We created Pixafy, because we want to make advanced eCommerce technology affordable for more businesses, while giving smaller merchants the ability to build their businesses on the firm foundation of Magento. However, we recognize that some merchants may be confused about how exactly Pixafy compares to Magento Community Edition, and we wanted to take this opportunity to eliminate that confusion.
After reading this article you’ll learn:
- How Pixafy compares to Magento Community Edition at a high level
- How Pixafy compares to Magento Community Edition on a feature by feature basis
- Which of the platforms makes the most sense for your business
Magento Community Edition and Pixafy: An Overview
Magento Community Edition is the free, open source version of Magento’s industry-leading eCommerce software. It’s flexible, powerful and designed for developers.
Pixafy is an easy-to-use eCommerce SaaS platform with capabilities comparable to Magento. It’s actually built from Magento Community Edition, which means it retains all the functionality that makes Magento so desirable, while eliminating many of the headaches associated with running a custom built store.
Let’s check out how the two platforms compare:
|Magento Community Edition||Pixafy|
|Requires a developer to build, customize, and launch a store||Designed so that non-technical users can easily build, customize, and launch a store|
|Custom development takes weeks and starts at around $50,000||A complete store can be built and launched in one day with prices starting at $89/month|
|Highly customizable||Moderately customizable|
|Thousands of themes and apps||Dozens of highly curated themes and apps|
|Robust core feature set||Offers additional features on top of the core Magento Community Edition feature set|
|Difficult to manage a store’s day to day operations without a developer||Easy for anyone to manage a store’s day to day operations|
|Merchant is responsible for managing all the technical details like hosting, security, software upgrades, etc.||Pixafy manages all the technical details like hosting, security, and platform upgrades on behalf of merchants|
|Built for developers||Built for merchants|
Now that you have a solid understanding of how these two platforms relate to one another, let’s dig a little deeper and compare each platform’s feature set.
Generally, store design in Magento Community Edition starts with a pre-built theme, which is then customized by a developer so that it matches the look and feel of your brand.
- Thousands of themes available in Magento Connect
- Themes range from free to several hundred dollars apiece
- Quality varies dramatically between themes
- Not all Magento themes are responsive or mobile-friendly
- Even minor changes like updating a product photo require support from a developer
Much like Magento Community Edition, store design in Pixafy starts with a pre-built theme, but that’s where the similarities end. Pixafy was built so that non-technical merchants would have full control over the look and feel of their store.
- A smaller number of themes available
- All themes are free
- Quality is high and consistent between themes
- All themes are responsive and mobile-friendly
- Basic customization of a theme requires no technical knowledge
Apps and Extensions
One of Magento Community Edition’s main strengths is the massive community of developers that support it by creating thousands of apps for the platform. These apps extend the already robust functionality of the software.
- Thousands of apps available through Magento Connect
- Prices range from free to hundreds of dollars apiece
- Quality varies drastically between apps
- Sheer volume of apps makes it difficult to find high quality apps
- Installing an app requires developer support
- Improperly installing an app can cause serious problems like crashing your store
Pixafy offers a far more curated app store experience that emphasizes quality over quantity.
- Dozens of premier apps available
- Prices range from free to hundreds of dollars apiece
- Quality is high and consistent between apps
- Apps are curated to ensure only the highest apps are offered to merchants
- All apps are pre-installed in our platform
- An app will never crash your store
Magento Community Edition is so popular with merchants in large part because of its robust catalog features and the fine-grained control it gives merchants over their products. Unfortunately, merchants have to manage their products with an admin interface that’s really designed for developers. Some of the major product catalog features of Community Edition include:
- Simple, configurable, bundled, grouped, virtual and downloadable products
- Customer group pricing
- Unlimited product attributes
- Support for backordered items as well as minimum and maximum quantities
- Minimum Advertised Price (MAP)
Pixafy offers all of the product catalog features of Magento Community Edition, but they’re packaged in our user friendly interface. This means that you can leverage the flexibility and level of control that make Community Edition so popular, without having to become a Magento expert or rely on a developer.
Magento Community Edition is designed for sophisticated merchants that may want to sell products internationally and it has features to suit.
- Supports translations in up to 80 different languages
- Real-time currency conversion available for 165 countries
- Supports multiple international payment gateways but requires a developer for integration
- Tax support for every country
- Supports right to left text
Pixafy is also designed for growing merchants that want to expand internationally, and offers the same international features as Magento with the addition of our proprietary translation tool. This tool allows merchants to create and edit custom translations for their stores.
