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osCommerce vs. Magento: How to Choose?

osCommerce has been around for 18 years and become a popular store management and eCommerce software solution on the web, while Magento is fast growing to a leading eCommerce platform for selling online. If you’re faced with the dilemma of which platform will work the best for your own business, you’re coming to the right place—we ‘re going to narrow down your options by weighing the benefits and drawbacks of both osCommerce and Magento in following paragraphs.

Prices and Costs: Both Free

Both osCommerce and Magento are open source systems, which means that you can download and install them without needing to pay any money. Additionally, developers are able to freely work on it, to create next-level versions of them and various extensions to them.

Therefore, when building an eCommerce site with osCommerce or Magento, all you need to consider is the cost of the web hosting provider. In our previous post—Best Business Hosting, we have detailedly explained how to choose a reliable eCommerce hosting service (including brand reputation, performance, customer feedback, and your traffic needs) and introduced three top rated hosting providers for eCommerce sites. You can feel free to operate your online store on their servers. And as with your business needs growing, you will need to migrate to a higher-end VPS, Cloud, or dedicated server solution, which apparently will cost you more money.

Ease of Installation & Use: osCommerce

No matter which eCommerce software solution, they can be easily and quickly to install, or fairly complicated. It depends on the method you use. If you opt for a manual installation, you have to download it from the official site and upload the files to the web server. The process also involves database creation and other technological skills, so it might be quite time-consuming. In most cases, people prefer to leverage a 1-click installation tool, which is usually available in the control panel offered by your web host.

As to the utility of osCommerce and Magento, the former seems to outperform its competitor. Even you’re non-tech savvy and have never managed an online store before, you can master how to use it easily. In comparison, Magento is a more complex system along with a more complicated interface. To fully understand the eCommerce platform, you should have certain experience.

On the other side, since Magento is designed to handle significant needs, to support higher traffic eCommerce sites, and with a great number of fantastic features and tools, people who plan to manage multiple online stores simultaneously from the same administrative interface are fond of Magento. Thanks to an ample amount of training materials available and an extensive and enthusiastic community, you can learn the secret of how to utilize the powerful eCommerce system in a short time.

Customizability: Magento

osCommerce is a quite simple eCommerce platform. There is a set of tools to help simplify the utilization of osCommerce, alongside a selection of extensions to extend your eCommerce site’s functionality. However, it is less fashionable and flexible because you are not capable of launching coupon deals or discounts.

Magento has been well-known for its customizability. The eCommerce solution features a wide range of exclusive functions that you cannot expect from other platforms. For example, Magento enables you to set up product relationships and use price rules to trigger discounts based on different conditions. As well, the search feature of Magento is powerful. With the eCommerce platform, you will be able to freely define the attributes of the individual products perfectly and create any kind of characteristics as expected, etc.

Appearance & Design: Magento

Magento wins out over osCommerce in terms of appearance and design. Magento makes it possible to transform and customize every single tiny detail of your eCommerce site. This is necessary if you don’t want it to look just the same like other eCommerce sites. There is a great deal of free and paid themes available to help set your eCommerce site apart from competition. Though osCommerce supports modifying the design, it is a very complicated and difficult task.

If you really care about your online business and want the online store to look attractive, you should consider hiring a developer to help with that. It is for sure that a Magento developer is much easier to find than a osCommerce developer.

SEO Friendliness: Magento

Both osCommerce and Magento are SEO friendly but they are different in degree of SEO friendliness. In order to benefit from osCommerce’s SEO friendly functionality, you need to spend some time on finding and installing the add-ons that will make your eCommerce site as functional as expected. Magento is more SEO friendly, compared to that. It is an eCommerce platform built for search engine optimization from the ground up, so there is no problem to integrate SEO technique into your eCommerce store, regardless whether they are simple metadata or URL changes, or more complex endeavors.

Technical Support: Magento

osCommerce, somehow, is considered as a little outdated eCommerce system, which is quite different from Magento’s modern impression on users.

osCommerce regularly release new updates and the developer community works well all the time. osCommerce has an extensive community, where you can find useful solutions to some simple problems. You can also look for answers to your answers on the forum or live chat with a member of the community. The problem is, even osCommerce itself on its official website recommends users to hire professional for a more significant problem.

However, Magento is able to update the system, especially the security patches more frequently. In other words, Magento can fully meet recent user needs and become responsive and search engine optimizable. It’s worth mentioning that Magento really features a powerful enormous, active developer community. In addition to the self-help resources, you can rely on the company’s own developers to solve some difficult issues.


For people who are looking for a reliable, secure eCommerce system to build a significant online store, Magento might be a better option. Compared to osCommerce, it is more customizable, transformable, and flexible. But it doesn’t mean that osCommerce is not recommended. Contrarily, for those who are not well-trained but want to have a simple yet reliable eCommerce site, osCommerce is an ideal solution.

One thought on “osCommerce vs. Magento: How to Choose?”

  1. This is a good comparison, and thank the author to offer us the in-depth comparison between osCommerce and Magento. I just plan to start my online store and feel difficult to decide which is the right platform to start. I am a newbie, so according to this article, I will go with osCommerce to have try.

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