Create your own ecommerce website and start selling successfully with ShopWired today

Create your ecommerce website on ShopWired today.
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Create your own ecommerce website and start selling successfully with ShopWired today

Create your ecommerce website on ShopWired today.
Start today with 14 days free

Magento Costs Spiralling Out Of Control? What To Do Next

15th March 2024

Man frustrated by Magento

Magento has long been a go-to platform for businesses seeking a flexible and scalable ecommerce solution. Yet, for all its strengths, Magento comes with a complex web of pricing and maintenance costs that can soon spiral out of control. 

In this blog, we’ll explore the true cost of Magento, from initial setup fees to ongoing maintenance expenses, and explore what businesses can do when faced with the challenge of rising Magento costs. 

What Is Magento? 

Magento is an open-source ecommerce platform, bought by Adobe in 2018. Being open-source, Magento lets developers freely customise the platform's source code for unlimited customisation and adaptability. Unlike more straightforward platforms like ShopWired or Shopify, Magento’s open-source nature makes it popular amongst large-scale enterprises with needs that off-the-shelf solutions do not easily meet. 

Quite often, the more technical nature of Magento means businesses find themselves needing to enlist the help of Magento experts and developers to help build and maintenance their site. The problem is, enlisting external help can start to become expensive. Startups, small businesses and those without developer skills may be better served opting for a more user-friendly alternative to Magento, such as ShopWired, which is a fully-hosted ecommerce platform. 

Let’s now take a look at the typical costs involved in running an ecommerce website on Magento. 

Magento's Pricing Structure

To understand the true cost of running an online store with Magento, it's essential to first understand Magento's pricing structure. 

Magento Open Source

Magento Open Source serves as the 'entry-level' option into the world of Magento, providing its core features at no direct cost. The platform's open-source model means it's freely available, relying on community contributions for development and support.

However, the absence of a price tag doesn't equate to zero cost. The real investment with Magento Open Source comes in the form of development, hosting and the ongoing maintenance efforts required to build your store and keep it running smoothly. It's like being given a car with no engine; the potential is there, but you'll need to invest in the parts and labour to get it moving.

Let’s take a look at the costs involved in setting up an ecommerce store with Magento Open Source: 

How Much Does Magento Cost? 

Magento Initial Setup Costs 


Web hosting

Magento itself doesn't come with hosting, placing the onus on businesses to find a hosting provider that matches their specific requirements. When selecting hosting, you’ll need to consider things like server capacity, bandwidth and customer support.

Potential costs:

Shared hosting: Starting at around £5 per month, shared hosting might seem like an economical choice. However, for ecommerce sites expecting a significant amount of traffic or those requiring more robust security measures, shared hosting may fall short of delivering the necessary performance.

VPS hosting: A step up from shared hosting, VPS hosting provides more control and dedicated resources, starting from approximately £20 to £100 per month. This option strikes a balance between cost and performance, suitable for medium-sized ecommerce operations.

Dedicated hosting: For Magento stores with high traffic volumes and custom functionality that demands substantial resources, dedicated hosting is often the best fit. With prices ranging from £75 to £200 per month, dedicated hosting offers unparalleled performance and security, but at a higher cost.

Cloud hosting: Embracing the scalability and reliability of cloud infrastructures, cloud hosting solutions for Magento can vary widely in price, from £50 to over £300 per month, depending on the services and bandwidth required.

SSL Certificate

SSL Certificate

SSL certificates are digital certificates that enable encrypted connections between a web server and a web browser. This encryption ensures all data transmitted between the web server and browsers remain private and integral, which is crucial for securing online transactions and protecting user information. 

While some web hosting providers include SSL certificates as part of their hosting packages, especially on more premium plans, others do not. This means you might need to purchase an SSL certificate separately to secure your website. 

Potential costs

SSL certificates can cost anywhere from £40 to £150+ annually. Higher-tier certificates, offering extended validation, come at a premium but provide a greater level of trust to customers. 

Domain Registration 

Your domain name is part of your business identity. It's what users see when they interact with and search for you online. It's also another thing you'll need to pay for by registering a unique name for your website through a domain registrar.

The cost of domain registration can vary significantly based on factors such as the domain’s extension (.com,, .net, etc.), the registrar you choose and the market demand for specific domain names. 

Potential costs:

Domain registration: You can expect to pay between £8 and £15 per year for standard domain names. However, premium domain names, for example, those that are short, memorable or have a highly sought-after keyword, can command significantly higher prices, sometimes reaching thousands of pounds.

Renewal fees: It’s important to note that domain registration is not a one-time cost. You’ll need to renew your domain registration annually to maintain ownership. 


Themes play a key role in determining the aesthetic and functionality of your store. They form the basis of how customers view and interact with your site, influencing everything from navigation to user experience. Magento offers access to a range of themes, both free and paid. 

