Magento is a flexible and powerful ecommerce platform which is aimed at both large (and we means very large!) and small eCommerce retailers who require a lot of functionality from their webstore. It is easily one of the most in-depth ecommerce systems available, allowing users to run large scale eCommerce operations with all flexibility and customization that you would need. It can handle thousands of products with different currencies, payment systems, multiple languages, and multiple storefronts – you name it . And if there isn’t a feature you’re after, there are plenty of developers in the tight-knit community who could create those features for you…
Magento is composed of such a large ecosystem of developers producing new features for stores, with official site offering extensions and themes from their Magento Connect area.
Themes there typically cost around £50 and extensions can be quite costly with some going up to almost £700. The system also integrates well with other platforms, for example a Magento Amazon integration.
Advantages of Magento
Magento is incredibly rich in features, including multiple storefronts, multi-currency support, and mobile friendly.
It’s also very flexible and powerful – perhaps the most flexible and powerful platform available – and highly customisable, so you have the freedom to create whatever store you can imagine (providing you or someone else you know is capable of doing so). It’s powerful nature means Magento is perfect for larger retailers
The community of Magento users and developers is huge and very supportive, including users who create plugins and extensions for Magento stores and also offer help and support. There are many dedicated forums for Magento retailers, so you’re never too far from help.
The Community version of Magento is free – what’s not to love about that? If you’re not a massive retailer with thousands of products, it could be the perfect solution for you.
The webstore is scalable, which means that Magento can handle however many products you need to sell, an excellent feature for expanding businesses who don’t know how many products they will be selling further down the line.
It also offers strong SEO functionability, so you can be sure that your webstore will be easily found through search engines.
Disadvantages of Magento
Although it is a well designed platform, there is a steep learning curve for those who are pretty new to ecommerce and need an easy to use platform. It could take users could take users a long time to learn how to use the system, let alone build a good-looking store, so it could be easier for inexperienced retailers to opt for a less complex system.
Although there are plenty of addons available, they are much more expensive than those available on the other platforms like WooCommerce with some costing upwards of £700.
Because of it’s sheer power, hosting a Magento store can be expensive. You may need a dedicated server to handle it, which adds onto the costs of running your ecommerce store. It’s worth figuring out costs before dedicating yourself to a Magento store as it could work out more cost effective to use a different system.
If you want more support, the Enterprise version starts at $14,420/year (at time of writing) and the Premium Enterprise version starts at $49,990/year (for large businesses)
Because it’s open source, so you need to be able to code or bring someone in to help. Good Magento developers are often much pricier than the average ones, which yet another way in which Magento could become a very expensive store to run.
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Written by Jodie Pride
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