8 things I wish everyone would know about Magento (and 4 bonus wishes)

Written by Guido Jansen in
December 2010

I actually decided not to do any xmas/newyears stuff on my website but what the heck... ;) Here are the 8 things I wish everyone knew about (Magento) webshops: I Wish...

  1. ... more people would know Magento is probably the best basis for their store. It's the fastest growing platform, great community, open source, many extensions... The slogan 'Ecommerce platform for Growth' says it all: it's the best base for starting and growing your online business!
  2. ... more people would know a Magento webshop isn't cheap to build or maintain. The community edition is open source and free and the commercial Magento versions are a fraction of the license costs compared to traditional proprietary systems like Hybris, Intershop or ATG. But you will still need many development hours on customizations in frontend (templating) and backend (bridges, integrations) development. And since Magento development specialists are still higher in demand than they are available, they're a busy folk and can ask higher-than-average prices.
  3. ... that people wouldn't be scared by point 2 because you will still end up with a much better, cheaper and more flexible platform than when you would've chosen a proprietary system. Just don't expect it to be free/cheap.
  4. ... more people would know Magento can be really fast. You just need to have proper hosting and know what to do.
  5. ... web development agencies would know that they can't just simply decide to adopt Magento into their organization. Even if you successfully implemented several websites or webshops based on other platforms, prepare to fail miserably on your first projects. Depending on FTE, It'll take you around 6 to 12 months to successfully implement Magento webshops within budget and on time.
  6. ... every Magento webshop owner or supplier would know that attending one or more Magento events (like Imagine, Meet Magento NL, Meet Magento DE or Bargento) is great for business. Although webshops are an online business by definition, it's still all about people. Visiting an event might cost you a couple hundred dollars (including entrance fee, travel expenses and a hotel), but the contacts and knowledge you gain will be priceless.
  7. ... even more people would share their knowledge online and help others with their Magento questions once in while. Besides the good feeling of helping someone out, it'll repay you in online reputation and it might get you some more projects in the long run.
  8. ... everyone not using Magento would know that #Magento kicks your ecommerce platforms butt :D

And here are 4 extra wishes for webshops in general: I Also Wish...

  1. ... starting webshop owners wouldn't think selling products online is easy and that just putting products online will bring you golden mountains. Starting a webshop is the equivalent of opening a real life store: you'll need staff, clean your shop now and then, use marketing to get people to visit your store and provide world-class support and increase loyalty to get people back into your store and tell their friends about it. It's almost like starting a real business ;)
  2. ... more people would realize that your not done when you launch your shop. That actually marks the start.
  3. ... more projects would 'release early, release often' instead of lengthy development cycles. You can't plan for everything, you don't know everything about your customers, you don't know what works best online. You don't. So start finding out as quickly as you can.
  4. ... more decisions would be made based on test results. The great thing about webshops is that you can measure and test (almost) everything. Use that to your advantage and don't just make decisions based on the opinion of random people working on the project or your instincts. Test and know.

So these were my wishes, but what about yours? Let me know what you think people should know about Magento in the comments! Have a Magestic 2011 everyone!

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