News and insights • Posted on 19 September 2018

What is Magento? A guide to the popular Ecommerce platform

Magento is a cloud commerce platform that’s flexible enough to provide for a seamless B2B or B2C shopping experience. With so many powerful features, it is among the more versatile ecommerce platforms. It enables detailed marketing and SEO performance and provides the right management tools to control every aspect of a website.

Today’s consumers, their buying patterns and journeys are constantly changing and Magento is so popular because it allows retailers to easily keep up with them and adapt to their needs. Its rich administrative area allows for modification for every specific need so this is a massively robust system. It provides the core ecommerce experience – shopping carts, user accounts, transaction management, product management and marketing capabilities. Developers can easily implement core files and adapt its functionality by adding various plug-in modules as and when they require. Plus, this open source system is constantly watched by experts and ethical hackers to eliminate bugs and any security vulnerabilities.

Magento and business growth

Adobe acquired Magento for $1.68 billion in May of this year and has discussed at length the platform’s potential to expertly grow users’ businesses. It claims to provide the agility and scalability needed to grow a business and quickly responds to shifting marketing demands, while maintaining low ownership costs. Magento offers the best in commerce innovation thanks to its dedication to continued community and ecosystem growth.

Other advantages of using Magento include the fact it has a huge community of support for users so run into problems and you’ll find the right development help to get you online quickly. And we’ve already mentioned the freedom it gives websites. There aren’t any real limitations as to how you design your store so there’s every chance to set yourself apart from competitors.

The introduction of Magento 2

Released in April 2016, the latest incarnation of the platform offers even more user-friendly features and scalability. If retailers are questioning a move to Magento 2, they cannot simply upgrade – a whole new site is required if you’re considering adopting the newer platform. However, Magento 2 does come with its benefits. Improvements have been made including site speed, a two-step checkout and the introduction of Magento Marketplace to keep all add-ons in one space.

What the crew says

Magento supports thousands of plug-ins and extensions to easily extend the core functionality of the site – but so does WordPress and many other content management systems. We’d only recommend using Magento if a website has a large catalogue (so 500+). That’s because it isn’t the best for content creation management – it’s not as intuitive to use as WordPress and some training is required. It can also be costly to maintain and servers have to be very specific in order for them to run efficiently. Working with this platform requires a more experienced Magento developer because of the complex structure and set-up compared to WordPress.

Want to see where Magento has worked well? Take a look at Swimbabes, Stone Menswear and Bradford Bathrooms. Each one is an ecommerce website and we’ve designed, built and managed them using the Magento platform.

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Written by Lee Boothroyd

Digital director and The Bigger Boat co-founder, Lee has more than 20 years’ digital experience under his belt and heads up the five-man web development team.

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