Magento is an online shop software and version 1.0 was first released on 31 March 2008 as an open source e-commerce platform. Magento Zeit was produced by the Magento company of the same name with the help of the Zend Framework and the commitment of the quite large community. As a shop system, Magento is available in a free (community version) and a paid edition (enterprise version). In 2018, Magento was also purchased for 1.7 billion US dollars by Adobe, and the Enterprise version is now sold as part of the Adobe Commerce Cloud.
Magento has been regarded as the top seller in e-commerce for many years now. In practice, the system impresses above all with its modularity and scalability, its flexible adaptability and expandability, which pays off in practice especially when using the available extensions via Magento Connect and various web services API. Magento is a solid shop system, which also underpins its added value through its multi-shop capability, multilingualism, excellent e-commerce functions for SEO, extensive marketing, promotion and social commerce features, as well as high usability for editors and customers.
As a shop operator, however, you should also think about the disadvantages of the shop system. Magento is quite complex due to its high flexibility and extensibility in its own application architecture, which requires profound PHP knowledge and experience with development frameworks. Integrating a new feature into the shop quickly is therefore often associated with higher costs for the IT department or agency. The extensive backend also requires a lot of training for administrators and editors. Also not to be left unmentioned are the very high demands on the hardware, which in practice often lead to relatively high costs for server hosting, as well as the costs for the maintenance effort for version updates.
Is Magento now the right choice for your eShop?
Due to the high complexity and hardware requirements, Magento is hardly recommended for smaller companies and start-ups as well as for shop projects that can be implemented quickly. Magento is rather aimed at professional, medium-sized and large shop operators, especially if they operate on a multinational scale, have a broad and configurable product range and want to implement individual, non-standard requirements.
Furthermore, in practice the initial costs for the development and operation of a standardized shop based on Magento, as well as the training effort are often significantly higher than with comparable systems, so you should consider very carefully in advance whether Magento is the right choice for your project.
For small businesses, a shopware, WooCommerce or Gambio shop is often the cheaper alternative.