From my perspective, there is absolutely no comparison between Magento and zencart / osCommerce. A better question is: why wouldn’t you consider Magento? Once a production version of Magento is released, it should have far greater functionality and create a better overall user experience.
I am a real fan of Open Source software, and there are some great projects around, however up till now the e-commerce category has missed out. Nearly all of the open-source e-commerce systems I have checked out are just big piles of spaghetti code, that not only make development and maintenance of online shops a headache, I consider them to be grave security risks.
Magento has actually been designed - that has got to count for something! While with other projects I wince when I look under the hood, with Magento I am being pleasantly surprised by each new aspect I look at. In fact, I think there is a lot I can learn from this well implemented system. It is now only a preview release, and it is already light-years ahead.
I couldn’t agree more, Magento has better functionality and the GUI look professional even with the default theme, like everyone else said create a better overall user experience and be the pioneer in using Magento.
All the features are looking nice, but I think what is tempted me to switch from OsC is that there is actual, real development going on.
There is an office with people working on this.
Presumably, (and I know this is the internet, and I should be more pessimistic) after this version, there are new versions, add ons.
That is something that OsC has lacked for years now, a vision and a force pushing it forward.
Everything is looking great, and if they keep the updates up, keep abreast of new e-commerce features, I bet we’ll invest the time and switch to magento when it’s ready in ‘08
Are you kidding me? Just look at the code! Its very well designed and based on the Zend framework, which I consider to be top notch aswell. Moreover, as said before, there is a team behind it thats actually working on it. Then of course there is the multitude of options and customatizations that are possible.
I have too, entirely different viewpoints on Magento - some good, some bad (well to be exact not good).
First the negatives - Magento does not seem that easy to install - I am not going just on my experience but on my searches through the forums - however the good news is that with recent introduction of installation guidelines my problems were solved.
I don’t seem to be able to get to the admin panel - and I’ve searched the site and have (so far) found no answers. You may think that I should be reporting this elsewhere - and that I should be more specific about problems.
Well I disagree - I am an ex IT person with over 20 years experience in IT departments (mainly support and development) - and in my experience the product is only as good as the initial impact. If people have difficulty installing or can’t find needed functions (such as admin) they turn off quickly.
Now for the positives : From what I’ve seen (on my own test machine) the store front is impressive - and way ahead of my current software (oscommerce) - and it is being developed (I’ve held off revamping my current sites awaiting the new offering of Oscommerce for at least twelve months now). I would just like to be able to configure and control it.
I’ve no doubt that the problems being experienced are largely due to development problems and will be sorted out (I know I’ve been there in the past) - but it is important that the installation process be tested thoroughly and a well worked out installation guide be provided - no matter how good the product if the installation does not go smoothly you can be on a loser.
I’ve used first osCommerce, then Zen Cart. I’m a techincal person with a programming background, and what I liked about both solutions is that I could get in and mess with the code. And they both provide a broad base of basic store functionality. What I didn’t like is .... a very long list.
Magento is a professional product, and you see that in both the development cycle and the quality of the code. In the forums the Magento team (at least so far) has been professional and responsive, not paranoid and elitist (osC) or whiny (Zen Cart). And Magento has features every store needs, which ZC just doesn’t. (osC doesn’t either, but then development essentially stopped on osC years ago . . . at least development that makes it to the public). ZC misses some core functionality that I can’t continue to live without and don’t feel like programming myself. I’m tired of wading through hacked-up code; it makes my hands itch to fix it, but I’m definitely not reinventing the wheel. Magento is a breath of fresh air there; the code has a solid, well-programmed feel and from what I can tell, it’s modular in a way ZC never will be (because osC wasn’t).
Magento is waaaaay easier to install than Zen Cart and osC (or at least it was for me). CharliesBooks is right in that an installation guide covering possible stumbling blocks (such as having mod_rewrite enabled, and how on earth you fix that if you’re *not* a technical person) is vital for software that caters to a general public. From what I’ve seen, Magento has every intention of providing that kind of assistance to its users; it’s just early in the game.
I, for one, am insanely pleased to see such a professional product being released as open source.
I was just turned onto Magento via an ecommerce message board I frequent . . . and based on an initial cursory review, Magento certainly seems impressive. I do have a question though . . . .
Understanding that Magento is relatively new, what kind of support and/or third-party network is there for Magento - if at all - especially for site templates? I have been developing a store using the Joomla/VirtueMart platform for several months - and, as those of you who are familiar with Joomla know - there are dozens of high quality template developers out there for Joomla. I am hoping that there is a movement to provide the same for Magento.
@TomC - Welcome the to the community. I’ve answered your questions below
what kind of support and/or third-party network is there for Magento. Specially for site templates.
Support is currently provided by the community. Once a production version is available, professional services will be available through Varien (the company behind Magento) and its’ network of soon to be partners. In regards to templates, we expect a large availability of templates as the product matures - this is very important for us.
Once a decent following catches on, you will start seeing the providers list build and build with theme developers, custom developers etc. There will then be a surplus of jobs for the developers inflating the price until developers for other platforms learn the system and start bringing a competitive environment. It will take some time, but I have emailed pretty much every developer i have used for Joomla, X-cart, and any PHP developer to go look into magento as I told them I would be neediing services soon, so hopefully they will spread the word throughout India, Argentina and wherever else some of my developers may be.