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Medusa.js - Shopify Alternative

by Irina KedyarovaSeptember 4th, 2023


  • What is Medusa js?

  • Is Medusa open source?

  • Is Medusa free to use?

  • What are the features of Medusa JS?

  • Who uses Medusa JS?

  • How to install Medusa JS?

  • What are the alternatives to Medusa?

  • Medusa JS vs Shopify

  • FAQs

Scroll down to read all the article.

What is Medusa js?

Medusa.js is a free e-commerce system that gives businesses a lot of options for making and running online stores. It's different from places like Shopify.

Medusa JS works in a "headless" way.

That means it splits the part customers see (the front-end) from the part that handles everything behind the scenes (the back-end).

Medusa JS

Is Medusa open source?

Medusa.js is totally open-source. That means anyone can get the source code for free and tweak it however they want. This openness encourages teamwork and new ideas among developers, which is why it's a hit with businesses and folks who want flexible and clear-cut e-commerce tools.

Being open-source, Medusa.js saves businesses from having to pay licensing fees that usually come with other e-commerce platforms. This is great for companies aiming for a budget-friendly and personalized option to set up and handle their online shops.

Is Medusa free to use?

Medusa.js is totally free to use because it's an open-source e-commerce platform. This means its core software and source code are available to everyone without any fees. Businesses and developers can grab, tweak, and personalize Medusa.js to build and run their online stores without shelling out for a pricey e-commerce platform.

But keep in mind, even though Medusa.js itself doesn't cost a dime, there might still be expenses involved in getting your online store up and running smoothly. These could include things like web hosting, development, design work, and ongoing maintenance, depending on how complex and specific your e-commerce project is.

Medusa - Pricing

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What are the features of Medusa JS?

Medusa.js offers a range of features that make it a compelling choice for businesses looking to build and manage their online stores. Here are some key features of Medusa.js:

Fast storefront for Your CMS
Headless Architecture

Headless architecture in software development means splitting the website into two parts: the frontend (what users see) and the backend (the business logic). This approach gives established businesses the agility and flexibility of a startup.


Medusa.js can scale to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes, from small startups to large enterprises. It can grow with your business, ensuring that your online store can handle increased traffic and sales.

Simple store on GoogleSheets

One of the standout features of Medusa.js is its extensive customization options. It provides businesses with the ability to tailor their online stores to match their unique branding and functionality requirements.

Frontend on any Databases or API services
Robust API

Medusa.js offers a powerful API that allows for seamless integrations with third-party services and tools. This enables businesses to enhance the functionality of their online stores and extend their capabilities.

multi channel sales
Multi-Channel Sales

Medusa.js supports multi-channel selling, allowing businesses to sell their products not only through their own website but also through various online marketplaces and social media platforms.

inventory management
Inventory Management

The platform includes robust inventory management features, helping businesses keep track of stock levels, manage product variants, and handle order fulfillment efficiently.

Payment gateway integration
Payment Gateway Integration

Medusa.js supports various payment gateways, making it easy for businesses to accept payments from customers through different methods, such as credit cards, digital wallets, and more.

seo friendly
SEO friendly

The platform is designed with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in mind, enabling businesses to optimize their online stores for better search engine rankings and visibility.

Responsive Design

Medusa.js ensures that your online store is responsive and mobile-friendly, providing a seamless shopping experience for customers on various devices.

Community and Support

Being open-source, Medusa.js has an active community of developers and users who contribute to its development and provide support. This community-driven approach fosters innovation and problem-solving.

These features collectively make Medusa.js a robust and flexible e-commerce solution, offering businesses the tools they need to create, customize, and manage successful online stores.

Who uses Medusa JS

Medusa.js is used by a diverse range of businesses and organizations across different industries. Its flexibility, open-source nature, and extensive customization options make it appealing to a variety of users.

In summary, Medusa.js attracts a wide range of users, from startups and e-commerce businesses to developers, agencies, and even non-profit organizations. Its appeal lies in its adaptability and ability to cater to the unique needs of different users in the e-commerce landscape.

