Is Spree Commerce the Right E-Commerce Platform for You?

In today’s high-tech world, having an e-commerce website is crucial for business success. Many people prefer to do their shopping online. You need to reach them where they’re at.

by Lauren Schneidewind on November 4, 2016

In today’s high-tech world, having an e-commerce website is crucial for business success. Many people prefer to do their shopping online. You need to reach them where they’re at.

Are you thinking of setting up an e-commerce site? Before you do, there’s an important decision: Spree Commerce or Magento? This is a critical choice between two e-commerce platforms.

What are the advantages of Spree Commerce over Magento?

What is Spree Commerce?

Before we dive head first into the advantages, let’s first introduce you to what Spree Commerce really is. Spree Commerce is a relatively new free e-commerce platform, with a promising future. Think of it as your company’s online store. You decide what you want your store to look like. And how a customer gets around in it.

It has up to 500 active contributors all over the world. They contribute to and maintain the code base and update the documentations. In other words, they keep the technology current for you.

Why Spree Commerce over Magento?

So, why choose Spree Commerce when Magento offers an older, more established platform? The simplest answer to this question is evolution. With internet advancements and new innovations around every corner, you need to keep up. Spree Commerce offers you an integrated, well-set platform that is in line with the latest technologies and tech developments.

Here are some of the differences between the two platforms:

Backend user experience

A simplified and easy-to-maintain backend experience is necessary for the creation of an exemplary front-end. The two platforms offer two completely different backend experiences.


  • numerous choices, options, and tabs
  • over time can become overwhelming for your team to manage
  • hard to update the many products and services
  • difficult to simplify
  • cluttered backend may affect user experience
  • options can be tedious and complicated to navigate by an average user

Spree Commerce:

  • fewer tabs and sub-menus
  • efficient admin panel
  • organization and development is considerably easier
  • simplified backend for efficient user experience

The simplified backend does not mean Spree Commerce is not as robust as Magento. On the contrary, it just allows Spree an easy way of organizing with minimal complications.

Open source and hosted versions

Both platforms offer open source versions (that means free!) for you to download. The Magento Community edition lacks some basic features that are present in its paid Enterprise edition. For example - full page caching and better scalability.

In contrast, the open source edition of Spree Commerce is more advanced. In fact, it shares the same features as the Enterprise version of Magento.

Now consider the difference in purchase price. Magento Enterprise costs anywhere from $15,000 to $200,000. Spree Commerce costs nothing. You can decide which one is the better priced option.

The framework and language

When looking at the actual skeleton of your e-commerce website, Magento and Spree Commerce have their own specifications. Nothing speaks of evolution more than the language and framework incorporated into each platform.

Magento still runs on PHP and has some Zend framework incorporated into it. Spree has shifted onto Ruby on Rails. You may have not heard of it before, but it is an application used to create frameworks that are especially designed for online businesses.

PHP is certainly a very popular language and very easy to learn too. However, it isn’t the best. Ruby on Rails might be complicated, but it beats PHP by a mile for using the latest technology.

Ease of development

Customization is one of the key elements in building your own unique store. Now, if you choose Spree, it might be hard for you to find experienced developers. LD Studios is an example of a company that can help with development in Spree Commerce.

PHP developers that handle Magento, on the other hand, are much easier to find. You can get your e-commerce site developed easily.

When considering development, also keep in mind the final outcome and website management. Although there are less developers, organizing and maintaining a Spree website is significantly easier.

Lines of code

The number of lines of code is a major difference between the two platforms. Magento has 8.2 million lines of code, but Spree only has 45,000. Why?
Magento carries a wide variety of functions and options, whereas Spree is more lightweight. This influences a number of operations within the platforms. For example - ways of handling requests, code requirements, the manner in which the payment processor is integrated and of course, the ease of development.

All in all, while Magento has already established its name in the industry, Spree is rapidly ascending to fame. Armed with its revolutionary development options and brilliant tactics, Spree Commerce may well be the best option for an e-commerce platform. The choice is yours.

We are LD Studios, an Atlanta based software consulting business. We would love to hear from you! Please contact us for your free consultation.

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