I’ve tried out some of eCommerce shops, but I forgot about them when i discovered a new kind on the block - Magento.

Why Magento eCommerce looks promising

First of all it seems to be done very professionally, starting from solid architecture but also UI aspects ending with a rich features set. Yes, in my opinion, that describes the most advantages of that shop shortly. Because in comparison to other shop systems it offers very much functionality and flexibility out of the box, combined with a good-looking default template.

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

  • Flexibility of workflows.
  • Self-containment
  • Highly customizable in design
  • Architecture prepared for the future grow on features.

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

Magento problems

At the moment the greatest disadvantage of that system seem to be that it’s performance. Maybe it’s architecture. Maybe it’s PHP Zend Framework it’s powered by . Well Magento is really, really slow on normal PHP setup 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 the required addons. But I was supported by a good installation routine in this exercise.

Furthermore, Magento unfortunately hasn’t impress with easy installation or intuitive configuration. You can do a lot of mistakes, also one configuration part can affect others, and you will never find out… This is so far bad design.

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

Magento bugs

Last but not least my version (0.6.13…) of Magneto was pretty buggy. After doing some configuration steps in the 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.

Finally, I would say, that Magento is the 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 a greatest disadvantage of Magento for me.

  1. Reviewing this post in 2015 it look very naive… Bad design of configuration, no single point of truth in it, high effort into teaching of personal, too much bugs. Never underestimate that! ↩︎