Why Use Magento? What About WordPress Commerce?

At Radiate Digital, we love WordPress.

As far as website CMS platforms go, nothing is as flexible, efficient, and widely supported as WordPress.  It’s simple enough that anyone can learn to add pages, posts, and pictures in a matter of minutes but deep enough that almost every aspect of it can be customized and recoded.

There’s a reason why 25% of new websites are made on WordPress.  It can do anything.  And if you have a question, there are near endless forums, support chats, and communities of developers just waiting to help you.  For free!

In other words…

If You Need it, WordPress Will Make it Happen…

So why would you need anything else?


Think of WordPress as a Swiss Army Knife.  It has a corkscrew on it that will take care of corkscrewing needs.  BUT is it as good as a proper sized corkscrew with a turning knob on the top and those little handles on the sides?

Not a chance.

That’s how WordPress is with e-commerce.  There’s some great plug-ins and extensions for WordPress that can give you a nice store that will track inventory, transfer payments, and get your shipping sorted out (we’re big fans of WooCommerce).  There are even WordPress themes with commerce built right in.

But it’s not what WordPress is built for, and depending on how many products you have, and how many locations it’s shipping from, you might soon find yourself very limited/frustrated/etc.

Building a full-sized, e-commerce specific website on WordPress is like using a Swiss Army Knife only as a corkscrew.  You’re missing the point, using the wrong tools, and making life harder than it needs to be.

And THIS is why Radiate Digital also uses Magento.

What is Magento?  Is that Even a Word?

Not to be confused with a shade of pink or a certain X-Men villain, Magento is an e-commerce platform.  Scratch that.

Magento is THE e-commerce platform.

Magento started as open source software (i.e. anyone could read, access, and modify its code) that quickly developed into a premiere website development  CMS.  Today Magento is owned by eBay and is free to use for anyone who wants it.

If you need additional support and don’t have your own web developers (a problem we would gladly fix for you), Magento offers two paid versions that offer varying degrees of training and support.


 Who Uses Magento?

A lot of big brands use Magento.  We’re talking Nike, Samsung, TOMs, Jones Soda, Ford, and more.  If you do a good amount of online shopping, it’s likely that you have purchased something from a Magento website and didn’t even realize it.

While a lot of WordPress commerce sites often look like clone copies, Magento sites come in all shapes and sizes, easily molding to whatever store a company needs.

Why Use Magento?

There are two very big reasons why Magento is great:

1. It’s an open source platform.

2. It’s very popular (and therefore, widely supported)

It’s worth drawing attention to the fact that Magento is a PLATFORM, not software.  Software is a product that gives you a package of tools to use.  What you get is in the box, so to speak.  Nothing more.

But a platform is something you can build upon, develope, change, and make into whatever you need it to be.  And that’s why we use Magento for commerce.

One could almost view Magento as the “WordPress” of e-commerce platforms.  While you might not get any direct support from the Magento company with the free version, the amount of community support out there more than makes up for it.

If you have a question, someone has already asked it.  If you need additional functions, someone has probably already built an extension or plug-in to make it happen.  Just like WordPress, Magento is incredibly flexible.

The difference is that Magento was made to handle commerce.

As much commerce as you need.  Take one look at the back end of the Magento system and you will see that a good 80% of it is devoted to tracking, shipping, inventory, price management, your customer database, and the list goes on.

If you need it to, a Magento website can function as your own personal CRM (Customer Relationship Management system).  As complex as it might sound, Magento is actually very user friendly and intuitive.  Editing pages, adding products, and managing resources are simple enough that you don’t need a technical genius to make every little adjustment.

Of Course, Having a Technical Genius Never Hurt Anyone

With Magento, you’re only limited by your own abilities.  That’s why people use us to design, build, and manage their Magento websites.  If you need some work done, or just need further help deciding if Magento is the way to go, give us a call or shoot us an email.

Our consultations are completely free and incredibly thorough.   We’ll help you make the right decision so you’re not left trying to open bottles with a knife.

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One Response to "Why Use Magento? What About WordPress Commerce?"

Written by Timothy Snyder
on April 12, 2013