Potential costs:

Free themes: Magento's community provides several free themes for businesses on a tight budget. These themes can be a useful starting point, offering basic design and functionality. 

Premium themes: For a more unique and professional look, premium themes are available through the Magento Marketplace and third-party vendors. Prices for premium themes vary widely based on design complexity and additional features, but typically range from £80 to £200. Premium themes often come with dedicated support, updates and more sophisticated design elements that can enhance the shopping experience.

Custom theme development: Some businesses may opt for custom theme development to achieve a highly bespoke online presence. This process involves hiring designers and/or developers to create a theme from scratch, tailored exactly to your specifications. Costs for custom theme development can start from £1,000 and go up to several thousand pounds, depending on the project's complexity and the professional rates of the developers or agencies involved. 

Magento: Ongoing Development and Maintenance Costs

Costs rising

Beyond the initial setup costs, there are several ongoing development and maintenance costs to consider when using Magento. These expenses can soon begin to add up and put a dent in your overall budget. 

Let's break down some of the key ongoing costs that Magento store owners typically face.

Additional Apps//Plugins

Magento's open-source platform allows store enhancements through apps, extensions and plugins. These can range from payment gateways and shipping calculators to customer review systems and SEO tools. While some extensions are free, many of the more sophisticated and valuable plugins come at a cost.

Potential costs:

Free extensions: Available for basic functionalities but may lack advanced features or support.

Paid extensions: Prices vary significantly, with simpler extensions costing around £50 to £100, while more complex solutions can exceed £500. The cost depends on the functionality provided and the extension's complexity.

Software Updates and Security Patches

Magento frequently releases software updates and security patches to enhance performance and security. Keeping your platform updated is vital for protecting against vulnerabilities and ensuring compatibility with new extensions or web technologies.

Potential costs:

Self-managed updates: Free if you have the technical expertise to apply them yourself. However, the time and resources spent should be considered an indirect cost.

Professional update services: If you lack the technical skills, hiring a developer or agency to apply updates and patches is advisable. Costs can range from £100 to £500 per update, depending on the complexity and the professional's rates.

Extension and Theme Updates

Installing Updates

Just as the core Magento platform requires updates, so too do themes and extensions. These updates are essential for maintaining compatibility with the latest Magento version, enhancing security and incorporating new features.

Potential costs:

Updates for paid themes/extensions: Often included in the purchase price for a limited period. After this period, renewal fees may apply, typically 20%-50% of the original price annually.

Professional assistance: Similar to platform updates, if you need external help to update themes or extensions, additional costs will be based on the professional's rates and the update complexity.

Technical Support and Professional Services

Web developers working on computer

A quick look online highlights that many Magento users struggle with technical issues like bugs, performance optimisations and custom developments. In order to handle these problems efficiently, you’ll likely need to employ technical support and professional services. 

Potential costs:

Ad-hoc professional services: Hourly rates for Magento developers can range from £50 to £150, depending on their expertise and the project's complexity.

Retained services: Some businesses opt for ongoing support agreements, which can cost from £500 to £2,000+ per month.

Renewal Costs (Hosting, SSL, Domain, etc.)

Finally, certain fixed costs associated with your Magento store must be renewed periodically. These include hosting, SSL certificates, and domain name registrations. Depending on the payment plan you’re on, these costs may need to be renewed monthly or annually.  

As we can see from the above, whilst Magento Open Source is technically free, the reality is that you’ll need to spend much more on initial setup and ongoing maintenance costs to use the platform. 

Typical costs of running a store on Magento: 

Expense Item
Cost Estimation
Hosting (Shared, VPS, Dedicated, Cloud)
£5 - £300+ per month
SSL Certificate
£40 - £150+ annually
Domain Registration (annually)
£8 - £15
Premium Themes
£80 - £200
Custom Theme Development
Starts from £1,000
Paid Extensions
£50 - £500+ per extension
Software Updates and Security Patches
£100 - £500 per update
Technical Support and Professional Services
£50 - £150 per hour / £500 - £2,000+ per month

What to Do if Your Magento Costs Start Spiralling out of Control 

Cost and Benefit balancing in equilibrium on a seesaw scale

1. Reduce ongoing costs

When Magento costs begin to rise uncontrollably, you might consider reducing ongoing operational expenses wherever possible. This may include: 

Seeking more affordable hosting solutions: Explore hosting providers that offer better pricing without compromising too much on performance and reliability. While a cheaper hosting plan can lower monthly expenses, be mindful that reduced hosting capabilities might affect your site's speed and uptime. You'll need to assess whether the costs saved are worth this trade-off. 

Opting for free themes: Magento offers a selection of free themes that can save costs compared to premium themes. Switching to a free theme can reduce expenses, but this will likely impact your store's appearance, branding and user experience. 