Who uses Medusa JS?
E-commerce Businesses
Developers and Agencies
Brands and Retailers
Tech Enthusiasts
Non-Profit Organizations
Content Creators

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Building a store with Medusa CMS

Tekla project
Tekla project
Tekla, a textile brand headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, was founded in 2017 and currently conducts operations in over 50 countries globally. Initially employing WooCommerce for their inaugural online store, Tekla soon realized the necessity for a more flexible and headless architecture to enhance the scalability of their e-commerce platform.
Foraged project
Foraged project
Foraged operates as a dual-platform marketplace dedicated to offering fresh, wild, and specialty foods such as berries, mushrooms, truffles, and an array of culinary delights. Through the platform's vendor portal, foragers, farmers, and local stores showcase their products, available for purchase by a diverse clientele, ranging from home cooks to Michelin-starred restaurants, all facilitated through the Foraged website or app. Leveraging Medusa, the team has crafted a tailored experience enabling vendors to efficiently manage their entire shop via a user-friendly dashboard powered by Medusa.

Are you looking for a developer to build an ecommerce store on Medusa JS?

Contact us today to discuss your project requirements and explore how we can assist you with Medusa development.

What are the alternatives to Medusa?


Shopify is one of the most widely used e-commerce platforms globally. It offers a user-friendly interface, extensive app ecosystem, and scalability. Shopify is an excellent choice for businesses looking for a hosted, all-in-one e-commerce solution.



If you're using WordPress, WooCommerce is a highly customizable e-commerce plugin that seamlessly integrates with your existing WordPress website. It's known for its flexibility and wide range of plugins and themes.


Magento is a robust and feature-rich e-commerce platform that caters to larger enterprises and businesses with complex needs. It provides advanced customization and scalability options.



BigCommerce is a cloud-based e-commerce platform that offers a balance between flexibility and ease of use. It's suitable for businesses of all sizes and provides a variety of features.


Wix is a user-friendly website builder that includes e-commerce functionality. It's ideal for small businesses and startups looking for a simple way to set up an online store.



OpenCart is an open-source e-commerce platform that's lightweight and easy to use. It's a good choice for small to medium-sized businesses seeking cost-effective solutions.


PrestaShop is another open-source e-commerce platform known for its flexibility and extensive range of features. It's suitable for businesses looking to customize their online stores extensively.



Squarespace is a website builder with integrated e-commerce capabilities. It's known for its visually appealing templates and is a good fit for creative businesses.


Ecwid is a flexible e-commerce platform that allows you to add an online store to your existing website or social media profiles. It's known for its ease of integration.


Salesforce Commerce Cloud

Salesforce Commerce Cloud is an enterprise-level e-commerce platform that provides a comprehensive suite of tools for large-scale businesses looking to manage complex e-commerce operations.

When selecting an alternative to Medusa.js, consider factors such as your budget, the level of customization required, scalability, ease of use, and the specific features your business needs. It's also important to assess the long-term viability and support of the chosen platform to ensure it aligns with your growth and development goals.

Medusa JS vs ShopifyWhich One is Better for Your Ecommerce?

Medusa.js and Shopify are both e-commerce platforms, but they cater to different needs and offer distinct features. Let's compare Medusa.js and Shopify across various aspects:


Medusa JS

Medusa.js is highly customizable, allowing for extensive front-end and back-end customizations. It provides greater flexibility for businesses with unique design and functionality requirements.


Shopify offers customization through themes and apps, but it has limitations compared to Medusa.js. Advanced customizations may require working within Shopify's framework.

Ownership and Control

Medusa JS

Medusa.js gives you full ownership and control over your e-commerce infrastructure, as it's open-source. You have complete freedom to modify and adapt the codebase.


Shopify is a hosted solution, meaning you're essentially renting their platform. You have less control over the underlying infrastructure, and any significant changes may be limited.


Medusa JS

Medusa.js itself is FREE as it's open-source.

However, you may incur development and hosting costs, which can vary depending on your project's complexity.


