being surveyed that in terms of User-friendliness, OPENCART wins over MAGENTO but lags behind Woo-Commerce.

2. Magento


  • Magento is a CMS which is strongly inclined towards e-commerce only. 

    ‘Why it is colloquially known as a pioneer for e-commerce platform’ is a question in many minds.

    (“As it renders all the basic services required in a commercial domain for say- Order/Customer/Product/Categories management and Third-party integration as well.”)


  • Unlike Shopify, its code is completely accessible. Including extensions, plug-ins, modules.
  • It provides you a diversified cost window. (Hosting starts from $10 to $250 a month.)
  • It works over multiple languages, currencies and provides tax-rates per location.
  • It is available in 2 versions as CE and EE (Community edition and Enterprise edition).
  • Magento scores 95 out of 100 in terms of SEO, which is factually the second highest after Shopify. The score shows that it is SEO friendly, but one needs to know the rules of the SEO game.
  • Magento gives you some out of the box things such as Conical tags for categories & products, Metatags for products & home pages. Moreover, it includes promotional features as well as customer segmentation.


3. Shopify


Shopify is a lavish ecommerce platform for online stores, reigning in its domain in a positive posture. Unlike Magento and OpenCart, it doesn’t let the customer access to the code but renders a prestigious service against of that, converting it into one of the most popular ecommerce platforms available today.

  • Written on ‘Liquid’ language, built on Ruby on Rails framework. (GITHUB, BASECAMP, AIRBNB also are built in the same framework).
  • It is believed that if you are pitching with a limited number of product varieties, SHOPIFY will take you to the summit with it.


  • If you are not good with programming and codes, SHOPIFY  is made for people like you. It provides complete code support and manages all the issues by itself, that’s why it is called a self-hosted e-commerce solution.
  • It has maximum compatibility in terms of SEO.
  • SHOPIFY gives a 14-day trial and then monthly subscriptions basically, on $29 and more. (Multiple currencies are entertained).

4. Woo-Commerce


WooCommerce is neither a complete CMS, nor it is an online portal alone, not a framework as an individual. In fact, it is a plug-in developed by WordPress for its design.

Its themes are acquired by ‘Automatic’ and it works for WordPress

  • It is free to use, easy to install and simpler for customization. The reason behind its renounce is its simplicity. It only needs a WordPress installation and hosting service.
  • It has near about 1000 free plug-ins and 330 extensions. And many more if you are willing to get them on paid mode. The figure of its plug-in downloads has crossed millions.
  • Its themes are available in $39 per piece but if you are a developer and want to play with all the themes, you can purchase a package for $399 which will get you all the WooCommerce based themes
  • In terms of themes, it is observed that WooCommerce has got some benefits of being an open source e-commerce solution. As you can get other themes there which are not developed by the WooCommerce itself but sold by others.
  • In terms of pricing, WooCommerce seems a free thing, but charges for the hosting and SSL certificate which consummately brings it almost equal to the other e-commerce solutions.


In the end, it will be an injustice to compare these E-commerce giants with each other as each of them has a distinct identity yet serving to the same platform in a different manner.

An e-commerce solution is something that keeps you away from these issues. It just asks for a zero voltage bulb that needs to be kept enlightened over it. It makes you tension free regarding its maintenance as well.  An eye over the software can turn it big.

People often search in google for knowing the differences in between Opencart, Shopify and Magento or WooCommerce which is not technically correct. And they really need to know the subtle differences in between them.


Opencart is completely a framework while Shopify is a portal which serves you the unlimited hosting and no code access in it. Magento at both the ends exists in dual forms i.e. a framework as well as a full-fledged package that can manage your website itself too. While WooCommerce is a pervasive Plug-in.




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aayush Goswami

Aayush Goswami is a senior content writer at MAAN Softwares INC. He has been with this company for the past 1 years. Aayush specializes in technical writing with an emphasis on mobile development, web design, and technology trends. Aayush finds covering the tech world to be an exciting and engaging experience as each day brings new and groundbreaking technologies to explore and write about.