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Magento’s performance is one of the hottest topics among anyone associated with the e-commerce industry. In the following article, we will try to end (or perpetuate) the myth that the owners of online stores have built around it once and for all. To do that, we will compare the most popular platforms: Magento, WooCommerce, Shopify, and PrestaShop. Ready for the race? Let’s go!
To make the results of the test as much reliable as possible, we decided to include 2 factors affecting performance: the device on which the store page is displayed (for this purpose we used Pingdom Website Speed Test for desktops and Mobitest by Akamai for mobile devices) and the location of the domain (the device locating the domains available at the address iplocation.net was used for measurements).
We looked at 50 randomly chosen online stores, which were included in the ranking of the Million Best Websites carried out by the Alexa company. The test covered elements such as subpages (including the main page, categories, and product pages), website version and IP domain location. The effects of speed measures are presented below.
According to Google’s recommendation, the loading time of the online store should take 2 seconds or less, but in practice, the process needs about 5.9 seconds. And although this value is quite general, it can be used as a benchmark on the basis of which a minimum level of acceptance will be determined.
Unfortunately, at this point, we should also take into consideration the fact that various subpages load in a different time: the main pages take the longest, product pages – the shortest. Below are the averages:
– home page – 7.1 sec.,
– category page – 5.5 sec.,
– product page – 4.8 sec.
They apply to all platforms and locations.
Table 1. Average page loading time (seconds) by platform
Table 2. Average page loading time (seconds) by location
San Jose, California, USA
London, United Kingdom
Mobile websites are a bit heavier, so their loading time has increased almost on all platforms (with the exception of Magento and PrestaShop).
Table 3. Average loading time of platforms (seconds) by devices
PAGE SIZE (MB)
LOADING TIME (SECONDS)
According to the results of previous surveys, the above-mentioned platforms differ in their distribution space (e.g. PrestaShop is the most popular solution in Europe, whereas Shopify has many followers in North America). This determines the choice of the service provider and makes the solutions offered more popular.
That’s the reason why Magento and Shopify are downloaded more often in the US, and PrestaShop is the most-used software in Europe. Of course, we do not know at what level the foreign sales of the tested stores are maintained, but the above information may suggest the potential of international e-commerce.
Table 4. The average platform loading lime (seconds) by location
San Jose, California, USA
According to the table above, Australia may soon pose a great challenge for foreign stores. It is inseparable from the growing number of local entrepreneurs who are slowly filling the market in the country. A completely different trend is observed in the USA, where most IP domains are located, which were taken into account during the research.
Table 5. Location of hosting platforms for e-commerce websites
In most cases, the proximity of the domain server changed the speed of loading the e-store. The average local loading time for Magento was 2.3 times better than the international one. For Shopify, it was 2.6, for PrestaShop – 1.7, and for WooCommerce – 1.5. The shopping experience of local Magento and Shopify users will certainly be at a higher level, while people using WooCommerce will not notice the difference in the server’s location.
This leads us to further surprising conclusions: Shopify is the fastest among all tested e-commerce platforms. It overtakes Magento and PrestaShop by 0.7 seconds, leaving WooCommerce in the back.
Diagram 1. Average loading time of the tested e-commerce platforms (blue columns indicate the number of pages per page, orange – the number of secs per 1 Mb)
As you can see, Magento took the second place, overtaking Shopify on some instances (e.g. in the case of mobile websites).
The survey shows that Magento is a good solution that could work better for international sales. Therefore, store owners who plan to expand their products should consider using popular platforms in places where they would like to develop their business.
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