You’ve been probably searching for the best ecommerce platform for your business, and you’ve set your eyes on Magento. Sure enough, Magento has been rightfully recognized as a market leader in the latest 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce report for its flexibility, scalability, and robust features.
But you certainly want to weigh your options before settling down for a single solution. At Elogic, we’ve been delivering Magento development services for 10+ years, so we know exactly who might benefit the most from the platform capabilities. Get ready to see a list of pros and cons of Magento ecommerce platform and find out whether Magento is the right platform for your business.
Magento Open Source vs Magento Commerce
Before we dive into Magento advantages and disadvantages, here’s a quick reminder of what Magento has to offer. Ever since its launch, Magento has been available in two editions:
- Magento Open Source (formerly Magento Community). The core code of this edition can be downloaded for free and edited as per one’s requirements. This edition offers basic functionalities that can be further enhanced by custom modules and/or ready-made extensions from Magento Marketplace.
- Magento Commerce (formerly Magento Enterprise). This edition can be installed in its self-hosted version or as a cloud-hosted edition (aka Magento Commerce Cloud). The feature set is much vaster than that of Magento Open Source and suits mid-market companies and large enterprises. To develop an online store on Commerce Edition, you must first create an account in Magento and pay license fees.
Advantages of Magento 2: Why Choose Magento as an Ecommerce Platform?
There’s a reason why world’s biggest brands like Nike or Ford love Magento. The platform came out as one of the most robust, flexible, user-friendly, and scalable platforms in the ecommerce market. Let’s dig deeper into the advantages of Magento ecommerce.
High Flexibility and Limitless Customization
Selling jewelry? Electronic devices? Medications? Whatever your retail business is, Magento can be tailored to meet your business requirements.
The reason for such high flexibility is simple: the platform is open source. You can modify the code, customize templates, twist and turn the features exactly the way you need. If Magento doesn’t provide the functionality you require, you can integrate a third-party extension or build one from scratch to make your store more appealing to customers.
On top of that, Magento’s API-led architecture makes it easier to integrate third-party systems like ERP, CRM, payment methods without slowing down your website. You can even go headless and decouple your front-end interface from the back-end commerce operations. With Magento, customization possibilities are indeed limitless.
Rich Feature List
Compare Magento to Shopify, WooCommerce, or any other ecommerce platform. You’ll see that Magento always wins the fight in the features category. Thanks to a variety of out-of-the-box features, Magento is a powerful solution when it comes to marketing, user experience, and business efficiency.
Here are a few Magento features worth mentioning:
- Multiple store views
- Intuitive Admin panel for effective order management
- Multi-language and multi-currency support
- Support of a wide range of product types (simple, configurable, bundle, downloadable, etc.)
- Powerful SEO features (including Google Site Map, engine-friendly URLs, meta-information for products & categories)
- One-page checkout and shipping to multiple addresses in one order
- Extensive analytics and reporting
…and many more! The release of Magento 2.4 also enhanced B2B functionalities, PWA studio to support internationalization of stores, and performance support for large catalogs. A full list of Magento features can be found here.
The biggest fear of all online retailers is a slow, poorly performing website. With Magento, you won’t have to worry about it. Whether you’re selling 100 items or 1,000,000 SKUs, Magento will deal with it effortlessly without any major performance tuning.
In fact, one of the Magento benefits is that the platform can support 500k+ products on a single server with a decent amount of RAM (32-64GB). It can also conduct thousands of transactions per hour. The potential number of SKUs only grows if you move your store on cloud servers. This way, you can scale smoothly and handle peak loads, which is a great Magento 2 advantage as compared to other ecommerce platforms.
A Large Community of Users and Contributors
Magento’s popularity brings a double benefit to merchants. On the one hand, you’ll have no problem finding a vendor to support your store — just browse through the Magento Partners portal. Many third-party providers also adjust the compatibility of their systems to fit the requirements of the Magento platform.
On the other hand, a huge community of contributors will help you find immediate solutions to any Magento-related problems. Magento’s army of innovators has more than 360,000 forum members, 8,000 certified developers, 5,900 contributors, and 1,150 partners at your disposal. Besides, the platform provider takes a vested interest in the success of its merchants and organizes meetups, conferences, and contribution days.
Consumers are mobile-first now. As smartphones become important to every phase of the purchase journey, from brand discovery to price checking, failing to adopt a mobile-friendly website means losing a marketing game.
Magento gives all the necessary tools to build a responsive ecommerce website for various devices, including iPhones, iPads, and Androids. Better yet, a Magento PWA Studio allows a retailer to augment user experience and create a reliable, fast, and engaging mobile app. In the age when mobile users spend 90% of their time in apps as opposed to mobile browsers, Magento’s mobile-friendly capabilities become a real asset.
Unrivalled SEO Capabilities
The sad truth of SEO is that the consumers will not find your website unless you’re on the first search results page (SERP). Native SEO capabilities of an ecommerce platform will help you get on the radar of Google, Bing, or whatever other engine your customers use.
In terms of SEO, Magento features and benefits include
- Metadata for homepage, product/category pages, rich snippets, and prefixes and suffixes for title tags.
- Canonical tags and unique category paths for product URLs to avoid duplicate content.
- SEO-friendly URLs and redirects.
- Robots.txt file and XML sitemaps.
