Magento vs nopCommerce: How to Choose the Right Ecommerce Platform?

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June 15, 2021
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Nopcommerce vs Magento: What Should You Choose?
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Having a hard time choosing between Magento and nopCommerce? No worries, we’ve got you covered. 

Magento is one of the leaders in the ecommerce world. It provides a feature-rich, customizable solution and comes in both free and paid editions. Magento is extremely popular globally powering about 1000000 websites, including such giants as Nike, Ford, and Nestle.

nopCommerce is no slacker either. This open-source free ecommerce platform boasts customizability and security and has won the trust of such big retailers as Volvo, The North Face, and Reebok.

Yet, no two ecommerce platforms are the same. In this post, we’ll review the pros and cons of nopCommerce vs Magento to make your decision a no-brainer. Get ready to clear up your doubts with a handy comparison table by the end of this article and recognize yourself in an ideal merchant profile for each ecommerce platform.

Ease of Use

We hate to disappoint you right away, but neither nopCommerce nor Magento will be easy to set up. Both platforms require a decent knowledge of programming. Such is the nature of open-source systems.

To install nopCommerce, you’ll need to configure the hosting environment and download the source code. Microsoft Visual Studio is required to compile and deploy the code. You can also use Microsoft Azure, which automates the entire installation process, but you’ll still need to have developer-level skills to build a nopCommerce store. At a bare minimum, you should be familiar with .NET, MS SQL, HTML, and CSS.

A reward to the meticulous setup process is an intuitive Admin panel. It has everything a merchant might need to handle orders and customers: product descriptions, sales & stats, basic configuration, etc. A fully-fledged demo store with a front-end view and Admin area can be found here.

nopCommerce Admin area
nopCommerce Admin area

With Magento, the store setup works in a similar way. After configuring the hosting environment, you’ll need to download the source code via Composer and deploy it using the command line. The difference lies only in the use of technologies: you’ll need to be proficient in PHP to build a Magento store. Unless you want to sacrifice a dream store to your lacking developer skills, you can always hire a Magento developer and rest easy about your website setup.

Meanwhile, the Magento Admin dashboard opens a world of configurations to the merchant. You can not only add products and view basic customer data but also set up multiple storefronts, add SEO metadata, etc.

Magento Admin dashboard
Magento Admin dashboard.

Features 

Out of the box, nopCommerce comes with a powerful feature set. Here’s a list of functionalities a merchant will get with nopCommerce:

  • Mobile responsiveness
  • Multiple storefronts
  • Multi-vendor and drop shipping support
  • Product features, such as product attributes and comparison, stock management, editable price tags, downloadable products, etc.
  • Basic SEO tools, like SEO-friendly URLs, XML sitemap, URL canonicalization, etc. 
  • Guest and one-page checkout.
  • Marketing tools with discounts and coupons, newsletters and emails, giftcards, etc.
  • 50+ payment gateways and multiple shipping methods.

For more advanced functionalities, you can install third-party extensions or plug-ins to be found on the official marketplace or community-created websites like NopTemplates or nop4you.

The abovementioned features pose serious competition to the ones of Magento. Specifically, the free edition of Magento Open Source provides merchants with the following functionalities:

  • Marketing, Promotions, and Conversion Tool (good for up-selling and cross-selling)
  • Site Management
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Catalog Management
  • Product Browsing (create wish lists, check stock availability, share on social media)
  • Catalog Browsing
  • Checkout, Payment, and Shipping
  • Order Management
  • Customer Accounts
  • Customer Service
  • International Support
  • Analytics and Reporting
  • Mobile Commerce

However, the advantage of Magento is its paid edition of Magento Commerce. Although it comes at a higher price tag, you’ll find added features like a B2B module, AI-driven analytics, and full-page caching, among others. On top of that, Magento also presents a hosted edition — Magento Commerce Cloud with extra features and benefits — which surely make the life of an enterprise merchant easier.

Both nopCommerce and Magento Open Source provide decent functionalities for mid-size level stores. However, Magento gains a competitive advantage for the number of features in its paid editions. These will serve best serious enterprise-level companies.

Security

nopCommerce is considered a secure platform. The platform’s main highlight is that it’s based on Microsoft’s ASP.NET Core framework, which brings an extra level of security. The platform also supports GDPR and meets the requirements of the European Union Laws. It’s also PCI-compliant, supports Honeypot to prevent spam, and comes with a strong customer password policy.

Now, ever since Magento 1 end-of-life, Magento 2 has substantially strengthened its security. The Magento Product Security Team regularly tests core application code for security vulnerabilities and releases security patches every 10-15 days. Although Magento Open Source is not PCI-compliant, Magento Commerce addresses this issue with a Secure Payment Bridge. The team has also reinforced the hashing algorithms (SHA-256) used in password management so as to prevent sensitive data leaks as well as adopted security measures against XSS attacks.

