If you want to have an independent online business, then you’re going to need an e-commerce platform to help with the buying and selling process. One of the largest options that is available to you today is Magento. Filled with features and with plenty of flexibility straight from the box, one of the unique aspects about this platform is that there is a community version which doesn’t require a license.
More than 100,000 sites use this platform, as are Fortune 500 companies. Could it be right for you? Here is a look at the Magento pros and cons that need to be considered before finalizing your decision.
The Pros of Magento
1. It is extremely user friendly.
Many e-commerce platforms have a steep learning curve to them that makes getting them up and running difficult to do on Day 1. Magento is different. The features are well organized and easy to access from an navigation system that is rather intuitive. You can manage multiple store fronts from your main screen and there’s multiple languages and currencies supported as well. It’s even designed for mobile users.
2. There is an extensive community of support.
Because the free version requires the support of users to continue operating, many who use Magento have developed useful plugins or extensions that can help your business continue to grow. Many of the developers in this arena are also available for support issues that may come up with your implementation of this e-commerce platform. Considering the community version is free, many small businesses see the value in trading official company support for this user network.
3. It is a highly scalable solution.
Unlike other e-commerce platforms, it doesn’t matter how many products you’re selling when you are using Magento. It can hand 10 products just as well as it can handle 1,000 products or even 10,000 products. You can quickly add or subtract items from your templates, change designs, and whatever else you need to do to make your items feel attractive to your targeted customer demographics.
4. You can customize virtually anything on Magento.
The architecture with the templates of this e-commerce platform allow you to customize just about anything you want. This allows you to create a site that meets your exact specifications so you don’t look like a cookie cutter duplicate of thousands of other sites. The software is even open source so you can developing the coding you need for specific functionalities.
The Cons of Magento
1. It’s a rather large platform to implement.
You’ve got 200+ database tables and 20,000+ files coming your way even when you implement the free community version of Magento. This makes it difficult for beginning developers or DIY professionals to understand what the core software package is actually doing. It might be easy to use, but to actually understand what you’re doing with this platform is going to take some time.
2. The premium versions of Magento are very costly.
After trying the community version of Magento, you’ve decided that it could be right for you, but you need some ongoing to support to accomplish your goals. Upgrading to the Enterprise version of this e-commerce platform is going to cost you about $14,000 per year. Large businesses which require the Premium Enterprise version of this platform are going to shell out about $50,000 per year.
3. You’ll likely need a dedicated server.
Because of the size of Magento, a business must usually host it on a dedicated server that can be configured on-site. At best, you’ll need a shared provider who specializes in hosting Magento and that’s going to cost extra. If you’re using a normal shared hosting platform, it will slow down your site dramatically and that could cost you a number of potential sales. For that reason, start-ups, freelancers, and others small businesses might look elsewhere for a different solution.
4. It takes more time to implement than you might think.
The flexibility that Magento provides is a definite benefit, but it can also be a disadvantage. The complexities in such a flexible system require developers to spend more time with it so that a personalized system can be implemented. When compared to other e-commerce solutions, Magento consistently ranks at or near the top when it comes to full implementation.
These Magento pros and cons show us that this e-commerce platform is well worth considering, especially since the community version is free. Give it a second look today if you’re looking to grow your business online and you may just find that it is the perfect solution for your needs.
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