>>Everything You Need to Know about Magento

Everything You Need to Know about Magento

19 min read

When your search ends here, you must be beginners who are drowning in the ocean knowledge about Magento:

  • Online merchants wondering whether to use Magento to build the website
  • Freelance developers hunting for new promising jobs involved Magento
  • Bloggers wanting to write about Magento – the current trend in eCommerce;
  • Marketers with customers using Magento, etc.

Congratulation and keep reading as you reach the right place to explore ALL about Magento with ease! With 6-year experience, BSSCommerce best team has carefully researched and gathered the most useful knowledge to include in one article only. Let’s enjoy it now!

I. Magento General Overview

1. What is Magento?

In brief, Magento is an open source using PHP scripting language on Zend Framework. First introduced by Varien in 2007, Magento has continuously developed into various products and versions. Currently, it becomes one of the leading open-source platforms which offers almost all features and tools to build an ecommerce website.  

Magento 2

Online merchants have a preference for Magento over WooCommerce, OpenCart, Shopify, etc. because:

  • Magento is free and fully extensible
  • Sellers have ownership and full access to hosting service
  • The features are plentiful and cover almost merchants’ requirements: B2C, B2B, global expansion, omnichannel, or digital transportation

To have an overview of Magento and its development trend now and in the future, mark What is Magento? – Magento Trend Currently and Beyond for later reading.

2. What versions have Magento been launching?

Over the past ten years, Magento has issued dozens of versions, which are divided into Magento 1 and Magento 2. Each release product will be frequently updated with several release notes containing new enhancements or bug fixes if any.

Hence, remember to check release note frequently to get the latest version.

What’s more, each version often includes two different editions: Community (CE) and Enterprise (EE), so-called Open Source and Commerce. While Magento CE is entirely free to download with all basic features working very well for small business, Magento EE is paid, about $22,000 per year for 2.2.x version. However, you should think twice about the value, not just the price. Magento EE goes along with advanced features and 24/7 premium support.

3. Is Magento 1 worth installing anymore?

From our expert view, you should not use Magento 1 unless you have already run your online stores in Magento 1. In other words, if you are about to open an entirely new website, start with Magento 2.

Magento has given it words that Magento 1 has been and will continue to be supported for the foreseeable future.” However, its features no longer can keep up with the increasingly varied demands by online merchants and customers. Sooner or later, you have to move from Magento 1 to Magento 2. Such the upgrade will definitely cost money, time, and effort. Thus, Magento 2 is the present and future of the Magento platform in particular, and of eCommerce in general.

*Note: From now on, we will focus on Magento 2 only. Keep scrolling down with us and you will agree for sure that Magento 2 is your choice.

4. Are above versions all options for Magento 2?

To many, it is a common mistake that Magento 2 products include Magento 2 CE  and Magento 2 EE only. The fact is Magento has developed various products to enhance the functionalities of Magento 2 Commerce, for example, Magento Commerce Cloud, Magento Order Management, Magento Shipping, and Magento Business Intelligence. Such extended capacities are also one of Magento 2’s predominance over Magento 1.

  • Magento Commerce Cloud: The combination of Magento Commerce and Cloud-based infrastructure hosting, to get Magento products work together and work for your business.
  • Magento Order Management (OMS): Bridge the gap between online and in-store with a flexible order fulfillment system and create seamless omnichannel experiences.
  • Magento Shipping: Connect your online stores with shipping carriers worldwide to add value to customer service through shipping & fulfillment process.
  • Magento Business Intelligence: Empower your database and organization management with the automated data syncs.

5. What are Magento 2 main features?

Magento 2 surpasses other competitors like Shopify or WooCommerce partly because of its rich features ranging from Marketing, SEO, Site Management, Analysis, etc. which can meet almost all demands of online merchants.  

We will provide further discussion about these features and benefits soon. You should never miss it.

Magento 2

6. What are some of useful Magento 2 channels for users?

If you enter “What is Magento?” in the search box, there are 59.800.000 results displayed in a quarter of a second. Which one should you read? It is a hard question. Though every shared knowledge is useful, not all of them are detailed or clear enough.

As Magento specialists, we recommend the following channels to get reliable knowledge:

  • Magento Website: The official channel of Magento where you could find information about products, solutions, partners, community, resources, and so on.
  • Extension Marketplace: The default features of Magento are out-of-the-box and effective. However, you can even enhance their performance and delight customers better with Magento extensions. You can buy high-quality modules on this channel.
  • Magento Community: Join here to meet the global community of online merchants, developers, and Magento contributors.  
  • Magento Forum: If you are a developer who about to start a Magento project or a merchant looking for the best solutions to improve your sites, then you can search or create any topic to discuss here.

These channels are useful but only when you know how to reach your desired information. Just spend one minute reading Pro Tips to Make The Most of Useful Magento Channels,” in which we share about our practical experience with those channels. Hope it helps!

