In the online vendor space, most people have heard of Magento. But what of some of the other good-looking players? Volusion, for example. In practice, does it live up to its promises? Does it compare to Magento or is it all just hype?

In our experience, one solution is not necessarily better than another. It’s often the case, however, that businesses need to learn which platform might be right for their needs. To find out for yourself, read our detailed comparison.

When you examine Magento and Volusion side by side, you can see that different web vendors will prefer one over the other. Which camp are you in?

Ease of Installation

Magento can be a bit complex to install, requiring some technical skill. You’ll have to complete a manual install by uploading files to a web host, or you’ll have to find a host that can do a one-click installation, which is much simpler but gives you less control over the setup.

You’ll find that much of using Magento requires tech skills, but for those who have this knowledge, are willing to obtain it, or are willing to pay someone with the skills, it’s well worth it for the level of advanced customization.

Volusion is hosted. Installation, therefore, is as simple as navigating to the site and signing up. You won’t likely run into any issues here. You will be able to get started quickly. Your level of customization and control, however, is likely to be stunted here.

Ease of Use

Magento is powerful. That power comes with a bit of a learning curve. Users with tech know-how will not find this ecommerce platform too confusing to use, but it can be intimidating for beginners. The backend is well-made, however, and anyone who wants to jump into code should have no problem doing so.

Volusion is a simple platform, and as such, is simple to use. Its modules are straightforward and the front-end design is intuitive. However, users may be frustrated if they try to delve into the backend, which is not well organized.

Search Engine Friendliness

Magento is one of the top ecommerce platforms for search engine friendliness, with unparalleled SEO features unique to the system. Much of Magento’s SEO features are built in so you do not need to go looking for add-ons, and can do even advanced optimization within the front end.

Volusion has some very basic built-in search engine optimization features, including modification of alt tags, title tags, URLs, and keywords. However, this is not a fully robust system on its own, and to add on to SEO you’ll have to look for additional modules.

Integration Ecosystem

Both systems integrate well with other sites and services. Magento works well with a long list of devices, platforms, and applications. It works just as well with big sites like eBay and Amazon as it does with payment gateways, social media networks, and more.

Volusion too has many built-in social features so you can integrate your store easily with social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Modules exist for larger services like Amazon and eBay.

Cost to Maintain

Magento is a service that will require a web host, and users should be aware that it is resource heavy so that will factor into the cost of hosting. The initial download, however, is free.

Volusion is available through monthly plans ranging from $15/month to $100+/month. Each plan covers a certain number of products and bandwidth, as well as various features. The most basic, least expensive plan is not feature rich. Additional expenditures come in the form of paid add-ons.

Each service will require some payment for maintenance, so it comes down to your preference of what you’d like that money to fund.

Customizability

One of the biggest draws of Magento is its intense customizability. This ecommerce platform can look, act, and feel however you want, all built on rock solid code. You do need to have the skills, or the funds to pay someone with the skills, but for most businesses it is well worth it to have a web store that is exactly what you have envisioned. If you can imagine it, Magento can do it.

With Volusion, there are few options for themes that are highly customizable. You will get access to 28 free themes and 88 paid themes, all of which are somewhat customizable, but you are limited by what is on offer.

For people looking for a simple store that is ready to use quickly and who are not discouraged by incurring a monthly plan fee, Volusion will work. Hosted, Volusion is simple and beginner-friendly.

Magento is more of a powerhouse, self-hosted system. For those who want a powerful, well-designed store that is as scalable and modular as can be, Magento is top notch.

Magento Volusion
Easy of Installation Can be complex for those who don’t have web skills; one-click features depending on host. 5/5 Easy to set up as it is hosted through Volusion. 4/5
Ease of Use Easy and powerful for more advanced users, can be complex for beginners. 5/5 A very basic ecommerce platform — easy to use, but the backend is tricky. 3/5
Search Engine Friendly Extremely SEO-friendly! 5/5 Extremely SEO-friendly! 5/5
Integration Ecosystem Simple and straightforward integration with most major players. 4/5 Integrates with a variety of services and platforms, particularly social media networks. 4/5
Cost to Maintain Initially free, plus the cost of hosting. Many features are built in. Businesses can pay for extensions and developers to install them as the business grows. 4/5 Plans at different price points, plus the cost of add-on modules and any paid theming. 3/5
Customizability Highly customizable, especially for those with the skills, or with the budget to pay someone for customization. 5/5 Not very customizable — users are limited by free and paid themes, and whatever work they can and want to do on the backend. 2/5
Hosted vs. Self-Hosted Self-hosted — more work, but more freedom. Hosted through Volusion; less work but less freedom.
Target Market Large businesses with high-volume stores and agencies managing multiple stores. Target customers with built in promotion options including a daily deals tool.
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