Drupal Commerce vs Magento: What to choose for your business

Drupal Commerce vs Magento: What to choose for your business?

Authored by Ameex Technologies on 25 Sep 2020

When you want to buy a new shirt from an emporium, you look for the best shop that can exhibit different pieces of nicest clothes for you to choose from. Not much has changed with the emergence of the online stores. You still strive to buy the best thing available on the best e-commerce site. Drupal Commerce and Magento offer an amazing e-commerce platform for the digital businesses to establish themselves as the best in the industry

The shift from platform-driven ad spending to content-driven conversion funnels has encouraged businesses to set up shop on blogging platforms that were not designed to be commercial thoroughfares.

Drupal Commerce and Magento are two of the most prominent platforms that retrofit open-source blogging with B2B/B2C eCommerce facilities. Either through native features or third-party add-ons, both can help provide end users with:

  • A full-featured CMS with an intuitive UX and control panels
  • Support for social sharing
  • Support for user-contributed product reviews
  • A responsive and useful community of developers
  • Native integration of inventory-driven advertising material, ideally without leaving the domain (i.e. via a dedicated sub-domain)
  • Purchase paths and shopping carts that function without leaving the host domain (where possible)
  • Capable native and third-party analytics solutions
  • Invoicing, quoting, and customer communications solutions

However, Drupal Commerce and Magento take different approaches to the problem, and neither is a 'plug and play' solution.

Differences

An exhaustive and side-by-side comparison of Drupal Commerce and Magento been hammered out below to see on where they scored higher.

comparison chart 1comparison chart 2comparison chart 3comparison chart 4comparison chart 5

A brief look at Drupal Commerce and Magento

Drupal-commerce

With more than 60,000 sites powered by Drupal Commerce, a module, it is one of the most flexible e-commerce solutions for websites and applications of all sizes. Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 are the versions to be maintained and supported for the years to come. While building an online store in former will require Commerce 1.x, and for the latter Commerce 2.x.

Interoperability with the Host CMS:

Drupal Commerce is a dedicated framework intended to add eCommerce capabilities to the Drupal content management system. Its association with a major CMS makes integrating a domain's publicity and payment streams into content channels easier and cheaper, since most of the potential pitfalls of integration have been mapped and solved in advance.

A robust inventory framework is available for Drupal 7 (the native version equivalent for Drupal Commerce), with maturing support for Drupal 8. Drupal Commerce is better able to accommodate 'abstract' or non-standard inventory items than Magento, whose evolving model is still oriented toward physical and digital products.

Drupal Commerce offers a huge amount of configurability and flexibility in the way that eCommerce content appears within traffic-driven content on a Drupal site—a challenge that can mean significant development costs in other 'satellite' eCommerce platforms, such as Magento.

Although 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 will require actual developers. To boot, developer talent for Drupal and Drupal Commerce is often quite scarce relative to other mainstream open-source PHP-based frameworks.

Output from Drupal Commerce can adopt the theme and styling of a Drupal site with less development time and micro-management in comparison to 'external' eCommerce frameworks. Even so, some extra work is usually required

King of content:

Built on top of enterprise CMS, it offers a commerce platform to intertwine content and products seamlessly, thereby driving both online and offline sales via a wonderful UX, optimized merchandised tools, and efficient SEO techniques.

Easy configuration:

With its robustness and flexibility, it is configurable to fit right for your enterprise’s needs. It is great for any sort of physical and non-physical items that demand payment models like recurring/licensing/subscription.

Cost-effective:

Being an open source software, it is an affordable solution.

Adaptable:

It allows third-party integrations and enhancements in the features and functionalities to adapt the changing needs of a business. Be it Authorize.net, Braintree, PayPal, Stripe, Amazon Pay and a lot of other payment gateways, it provides many integrations. Thus, it is highly extensible.

Pricing:

Drupal, with or without Drupal Commerce, is a developer-oriented proposition where the technical cost of entry is free (open-source), but the cost of developing and maintaining a performant and secure eCommerce server can run into the tens of thousands of dollars or more, depending on scope and scale.

Your Drupal Commerce project costs will rise in proportion to your need for specific functional architecture, custom theme styling, high-concept customer experience flows, inter-module data integration, easy-to-use custom control panel interfaces, analytics systems, and other benefits for the backend user.

In terms of ongoing maintenance, the project will need certified partners or developers capable of staying on top of updates and other critical developments, either in the framework's open-source roadmap or in your specific eCommerce implementation

Scalability:

Drupal Commerce (via Drupal itself) is intended for self-hosting and can remain highly performant at scale.

The web server requirements for Drupal Commerce are more modest than Magento and are included in the general range of specifications for a Drupal server. The minimum required RAM for PHP is 64 MB, although the official documentation notes that production systems typically use 128 MB or 256 MB.

Installation:

A separate Commerce Kickstart application is offered on the official website, which allows you to “skip a few weeks’ configuration when building your eCommerce site in the Drupal Commerce framework system”.

Kickstart finishes relatively quickly and as a result, you will end up with an ideally completely operational demo store with theme, catalogue, search features and with a back office interface, obviously without fine-tuning on the other hand – but if you are building your first store, this does not represent a significant problem.

