Magento Advantages and Disadvantages
Key Advantages of using Magento software
Widget comprehensiveness – product suite has the entire range of product features in a one-stop package. You can start simply and build up the complexity and functionality of your site. The shopping features are endless with customisable storefronts, loyalty products such as gift cards, customer and time specific banners, wish lists and product comparisons. For anything else the user needs they can go to MagentoConnect. Here they can find a wide range of extensions enabling additional store applications.
Coding (ability to re-use code), share code (in Magento Community product aimed at e-Commerce programmers).
Open source – free to download and there is a range of further extensions for the advanced user or programmer.
Debugging- Once again the sharing of knowledge in the Community product enables programmers to debug.
Scalability in ecommerce applications – the software can be used from a small number of customers to a very large number of users. This means the software is great for small companies that expect to eventually become large. Often companies have to start with one software solution and then change to a new system as the company evolves and expands to a large corporation. There is no need with customers of Magento.
Industry scope – Magento can be used across many different industries so don’t have to have different software packages to meet each industry’s e-commerce needs.
Social media functionality – the merchants using Magento have the option to place automatic social media links on their shopping site. This drives further traffic to their site and increases sales.
Popular with retailers – Magento is now number 3 for the American and Canadian top 500 e-commerce traders. This alone provides evidence of its application to a wide range of stores but also as a recognisable brand with strong support to back it. Magento is a medium to large range e-commerce solution but can still be used for the smaller retailer.
It is truly universal enabling all international currencies to be handles as well as real time exchange rates for overseas buyers.
Level of sophistication – Magento comes in three levels of usage: Enterprise, Community and MagentoGo. Megento Enterprise is for the largest of e-commerce retailers. The scalability and ability to add new features and attract new buyers is strong.
Magento Community is great for tech-savvy e-commerce geeks and programmers who do the code. Essentially users can re-use codes and apply them to their unique e-commerce platforms, meeting their specific business requirements. Users can share knowledge, extensions and codes too to increase their ability to take maximum advantage of this powerful e-commerce platform.
Branding MagentoGo is for the newbies to e-commerce and marketing, targeting the small business owner. It still has the useful features of the larger scale Enterprise system. The product is off the shelf software, ready to go, highly customisable in terms of design, look and feel and the ability to quickly launch a branded site complete with full site functionality.
SEO-ready -One of the major distinguishing features of MagentoGo for small business owners is that is comes with SEO built into the software. It is able to auto generate site maps, to assist with selecting Meta tags and key terms for any industry. As a business owner you need not know anything about SEO to be found by your customers or rank high on Google searches. MagentoGo assists to quickly set up landing pages so that you can rate high in SEO rankings, using the key terms that will drive traffic to your site.
Mobile ready – in these days of e-mobility, the software has the capacity for apps on IOS and Android, on smart phones and tablets. This is the future of e-commerce and any software for e-retailers needs this built-in functionality.
Key Disadvantages of using the Magento platform
As with any software product there are some downsides to product.The disadvantages of Magento are fewer than its advantages. However some of its downsides are quite major.
Runs on PHP, Enterprise style Java code – this means it takes up a lot of memory during processes. This means strong hardware is required to run the software, many companies using cloud services but even these can struggle.
Complex to the novice – like many software systems that have advanced capability and mass customisation, this brings with it a real challenge to the novice user. Yes there are a lot of great options but the sheer choice and how to implement the choices; especially the design aspect can be daunting at first. It may indeed appear slightly ironic that the very boast that there is a lot of code that can be used re-used, apparently some 400,000 lines of code to be exact. Now surely that is a bit much choice!
This downside is magnified in that Magento does not follow the rules of other e-Commerce systems like OsCommerce. This means you have no prior knowledge advantage you might have with other systems.
Slow – the system can be slow if the server is not up to the demands made by Magento, mainly due to its reliance on Enterprise Java/PHP coding. This means the system requires a lot of memory usage. Thus the ultimate boast of extreme usefulness is tempered slightly by this “sluggishness”. This tends to mean that a small, single server encounters considerable sluggishness in running the software. The software requires a strong, capable hosting set up. Otherwise the full optimal advantage of the software will not be achieved.
All being said if you have a strong server, with a good hosting system, Magento really is a powerful e-Commerce tool. Add to that savvy coders and programmers and you can really get the ultimate benefits of Magento.
It’s a great comprehensive e-commerce solution for a company that is growing, has customers all over the world and caters even for multi-industry companies.
Other major advantages of Magento are its seamless integration onto mobile platforms both Android and IOS, across a range of electronic devices. This mirrors how global consumers are now shopping, anytime, anywhere 24/7.
The main drawbacks for Magento users are its initial complexity and sheer volume of potential codes to select from. Perhaps however this is something that over time does not represent such a disadvantage as the user becomes more familiar especially via online forums and hands-on experience.
One thing that really is a winner for using Magento as your e-Commerce platform is both its scalability and one stop solution, providing such an array of features and gadgets to add to a growing e-retailer store.