Magento alternatives compared: the best online store solutions

Magento is an eCommerce software that lets users design an online store and integrate it into an existing website. Magento is available as a paid enterprise solution and also as a free open source platform in the Community Edition. Magento is one of the most widely used online store systems and benefits from a large number of extensions and plugins that users can add to expand their stores with special features.

One disadvantage is the cost of the enterprise platform, which, depending on the scope of the online store, can add up to six figures according to some reports. Sellers who want to set up an online store should check out the competitors and explore which solution works best for them. This way, they may find a suitable alternative to Magento. Check out the top online store alternatives in this overview.

Tip

Improve the performance of your Magento store with Magento Hosting from IONOS.

Quick overview: Magento alternatives compared

Below is a brief overview of the most important features of the online store providers presented in the article. (Updated: November 2021)

  Price from Functions Number of products Website hosting
IONOS (Website Builder/Online Store Builder) From $1 Range of functions increases with more advanced plans From 500 Addable
Shopify From $29 Range of functions increases with more advanced plans Unlimited Required upfront
BigCommerce From $30 Range of functions increases with more advanced plans Unlimited Required upfront
Strikingly From $8 More focused on website functions 5 Part of the plan
PrestaShop Free Must be adapted individually Unlimited Required upfront
WooCommerce Free Must be adapted individually Unlimited Required upfront
Volusion From $29 Range of functions increases with more advanced plans From 100 Required upfront
OpenCart Free Must be adapted individually Unlimited Required upfront

In general, there are two types of online store or eCommerce solutions among Magento alternatives:

  • Paid providers who divide their offering into plans. For beginners, many providers have a low-cost basic option that combines vital features and functions to get up and running. More extensive solutions feature options for including an unlimited number of products or introducing discount and loyalty systems.
  • Free open source systems are easy enough to manage when designing a basic store. Additional functions usually incur added charges, for example, when purchasing and integrating different extensions or plugins or special designs that allow users to design their store individually.
Tip

You’ll need an existing website to get going with some of the online store solutions above. These can be created and hosted without prior programming skills when using the Website Builder from IONOS.

Magento alternatives in detail

IONOS Website Builder/Online Store Builder: the cheapest premium offer

With the IONOS Website or Online Store Builder users can choose from different online store plans for a quick and simple start to manage their web store integrations or add a comprehensive eCommerce solution to sell an unlimited number of items. As a special feature, IONOS adds access to dominant marketplaces such as Facebook or Amazon Shopping. Numerous design templates and simple configuration of individual elements via drag-and-drop make designing a professional online store as easy as 1-2-3.

Additionally, the combination of the Website Builder with the Online Store Builder comes with a personalized domain and free email address alongside other functions such as an integrated shipping assistant for a selection of the most important delivery services.

Costs are low at max $50 per month. The starter version is available for as little as $1 per month and is suitable for both beginners and professionals.

Advantages Disadvantages
✔ Quick start with step-by-step configuration ✘ Beginner plan offers fewer functions
✔ Premium plan from as little as $35 per month  

Suitable for: Beginners, advanced, and professionals

Shopify: Offer an unlimited number of products even in the basic plan

Shopify is another Magento alternative that provides different plans with an increasing range of functions as costs rise. The starter plan is available at just $29 per month while Shopify’s powerful eCommerce solution sets you back $299 per month. As with other online store solutions, sales via marketplaces and social networks are an integral part of Shopify’s offering.

The advantage of Shopify is that there are no restrictions on the number of products. Even the lowest-priced plan lets users add all their products while competitors tend to charge more when adding more products. The option is suitable for both beginners and professionals, although available options can seem a bit overwhelming for beginners.

Advantages Disadvantages
✔ The basic plan offers an unlimited number of articles ✘ In addition to monthly plan costs, some design templates are subject to a fee
✔ Additional customization via Shopify apps ✘ Selective features can muddle the overview and increase complexity

Suitable for: Beginners, advanced, and professionals

BigCommerce: Another package alternative to Magento

BigCommerce too provides access to an eCommerce solution and users can choose one of three plans. Basic functions are included in the starter plan, while more extensive plans allow for online stores with added features for customers such as storable shopping carts or integrated Google ratings.

Much like Shopify, BigCommerce users can sell an infinite number of different products in their online store starting at $29.95 per month. However, pricing at BigCommerce is also linked to sales within a certain period of time. Depending on sales, companies may slide into higher-priced plans. Accordingly, the provider is aimed at large store operators.