Shopify offers various pricing plans, including a free trial. Costs include monthly subscription fees, transaction fees (unless you use Shopify Payments), and expenses for apps and themes.


Medusa JS

Medusa.js can scale with your business, making it suitable for small startups and large enterprises alike. Its headless architecture allows for scalability.


Shopify is also highly scalable and can handle large volumes of traffic and transactions. It's trusted by numerous high-traffic e-commerce websites.


Medusa JS

Medusa.js is developer-friendly, attracting businesses with development teams looking to create unique and complex e-commerce solutions. It offers a wide range of customization options.


Shopify is user-friendly and suitable for businesses with or without extensive development expertise. It provides an intuitive interface for managing products and orders.

App Ecosystem

Medusa JS

While Medusa.js has an open-source community and allows integrations, it may not have as extensive an app ecosystem as Shopify.


Shopify boasts a vast app store with numerous third-party apps and integrations, making it easy to extend the functionality of your online store.


Medusa JS

Medusa.js places a strong emphasis on security. Regular updates and an active developer community help maintain security standards.


Shopify takes security seriously and provides a secure environment for hosting online stores. It handles security updates and compliance.

Support and Community

Medusa JS

Medusa.js has an active community and developer support, but it may not offer the same level of customer support as a hosted solution like Shopify.


Shopify provides customer support and has a large user community. It offers 24/7 support for its paid plans.

Payment Options

Medusa JS

Medusa.js supports various payment gateways, but integration may require development work.


Shopify offers its payment gateway, Shopify Payments, as well as support for numerous third-party payment processors.


Medusa JS

Hosting for Medusa.js is your responsibility. You can choose your hosting provider and infrastructure setup.


Shopify hosts your store on its servers, eliminating the need for separate hosting.


The choice between Medusa.js and Shopify depends on your specific business needs. Medusa.js is ideal for businesses seeking complete customization and control, especially those with development resources. Shopify, on the other hand, is an all-in-one hosted solution suitable for businesses looking for simplicity and a wide range of features, especially those without extensive technical expertise. Carefully evaluate your requirements and long-term goals to make the right choice for your e-commerce venture.

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Best Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Medusa.js suitable for small businesses?
Yes, Medusa.js is scalable and can accommodate small businesses' needs, offering room for growth.
How does Medusa.js handle security?
Medusa.js places a strong emphasis on security, and with regular updates and a vigilant developer community, it's considered a secure option.
Can I migrate my existing Shopify store to Medusa.js?
Yes, it is possible to migrate your existing Shopify store to Medusa.js, although the process may require some development work to ensure a seamless transition.
Are there any ongoing maintenance costs associated with Medusa.js?
While Medusa.js itself is open-source and doesn't come with licensing fees, you should budget for ongoing maintenance and development costs, especially if you plan to make extensive customizations or updates to your store.
How does Medusa.js handle SEO?
Medusa.js provides robust SEO capabilities, allowing you to optimize your store for search engines. However, like any platform, SEO success also depends on the quality of your content, backlinks, and other factors.
Can I use Medusa.js for mobile app development?
While Medusa.js is primarily focused on web development, you can use it in conjunction with frameworks like React Native for cross-platform mobile app development.
Where can I find more resources and support for Medusa.js?
You can join the Medusa.js community on forums, follow tutorials, and explore a wide range of plugins and extensions to enhance your development experience.

In the dynamic world of e-commerce, innovation is key to staying competitive. Medusa.js emerges as a compelling alternative to Shopify, offering businesses the freedom to craft unique online experiences and the flexibility to scale as they grow. Before making a decision, carefully assess your business requirements, and don't hesitate to explore the possibilities that Medusa.js can unlock.


I've been using Medusa.js for my online store for over a year now, and I couldn't be happier with the level of customization it offers. As a developer, I appreciate having full control over the codebase, allowing me to create a truly unique shopping experience for my customers. The active community support has also been a huge help whenever I've encountered challenges. If you're looking for flexibility and don't mind a bit of technical work, Medusa.js is an excellent choice.

Samantha M.

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