Magento – is one of the most robust CMS platforms. Launched in 2007, the system delivers a huge list of features in addition to vast integration capabilities to build a solid digital store. It is packed with add-ons and apps making it a doubtless fav for millions of merchants across the globe.
Despite all the great features, Magento will hardly be a good idea for beginners. Non-technicians might find it challenging to set up a website due to a complicated dashboard and interface. It will certainly take some time to figure it out. However, once you have passed the learning stage, the editing process will become easier. In addition, the platform is free to use.
This review is to cover all crucial benefits and features that put Magento in the top list of open source platforms for eCommerce.
1. Ease of Use
You should not expect much of user-friendliness from the platform. Although mundane admin tasks may hardly be a challenge, you will certainly find it difficult to handle the set up as well as website customization. This is where you might need professional assistance in the face of experienced web developers. This fact results in unexpected costs, which is bad.
If you still want to handle the process on your own, prepare to spend much time. There is no explanation how to build a CMS website for Magento open source platform, unlike its eCommerce version. The only good news is that once you have completed the setup, it won’t be necessary to deal with it again, while the dashboard itself is rather clear and easy-to-use.
At the same time, Magento user guide might also come in handy. It delivers all necessary setup basics as well as introduces major available functions you may need when getting started.
Product Management Feature
When working with Magento open source CMS, you will have to deal with product management a lot. To make the process easier, the system offers a separate feature that ensures:
- Simple product adding.
- Editing basic information and descriptions.
- Setting up SEO and meta tags.
- Choosing from various product categories including virtual services, subscriptions, etc.
- Creating product attributes with their further management.
The system has a custom WYSIWYG instrument. It lets users add or update content, work with website sections and blocks, add text to your blog or product page with ease. However, if you want to improve the way your site looks like, you will have to handle coding.
2. Features & Flexibility
Although it is pretty hard to use, Magento is overwhelmingly rich with various features even despite the fact the open source versions available free. The functionality includes essential instruments to deal with marketing, website SEO, shipping and checkout, product catalog management, payment process, and more. Let’s have a closer look at what the platform offers.
- Single Control Panel – the system lets users manage and track various digital stores or sites form a single dashboard.
- Simple Migration – bulk import or export function is available using CSV files.
- Virtual Terminal – a simple tool to create and manage products from the admin panel as well as fulfill orders.
- Printing Feature – a good solution for those who need to print various documents like invoices, product labels, etc.
- Wish Lists and Coupons – you can create coupons and promo codes that will be available both online and offline.
- Product Comparison – you can create the top list of highest-rated and most popular products with comparisons and detailed descriptions.
- Persistent Shopping Cart – a feature is focused on reducing the cart abandonment rate. The products are saved in the cart even if the user leaves the site.
Although Magento open source is the free CMS, payment methods integration may require extra costs. For example, you will have to pay for integration services to process debit or credit cards. On the other hand, you can still benefit from free options available for integrations. Here are services that come as built-in apps:
- Amazon Pay and others.
Shipping and Checkout Features
- Simple Users Checkout – visitors can choose whether to buy products as guests or signed in users.
- Shipping Estimates and Taxes – the price will be automatically displayed in the shopping cart including all possible extra estimates.
- Monitoring – the feature makes it easy for customers to track their order.
The platform offers a baseline set to boost your website SEO. They include meta tags editing in addition to customizable URLs, Site Map, etc. At the same time, users are free to integrate popular analytic tools in the face of Google Analytics.
Magento offers a huge variety of different features. However, you might need extended functionality from your website. This is where you will need to hire a web developer to have needed options integrated properly.
|Number of Themes:||Custom|
|Third party themes:||✔ YES|
|AI Website Design:||✘ NO|
|Mobile Optimized:||✔ YES|
Users should expect another frustration in terms of design. The platform does not have ready-made website layouts or templates. All themes are mainly developed by third-party companies. Only a few of those themes are free. More stylish and up-to-date layouts may cost you up to $400!
On the other hand, such themes usually have built-in extensions and add-ons you want to integrate. In other words, there is no need to hire web developers. All themes are mobile-responsive, which ensures smooth running on different devices despite the OS or display size.
As for the templates’ look, they are mostly alike. Users may crave for a more exclusive design. The only way to change the layout is to edit the source code. The process might appear to be quite a hassle, as the free Magento version does not feature WYSIWYG editor in comparing to Wix or any other SaaS website builder. Users can choose from three solutions:
- Buy third-party theme compatible with Magento.
- Hire a web developer to create a template from scratch.
- Opt for a free theme and pay for a set of extensions.
- Use the Magento CMS Page Builder extension.
As a rule, some users might need a combination of all three options mentioned above. It all depends on the website type, structure, content, and other baseline factors.
4. Customer Support
As well as all major CMS platforms, Magento does not have the kind of support team we are used to. In other words, you should not count on Live Chat or email support in addition to phone or traditional ticketing systems. On the other hand, the system has a very huge community with numerous forums to find the answer to your question.
We should also take into account detailed user guides that cover all fundamental aspects from how to get started to page editing, etc. Paid assistance is also available for Magento users in addition to a blog, developer documentation, sales portals or training courses available with Magento U.
Magento open source CMS is a free platform to build digital stores and other types of eCommerce websites. However, when someone says “free” in regards to this system, it does not mean at no cost at all. As we have already mentioned, users might need to add some extensions or customize the website design not to mention hosting and domain name choice.
It will all require hiring front-end developers or web designers. The same thing is with premium Magento themes that come with built-in features and extensions. The pricing tag may range from $40 to $500 depending on the complexity and functionality.
6. Pros and Cons
Magento is certainly a worthy platform for eCommerce needs although it has some obvious misses. Although being packed with features, it is still very complicated for non-technicians while the building process will inevitably result in extra costs.
|✔ Endless features and integrations.|
✔ Numerous Apps and Add-ons.
✔ Good for growing online business.
✔ Huge users community and knowledge base.
✔ It is free.
|✘ Very complicated, needs experienced developer’s support.|
✘ Limited free themes.
✘ Expensive customization.
✘ The lack of support team.
Magento is a solid open source platform with a rich set of features and functionality. The system is scalable letting you grow and promote your business online. The tool comes with extended integration capabilities and tons of add-ons. Simple product management and editing system will also come in handy.
On the other hand, the platform is not for newbies, as some processes may require deep coding and web designing knowledge. At the same time, users should be ready for unexpected costs in the face of premium templates or extensions. The overall verdict is still a robust software solution for building a solid digital store.