Advantages Disadvantages
✔ Unlimited number of products ✘ Plans increase as store revenue grows
✔ Additional customization via apps and plugins ✘ Apps may incur added fees

Suitable for: Advanced and professionals

Strikingly: all about website creation

Unlike other alternatives to Magento, Strikingly is actually a website tool used to design simple one-pagers via the editor. The provider emphasizes the simplicity of the application, that even inexperienced users can use it to create a functional website in no time. The basic version of the editor is free.

After creating a website with Strikingly, users can add a store for just $8 per month, making it a relatively inexpensive option. However, the scope of the store is limited. Web operators can only offer five products at a time in the “limited” version. Strikingly is particularly suitable for beginners without an existing website.

Advantages Disadvantages
✔ Quick start, website limited to one page ✘ Software focused on website creation
  ✘ There are better alternatives for store-free website creation

Suitable for: Beginners

PrestaShop: plenty of design options at an added fee

PrestaShop is a European open source eCommerce platform, available free of charge. As with many open source solutions, PrestaShop has its own community, which means that users rely on the community for support issues related to its use and integration.

Store operators can choose from a catalog of different templates for the design of their store when using the Magento alternative. Premium layouts incur one-off fees. Being an open source product, PrestaShop can be customized with various add-ons, some of which incur one-off charges. This can make it difficult for newcomers to estimate final costs in advance. Users will need to configure their desired functions themselves using the add-ons provided. Therefore, PrestaShop is less suitable for newbies.

Advantages Disadvantages
✔ Excellent options to individualize store through extensions ✘ Support only available for community
  ✘ Aimed at more experienced users

Suitable for: Advanced and professionals

Tip

IONOS offers PrestaShop Hosting for your online store based on PrestaShop.

WooCommerce: great for WordPress users

WooCommerce is another open source Magento alternative that is based on the WordPress content management system. Its advantage is also one of its disadvantages: WordPress users can integrate WooCommerce into their existing website infrastructure and manage it via WordPress. Since WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, the integration relies on the CMS. WooCommerce is not suitable for websites created with other CMSs.

Being open source, WooCommerce is available free of charge. Similar to PrestaShop, costs are incurred when users want to use additional features in the form of WooCommerce plugins or wish to add design templates. Costs are hardto estimate until you get started. By the way: WordPress also offers a comprehensive eCommerce system in a service plan as part of its website hosting. The plan features search engine optimization, among other tools, and costs around $50 per month. WooCommerce is an intuitive option for existing WordPress users.

Advantages Disadvantages
✔ High degree of individualization through extensions ✘ Only suitable for WordPress users

Suitable for: Beginners with experience of WordPress, advanced and professionals

Tip

Want to use WooCommerce? With IONOS, you can get special WooCommerce Hosting for your online store – secure, cheap and including everything you need.

Volusion: added customer benefits with increasing range of functions

Volusion’s range of functions and pricing is similar to that of Shopify’s and BigCommerce’s. Store operators can get started with the basic model at $29 per month and receive useful functions in return, such as integration of various payment functions like Google or Stripe. There are no transaction costs. Up to 100 products can be added in the online store at any one time.

As the scope of the service plan increases, so does its pricing. Maximum costs can be as high as $299 per month. In return, users can add an unlimited number of products, can integrate Amazon and eBay, and offer their customers a loyalty plan. The alternative to Magento is suitable for users who already know what they want from their store. Features are briefly described but seem muddled to those starting out.

Advantages Disadvantages
✔ Quick start with step-by-step configurator ✘ Range of functions presented on website unclear

Suitable for: Beginners, advanced, and professionals

OpenCart: Quick start with customization options

OpenCart is an open source eCommerce platform that claims to offer users a quick and streamlined way to get their online store rolling.

Tip

Use OpenCart as a cloud app with specialist OpenCart Hosting from IONOS.

Being an open source solution, OpenCart is a free Magento alternative. Additional features can incur fees, for example when adding payment options or special design templates. Even though OpenCart advertises a quick start, basic knowledge of website creation is a must in order to operate the application more professionally.

Advantages Disadvantages
✔ High degree of individualization through extensions ✘ Support only for community
  ✘ Aimed at more experienced users

Suitable for: Advanced and professionals

Tip

The modular solution from IONOS makes creating your online store quick and easy. Additional features facilitate the management and marketing of your store across all important social channels.


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