Drupal Commerce vs Magento: What to choose for your business?
For digital businesses making the shift to online stores, there are no shortcuts to creating smooth shopping experiences for customers, especially if you have a blog platform needing ecommerce capabilities.
Whether you’re selling business to business or business to consumer (B2B/B2C), Drupal Commerce and Magento consistently perform as the top choices — but how do you know which is the best fit for your ecommerce store’s needs and business goals?
Learn more about both Drupal Commerce and Magento below, or contact Ameex today to discuss your business objectives in detail.
Drupal Commerce vs. Magento Commerce: Overview
Drupal Commerce is designed to go hand-in-hand with its native host, Drupal CMS, so naturally, integrating publicity and payment into content channels will be a bit easier and less expensive.
Drupal is better able to accommodate “abstract” or non-standard inventory items — such as those requiring payment models like recurring, licensing and subscription — than Magento, whose evolving model is still geared toward physical and digital products.
Controlling the way ecommerce content appears within traffic-driven content is easier with Drupal’s configurability and flexibility, which may require significant development costs in other “satellite” ecommerce platforms, such as Magento.
However, while customizing WordPress and Joomla generally requires third-party extensions and a moderate understanding of PHP, customizing Drupal Commerce and Drupal into a viable ecommerce solution does require actual developers. In addition, it can be difficult to find developer talent compared to other mainstream open-source PHP-based frameworks.
Even though some extra work is required, compared to “external” ecommerce frameworks, output from Drupal Commerce can adopt the theme and styling of a Drupal website with less development time and micromanagement.
Instead of Drupal ecommerce’s native compatibility with a CMS, Magento operates entirely as a third-party ecommerce system. As long as your CMS content template can display inventory, Magento can be integrated. Because it’s a third-party system, the simple framework can be easier to understand and perform inventory management — and you can use Magento Commerce without a secondary CMS.
When built on top of enterprise CMS, Drupal for ecommerce offers a platform that intertwines content and products seamlessly, driving both online and offline sales through a smooth UX, optimized merchandised tools, and efficient SEO techniques.
Magento Commerce now has a dedicated CMS module, offering drag-and-drop functionality and block-based post building, similar to the current version of WordPress. Although Magento Commerce is a slightly restricted offering in comparison to a full-fledged CMS, it does remove an entire tier of update and security management requirements from a content-driven ecommerce site.
Both systems are adequate for search engine optimization (SEO), but Drupal has an advantage in this field since it operates as a CMS by default. However, Magento’s system is also well optimized, so your site can gain visibility in search engines out of the box.
Cost & Support
Both Drupal and Magento are open source; however, they require specialists and ongoing maintenance, and Magento has several different tiers for business needs.
For Drupal Commerce, costs rise if you need specific functions, such as certain architecture, custom theme styling, high-concept customer experience flows, intermodule data integration, custom control interfaces, analytics systems and more. You’ll also need developer support or certified partners who can stay on top of technology updates or your specific ecommerce needs. Finding Drupal experts who deal with ecommerce modules can be difficult, as many experts focus exclusively on the CMS functions.
Magento offers a few tiers: Magento Open Source, Magento Commerce, and as a facet in Adobe Commerce Cloud. The Adobe Cloud hosting can make your operations easy to scale, but can become very expensive. Developers who work with Magento are generally strongly focused on ecommerce functionality.
Payment Gateways & Security
The Drupal Commerce module allows third-party integrations and enhancements in the features and functionalities, whether you need Authorize.net, Braintree, PayPal, Stripe, Amazon Pay or one of many other payment gateways. Magento’s worldwide available payment gateways include PayPal, Authorize.net and CyberSource.
By the numbers, Drupal is the best security-focused CMS among the major CMS platforms like WordPress, Joomla and Magento. Both the infected websites and the infection rate of Magento were much higher than Drupal, according to Sucuri’s Hacked Website Report.
Drupal Commerce is designed for native hosting and is very scalable. It requires less from web servers than Magento does, and aligns with specifications for a Drupal server. While the minimum required RAM for PHP is 64 MB, production systems typically use 128 MB or 256 MB.
Magento’s required minimum server RAM is 2GB, but you’ll likely need around 25 GB of SSD space to prevent delays. And if you have a high inventory volume, with a lot of content files, you may need even more. Migration to Magento may not be a great option if you have a low budget but an inventory with thousands of live products.
Installation & Interface
Drupal’s official website offers a separate Commerce Kickstart application. Kickstart finishes relatively quickly. As a result, you will end up with ideally a completely operational demo store with theme, catalogue, search features and back-office interface. It won’t have the fine-tuning, but if you are building your first store, that’s not usually a deal-breaker.
There’s a bit more of a learning curve with Drupal to understand how exactly things work and where to find the important stuff. At the same time, the newer versions of the CMS are much more user friendly than their predecessors. In addition, you can modify certain things more quickly through the administrative module display on the site.
Installing Magento is extremely simple — you can create an online store in about 10 minutes. Complexity comes a bit later, but starting is usually easy, and you can choose from additional layouts and plug-ins.
Magento’s interface is mature and well tested, but beginners may be overwhelmed by the range of options: numerous menus, choices and possible settings. However, learning the basics can be smooth through training videos and courses available online. You can investigate more complex settings later.
So, What Will It Be: Drupal Commerce or Magento Commerce?
Both Drupal and Magento ecommerce models can help you set up product pages and get customers filling and checking out their shopping carts. A side-by-side comparison shows the flexibility Drupal Commerce offers, particularly around content, gives it the clear edge over Magento in use cases where businesses need more than stock and a standard commerce solution.
Whichever one is right for your business, Ameex Technologies has the experts you need to bring your site up to speed. Learn more about our 13+ years of experience with Drupal or discover the successful ecommerce projects our Magento developers have delivered over the last 12 years. We’ll help you take the next step to an effective, secure selling platform.