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Should we wait for Magento 2

Thursday, July 10th, 2014 by Servage

Magento-WooCommerce product page Comparisons In this post, I’ll address how Magento is lagging behind its competitors, such as X-Cart 5 and WooCommerce (a free eCommerce toolkit for WordPress), with its latest release of version 1.8.

Magento’s current owner, eBay, did move the e-commerce web application from version 1.7 to 1.8, but only with the release of some bug fixes. Magento’s rivals are currently surpassing its development with core functionality, which must be addressed if Magento is to stay relevant. At the time of this writing, there are rumors suggesting eBay is developing a Magento 2.0 release, as a significant upgrade. This would have the potential to place Magento back on top in the e-commerce software market, at a time where smaller devices are surging in popularity.

Let’s compare what those other market contenders provide in present functionality and advanced features, as it relates to the latest Magento framework.

X-Cart’s Core and Advanced Features

While Magento relies on a large database and file system, X-Cart 5.0 enjoys a much smaller file and thinner database without losing any efficiency in workflow. With X-Cart, you can setup rapidly, as it has all source code and about half the bulk of Magento.

Furthermore, X-Cart’s ease is distinctly visible in its template system, which saves time wading through lots of design options just for some minor adjustments. Magento is notorious for bloated files and directories, for each part of your layout. In other words, it has been a very inefficient file system.

X-Cart also offers versions of its e-commerce packages for mobile devices. Perhaps the worst thing about Magento is its underwhelming support for mobile devices in this era where the number of mobile users increases each quarter of year. Of course, Magento does have some apps, but these are generally very expensive and not all that intuitive. Moreover, they don’t have any decent responsive themes to offer their developers and designers.

Criticism of Magento management is not new among the e-commerce web developer community. They typically sell enterprise-like editions with high charges and yet claim they are an open source platform!

How WooCommerce Has Edge Over Magento

As WooCommerce is a WordPress extension, most web developers are familiar with it due to the simplicity of WordPress. Being SEO friendly, lightweight, and easy to host anywhere; WordPress helps WooCommerce developers achieve an edge over the otherwise hefty Magento.

The installation process and configuration of Magento is especially challenging for a newbie PHP developer. Comparatively, WooCommerce enjoys the full benefits of WordPress and its out-of-box user-friendly features. While Magento does offer extensive flexibility where intensive customization is required, this costs time and labor from more advanced developers. Plus, this virtually guarantees a steep learning curve for a store’s owner.

Anyone with WordPress experience, can dive into the product listing and store setup of WooCommerce, without much hassle. Besides rapid implementation, WooCommerce also wins on product loading, as it provides relatively simple options by default.

Magento does offer easy translation for a multilingual e-commerce setup, plus the ability to implement multiple store installations with a single backend interface. Magento also has superb tools like up-selling, cross-selling, discounting at various stages and marketing incentives, which WooCommerce isn’t up to speed with. Though, WooCommerce offers extensive support for affiliate products, product rating, and availability of exceptional widgets, themes, and add-ons. On the whole, this makes WooCommerce a popular contemporary online store, for mobile and responsive design fans.

References & More Reading

Magento vs. X-Cart (+ Screencast)
Self Hosted Shopping Carts: Magento and WooCommerce Compared

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