It would be kind of like the scaffolding that you use to build a store, the shelves, the cash register, that you put stock into and how you take sales. Basically, an e-commerce platform is what’s behind the scenes of an online shop.
The platform runs, manages and controls the website and is often based on common programming such as PHP. There are loads out there but our favourite is Magento and it’s the favourite of over 200,000 companies worldwide so it’s not just us! But what’s so good about it? I’ll start by getting into a bit of the history of Magento. Created by Varien, development began in 2007 with the first beta release being in August 2007. It was originally called Bento but due to legal issues the team were forced to change the name to Magento, thought to be inspired by “mage” the name of a wizard in many role-playing games.
The first official release of Magento came a year later in august 2008 and it quickly became very popular.
In 2010 eBay purchased 49% of Varien and by February 2011 it became the full owner of Magento. As a result of the breakup of eBay Magento was spun out as an independent company by its new owner Permira and has been continuing to grow ever since. Magento has three distinct versions Magento Community Edition, Magento Enterprise Edition and Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition. Magento Community Edition is completely free and open source meaning all the original code is freely available to developers, merchants… everyone. Enterprise Edition is a paid license version of the software that comes with additional features, support and is purposely engineered for fast growing larger businesses. Enterprise Cloud Edition is their new Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) environment which outweighs the competition because it’s super SCALEable.
Magento is modular which means it can grow with your business
- It has a built-in content management system (CMS) for information and landing pages.
- There’s related products, up-sell products, cross-sell products as standard.
- A wide range of promotions with logic built in.
- Manage customers from the admin and do customer grouping.
There’s a wide selection of product types including:
- Search engine optimization settings
- Tax settings
- Payments settings
- Shipping settings… so many settings!
These is a persistent shopping cart, Data imports and exports
Order management is simple and it can handle multiple currencies and languages, built in contact form, built-in reporting and a fully responsive design. The big one that sets it apart from many of its competitors is its ability to do multi sites.
You can manage and control multiple web stores from the one admin panel of Magento and you can choose to share as much or as little information between these stores as you want. Honestly you have to see it to understand how powerful it really is. There’s nothing worse than a platform that gets released and then is just left to rot. The team at and around Magento are constantly looking for new ways to improve and grow the software with new functionality and security patches.
There is even a new file structure with new technologies, improved performance and scalability, better security, improved data import, user-friendly admin interface drag-and-drop uploads, product videos built-in and customizable admin product grids. Along with system upgrades within the admin and much more!
Not only that, Magento has the largest e-commerce marketplace for extensions available for purchase and download. If you want something, chances are somebody will have already created it and will have made the module available for you to easily download and add to your store. Magento boasts a network of over 300 solution partners and a global community of developers and specialists that are highly active. Super active.
You can easily find members on the Magento community, stack exchange, twitter, instagram youtube… so you’re never more than a click away from an expert that can help you. You’ve just read a quick blog post on what Magento is and what it does. I could keep going on and on because there is so much more to what it can do but I’m pretty sure you would fall asleep before finished!
At WSI Digital Web we think Magento is perfect
If you have any questions you would like answered, then please do not hesitate to give us a call and see what we can do for your business.