Coupled with SEO best practices, these abovementioned features help you rank higher in SERP from the very first day you launch your webstore. No need for further extensions and/or modules — Magento’s built-in SEO features will be enough to increase your website visibility.
Magento Disadvantages or Why Magento Isn’t a Go-To Platform for Everyone
Every bean has it black. Every ecommerce platform has its disadvantages.
Let’s take a look at some limitations of Magento that might drive you away from choosing it as your ecommerce solution.
High Cost of Development
One of the biggest Magento cons is its cost. Magento is an expensive solution as compared to SaaS platforms like Shopify or BigCommerce. Even though the entry cost of Magento Open Source is free, you’ll need to set a decent budget for Magento custom development, support and maintenance, integrations and extensions (unless you fancy coding yourself).
With Magento Commerce and Commerce Cloud, expenses grow higher. Besides the aforementioned development services, you have to consider Magento license costs that are based on a store’s revenue:
|Average Gross Sales Revenue||Magento Commerce Cost*||Magento Commerce Cloud Cost|
|$1,000,000 – $5,000,000||$32,000/year||$55,000/year|
|$5,000,000 – $10,000,000||$49,000/year||$80,000/year|
|$10,000,000 – $25,000,000||$75,000/year||$120,000/year|
In this case, Magento pricing starts at $22,000/year and $40,000/year for each edition. Thus, if you’re running a start-up and looking for a platform just to give it a try, Magento is not for you.
Steep Learning Curve
If you decide to save money on hiring a Magento developer and build your store alone, get ready to hit the books. The least you can do is to get familiar with the principles of object-oriented programming (OOP), PHP, MySQL, and Git.
Magento is a complex platform with over 20,000 files and 200 database tables that even skilled developers might get confused with. Beginner retailers lacking technical skills and looking for drag-and-drop website builders will find it challenging to build a Magento store.
Another reason why Magento is bad is one of the same reasons many merchants like it: Magento is layered software. On the one hand, its API-led architecture allows you to integrate third-party software and customize your store in all possible ways. However, because of the complexity of the system, this customization process is often time-consuming.
For this reason, finding a Magento development company that delivers quality results in a short time becomes a game-changer for most merchants.
The Need for Powerful Hosting
Forget about shared hosting if you plan on running a Magento store. This option will only result in downtimes and performance issues, especially if your website traffic starts growing.
The ecommerce platform is quite bulky, and Magento clearly articulates its hosting requirements for merchants. You’ll need to host it on VPS (Virtual Private Server), cloud, or a dedicated servers only. You’ll also have to take care of the domain registration, SLL security certificates, and hosting plans. This can be a huge pain in the neck for starter merchants with no technical background and/or ecommerce team.
Is Magento a Good Ecommerce Platform for Your Business?
Weighing in Magento 2 pros and cons, you might see that Magento is a feature-rich, flexible platform that requires much technical expertise. It won’t be the right fit for a starter company that looks for an easy and fast website builder. However, if you stand on good grounds as a business, you can leverage Magento open-source technology to transform your business digitally, boost your customer’s experience, and diversify revenue streams. This is especially true for mid-market companies and large enterprises.
Who Will Benefit Most From Magento Open Source
Magento Open Source is the best option for digitally native startups and small businesses. Such companies are usually not scared of technical challenges but rather embrace the customization possibilities of Magento. The platform also allows them to scale smoothly alongside the user traffic and webstore catalog.
Small businesses running on Magento Open Source: Whola, Prediger, Mount-It!, HÖGL.
Who Will Benefit Most From Magento Commerce
Magento Commerce is the right choice for B2B companies and marketplaces with big product catalogs, wide global reach, and plans to scale further. This Magento edition will impress you with advanced functionality and security and help you sell internationally.
Mid-market businesses running on Magento Commerce: Joie, Doorstep Market, Pino.
What About Magento Commerce Cloud?
Magento Commerce Cloud will work for everyone who wants to forget the pains of support and hosting. It’s a robust solution with advanced functionality, 24/7 support, and AWS cloud hosting. The edition targets large enterprises handling huge inventory, experiencing high traffic peaks, and working to improve customer experience.
Businesses running on Magento Commerce Cloud: Rubik, Sigma Beauty, Adidas.
Magento 2 vs Other Ecommerce Platforms
As you can see, Magento has everything that you need to build a fully operational store. It provides numerous features along with the ability to customize and extend the store functionality. However, is Magento able to compete with other ecommerce platforms on the market?
We have a series of comparison guides for you to see the pros and cons of Magento ecommerce platform vs other solutions. Check out the following:
- Magento vs Shopify
- Magento 2 vs Shopify Plus
- BigCommerce vs Magento
- Magento vs WooCommerce
- Drupal Commerce vs Magento
- Magento vs PrestaShop
- Magento vs OpenCart
- Magento vs Nopcommerce
Magento 2 Pros and Cons Wrap-Up
Dwelling on the pros and cons of Magento ecommerce platform, you can see that it’s a feature-rich, flexible, scalable, mobile- and SEO-friendly platform. It has a large community of developers and contributors to cater to retailers’ tech needs. Its layered architecture and open-source nature also allow merchants to design a fully customized website from scratch.
Meanwhile, all Magento disadvantages can be narrowed down to a single one: technical challenges. Unless you code yourself, you might experience cost overheads, a steep learning curve, and lengthy project timelines. All this can be addressed with an expert Magento development agency, though.