I've tried out some of commercial shops and also some open source like osCommerce, but I forgot about them all when i saw Magento.

Why Magento eCommerce looks promissing

It is done professionally, at lead it looks like it is ;) Yes, in my opinion that describes the most advantages of that shop shortly. Because in comparison to others shop systems it offers very much functionality and flexibility out of the box, combined with good looking default template.

I cannot compare of functions of Magento i this article, but i would like to point out the

  • flexibility of Workflows,
  • self-contained
  • Highly customizable in design,
  • Prepared for the future.

But the best impression you can make by trying it out. I tried it for you and i can point some disadvantages to.

Magento problems

The greatest disadvantage of that system is that its powered by Zend Framework. I don't say that Zend Framework is bad, i just say - it's slow :)! Of cause it may be that Magento is so bad written on that brilliant framework making it, so slow, i don't know, but it is really, really slow on normal PHP without Zend engine. And it's don't comes out with standard 8Mb configuration of your PHP engine, it needs at least 20Mb, otherwise it not works.
And of cause you need some not ever usual extensions of your PHP (which is PHP 5.2.0 or newer):

  • MySQLi
  • mcrypt
  • mhash
  • simplexml
  • DOM

I called my host provider before a had all required addons. But i was supported by good installation routine in this exercise.

Furthermore it does not impress with easy installation or intuitive configuration. You can do a lot of mistakes, also one configuration parts can affect other, and you wll never find out... Bad design.

I think it will mature in the future and is not so relevant at all ,cause admins will learn how to configure Magento, but customer will/must not learn it. And precisely customers will like your Magento usability, i think1

Last but not least my version (0.6.13...) of Magneto was pretty buggy. After doing some configuration steps in admin area the store produces errors (Zend Framework pointed me to SQL Errors) and was no more functional anymore :(. That are of cause teething problems, that are possibly already fixed in the new Version: "... Fixed few database foreign keys problems ...".

Finally i would say, that Magento is best open source online shop system that i know at the moment, i will stay watching Magento development and will try out newer matured versions. But at the moment Magento is not really ready for productive run, especially the slowness of the system is greatest disadvantage of Magento for me.

  1. Reviewing this post in 2015 it look naive... Bad design of configuration, no single point of truth, high effort into teaching of personal... Never underestimate that.