Administrative Interface:

It takes more time in the case of Drupal, to learn how exactly things work and where you can find the important stuff. At the same time, the newer versions of the content management system are much easier to handle than their predecessors were. Regarding handling it may also be an advantage that you can display the administrative module on the website as well, which means you can modify certain things more quickly this way.

magento

Magento operates entirely as a third-party eCommerce system. It is intended to be wired into any usable CMS that has a content template suitable for displaying inventory. It can also be deployed as a sole installation, and recently has begun to offer various native and third-party options to develop SEO-optimized content streams without the use of a secondary CMS.

Magento's lack of a 'native' host CMS brings both advantages and disadvantages. On the positive side, Magento presents a flexible and simply modelled inventory framework that is easy to understand and manage.

Magento Commerce now has a dedicated CMS module, offering drag-and-drop functionality and block-based post building, like the current version of WordPress. Although it is a slightly restricted offering in comparison to a full-fledged content management solution, it does remove an entire tier of update and security management requirements from a content-driven eCommerce site.

Installation:

It is very simple when it comes to installation and features additional layouts and plug-ins.

Affordable solution:

It offers an efficacious and cost-effective solution being an open source software.

Payment gateways:

Some of its worldwide available payment gateways are PayPal, Authorize.net, CyberSource etc.

Headless Ecommerce:

Both Drupal Commerce and Magento are framing headless as the future of eCommerce—a new era of inventory-as-a-service. If this is a convincing argument, it might cause us to question the distinguishable merits of Drupal Commerce vs Magento as they will be rather reduced under this model.

Pricing:

After a decade of acquisitions and re-imaginings, Magento is a fragmented brand in many ways. It is available in several tiers:

  • Magento Open Source (formerly known as Magento Community Edition)
  • Magento Commerce
  • As a facet in Adobe Commerce Cloud (aka Magento Commerce Cloud, formerly Enterprise Cloud Edition).

Scalability:

Magento's adoption into the Adobe cloud, though not the framework's first encounter with high-volume, proprietary, high-scale networks, means that cloud hosting will solve many scalability issues—if you can bear the price tag.

You are likely to need around 25 GB of SSD space to prevent delays caused by the server's automated storage management procedures. If your inventory volume is high, with corresponding content files, you may need more than 25 GB.

The official minimum server RAM requirement of 2 GB is unlikely to scale well. If RAM is a problem, distributed networks, caching, and CDNs may need to be deployed with great care to maintain services under heavy load. Depending on the configuration of the system, server requirements could increase if a Magento domain has more than 3,000-4,000 live products in inventory.

Appearance & Design:

The system of Magento is quite complex and delicate though, so it is not advisable for any amateur to start experimenting with a major redesign.

Installation:

Installation of Magento is an extremely simple process, it can be done in approximately ten minutes – you will come across complexity only later in case of Magento. The creation of an online store here is almost effortless.

Administrative Interface:

The interface of Magento is a very mature, well-tried platform that is actually easy to discover, at least when handling is considered. However, the large number of different options may be troublesome for the users who are beginners at using Magento: it is not easy to find your way around among the great deal of menus, options, possible settings; learning definitely takes time. On the other hand, several training videos, descriptions, courses are available online, which can help making the use of the basics smooth – and you can pick up later how those parts of the system work that feature more complex settings.

General Factors:

SEO

Both systems are basically good in search engine optimization, but Drupal has an advantage in this field regarding that it operates as a content management system by default. Nevertheless, you do not need to give up on ranking high on the hit lists in case of Magento either, the system is very well optimized. On the other hand, experiences show that you may run into difficulties in case of certain issues (that is why it may be more practical and at the same time more expensive and more time-consuming to use your own developments with the help of professionals).

Security

Statistically proven, 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 that of Drupal in the Hacked Website Report from Sucuri.

cms-comparison


Developer community

There is a strong and active international community behind both systems who carry out creative developments on them. The direction of these developments is fundamentally different though: while eCommerce functionality is in the focus in case of Magento, the developers dealing with Drupal are typically broadening, fine-tuning or rethinking CMS functions – therefore few of them deal with the eCommerce modules.

Conclusion

For the best e-commerce site, digital firms must thrive on the e-commerce platforms for a unique and a masterclass of a website. Drupal Commerce and Magento provide a platform for setting up an e-commerce site efficiently. To understand what suits your organization’s needs, you must properly understand their features and functionalities to choose wisely.

When it comes to ecommerce platforms, Magento has the edge with superior market share. It has an excellent ability to serve enterprise market with its SaaS solution in Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition. Drupal Commerce has shown a slow growth in powering thousands of online stores where the Magento has a stronghold of millions of ecommerce websites.

But Magento is not great at content and Drupal is. Providing immersive content in combination with a robust ecommerce solution, Drupal Commerce can be an efficacious option.

A side-by-side comparison delineates that Drupal Commerce, with all the flexibility it offers, has the clear edge over Magento and comes out as the winner in use cases where the need is more than stock and standard commerce solution.

We highly recommend doing a due diligence and analysing the use case before taking a business decision.

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