Looking into e-commerce platforms? Magento is one of the most common choices out there. Here is a look at some of the pros and cons of this particular application.
(Pros and Cons is also the new survival game show from Fox, pitting prison security professionals against lifer convicts in a winner-takes-all, raw jungle battle using makeshift weapons carved out of the local flora and fauna. That’s right I said fauna.)
Magento was created using the Zend Framework, a system for designing PHP applications whose clients include the BBC.
Because the application is open source – and free, just like it’s open-source competitor osCommerce – that means the way it’s built is completely customizable by a developer. If there is something that you don’t like about it, simply grab a qualified developer and change it to what you’d like.
(A popular choice is to have half of the pictures in your shopping cart redirect to the shopping cart of a competitor, because we all like challenges.)
You can essentially mold magento development into whatever you want it to be as it comes in three packages – Magento Community, Magento Commerce, and Magento Commerce Cloud. It was coded expertly, with adaptability in mind so that it could fit all sizes of companies and easily adhere to various needs.
A slew of plug-ins-expanding the possible functionalities of the system-come standard with the initial download. Others are available for purchase if you need them.
Magento built the application in such a way that your online store will get great search engine prominence. It is easy to integrate into the major CMS’s, or content management systems, out there – WordPress, Joomla!, etc.
(You can also integrate it into your brick and mortar store by locking the door and putting up a sign telling people to go to your website.)
Hosting and Administrative Costs
Magento can work quickly and effectively, but only with help. It needs to be shown love, with a high-end server. Otherwise it will crash regularly and move slowly, with decreasing performance as your online store expands. It also needs to be managed and maintained with greater care than a less densely packed application.
Takeaway: Though it’s free, in actual day-to-day use, this platform can get expensive.
Not Easy to Find Specialists
If you want Magento to perform in a customized fashion for your needs – one of its greatest strengths – you need to find a specialist who actually knows what they’re doing with the platform. These specialists, unfortunately, are not easy to find. (Whoa, one just ran by. They’re like gazelles.)
This can also mean more out-of-pocket cost.
It is not easy to go from another ecommerce platform to Magento. Magento is extremely slow at importing data, and the import generally is not user-friendly.
So pluses and minuses. Really, Magento is lopsided: lots of huge strengths and huge weaknesses (but don’t tell it – it’s extremely sensitive and has been coded, much like designer earrings, to be able to hear you when you complain).
What are your thoughts on Magento? And who would win in a footrace between a gazelle and a Magento developer?
by Kent Roberts and Richard Norwood