Reevaluating support options: If you're currently paying for professional Magento support, consider whether there are more cost-effective options available. Negotiate with your current provider for a better rate, or switch to a different support service with a more affordable offering. However, bear in mind that reducing costs in these areas could mean slower response times or less specialised expertise, potentially increasing the time it takes to resolve issues.

Each of these cost-reduction measures comes with potential drawbacks. Cheaper hosting might lead to decreased site performance, opting for free themes could affect your site's visual appeal and user experience and more affordable support options may not provide the level of service you're accustomed to. Additionally, these changes could increase your workload as you may need to invest more time in managing and optimising these aspects of your site. It's essential to balance the immediate financial savings against the potential long-term impacts. 

2. Upskill and self-manage to mitigate extra Magento expenses

man learning how to code from books

Gaining more knowledge of Magento and taking a more hands-on approach to managing your website could help you keep costs under control. By upskilling and assuming responsibility for tasks traditionally outsourced to developers or agencies, you could reduce ongoing expenses considerably. However, this approach requires a commitment to learning and a willingness to invest time upfront, which could increase your workload.

Invest in Magento training: Start by identifying key areas where external support is frequently needed and invest in training resources or courses that cover these aspects of Magento. 

Leverage community resources: The Magento community offers help guides, forums and free tutorials that can help you tackle common issues or implement new features. Engaging with the community can also provide insights into best practices and innovative solutions that others have successfully implemented. 

Implement a DIY approach for minor adjustments: With improved Magento skills, you can take on tasks like updating product listings, minor bug fixes or even applying security patches yourself. This reduces the need for external help for small updates, allowing you to allocate your budget more efficiently towards tasks that require specialised knowledge.

While upskilling and self-managing can lead to cost savings, it's essential to consider the trade-offs. The time spent learning and managing Magento might divert attention from other critical business activities. Additionally, for complex issues or significant updates, professional assistance might still be necessary to ensure the stability and security of your platform.

3. Consider reducing features to cut costs

Advanced Analytics Reporting

Another approach to managing rising Magento costs is to streamline the website by scaling back on features. This method involves a careful assessment of the functionalities and extensions you currently use to identify which ones are essential to your business operations and which could be deemed surplus to requirements. 

Reducing the number of features and extensions can lead to direct savings in subscription fees, maintenance costs and potentially even reduce the need for higher-tier hosting plans due to decreased website complexity.

Audit your extensions and plugins: Start by reviewing all the extensions, plugins and custom features integrated into your Magento store. Evaluate the usage, performance impact and overall value each adds to your ecommerce operations and customer experience.

Identify non-essential features: Pinpoint features that are underutilised or not critical to your core business functions. 

Assess the trade-offs: Eliminating certain features can reduce operational costs but may also impact the functionality, user experience or aesthetic appeal of your site. You’ll need to carefully consider how each reduction might affect your customer's journey and overall satisfaction.

Opting to streamline your Magento site by reducing features is a balancing act between maintaining an optimal user experience and managing costs effectively. This approach can yield immediate cost savings but requires careful planning and consideration to ensure that the core value proposition of your website remains intact.

5. Migrate to a different ecommerce platform

A 2023 study found that over 65% of B2B businesses are unsatisfied with their ecommerce technology, a familiar scenario for Magento users. If Magento's complexities and spiralling costs become overwhelming, migrating to a more straightforward and cost-effective platform might be the best option. 

ShopWired is an attractive alternative, particularly regarded for its clear pricing structure, wealth of integrated ecommerce features, 5-star rated support team and absence of hidden fees, making it a compelling option for businesses looking to streamline their ecommerce operations without sacrificing functionality.

Why migrate to ShopWired from Magento? 
ShopWired Logo

Escalating costs and complexities are a common tipping point for ecommerce merchants seeking a more cost-effective solution that better aligns with their budget. ShopWired does away with these worries, providing a 'straight out of the box' ecommerce platform with no more coding concerns or development downtimes. 

Here are some common reasons businesses choose ShopWired: 

Easy-To-Use Ecommerce Features on All Price Plans

ShopWired’s core ecommerce features are available on all price plans. Say goodbye to constant development headaches and hello to simplicity. ShopWired's feature list includes an extensive product and category management system, a versatile website builder with customisable themes, and capabilities to extend sales across various channels. ShopWired has all the ecommerce features you could need and more.

Responsive and Customisable Themes...for Free!

ShopWired Theme Selection

ShopWired has over 20 fully responsive themes. Each ShopWired theme is completely free and provides a unique canvas for your brand’s online presence. 

Drag and drop theme customisation

ShopWired’s latest Version 5 themes take customisation to the next level, letting you drag-and-drop sections around the page for intuitive design. It’s never been easier to design the perfect-looking store. Simply click a section and drag it to your preferred place on the page.

