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Best Ecommerce Platform? Magento vs Shopify


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Users venturing into ecommerce business can be intimidating. However, online store platforms Magento and Shopify can make this transition easier. Users might have heard of both platforms and each are vastly different depending on your needs. The best ecommerce platform is essential for creating and maintaining the online store, as this can be crucial to the success or failure of the business.


We will discuss the differences in algorithm between Shopify and Magento in this blog post, in addition to ways of effectively optimizing products sold using SEO techniques.


What is “Shopify”?

Ecommerce platform Shopify is the second most used in the world with easy solutions. You can link it to other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and also websites Amazon.

Shopify CMS usage has doubled since October 2017. Currently, 3.16% of the top 10,000 sites and 2.2% of the top 100,000 are using Shopify.

Shopify Usage Statistics | SEO Sydney



magento vs. shopify - Sydney SEO Company



What is “Magento”?


Magento is another eCommerce platform built on open source technology. Technology allows customisation of functionality at a large scale. Developers built Magento as the best ecommerce platform to sell goods and services online and has approximately 250,000 merchants worldwide.

Users jumped five-fold since 2011, when there were only 50,000 users. New customers are able to quickly scale their websites with admin panel and coding technical skills.

magneto usage statistic | SEO Sydney




Both are functional and easy-to-navigate platforms, each being considered as one of the best ecommerce platform, this is expected. Basic features such as product pages, shopping carts, checkout modules and collections are included in both platforms. Magento and Shopify are great options when considering functionality.  

best ecommerce platform functionality - Sydney SEO Company



Magento is an open source platform which means the source code is available for modification by users and developers. Furthermore, users have the ability to alter the code allows for unlimited creative power. Complex coding experience is required to maximise the customisation options of Magento. Personalisation will require a steep learning curve which may require the outsourcing of developers or coding experience to achieve your desired results.


This is a more beginner-friendly platform favouring a simple menu-driven method to change the basic features of your store such as colours and fonts. Shopify does give access to the HTML/CSS code, however it is not to the same degree of customisation offered by Magento’s source code. If users want to expand the operating features of Shopify, additional apps must be downloaded.

In our ease of use research category, Shopify scored 4.1/5, while Magento scored 2.5.  Shopify suits users of all technical abilities, while Magento is for web developers only.

Magento has a steeper learning curve compared to Shopify. Business owners have to interpret jargon and use code in order to build the online store or hire a web developer. 


best ecommerce platform flexibility - Sydney SEO Company


Online store themes forms the basis of what customers will see when they land on your site, and 48% of visitors cite a website’s design as the most important factor in determining a business’s credibility. Shopify offers 10 free and 64 premium themes, which cost between $140 and $180 each (which is much cheaper than the average theme on Magento)




On the other hand, Magento offers 17 different themes; becoming the base for further customisations. Open source code of Magento can also mean that themes can be created from scratch (although expensive and requires a lot of coding knowledge).

themes for magento - Sydney SEO Company


Source: Magento


Compared to Magento, Shopify has a far larger number of fully customisable themes. There are 72 themes which are fully customisable. These allow for customisations such as adding new pages, changing the colour scheme, moving page elements (such as titles) and implementing social media feeds. Due to the extent of available customisations without the complex coding knowledge required for Magento, Shopify holds the edge.

shopify themes - Sydney SEO Company


Source: Shopify

best ecommerce platform themes - Sydney SEO Company



The Magento Forum has comprehensive solutions for a wide range of problems. These solutions are user generated so you know that the answers have worked for other users. Magento offers consultations with certified solution partners and a wide range of tech resources.


Shopify will offer support in community forums. They also have 24/7 support through phone, live chat and email functionality. This support improves the speed of solutions which means any problems with Shopify are swiftly solved.

best ecommerce platform support - Sydney SEO Company



Magento is an open source platform. This means that because the source code can be changed, a hosting plan is required. Plan costs will vary depending on how much traffic the online store will receive. Developers are required as there is a significant amount of coding required. High costs will incur when the website is first constructed and for any future updates as well.


With Shopify there is an all-inclusive monthly price. Users can opt plans like Basic Shopify, Shopify and Advanced Shopify.

shopify monthly plans - Sydney SEO Company


Source: Shopify

Shopify payments require no additional fees. Inclusive pricing is an advantage and  easily accounts for the low chance of inflated monthly costs. Shopify users win because of the stability of monthly fees and low cost for most businesses.

best ecommerce platform costs - Sydney SEO Company



Magento change selected functions that allow the support of search engine optimization. Unlike Shopify, Magento’s software offers a range of extra options to develop your site the way you want it. Whilst choice is often an advantage, extra options can also add to the confusion when implementing Magento SEO. However, a far greater complexity is required to work with Magento for SEO. 


.html is added to the end of product and category URLs, and this can be easily changed in the Admin Panel. However, there is a /index.php/ string which requires access to the .htaccess file to remove. Users with no technical knowledge can risk to disturb the website.


Users find that features to edit image alt tags (which help Google understand how to categorize an image on the image search platform), and customize URLs to help search engine users find web pages more easily. Experts with code is required, and the flexibility of allowing to edit the URL structure is advantageous. 


URL Structure Coding | SEO Sydney


Magneto URL setting | SEO Sydney


SEO feature magneto | SEO Sydney

magneto you may also like | SEO Sydney


Users can choose to implement the feature “Related Products”. You set this on individual product pages, by adding related products and internal linking to all of the site’s product pages. This is a fantastic way to improve several SEO aspects of the website by massively improving the overall UX and engagement by showing users other products that are similar to the one they’re on. 



Shopify is more reliant on apps for its SEO. Users can edit page titles and image alt tags but they will need to search the app store for the majority of the SEO. 


Users use meta descriptions which provide short summaries of web pages. A meta description encourages more click throughs to the website and the CTR of a page is generally believed by SEO results to be a ranking factor. 


However, Shopify proves to be far more rigid compared to Magento. Strings which include /pages, /collections and /products are fixed in the URL. The URL base structure for Shopify cannot be changed and because of this the additional terms in the URL can hinder SEO results.

Shopify listing preview | SEO Sydney


Therefore, if the e-commerce site wants to grow in the long term, Magento is the better option in terms of SEO. Regardless of the extensions and customization from the admin panel. Users should opt for Magento due to its flexibility to completely alter the URL when considering SEO.


shopify vs. magento - Sydney SEO Company

So, what’s the best ecommerce platform for you?

You require different features to consider when starting out at choosing the best ecommerce platform. Ecommerce platforms have individual features that make them appealing solutions. Shopify shines with its large number of themes, clear cost structure, 24/7 support and simplicity. Magento tends to stand out in its flexibility and strength in SEO. 

You should use Magento if…

–          You have advanced coding technical skills.

–          You require unique personalisation for your ecommerce business.

–          You’re creating an ecommerce platform that is expected to greatly expand in the future.

–          Require a platform with strong SEO potential.

You should use Shopify if…

–          You have just started out in ecommerce.

–          You value the ease of set up with a low learning curve.

–          Prefer a clear all-inclusive monthly payment.

Contact us here to find out how we can help you with your Magento and Shopify SEO Sydney needs.

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