We recently decided to move from using Amasty Blog Pro to Magefan Blog Extension during one of our clients’ Magento 1 to Magento 2 upgrades. Here are some of the lessons we learned when making this switch.
Both modules offer:
- Blog Search
- Recent Posts
- Featured Posts
- Related Posts
- Can approve pending comments from the comments grid
- RSS feed
- Responsive design
- WordPress import
Here are a few key differences between the 2 modules:
- Highlighting Related Products (Magefan only; Can purchase Amasty related products module separately)
- Page Views Counter (Amasty only)
- Blog Post Comment Counter (Amasty only)
- Comment subscriptions (Amasty only)
- Recent Comments Widget (Amasty only)
- Manage email notifications (Amasty only)
- Can include the blog in the top nav menu in both modules, but Amasty allows you to choose the specific position (Magefan defaults the blog as the last menu item).
- Layout Options – Amasty provides more out-of-box flexibility with their blog listing and post layout configuration options allowing you to define the number of columns and sidebar content on both desktop and mobile. Although Magefan gives you less control over the layout (you get the standard 2 column layout with right sidebar), it does provide you configurability with respect to widgets appearing in the sidebar and elements within posts themselves.
- Integrated Search – If you install the Amasty Elastic Search module, you can also index Amasty blog search results in your main site search and display blog content in the main site’s search results. Although we installed the Magefan blog module for this client, we were able to extend our search module to index Magefan posts.
Amasty’s M1 module for Magento Enterprise costs $319 and their M2 equivalent is $619. While Magefan’s most comprehensive M2 module for Magento Commerce costs $199.
For many, documentation may not be a big swing factor when deciding between modules, but it’s definitely worth checking out before making a decision. Amasty’s user guides are some of the best out there, so in this particular regard, Amasty > Magefan.
Keep in Mind
The points mentioned above are just a few of the key differences we noted in our comparison, this summary is by no means a comprehensive tool study. Depending on your specific blog requirements, the items I’ve called out may or may not matter to you. Both vendors disclose their features on their sites so you can do a thorough review before making a decision.
One more thing I’d like to point out – As you make the move from M1 to M2, don’t overlook the data migration of your blog content. Unless you’re moving from a WordPress blog to a Magento-hosted blog, you should think through how you’ll migrate blog content added between the time you take your first snapshot and your final snapshot (during your incremental data migration). Blog content such as new posts and comments, will not be migrated after your initial snapshot using the Magento migration tool. Do you post new articles often? Are your blog post page views in the thousands? Do your posts get a lot of comments? Do you care about these things? If yes, include this in your M1 to M2 upgrade plan early on. Depending on how long you expect your upgrade to take (it will at least be a few months), this effort can be non-trivial.
So, which module wins this shootout?
It’s tough to choose a clear winner since both modules function well. But…if I had to pick, I’d personally choose Amasty’s module as a general go-to. Its benefits certainly outweigh the higher cost. Hopefully this helped highlight some of the things to consider if you’re thinking about making a switch to a different blog module during your M2 upgrade.
Note: This post was written at the time of Amasty Blog Pro v2.3.8 (M1), Amasty Blog Ppro v2.4.0 (M2), and Magefan Blog Extension v2.9.0 (M2). Enhancements are constantly made so please check with the actual module makers for the latest info.