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nopCommerce vs Magento: Weighing up the best eCommerce platform

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Which is the king of the mid-sized – enterprise level eCommerce platforms?

Since 2008, Magento has been leading the charge regarding eCommerce platforms.

With the release of Adobe Magento Commerce, the competition in the market place has been rising. The dark horse competitor, nopCommerce, has become a remarkable challenger to Magento, and with good reason.  Here’s the competition broken down.

Price

nopCommerce is open source and free. It doesn’t demand any subscription fees however it will require some expenditures, such as hosting and potentially some extensions for features that are not available straight out of the box. However, it’s very unlikely that the cost of these extras and plugins will have a higher total that the cost of the Magento Commerce edition.

Magento has a free plan – Magento Open Source 1 and two paid plans under Magento Commerce. Magento Commerce has plans ranging from £14,500 to £17,500 but can rise to £60,000 + a year for their cloud based solution.

In our opinion, nopCommerce offers the best value for money.

Features (out of the box)

nopCommerce comes packed full of features straight out of the box. These include SEO features, product management, a complex discount engine, inbuilt analytics, multi-lingual capabilities, multi-store, multi-vendor features, payment and shipping customisations. It doesn’t stop there, it has tier pricing (great for wholesale vs consumer pricing), recurring payment/subscription engine, and probably the most surprising, it also has an inbuilt loyalty scheme.  These integrations notably come at no extra cost and are all out of the box.

Magento does not come with this range of features straight out of the box. However, all can be added by using third-part extensions (plugins). One potential pitfall is that with Magento, adding these extensions can lead to conflicts within your site, such as adding a feature can cause another not to work.

However, the features differ greatly between Magento Open Source and Commerce. With Magento Commerce, you ARE provided with extras such as tier pricing, customer loyalty tools, inventory management tools, flexible pricing tools, coupons, up-selling and cross-selling tools. But these do come with the additional price tag.

Due to the fact that with nopCommerce you’re provided a wide range of features straight out of the  box, we believe nopCommerce edges Magento regarding standard features.

Customisation

Both are open source (Magento still offer an open source version), they are able to be customised to meet the requirements you need. Both have open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to interact with databases, other software, Google merchant and product feeds, and more. Also, inbuilt functionality can be enhanced with plugins and integrations provided on the marketplaces. Both of the solutions have large marketplaces. Some of those extensions are free while some might cost you. Besides plugins, you can install new themes for your store.

nopCommerce has rather a good reputation for how smoothly plug-ins can be personalised. With Magento on the other hand, developing and customising modules require highly experienced developers.

However, both platforms are rather advanced for users who only have basic technical knowledge. Therefore, this would require a professional developer to deliver a complex customisation.

Both platforms provide a great starting point for customisation.

Security

This is one of the major dividers between nopCommerce and Magento. nopCommerce is written on ASP.NET, this means it is hosted on a Microsoft server. Magento is written on PHP, which is community driven and usually hosted on a linux server.

Arguably, ASP.NET is considered one of the most productive environments and it is faster, this means you’ll spend less time and money on resources and cheaper hosting. nopCommerce also has a malleable architecture that allows developers to override most of the functions from plugins without touching the core. It is easier and faster to customise.

Magento (the open source version) has a checkered history from a security perspective. Some users have experienced repeat issues with the security of their Magento store. Magento releases security patches in each version upgrade and sometimes even in between. This is valid only for the Commerce version. Open Source doesn’t even get regular security updates, the patches are only introduced when they become commercially viable. 

In our opinion, from a security perspective nopCommerce wins hands down. 

Support

Both nopCommerce and Magento offer product documentation that will give you basic knowledge on how to use each platform. Both also have forums where members can try and help each other. Both communities have more than 200,000 users however nopCommerce’s seems more active with 190k+ post over Magento’s 73k+.

Fear not, you wouldn’t have to rely on forum posts and documentation to fix your problems, paid support is available. nopCommerce’s premium support costs £77 per month. However you can only pay for 3 months (£231) or a whole year (£617).

Magento Open Source only offers support with community forums whereas Magento Commerce includes a 24/7 professional technical support system through a ticketing system or by phone.

This will really depend on your agency and what support they can provide based on their support levels.

Conclusion

Both platforms are powerhouses in the eCommerce industry, allowing businesses to create wonderful eCommerce sites for their customers. Magento has been around a lot longer and with over 140,000 sites running on Magento compared to nopCommerce’s 50,000, it is clear that Magento is still the most popular.

However, nopCommerce is more secure, provides more at less cost, faster running and an ever-growing solution. It is ultimately the individuals choice but nopCommerce seems fit for the future of eCommerce.

If you’re interested in getting to know nopCommerce, find out more here.