In 2016, Magento commissioned FitForCommerce to do a study of the total cost of Magento 2 Enterprise projects. FitForCommerce interviewed close to twenty companies and Magento partners about how much these projects cost, the amount of time to complete, and which factors impacted the schedule and cost, and which didn’t.
There were two kinds of upgrades that were identified; “Standard” and “Complex”. For context, here’s how they were each categorized:
- Ground up Magento theming
- Standard Complex Configuration rather than customization of business logic
- A handful of popular and mature 3rd party extensions
- Data exchange integrations via Magento APIs
- Complicated UX/UI / retrofits
Customization of business logic
Early versions of extensions, many extensions, custom extensions
The “Standard” upgrade cost more than $65,000
Sana Safinaz is a premier luxury retailer suiting the modern woman. Their online store must connect with thirty retail stores, while shipping orders across the world. Here’s what it cost in terms of money and hours:
- Standard total hours = 450 hours
- Standard total time to complete = 30 days
- Standard total cost = $67,500-ish
The “Complex” upgrade cost more than $400,000
Founded in Britain in 1989 and making shoes great ever since, Oliver Sweeney takes inspiration from around the world and then filters it through their decidedly British lens. The store has more than five thousand products and does about twenty-thousand orders each year. Here’s a look at what it ultimately cost to upgrade:
- Complex total hours = 1600 hours
- Complex total time to complete - 5 months
- Complex total cost = $427,000
More often than not, “Upgrade” Means “Rebuild”
You could be upgrading from any of these three options:
- a third-party eCommerce solution
- from the Magento Community 1.x edition
- from Magento Enterprise Edition 1.x (which only allows Magento 2)
Keep in mind that while I am using the term upgrade, anytime you move from Magento 1.x to Magento 2, is essentially a rebuild.
If you’re upgrading from Magento Enterprise 1.x, and really want to get into pricing, check out the Magento pricing article here.
Will WooCommerce cost less than Magento?
Just like Magento, WooCommerce stores have varied costs. Stores can be created for under $10,000 and others have cost more than $100,000. The question isn’t just about price - though in general WooCommerce stores do cost less to build.
The real issue here is that when you hear someone talk about upgrading from WooCommerce 2.3 to WooCommerce 3.3, the cost is minimal. The platform underneath (the core of the code) isn’t changing.
While you would want an agency or developer to review the process, you’re not doing a rebuild. You’re actually doing an upgrade in the truest sense. Upgrades may take time (and time costs money), but they won’t have the same level of direct costs.
So, if you’re planning an “upgrade” from Magento, you should at least look at what it would cost you to rebuild on WooCommerce - the most popular eCommerce platform on the planet - because you’re going to be doing a rebuild no matter what.