Magento or Shopify (2021): Which is the Best Platform?

When starting an online business store, the choice of e-commerce platform significantly affects your enterprise’s fate. This is a very crucial choice, especially for budding stores competing for a place in the market. Most of these upcoming stores operate with minimal resources and limited budgets and consider investing in platforms that will make them successful. There are many e-commerce platforms, but Magento and Shopify stand out amongst all of them. Over the years, these two platforms have been online businesses’ first choice for marketing. Before I tell you which is best between the two, let us dig some basics about both platforms. 

Shopify is an easy-to-build platform that requires less knowhow of coding to build a website. Each month, organizations pay a subscription fee to host their services within this content management system. It is secure and relatively easy to operate and maintain. 

Magento is a platform developed by PHP that requires background knowledge of coding to run operations for a website. This website is mostly recommended for enterprises with professional web developers to run their operations since most of its programs need to be executed manually. There is no subscription fee instead; businesses pay a $10 fee monthly for security.

Comparison between Shopify and Magento

1. Ease of use

Shopify can be used easily when it comes to complexity since most of the coding has is done by the Shopify development team. Operations such as making payments, getting customer feedback, and managing products can be done without having web development skills. On the other hand, Magento is quite complex to use since most of its coding is done manually by web developers. This platform is advanced and recommended for experts. The Magento team updated its website to Magento 2 to address some of the complexity issues. Bottom line, for starting businesses and small enterprises, Shopify is the best platform for you. It is beginner-friendly, and the team executes most of your tasks on your behalf compared to Magento.

1. Operational cost, 2. Initial setup cost – Setting up a website in Magento is free. Similarly, Shopify allows its users to set up websites freely and gives them a 14-day trial to test the platform’s tools’ efficiency.

2. Monthly subscription

Shopify users pay a monthly fee ranging between $14 to $179, depending on an organization’s preferences and budget. Large enterprises subscribe to the Advanced Shopify plans, which allow them to access most resources unlimited. On the other hand, Magento does not demand any subscription fee. Website owners pay at least $10 for security and accessing some resources offered by the platform. In terms of costs, it is a no brainer for me. Shopify is quite expensive. For a business that has a web development team, Magento will be the best platform for them. Starting businesses with no coding skills could opt for the cheapest Shopify monthly package and upgrade as they grow their business.

3. Transaction costs

Shopify does not charge transaction fees if its uses use their gateway: Shopify Payment, for transactions. In case payments are made using another getaway, Shopify charges transaction fees between 0.5% and 2% of the amount completed, depending on the monthly package purchased. Similarly, Magento charges transaction fees when users opt to make transactions using other gateways apart from its platform.

4. Themes

Shopify offers a wide range of fascinating designs for the frontend development of its websites. The themes are readily available after purchase and easy to use for both beginners and experts. It offers about ten free themes, and a user has to pay about $100 to $200 to access premium designs. Magento, on the other hand, allows users to upload their themes and designs. Users have to pay about $300 to access premium themes. Magento is quite expensive, considering a developer requires a designer to make his themes if he wants to use his designs. In this case, I prefer Shopify because it provides cost-effective and various themes.

5. Hosting

Shopify is hosted by the Shopify web development team, whereas Magento is self-hosted, meaning users will have to pay another association to host their website. Hosting services determine a business’ destiny. Shopify is the best option for starters since their team does most of the work on their behalf. As for Magento, website owners will have to pay extra to receive services from hosting associations.


As I have described above, there are significant aspects one has to consider before selecting an e-commerce platform. If a business is looking for a simple platform to operate and maintain, I will recommend Shopify. For companies looking for more features for their online stores, Magento is the best solution. Honestly, comparing these two e-commerce platforms, Shopify emerges to have variety and easier operations, and I know that is what most businesses are looking for. Besides, Shopify runs about 40% of e-commerce websites, indicating that it is reliable.