Choosing an E-commerce platform for your business is an important part of starting your own webshop. You basically can’t do without one. There’s a lot of E-commerce platforms that will take care of your data and help you run your online business.
And you can always go online and google each and every one of the platforms that exist out there. In this blog post, we’re not going to sugar-coat or sell them to you. They’re amazing at doing that themselves.
On the contrary, below we will tell you all the things their marketing team doesn’t want you to know. We’ll tell you their specifics, what they’re good at but also what they lack. What we’ll also do is unravel their true nature and according to us, the more you know and read about them, the better they will be at delivering exactly what you’ve expected. We’ll start off this series of blog posts with the platform Magento.
The possibilities, which Magento offers are endless. It’s a giant in the E-commerce world and many webshop owners choose it because of the infinite chances it provides.
Their list of features includes catalog promotional pricing with the ability to restrict to stores, categories or products, multi-tier pricing for quantity discounts, 100% search engine friendly, Google Content API for shopping, Content Management System for informational and landing pages, unlimited product attributes and so, so much more.
Not only this, you also get 100% customizable design of your web store. With a platform like Magento, you are in complete control … if you know how to code that is. More on that later. But what’s also important is that you can customize any aspect of the platform and make it fit the needs of your business.
Magento also has built developer API’s, which is extremely valuable. It helps you get your product data in and out of the platform easily.
Another of its many strengths, even though that’s a two-edged sword, is the palpability that it’s an open source. This invites many developers to look into the code and build a software made to integrate with Magento. This provides all webshop owners with many other interesting E-commerce solutions, some free, some paid.
Many people who use Magento say the best part of the platform is the active user community it’s a home to. You can discuss with other Magento webshop owners your difficulties and always find help on forums or even through paid assistance.
As great as the platform is, it comes with a few setbacks.
First, it’s really complex. If you’re just starting your online business, don’t bother with Magento. The platform is best suited for medium-sized to large web stores. And it’s definitely for people who either know how to code or are willing to pay for developers.
It’s a high maintenance platform. It’s hard to install and not only this, you always have to update to the latest versions of the platform. It usually requires a heavy-duty hardware to run well and because of this, it doesn’t always provide with a good performance.
Also, if you choose Magento, the web hosting provider is on you. Many other E-commerce platforms take care of your hosting themselves but Magento isn’t one of them.
Another weakness of Magento is the harsh truth that no matter the fact that it’s free, a lot of the costs you have to pay will come sooner rather than later. You’ll have to pay for your hosting, your domain, an SSL certificate, payment processing and payment gateways as well as scaling your business. You could always get the Enterprise version of the platform but that’s kind of pricey.
Of course, if you do get the Enterprise version, you will get to have the needed security a web store needs. But if you don’t, the free version of Magento isn’t secure enough and that’s because it’s an open source project. A lot of web store owners are complaining about their stores getting hacked. What’s worse is that new releases of the software usually don’t include security fixes and you have to wait for them to get released with a future patch.
Yes, Magento does come with a few weaknesses. But all customers of the platform agree that the difficult part of it is worth overcoming because using Magento pays back infinitely later.
Here’s a community tweet:
It does have its strengths but it does have its weaknesses, too. Our advice? If you don’t know how to code or if you don’t have the resources to pay for a person with web development experience, don’t even bother with it.
But once you grow, it’s worth trying out. As a lot of people have been saying, yes, Magento really is a beast in the E-commerce world.
Tell us your opinion in the comments below. Next, we’ll be unraveling BigCommerce’s strengths and weaknesses. Stay tuned.