Magento is one of the top ecommerce platforms in the United States and increasingly around the world too.
Nearly 200,000 websites use Magento and yours could be one of them. But, what is Magento? Magento is an ecommerce website platform owned by Adobe that specializes in ecommerce websites. Magento users have access to hundreds of unique features that help them connect with their customers and sell their products.
To learn more about Magento and how you can use the platform for your ecommerce business, keep reading. We have everything you need to know.
What Is Magento?
Magneto is one of the best ecommerce platforms. Its creators built it using open-source technology. This gives its users the ability to control the look, functionality, and content on their online store without compromising the shopping experience. In addition, Magento gives its users a variety of useful tools and features. This includes marketing, search engine optimization, and catalog-management tools.
Overall, the platform can cater to any size store. Whether you’re catering to a few customers or a million, Magento offers both a free Magento Open Source and a feature-rich Magento Commerce, meaning the platform can grow and evolve with your business. Many times, businesses have to change platforms as they grow.
But Magento makes it easy to stay in one place and continue to grow. The platform also offers its customers a variety of plug-ins and themes to suit whatever they want to do and whatever they want their website to look like. These can also enhance customer experience and improve customer relationships.
Who Should Use Magento?
If you own or help run an ecommerce business, you should consider Magento. The creators of the platform made it easy to use for ordinary people. This means that you don’t need technical, developmental experience.
However, the system is robust. Because it can handle millions of customers, the system gets somewhat more complex as you grow. Startups and small businesses might be better served by easy-to-use web design tools like the HubSpot Drag-and-Drop Website Builder.
Usually, businesses need to hire outside help. Although, this is only when the business starts integrating multiple systems into their website.
What Is Magento 2?
Magento 2 is the latest update that the developers have launched. The system updates every once in a while with Magento 2 being one of the biggest updates so far.
Here are some features of Magento 2 that users can enjoy:
- Flexible architecture for websites
- Engaging customer experiences
- More efficient business experience
- 50% faster loading speeds
- More secure payments
- Easier maintenance and upgrades
Magento 2 is a better, faster version of Magento. After hearing complaints and comments, the developers stripped the platform down and rebuilt it. If you’re looking for a faster, safer, scalable website, Magento 2 is the way to go.
What Is an Extension in Magento?
Magento extensions are pieces of software that users can implement into their online stores. They serve a variety of purposes, like increasing loading speed and improving customer experience.
These applications and services integrate with your online store on the backend and allow customers to do more than ever.
You can choose from thousands of Magento extensions in the Magento Marketplace. You’ll find extensions for all sorts of needs:
- Customer services
- Accounting and finance
- Shipping and fulfillment
- Site optimization
If you’d like to add something special to your store, integrate other business accounts, or improve something that already exists within your store, you should look for the right software at the Magento Marketplace.
What Is the Difference Between Magento 1 and Magento 2?
Magento 2 is supposedly the new and improved version of Magento 1. But, what are the true differences? Is Magento 2 really better than Magento 1?
Let’s explore how Magento 1 and 2 compare in a variety of subjects.
Magento 2 includes more technologies that improve website optimization and customization. In fact, the developers completely removed the old technology stack and formed a new one for Magento 2. This is why transferring to the program involves more than a simple act of data migration.
Here are a few of the most notable technologies that you will not find as a part of Magento 1:
- Composer – allows you to reuse third-party libraries without dealing with source code, reduces extension conflicts
- NGINX – serves as a reverse proxy, HTTP cache, and load balancer
- Redis – uses database cache and broker for messages
- Symfony – make content control easier, improves functionality, and betters website appearance
- Varnish – increases website speed
Website performance was one of the areas of difficulty with Magento 1. With Magento 2, website developers have made website performance one of their top priorities. They wanted to settle these customer complaints and give the users what they wanted once and for all.
No upgrade or patch would’ve repaired the program as much as Magento 2 has.
Because of all of the new technologies that developers included, Magento 2 is optimized for faster loading times and reduced server response times. Plus, you have access to more extensions that will help improve website performance as well.
On top of this, Magento 2 gives its users more customizability and better flexibility in website design and content. This means that you also have more control over how you present your website. You can make it run faster by optimizing the content on your website.
Optimization for Mobile
Along with website optimization, mobile optimization was one of the major complaints with Magento 1. When developers first created it, mobile websites were not as necessary as they are now.
Now, mobile optimization is necessary for every website and business. Developers made Magento 2 with this in mind.
Magento 2 is significantly more mobile-friendly than Magento 1 was. In fact, users can find more responsive themes and an easier checkout process.
Magento 2 also supports Progressive Web Apps. This allows users to create a mobile app that can improve their customers’ experiences.
Using Magento’s Admin Panels
Once again, Magento 2 accounts for something that Magento 1 wasn’t great at. The admin panel in Magento 1 was difficult to use. Magento 2 fixes this.
