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Magento – Disadvantages and Problems

Saturday, August 21st, 2010
Posted in Reviews by Joel Gross

Ecommerce websites are an effective way to make money online. But only few websites, like BigCommerce (currently the best), is SEO friendly and fulfill all army-men-carrying-comthe potentials required by search engines. Magento ecommerce is one such solution like BigCommerce (though not quite as good), which is both, open source and SEO friendly, and proves to be a better shopping cart than many other ecommerce solutions. It is constantly being worked and improved by a team of developers. Magento is a professional shopping cart in town, but its users still face some problems.  If you wish to find out more about how Magento compares directly to other shopping carts, check out my new July 2010 ecommerce solution review.

Although it is one of the most popular and flexible ecommerce solutions, it still has some disadvantages and problems. Following are some of the complaints that I have seen myself and other people have made regarding Magento:

  • Users have complained that the Magento is relatively slow than other ecommerce solutions. One possible reason can be that Magento is not effectively written on Zend framework which makes it slow while running. On PHP, it does not work on standard 8mb but requires at least 20mb to work properly. An effective, well dedicated server might be one of the solutions.
  • Magento's Problems & Disadvantages

    Magento's Problems & Disadvantages

    It is a complex system and not one that is easy to work with. Built on Zend framework and using MVC approach, customizing is not that easy as with other shopping carts. Any of your requests to do customization will take a good developer more time to bring changes. It looks as if it does not use object-oriented programming or other best practices because it has a heavy layered and complicated code that takes a lot of time to learn and make changes accordingly. Therefore, to get a job done properly and efficiently, you need to have a proper budget in order to work with Magento.

  • Magento is unusable in shared hosting environment and requires about $25 per month for hosting as you need a semi-dedicated VPS server.
  • Magento developers are rare and difficult to find. You really need to put an effort to unearth good team of Magento developers and designers. Particularly, it is difficult to find a good set of skills for web design field professionals i.e. designers, server side programmers and client side programmers. Plus, it has got a mixture of many tools and technologies that makes it complicated for a person to understand its working.
  • You need to have a good hosting environment and store management in order for Magento to run. If proper hosting environment is not set-up, you can experience problems with speed.  Unlike simpler systems which can work anywhere, such as WordPress, Magento performs poorly if the website services are not as required, which means you need to have good server along with a good team to set and maintain server.
  • Installation is not as intuitive as it should be in admin area. You should use the option of safe mode during installation.
  • Unlike BigCommerce, Magento is resource intensive and requires much space and memory. Therefore, appropriate optimization is required to cut down resource usage and ensure a better performance.
  • Technical documentation is available in limited space which makes it difficult to customize and modify the program. The software offers some very convenient features, but it is hard to remember at times as it provides rough documentation along the software.

While Magento does offer some advantages and fulfill promises, for e.g. multiple stores, friendly SEO links and great third party integration, but on the other hand, it lacks fundamental things like complicacy and lack of RMA system which can turn life into a nightmare. Magento’s problems and disadvantages make it a shopping cart I don’t use. Comparing from other ecommerce shopping cart solutions though, Magento is one of the best shopping cart solutions, but with new matured versions and firm productivity in the long run, it can be near perfect platform in future.

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