Magento, the e-commerce platform owned by eBay, has a hosted version of its software, called Magento Go. Magento is notoriously difficult to host due to its fragmented architecture, and a hosting solution, even for a relatively low traffic Magento website can often cost in the hundreds of pounds per month. That makes Magento Go very appealing to some store owners, as that headache is taken away – you just pay your monthly fee and forget about it.
It does come with some down sides though. You’re highly limited as to what you can do with Magento Go. There are only 17 extensions available to extend the functionality, most of which aren’t free. Compare that to the tens of thousands of extensions available for Magento CE (the free, self-hosted version), many of which are free, and you can see how this could be limiting, especially for larger stores. You’re also limited with themes, with only a handful being available for Magento Go – thousands are available for Magento CE, lots of which are free.
As stores grow it often becomes apparent that existing features need tweaking, or new features need adding. Interactive calculators can be used to draw people in and to help the user find their perfect product, think about the Crucial memory system scanner as an example of this, which scans your computer, working out what RAM is compatible with your machine and then interfaces with their online store to show you the cheapest options available, something that wouldn’t be possible on a closed system.
Magento Go currently has over 10,000 customers, but it announced on its website that it will be closing its doors on 1st February 2015. That means there are currently 10,000 store owners frantically running around trying to find the best option.
So, what are the options? Well, there are many e-commerce platforms available. But, the first thing to decide is whether hosted or self-hosted is better for you. Both have advantages and disadvantages. It’s my personal opinion that businesses that are just starting out and want a no-messing store should look at self-hosted. It has no upfront cost, but a considerably higher monthly fee associated, and you’re highly limited to how your store can look and work. But, on the flip side, you’ll have a store up and running quickly, and you can see how well your product(s) sell.
The alternative, and this is probably the best option for existing Magento Go customers in my opinion, is to migrate Magento Go to Magento CE. Magento CE is the self-hosted version of Magento, so current Magento Go customers will feel right at home, but they also won’t be burdened with the high monthly fees and transaction fees of a hosted solution. They’ll also have room to expand. Magento CE has many more features out-of-the-box that many store owners who have owned a store already may find very useful. Features such as multiple store fronts (imagine you sold phone cases, you could have a totally different website for ‘custom cases’ that allow an upload of artwork and you to build your own case, and this would all interface into one central store/admin area), unlimited products, categories and languages, countless themes and extensions as well as the ability to have custom functionality built in anywhere you need it.
Reckless, the agency I work for, are Magento experts and we are able to migrate your Magento Go website to Magento CE for you. Get in touch, and we’ll get the ball rolling.