Magento is an open source e-commerce sofware that you can host on your own server or hosting account. The developer recommends its software to “expert developers” and highly technical enthusiasts and hobbyists in non-mission critical environments. As this edition is unsupported it is intended to be used by those happy to spend time and resource solving issues independently” In other words, not for a serious, focused and busy entrepreneur with no IT background, no available in-house resources and a low budget.
Should you use Magento Community Edition?
- Plenty of better options on the market
The first and foremost reason is that many other hosted full features e-commerce software now exists and can be implemented by professionals, at much lower cost than Magento Community Edition. Softwares such as Big Commerce, Shopify,3dcart and Commerce CM are hosted, PCI compliant and cost as low as $20/month. They come with tens of built-in features and compatible applications. They offer phone, email, live chat support and a library of technical documents and how-to videos. Why make it complex when you can make it easy?
- Magento Community Edition is not PCI compliant
That means that you cannot use a payment gateway to process transactions on your store. You will have to rely on solutions such as Paypal Express Checkout, which takes you to their page for completing the transaction.
- Hosting Cost
Even if you have little traffic on your site, you will have to pay at least $300 in hosting fees/year.
- Complex and time consuming upgrades
Magento Community Edition upgrades are very complex and time consuming and have to be performed on a sandbox. That can be expensive if you have to outsource the task.
- Designing is complex and time consuming
Designing templates on Magento Community Edition is complex and time consuming. You have to really understand the complex xml block system in order to design custom templates. Designing is more expensive and development time is longer than with most other e-commerce softwares. By the time you e-commerce store will be live, your competitors on Big Commerce, Shopify, 3dcart and Commerce CM will be selling and making money.
- Not a complete solution
Most extensions and related applications are more expensive than with most other e-commerce softwares. Something that cost $30 on Shopify can cost $100 on Magento.
- Official Paid Support Is Expensive
Unlike most hosted other softwares, customer support is not free and can be really
expensive. Realistically, if you want support, you are better off with the Enterprise Edition. Price tag: Starts at $14,420/yr. No support and no training.
- No User Roles
Magento Community Edition does not have user role option. Every user has full admin access.
- There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
While Magento Community Edition seems to be free, the overall design and implementation that will match any project implemented on Big Commerce, Shopify, 3dcart and Commerce CM, will end up costing way more and postpone your arrival on the market.
- Not suited for small business
I could go on for and on about Magento Community Edition but it is pretty obvious that it is not a solution for startups or small businesses with little money. Rather, it tends to be best suited for or mid level businesses doing at least 10 million in sales yearly, with in-house resources.