When is the Right Time to Use Magento Web Design
January 6, 2014 by 0 Comments|
The powerful and feature rich Magento is something of a wunderkind that we had been aware of in the last couple years. Small and large-sized enterprises considering the system need not only focus on the technology but the right timing, however.
It’s just so easy to be swayed by the buzz and let your partner web developer do the rest for you. Take everything with a grain of salt and conduct your careful research first before investing some stash of cash to get your ecommerce developed using Magento.
What is Magento?
Simply put, Magento is an ecommerce solution with tools and functionalities to let companies run a streamlined and cost-effective ecommerce web design.
Two versions are available, the community (open source) and enterprise offering. Both versions offer varying degrees of reporting features, handling complex discounting and vouchers and integration with other systems.
While obviously not cheap, the enterprise version comes packed with improved functionality, better customer support and indemnity insurance.
On the other hand, the community edition prides its community but the guarantee that plugins and advice will work with the enterprise version is not assured.
Among developers, who are after the innards of its package, Magento comes with thousands of files, hundreds of tables in the database, and a bunch of tools to build your ecommerce site.
Since it’s made with Zend framework, this means installing and system the system is nowhere similar with WordPress’.
Deciding between the versions will more likely depend upon the factors of business as much as technical ones. Optimal use and meeting the needs of users must come first when considering whether to adopt Magento.
Magento’s Strengths and Weaknesses
The pro’s and con’s of Magento were too many to list everything down here. Below, we focus on some of the more essential reasons why this could be the right or wrong choice for you:
- Free (Community Edition)
- Very scalable, easily customizable
- Novice users will find the Backend Admin intuitive
- Search Engine Optimization or SEO-ready (depending on the theme used)
- Allows for easy importing of products
- Support for merchant and shipping services
- Large community for help
- Wide array of extensions and modules are available
- Professional support must be paid for
- Installation process is quite complex
- There’s a need for a fast optimizer server
- Upgrading can be troublesome, painful
- Upgrades sometimes result in breaking themes and features
- Importing of products can be too perplexing
- Front page functionality can be very weak, front page editing can be a pain
- DateFlow engine is overkill for operations like updating stocks.
Who is Magento For?
While we would recommend Magento to some of our clients, but it’s certainly not for everybody.
Some observers point that if your enterprise is not making or expecting at least $1 million a year turnover, this ecommerce platform is certainly not right for you. At a certain degree we agree on this argument (please check above list of the advantages and disadvantages of using Magento).
For some of our smaller business clients, we recommend a hosted solution that’s more attuned with their customer needs.
Amateur developers, even how enthusiastic he or she may be, will certainly need more experience before he’d be able to make Magento work, given the steep learning curve.
Magento is a very powerful ecommerce content management system. Once developers get to grips with it, Magento comes as a good professional solution.
The only easier part then is skinning the default Magento install to get products/categories up and running.
Problems to Encounter When Using Magento
If you’ve been using Magento for quite a while now, you might already have seen its best and worst parts. Here are problems that developers might find quite perplexing to address:
1. Upgrading versions – It’s not an exclusive with Magento. Every once in a while, an application or platform com and upgrading to newer versions become a pain the neck. Sometimes, upgrading fails because of files.
2. Unsupported plugins or extensions in future versions. Unless you are really good at writing SOAP extensions or you’ll use one of the default merchant gateways, plugin supports often emerge as a problem. This is very painful when the extensions you need is for your merchant gateway.
There may still be other problems and erratic concerns with the version of Magento that you are using. Newer versions seem improving anyway.
You might also feel like checking our previous article about best practices when developing a responsive ecommerce website.
Is Magento the Go-to Choice for Ecommerce Solution?
Magento is one of the best ecommerce solutions to come out in recent years. There’s no doubt about its greatness in terms of features, flexibility, scalability and support.
However, to really test if you need Magento right away, you must first assess your needs and ask a few important questions. Is Magento what you presently need? Are you not only after the features that the software offers?
For our part, we are as divided as others we’ve already asked about whether or not Magento is right for everybody. But we have set some pretty helpful benchmarks when asked for a recommendation.
If you are convinced that Magento – with some very complex and sophisticated functionality – will not confuse your users and not confound the running of the site, then it’s right for you.
If you are a business who are just venturing into ecommerce business, and where online sales volume is not a big concern, you might be better off looking at some powerful alternatives.
When considering who to implement your Magento ecommerce solution, consider an agency with track record in completing a very successful web commerce sites.
The return on investment is one good gauge to measure the success of a well-developed ecommerce web design using Magento.