1 May 2019

Why choose Magento?

Hi everyone and welcome back to the Hussey Coding blog.

In the big wide world of e-commerce, there are several options for store owners to chose from when building their online store. You have Shopify, Woocommerce, bigcommerce and Magento among a host of others trying to convince you to use their product so that you can sell yours.
The big question is “how do I find the store builder that’s right for me?”
As specialists in Magento development, we here at Hussey coding would obviously recommend that you go for Magento as we believe that it is the best and most versatile store builder on the market.

In this blog we will look at Magento as a whole and consider
- The Pros (Magento Version 1 and 2)
- The Cons (Magento Version 1 and 2)
- Why 2 versions?

Before we begin, I'd like to do some house keeping, just some things to bare in mind as you read on. Firstly Hussey Coding are Magento developers but we are not partnered with or receive any sponsorship from Magento themselves and secondly, after a considerable amount of research I have endeavoured to present my findings both for and against using Magento in an informative, unbiased way, making what you read here my honest opinion.
With that out of the way let’s get to ...

The Pros.
Magento is easily one of the most popular open source e-commerce platforms on the market, the first thing you need to understand about Magento is that it is multi functional and I mean massively multi functional.
Using some coding wizardry you can make Magento do pretty much anything you want it to do as there are little to no limits within it’s framework.
Because of this you can customise your store to meet all of your needs, you don’t even have to have a traditional store if you don’t want to, say you just want an index site where you can show off all your lovely products or services but not sell anything directly, not a problem, Magento can do that for you. Would you like to integrate third party services? Magento can do that too!

Magento is great for any size business, from large to small, to start their e-commerce adventure as you are able to start with the product that best fits you from the get go and as your business grows, Magento will grow with you. Do you already have a store somewhere else but want to switch to Magento? That’s not an issue, Magento makes it easy to migrate existing stores from other e-commerce sites. Worried that once you migrate your store you won’t be able to use Magento? They have thought of that too, head on over to u.magento.com to get training, support and even get your Magento certification.

When either migrating to Magento or starting out you will eventually want Magento to do something for you that doesn’t come as standard, however this is not a problem, just head over to marketplace.magento.com where you can find extensions, themes and customer support.
Not sure the extension you are looking at is the best fit for your store? Just ask one of the biggest communities for help, the Magento community is massive! It’s full of store owners, partners, developers who are all ready, willing and able to help you expand the functionality of your store.
There are even people there, like Hussey Coding, who can develop new extensions for you depending on your stores needs.

All new content has to pass a code standards test to be sure that it’s up to scratch but even if a bad line of code does happen to get through or there is an extension that people don’t particularly like then the community will let you know about it. The Magento community brings with it a vast wealth of knowledge and experience and it has even been known for some community code to make it into the code base of Magento. Almost every new release has a multitude of community bug fixes, meaning that not only does the community take Magento seriously but also that Magento takes the community seriously too. A great example of this is MSI (Multi Source Inventory), this is the first major functionality released as part of Magento which was developed entirely by the community, to learn more about MSI just follow this link https://docs.magento.com/m2/ce/user_guide/catalog/inventory-management.html

Now I can’t speak for other developers here but if you were to contact us here at info@husseycoding for an out of the box store, with minimal customisation, we estimate that it would take somewhere between 3-4 weeks to get you set up, obviously the more you want done the longer it will take, however we would recommend you build a basic store first, which would help to get the money coming in and customise as you go along. As Magento sports a packed roster of unique features due to constant development this will give you an incredible amount of creative control over the workings and design of your store.

The Cons.
We’ve said that Magento is all singing and all dancing, which is great, but your the one who’s in control which means that you are going to need a good knowledge of how the backend of the store works. This is going to take time to learn as it can be quite daunting with the amount of configurations that you have available to you. If you are new to Magento then you may need someone to come and do all of the foundational work for you. It can be quite complex to learn so if you are going it alone or migrating your store, make sure you take the time to learn everything you need to. Of course this is a conditional con as the more you learn, understand and use the backend of your store the easier this will be for you.

If you find that you need more functionality than Magento offers out of the box you might be able to find an extension to help you out, otherwise you are going to want to get a developer involved and that’s where things can potentially get expensive depending on your individual needs, even with the free open source version of Magento you may come to a time where you want an extension or two and some, not all, will charge. However, this again is a conditional con as the more money you make and invest into store development to more you’ll be able to cover the cost.

Our last con is again subject to circumstance as it only applies to Magento1 users. With the release of M2, all official support for M1 will stop midway through 2020. You will still be able to get some support form independent developers, like Hussey Coding, but the majority of people will encourage you to move to M2 due to the simple fact that it’s better.

Now moving from M1 to M2 is no easy task, in fact from a coding perspective it would require you to build your store from scratch, and that, depending on your income, can be pricey to do but the general feeling I’m getting from my research is that yes it’s expensive but it’s worth the investment.

Why 2 versions?
So if Magento is one of the most popular e-commerce store builders and has this amazing community of shop owners and developers helping and creating content why create another version?

Since it’s release back in 2008 a lot has changed in the coding world. Magento is built on PHP and the principles of PHP have also changed since M1’s creation, the other problem with time is that things become outdated and this is happening to the base code of M1.
Magento 2 is a complete rebuild of M1, it’s bigger, faster, stronger if you will. Using newer principles and a better code base M2 can do all that M1 did only better. As someone who has a bit of experience with both M1 and M2 stores, I have personally found M2’s store to be more user friendly.

So what’s new with M2?
Fist off, if you are familiar with M1 then you will notice that the names have changed.
Community Edition in M1 has become Open source in M2, Enterprise edition has become Commerce and now exclusively to M2 you have commerce cloud as well. We’ll be looking more in depth at what they all do and features they bring in an upcoming blog.

M2 offers a highly improved, easy to use administration interface, easier product creation, improved caching (making it faster), newly supported payment gateways such as PayPal and WorldPay, a business to business module, new file structure with easier customization, a better code base and a vastly improved search function just to name a few.

In conclusion, Magento is a highly flexible, customizable store builder with an array of extensions and support from both Magento and the Magento community available. Can it be costly? Yes it can but it is our belief here at Hussey Coding that you will be paying for a high quality product that will enable you to further your stores functionality and profitability.

Thank you again for joining us for this edition of the Hussey Coding blog, as always our contact details are just below should you like to get in touch with us but until then, have a great day and stay safe.

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We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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