What is Magento?

This introductory article about Magento is designed to provide the necessary information for webmasters for beginners and web developers.

This is part of a series of articles on Envato Tuts+ that introduce the different CMSs, where we will explain the CMS from a beginner’s perspective and consider why and how a particular CMS is more suitable for your projects. You will see further articles about Joomla, Drupal, Prestashop and other CMS.

Within this article we will have a brief and non-technical introduction to what Magento is, what types of Magento projects are suitable for, how you can start your journey in learning about Magento and explore this wonderful CMS in detail, as well as some good resources where you can find Magento themes, extensions, etc. Finally, if you think Magento is not suitable for your projects, we will look at several alternatives in the marketplace that you can also consider. See magento extensions development for more details.

Magento is a powerful CMS for electronic commerce. I think that the explanations of these three terms: «powerful», «electronic commerce» and «CMS» should explain exactly what Magento is.

Let’s start with the CMS, it’s an acronym for Content Management System. To understand what a Content Management System is, I will give you a short historical overview of what it is and why it is used. When website development arose, people would do it for every client from scratch, the frontend was built from HTML/CSS/JS, etc., backend in different server languages like PHP, .NET, etc., set up databases, configured for different parts of the project.

But this approach had two problems. First, because the clients didn’t know programming, they had to go to a web studio every time they needed to edit their site or add/edit content and it cost them money and time. Secondly, each time it took a lot of time to make websites from scratch.

To solve the first problem, developers started to develop some user-friendly admin panels for their websites, where a web manager with no technical education could easily add/edit content without having to edit the code.

And for the second problem, they noticed that many of their sites have common parts, so instead of creating websites from scratch, they had website presets that provided all the functionality and the users could change whatever they needed, according to their needs.

The combination of these two solutions is the Content Management System. Now this concept is so popular and the constant struggle between different CMSs has made them more user friendly over time and their installation has become very simple, also there are many extensions/plugins that can extend the CMS capabilities.

The second term, electronic commerce, speaks for itself. It is related to online sales. So, the difference between Magento and other CMS that do not specialize in e-commerce such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc. is that it is designed for e-sales and its main goal is an online store where you can sell digital and physical products. And since it is a CMS for e-commerce, there are more opportunities for e-commerce than online SMS plugins that do not specialize in e-commerce.

There are many CMSs for e-commerce on the Internet. Everyone who has enough knowledge in web development can create their own, and the term powerful just distinguishes Magento from them. Powerful means strong and well-coordinated. Unlike other e-commerce CMS, which are written badly and full of bugs, Magento is a strong CMS, which has a pretty strong design and it has a large community.

The proof is that powerful is that it is used by many large e-commerce enterprises with millions of dollars in revenue such as Nordstrom, Adidas and North Face. In fact, the Magento Enterprice Edition can handle 350 million catalogue views and 487,000 orders per day.

I hope you now have a full understanding of what I mean when I say Magento is a powerful CMS for e-commerce. It’s been a very long time coming about what Magento is. Now let’s look at what projects Magento is suitable for.

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