Magento Alternatives

15th of August

Magento Alternatives, shopping carts

For those currently leveraging the hefty weight of the Magento e-commerce software, there are a slew of reasons you may no longer want to bear the bank-breaking burden. With so many e-commerce options, we’re seeing an exodus from the old-school software to lighter, less expensive substitutes. But first, what happened to Magento, anyway?

In the recent past, eBay bought out Magento as a competitor, with the assumed intention of letting it become obsolete to eliminate contest. Since then, however, Magento fought back, convincing the e-commerce giant to foster Magento Go in its infancy to work with eBay. That’s where we are now, with Magento Go seemingly stepping into its parent’s boots in a new-school fashion.

Now is the time for businesses to secure and ramp up e-commerce efforts, because in the coming years, more customers will be shopping online and buying more, at that. Our recommendation is to migrate to a suitable Magento alternative, be it cloud-based or CMS-based.

Magento

- Most popular, as it used to be the only option
- Often lives with IT department
- Server-based, requiring dedicated server
- Expensive resource hog
- Really slow

Cloud-based software (e.g. Shopify, Magento Go)

Pros

- Small learning curve: easy to use and to get started
- Customizable front-end and themes
- Commercially supported, with faster turnaround time
- Has basic API so you can pull product info
- Back-end easy to use
- Not expensive: monthly and/or transaction fee

Cons

- Not super extensible: reach a cap of your abilities
- Adaptive and responsive design and mobile-first mentality are difficult
- No in-depth form capabilities (but you can mash it up with another CMS)
- Not good for huge, in-depth web stores
- Proprietary license

CMS Commerce (e.g. Drupal Commerce, WP e-Commerce)

Pros

- Open source e-commerce framework
- For stores needing flexible or advanced functionality
- Customizable on the front-end, including for adding features
- Extended through the use of community supported modules or plugins
- Clean, comprehensive solution that plays well with other platforms
- Mobile first mentality: Responsive and adaptive design is much more feasible

Cons

- Longer development time
- Supported by the community (slower support)
- Huge learning curve
- Must be updated by someone familiar with the CMS (developer)

All in all, a business’ selection of e-commerce platform primarily depends on available budget and necessary degree of extensibility. For those without HTML under their belts or advanced design skills, cloud-based solutions like Shopify and Magento Go will help create and maintain a unique, profitable store. But hey, if you’ve got a big vision and the resources to support it, go for a CMS solution, like Drupal Commerce or WP Commerce, for a more tailored product. We’re always here to help.

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Posted by Jim Powell


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