Interview: Time Out on Magento

Compared with other systems on the market it was found that Magento is better architected and uses state of the art technology as well, while also providing a great set of functionality.

Alexis Orssich, Technical Director - Time Out Communications Ltd


Can you tell us a bit about your company?

Time Out is the leading authority on the world's best cities. For 40 years, through magazines, guides and websites, our incomparable team of local experts have been providing up-to-date information and critically sharp commentary on the arts, culture and urban life.

Why did you choose Magento for the project?

We wanted to use an open-source shopping cart system. Compared with other systems on the market it was found that Magento is better architected and uses state of the art technology as well, while also providing a great set of functionality. Or to phrase it a bit more radically, no other open-source shopping system really seemed to do it for us.

What technologies are currently implemented / integrated in the frontend and behind-the-scenes?

Magento is running at Time Out on Apache, PHP 5 with XCache as opcode cacher and MySQL version 5 as database engine. The application is deployed on one database server as well as on multiple Web/App servers. Slight modifications had to be made to Magento in order to be able to run it on a multi-server environment. Frontend wise we are using standard technology at the moment, our planned re-design of the shop might go a bit further there.

Would you recommend enterprise companies use Magento?

Magento can be recommended, the functionality is in many areas great (and just the way you wish it to be). The project was in some respects (documentation, etc.) in a quite early stage while we were implementing it and we therefore needed quite some time and also a bit of Indiana Jones attitude to use it. However, the project is progressing quickly and many things recently released are things we would have loved to have half a year ago already. All in all Magento can certainly be recommended for enterprise companies, if the evaluation takes into account that the project is only just maturing and still changing quite frequently. We believe that Magento will be the number one open-source shopping cart system used in the not too far future. If a company is looking into open source, Magento is the way to go.

What are your future plans with Magento?

We would like to use more and more the excellent sales promotion functionality of Magento. In the future an integraton into other parts of the websites are likely by using the API (share users, etc.).

Any recommendations for people evaluating Magento?

Magento comes with great, and in some areas superb, functionality. It is very well architected and the roadmap looks very promising too. Just do not underestimate the time needed to implement Magento. If you are not following the very standard implementation it does consume time. Magento is a serious shopping cart solution and not just a shopping cart script which can be thoughtlessly 'quick and dirty' changed. If you bear this in mind and are a bit of a pioneer, go for it!


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