There is no doubt that Magento is one of the most popular engines for setting up online stores in the world. Contrary to what its opponents claim, arguing that Magento is complicated, requires large resources or that it does not work as it should, the number of implementations of the platform is constantly growing. What’s more, anyone who once had a well-implemented platform and took time to fully master its service will not change it to any other. However, there is no doubt that it is not a system that will be suitable for every business.
PERFORMANCE AND SCALABILITY
This is probably the most important feature of the system, affecting the fact that it is a common choice of large and medium-sized online stores. 100,000 products, hundreds of attributes and a load of hundreds of thousands of sessions per month are no problem for Magento. In addition, after a small expansion of the possibility of using an additional type of caching like Full Page Cache or Varnish, using Redis, SOLR or Elastic Search, support for multiple servers using the load balancer allows for servicing many millions of sessions per month smoothly. In Poland, stores such as Neonet or eobuwie are proof that even traffic at the level of up to 10 million sessions per month with appropriate programming and server preparation is not a problem for Magento.
The number of functionalities that Magento offers even in the basic free version of Community can shame even the most extensive Enterprise class software. Advanced discounting options depending on any feature, user’s address data, category, basket value are with mentioning along with many other variables. Magento allows creating advanced promotional rules. The possibility of adjusting prices depending on the number of purchases or the group to which the client belongs makes the platform also often used for B2B implementations. An example from the Polish backyard can be TIM or remontibudowa.pl belonging to Saint-Gobain. Multistore or the ability to handle many stores using different currencies and languages is also something that is not common for every platform. Many types of products such as products, simple, configurable, downloadable, sets, and services are another element that will allow you to meet even the most demanding business needs. Extensive reports and order history, the ability to notify about the re-availability of a product, the possibilities offered by Magento are remarkable. In the basic version we can even find the possibility of subscription payments. More about the impressive list of Magento functionalities.
THE COMMUNITY OF PROGRAMMERS
What distinguishes Magento is a community that will not be found in the case of any other platform and is not just the activity on online forums, Magento is the whole movement of enthusiasts, having their own meetings and conferences around the world like Meet Magento, Magento Live, Magento Imagine. The Magento Imagine Las Vegas conference is the most famous in the world, while in Poland Meet Magento Poland is an event that should not be missed by anyone interested in the Magento platform.
The Magento platform is a very common choice of positioning companies, many store owners have chosen Magento precisely because of the recommendation of a positioning company. You can often find opinions that Magento positions itself, it is mainly influenced by good construction of URLs, embedded links or mechanisms that automate the creation of metadata.
Magento has tens of thousands of paid and free modules that significantly expand the platform’s functions. The possibilities are almost limitless. Entering new markets, for example, we have the option of using ready integrations for payments or couriers with the option of generating shipping labels. The situation is similar in the case of external tools – Salesmanago, Edrone, Nosto all have plugins that integrate the platform with the systems.
There are no solutions without flaws, what is good for one person will very often not be suitable for another one who has different business needs.
SERVER REQUIREMENTS AND RESOURCES
The extended capabilities go hand in hand with expectations, although in the case of high traffic, Magento’s scalability is irreplaceable, and with small traffic, a strong virtual server is also recommended, and preferably a dedicated machine.
ADMINISTRATION REQUIRES LEARNING
In the case of Magento, the number of functions can be difficult for the administrator in the first days of the store’s service. Luckily Magento, in contrast to the situation that took place a few years ago now has extensive documentation, thanks to which it is much easier to learn the secrets of operating this system.
The script requires knowledge and programming skills if we want to adapt it to specific requirements. The structure of Magento is also associated with a greater labor intensity, each modification of the system will be associated with a greater expense than in the case of simpler scripts like Prestashop or Shopify. Implemented by an inexperienced programmer who is not familiar with the system or the proper loading of the product collection will soon become slow. Savings can quickly take revenge in the form of slow script operation and higher server expenses.
COST OF IMPLEMENTATION
This is probably the biggest disadvantage of Magento, the cost of implementation in relation to simpler equivalents can be several times higher, and in the case of a large online store with a team of people in which there are additional integrations with systems such as ERP, PIM, WMS, the number of man-hours can be up to thousands. Therefore, Magento should not be chosen by small online stores, and if it is necessary to avoid major programming modifications, limiting yourself to templates.