One of the leading popular open source content management sites that use the PHP scripting language is Magento. Varien brought this CMS into existence in the year 2007. To date, Magento has evolved into different versions. Magento is preferable for the users intending to build an eCommerce site. In 2018, Adobe acquired Magento eCommerce and the latest version of Magento is version 2.3. Anyone can get access to this CMS for free and the tool is extensible. The sellers possess ownership of the hosting.
MAGENTO AND MERCHANTS
In 2015, Magento stated that around 240,000 websites are Magento-based. In three years, the number increased to 250,000. So Magento has been into consistent and strong growth. With a lot of other CMS for building an eCommerce site, you may find it difficult to choose the right one. So here is the reason as to why one should choose Magento over the other CMS tools:
- An easily accessible open-source platform
- Abundant features
- High scalability
- Powerful security
- Multilanguage and store support
- Excellent performance
- Better mobile version
- Wide range of extensions
- Effortless third-party collaboration
As already mentioned Magento is an open-source content management platform designed exclusively for eCommerce purposes. It comes with Community Edition completely free of cost. The benefit of Community Edition is that the user can customize the functions freely. The users can modify or customize while also adding functions to the website.
Magento can support a lot of stores where you can find ample products. This makes this content management site immensely scalable. Another interesting fact about Magento is that it has obtained an SEO score of 100 which is the highest when compared to the other platforms like Woocommerce and Shopify.
If you are freshly opening up an online store, install version 2 of Magento for better experiences. If you are already running an online store, then you can go ahead choosing version 1. However, talks are prevailing that Magento 1 is facing difficulties in meeting the newer demands of the customers and merchants. The prominent features of Magento 2 that make it a predominant version are
- Content management
- Catalog management
- Marketing support
- Cart and checkout
- Order management
- Customer management
- Store management
- System management
- Analytics and reporting
USEFUL CHANNELS OF MAGENTO 2
Here are the prominent channels of Magento 2. You can rely upon them for basic knowledge.
Magento Website: All the information regarding the products, partners, solution, resources, community, and many more are available here.
Extension Marketplace: The features available by default in Magento 2 are unique and constructive. You can still strengthen these features of your eCommerce site with the extensions available in Magento. Many high-quality modules are available here.
Magento Community: this is where you can get acquainted with a lot of merchants, contributors, and developers across the globe.
Magento Forum: this space is for the developers who are looking for creating a new site or for making any improvements to the site.
Let us get to know more about Magento 2.
The first important question is if it can support SEO. Of course yes. Apart from supporting SEO, this content management site is also capable of highlighting the improvements that are advanced when compared with other platforms. As already mentioned Magento has defeated the other CMS platforms when it comes to SEO scores.
IS MAGENTO 2 A GOOD PLATFORM FOR MARKETING?
Magento 2 offers immense support towards marketing. You can find a lot of tools required for marketing. These tools facilitate the marketers to provide discounts for doing promotions, sending newsletters and emails while also making a better analysis of marketing.
It is always wise to list out the things you will need on your website and make an estimate for the cost of the same. This will help you be prepared financially to build your eCommerce site. Here is the general list of features in which you will have to invest:
- Price of Magento Version
- Price of obtaining a domain
- The expense of a hosting service for Magento
- The expense of designing the website
- Price for developing the site
- The expense of Magento modules or extensions
- The expense for modifying or customizing the site
- Price for website management
Depending on whether your site is simple or complex, the total expense varies. It is cheaper when the site is simple in its functioning and design. When the site functions are complex, the price increases. SheroCommerce’s evaluation of the average cost sums up to anywhere between $42,000 to $100,000. Sometimes it can go even higher. From the price perspective, Magento could be a good option for already established successful businesses that can meet the expense of the developers or afford the skills required for maintaining the eCommerce website.
EDITIONS OF MAGENTO 2
There are two editions of Magento 2 namely the community edition (CE) and the enterprise edition (EE). At present, the community edition is renamed as Magento 2 Open Source while the enterprise edition is renamed as Magento 2 Commerce. The community edition is not compatible with larger businesses. It is preferred for small businesses or businesses just starting from scratch. The latter version is highly preferable for medium and large businesses. They come with a lot of features that cannot be found in the community edition. Magento 2 EE is also flexible.
Magento 2 Open Source or Community Edition is available for free while the Commerce edition can be acquired only by paying a certain amount of money. The latter edition will enable the complete functionality of the website. The cost of Magento 2 EE will be based on the annual gross revenue. The cost of a Magento License is about $22,000 if the revenue is less than 1 million and it costs about $125,000 if the revenue is 10 million and more.
Here are some unique features of the paid version.
- Gift Card: With a gift card the admin can make and provide physical, virtual, or combined gift cards with ease on their eCommerce site. The design and the pricing are flexible. These gift vouchers are usually for sale so that the customers who buy them can give them to any of their friends. This gift voucher is then redeemed while making any purchases by the recipient. This turns out to be one of the ways by which the sales can boost.
- Catalog Permissions: Catalog permissions permit the admin to hold certain limitations on the customer groups when it comes to specific category access. This will be very useful for the administrator of the website who has both wholesale and retail customers. Catalogs for different groups of customers are available of which the catalog permission option makes it possible to display specific catalogs to the corresponding customers to avoid confusion.