7. Try a Magento demo

From all above, you have already had a general view of Magento. Are you ready to get the demo to experience the powerful features of Magento? >>> Get here!

II. Magento 2 for Merchants

According to Magento Image 2015 Event in Las Vegas, Magento announced that approximately 240,000 websites are running a business based on Magento. In 2018, this figure supposedly increases to more than 250,000 websites (the statistic is published on Magento.com), which proves the continuous and powerful growth of one of the three biggest Ecommerce platform in the world.

1. Why should you choose Magento?

Addition to Magento, you have a lot of other options to select an Ecommerce platform for your business such as Woocommerce, Shopify, OpenCart or PrestaShop and so on. Hence, it is difficult for you to decide which one should be chosen because each platform contains particular functions.  

To assist you to make up your mind, we come up with some reasons why you should choose Magento, based on comparison with other platforms:

  • Open source

Magento is an open source platform with free Community Edition which allows freely customizing or modifying and adding more functions. This feature cannot be included on any other platforms.

  • Scalability

Magento is more scalable than others, especially Shopify because it supports large-scale stores with a lot of products.

  • SEO- friendliness

According to a study to find out which platform has the highest SEO score, Magento covers the first position with the maximum score of 100 compared to others. Shopify and Woocommerce are respectively put in the second and the third positions.

⇨ To read more reasons, please explore this article:  10 Biggest Reasons Why You Choose Magento.

If you are still taking Magento into account, we will continue giving you more detailed comparisons between Magento and other Ecommerce platforms so that you can quickly have your answer.

2. Does Magento 2 Support SEO?

magento-2-seo

The answer is definitely Yes. Magento 2 not only well supports SEO but also highlights some advanced improvements in comparison with even Magento 1. Furthermore, SEO features in Magento 2 also defeat other platforms when getting higher SEO score according to a study we mentioned above.

For more information of SEO in default Magento 2, you can take a look at this article we published a few months ago to find out how Magento 2 supports SEO in details: Magento 2 SEO Settings – All Default SEO Features of Magento 2.

3. Does Magento 2 Support Marketing?

Similar to SEO, Magento 2 does effectively support Marketing with a lot of necessary tools for marketers to complete a successful Marketing campaign. These functions are creating discounts for promotions, sending emails and newsletters and supporting Marketing tool integration for better analysis and management.

Here are 2 very useful blog posts about Marketing in Magento 2 and what features marketers can take advantages to do better and better Marketing activities:

4. How to build a Magento 2 website?

4.1 How much does it cost to build a Magento 2 website?

When it comes to costs to build a Magento website, many merchants often take a list of everything they need to prepare and estimate how much will be spent on these things. With more than 5-year experience in providing end-to-end services to help thousands of customers build Magento websites, we come up with a list of costs for you to think over before making your decision. 

  • Cost for Magento edition
  • Cost for a domain
  • Cost for a Magento hosting service
  • Cost for web design
  • Cost for development
  • Cost for Magento extensions 
  • Cost for more customization
  • Cost for maintaining websites

These costs still depend on the level of your website to be built. In case you just want to build a simple website, the cost is much cheaper than a complex one with a lot of functions and customization. To estimate it, you can explore more detailed information of this concern in an article published some time ago: How Much Does It Cost to Build a Magento 2 Website?

4.2 Which Magento edition should you choose: Magento 2 CE or EE?

Magento 2 Community Edition is at no charge at all and is mostly used for small business and business wanting to build a store from the ground up. Meanwhile, Magento 2 Enterprise Edition is annually charged and is the best fit with medium and large size business with more flexibility and exclusive features that are not included in the Community Edition. To determine which one you had better choose to build your website, you can read these two following articles that compare between CE and EE and also gives you an opinion about the suitable edition for your business.

4.3 Magento 2 themes and How to choose the right theme for your website?

As you know, a Magento theme shows the look and style of your website. Depending on what products you sell to customers, you can select a suitable theme expressing your specific characteristics and making an excellent impression on customers.

This is an example Magento 2 theme from BSSCommerce called Thinnk which can be used for every type of Magento 2 stores.

magento-2-themes

⇨ Explore two ways to choose the right Magento 2 themes for your website:

You can navigate some well-known websites to purchase Magento themes:

⇨ Check out Top 16+ best free Magento 2 themes and 45+ best premium Magento 2 themes you can find on the Market today.

4.4 How to find Magento developers to help build your website?

Seeking for developers to code for your website is totally upon your current situation such as cost capability, the complexion level of website or the expectation level for the web.

Magento web agencies: There are  useful some suggestions for you to consider a web design agency to build your website:

  • Are they Magento Solution Partners?
  • Experience and Testimonials
  • Portfolio
  • Pricing
  • Location
  • Quality assurance and testing
  • Support policy

⇨ Discover a list of the best Magento web design firms here!

