Magento was designed for those who need a flexible and full-rich ecommerce platform. This 100% open-source eCommerce solution is open for free download and allows users to design, set up, and run their own eCommerce stores as they want. However, using the program requires some basic knowledge of how it works and to run it properly need a designer/developer. Therefore, we decide to write the series of Magento Tutorial for Beginners that will give you basic insights about Magento as well as beginner tutorials regarding Magento themes, Magento templates, Magento modules, extensions and more.
Part 1: Magento Introduction
1. What is Magento? is it open-source software and free to download?
Magento is an open source PHP was built with help programmers can create e-commerce sites. Magento was released on 31/3/2008 by Varien and it is developed on the basis of the Zend Framework. Magento is 100% free to download, you can get it here
2. History of Magento
- Magento officially started development in early 2007.
- On August 31, 2007, a public beta version was released first.
- May 30, 2010, Magento version for mobile phones has been released, this version is interpreted as a separate software can be installed directly on the mobile device. Buyers can use this software to buy online instead of on the website using the browser.
- In February 2011, eBay claims 49% ownership stake in the company.
- June 6, 2011 eBay owns 100% of the capital investment for Magento. eBay announced that Magento will join eBay’s X.Commerce new initiatives.
3. Basic Features of Magento
Magento provides all the features and tools to build, install an e-commerce website quickly.
- Analytics and Reporting - the script is integrated with Google Analytics and offers many different reports.
- Product Browsing - multiple images for products, options for extensive reviews, wishlists and much more.
- Catalog Browsing - easy navigation, advanced product filtering system, product comparison.
- Catalog Management - inventory management, batch import and export of products, different tax rates per location, additional product attributes.
- Customer Accounts - order status and history, e-mail and RSS feeds for products in the wishlist, newsletter subscription, default billing and shipping address.
- Customer Service - enhanced features for customers’ accounts, Contact Us form, comprehensive order tracking and history, customizable order e-mails.
- Order Management - create orders through admin area, create multiple invoices shipments and credit memos, call center order creation option.
- Payment - different payment methods: credit cards, PayPal, Authorize.net, Google Checkout, checks, money orders, support of external payment modules like Cybersource, ePay, eWAY and many more.
- Shipping - shipping to multiple addresses, flat rating shipping, supports UPS, UPS XML (account rates), FedEx (account rates), USPS and DHL.
- Checkout - one page checkout, SSL support, checkout without having an account.
- Search Engine Optimization - 100% Search Engine Friendly, Google SiteMap support.
- International Support - multiple languages and currencies, list of allowed countries for registration, purchasing and shipping, localization.
- Marketing Promotions and Tools - coupons, discounts and different promotion options.
- Site Management - control of multiple web sites, multiple languages, tax rate with support for US and International markets, customizable outlook through templates.
4. Technical background of magento
- Magento is the code by using the PHP language and MySQL database.
- Database EAV based model (Entity – attribute – value).
- Magento is built modular (all functions are modularized).
5. The advantages and disadvantages of Magento
Today, Magento is a popular ecommerce shopping cart on the market. Since its inception a lot has been talked and written about it. And the questions that are discussed over and over again are – Is Magento the right platform for me? What are the advantages and disadvantages of Magento compared to other ecommerce platforms?
Magento came out to be as one of the most robust, flexible and scalable open source ecommerce platforms on the market. Magento offers an extensive array of powerful tools for building and managing your online store. Like any other shopping cart it has its own advantages and disadvantages. Magento Tutorial for Beginners will give you ideas which Magento users comment most.
Advantages of Magento
- It is open source, so it’s easy to be popular and everyone can use it.
- Since Magento is 100% open source platform, lots of Magento extensions including free and paid ones are available to enhance of the power of Magento Ecommerce on your store. Extensions can be found from many well-known providers such as Magestore, Aheadworks, Amasty…
- Magento is built to scale from 1 to a million, avoiding common pitfalls for developers. Code re-use, maintainability, debugging, support, etc. are all huge, expensive problems that eCommerce solutions providers must tackle. Magento makes them all a breeze. Magento is powerful and effective.
- Magento handles concepts properly and in an organized manner. Stock Magento comes with Simple, Configurable, Grouped, Bundled, Virtual and Digital Products. You can use it to sell amusement park tickets and digital music at the same time, without any extensions.
- Magento can have many extensions which support for the development of the online store.
The disadvantages of Magento
- Magento runs PHP. Magento is architected like an enterprise java application, but its codebase is written in PHP. Users have complained that the Magento is relatively slow than other ecommerce solutions,
- It is a complex system and not one that is easy to work with. If it does not use object-oriented programming or other best practices because it has a heavy layered and complicated code that takes a lot of time to learn and make changes accordingly. Therefore, to get a job done properly and efficiently, you need to have a proper budget in order to work with Magento.
- You need to have a good hosting environment and store management in order for Magento to run (see this hosting review to pick a good hosting). If proper hosting environment is not set-up, you can experience problems with speed. Unlike simpler systems which can work anywhere, such as WordPress, Magento performs poorly if the website services are not as required, which means you need to have good server along with a good team to set and maintain server. A VPS or dedicated server is always recommended for hosting a Magento site
- Magento is intensive resource and requires much space and memory.
- Installation is not as intuitive as it should be in admin area. You should use the option of safe mode during installation.