What is Magento?

  • January 9, 2020
  • 7 min
what is magento

If you've spent any amount of time in the online retail industry, you're probably well aware of what Magento stands for. At the same time, you might have questions like, "What is Magento?" "How does Magento work?" and "Why use Magento?".

Here, at Zfort Group, we specialize in designing and building Magento-based online stores. And today, we're going to pool our expertise and share everything you need to know about the Magento ecommerce platform for your online business. Let's get started.

What is Magento?

If you've been thinking of "what is Magento ecommerce?", the clue is right in the question. The basic Magento definition is that it's an operating system for ecommerce sites. In the same way that WordPress is used for content sites to make it easier for people to bring updates fast, Magento acts as an interface for managing ecommerce stores.

Without Magento, ecommerce site owners would find it much more difficult to update their website with new products, group them into categories, add new pics, descriptions, etc. Magento also offers other features such as inventory management, allowing your website to interface with your warehouse and to make sure that you never lose track of what you have in stock.

Magento offers an open-source license, and it means anyone can download and use it for free. Create third-party themes, plugins, and other enhancements to add new features to your Magento build. And if you're struggling to get the job done yourself, you can always ask for help from a Magento development company.

If you're trying to figure out whether Magento is right for you, an expert Magento development team can help to develop an understanding of what Magento is and provide a better understanding of its capabilities. More than that, a true expert can also match your business needs with the features Magento has to offer. With that in mind, it's time for us to take a closer look at what Magento is all about and how it can help you to make your ecommerce dreams a reality.

What is Magento built on?

A lot of people ask us, "What is Magento software?" There isn't an easy answer, but if we want to get technical, then we can look at how Magento is built. Magento is built on top of Zend Framework, which is a popular PHP framework that allows people to create their comprehensive software packages easily. Magento itself is a PHP-based solution and generally uses MySQL for database management.

Is Magento a CMS?

Strictly speaking, a CMS (content management system) is used to manage content-based websites, such as those for blog sites and news organizations. When we're talking about Magento, we generally use the term "ecommerce platform" to differentiate it from other tools like WordPress. With that said, Magento does have some similarities with content management software, most notably the fact that it acts as a user-friendly interface between the user and the database.

Why use Magento?

How long have you got? There are plenty of different reasons why you might want to use Magento, and most people find that several of these reasons apply to their given situation. One of the most popular reasons for choosing Magento is the fact that it's free, which can help to keep costs down when you're trying to set up an ecommerce website on a budget.

As well as the software itself is free, you can keep costs down by using free themes and plugins, and even the paid options are generally reasonably priced. Magento has most of the functionality that you'll need to get built straight into it, but also when you need something a little different, and you decide to work with a developer, it doesn't have to cost the earth.

Magento is the tried and tested option. It's powering so many of the world's most popular ecommerce sites that there must be something to it. If Magento wasn't the right solution for them to use, you can bet that they'd have switched over to some other ecommerce system instead, especially when you consider how much money is changing hands. Getting it right can save millions of dollars.

Magento also has the edge over some other ecommerce tools when it comes to support issues. If you experience problems, the chances are that someone else has had the same problem at some point and that there's some information out there that can help you. If you're working with a Magento developer, chances are high they have seen it happen before. 

Most people choose Magento because it's easy, it's convenient, and it's an industry standard. Opting for some other tried but untested piece of software can be a significant risk, and so perhaps it's no surprise that most companies try to avoid it. With that said, it's important to remember that Magento is just one of many ecommerce options on the market. It's a pretty good default and works well in the majority of different situations, but that doesn't mean it's right for everyone.

Benefits of Using Magento

We couldn't live without Magento, meaning that it's the core of our business. The pure power that it has to offer, when combined with its flexibility and how it can be easily modified to offer up new use cases, make Magento one of the best ecommerce systems out there on the market. Of course, there are other platforms for e-commerce and they all have their own strengths, which is good for competition. But it’s bad for competition when there are no strengths, but there is a desire to seem good against the backdrop of invented problems, as Core DNA did, you can read about it here Reasons Core dna Were Deeply Wrong About Using Magento.

Magento is also specially designed for online sellers who need a simple ecommerce store but who don't want to pay through the nose for a custom build. Magento is easy to install, easy to customize, and easy to scale, and this makes it a popular choice for all sorts of companies, from small businesses to huge multinationals.

Magento is also easy to use, without the steep learning curve that can be involved with other ecommerce systems. Even a total newbie can set up and customize a basic Magento store, and developers love it because it offers a standard that they can turn to by default. If Magento doesn't include the functionality that their clients need, you can bet that there's a plugin out there to do the job for them. Also it can be home-hosted or you can use use on of the magento hosting services, they won't be very expensive.

And this brings us on to what's arguably the biggest benefit of using Magento versus some other ecommerce store software. Because it's open-source, Magento is supported by a huge community of developers and third-party theme and plugin designers, with many of these addons being available for free, too. If it can't be done in Magento, it probably can't be done. 

Magento also has its certification program developers can apply to become certified as a way of showing their experience with Magento as an ecommerce platform. This is good news for developers because it helps them to take on new business, but it's also good news for Magento website owners who are looking for a reputable partner but who don't know how to tell the good from the bad.

Conclusion

Now that you know everything you need to know about Magento, you're in the best possible place to harness its power to run a successful Magento store. Remember that if you're struggling, it does make sense to hire a Magento developer to help you to get the job done. They already know all about Magento's best practices and can develop custom functionality for when the default features aren't enough.

The good news is that Magento has a track record of success and is widely regarded as the best ecommerce platform on the market. If you're looking to build a store and to start making money online, Magento is usually the way to go. And if you get stuck, feel free to reach out to us to ask for some help. We look forward to hearing from you. 

Author

Tatyana Topal
Tech Journalist

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