An open source project which is used to create websites whose main purpose will be to function as e-commerce portals, Magento is a popular solution for anyone who wants to start an e-commerce website in this field. However, before considering using Magento as the platform of choice for your website, it is necessary to consider its good and bad sides. In this article we will try to present you with some of them.
One of the main benefits of Magento is, of course, the fact that it is an open source project. As it always goes with open source programs, Magento’s code is free to view and modify, which means that with some skill in coding you will be able to modify the platform to suit the specific needs of your website. However, together with the open code comes complexity, which means that not everyone will be able to use the full potential of Magento.
The features Magento supports are diverse and numerous. Advanced tools for marketing and promotion will be right at your fingertips. Magento is also great at integration with third party services – with just a little bit of effort, your website will be connected with all the most important and relevant services on the internet, from Google Analytics, Google Checkout, Google Base and Google Website Optimizer which you will use to optimize your website and follow its progress and popularity, to PayPal, which will help you introduce easier and safer paying methods for your customers.
Another great thing about this platform is that there is a great number of people involved in its creation and development. As it usually goes with popular open source software, there is a large community of experts available and always ready to offer advice and support in case you need it. The thriving online community also helps upgrade the platform often, which means you are likely to have the up to date platform at all times.
However, while you will certainly be able to find support on the internet, it will not be as easy to find a decent developer for Magento who will be able to help you with website creation. This is due to the fact that Magento is so complex that not many developers venture into getting to know it properly. This complexity causes another trouble as well – Magento will work great, but only in an environment which suits its needs. Count on the fact that you will probably have to make sure your server meets the platform’s demands, or else you might face with instability and sub-par performance. While content management systems like WordPress will work in most cases, Magento needs to be properly hosted and perfectly set up before you can expect it to perform properly.
If you are a small business owner who wants to introduce the e-commerce component to their business, Magento is certainly a great solution which will satisfy all your needs, if you can cope with a couple of drawbacks which come with it.