nopCommerce and Magento have a lot in common. Both platforms have extensive functionality and are made to fit businesses of any size, and are especially good for medium and large stores. Magento has two options: Community Edition and Enterprise Edition. The community edition is very similar to nopCommerce, it is also open source and free. Enterprise edition is a paid option and has its differentiators. Below is the more detailed comparison of the solutions.
nopCommerce is an open-source and free enterprise-level eCommerce platform. Magento, as mentioned above, offers two ways to go: free open source Community Edition and a paid version, Magento Enterprise. Speaking of Magento Enterprise pricing, it should be mentioned that the product has two main versions, Magento 1 and Magento 2. The pricing model differs greatly between them. Magento 1 is based on Per-Server model, Magento 2 has been changed to a Revenue Model. The license for Magento 1 would start at $18.000 per year, for Magento 2 at $22.000 and might go up to $75.000.
Free solutions, nopCommerce, and Magento Community Edition, don’t suppose any subscription fees, however, will still require some expenditures, such as hosting, and possibly some extensions which are not available out of the box. At the same time, purchasing additional plugins most likely will still cost less than the Enterprise Edition license.
Besides, each of the solutions would require customization. The price would depend on your requirements and your/your team’s skills.
Both nopCommerce and Magento are full of features. Both platforms offer basic store functionality such as product and catalog management, SEO features, inbuilt analytics and even multi-store and multi-vendor features. They have various payment and shipping integrations available out of the box./p>
At the same time, the set of features in Magento Community and Enterprise differs greatly. Also, the difference is between Magento 1 and Magento 2. In the first version, there were just a few extra features in the Enterprise edition, Magento 2 has a significantly bigger gap in out of the box functionality. With Magento 2, it seems that the company decided to invest in adding features and supporting only the Enterprise Edition version of its product. Of course, it is possible to use a community version and develop required extra features, but this would affect performance.
So what exactly are those extra features? Magento Enterprise edition has greater customer loyalty tools, such as rewards points, gift cards, in-store credits. This helps to improve shopper engagement, stimulate repeat purchases, and reward customers. Magento 2 adds some other marketing tools, like flexible pricing rules, coupons, promotions targeted by customer segment, up-sells and cross-sells, among other.
nopCommerce offers similar to Magento Enterprise marketing options and most of the rest features out of the box, yet for free.
It is hard to compare these solutions in terms of features without applying it to a real project. The decision would take a deep dive into a merchant’s processes and selling operation (integrations, logistics, etc.) and can’t be made based merely on a side-by-side feature comparison. Many extra features of Magento Enterprise may stay untouched and useless (though being well paid for), while nopCommerce missing just a couple of functionalities can be easily customized with the required extensions, which would cost noticeably less and wouldn’t affect the performance.
As mentioned above, there are plenty of inbuilt features in both of the solutions. In case something specific to your business is missing, you can benefit from endless opportunities for customization, which both platforms offer. Because they are an open source they can be adjusted to meet any specific needs. Both of the platforms allow using Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to interact with databases, other software, Google merchant and product feeds, and more. Additionally, an 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 (designs) for your store.
However, nopCommerce as well as Magento are rather for advanced users with some technical knowledge and would require professional developers to do a complicated customization.
Code and Security
One of the main distinctions between the platforms is their language. nopCommerce is written on ASP.NET, Magento is on PHP. ASP.NET means being backed by Microsoft, PHP is community driven. Moreover, Windows + ASP.NET + MS SQL Server are considered the most productive environment, and ASP.NET Core is also much faster. This higher productivity means fewer resources required and cheaper hosting.
nopCommerce also has an extendable architecture that allows developers to override most of the functions from plugins without touching the core. It is easier and faster to customize, which results in a quicker ROI.
nopCommerce is considered to be more secure. Magento releases security patches in each version upgrade and sometimes even in between. This is valid only for the Enterprise version, Community Edition doesn’t even get regular security updates, the patches are introduced only when they become commercially viable. nopCommerce, on the other hand, had only one security patch since the launch, and that one relates to an external component. This means you don’t have to constantly upgrade to the newest nopCommerce version, it is reasonable and safe to stay with the versions released some years back. As for Magento, having no security updates would make your store vulnerable to security breaches, errors and malicious attacks.
Speaking further about the security, Magento Community is not fully PCI compliant. This means, credit cards can’t be processed securely, thus, you won’t be able to use payment gateways. To solve this issues you would have to use an additional extension. Magento Enterprise includes Magento Secure Payment Bridge, an application that helps merchants meet PCI compliance. nopCommerce is PCI compliant out of the box.
nopCommerce and Magento Community Edition offer product documentation that gives basic knowledge. They also have forums where community members help each other. Both communities consist of more than 200,000 users, though nopCommerce one seems more active with 190k+ forum posts over 73k+ in Magento.
As forum support doesn’t always guarantee finding an answer to your question or doing it quickly, paid support is also available. nopCommerce premium support services cost $299 for 3 months or $799 for the whole year. As for Magento, its Community edition doesn’t have any support besides forums; Enterprise Edition includes 24/7 professional technical support, through a ticketing system or by phone. With this support from Magento also comes an Account Manager who guides your business to helpful resources and to getting the most out of Magento.
In case you need help of a developer, you can reach out to company’s solution partners or certified developers. Magento’s partners' network consists of over 230 companies, nopCommerce has 120+ at the moment.
All in all, these two platforms look quite similar. They offer rich functionality and waste opportunities for scaling your business. Magento is longer on the eCommerce market and is more popular at the moment. This explains larger number of extensions and a wider network of partners and certified developers. However, nopCommerce is a fast-growing solution and with its active community, you’ll be in good hands as well.
Thus, the choice between nopCommerce and Magento is very individual. You need to do a very careful analysis of your requirements, see which platform has more of the required functions inbuilt and how much would cost additional development and maintenance.
Author: Alexandra Lykova, nopCommerce team