Briefly, we’ve discussed Magento in conjunction with other CMS eCommerce solutions. Today, we’re taking a more in-depth look at this newer CMS powerhouse. But is it really all that new? The company itself has been around since 2004. They have specialized particularly in eCommerce and have attempted to bring the benefits of eCommerce to smaller store owners looking to materialize on their own creativity. It was built to be fast, flexible, and functional. It was also built as an open-source code, allowing it to continuously evolve to a better solution.
So is commerce all that Magento is good at? Not so much. Going through the demo product on their website taught me that much. The CMS is easy to understand and code from very basic to more advanced coding options (and watching the programming guys work with it, it made me appreciate how complicated of a programming script it can understand). But this is even good at SEO. No more do you have to set up a tool or a plug-in, just hit the Meta Data tab and put in your description and keywords and save it.
The other nice thing about Magento that I’ve found is its willingness to work with PHP. This is a programming script near and dear to my heart as after an annoying year in college trying to make C++ functions work, my first PHP function ran without a stutter. Sure, I was guided through creating it by our senior programmer, but the point is that we can communicate. Magento and Zend are working together to try to make it more friendly to the equally friendly PHP.
Now, we need to look at the downfalls before you go out, download it to your machine, and proceed to sell your own possessions. First off, it can be very slow. In fact, speed is the most common complaint about Magento. This may possibly be resolved by some optimized PHP coding, but I have yet to set it in front of aforementioned senior programmer to see if he could coax a little more speed from it. The second issue is that as it’s written to work with programming scripts more easily, it can be a bit more complicated to use than WordPress. It comes with default settings, which can be easily used, but if you want something a little more flashy, those default settings will need someone with a firm understanding of programming to adjust your site.
But with any program, it has its strengths and weaknesses that can make it better or worse for your site based on what you want your CMS to do. If a pretty, non-sales centered website is what you want for your blog, Magento likely isn’t for you. If a high-speed eCommerce site is more down your alley, Magento’s definitely on the rise, and it seems to be only a matter of time before it’s friendly enough to make up for any current shortcomings it has.