Magento platform has been adopted by more than 180 000 online retailers and ran on 11% of the top 10K sites in the Quantcast data (BuiltWith Trends, 2013).
Magento Community Edition (Magento CE) is the free version of Magento, which is known as a platform built on open-source technology and provides online merchants with unpresented flexibility and control over the look, content and functionality of their e-commerce store.
At the present time, Magento CE has been considered to be one of the best free e-commerce platforms. Thus, in this article, I would like to give you an overview about the pros and cons of this platform.
Advantages of the Magento Community Edition
1. Open Source
Despite of being a free platform, Magento CE is open source. It gives users opportunity to freely modify the code to fit individuals' needs, which brings ultimate flexibility to adopt your business. This is a huge advantage compared to other e-Commerce platforms.
2. Wide range of functionalities
Magento is famous for the number of functionalities it provides. Most of users considering choosing Magento CE for their e-store because of this reason. Magento covers all of the aspects any store owners may insist on (site design, products, payments, shipping and more), so it is a good base to start with. In addition, the platform is evolving all the time and there are countless Magento templates, themes as well as Magento extensions, plugins, and widgets available on the market.
It's interesting how the script allows for running multiple stores at one time from one administration panel. Another example of Magneto's extra capabilities is the ability to set a template for a given product that will make this product to present to a client differently than other products at the same time period.
Magento has a growing community of passionate and dedicated developers, users, and providers. So what do you benefit from this? Please note that Magento CE is a free edition, so the support from Magento's technical team is quite limited. Users help each other by sharing knowledge and experience on forums, blogs all over the world. Let's image that the answers for common problems are easily accessible and help is on hand no matter how bespoke your requirements are.
Disadvantages of the Magento Community Edition
1. The usage of PHP
A big drawback of Magento is the usage of PHP. The Magento application can consume gigabytes of RAM during heavy processes, and PHP often can not handle the load, regardless of how much hardware is thrown at it.
2. Not for amateurs
This platform is quite complex so it is not the solution for a beginner with no technical skills. Even an experienced developer will need quite time to learn Magento step by step before being certified. Magento is designed as an enterprise Java application, but its codebase is written in PHP. Thus, if you are not familiar with Java or PHP Zend Framework, it takes months to learn and use this platform. To be honest, finding a qualified Magento developer is not an easy task.
3. Magento Community edition versus Magento Enterprise edition
There are some differences between the paid and the free editions of Magento: Marketing is the strong base in Magento Community design, but the design of Magento Enterprise focuses more on technical aspects than on marketing aspect. Beside, the support for code and additional plug-ins / modules are not the same. Firstly, the Enterprise edition comes with a warranty and service level agreement, legal protection and all fixes to the code will be made first in it. Secondly, some useful additional features are only available in the Enterprise edition such as private sales, access to back-end and store credit functions.
So, do you think Magento CE is a suitable platform to build your own store?
I hope that this article gives you an insight into the Magento Community edition and is helpful for you in choosing a proper platform. If you have used Magento or others, share with us your experience!