Magento is the most popular open source Ecommerce platform that allows starting business online. If we investigate some topics about Magento, we discover a matter of dispute concerning what is better: SaaS or open source technologies. In fact, there is no single answer, what is better if we consider the issue in the context of cloud computing and self-hosted solutions. The platform has a number of advantages, which we consider to make the topic clear for merchants – potential Magento online store owners.
It is a free solution
It is very important to clarify. You can find available two options: Magento Community Edition and Magento Enterprise Edition. Magento Community Edition is free and it allows creating online stores using different extensions from the Magento developers. It can be compared with WordPress platform which is also free and has a lot of default features and can be expanded and enhanced because of a lot of plugins that are provided by the wider community. The Magento Enterprise Edition requires a paid subscription and it suits more for large corporations who need a special and more unique Ecommerce content management system.
Built-in e-commerce optimized business processes
Since 2007, the platform has been gaining the eCommerce market. It is constantly updated and that means all important e-commerce business processes are already implemented. This platform concentrates the best experience because it’s used by Samsung, Nike, Olympus and many other successful companies. It is SEO friendly, easy and understandable for end-users; it has convenient admin panel, analytical module, internal search statistic and many other useful features. Moreover, at the end of 2015 it was a great update and the new version Magento 2 was introduced to the market. With the release of Magento 2 new perspectives open up for the platform. It became more powerful and it gives greater competitive advantage to merchants.
Read more about Magento 2 here.
ECommerce business is impossible without a properly organized payment processes. Magento is PCI compliant and guarantees merchants protections of their clients’ payment card info. Magento meets a global security standard for payment and satisfied the key protection criteria.
Full controllability and customization
Developers and online store owners have full control over the system. As noted above, it is the open source platform so it can be customized to be able to meet all business requirements. There is the full access to the front end and the back end of the website which makes the system very flexible. Keep in mind that customization requires deep technical knowledge, so often it is only possible with the assistance of professional Magento developers.
Strong Magento community
Magento has really strong community and this fact gives a lot of advantages to both sides: for merchants or Magento online store owners and for developers. Merchants have a wide choice of contractors/developers for engineering works. There are a lot of specialized forums where developers can share the experience so it is possible to find an advice of technical experts. It is really useful for Magento developers and makes community really strong.
Magento has a lot of different extensions. Extension or module or plugin is small pieces of code that can be implemented to Magento online store to extend the functionality and make the system do something what is not available in the default version. The most popular Magento extensions include “one page checkout” extensions that combine all the steps of the checkout process on one page; Magneto navigation extensions that make the search flow more comfortable for the online store visitors; Feed manager extensions that allow to create a special feed file and transfer products to the most popular online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay and others. Some examples you can find here. While some of the Magento extensions cost some money, but it is possible to find free modules and that means that merchants can always find a necessary extension based on their budget.
Pay attention that there are a lot of modules for Magento 1, but Magento 2 is just beginning to grow. You can see these differences on the official Magento marketplace.
Magento platform is highly scalable and it can support the requirements of both small businesses and big corporations. This fact makes Magento the ideal solution for a growing eCommerce business, since it ensures that Magento online store will operate properly at every stage of its growth.
In conclusion, we would like to add that the platform is being actively developed. More recently, in August 2016, the new version - Magento Community Edition 2.1.0 was announced and its include PayPal enhancements, Improved management interfaces, Braintree Hosted Fields and some security enhancements. So you see that Magento has the strong development team and it can be as the strong partner to create the eCommerce business together.