Last week marked the official release of Magento 1.0, an open source ecommerce platform. Magento has been on my radar scope for some time thanks to those who have left comments about it here. Since, I likely will have need of a good shopping cart this year for a planned project, I've decided to put some focus on Magento. I will be removing Mambo from my top 30 "CMS Focus" list to make room for Magento. My apologies to Mambo fans.
Magento isn't just a "shopping cart" but attempts to also be an "ecommerce platform". Magento recognizes that it needs to improve and introduce additional features, but for a 1.0 version the variety and quantity of features are impressive. Some of Magento's well rounded features include analytics and reports, RSS feeds, site and content management tools, search engine optimization, promotion tools, and multiple theming.
Magento labels itself as "open source eCommerce evolved" which implies that it sees itself as an improvement over current open source ecommerce solutions. In other words, I think Magento is trying to be the osCommerce killer application of the year. Given Magneto's rapid pace of development, modular architecture, and design flexibility; it is not difficult to see Magento persuading users of other open source shopping carts to move to the new software. However, this first version of Magento isn't without problems including a criticism toward performance. Magento's developers seem aware of the problem and offer some performance tweaks for improving system performance.
If you wish to run Magento on your sever, you'll need to be sure you have PHP 5.2 or greater on your server along with a number of PHP extensions/addons. Other than the PHP 5.2, most of the hosting requirements are readily available on most web servers.
Bryan Ruby is the owner and editor for CMS Report. He founded CMSReport.com in 2006 on the belief that information technologists, website owners, and web developers desired visiting sites where they could learn about content management systems without the sales pitch. Besides this site, you can follow Bryan at Google+ and Twitter.