When considering self-hosting shopping cart options for your virtual store, the two most likely options to come up are WooCommerce and Magento. When looking for an easy to use interface with the perfect model for small business owners, then WooCommerce is the ideal choice.
System Features and Requirements
WooCommerce and Magento have several similarities: both are open source, provide a range of themes and do not impose limits on the amount of products and services that can be added to a website. However, the differences will likely encourage you to install WooCommerce over the more complicated Magento.
The main benefit of WooCommerce is that it’s considered an advanced WordPress extension. The WordPress connection guarantees the hosting and system requirements are standard. With Magento, your company’s hosting must be tailored to perfectly coincide with the shopping cart’s server requirements. For Magento, at the very least 256 MB of memory is required and a limited number of operating systems, web servers and web browsers are compatible. With WooCommerce, the basic requirement is the server supports PHP or MySQL.
Setup and Store Features
Small business owners will also find it appealing to have the ability to set up a complete virtual store in a few simple steps. Once the WooCommerce plugin is added, you’ll be ready to go. Layered navigation makes it easy to categorize your products, add images and set pricing. Advanced options help customize the storefront to best suit your business model. The navigation system of WooCommerce also helps users apply store filters.
WooCommerce has a lot of features to enhance mass appeal. Out of the box, a product ratings and reviews system is put in place. Affiliate listings are also permitted through WooCommerce. Due to WordPress compatibility, it permits widgets to highlight special features about your products. Although Magento has themes and add-ons, not all of the features come out of the box and may require upgrades to improve usability.
Cost is typically a major deciding factor when comparing shopping carts. Unless you have a significant budget, WooCommerce makes the most financial sense. Although both basic versions are free, the price of a developer hired to handle the Magento install and maintenance will increase overhead costs. WooCommerce can be installed and maintained by anyone with a basic WordPress knowledge. There are also a large number of community support options open to you in the case you run into any issues.
The flexibility of WooCommerce permits a business owner to meet their store’s short-term and long-term goals. The interface allows you to start off simple and add more as you go along. Cost is low and the setup is straight forward enough that you’re not likely to run into many issues to get your store up and running.