Your Picks: Magento Book Roundup

Books, some call them a man’s best friend, and worldwide, if you’re interested in using, deploying, developing and even designing for Magento, there’s a book for you!  Here are some of the top picks available all over the globe, spreading the Magento sauce:


The Official Magento User Guide by the Varien Team

Straight from the home team, The Magento User Guide provides the site administrator with detailed instructions addressing the platform’s innumerable functions. From setting up your store to managing your products, pages and promotions to generating detailed reports, our User Guide empowers our ever-widening customer to utilize the platform for all of its vast capacity. Serving as a handy problem solving solution as well as a practical step by step guide, our User Guide is sure to become a cost-effective partner in your Magento store implementation.


The Definitive Magento Guide by Adam McCombs

Available soon through Apress, The Definitive Magento Guide takes a comprehensive look at Magento, a robust and flexible e-commerce platform built on the Zend framework. With over 750,000 downloads, Magento is the fastest growing open source e-commerce solution. This book walks through all of the steps to building a fully functional Magento-based web site. It also includes information on managing products, customers, and orders. This book is directed at web site designers and developers, but will also be extremely useful for business owners who have web sites built on the Magento platform.


Magento: Beginner’s Guide by William Rice

The first of two offerings from Packt Publishing, Magento: Beginner’s Guide guides you on your way to create a dynamic, fully featured, online store with the most powerful open source e-commerce software, Magento! It offers a step-by-step guide to building your own online store, focuses on the key features of Magento that you must know to get your store up and running, teaches you how to customize the store’s appearance to make it uniquely yours and is clearly illustrated, all along the way, with screenshots and working examples.


Magento 1.3 Theme Design by Richard Carter

The second offering from Packt Publishing focuses on helping you develop great visual design for your Magento storefronts by customizing the appearance of your Magento e-commerce store with Magento’s powerful theming engine.  It covers giving your Magento stores a unique branded look and feel by creating your own Magento themes, using design techniques to reinforce your brand message and increase sales, customise your Magento theme’s look, feel, layout, and features, promote and improve your Magento store with the use of social media such as Twitter, social bookmarks, and gives you ideas and examples for defining a good print stylesheet so that customers can take prints of your website on the go.

For the German speaking crowd, O’reilly Germany has recently released two books, one aimed at using and deploying Magento and one geared towards Magento developers:


Online-Shops mit Magento by Roman Zenner or “Online Shops with Magento”


Magento - Das Handbuch für Entwickler by Claus Nortmann, Dimitri Gatowski, Daniel Brylla, Sebastian Heuer or “Magento - The Developer’s Handbook”

Is your favorite Magento book not on the list? Have another book to share with the community?  Did we miss a book in your favorite language?  Let us know!

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User Comments

  1. Groenleer ICT Services

    1Groenleer ICT Services from Netherlands|posted August 11 2009

    I am missing PHP|Architect’s Guide to E-commerce Programming with Magento

  2. Romain @ Hitomi Studio

    2Romain @ Hitomi Studio from Hossegor, France|posted August 11 2009

    True. The PHP Architect Guide can’t be considered as a complete developer guide but due to the lack of official technical documentation it is a really nice source of inspiration for developers.

  3. nplanet

    3nplanet |posted August 11 2009

    All books are interesting but the book “Grow with Magento” is not reviewed. Why?

    I have found that to be the best book compared to all the books listed. It is more comprehensive. It does not contain any unnecessary info and is easy to read and understand and apply.

  4. site-byte

    4site-byte |posted August 11 2009

    Grow with Magento is definitely well worth the money!

  5. mott

    5mott from Los Angeles, CA|posted August 11 2009

    Throwing my vote in for “Grow with Magento”. I refer to this book all the time to gain info on certain sections that I need help on. The real plus though are the updates to the book when Magento upgrades or adds new functionality to the code.

  6. mott

    6mott from Los Angeles, CA|posted August 11 2009

    I’ve been getting emails with the links to the updates, but now you should be able to login to your account and see the updates there.

  7. Koby Oz

    7Koby Oz |posted August 11 2009

    Hey Everyone,

    I didn’t leave anyone out intentionally, and I didn’t want this to turn into a sales forum, LOL!  I had asked a group of people a while back for a list of books they knew about and some of those were what people got back to me with.  The other few I just found from hunting around.  I looked through some of them, and they are really good. 

    The reason I asked if you knew of any other books was because I couldn’t possibly be aware of EVERY Magento book out there! 

