Magento: The Web’s Best Ecommerce Solution
Starting an ecommerce business for the first time can seem incredibly daunting. Throughout the entire development process, your team needs to create ideas and products that will make your online business stand out among millions of others on the Internet. Unfortunately, that might be the simple part of the equation. There are many equally important steps that also need to be completed in order to develop the perfect online business. These include designing an appealing website, obtaining professional photographs and descriptions of your services or products, and finding a way to bring them together so that consumers may purchase your items. To get your site up and running and make sure your business gets off the ground without a hitch, an ecommerce solution is essential.
Magento is a frequently touted ecommerce solution. Currently owned by auction super-site eBay, this ecommerce solution was initially developed as open-source software and quickly adapted by many companies for transactional use. Commonly referred to in the past as “shopping-cart” software, Magento allows your company to keep a database of items (in this particular case employing MySQL) along with prices and the quantities available. There are similar shopping carts out there that also employ MySQL as a reliable database, but only Magento can boast of being used by 1 percent of the ecommerce sites on the Internet today.
Ease of Use
Being familiar with WordPress development will take you far with Magento. In fact, even just a passing familiarity with CSS or html5 may suffice. Built with PHP, Magento is as customizable as an installation of WordPress, although it doesn’t need to be. Touted as “ready out of the box,” Magento offers themes built into the program itself, which may serve your business’ needs. However, if something more exacting is required, designing the perfect shopping cart in Photoshop and having the psd file converted to html5 allows any desired style to be used.
Currently there are three levels of Magento software: Community, Enterprise, and Go. While the Community version is fine for companies without the need to expand substantially, Magento Enterprise is the obvious choice for companies that need the ability to truly customize their sales points and troubleshoot on the go. While hosting is not included, help is. This allows businesses to use existing servers, domains, and security while building onto their sites.
The Community level of Magento is free, which can be especially appealing if your company has an in-house web team that can troubleshoot and modify the back end for free. Most of the same plug-in modules that are available for the Enterprise version are also available for the Community level. However, the dedicated Magento support personnel found in Enterprise can be a comfort for larger companies.
Magento Go – the more portable option with fewer features – will be discontinued as of Feb. 1, 2015. It was based on a Cloud commerce system.
Tips and Tricks
Magento is highly customizable. Remember to take a look at the themes that are already available for the software before deciding you need a new one – the perfect look might already be available. Once you’ve picked a layout, a few little tweaks – such as hiding the shopping cart if it is empty, adding a contact form for those who might have questions or concerns, and allowing a link to Facebook – can all be helpful with your new site.