With Magento 2, users will find an easy-to-navigate panel. But, there is still somewhat of a learning process that users will need to undergo in order to properly use the feature.
Some tasks can be overwhelming. The setup process isn’t as straightforward as users were hoping it would be. However, it is favorable to the process that Magento 1 required.
All in all, you can find the following information on the dashboard:
- New orders
- Last orders
- Average orders
- Lifetime retail sales
- Top search keywords
- Income tax
With these, you’ll find more useful statistics that you can use to run your business better and suit the needs of your customers.
Lastly, Magento 2 also makes it easy for customers to customize data as they want it. So, the customer experience will improve with the upgrade.
The checkout process was extensive with Magento 1. Customers faced six steps:
- Checkout method
- Billing information
- Shipping information
- Shipping Method
- Payment information
- Reviewing the order
Even worse, these steps often presented on different pages that the customer had to tab through. Many users feared that customers left in the middle of these steps because it made the checkout process so difficult.
Luckily, Magento 2 simplified the process to two steps:
- Review payment
In addition, customers can get accelerated payment options with Magento 2. Overall, this vastly improves the checkout experience and makes checking out easier than ever.
Because Magento 1 is no longer supported on the platform, there are no more security patches or updates. Those individuals who are still using Magento 1 need to upgrade or they could be putting their site at risk.
On the other hand, Magento 2 allows you to make your site as secure as you want to make it. You have regular patches and updates. With these, you can use extensions that enhance security.
We should note that you are responsible for PCI compliance. This is not automatically done as a part of the platform, but it is easy to do as long as you aren’t overdoing the customization of your website.
Magento 1 was known for having multiple extension conflicts. Users complained that third-party extensions wouldn’t work on the platform or caused usability issues.
With Magento 2, developers have solved this problem. Magento 2 allows extensions to overlap. This makes it easier to install and use extensions as much as they want.
However, you should be careful not to overload your store. Extensions can be helpful, but you wouldn’t want to have too many. This can lead to loading issues and usability issues.
Only use extensions that are going to bring value to your website, improve the customer experience, and help you make sales. At the same time, you may want to integrate other company accounts or improve security.
Magento 1 is no longer supported on the platform. Therefore, you can’t get any updates or patches from the developers. This means that you’re left to figure out the platform on your own.
With Magento 2, customer support depends on the version that you’re working with. Keep in mind that Magento 2 includes Magento Open Source and Magento Commerce
The first option is free but does not come with customer support. The other version has a cost but does come with customer support.
Should I Choose Magento 1 or Magento 2?
Magento 2 is the upgraded and updated version of Magento 1. Because Magento 2 is safer and more efficient, Magento has stopped supporting Magento 1 as of June 30, 2020.
If you’re still using Magento 1, you’re at risk for fines secondary to non-compliance and security issues. We recommend upgrading as soon as possible.
Magento 2 Commerce vs. Open Source
Magento 2 offers two options for ecommerce stores that are using the platform. Depending on the size of your ecommerce store, your goals for your website, and your individual needs, you may find one more advantageous than the other.
Let’s review both Magento 2 Commerce and Magento 2 Open Source.
What Is Magento Commerce?
Magento Commerce was previously known as Magento Enterprise Edition. Developers made this version of Magento for larger businesses. With a price tag of $24,000 per year, you’d need some hefty income to make that kind of financial commitment.
What Is Magento Open Source?
Magento Open Source is the free version of Magento. It is for ecommerce companies that are smaller and do not need as much support as larger companies.However, large companies can still use the platform successfully. If you have a low-maintenance business, the free option could be a better way to go.
Magento Commerce vs Magento Open Source – Which Is Better?
Both options are viable for e-commerce, but we do recommend trying Magento Open Source before investing money in Magento Commerce. The features for each platform may make you think that Magento Commerce is better, but this isn’t necessarily true.
You have to consider the price that you’re paying and the number of features that you actually need. It’s likely that you can get away with the free version.
Pros and Cons of Magento
Lastly, let’s look at the pros and cons of the platform. This will help you see whether or not you should consider Magento as an ecommerce platform in the first place.
We’re going to consider the pros and cons of Magento 2, considering that this is the active and recommended version of Magento as of now.
Pros of Magento
- Patform is flexible for users
- Platform offers free services
- Community is supportive and will help lost users navigate issues that they may be having
Cons of Magento
- Potential hosting and security expenses
- Paid customer support
Magento Payment Gateways
Magento comes with default payment gateway options: credit cards and PayPal. However, many users use extensions like Rapyd’s global payment plugin for Magento to extend their customers’ payment options and localize checkout worldwide.
Instead of having to add multiple extensions for different payment methods, you can add a single extension that localizes the shopping experience to every customer with Rapyd.
Photo by Igor Miske on Unsplash
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