What’s better for your e-commerce?
Sylius or Magento?
So, you manage a mid-market or enterprise e-commerce and you’re looking for a platform that'll meet your business and industry requirements? Great. We've listed when the choice should be Sylius, and when you'll profit with Magento.

1/7 What are Magento and Sylius?

You most likely know the Magento ecosystem, but what is Sylius?

Sylius Plus is a Symfony e-commerce, API-first platform with clean code that can manage revenue streams up to 500M euro per annum. It’s the commercial, paid version of Sylius Standard which is our open-source platform with thousands of shops worldwide. Sylius Plus was created for mid-market and enterprise companies – based on their business needs for specific features.

Magento is an all-in-one monolithic e-commerce platform with thousands of plugins. With both open-source and commercial product, for over 10 years Magento has been the king of the hill among the e-commerce platforms for mid-market and enterprise businesses. With Magento 1 EOL in 2021, merchants are left with a few options – stick with M1 (without further support), try M2 or search the market for another solution.



2/ 7 Key aspects most e-commerce managers and product owners take into consideration when researching platforms

SyliusMagento
Product ecosystemGrowing Sylius-specialized
ecosystem (4k+ developers on Slack) + global Symfony community 600k+ developers
Magento-specialized ecosystem (300k+ developers, 9.5k on Slack), isolated (from a tech perspective) but impressive
OmnichannelBuilt with channels to integrate all your touchpointsOriginally designed for website online store view
Release CycleEvolution over revolution – minor updates every 3-6 months with a strong Backward Compatibility (BC) promiseMinor updates every year and major (M2) ones leading to replatforming (M3 is said to be a completely new JS-based platform) src
License cost based on GMV*
(*Gross Merchandise Volume)
YesYes
Commercial version€14 900 – €72 900  /year€18 100 – €155 000 (and more) /year src
Total Cost of OwnershipSubstantially lower cost of subscription, popular Symfony developersCostly commercial subscription, unique Magento specialized developers
PlatformBest-of-breed developing towards fully headlessAll-in-one out-of-the-box
SpeedGreat performance out of the box srcOptimizing can take a lot of time and effort src
Dev recruitmentShallow learning curve for Symfony developers (600k+ community worldwide) = easier to find, lower costSpecialized Magento devs – closed technology = more difficult to find, higher cost

Money saving aspect Time saving aspect Code-sensitive aspect

If you’re in need of an enterprise-grade, SLA-backed e-commerce platform, Sylius Plus can be a good match

3/7 Let’s talk money

We believe that the pie is big enough for everyone to feed – there are companies that simply fit better to work with Adobe products (let’s assume stores with over €1B online turnover). However, talking mid-market, should you choose Sylius over Magento? Because developers love it? That’s great, but not enough.

Every stakeholder dreams to pay less for more and we aim to fulfil this dream. Sylius’ TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) is much lower than Magento’s src -even though both platforms are open-source at their core. It depends if you wish to use a platform with its own custom framework (Magento) or one based on a globally-popular one (Sylius uses Symfony).

Thanks to the simple, yet powerful fact that Sylius fully relies on Symfony – one of the most popular PHP frameworks for professional web app development, merchants pay less for: 

Hosting

Thanks to the clean code and SOLID principles, Sylius is lighter than the market average (minimum number of code lines possible), so it demands less hosting power (CPUs).

Development

The same concept and logic, familiar to 600k+ developers that know this PHP framework all over the world, means faster implementations and custom features development.

Integrations

Plenty of compatible Symfony bundles enable easy connections to any 3rd party tool.

Maintenance

Easy and frequent upgrades and a strong backward compatibility (BC) promise. Sylius is following and extending well received Symfony Backward Compatibility Promise.

Recruitment

Building a team of Symfony developers is much easier than building a team of vendor-locked specialists (“Magento developers”, “Shopify developers”).

Licence

(Not related to Symfony, but to general company’s philosophy) no lock-in, no penalties, just freedom of development with help of the core team (see details below).

The range of Adobe Commerce (Magento premium edition) pricing starts at €18,100 and skyrockets to over €155,000 per annum src

Sylius Plus pricing scales with your GMV

GMV (EUR)PRICE (EUR)
< €10M€14,900
€10-20M€20,900
€20-50M€32,900
€50-100M€49,900
> €100€72,900

Apart from the licence – what else can be an additional cost?

The cost of license may seem to be the lion’s share, however there is much more to it when you consider the TCO of an ecommerce platform. And… you should always consider it, otherwise you may be unpleasantly surprised by all the additional invoices you will have to settle.

This is where all the dots connect, this is where all of the technical arguments we developed make tangible difference. Apart from the license cost, you have to remember about implementation, integrations, hosting, apps, and extensions (not mentioning maintenance, support, or payment gateways’ fees).

4/7 Best of breed vs all-in-one

Sylius is designed to hold together a whole e-commerce environment – including all the apps that make your business run smoothly. Cherry-picking specific API-first modules (best-of-breed) has multiple advantages compared to default, universal features (all-in-one).

Legacy vs. Sylius Architecture

5/7 Spike performance & decrease BR

Speed is a factor that translates directly into conversion. Delays in page loading hit the revenue hard and that is why it is crucial to choose a platform offering great performance out-of-the-box.

Magento 2.4 vs. Sylius 1.8

Open source editions performance comparison, November 2020 (source)

THE LOWER THE BETTER

Time To First Byte (TTFB) is a basic metric for performance measurement. It says how long it takes the first bits of software to reach the browser from the server’s (AWS Cloud in this case) initial request.

TTFB is a very key metric because the browser cannot begin rendering web page content until it has the initial markup. Google recommends having TTFB less than 300 ms.

What is a good back-end TTFB time for e-commerce? To avoid bounce rate, 100ms (0.1 seconds) is the recommended maximum for online stores. A user can’t see anything at all before the TTFB, so it directly affects UX.


Request Counts

Lower is usually better (source BitBag)

Replatforming example from Magento to Sylius: EasyMonneret

KPI after replatforming:

6/7 Easy customization and clean,
understandable code and architecture

SyliusMagento
FrameworkSymfony 5Zend 1, Magento Custom Framework
PHP Version8.0*7.4
Technical debtConsciously kept at low levels since 2017 (bugs: +/- 200) srcAccumulated since 2008 (bugs: +/- 1200) src
TestingFull testing setup with Behat, phpspec and PHPUnit for customization and plugin 
development
Built-in API design and testing framework
Unit and Functional Testing
Framework only with PHPUnit
No API testing framework
Integration layersSingle Responsibility Principle (only 1 point always)Many points of integration to
consider

Money saving aspect Time saving aspect Code-sensitive aspect

7/7 Sylius is growing and getting more and more attention

Over the duration of 10 years, we’ve designed and tweaked Sylius Standard and Sylius Plus to the exact needs and business environments of our customers and partners. That’s why you’re here, reading this text, because you’re looking for a solution for your e-commerce. We hope Sylius will fill in the gaps!

Last but not least, we’re always transparent and we want to be fair, and we’re not gonna lie – Sylius isn’t for everybody. If you are launching an e-commerce with less than €1M estimated revenue annually you’re probably better off with a SaaS like Shopify or a platform with multiple out-of-the-box features – like Magento.