- Related Product Rule: This is one of the unique features which aids in displaying the recommended products.
- Visual Merchandiser: Visual Merchandiser facilitates the categorizing of the products under the respective categories. All you have to do is just define the rules in a workspace called “visual mode”. It is just a cakewalk. The next Magento 2 EE feature spotlight allows sorting out products and automatically assigning products to categories.
The “visual mode” workspace in Magento 2 Enterprise simplifies your jobs by making it even more exciting and easy to define smart rules and position multiple products in category listing within seconds. Besides this, visual merchandisers can also permit the admin to create and clone categories. This means that you can enhance the categories of products and save them for other errands that generate sales.
- Schedule Changes: The schedule Changes feature allows the admin to schedule the timely updates of category, modifications in the content, or price rules in their eCommerce site.
Installation of Magento requires to satisfy the three following conditions:
Your device should meet the requirements as per the System Requirements of Magento.
Finish the prerequisite steps. You can take help from the Prerequisites.
As soon as signing into Magento, determine the Magento file system owner. For this, you should learn more about Ownership and Permissions.
Go to the official site of Magento. You can find a lot of features or elements which might seem to be a little complex. For any amateur user, this platform might seem a bit difficult to get hands-on. Magento is developed for the developers. So it is highly recommended that you either enlighten yourself or hire a developer. You can initially start with the free trial.
As soon as you are set up with the beginning, you will receive a confirmation mail which consists of the store admin page URL. This is where the dashboard exists. The same page will contain the quickstart wizard that enlightens the user about the prerequisites to get your hands on the platform.
Hosting services are for managing the eCommerce sites that are magnificent in their databases. Nexcess and SiteGround are some of the hosting services that provide strong servers to the online stores. It costs around $3.95 per month if you choose Siteground. As you own multiple sites for different stores, the price can go up to $114 per month.
Themes are for enhancing the look of the store. Choosing the right theme is one of the branding strategies. Themeforest provides ready-made themes for a cheaper price. These themes can be customized to the user’s choice.
Press the “Save and Apply” option from the menu at the top to install and apply the same to your store.
In the Quickstart Wizard, you will find the “Design” option. Click on that.
Choose the “Select and Customize Your Design” option from the submenu of the “Design” option.
This will direct you to a new window where the working of the theme is explained.
Press “Continue”. You will now land on Theme Editor.
This is where you personalize your store design according to your business brand.
Extensions, also known as modules, are used to enhance the functionality of the eCommerce store. Each extension enables new features on the store.
Go to Magento Marketplace and hover your cursor over the extensions menu. From the dropdown list choose the appropriate option depending on the purpose. Some of the add ons are available for free while the others may cost up to a hundred dollars. The cost increases as the potential of the extension rises. So choose accordingly.
Once all the previous steps are perfectly finished, we can move on to setting up the store’s database. Go to Admins Page and define the following:
- Name of the Store
- Email address to receive notifications
- Mode of shipping
- Mode of payment
- Products and Product Categories
- Other settings as per the need of the extensions
It’s time to stock up your products on the shelves.
Go to the “Products” menu. Click on the “Create New Products” option.
This will direct you to set the attributes of the store. Also, determine if you choose to select the complex product types. You can leave the attributes at default and make changes later. You can list the virtual, bundled, grouped, and configured products with the Complex Product Types option. The same option also allows you to list the gift cards. Select the products and press the “Continue” option.
This is one of the most important steps for setting up the eCommerce store. Fill in all the required details of the product. The descriptions and the images of the products will eventually affect the customers. Only if they attract the visitors, will they consider buying your products. The following are the details to be included:
- Unique name for the product
- Stock Keeping Unit Numbers
- Details of the Delivery
- Material type and the Weight
- Size or Dimensions
- Return and Cancellation Policy
- Any other significant information about the product like availability, visibility, and many more.
Once you are done with including all the details, click on “Save and Continue Edit”.
PRICE TAG AND IMAGES
To your left, you will find a menu. Click on the “Prices” option from there.
Add all the details in the respective fields.
Press the “Save and Continue” option.
Similarly, you can add the images too.
Click on the “Images” option from the same menu to your left.
Download the required images and determine the right images to take up the place of the base image, small image, and the thumbnail.
Now press the “Save and Continue Edit” button.
Adding SEO keywords is as prominent as the other steps.
Go to “Meta Information” from the menu to your left hand. Determine the title and description according to your content or business brand. This will be displayed in the search engines. Now enter the keywords in the respective field. Doing so will help you in bringing more visitors to your eCommerce site.
PAYMENTS AND SHIPPING
Press the “Start my Store” option. You can find this option at the top to your left. You can update the payment mode and shipping setup here.
Go to the “Get Going” menu. Choose the “Launch Your Store” option. Now you are all set to launch your site.
Magento is a complex eCommerce platform that requires programming skills to make an eCommerce website out of it. Despite being complex, it is a highly scalable and flexible platform. And it also provides enough functionalities for a website to perform its task perfectly. If you are looking for an easier interface, check out WordPress or Joomla. But with the right amount of effort and skill, one can use Magento potentially.