Hey there! People often ask me what is Magento. In nutshell, that is a software for building and managing online stores. The longer answer, is that the e-commerce software may be based on two different philosophies or principles, and maybe a downloadable option or the SaaS option when the provider hosts the whole thing for you – the store, the tools and the database.
Magento is from downloadable group. There are a lot of other options in that group: you may have heard of PrestaShop, OpenCart, VirtueMart– there are tons of them. However, generally Magento is really different.
What makes Magento so special?
First of all, it is very scalable, which makes it a perfect option for big stores or for stores with custom selling experience and custom needs. It can be used for smaller stores as well, however, Magento is special in its requirements so you will invest something in hosting and developer time and this makes it worthwhile only if you have large scale business.
The next advantage is that it has a lot of features and even after years of using this software you will find something new or something that you have not seen before.
How to decide? Magento Enterprise vs. Community
Magento is free to use – there is the community version that is free and there is an enterprise version that is much expensive. However I would not say that you need enterprise version because it is only differs from community version because of dedicated support. You may get that dedicated support for less money.
First of all, it is very much resource intensive and it will not work on regular hostings – the EC all over the Internet (this is the cheapest hosting options prices around four to five dollars a month) but Magento will not work there very well. It will run there but will be very slow and your visitors will not like that at all.
So you may consider buying the dedicated hosting or at least VPS hosting and they are more expensive. Another important thing about Magento is that it is a lot harder to maintain its other options in downloadable software group.
You may need to hire developers, like a full-time or part-time developers, in order to maintain the store, to integrate the features that you want to see in your store so you have to be prepared to that.
If you have a big store – Magento is a perfect choice for you!
So where is the whole thing taking us? I can tell that Magento is absolutely perfect for big stores and okay for medium stores. It is also a good option for stores with unconventional selling experience like marketplaces, for example, and any other sorts of special stuff that differs from the regular selling experience.
Another important thing is that you have to be prepared to spend some money on maintenance. Moreover, you need to be professional yourself or you need to hire a person that will be able to assist you in maintaining your store and integrating the needed features.
So that is what makes Magento so special – I hope, I have answered your questions. I will see you next time, good bye.