Every client comes to us with a unique set of requirements. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to website development, so each client receives an individual evaluation of needs, wants, strategic direction, and business goals.
Quite often, a client's aim in developing a new website is to sell products. Selling products is very different than marketing a brand, disseminating information, providing services, or simply having the obligatory company website. If you browse through Google “shopping cart software,” you can find thousands of shopping cart applications developed for the web. Choosing the right one can be daunting.
Magento is a good fit for many of our clients who sell large numbers of products or large volumes of products. We appreciate that Magento offers an open source version called the “Community” version which allows us to work with the source code if we need to. It runs on a standard hosting configuration called the LAMP stack, which is just geek-speak for Linux operating system, Apache web server, MySQL database server, and PHP application framework. This is one of the most widely used web platforms, which leads to a strong community of developers working with the product. It also means you can move your site easily if needed.
The focus of Magento is the shopping cart, but its strength is that it is also a Content Management System (CMS). Most shopping cart applications assume that all you want to do is sell stuff and don't provide for the ability to develop a full-fledged website. Magento allows you to design and develop your site right along with your product catalog, which makes the transition from content to store, seamless. This gives your site a sophisticated and professional appearance to which web shoppers respond.
Because the shopping cart experience is so important to making sales, Magento's cart is very feature-rich, allowing configuration of virtually every aspect of how the cart operates. If the core cart does not have the particular feature you are interested in, Magento Connect is a populous community marketplace where developers offer their plugins. Buying a plugin that does what you want is almost always less expensive than having the feature custom-programmed for you, and it is often possible to find a good fit or even something you hadn't thought of. However, if you have unique requirements, we are able to customize it for you.
Lastly, the company is owned by eBay Inc. Heard of them? They will not be going away anytime soon, so we are confident that when we recommend Magento to you, that the company will be around five years from now. That is something to think about when choosing any kind of software. Not all clients need the power of Magento for their site, but for the ones that do, we have not found a better choice.