An Introduction to the Magento eCommerce Platform

Magento is an open source e-commerce platform. An eCommerce platform like Magento allows a business to set up a website that sells products to customers online, while also providing an administrative interface where the business can manage its products, customers, orders, and more.

Magento was first launched in 2008 and has since grown to become the most popular eCommerce platform today (30% market share as of May 2015) and now has over 200,000 stores worldwide. line.

Magento has a free Community Edition (CE) and a paid Enterprise Edition (EE) per year, and in this post we will mainly discuss the Community Edition and where it stands out from other eCommerce platforms.

Hosted vs Self-Hosted

Some e-commerce platforms are hosted, that is, they are tied to the company’s hosting. Setting up an eCommerce site with them is like renting a service; your ecommerce site is linked to their system. This has the advantage that it’s very easy to set up and get started, but the downside is that you don’t really own your own site and become vendor dependent.

Magento, on the other hand, is self-hosted, meaning you have your own copy of the site. The downside is that it’s up to you (or your developer) to find a hosting provider to set up the platform. However, the advantage is that you are the full owner of the site, you can make the modifications you want and you can move it to another hosting provider at any time.

internationalization

Features for international support are built right into the platform. Support for multiple languages, multiple currencies, tax and VAT settings are a standard part of the system and are easily installed and configured from the admin panel.

Theming and Multiple Shops

Magento allows the owner to change the theme (look and feel) of the site without changing any functionality. Multiple “front stores”, which the customer can switch between and often used to provide different language versions of the site, are built right into the platform.

A powerful feature of Magento is that you can run multiple websites at the same time while sharing the same products and customers between the websites, all managed from the same admin interface.

open source

Magento itself is an open source platform, built on top of open source frameworks and programming languages. This gives you the benefits of external scrutiny of the source with the result of improved design and security, while also making it more accessible to external developers.

personalization

Due to its flexible modular architecture at its core, Magento was built to be extended. In fact, much of Magento’s core functionality is module extensions created by the Magento team. This allows for an amazing level of customization, even allowing core functionality to be modified. This level of extensibility and customization sets Magento apart from other eCommerce platforms and is one of the main reasons for its success.

Third Party Extensions

Extensions allow the developer or business owner to add specific features to the store that are not a standard part of the platform, without having to develop them themselves, often saving time and money.

Magento has thousands of third-party extensions, more than any other eCommerce platform, some free and some paid.

As mentioned above, due to Magento’s modular architecture, extensions can modify any part of the platform, allowing features that change it at its core, making possible extensions like Reward Points that add reward points to the customer. when purchasing products that can then be used for discounts. in box

Other features

Other features that Magento comes integrated with include a very powerful and extremely flexible discount and promotion rules system, multiple front and store support (mentioned above), configurable dynamic product attribute system, sales and order tracking system, import and export of Excel products, a Content Management System (CMS), newsletters and many more.

costs

Magento requires a decent hosting server to work well; this is a consequence of Magento’s feature-rich and extensible architecture. Shared hosting is not recommended, so there may be an additional cost related to setting up a dedicated server.

As mentioned above, the community edition we have discussed so far is free and comes with more features than any other eCommerce platform. For a site that doesn’t require many additional features, this option can be very affordable.

Where it can get expensive is when features outside of the standard Magento palette are required due to the time and skill required to develop them. Third party extensions are often used to extend Magento and the common price range is from 50 to 200 USD per extension. Compared to developing the functionality yourself, this is often a huge cost savings.

Magento Enterprise Edition

A quick word about Magento Enterprise Edition. This is the non-free edition of Magento, which costs around 15,000 USD per year. More suitable for very large customers, it offers additional integration features such as increased security, performance, functionality such as store credit, gift cards, ERP, among many others. Finally, with the Enterprise Edition you get access to full 24/7 professional Magento support via phone and email.

Summary

Magento offers a complete eCommerce platform solution. The free community edition is more than powerful enough for small and medium businesses and often large enterprises as well. When standard features aren’t enough, it offers third-party extensions to expand the already feature-rich platform, and Magento’s modular architecture allows expert developers to extend and customize the platform based on business needs.

Since Magento is currently the most powerful and popular e-commerce platform and continues to grow and develop according to the best industry standards, as well as having a growing third-party extension market, we can be sure of having a secure platform and updated. date and platform well supported for years or even decades to come.

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