Advantages and disadvantages of Magento
Magento is the undisputed king of the e-commerce shopping cart. Many e- business vouch by its usefulness and rave its fully functional, feature-rich e- commerce platform. According to a study conducted by Builtwith.com, the number of websites using Magento during the time period of March 2016 to February 2017, the number of Magento websites increased by over 48,000.
Builtwith another study observed that Magento is the most commonly used platform for e-commerce. Other platforms that follow close behind are Shopify, BigCommerce and Woocommerce. Most of the Magento users are based at US, UK and Netherlands, but it is used widely all over the world.
If you look at Magento website, you can see that they managed over 101 billion transactions in 2016 alone. The estimated target for the platform for 2020 is 98 million. If you are planning to use this platform, then you have to be aware of its advantages and disadvantages too. Here are 6 advantages and 4 disadvantages:
The good points:
1. It is built exclusively for ecommerce
WordPress is good. But you cannot use it to build business websites. Similarly, even though WP provides the plugins for ecommerce, it is Magento that is exclusively built for ecommerce. Meaning, you can use it as the right choice for high volume online selling, loyalty program management, seamless payment and checkout and so on.
2. The SEO Edge feature
What businesses love about the framework is its unique Magento SEO feature. You can use its amazing features to help your product reach the top pages of Google. The SEO extension improves online visibility and reduces search engine optimisation workload. Comes with unique SEO features like rich snippets, dynamic meta templates, etc.
3. Suit your business requirements
Interestingly, there are four different editions to Magento and each of these editions cater to some need or the other. The four are Magento Community, Magento Enterprise, Magento Enterprise Premium and Magento Go. You can easily choose the one that meets your particular business requirements. For example, small to medium businesses with budget constraints can choose Community Edition as it is mostly free. It is free to download and use.
4. It’s scalable
Being a developer friendly framework, developers find it very easy to add pages and other features like linking and navigation. And it is written in PHP, it is very easy to scale too. Whenever you want to scale your application, Magento is both a money and life-saver platform.
Scaling as and when required would let people use your e-commerce site during festivals and seasons without a hitch. Using Magento 2.0 would let you process 39% more orders every hour and achieve faster server response time, according to their website.
5. Multiple store management possible
Before the advent of this platform, running and managing multiple stores were practically impossible and unbelievably inconvenient. However, with Magento, you can easily manage multiple stores through a single administrative panel. Most e-commerce websites can now easily have stores in multiple languages. For example, if you plan to have two websites, one for selling adult cycles and one for kid bicycles, you might want to share the data among these two. This will be easily possible with this enterprise class ecommerce solution.
As security is a major prerequisite for an ecommerce website, this platform provides that as well, and hence worth mentioning here. Hackers will not be able to steal your data easily, and even if a hacker tries to do something, you can do something about it.
6. A horde of additional functionalities
The script comes with several functionalities, but you can still install a number of extra ones. There are a number of professionally written, but chargeable ones too. You have the option of either going for the free version with its load of functionalities, or the paid developed one with its high priority tech support.
Now for the disadvantages:
1. In certain situations, it has problems with heavy load
Magento runs on PHP, as it is designed like an enterprise Java application. One of the disadvantages of that is that heavy load handling becomes a little difficult at times.
2. Could be expensive
If you are running a small store, this platform could be a little pricey. The costs that you will normally run to are ongoing maintenance costs, updates, changes to functionalities, plug-in softwares, keeping the core code, etc. Costs will also add up when you need to make additions to your website, even if it is a small plugin. The enterprise edition of Magento is also very expensive, and so are the license fees. And you really need someone who can handle the additions to the website. Inexperienced people can increase costs. Counter this disadvantage by hiring a development company that knows to do its job really well.
3. Resource Intensive
It is true the platform is scalable and robust, but that also makes it bulky and resource hungry. It needs heavy servers, which also makes it slow, requires intensive data input if you need optimal performance and put in plenty of time to run it. However, this would be worth the investments (resources, money and time) if you are planning a huge store.
4. Installation and modification
The script isn’t user-friendly, and things might get tough if you are not experienced. Even the administration tasks are also not very easy. If you are planning to choose Magento, and is not an experienced developer, then you might have to take lessons from an expert regarding its functionalities.
Magento is a good choice when you want to modify/add any existing functionality in the platform. The codes here are open, so customisation is easy, especially when compared to other SaaS based ecommerce platforms like BigCommerce, Shopify, CS-Cart, etc. You can use Magento as your commerce platform, but it would be advisable to study the disadvantages too so you can make a wise choice.
The platform still does have an edge when you check the popularity levels of other platforms. And hiring a reputed development company with expertise in Magento is also so very important.
Picture source: Flickr.com/ Hartgers
The author: Reema Oamkumar is engaged as a thought leader at www.Software-Developer-India.com which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.