Marketing and SEO
Magento Community Edition offers a number of powerful marketing and promotional features that are designed to help merchants get found online, drive sales and reach new audience. These can, of course, be supplemented by apps from Magento Connect. Some of their major marketing features include:
- Related products, upsells and cross-sells
- Flexible coupons and promotional pricing rules
- Wish lists
- Search engine friendly URLs
- Auto-generated site map
- Newsletter management
Pixafy offers all of the marketing functionality of Magento Community Edition, along with pre-configured integrations with best-in-class marketing tools. This gives merchants dozens of ways to reach new customers and sell more to their existing customer base.
A few examples of these marketing tools include a powerful email marketing integration with MailChimp, an optimized integration with Google Shopping, and integrations with other apps like YotPo, Beetailer and Post Affiliate Pro.
Because you have complete access to the code base, Magento Community Edition is the most customizable eCommerce platform in the world. Simply put, if you need an unrivaled ability to customize your store, then you need to be on Magento Community Edition.
Pixafy is committed to providing a best-in-class experience for every merchant using our platform. To deliver this kind of experience, we need to restrict users from accessing the underlying code that powers our platform. This limits the number of drastic customizations a merchant can make.
However, you can still customize significantly more of your store’s look, feel and operation than you can with any other SaaS eCommerce platform. A few examples of things you can customize include layouts, colors, fonts, shipping rate calculations, shopping cart rules, default language/currency, product attributes, pricing rules, and customer groups.
Magento Community Edition doesn’t currently offer a built-in migration tool. f you want to migrate from another eCommerce platform to Magento Community, you must work with a third-party migration service or search Magento Connect for an appropriate extension.
Because we’re designed for merchants, Pixafy is heavily invested in making sophisticated eCommerce technology as intuitive as possible. To that end, we’ve built a set of free one-click tools that make migrating platforms fast and easy. We currently support the following platforms:
- Magento Community
- Many more to come!
Magento doesn’t currently offer customer support for Community Edition. If you run into an issue, your options are limited.
- Pay a developer to identify and fix the problem
- Search for an answer in Magento’s Community forum
- Search Google
Because we’re made for merchants, Pixafy places a premium on customer support:
- Phone and email support available Monday-Friday from 9-6 p.m.
- Ticket support available 24/7
- Network monitored 24/7/365
- Comprehensive library of online tutorials
In Store & POS
Magento CE supports a number of applications that allow you to sell your Magento products in your brick and mortar retail locations, while syncing transactions and product inventory between your physical and online stores. A few examples of those services include:
At Pixafy, we’ve limited our support to ebizmarts’ POS application because we believe it is the most robust and full featured Magento POS application for merchants.
Magento Communty Edition plugs into a wide variety of analytics tools through native support and apps available on Magento Connect:
- Google Analytics
- Google Universal Analytics
- Google Enhanced Ecommerce
- Google AdWords Conversion Tracking
- Google Tag Manager
Pixafy supports all of Google’s analytics tools with the added benefit that they’re pre-installed within the platform so merchants can get up and running faster.
- Pre-integrated Google Analytics
- Pre-integrated Google Universal Analytics
- Pre-integrated Google Enhanced Ecommerce
- Pre-integrated Google AdWords Conversion Tracking
- Pre-inegrated Google Tag Manager
- Custom reports designed for merchants that are ready to use out of the box
With Magento Community Edition, you’re left to figure hosting on your own. This doesn’t have to be as daunting as it might seem initially, but it does have to be taken seriously. A poor hosting choice can lead to performance issues with your store like slow page loading and poor uptime. These risks means it’s best to rely on the knowledge of someone who is experience with hosting Magento.
Since Pixafy is a SaaS platform, you don’t have to worry about hosting. We handle everything for you. We used our years of experience building some of the world’s most complex Magento sites to develop proprietary hosting technology that’s fully optimized for our product. Our hosting platform is monitored 24/7/365 for any issues and is Level 1 PCI compliant. We also offer our clients unlimited storage, which is something that many hosting providers charge for.
Which Platform is Right for My Business?
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading! We sincerely hope that this article helps you evaluate Pixafy against Magento Community Edition.
At the end of the day it really comes down to the needs and resources of your business. If you have a Magento expert on staff or have the resources to hire an agency, and you think the added customizations you can create are worth the extra work/risk of managing hosting and store security, then Magento Community Edition will probably work for you.
If you’d rather harness the power of Magento to launch an affordable, robust online store fast, and you don’t need complex customizations or you don’t want to deal with the hassle of managing hosting and store security, then Pixafy is likely the best solution for you.
Still aren’t sure? Start a free Pixafy trial today to experience the platform for yourself. There’s no risk or credit card required to try us out!