Read more on Magento security features in our related article. See the immense improvements Magento 2 has made in comparison with Magento 1.
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Magento Security Guide: How to Protect Your Website from Hackers

Performance & Scalability

Ecommerce platform performance and scalability are the most important indicator for ambitious merchants. Because if the platform limits your business growth, you would think twice before investing in it, right?

nopCommerce performs great for small stores that don’t do much traffic, although a lot depends on your hosting provider. Technically, there’s no limit on the number of SKUs you can upload. However, nopCommerce team itself admits that they have some performance issues with a large number of products. A bit of customization can solve this issue, but we still recommend nopCommerce for SMEs.

Magento, on the other hand, is widely praised for its scalability potential. A self-hosted Magento Open Source allows adding up to 250,000 SKUs, the number that grows only bigger on a cloud Magento edition. In terms of performance, a Magento store can handle 2,500+ orders per hour and boasts instant response times of under 500 milliseconds for catalog and add-to-cart pages. So if you’re planning to expand in the short run, Magento will work best for you.

User Support

Both nopCommerce and Magento offer extensive documentation for developers and users. Both have online fora with a vast number of users to answer your questions or fix your problem.

The difference between the two platforms lies in paid professional support. nopCommerce offers premium support services at a rate of $499 for three months or $999 for a year. With Magento, the helpdesk ticket feature is free, but you’d have to upgrade to Magento Commerce or Commerce Cloud to benefit from 24/7 tech support. Still, you can get ongoing Magento support from a professional development agency anytime.

Pricing

Technically, the cost of entry for both nopCommerce and Magento Open Source is free. However, you’ll need to consider the costs of web development unless you fancy programming yourself. For nopCommerce, average developer rates range from $18 to $80, as seen on Upwork. A Magento developer rate varies from $15/hour in India to $200+ in the US considering a developer’s level of seniority and prior experience. 

Additional costs incurred during nopCommerce and Magento Open Source store development are hosting, SSL certificates, custom themes, third-party integrations, and any other add-ons to make your store run smoothly. The only exception is Magento Commerce and Commerce Cloud: the hosting, tech support, and many advanced features come included in the license fees. 

Don’t let the figures like $22,000+/year for Magento Commerce and $40,000+/year for Magento Commerce Cloud baffle you. The total cost of ownership for a seemingly free nopCommerce and high-maintenance Magento may be the same.

For more info on Magento cost, refer to another article on our blog.
Choose Magento
Magento Pricing Explained: Count Your Magento Cost the Right Way

Magento vs nopCommerce: Comparison Table

Before announcing our verdict on the ideal merchant for each ecommerce platform, let us summarize the main characteristics of nopCommerce vs Magento in a side-by-side comparison table.

Magento 2nopCommerce
Ease of setupComplexComplex
Source code accessibleOpen-sourceOpen-source
HostingOn-site, third-party, Cloud-basedOn-site, third-party, Cloud-based
Extensions5,500+100 plug-ins on the official marketplace and 1,000+ on community-created websites
Cost$50-$250/hr + free access to code (open source) for Magento Open Sourceor $22,000+/year for Magento Commerce Edition (Enterprise)or $40,000+/year for Magento Cloud Edition$18-80/hr developers rate (depending on the country) + free access to the core code
FeaturesFeature-richFeature-rich
Ease of IntegrationFlexibleFlexible
Theme selection12 themes on the official marketplace and 1,000+ on community-created websites48 themes on the official marketplace and 1,000+ on community-created websites
Payment GatewaysSupport of 12 payment gatewaysSupport of 50 payment gateways
SecurityBuilt-in security patches and regular updatesPCI compliance, GDPR compliance, Honeypot support, strong customer password policy.
ScalabilityScalableNot scalable
Multilingual capabilitiesBuilt-in multi-lingual supportBuilt-in multi-lingual support
SEOBuilt-in SEO tools, customizable plug-ins and appsBasic SEO features to be extended with plug-ins
Ideal Ecommerce SizeLarge enterprises with lots of SKU and high traffic to the websiteSmall and mid-sized businesses that seek customization

The Verdict: Who’s the Ideal Merchant for Magento vs Nopcommerce

Both Magento and nopCommerce are high-fliers in ecommerce. But while choosing between the two platforms, keep in mind your scalability ambitions and the amount of traffic.

nopCommerce is the best framework for small or medium-sized companies. It may not sustain a large product catalog or huge volumes of traffic. But its feature-rich and secure interface will give a merchant solid grounds to start and grow the business — at least to the level of selling internationally. 

Meanwhile, Magento will be suitable for mid-sized companies and large enterprises. If you’re looking to expand without slowing down; if you expect high traffic spikes especially during high sales season; if you’re selling B2B — Magento should be your top choice. 

Looking for more alternatives? Check out our series of Magento vs [choose your ecommerce platform] comparisons!

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You have very well described the difference between “Magento vs NopCommerce”. I have been working in marketing for past 10 years, I don’t consider myself an expert because there is still so much to learn in marketing. Marketing ideas are born every day and it makes for an exciting career, I am known for my skills in Technical SEO, business development and many more.