Magento is an open-source content management system for e-commerce web sites.
According to the research conducted by ahead Works in April 2014, Magento's market share among the 20 most popular e-commerce platforms is about 34%.
Magento employs the MySQL relational database management system, the PHP programming language, and elements of the Zend Framework. It applies the conventions of object-oriented programming and model-view-controller architecture. Magento also uses the entity–attribute–value model to store data.
Magento provides three distinct platforms, Magento Community Edition, Magento Enterprise Edition, and Magento Go.
Magento Community Edition
Magento Community Edition is an open-source content-management system. Anyone can modify the core system. Developers can implement the core files and extend its functionality by adding new plug-in modules provided by other developers. Since the first public beta version was released in 2007, Community Edition has been developed and customized in order to provide a basic eCommerce platform. The latest version is 188.8.131.52 which was released on May 15, 2014.
Magento Enterprise Edition
Magento Enterprise Edition is derived from the Magento Community Edition and has the same core files. Unlike Community Edition, this is not free, but has more features and functionality. This edition is designed for large businesses that require technical support with installation, usage, configuration, and troubleshooting. Although Magento Enterprise has annual maintenance fees, neither Community nor Enterprise Editions include hosting. The Magento team develops Enterprise Edition by cooperating with users and third parties. The latest version is 184.108.40.206 which was released on May 13, 2014.
Magento Go is a cloud-based eCommerce solution, which also includes web hosting by Magento Inc. This was launched in February of 2011 in order to support small businesses as it has no need for software installation. Magento Go still has many built-in modules and can add Magento extensions for more functionality, but is also the least customizable platform. The latest version is 220.127.116.11 which was released on March 28, 2014. On July 1, 2014, Magento Inc. announced that they would be shutting down the Magento Go platform on February 1, 2015.
Magento supports a Web template system which generates multiple similar-looking pages and customizes them.
Magento provides a basic theme which sets up an ecommerce website. The theme is designed for customizing all pages by adding or editing the PHP, HTML and CSS. Magento users may install themes which change the display of the website or its functionality. Without loss of content or layout of pages, themes are interchangeable with Magento installations. Themes are installed by uploading theme folders via FTP or SSH and applying them using the backend admin system.
Magento developers have created Magento plugins which extend its basic built-in functionality. Magento users can install modules by downloading them, and uploading them to their server, or applying a module's Extension Key through Magento Connect Manager.
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Magento is a flexible award-winning open source ecommerce platform that is taking the web design world by storm. It gives your business enterprise level ecommerce features without the enterprise level price tag. By using this powerful and versatile system as the basis for all of our ecommerce websites we are able to provide our customers with an incredibly advanced online retail store at a fraction of the price it would normally cost to have those features developed. Websites that would have cost £100k a few years ago are now available at a fraction of that price, giving you the means to compete with the big retailers.
A comprehensive feature list can be found on the Magento website, but some of the key selling points as to why our clients choose Magento include:
- powerful attribute based product catalog functionality - this makes Magento the perfect choice for selling anything from a simple t-shirt, to a complex computer with customisable technical specifications.
- rules based promotions and coupon functionality - set up promotions based on a seemingly endless string of rules. Also includes support for buy X get Y free offers.
- Multi-store functionality - different websites can all be managed from the same Magento back-end. This could include a completely new site, or a geo-location target such as a US store in US currency, or a French store in Euro's and french language.
- Modular architecture - Magento is modular software, this means that you build on top of it without ever changing the core code. This prevents issues in future with upgrades, and also means that there are 25,000 extensions out there that can be quickly and easily plugged into your site.
- Enterprise level ecommerce features with minimal outlay - features such as product reviews, layered navigation, product tagging, feature rich customer accounts and superb back-end administration out of the box.
- Search engine readiness - Magento is one of the most SEO friendly ecommerce applications on the market. However it is not perfect, and we always make a point of installing things like cannonical URL's to iron out some of the kinks in the way Magento is build.
- Strong Google Analytics integration - full ecommerce reporting in Google Analytics is included in Magento as standard.