In this article, I will present good alternatives to Magento, their implementation, and maintenance costs. Additionally, you will learn why I believe they are good alternatives!

What will you find in this article?

What to choose instead of Magento?
Advantages of Magento
Magento – what are the costs?
Common issues related to Magento costs
Two solutions instead of Magento
Summary

What to choose instead of Magento?

Magento can be costly in both maintenance and implementation. If the costs are too high for you, Shopify and PrestaShop might be better solutions.

These platforms offer attractive options for those with limited budgets.

Advantages of Magento

Magento is a great solution in certain business cases, especially in the B2B sector. B2B ecommerce often requires more custom e-commerce functionalities than standard stores selling directly to end customers, which can significantly increase costs.

Selling creams, which are simple products, differs significantly from selling electronic components to wholesale customers who have specific conditions such as individual pricing or loyalty programs. All these pricing conditions must be reflected in the B2B ecommerce to give the customer an experience similar to dealing with a salesperson.

B2B ecommerce typically requires more functionalities, custom solutions, and extensive integrations that require significant computing power. Simple ecommerce systems are not able to meet these requirements, especially in terms of SaaS platforms.

In such cases, Magento often turns out to be the best choice, especially when we don’t want to be dependent on a single provider. We want the ability to choose from numerous agencies supporting a given technology, which allows changing the cooperating agency if the collaboration does not work out.

Magento manages well even with significant departures from standard operations, and this is very necessary, for example, in B2B ecommerce. This system operates stably even with numerous custom solutions.

Additionally, Magento effectively handles large quantities of products in the database and allows the implementation of all the recommendations for technical SEO optimization.

Lastly, using a frontend on Hyva, which is extremely fast, allows achieving high results in Google PageSpeed, achieving up to 80 on mobile and 90 on desktop.

Magento Team

Magento – what are the costs?

The implementation of Magento involves costs that can be divided into two main areas: implementation costs and later maintenance costs.

Implementation costs

Realistically speaking, it is not possible to develop a Magento online store for 10,000 EUR. Budget planning should start from about 65,000 EUR upwards. In the case of very complex B2B ecommerce, costs can increase even to 150,000, 175,000, or 200,000 EUR.

Maintenance costs

Due to the advanced capabilities it offers, Magento also has high server requirements. This involves the need for intensive administrative and DevOps work, as well as costs associated with maintaining and developing the system. Coding in Magento is more time-consuming than in simpler solutions. Here, you will find more information about the maintenance costs of Magento.

Common issues related to Magento costs

Now, I will discuss three situations that we often encounter among clients or ecommerce users.

The first situation concerns people who have not yet started implementing Magento but have learned that the required budget is about 75,000 EUR. This person would like to use Magento but only has a budget of about 25,000 EUR. In this case, it is worth considering a technology that will be a reasonable alternative, offering fewer functionalities but at a lower cost.

The second situation usually looks like this—a person starts a Magento project, which was initially supposed to cost about 17,500 EUR. After using that budget, it turns out that the result is only a half-product, not a fully-fledged online store. Many functions do not work, errors appear, and it is necessary to rescue such an implementation. Unfortunately, the company no longer has the appropriate budget to finish the project and straighten it out.

The third problem is situations where someone has already implemented an online store on Magento, but the maintenance costs of the system turn out to be high. You must pay for DevOps work, system development, Magento updates, and its modules, as well as for bug fixes and the installation of security patches. For a large business, these costs are acceptable as a necessary expense for technology. However, for smaller firms that do not yet generate significant revenues from this technology, maintaining Magento can become a burden instead of supporting business development.

What do I recommend doing if you find yourself in one of these 3 situations?

Two solutions instead of Magento

In such cases, the question arises about alternative solutions to Magento that will fit within an implementation budget of 20,000 to 35,000 EUR, and significantly reduce maintenance costs.
I usually suggest two solutions in such cases. They are Shopify and PrestaShop.

Shopify

Shopify operates on the SaaS model, which provides greater predictability of monthly maintenance costs.

A disadvantage of the SaaS solution, such as Shopify, is the lack of full control over the ecommerce. For example, in subscription plans such as Basic, Advanced, and Shopify, you cannot make changes in the order process. This represents a significant limitation, as it is precisely in this process that changes can be made that may increase the conversion rate.

On the other hand, these limitations in modifications ensure the high stability of this solution. Shopify is suitable for people who prefer simplicity – you pay a monthly fee and the system works without the need to spend a lot of time on it.

If you accept the inability to make significant changes in the store and agree to adapt to the imposed solutions, Shopify will be an ideal choice. Although some parts of the service are locked, many elements, like the design, can be customized to individual needs.

Shopify charges a monthly fee, which consists of three elements:

  • license fee, dependent on the selected plan
  • a percentage fee for transactions made using external payment gateways. For example, when using Przelewy24, you will pay an additional percentage for each transaction. This rate varies depending on the plan – at the basic level of Shopify it is 1%, and in the Advanced plan 0.6% (data from April 2020). If payment is made by collection or bank transfer, no transaction fee is charged.
  • monthly fees for additional modules. If you use additional modules in your Shopify store, the cost of their use can range from 50 to 75 euros per month.

This amount already includes all services such as hosting, Shopify version updates, and SLA. For this monthly fee, everything just works properly and you have peace of mind.

PrestaShop

The second option is Presta, which, like Magento, is an open-source solution. Choosing an open-source license gives you full control over the code, which means you can modify every element of it.

Unlike Shopify, no one will tell you that the subscription is being raised, and you can’t do anything about it. Although theoretically, you have access to every line of code, it is recommended not to change standard processes in Presta to avoid increasing vulnerability to errors.

However, if you care about full ownership of the system and greater control over the functionalities of the store and you are selling a very unusual product, Presta will be a good alternative to Shopify. Its implementation and maintenance costs are significantly lower than Magento’s. PrestaShop, although it offers flexibility and access to an open-source license, it is not as stable a solution as Shopify.

In the case of Presta, the maintenance cost looks different than Shopify, as you additionally have to pay for hosting. A fee for server configuration is also necessary, as well as for regular maintenance works, which include updating the Presta version and repairing basic errors. Often this fee also includes SLA, which means a guarantee of fast response by the ecommerce agency to any potential issues with the store’s operation.

These costs are usually several times lower than Magento’s, mainly due to lower server requirements and fewer hours needed to maintain the proper functioning of Presta.

Summary

In summary, if Magento proves too costly, PrestaShop and Shopify are worthy alternatives to consider. They are more affordable (both during implementation and maintenance). Presta, like Magento, is an open-source platform, while Shopify operates on the SaaS model.

If you are at a stage where the costs of Magento seem too high, or you are in the process of implementing this system and wondering whether to continue or halt the implementation in favor of another technology, I hope my suggestions regarding Presta and Shopify will prove helpful.

If, on the other hand, you are considering choosing an ecommerce engine and are not sure which direction to choose, write to me on LinkedIn or reach out to us through the form on our company’s website. We will thoroughly discuss your business requirements and based on that, recommend the best solution for your business.


Growcode Ecommerce Blog / Ecommerce / Magento / What to choose instead of Magento?