Magento vs Spree vs WooCommerce

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Advice on Magento, Spree, and WooCommerce
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I am consulting for a company that wants to move its current CubeCart e-commerce site to another PHP based platform like PrestaShop or Magento. I was interested in alternatives that utilize Node.js as the primary platform. I currently don't know PHP, but I have done full stack dev with Java, Spring, Thymeleaf, etc.. I am just unsure that learning a set of technologies not commonly used makes sense. For example, in PrestaShop, I would need to work with JavaScript better and learn PHP, Twig, and Bootstrap. It seems more cumbersome than a Node JS system, where the language syntax stays the same for the full stack. I am looking for thoughts and advice on the relevance of PHP skillset into the future AND whether the Node based e-commerce open source options can compete with Magento or Prestashop.

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Replies (2)
Kyle Harrison
Web Application Developer at Fortinet · | 8 upvotes · 25.6K views

Where im confused is why you think PHP isn't commonly used. It powers the grand majority of the internet, and as a language designed entirely around making websites (as opposed to general purpose languages like Java that have crammed in an http server to make it work for websites too), its a language that's incredibly easy to jump into, and offers a lot of flexibility and versatility on how to navigate web facing challenges.

Also don't kid yourself about the node "one language" ecosystem. You will find yourself often visually confused as you jump between editor tabs which .js is aimed at the browser, and which .js is aimed at the server, and gets even weirder when using js based templating engines. (This is why in my node projects with a front-end, I use Angular, which uses TypeScript),). JS was never intended to run outside of a browser based VM context, its just yet another language we've jimmyrigged an http compatible socket listener into and given filesystem access.

If you're worried about wasting your time jumping into bed with PHP, don't be. Its not only extremely widely used, but after 20 years its still incredibly relevant, high performing (you will be shocked to see how fast php7 actually is), high paying (yes, six figures), and the language itself has evolved leaps and bounds into a multi-paradigm beast of a toolkit bespoke to solving web challenges.

If you liked Spring, check out Symfony sometime. Its a PHP7 web framework that takes a LOT of inspiration from Spring, and pairs up with Doctrine, a PHP7 ORM that takes a great deal of inspiration from Hibernate. The company that makes Symfony, is also the same people behind Twig, which is so ridiculously good and popular, its been ported to pretty much every language including Java and node.

As for free packaged out of the box storefronts, Magento is a total beast of a package, and isn't for the feint of heart. But it is also THE most complete and ridiculously configurable self hostable e-commerce system you'll ever come across. Many web professionals have made entire careers completely around Magento. I am not one of them, but I have used Magento, PrestaShop, and several others, and I keep coming back to Magento. Outside of hosted shops like Shopify, Magento is, as far as I'm concerned, where you wanna be for a totally custom, plug-in based shop front for a website. The only time I'd recommend different, is if a customers website is powered by WordPress, then WooCommerce is where you wanna be.

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anas mattar
Technical Lead at DPO International · | 2 upvotes · 8.2K views

I prefer to use Magneto because it open source and has a lot of extensions in it so it's so faster for building a website

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Decisions about Magento, Spree, and WooCommerce
Isaiah Garcia
Community Developer at StackShare · | 4 upvotes · 6.1K views

The interoperability and reliability of Shopify is simply unmatched on the market. Having been a web developer for a few years, I cannot imagine going with any other solutions because of the level of development that would need to go into each and every tweak requested by stakeholders.

Shopify makes it easy to use apps off the shelf to test an idea, after which you can replace it with a custom solution or build on top of it.

Using their robust API, array of webhooks, Shopify Flow and Shopify Scripts, with a little know-how anything you want to do is just a few clicks or lines of code away from reality. The community is also pretty robust, so if you ever need help, you're not alone.

Full disclosure: I've been invested since 2015, but it's because they really are the best on the market.

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Rhonda Greene

I chose Shopify over other options - the leading contender of which was WooCommerce - based mainly on the availability of integrations with other tools and platforms I use, as well as the ease of adding and updating inventory. Additionally, should I ever open a physical location, my existing inventory can easily be sold via a POS system as well. Eyes to the future!

