Drupal or Magento?
Which platform should you choose for your e-commerce site? Good, robust website hosting companies can host either for you, so which is best for your business?
There’s no simple answer. You must examine both solutions and see how they fit with the needs of you and your e-commerce business.
What is Magento?
It’s an open-source platform designed for e-commerce dating back to 2008. It’s written in the PHP language, includes pieces of the Zend Framework and uses the MySQL relational database system.
Ebay owned the company for four years, but spun it off in November 2015, and it’s now backed by the Permira Funds. Permira is a global investment firm that makes long-term investments. Their support gives Magento stability, demonstrating they will remain in business for years to come.
E-commerce sites and stores using Magento take in over $50 billion annually.
Magento Suite of Products
This is their basic product, it’s free, and over 250,000 online stores use it. If you’re a small business owner who just wants to get up and running, this edition may satisfy you, especially if you’re comfortable with learning to handle some of the technical details yourself. It comes with a shopping cart ready to take orders in nearly all languages, currencies and local tax rates.
It’s open source, so it has the support of an active community of developers. Shop for standard Magento modules in the Marketplace or hire a developer to create an extension or update customized just for your site.
A good website hosting provider has Magento Community ready for you to install (happily, HostGator proudly falls in this category). You will have the default version up and running in a short time.
This is the Magento flagship. It comes with a large number of tools to show off your products, give customers speedy checkout service and let them access your site on every kind of device from desktops to mobile phones and tablets. It comes with built-in ways to increase shopper engagement, reward their loyalty and encourage repeat shoppers. It’s still open source, and so integrates with third-party solutions. You hire developers, or use your own, to customize the site to your satisfaction.
Magento also has specialized solutions for small businesses in Germany, B2B companies and fashion stores.
What if you need an omnichannel solution to take orders and manage customers across many platforms, from your website to drop-shipping orders to warehouses? Do you need to manage different multiple fulfillment centers? Check out their Commerce Order Management solution.
Well-Known Brands Using Magento
- Rosetta Stone
- Alex and Ani
What is Drupal?
Like Magento, it is open source. That means it is continually developed by many thousands of interested programmers. It started out as a content management system, but now is basically a framework. It can support any type of website from a small blog to a large government website to a discussion forum and an e-commerce store.
Drupal is also written in PHP. It has a standard release known as the Core. Developers in the Drupal community have contributed over 30,000 modules that fit in with the Core to provide additional functionality.
Every good web host should have Drupal ready for fast and easy installation (click here to learn more about our Drupal hosting plans). It’s popular. At least a million websites use it, some of them quite large and well-known. 8.1.3 is the current version.
This provides the Drupal Core with e-commerce functionality. It displays products, accepts orders, tracks invoices and monitors payments.
There are many additional modules available for free for linking to shopping carts, payment gateways and shipping services.
Drupal Commerce is a separate installation and configuration from installing Drupal Core using cPanel.
Well-Known Brands Using Drupal Commerce
- Time Warner Music
- The United Kingdom Royal Mail
- Doctors of BC
- Tech Coast Angels
Differences Between Drupal and Magento
Magento was designed for e-commerce, whereas Drupal was designed for content management. As a result, you’ll need to modify Magento in order to provide content.
Both Magento Community and Drupal Core install easily from cPanel, but Drupal Core installs easily from Cpanel, but Drupal Commerce requires additional steps that some business owners may need to delegate or outsource.
Both Magento and Drupal Core are highly scalable, but Drupal Commerce doesn’t categorize products as deeply.
Magento draws traffic, but Drupal has the edge at SEO.
Magento also has additional features, such as a “narrow down” search that allows customers to more easily find what they want, and promotional options to incentivize repeat shopping, reduce shopping cart abandonment and more. You can use coupons and add calls to action.
Large e-commerce businesses that plan to sell hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in products can afford Magento Enterprise and the developers they’ll need to hire to customize their store to their desired specifications.
Small e-commerce businesses that plan to integrate a lot of content with their product offerings should go with Drupal Commerce.
Small e-commerce businesses that simply want to list their products for sale and take orders will get the best value from Magento Community.
Therefore, choosing between Magento and Drupal is not a contest, just a business decision.
Start selling online today with HostGator! We offer both Magento and Drupal hosting.
Henry Green is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas who helps small businesses and entrepreneurs improve their online presence through marketing, social media, and website optimization.