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Magento Review

    Kate Hoots
  • 18 comments
  • Updated on:
Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.
Kate Hoots

Kate Hoots

Expert Analyst & Reviewer at Merchant Maverick
An expert in online sales, Kate Hoots has been writing about small business eCommerce since 2020. A former journalist for the West Linn Tidings and the Wilsonville Spokesman, Kate boasts wide experience in business leadership and communication. She has a degee in English Literature from Lewis & Clark College.
Kate Hoots
View Kate Hoots's professional experience on LinkedIn.



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18 Comments

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    Julian F. Christmas

    Organization Name: Intelligo Denmark ApS

    I have been working professionally with Magento since 2009.
    I’m now the CEO of a Magento development agency based in Copenhagen Denmark.

    Let’s be honest: Magento is not made for an entry-level eCommerce business. If you are looking for a quick and dirty fix for selling cheap products online, you should look at other open source platforms.

    When that is said, Magento had always had some major issues when it came to the default SEO options. The use of a default flat canonical structure and access to product on multiple URLs with duplicated content has hurt many eCommerce owners. But when managed the right way and using the right SEO extensions, Magento can be a potent eCommerce platform.

    Furthermore, many webshops are built using stock design templates. Almost all of these are not ideal when it comes to conversion rate optimization. They all need a lot of work done to fit your particular market.

    In my opinion, these are minor setbacks for a reliable and well established open source eCommerce system.

    I’m looking forward to following the continuous development of the platform after Adobes Aquisition.

    • Organization Name: Intelligo Denmark ApS

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Bret Williams

    Thanks for your review. It’s one of the more thorough ones I’ve read.Before I continue, let me say I have written 3 books on Magento (search for my name on Amazon), and have built lots of Magento, Shopify, OpenCart and other stores over the past 20 years.That said, merchants who use Magento CE should not expect any help from Magento or anyone else, as it is FREE, open source software. You will get what you pay for.However, Magento is NOT inexpensive. Unless you’re a Magento Certified developer, you need to align yourself with one. Our firm has done more Magento repairs than new Magento stores because merchants have hired cheap programmers who don’t understand the Magento architecture. After they have bungled the installation, we usually have to start over because the code is so corrupted. Whether it’s PHP or CSS, you have to be very familiar with how Magento is structured or you can easily mess things up.Magento can be very powerful and very flexible in the right hands. But, unless you’re ready to spend *at least* $10,000 in development and $200 or more on monthly hosting, please don’t consider Magento. You’ll be disappointed and you will not have an ideal experience for your customers. And your chance of dominating your market will evaporate. Consider Shopify or BigCommerce if you’re on a slim budget.And if you’re new to e-commerce, consider starting with Shopify until you get your feet wet. There’s a lot to learn about e-commerce and building a Magento CE store on the cheap is not an ideal use of your valuable time.If you’re a larger merchant considering a move to Magento, you’re in a much better place to consider the options and ramifications. And, most likely, you’re committed to winning your niche market.Again, kudos to the author for writing this review. Well done.

    5

      This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

      Anne

      hi, thanks for your reply. We are currently on Volusion, and have been for almost 12 years. It’s various issues are starting to bug us and we’re feeling that it’s finally time to change. We are not beginners, obviously, and are not intimidated by a feature-full platform. I started looking into Magento 2.0 yesterday, and comments about the need for developers, and total lack of support have me concerned. I can’t see why I would need a developer as long as I can find a theme that we can live with and I don’t anticipate needing anything special for the store to do other than out-of-the-box. That being said, we also don’t have time do dick around with stuff that just doesn’t work.

      I had a friend whom I recently help to set up her business on BigCommerce. She and I both found it lacking in many functions that we would have expected, and she was doing hack work-arounds right away. I haven’t looked into Shopify as the pricing structure that includes a piece of my pie turns me off.

      Any suggestions of what we should be looking into? We’re currently paying about $250/mo, but it’s been as high as $500 with bandwidth usage. I changed a few things to bring our usage down. We just don’t want to pay a percentage of our sales, nor a high monthly fee for slim feature set, or poor support.

      thanks
      Anne

        This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

        Karen

        Organization Name: Sweet and Vicious

        HI Anne, I ventured down the Magento Commerce path and it was a nightmare. In my opinion, Costs to build and run a good, fast Magento site are prohibitive if you are an under $10 million company. Reliable hosting can be $500-$1500 a month on top of the M2 license fees. And Magento is SLOW unless you have a very knowledgeable developer and an expensive host (and possibly a CDN which will add at least another $150 per month). Their dev partnr firms in the US will charge $120 – $300/hour and most of them are outsourcing all the work to asian devs at $4-$15/hr.

        Finding a reliable Magento 2 developer is extremely difficult. And if you do find one, they are booked up and you will likely wait in long lines for work to get done and/or pay high hourly rates. I have 20 years experience in ecommerce and I can tell you that the Magento ecosystem is a mess. Partner firms will sell you the world but give you bare bones or buggy products with a goal of keeping you as a maintenance client – because the site is written so poorly that no other dev will take it on. Many firms will buy all your extensions under their own accounts but charge you for it. If you ever want to move to another dev firm you will have to re-purchase all the extensions again. Magento is aware of this practice and does nothing to prevent it.

        Magento releases very buggy versions then declares end-of-life to those versions quickly. So if you have any custom modules they will need to be upgraded or even rewritten every time there is a new release to fix the bugs.

        And the learning curve is very high. My employees hated the backend and found it very difficult to use as compared to shopify, volusion and 3dcart.

        In the end, I learned a lot, wasted 2 years and a lot of money. But at least, perhaps I can help other business owners not make the same mistake I did.

        • Organization Name: Sweet and Vicious

        This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

        Dmitry Semenov

        Organization Name: Saritasa LLC

        Excellent reply by the business owner who has a real hands-on experience! I saw so many clients thinking that Magento is a silver bullet for their needs until they ran into not a configuration (problematic but solvable) but THE Customization problem. Their UNEXPECTED Journey Starts when they are going after customizations of behavior/workflow given by Magento out of the box. The UNEXPECTED cost will rise like mushrooms after the rain.

        So if you’re after Magento and:
        – you’re new to Magento
        – you’re new to e-commerce business nuances
        – you’re not a developer or you don’t have PHP experience
        – you’re looking for a cheap developer (or vendor) to manage your e-commerce
        – you need to customize features Magento offers out of the box
        – you think Magento is fast
        – you think $300/mo AWS expense will get you excellent performance
        – you’re a type of the persona that “I need that yesterday” on most things in life/business
        – you’re perfectionist
        – your online revenue is < 100k a year

        If at least 2 of these are "YES" – Magento is not for you. Look for something else
        If you more than 2 of these are "YES" – you will waste tons amount of your time, money energy and probably fail. Look for alternatives.

        Thanks,
        Dmitry
        CTO @Saritasa

        • Organization Name: Saritasa LLC

        This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

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