In the time of the millennials, the businesses feel obligated to have a digital presence. How can you miss the online sells? It is almost unimaginable to be selling products without an online shop. If you are already thinking to go digital, and you have chosen the right domain name you will face the next step – deciding the right platform for your online sales. There are plenty of CMSs (content management systems) out there, but we will introduce you to the most common for e-commerce – Magento, PrestaShop, Shopify, OpenCart, WooCommerce.
First, we will start with Magento.
Magento, what is it?
Magento is an open-source CMS owned by Adobe. The platform is free* and that is why it is the popular choice of many small companies. It is also easily expandable through extensions from the Magento Marketplace. This makes it very customizable. Another benefit is the huge developers’ community behind it. The people have created a rich ecosystem around it, and they are adding new elements quite often.
Thanks to the massive interest in the platform, there are many experts in Magento and finding Magento support employees or Magento SEO experts is not hard. There is also a certification program from the brand.
Big companies also love it. Many well-known brands like Coca-Cola, Nike, and Ford, use it.
According to Alexa, from the most visited 1 million sites in the world, 19.64% use Magento (January 2018). It is the number one e-commerce platform, just in front of WooCommerce.
The Enterprise version of Magento cost 18 000 USD (Magento 2 starts at 22 000 USD). It is not free like the one for small and medium-size businesses, but it is still affordable for big brands.
Benefits of Magento
We already mention it, that there are two versions, the Community one, and the Enterprise. The first is free, and you can see the whole source code and how to install it here in GitHub.
Easy to install
You can get it from GitHub, Magento’s website or even from your web hosting provider for free. You need to follow a step-by-step process that will take you less than half an hour. If you experience any difficulties, there are plenty of YouTube tutorials on how to set it up.
Magento is full of features
It has a massive amount of pre-installed features like personalized products, promotion management, newsletter and more. Companies can start using it immediately, even without installing additional extensions.
E-commerce sites need all the help they can get with their SEO. They contain plenty of products and many unique pages. Magento is well-built out of the box with proper URLs, good control over the meta tags, XML sitemap and responsive design (it adapts to different screens and devices). Many extensions can help you too.
Multi-sites, a single control
Magento gives you the opportunity to install multiple sites from the same installation. Later you can set different currencies and languages for each from the same back-end administration panel. It is very convenient and saves time. If you are planning to use the multi-sites option, we recommend you to apply GeoDNS. It will increase the speed of your site, improve the SEO and it can potentially increase your sells.
The platform is already in a grown stage, there are plenty of developers behind it, and it is visible. It is very easy to integrate it with third-party services like – payment gateways, inventory software, shipment tracking systems and analytic software.
Cons of Magento
The platform is great, but it doesn’t mean it is flawless. There are few of the disadvantages that it has that are worth mentioning:
Heavy for cheap web hosting
If you want to use it with many products, it is better to rent private servers instead of a shared web hosting. You will need all the resources of the servers because there will be many operations to be made.
The high customization has its price, and it is time. Yes, it gives you more options than other competitors, but it could take extra time to complete a specific task.
Enterprise version is expensive
If you want to benefit from the features of the Enterprise version, it will cost you an arm and a leg. Due to the price, just big companies with many sells or very expensive products can afford it.
Magento is a great way to begin with e-commerce. It covers all the necessary check boxes and even exceeds the expectations. It is the number one e-commerce platform right now, and it is totally worth it.