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Giovanni Gatto
Developer at Whiskynet · | 3 upvotes · 11.4K views

We were about to migrate our older PHP 7.0 + Symfony 2.8 + Sylius 0.17 based E-commerce site to a more recent PHP stack. We were leaning towards Laravel as that has become our primary Framework in the recent years.

We chose Vanilo because it is so modular that it let us do the migration step by step and we could add the components we needed on the run. In total it took us 9 months to migrate everything from the old PHP 7.0 Symfony codebase to PHP 7.4/Laravel/Vanilo. We could also copy the old Admin theme to Vanilo thus the Admin users don't see any difference.

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David Swift

We devised SwiftERM to generate additional income from existing consumers on ecommerce websites. Available for those using Shopify, Magento, Woocommerce or Opencart, it runs in alongside (not instead of) existing email marketing software like Mailchimp, Drupal or Emarsys. It is 100% automatic so needs zero additional staff. It uses predictive analytics to identify imminent consumer purchases. The average additional turnover achieved is 10.5%. It is the only software in the world authorised to send Trustpilot to send product ratings in outbound emails. Developers and ecommerce retailers are invited to try to it for free, to establish viability this predictive analytics system is. SwiftERM is a certified Microsoft Partner MPN ID 6197468.

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BrandLume Inc
President at BrandLume · | 3 upvotes · 77.1K views

we've had alot of shopify clients and do alot of those website builds, but we decided a little while back to transfer any client possible to woocommerce, for our e-com web development, as there is alot more functionality available with zoo-commerce. you can have a look at our examples and even our own website in the link provided.

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Pros of Magento
Pros of Spree
Pros of WooCommerce
  • 22
    Open source
  • 14
  • 12
  • 10
    Widespread community support
  • 8
    E-commerce made easy
  • 4
  • 4
  • 12
    Open Source
  • 12
    Great community and support
  • 10
  • 9
    Flexible e-commerce solution
  • 5
    Lots of extensions
  • 12
    Easy to extend and customize

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Cons of Magento
Cons of Spree
Cons of WooCommerce
  • 2
    System is too complex
  • 2
  • 1
    Processor hungry
    Be the first to leave a con
    • 1
      Slow if not optimized

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    - No public GitHub repository available -

    What is Magento?

    Magento Community Edition is perfect if you’re a developer who wants to build your own solution with flexible eCommerce technology. You can modify the core code and add a wide variety of features and functionality.

    What is Spree?

    The Spree storefront offers a full feature set and is built on common standards, so you don't have to compromise speed to market, efficiency or innovation. The modular platform allows you to easily configure, supplement or replace any functionality you need, so that you can build the exact storefront that you want.

    What is WooCommerce?

    WooCommerce is the most popular WordPress eCommerce plugin. And it's available for free. Packed full of features, perfectly integrated into your self-hosted WordPress website.

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    What companies use Magento?
    What companies use Spree?
    What companies use WooCommerce?

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    What tools integrate with Magento?
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    What tools integrate with WooCommerce?

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    What are some alternatives to Magento, Spree, and WooCommerce?
    The core software is built by hundreds of community volunteers, and when you’re ready for more there are thousands of plugins and themes available to transform your site into almost anything you can imagine. Over 60 million people have chosen WordPress to power the place on the web they call “home” — we’d love you to join the family.
    It is an online store management system. It is PHP-based, using a MySQL database and HTML components. Support is provided for different languages and currencies. It is freely available under the GNU General Public License.
    It is a true all-in-one ecommerce platform with the power to grow your business & help you sell more. It empowers you to rise above complexity – and ultimately focus on optimizing your business for growth.
    PrestaShop is written in PHP, is highly customizable, supports all the major payment services, is translated in many languages and localized for many countries, and is fully responsive (both front- and back-office).
    Shopify powers tens of thousands of online retailers including General Electric, Amnesty International, CrossFit, Tesla Motors, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Foo Fighters, GitHub, and more. Our platform allows users to easily and quickly create their own online store without all the technical work involved in developing their own website, or the huge expense of having someone else build it. Shopify lets merchants manage all aspects of their shops: uploading products, changing the design, accepting credit card orders, and viewing their incoming orders and completed transactions.
    See all alternatives