All You Need to Know About Magento

Written on 05 September, 2016 by Ahmad Redzwan
Categories Web Design & Content

Today I want to talk a little bit about Magento. For those who don’t have any idea of what Magento is and what it offers, here is a little bit of the background.

Magento is an e-commerce platform written in PHP. The application was originally developed by Varien Inc. in Culver City, California, with help from the open source community. On March 31, 2008, Varien Inc. released the first version of the application. Later, the substantial share of the company was sold to eBay, which eventually completely acquired the company. Magento’s market share among the 30 most popular e-commerce platforms is about 29.8%, according to a research conducted by aheadWorks in May 2015.

Magento utilises the MySQL/MariaDB database system, PHP scripting language, and follows the Zend Framework Architecture. Magento is a powerful e-commerce application with a steep learning curve, aimed at large e-commerce sites. For Magento, developing an e-commerce solution needs to be more than just technology, and there are thousands of beautiful themes designed by the Magento developer community available on the web.

Magento offers two versions, one is called Community Version, which is free, and the other is called Enterprise Version, which offers a lot more features and direct support from the Magento company but comes with a higher price tag that makes it more suited to large companies.

So, why is Magento so expensive?

Tailored business solutions

Ultra complex architecture. Although it may seem over-architected, never before have I worked with a system powerful enough to meet my every need, avoiding common pitfalls for developers. Code reusability, maintainability, debugging, support – complex problems that e-commerce solutions providers need to handle. Magento makes them all a breeze.

Feature rich

Out-of-the-box feature set. Magento handles e-commerce concepts properly and in an organised way. Product management comes with simple, configurable, bundled and digital products. Without any extra extensions, you can use it to sell theme park tickets and digital audio at the same time.

Extensions. If there is something you need and can’t find, there is an extension store where developers market their innovations. There is a massive chance that what you require is already available, and most of these extensions are affordable, unless you’re looking for integration with solutions such as MYOB, Xero, QuickBooks and SAP which can be a little pricier.

Fully scalable

Natively, Magento supports multiple site, server and high availability services. This complex feature really makes Magento special.


Magento easily integrates with any other enterprise service, such as Xero, MYOB, QuickBook, SAP and the eBay Store.

Okay, so that’s some of the main benefits we can get from Magento. Here is a list some of the constraints that made people think twice before deciding Magento is the right solution.

Requires a very good hosting environment

The Magento codebase is PHP. Magento is architected like an enterprise Java application, but its codebase is written in PHP. Most of the biggest issues I’ve had with Magento are a result of running PHP. The Magento application can consume gigabytes of RAM during heavy processes, and PHP is not great at handling the load. The good news is the new Magento 2, supported PHP 7, has improved a lot at this point.

High hiring charges

Magento needs a very experienced programmer. The programmer needs to be good at both front-end and back-end development. The learning curve is pretty steep. If the programmer isn’t familiar with OOP and doesn’t know the PHP Zend Framework very well, then they need to go buy some books and spend months or so learning the ins and outs of the system. This also includes creating themes for Magento. The design or layout system is very sophisticated, but learning how to implement a combination of “layout XML,” PHP templates and blocks to bring functionality, structure and design all together can make for an interesting course.

So, considering these points, I think we all understand why the Magento cost is expensive compared to other solutions, such as WordPress with WooCommerce or OpenCart.

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