For those coming to ShopWired from Magento and wanting deeper customisation, the theme code can be edited directly, providing ultimate control and personalisation to fit your design needs. 

Fast and Reliable Hosting

Every ShopWired pricing plan is fully-hosted, eliminating the need for separate hosting arrangements, which is a necessity with platforms like Magento. Leveraging Amazon Web Services, ShopWired offers unparalleled reliability and scalability, ensuring a stellar 99.99% uptime! 

Straightforward Pricing

ShopWired’s pricing structure is designed to be straightforward with no hidden fees. This approach allows businesses to plan their expenses without the concern of unexpected charges cutting into their margins, which is often the case for Magento users. 

5-Star Rated Support Team

ShopWired 5 star rated trustpilot reviews

ShopWired’s commitment to outstanding customer support sets it apart from its rivals. ShopWired offers an in-house, top-rated support team ready to assist you from setup to day-to-day operations. Accessible via Live Chat, our support ensures a seamless experience without the external dependencies Magento users might face. It's why ShopWired is rated 4.8 out of 5 stars on TrustPilot

App Marketplace

ShopWired App Marketplace

Explore an expansive range of in-house developed apps in the ShopWired App Marketplace. This curated selection simplifies enhancements for your store's functionality without the dependency on third-party apps and support that Magento often requires. Our integrated support team can handle most app-related inquiries, offering a unified and hassle-free experience.

Simplified Omnichannel Selling

Embrace efficient multi-channel retail with ShopWired’s streamlined connection to platforms like eBay and Etsy, a feature that can be more cumbersome to achieve with Magento. ShopWired’s unified approach saves time and simplifies operations, making omnichannel expansion more accessible than ever.

Diverse Payment Gateway Integrations

With over 40 payment integrations, ShopWired offers your customers multiple ways to pay. This level of integration surpasses the often limited and more complex payment solutions available on Magento, providing a smoother checkout experience.

Security and Compliance

ShopWired prioritises security with PCI compliance and 3D Secure checkout across all payment gateways, setting a high standard for online safety. This commitment to security offers a contrast to Magento, where achieving and maintaining such standards can require more effort and resources.

Advanced Marketing and SEO Tools

ShopWired SEO Features

Boost your online presence with ShopWired’s range of marketing and SEO tools, designed to increase your brand visibility efficiently. Unlike Magento, which may require additional plugins or external services, ShopWired offers comprehensive, built-in SEO features, as well as bespoke SEO packages tailored by our experts to boost your site’s rankings.

Effortless Migration Process

Transitioning to ShopWired from Magento or any other platform is designed to be straightforward and stress-free. Choose between a DIY approach or let our team handle the migration for a smooth transition with comprehensive support every step of the way. 

Summary: Understanding Magento's True Cost

Navigating the maze of Magento costs reveals a challenging reality for businesses. While Magento offers a flexible and scalable open-source platform, it comes with numerous additional pricing and maintenance fees that can quickly accumulate. From initial setup expenses like hosting and SSL certificates to ongoing costs for extensions, updates and professional services, the financial commitment extends far beyond the free entry point of Magento Open Source.

If rising costs mean you're looking for a Magento alternative, an ecommerce platform like ShopWired offers a straightforward, cost-efficient solution with transparent pricing. 

Want to test ShopWired before migrating? Try a 14-day free trial to explore our full range of features. 


Can I apply my Magento theme directly on ShopWired?

Themes or templates from Magento cannot be directly applied to ShopWired due to platform differences. ShopWired provides a variety of customisable templates through its theme editor. For a bespoke design similar to your Magento site, you can request a customisation quote from ShopWired.

What is the typical timeframe for migrating from Magento to ShopWired?

Migration time largely depends on the amount of data being transferred and your commitment to the migration process. Choosing ShopWired's setup service can expedite the process, typically ranging from 7 to 14 days.

Is retaining my current domain name possible when switching to ShopWired?

Yes, you can keep your existing domain name by modifying DNS settings to point to ShopWired's hosting environment, ensuring a seamless transition for your customers.

Will transitioning to ShopWired impact my SEO rankings?

Switching to ShopWired from Magento does not automatically affect your SEO rankings. Adhering to SEO best practices and ShopWired's migration guidelines can help preserve your site’s search engine rankings.

Does ShopWired support the payment gateways I used with Magento?

ShopWired supports integration with over 40 payment gateways. If your preferred gateway from Magento isn't listed, ShopWired may offer custom integration solutions upon request.

Can ShopWired handle complex shipping configurations like Magento?

ShopWired is equipped with advanced shipping capabilities that can accommodate detailed shipping rate configurations. For specific shipping setup requirements, ShopWired offers support to ensure your needs are met.

Is it possible to import my order history from Magento to ShopWired?

Currently, ShopWired does not support the importation of historical order data.