8 reasons why Magento is the best free ecommerce platform
With so many different ecommerce platforms to choose from, deciding which is best for your business can be a difficult decision to make. Whilst some people will favour low costs, others will be more concerned about functionality. If you are looking for an ecommerce platform that ticks all of the boxes, look no further than Magento.
This ecommerce platform is currently used by over 238,000 sites (as of February 2015) including the likes of Olympus, Nike, Rosetta Stone and a number of other global brands. Here we’ve provided eight reasons why it is the best free ecommerce platform for your business.
Open source with an active community
One of Magento’s key selling points is the fact it’s an open source application written in PHP. This means it’s free to download and can be fully customised and extended to your needs. Customisations can be carried out using extensions and themes (something we’ll talk about more later), which are available from the Magento Connect marketplace.
Magento also has a global developer community, which works on improving the platform and provides support to other users.
Advanced SEO capabilities
In order for ecommerce websites to stand a good chance of gaining traffic and conversions they need to rank well on search engines. The great news is that if you choose Magento, your site will stand a high chance of ranking well before you’ve even optimised it! Magento comes with great SEO capabilities out of the box, which can be further enhanced using extensions like the SEO Suite Pro by Mageworx.
The ecommerce platform makes optimising your website for search engines very straight forward. By giving you opportunities to create titles and meta descriptions, add image alt tags and restructure URLs, using Magento increases your chances of ranking well on SERPs and driving traffic to your store.
Hundreds of extensions and themes
Earlier on we mentioned that Magento sites could be customised with a wide range of extensions and themes available from the Magento Connect store. Extensions (also known as plugins) are basically designed to increase the functionality of a Magento website and themes are designed to improve its look and feel.
The great thing about having access to so many extensions and themes is that you have the opportunity to make your Magento ecommerce website completely unique. Whether you want to add social media login functionality to your store or change it’s theme to appeal to your target audience, Magento extensions and themes make it very straightforward.
Take a look at the extensions and themes in the Magento Connect store and you’ll see some are free to use and some you have to pay for. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can also get in touch with a Magento developer and they’ll be able to build an extension or theme that is completely unique to your business.
3rd party integrations
Unlike many other ecommerce platforms out there, Magento is compatible with a wide range of third party integrations including Amazon, PayPal, FedEx and eBay. By integrating the platform with other applications, ecommerce business owners can improve the efficiency of their operations and gain better control over their order management.
Magento’s third party integrations make it possible for businesses to carry out effective multi-channel selling, which is incredibly beneficial in today’s competitive markets.
Advanced security options
Over the last few years, many well-known companies have been victims of security threats, so it’s not surprising that security is one of business owner’s top priorities in 2015. The good news is that if you are looking for an ecommerce platform with advanced security options, Magento will tick all of the boxes.
When used with a strong security strategy, Magento is robust and difficult for hackers to penetrate. Below we have listed some of its key security features:
- CAPTCHA functionality (prevents automated logins)
- SSL security support for front-end and back-end orders
- Restricted admin access (limited to approved IP addresses)
- Custom admin paths (make it harder for hackers to find the admin login page)
- Regular patch updates provided by the Magento community
- Limited access to specific folders based on role
Fully responsive and mobile friendly
Another top priority for business owners in 2015 is having a fully responsive ecommerce store, especially since Google may soon be penalising non mobile-friendly websites. Again, you can rely on Magento to meet your needs. The platform can be easily customised to respond to any device including desktops, laptops, mobiles, iPads and much, much more.
All you have to do is select a responsive enabled theme and you can reap all the benefits of responsive web design. It will eliminate the possibility of Google penalising your website, help you to maintain good search engine rankings and allow your customers to shop ‘on the go.’ By providing them with a great user experience, no matter what device they are using, you can guarantee more sales and increased customer loyalty.
Using one of Magento’s responsive themes will also give you the opportunity to future proof your Magento store. As new devices are launched, you can have the peace of mind that their users will still have full access to your ecommerce store and the fantastic shopping experience it offers.
Multi handling capabilities
An area in which Magento really stands out amongst the other ecommerce platforms out there is in multi handling capabilities. The majority of ecommerce platforms cannot be used to manage sites with multiple currencies, languages and tax rates but Magento can!
This makes the platform ideal for global business and allows them to continue meeting the needs of their customers, no matter where in the world they are located.
Built for ecommerce
The final reason why Magento is the best free ecommerce platform is because it is first and foremost designed for ecommerce. Whereas other platforms out there such as WordPress and Joomla require plugins to build ecommerce stores, Magento is an ecommerce platform right out of the box.
If it is ecommerce functionality that is most important to you, then Magento will make the most sensible choice. It also comes with a CMS, so it is not as if you will miss out on this functionality by choosing it to power your ecommerce store.
As you can see, Magento boasts a wide range of features and benefits that make it stand out as the best free ecommerce platform on the planet. Its customisability and functionality allow businesses to create completely unique ecommerce websites and its SEO capabilities give them a good chance of making their online stores a success.
Whether you are just setting up your ecommerce business or looking to migrate to a new platform, Magento will make an excellent choice. It stands head and shoulders above the other platforms and will prove to be a great asset to your business.
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