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Pros and Cons of the Magento eCommerce Platform

Pros and Cons of the Magento eCommerce Platform

Magento is an eCommerce platform built on open source technology. It provides online merchants with a flexible shopping cart system, as well as complete control over the look, content and backend functionality of their online store.

Choosing the right eCommerce platform is a critical decision that can influence the success or failure of your business. At the core of the issue are two key considerations.

First is the need to deliver an efficient and high-quality user experience that converts casual shoppers into loyal customers. Second is the need for a robust CMS that can support all of your business operations.

For some retailers, Magento’s rich features and broad support community are an ideal solution. For smaller businesses, Magento’s features may be too complex and expensive for their needs. eCommerce store owners will find Magento advantages and disadvantages when considering the platform, and it’s important to know if it is right for them.

“Magento isn’t for everyone,” says Amit Bhaiya, CEO of DotcomWeavers, “but when it is the right solution, its broad array of features can be game-changing.”

Check out the Magento Pros and Cons

6 Standout Magento Features

  1. Catalog Management: Magento allows for batch uploads of diverse product content in a single import. This can save a lot of time for businesses with hundreds or thousands of products. Dynamic management features also support multiple product categories, comparisons, wish lists, search results, related products and much more.
  2. Flexible Pricing Options: You can hide or easily adjust prices based on business needs. Changes to an item’s base price will not automatically affect fixed tier prices, and the cart can accommodate various pricing paradigms at the same time. It also allows special customer group pricing for VIPs, wholesalers, employees and other groups.
  3. Product Alerts: Magento can send alerts to customers to share new sales or notify them when products are back in stock. This is a simple and powerful way to automate part of your marketing plan.
  4. Multi-store Enabled: eCommerce stores have worldwide reach, so they need to meet the needs of diverse audiences. Magento allows you to create multi-language websites that automatically load unique store views. You can even create separate stores for different industries or product lines.
  5. Custom User Interface: You can alter designs and modify themes based on product categories, which allows for multiple ‘storefronts’ based on a single backend system. This is powerful because it allows for a more relevant and personal user experience, which can increase conversions.
  6. Order Processing Integration: Magento has extensive integration partnerships that provide a host of order fulfillment options. These connect directly to your Magento system and communicate instantly with the partner to update order status, shipping method and tracking info.

Why Magento is Not Always the Right Choice

  1. Resource Intensive: Magento is robust and scalable, but this also makes it bulky and resource-hungry. This is one of the Magento limitations. It has heavy server usage needs, higher-than-average operational costs, intensive data input for optimal performance and requires a significant time investment. For a small store, these considerations may be too much to be economical.
  2. Requires Specific Development Skills: Magento’s power means it is a more complex platform than many others. Not all developers or in-house IT will know how to manage it. It is based on Zend Framework, which means you’ll need to find a development company that knows the system. Fortunately, the Magento community is large, so finding a developer is relatively easy. However, the costs associated with such a specific skill set can be a little higher than you bargained for.

To summarize, Magento offers unparalleled flexibility and power for a truly customized eCommerce experience. While this power may be unnecessary or overwhelming for some retailers, for others, it is the perfect solution.

For a more in-depth analysis or to ask a question, please leave a comment below!

It’s Time to Consider Magento 2

Magento announced that support for version 1.X would continue, but did not say for how long. They promised to give 18 months notice, to allow time for migrations, but it’s still something you need to think about. We recently published an article about the Magento 2 pros and cons. It is full of information to help you decide if a migration to Magento 2 is the right choice for your business.


Posted in: eCommerce Applications

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2 responses to “Pros and Cons of the Magento eCommerce Platform”

    • Hi Manjula,

      This is a great question about Magento that comes up a lot. The power of Magento and its customization options can sometimes work against it in terms of speed. But there are ways to speed it up. Here are some of our favorites:

      1. Work with the latest version. When you see that Magento has released an update, try and install it soon after. This means installing a fresh version of the Magento file tree, installing the file tree on top of outdated database, and moving themes/customizations from the old version to the new one.

      2. Make sure you are caching. Many people combine NGINX + APC + Memcache + Varnish to do this. Also, don’t forget browser caching, page caching, gzip compression, and expire headers.

      3. Enable the Flat Catalog to for categories and products. This merges product data onto 1 table, so MySQL queries can be answered faster. This is great for larger eCommerce stores.

      4. Implement a Content Delivery Network to decrease load times.

      5. Optimize (compress) all images to cut down on page weight. You could also try the extension GTSpeed.

      6. Merge CSS and Javascript files.

      7. Change the time between Magento database log cleanup from 180 days to 1 month or 2 weeks. This will save a lot of space.

      8. Run an extension and module audit. Are any installations non-essential? Turn some of them off if possible. The fewer extensions you have running, the fewer HTTP requests there will be. This means less load time.

      9. Update your indexes.

      10. Use a PHP accelerator (APC, Xcache, or eAccelerator are all good)

      11. Get better web hosting. Either switch to a faster service, or upgrade your current one.

      We hope these insights help you speed up your Magento website. Please leave a comment and let us know how it goes!

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