Open Source MagentoCommerce ReviewBy Partho, Gaea News Network
Friday, April 17, 2009
After doing with the top 16+ Open Source E-Commerce Applications, I discovered open source ecommerce applications engaging a significant proportion of ecommerce professionals. Open source software are considered as entry level choice for shopping carts by most ecommerce professionals. Although the completeness of open source apps are far from realized, they are increasingly making it to the mainstream markets. Extending my support to the open source aficionados, I delved into the intricacies of the up and coming Magento Commerce. It is essentially an open source eCommerce shopping cart platform. The Magneto commerce allows a package of features to setup a fully functional production eCommerce site.
Magneto commerce is packed with a number of impressive features. Let’s get into them
1. Layered Navigation
This is obviously an absorbing feature that most of the other shopping cart vendors lack. It allows a smoother navigation and product filtering. This is what you usually observe in eCommerce behemoths such as Amazon.com or Buy.com
2. Customize offers
It’s the special offers that serve to entrap the customers. Magneto induces the tricks of ecommerce allowing alluring, twisted, tangled offers. Like for instance you can have, buy 1 get 1 free.
3. Managing multiple stores
It enables the multiple stores to be managed from single administrative interface. This feature is rare with the most of the comparable ecommerce solutions.
4. Multi-utility software
The features include multiple-lingual, multi-currency capabilities
Most of the features seems to be advanced for in terms of ecommerce handled by small and medium enterprises.
Magneto has just come up with its version 1 and like all other newbies it’s also surrounded by criticism. Let’s scrutinize the downside of Magneto
There are two problems that emerge from the rewriting of URLs
1. Problems with ReWritten URLs
Inconsistent Use of rewritten URLs
Looking out of the box, you experience the inconsistent use of rewritten URLs. Like most other shopping cart applications, Magento Commerce also features URL rewriting. These are autogenerated and applied to each of the product, category, and page.
The navigation might land you up in the on a page located at /apparel/t-shirts. The links within the layered navigation, along with the pagination links, and the grid settings (like products per page, sorting, and grid preferences) all point to the non-rewritten URLs. This not only creates an usability problem, it also presents a duplicate content issue (in regards to SEO) where the non-rewritten pages due to which the non-rewritten pages may be spidered and indexed in the search engines. This implies the site would have at least to URLs from the same page or something similar to it. Since the non-rewritten URLs are exposed it may create some disturbing SEO issues for the site.
Multiple URLs per product
Apart from the issues presented above the URL rewriting of the application might lead to another SEO issue. Different path can be taken to reach the same product which generates different URL for an individual product. For instance, you might consider a Backstage Fashion T-shirt. You can reach by browsing through the path Brands -> Backstage Fashion -> T-Shirts or else by browsing to Apparel -> T-Shirt. The URL will depend on the path you take. It becomes difficult for the search engines to show a single search result. Each product should have an individual, static URL. This issue can be overcome by using a master category to define the URL.
2. Sluggish Performance & Beefy Hosting Setup
The page loads are slow and the response times is not as expected. This can be clogging for eCommerce merchants. It lacks the smoothness and ease of use that’s inevitable for a fast paced world. This may have something to do with the zend (php) framework or the crappy code or else.
The Magento partner hosts have evolved server configurations to maximize the performance of the application. This will not perform well on a traditional cheap PHP hosting account.
This PHP based solution seems to offer a tough competition for other open source frontrunners such as OS commerce and other open source ecommerce solutions.
Magneto is in its initial phase and has a long way to go. Moreover the open source ecommerce app shopping carts are mostly preferred by the entry level businesses. As the sales grows, the needs also grows and the merchants start looking for better solutions in order to improve their site. The merchants looking for better solutions of open source might work with Magento partners to make it more feature and performance rich.
Tags: ecommerce, Open Source, open source ecommerce, Open Source Magento eCommerce