When ecommerce retailers develop their websites, it is essential that they choose the right platform, finding one that will suit their needs, fit their budget and support their site as it grows and evolves. For many, Magento is often seen as the perfect platform for the job: it is effective, inexpensive, and almost completely customizable. Here, we’ve teamed up with EYEMAGINE website developers to determine five prominent features that make the Magento platform a top choice for ecommerce websites.
With Magento, developers and site owners have full control over both the front end and the back end of their site, meaning that they can fully customize it, controlling exactly how it is going to look and what features it will have. For ecommerce retailers, this means that – given that their team has the budget and technical skill – they can fulfill any vision that they have for their site without having to compromise due to the limitations of the platform.
This ability is unique to this kind of platform: with template-based platform options, there is no access to the back-end and actions on the front-end are limited by the templates and pre-existing formatting. While these limitations actually make template-based platforms more appealing to those who don’t have the need or the technical knowledge to manipulate their own back-end programming, they can become a big problem if a website outgrows its template, since at that point the site will essentially be boxed in by its current formatting. For many growing ecommerce sites, having a platform that allows for full control from the start is the way to go.
The Magento community – of other users, developers and service providers – can be an extremely useful support system and resource for new Magento users. Why? Because of the information, resources and technical expertise that this group can provide. Problems and roadblocks always arise when developing a website. Chances are that, if you run into such an issue when developing your site on the Magento platform, there is someone else in the community that has already dealt with it and fixed it. This may seem like a small plus, but in the big picture it’s an extremely valuable time-saver that can allow ecommerce retailers to overcome more issues and take their website further than they would otherwise be able to. In the same vein, if Magento users really take advantage of these resources and utilize all of the tools that the platform has to offer, it is basically free: it is self-hosted and many of the extensions are free, so well-versed users can almost always avoid the fees and hurdles that they’d have to deal with on other hosted platforms.
Extensions and Functionality
Along the same lines, Magento has a huge amount of functionality and extensions. Think of extensions like apps on a phone: they’re essentially small pieces of code that can be added to Magento to make it do something that it didn’t do out-of-the-box. For ecommerce retailers, popular Magento extensions include “one page checkout” extensions and the ability to display product categories in both grid view and list view with default functionality. While some of these are for purchase, many are free, meaning that retailers can always find a suitable extension based on their needs and their budget.
While Magento is not the only platform out there that offers such extensions, other platforms usually have fewer to choose from. With the Magento extensions, retailers have a higher degree of freedom and flexibility to optimize their website and make it exactly what they want it to be.
Magento is highly scalable, which means that, with the right hardware and configuration, it can easily support the needs of both small businesses and big enterprises. If, for example, a retailer’s site has a sudden increase in traffic, that company would easily be able to add more servers on Magento in order to handle the change. Other platforms, like those that are hosted on another server, may not be able to expand and handle this kind of influx in the same way. This limitation could have serious consequences like the site crashing, slow page load speeds, and — looking at the bigger picture — loss of customers and revenue. This scalability, then, makes Magento the ideal platform for a growing ecommerce company, since it ensures that their retail site will function properly at every stage of their growth.
Magento is an open-source platform, meaning that developers and site owners have access to the source code when creating a website. This access also allows for more freedom and flexibility, since it means that they can completely modify the functionality of their site to accommodate their needs, essentially creating whatever they want–given that they have the technical skill. In the context of ecommerce, this means that developers can control things like how a retailer’s site does the processing of information, how it displays information, etc., thereby giving retailers complete control over the design and logic of their page. Another plus? For experienced coders, open-source platforms are basically free; since they’re creating everything themselves, all they need is extra server space and time. For the knowledgable site creator, then, it’s a win-win.
Brightpearl will be at Magento Imagine 2016 from April 11-13 at booth 322. Why not come and say hello?