Your Guide to Magento 1 Community Edition
By David Ephraim, ATAK Interactive President, Development + Operations
Magento 1 Community Edition has generated a lot of buzz in the eCommerce space since it’s initial launch. Many people find themselves asking what it is without getting a great answer. The reason for this is that Magento is a lot of things in the world of eCommerce. But the simple answer is that Magento is a content management system (CMS) that is completely open-source. The company Varien Inc. first published Magento in 2008. Over the years Magento has changed hands a few different times but has never lost sight of its purpose to provide amazing site design and eCommerce solutions for the user.
Today, Magento’s owner, Adobe, has released an enterprise Magento 2 commerce edition, that acts as a paid version, as well as the Magento 2 Open Source Community Edition, a free open source edition with more flexibility than ever before. Both of these new versions replace the older, Magento 1 versions. This article explains the evolution of Magento, what it is, and who it is for.
What is Magento?
Leading the way in eCommerce, Magento is one of the most popular platforms available in the world. According to thepixel.com, Magento serves over 200,000 online retailers and is the preferred platform by 25% of all online businesses. Magento has more flexibility and a better interface than its competitors with catalog management tools, search engine optimization, and amazing functionality over the full website. Magento 1 Community Edition offers features specifically for marketing and analysis in both the backend and frontend. All of this functionality and these features mean a much better experience for the shopper, giving you the necessary tools to turn those shoppers into loyal customers.
What is Magento Community Edition?
For those that don’t need all the bells and whistles of the enterprise version of Magento, the Magento 1 Community Edition is a perfect option. Community Edition is a free edition that is also open-source and uses the same core as the enterprise version, so it can be modified to meet your specific needs. It is still an eCommerce platform, but allows smaller businesses, and perhaps those just starting, to build their own online storefront. Magento has provided a lot of tools for Community Edition and offers the Magento Extension Marketplace so you get even more opportunities to develop the perfect store around your specific needs.
Who is Magento for?
Simply put, Magento is for anyone in the market for an eCommerce platform. HostingTribunal has identified some pretty substantial statistics when it comes to Magento. First, one percent of the entire internet is powered using Magento. When you consider the fact that there are well over a billion websites in existence, one percent begins to look substantial. Additionally, Magento is second in the world in overall CMS platforms.
There is nothing old or out of date when it comes to Magento, either. Hostingtribunal also noted that the number of Magento 1 sites almost doubled between March of 2017 and August of 2018. These recent statistics prove that more people are moving to Magento to fill their CMS needs. For those that are new to eCommerce, or just looking for a fresh face and added functionality over an existing site, Magento can more than fit the bill.
All versions of the Magento platforms have a lot of features ready for you to use right away. Magento 1 Community Edition specifically includes the following:
- Shopping optimized for mobile use
- Integrated checkout systems
- Instant purchasing
- Site search
- Advanced marketing tools
- A drag-and-drop (WYSIWYG) page builder
- Visual merchandise
- More functionality through the App Marketplace
Magestore.com writes at length about the features available through Magento 1 Community Edition. Analytic features are very sophisticated, offering tax reports as well as reports for low stock, and even coupon usage. These tools empower the user to find out virtually anything they need to know to better serve their customers and market their product more efficiently. With all the power and functionality of the community edition, there is truly something to meet almost any need at absolutely no cost. The open-source nature of the Community Edition gives the user a level of comfort and confidence knowing that it can be adjusted to meet a specific need that may not be an “out-of-the-box” feature.
As the old saying goes, there is strength in numbers. Magento has an incredibly wide range of technology partners that allow them to do more for their customers. With these partners, there are opportunities to customize and expand the product to take it to a whole new level. Beyond these partners, everyone that utilizes the open-source nature of the Magento 1 Community Edition becomes a trusted partner. New plug-ins are constantly being developed through this innovation and add even more functionality and control. The partner directory shows just how popular Magento is, and how much support they have across the industry.
One of the most powerful parts of Magento is the Magento Marketplace. Users can build their own extensions and submit them for review to add to the marketplace. They can also find an extension to meet all kinds of unforeseen needs. The Magento Marketplace is a developer’s dream and business owner’s lifesaver. A quick internet search of the term “Magento Marketplace” will show you just how popular Magento extensions are to site developers. The marketplace allows for continued customization and updates to existing extensions, which is always important in a world where technology grows by leaps and bounds almost daily.
Magento 1 Wil Sunset Soon, Magento 2 is Here
One important take away is that Adobe has announced that Magento 1 is scheduled to sunset in 2020. In the past, the choice between Magento 1 and Magento 2 had much to do with the current comfort level of the business with the use of Magento 1. However, making the switch will soon become necessary as updates to Magento 1 are discontinued. Support for Magento 1 will last through June 2020.
Using ATAK to Solve Problems with Magento
While the paid enterprise version of Magento offers more options and features for large companies such as added security systems and PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance, Community Edition is a perfect fit for most eCommerce businesses. Ultimately, you will need to decide which platform is right for your needs. Magento 1 Community Edition continues to be a popular option for businesses looking for a highly customizable, yet affordable solution for their online eCommerce store. ATAK’s knowledge and experience in building, customizing, and maintaining the platform make us the ideal partner to any business built on the Magento platform.
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