Freelancer developers: You can search for many developers at www.freelancer.com –  the largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace. To select a qualified developer, you need to take a careful consideration of these factors:

  • Do they have Magento Developer Certificates?
  • Experience and customer reviews
  • Portfolio
  • Cost per hour
  • Location

4.5 What are the Magento 2 website pre-launch checklists?

After completing a Magento website, it is time for you to check everything before going live. This stage is extremely significant because it decides the success or failure of a business. Therefore, we desire to send you a full checklist of which need to be guaranteed on the website when you are about to launch it: Prelaunch Checklist.

5. How to optimize Magento 2 website performance?

magento-2-web-performance

In general, bad performance often refers to low loading speed, which forces customers to wait so long for reading content or viewing products. This one affects website performance, leading to the terrible shopping experience and customer dissatisfaction.

You should navigate to this blog post to make a closer approach of how to optimize your site performance step-by-step: Magento 2 Performance Optimization.

Moreover, if you desire to find some web agencies providing good services of optimizing Magento site performance or tools to help you do it by yourself, this article is definitely for you: 10 Best Magento Speed Optimization Service Companies.

6. How to maintain Magento 2 website?

Optimizing your Magento 2 website may not be enough for a smooth business because maintaining is a much more difficult and challenging task. As we can observe, almost Magento websites always ask web agencies for maintaining services because they can audit the whole sites and come up with a complete plan to perform. Here are some of such agencies that you can take into careful consideration for your website:

7. What are reliable sources of information for merchants to learn and keep updating with Magento news?

For merchants, we understand that your demand is constantly searching for as much Magento information and knowledge as possible so that you can apply to your business. Therefore, we really want to introduce you some of handy and knowledgeable Magento resources which are highly applicable and help you work more directly and flexibly in the operation process:

III. Magento 2 Extensions

Magento is an open source platform, which allows free customization like adding more functions to default Magento as a typical case. Thousands of Magento 2 websites are currently being customized based on merchant demands with the purpose of better management, more effective site performance and higher customer satisfaction. Instead of much coding interference, Magento extensions are the most time-saving and beneficial ways for store owners who are not Information technology experts to perform on their own.

Here is an article that gives you more understanding about Magento 2 extensions: A Quick Overview of Magento 2 Extensions.

Moreover, let’s explore Top Magento 2 extensions – both free and paid – to select the best fit for your websites:

IV. Magento 2 for Developers

1. What are reliable sources to learn Magento from scratch for developers?

For both new beginner developers and experienced ones, Magento devdocs are considered as the best resources to learn everything about Magento. They provide a complete system of technical knowledge to instruct developers steps-by-steps and make them more skilled in their work. Magento U also offers complete training courses for every developer to learn Magento.

Besides, we have found a very detailed blog post of which lists a large number of books for developers to learn Magento: Top 13 Magento Books for Magento Development.

Furthermore, developers can achieve much useful knowledge and solutions from following websites:

  • Magento Stack Exchange & Stack Overflow: #1 sites for Magento developers. Just ask, and the community will answer.
  • Inchoo Blog: Share best practices for Magento dev.
  • Github: Home of nearly 30 million developers to review code, discuss project, hos, and build solutions together.

2. What Magento knowledge should developer learn?

2.1 Backend development knowledge

To become a backend developer, we think that the backend development guide by Magento is a compulsory source everyone have to read and practice.  Magento offers PHP developer guide, Magento coding standard and Magento technical guideline as an all-in-one tutorial for developers to keep following:

  • Magento PHP Developer Guide: contains information for developers who want to know more about developing or modifying Magento components. 
  • Magento Coding Standard: Magento has coding standards to use when you contribute to Magento’s codebase or create extensions.
  • Magento Technical Guideline:  lists the fundamental coding and application design principles that guide Magento 2 developer team members. 

* Note: These guides are applied for Magento 2.2.

2.2 Frontend development knowledge

Similar to backend development, Magento frontend development also includes specific documents that support learning and using in reality.

* Note: These guides are applied for Magento 2.2.

3. How to develop a Magento 2 extension?

After learning the necessary knowledge about Magento, developing an extension is also interesting for every developer to discover a new land for coding and applying available skills. We really desire to instruct you a full tutorial of steps to create a Magento 2 extensions, and the ways to standardize an extension based on Magento requirements. However, we are still in the process of preparing the writing to guarantee the highest quality content and hope that it will be launched as soon as possible in this August. Please keep updated with us to enjoy the very detailed and useful tutorial.

4. What are Magento Certificates for Developers?

According to Magento, a Magento Certified Developer can skillfully use all business processes in Magento, such as the structure of catalog, indexes, promotions, price generation logic Architecture of checkout, payment/shipment methods, sales/order processing, etc. A Certified Magento Developer can make design decisions on the code level, including how to parse data files, steps of import, data verification, logging (etc.)

