We recently added Magento to the E-Commerce Website Builders Comparison Chart here, comparing the top most popular e-commerce software, osCommerce vs Yahoo Site Builder vs Volusion vs BigCommerce vs Zen Cart vs Shopify vs Magento vs Jimdo vs Ultimate Web Builder. Our quick point summary for Magento is: Very complicated, hard to use and customize – better know coding or hire experienced web developer – very expensive and all e-commerce features not built-in, software has errors/bugs. Magento customers agree – even the happy customers who rate Magento high agree that it is complicated, requires a lot of resources, and requires a very experienced web developer to use.
Here’s some customer reviews of the Magento e-commerce software:
Didakos: “By far the worst framework I’ve ever worked with. Extremely sluggish, overly complicated…”
Review date: August 2013 Version reviewed: 1.4.0
Diane: “Paying almost a year. Can’t get online. No support. Can’t contact company. This is not easy to bring on line. Without help its impossible. ”
Review date: July 2013 Version reviewed: 1.4.0
This customer gives a good rating for Magento, but tells you how it is complicated and requires lots of resources, Yan: “…The bottleneck of this software is the performance that requires high end server and skilled personnel support to operate properly….No shared hosting is suitable…
Review date: July 2013 Version reviewed: 1.4.0
GoDaddy web hosting also confirms the high resource usage of Magento on their support article:
You can run Magento® on Linux shared hosting, however, shared hosting will not give an optimal user experience. To get the best performance, you need a VPS or Dedicated Server. Running Magento on shared hosting may result in the site running slowly and may affect your customers’ experience.
Further, if you want to run Magento on a shared hosting account, you must disable FastCGI.
Interestingly, if you follow GoDaddy’s link to disable FastCGI on a shared hosting account as they require to run Magento software on it, you get this contradictory statement:
You cannot disable FastCGI with our cPanel shared hosting accounts.
Magento software issues – there are reports from the start of the software launch to as recent as right now. An example of an early review of Magento software being buggy includes comments such as:
Brian: “Magento has incredible potential, but feels convoluted and incomplete as is. The most simple actions, like getting categories to display, required trips to the support forums. There, I’ve seen mods instruct people to rewrite errors in the program’s code – something that should never happen with a shipped product. Plan on investing a lot of time if you want to customize anything. The files are situated like a haphazard, crisscrossing maze of interacting XML and PHTML files. Instead of placing styles in one location (as you would in CSS), adjustments require you to dig through multiple, poorly labeled PHTML to find what you are searching for. Then you will have to dig through the XML files to make sure that your change is only affecting the one feature. ”
Review date: August 2009 Version reviewed: 1.3.2
But this is still the case now – Magento software has errors, issues, bugs that persist with the next upgrade…and like bed bugs, you need to be an expert in web programming or hire a professional yourself to get rid of them. Here’s a post from just a couple months ago, for example, of a Magento user getting help on StackOverflow, an outside forum (you have to get Magento Enterprise, costing $14,000+ to get direct tech support from Magento) to fix an error with the Magento software:
SrdjanC, asked Dec 13 ’13: I have fond a bug on Magento CE 1.8.0 and 1.8.1 that is related to special price.
If I set some special price on product and save that change, magento sets current date for
Set Product as New from Date(news_from_date),
Special Price From Date(special_from_date) and
Active From(custom_design_from). After these values are set I’m unable to remove them both grammatically and using admin panel.
Has anyone found reason for this issue and how to fix it.
P.S. This was ok on CE 1.7.2
And the answer from a helpful coder, a few weeks later:
Richard Blezer, answered Jan 3: It’s a real bug, which a had in every update 1.8 and 1.8.1. This is the (temporarely) solution. I found it here:
Apply the module found here: http://www.multibyte.at/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Multibyte_DateFix.zip
After uploading, flushing cache and logout / login the problem is fixed.
Not convinced? It is very easy to find Magento bug reports, even though on the Magento website itself you need member access to report/view bugs. This one is posted just a couple hours ago, on StackOverflow:
user3345444, asked 2 hours ago: Magento Coupon code discount doesn’t flow through to Paypal
Recently i found a issue of incorrect order total using paypal checkout. lets suppose A customer buys a Product for 129$. He apply a coupon code of 100$, so he has to pay 29$. Everything on my actual site works perfectly fine showing their total as 29$. When he uses paypal to pay, he gets the full 129$ displayed to pay! is this a paypal error or magento ?
Here is the answer received so far, about 5 minutes ago – someone saying they have the same issue with their Magento software too:
Akhil: I have same issue, please help.
Bugs happen in software, all kinds of software. Software bugs aren’t 100% unavoidable even in the best software launched by the biggest company – kind of like unavoidable bugs in foods. Yes, really. The FDA created The Food Defect Action Levels “to establish maximum levels of natural or unavoidable defects in foods for human use that present no health hazard”. For example, peanut butter has an average of 30 or more insect fragments per 100 grams (yuck!), and an average of 1 or more rodent hairs per 100 grams (double yuck!). Apparently it happens and is unavoidable.
Back to the topic of software: so, the point is thatbugs happen, but how many bugs there are, how often bugs are found in delivered ready-to-go software, and what is done to fix the bugs and how quick it is done is important. It affects how useful the software is, and how much the software is worth. With Magento software, can you imagine having to go in the coding, fix the issue – and then also having to do it again after upgrading the software if they still have not fixed the issue. And perhaps there are new issues arising after the upgrade like described in the comments. Headache. And time and money.
Solution: Advil or Tylenol? Yoga? …Everyone says preventative medicine is the best…go with Ultimate Web Builder to start!
If you have an experience with Magento, good or bad, post in the commens section below!