I am not a hater. And neither am I a WooCommerce or a Prestashop evangelist. That being said, I feel a lot of clients get obsessed over Magento as an ecommerce platform. From claims that it’s the best to “only professional companies” deploy Magento (ridiculous, I know).

Is Magento the answer to all ecommerce problems? Does it live up to the hype? Or all smoke and mirrors? Lets dive right in.

Magento History
Started as an ecommerce platform in cooperation with the (now dying OsCommerce). Cutting a long story short, it was acquired by eBay for US$ 2.4 billion only to be sold a couple of years later for US$ 925 million at a net loss of 61%. As of 2018, Adobe will grab all of Magento for US$ 1.2 billion. As on now, we still don’t know if Magento will truly die out or not.

Magento Themes
They’re buggy, broken and hard to deal with. Apart from being terribly slow, the sheer amount of CSS and Javascript creates for long load times. And if that wasn’t enough, responsive issues on the front end will be needed to taken care of by a dedicated developer.

Magento Plugins (aka Extensions)
Like most ecommerce platforms, Magento comes with its own set of plugins that are notorious for being broken, unresponsive and expensive. With little support from the developers, you are practically on your own in the plugin era.

Magento hosting is painful. For decent performance, you will be set back at least US$800 a month on providers such as RackSpace. The issue is that Magento works mostly with Nginx servers and they, in itself, are leaps and bounds more pricey that your regular Apache setup. I know companies that run on Nginx servers and pay a tab of up to US$3000 per month. So this is something you need to take into consideration.

Magento Community
Magento does have a large community of developers, but they are freaking expensive. If you are building your ecommerce project, you might want to factor in that cost as well. You will need a developer. I’ve never seen a Magento based project created or maintained without one. And a magento developer will cost at least US$50 per hour.

My verdict:
Magento is like a fat, lazy celebrity that creates more problems than its worth. While a lot of developers and programmers will swear on Steve Job’s grave that it is THE ecommerce platform out there, you will be better served by solutions such as Big Commerce, Prestashop or WooCommerce. Avoid Magento altogether….till and if Adobe fixes it.

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