In Magento 2, developers can absolutely validate their real-world skills by earning a Magento Certification in the exam. Here are three certificates for developers to gain:

  • Magento 2 Certified Professional Developers
  • Magento 2 Certified Associate Developers
  • Magento 2 Certified Professional Frontend Developers

Each exam with different certificates will evaluate specific qualifications and skills of developers in Magento 2. For more details, you can navigate to this page: Magento Certification and see what you need to prepare for the exam or how to take part in with how much. Everything is explained in one place for you!

V. Magento 2 Installation

After exploring all the features, you decide that Magento 2 is the right choice to build your online stores. So, it’s time to get started with the installation.

1. What Magento 2 system requirements to install Magento 2?

System requirements are varied among different Magento 2 versions. Usually, technology stack (operating system, memory requirement, composers, web servers, database, PHP, SSL, mail servers, etc.), supported web browsers, and recent security requirements (TLS – Transport Layer Security) are required.

For more detail, please visit System Requirements for Magento 2

2. How to download Magento 2?

Magento provides three options to get Magento 2 software, which can be chosen based on your purposes and your background of technical.

  • Easy Installation: Simplest level for online merchants. A compressed Magento software archive (.zip or .tar) is available to download and install by yourself or hire a helping hand from Magento team or professional installation service. You can choose either Magento 2 Open Source or Magento 2 Commerce. 

+ Magento 2 Open Source: Download tools, releases, and patches. Also, remember to check system requirement, user guide, reference developer document, designers’ guide, and test automation framework included.

+ Magento 2 Commerce: Contact sales to purchase Magento 2 Commerce version.

  • Integrator Installation: For technical users familiar with Composer. Integrator installation reduces extension conflicts and compatibility issues.
  • Contributor Installation: For developers having the good command of Composer and Github to customize or contribute to the Open Source codebase.

3. How to install Magento 2?

Please follow the roadmap below:

Part 1 – Set up your server environment: Make sure that system requirements mentioned above are met.

Part 2 – Get the Magento software: You can select among three options to install Magento 2 as above.

Part 3 – Use Web Setup Wizard or Command line to install:

  • Web Setup Wizard: Install Magento software on the web-based wizard interface.
  • Command Line: Use the command-line interface to perform both installation and configuration tasks.

Part 4 – Check post installation:

VI. Magento 2 Migration

Now that Magento has focused on Magento 2 development and enhancement, many online merchants ask themselves whether to migrate their current websites to Magento 2. If you have the similar concern, keep reading to figure out the answer.

1. How to migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2?

Firstly, you should consider the following advice of Magento experts gathered by Mageworx Interview in January 2018.

  • Gabriel Guarino – Senior Magento Specialist at Simplific: “It is important to migrate to have the latest features and technologies included in Magento. However, Magento … will give time to Magento 1 merchants to prepare for the investment related to the migration.
  • Alex Shymanets – CEO and Founder of SavvyCube: “I’m sure many will be moving to Magento 2, and I’m also confident that we won’t see a full switch in 2018, since migrating a Magento 1 business is quite an enterprise.
  • Viktor Khliupko – CEO at Firebear Studio: “Be it for the reason of migration complexity, stability or build costs – lots of merchants will stay on Magento 1 and agencies will continue to build Magento 1 stores during 2018.

The migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2 is indispensable. The challenges to migrate to Magento 2 from Magento 1 will depend upon how your sites have been built and which level of the customization. Thus, you should be ready soon. Here is the workflow:

Magento 2
(Source: Magento Devdocs)

The required tasks are such a workload, aren’t they? Don’t worry as we recommend you a brief and easy-to-understand article to guide you step by step. Check now!

2. How to migrate from other Platforms to Magento 2?

Despite being the later in the eCommerce world, Magento 2 is taking customers from other eCommerce platforms such as Shopify or WooCommerce. Want to know why? Read our comparison between Magento and other platforms. You will impress with the outstanding benefits from Magento 2:

  • Be fully extensible and customizable
  • Provide easy-to-use features
  • Support stores at all scales
  • Improve design for UI/UX
  • Be more secure with 24/7 support

When it comes to Magento 2 migration from another platform, there are several ways: manually importing/exporting data, hiring Magento development company, or using migration extensions.

For example:

Final Thoughts

All you need to know about Magento are available in this article. We will continuously update more and more interesting knowledge for you to digest. Hence, you should bookmark the post or subscribe above to stay informed with the latest Magento features, tips, and trends.

If you want to discuss more any topic under this article or you want us to include more topics, feel free to contact us.

P/S: Don’t hesitate to share if you find this sharing is useful. Thanks for your reading!

Top 100+ best Magento 2 extensions for yout site-01

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