If you are considering launching a new ecommerce site in 2018 or if you have an existing web store and are thinking of transferring to a more powerful platform, there is a good chance you will have considered Magento. This is a very well-known content management system (CMS) that is specifically designed for ecommerce sites.
Huge worldwide brands like Coca-Cola, Ford and Nespresso all have web stores that are powered using Magento. In fact this CMS is thought to account for more than a quarter all ecommerce sites and web stores in the world. So if you are thinking of choosing Magento you are in good company.
But Magento has been around for a long time and there has been a growth in the market of simpler platforms such as Shopify, Volusion and Big Cartel. So is Magento still the right CMS for ecommerce sites in 2018? Here we look at the benefits of Magento and whether they are still as value to modern websites.
It is open source
One of the most important features of Magento is that it is an open source platform. This means that it is free to use and can be utilised by anyone at any time. As an open source platform, Magento holds a range of advantages over others in that almost anything is possible and it can be modified to any extend in order to fit in with the requirements of your site.
The fact that Magento is also very regularly used by ecommerce sites means that there are plenty of skilled web developers with extensive experience getting the most out of the platform. It is still the case in 2018 that it is easy to bring in help with your site.
Customisation and features
One of the true advantages of using Magento is the fact that is this is a platform that has been designed for ecommerce sites. This means that it is packed with a huge range of features and options that can really help you to create a fantastic website. There can be nothing more frustrating than to use a simpler platform and then realise that you can’t use some of the same web features as your competitors.
As you grow with Magento you can completely customise the system so that it works well with your business needs and the products that you sell. The flexibility of the CMS means that it can be just as useful to you when you are just starting out as it is when your business has grown into something much larger. Many of the very large ecommerce sites proudly use Magento.
The value of modern hosting
One problem the Magento sites have faced in the past is that the hosting packages offered by companies. Magento is a very powerful platform and this means that it requires an optimised hosting solution in order to match the technical needs of the site along with the commercial goals of your business.
Thankfully there are now many specialists that offer hosting that has been specifically designed for Magento sites (see Wirehive). In 2018 it is now easier than ever to set up a web store through Magento that you can trust to work regardless of the level of traffic you are getting or the specific demands of your technically complicated site.
The simpler options are fine to begin with
But while these advantages of using Magento may still be very relevant in 2018, it’s worth asking whether some of the other platforms may be a better choice. Sites created on Big Cartel and more recently through the similar but more advanced platform Shopify have certainly become very popular and offer excellent features.
This platforms can look inviting, especially for sites of those businesses starting out who may not have access to skilled developers that may be necessary to make the most from Magento. And of course there is nothing necessarily wrong with using these platforms, but you will likely find that you outgrow them quickly.
Simple ecommerce platforms offer good usability and are easy to maintain, but they lack the broad range of features and options that you can have on a Magento site. So when you come to make the decision about which platform you are going to choose, write off Magento at your peril!