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A Quick Look at the Magento Ecommerce Platform

Written by: Ari Santiago
December 11, 2017 • 5-minute read

A Quick Look at the Magento Ecommerce Platform

According to data from Statista, over 60% of internet users worldwide have made purchases online. Their combined purchases amount to just over USD 2.1 billion. And as these numbers are poised to rise, it’s no surprise that more and more businesses are getting into ecommerce.

There are several options for such businesses. Mainstream platforms like Facebook and Wordpress provide basic ecommerce options for small business. Larger businesses, meanwhile, have dedicated options like the Magento ecommerce platform.

Maximizing Magento

Magento is an open-source, PHP-based ecommerce platform. It’s designed specifically for creating and maintaining websites with large catalogs. With its built-in features, users can manage their online stores without the need for coding proficiency. In addition, Magento features built-in tools for customizable discounts and other sales functions.

As an open-source platform, Magento benefits from an active community. Users come together to provide each other with support on everything from programming to design to security. Thanks to this cooperation, as well as the platform’s own built-in functions, managing a Magento website is viable even for non-developers.

That said, Magento does require some platform expertise both in its setup and maintenance. While the online catalog and other store-related functions can be managed by non-developers, other aspects—especially those related to information security, such as guarding against spam and cyber attacks—require regular attention from an experienced developer.

As a platform, Magento is more complex than most mainstream content management systems (CMS), so getting regular maintenance from a Magento-certified expert is recommended.

This complexity is one of the common reasons users hesitate to use Magento. Others hesitate because they think Magento has poor page speed or that their needs would be better met by another CMS like Wordpress. Many of these misgivings come from misconceptions, which should be clarified if you’re to decide whether or not Magento is best for your business.

The Best Fit

First, let’s clarify the question of page speed. Magento has no inherent problems with speed. The platform file size is somewhat higher, but this is a minor factor in page speed and Magento sites can easily meet industry standards.

It’s other factors, such as server space, hosting arrangements, and page setup, that are more likely to cause issues with loading times. Given that Magento focuses on ecommerce, it may be the case that the things that go into store pages—especially catalogs of images—are what slow pages down. But if you stick to best practices for store pages, you should have no problems with page speed.

The issue of complexity, meanwhile, is tied up with the question of whether or not another CMS can handle what you need. As mentioned earlier, Magento is designed specifically for ecommerce at scale. It’s capable of handling product catalogs with items well into the thousands. This capacity comes with some constraints.

Magento is more technically restrictive than other mainstream CMSs. While managing a store is easier on Magento than on Wordpress, for example, the opposite is true for overall page creation—so unless the benefit you get from easier store management outweighs the baseline complexity of Magento, you’re likely better off with a general purpose CMS. In other words, if your site’s focus is not ecommerce, Magento’s benefits may not outweigh it constraints.

On the other hand, if your website’s focus is on ecommerce, it’s hard to go wrong with Magento. With a range of options for both developers and more casual users, as well as accessible support and resources from an active community, Magento is the eminent choice for ecommerce websites.

Want to know if Magento is the best choice for your business? Drop us a line for a free consultation on your website needs.

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Ari Santiago
Ari Santiago
is a content marketing specialist for StraightArrow Corporation with a penchant for video and tabletop games. Sometimes wanders, but isn’t quite lost.



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