Magento vs. OpenCart - How Do They Compare?

The sole aim of this blog is to explain the differences between Magento and OpenCart, each platform offers a wide range of services and features, but the decision will ultimately depend on your criteria for what you want to achieve from your store. We will compare aspects such as functionality, performance, architecture and cost to give you an in-depth view of both platforms. Both Magento and OpenCart have a lot of base similarities, such as their open-source structure, extensive module and theme marketplaces and active support communities. The key differences are within the core structure and functionality in the admin area.


They cater for the small to medium enterprise customers, its simple core features mean that there isn’t as much to get started with, but it also means you have more control over what you have on your site and requires less server processing and can reach high page speeds.

Gift certificates

Gift vouchers can be individually sent to customers through their email by other customers in the storefront. The customer receiving the gift certificate can use the code provided in the email at the shopping cart to deduct the gift voucher amount from the order total. Customers also have the option to purchase a gift voucher for their friends and family.

Special & discounted prices

OpenCart gives you the freedom to add different sales prices to your products, and you can even make these exclusive for different customer groups and automatically start/ end at specific times.


Multi-store management is available after just a single installation of OpenCart, all you have to do is to create a sub-domain in your cPanel and then add the store in the settings section of the admin panel.


It is heavily geared towards the larger enterprises and comes with a lot more features by default, meaning it requires more server processing power to run (increased hosting costs and slower speeds achieved) but you’re provided with a solution to get on with from the start.

Magento UI library

The Magento UI library is a flexible library which helps assist theme developers. It will allow the ability to customise and re-use: buttons; drop-downs; customer ratings & messages.

Improved performance & scalability

The actual goal with Magento 2.0 was to make e-commerce faster & easier to emulate shopping experiences that were tailored to each individual’s business needs. Features such as the streamlined check-out and the redesigned administrative tools are sure to serve you when it comes to scaling and performing.

Newer file structures

File structure plays a paramount role in customising your online store, the functions of each of the folders are easily accessible and also much more organised which means it’ll work perfectly.


One of the attractive selling points of OpenCart is the fact that it’s completely free. Magento requires a substantial annual fee, which is based on the online revenue of your store. This can start at $22,000.00 annually. It should be mentioned that both Magento & OpenCart require hosting and maintenance costs.


  • All of the customers’ passwords are hashed, which means that in the unlikely event that a hacker had access to them, they would be useless. The passwords are hashed with the most secure password hashing technique available on the system - which is usually Bcrypt, a really strong hashing technique.
  • All payment gateways use hash_equals() to prevent timing attacks.
  • The latest version of OpenCart requires PHP 7, which is actively maintained with security patches.
  • Strengthened hashing algorithms (SHA-256) which are used in password management & also supports Argon2ID13 through the PHP sodium extension.
  • Improved prevention of cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks by making escaped data the default, this has been done through the Magento framework adopting conventions that regulate the escaping of date in output.
  • Magento safeguards your store from clickjacking attacks by using an X frame-options HTTP request header.

​Reliability & Scalability

As OpenCart is completely open-source, you can be sure that your store will continue to operate safely and securely, whereas Magento could leave your store vulnerable to cyber-security attacks should they decide to release a new version again. Whilst this isn’t ideal if you do choose to be a Magento customer, you will be given plenty of notice to ensure a smooth transition to another platform or an upgrade to the latest Magento version.

In terms of scalability, Magento will serve your business at any size, whether it be a completely fresh start-up or a multi-million-pound enterprise. OpenCart is purposed for the smaller to medium-sized enterprises and we wouldn’t recommend using it as a large enterprise as you will simply outgrow it. That being said, OpenCart is a perfect, cost-effective solution to initially scaling your business.

​Benefits & Drawbacks


+ Larger market share

+ Multiple customisation options

- Purposed for larger enterprises and so there are major cost implications

- Increased maintenance fees


+ Over 13,000 modules and themes.

+ Powers over 342,000 eCommerce sites worldwide.

Free & Open-source.

- Smaller market share.

- Not as advanced coding principals.


In summary, both Magento and OpenCart are amazing solutions for your online business. If you are looking for a platform which your business can grow into, then Magento is the option for you. If you are looking for a cost effective, foot through the door solution for your store, then OpenCart is the one for you!

​How can we help?

We've worked with some incredible brands and charities using OpenCart to help maximise their online potential, so please get in touch to see how our brilliant team can help you with your online business goals here.

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