    Thanks for the comments, glad to see there is more out.  Are there any other books that you guys know of that I should take a look at?

  8. Keith-NH

    8Keith-NH |posted August 11 2009

    Grow with Magento might be the one book that convinced me that Magento was doable for our company. It is clearly written and well illustrated. I hope you will include this worthwhile book in future book lists. With continual updates the author is clearly engaged in the product and shares his knowledge with readers (who get free updates to book).

  9. ltreachler

    9ltreachler |posted August 11 2009

    I’m doing a Magento Integration, and the learning curve is steep, very steep.  Without Grow With Magento to help get the global view point of the architecture, I’d be lost in space.  The book is being constantly refined due to user input and the tehcnical growth of the author.  Once purchased, user’s get automatic updates and revisions to the text.  That’s a pretty good deal when buying a book, wouldn’t you say?  AS A MATTER OF FACT, it’s the only book that I’ve ever purchased that does updates!  Thats a pretty fine e-book concept.  Although the book is not perfect, it does help to answer questions that come up when configuring a store.  I was really surprised by post #13 that points up an unawareness of the book by the Magento guys.  I thought that James was a big contributor to these forums.  Anyway, in my humble opinion, Grow With Magento is definitely worth the read.

  10. mintjelly

    10mintjelly from Maryborough, Qld|posted August 11 2009

    It was all the positive comments I found through Googling which lead me to Grow with Magento. After purchasing the User Guide and finding it to be not robust enough, more of an introduction really - I was delighted to find a manual well worth the outlay which is updated regularly and which definitely produces the goods.

    Given the volume of people who have also patently found the same thing, I was very surprised to not find it here near the top of the list. I’ll look forward to seeing the author receive some kudos from Varien when the book is added to the Your Picks list.

  11. Pete Carnac

    11Pete Carnac |posted August 12 2009

    Well...I have to add my name to the list of “Grow with Magento” supporters here. I haven’t read any of the other books - and I hope to check them all out eventually - but “Grow” has been really helpful.

    Magento is a fantastic platform but it needs more comprehensive documentation. It’s marketed as a simple out-of-the-box solution but after a little delving it appears arcane and esoteric and just incredibly complex to do the most basic things. If not for “Grow”, I would probably have jumped ship for an easier-to-implement product. It’s a great book for a great platform.

    @ Res: James emails notification of updates. Maybe your spam filter is catching his email...? You can also get the updates by logging into your account on his site.

  12. babberoo

    12babberoo from Cheltenham, England|posted August 12 2009

    We really need a proper module development book. Something that fully covers taking an existing module (say the cart) and overriding it, and then creating a fully fledged new module. Along with all of the existing classes for data manipulation, display etc.

  13. subhas

    13subhas from london|posted August 12 2009

    Magento User Guide was a bit too basic for me, doesn’t go through in depth complex bundles,delivery and shipping rates etc.

    I guess its a good intro to someone non technical, but of very little use to anyone beyond this level.


  14. Karen Kilroy

    14Karen Kilroy |posted August 12 2009

    This list isn’t complete with out the PHP|Architect’s Guide to E-commerce Programming with Magento. I read all sorts of bad reviews on it and then bought it anyway, for lack of any other material that went deep into Magento’s inner workings.

    Boy, was I glad I bought this book! It is like a pandora’s box full of magento secrets. I’ve read through the first half of the book, and it has provided me with a thorough understanding of Magento’s architecture from a programmer’s standpoint. It was like turning the lights on in a dim room. I’ve printed this ebook, put it in a notebook and I annotate my own discoveries throughout. This isn’t exactly “Magento Programming for Dummies” - but if you are scratching your head trying to figure out how all these pieces fit together, this is the book for you.

    This book does NOT address most design issues. There are other publications for that, including the Designer’s Guide to Magento (a free download).

    Another document that helped me a lot was Top 3 mistakes made by Magento Beginners:


  15. RicDay

    15RicDay from Vancouver, BC|posted August 12 2009

    I have the Varien book, the Rice book from Packt, and Balloti’s Grow with Magento. Grow with Magento is by far the best of the three—better depth, clearer explanations, and more current (because of the regular updates from the author). The Varien book is a repackaging of the online documentation and retains the gaps and obscurity; the Rice book is a “just okay” introduction that I think most readers will quickly find superficial—it quickly frustrates with its lack of depth.

  16. ugg

    16ugg |posted September 11 2009

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