What Is Magento™ and How Can I Use It?

An introduction to simple and fast ecommerce with Magento™.

Magento Can Be Your Virtual Shop

Magento Can Be Your Virtual Shop

Magento™ Basics

Magento™ CE is a free open source ecommerce package that you can use to build your online shop to sell anything you wish. Magento™ is a trademarked product name that is owned by a Adobe™.  Combined with free design themes and payment processing plugin’s you can host a very professional looking online store in a few days of tinkering. It is easy enough that you can do it yourself. Eleven Dimensions Technologies can also do it for you. Call us or text us at (949)371-5079 for your free consultation. A great alternative to Magento is Shopify. With Shopify, you can build an online shopping cart in a fraction of the time for a fraction of the cost. It is something to consider. Eleven Dimensions Technologies does not own Magento™, it simply offers technical assistance to you the purchaser of the software or the user of the free edition. Of course, we charge a nominal fee to you our customer to help you build out your ecommerce site.

Getting Started With Magento

Download Magento™ from magento.com, using this link, choose the legacy version (1.9) or the newest version (>2.1), on your web server, be sure to choose php version over 5.6 and mysql, we recommend a godaddy or amazon ECS web server, CentOS is the preferred OS.  Install it and use the handy wizard to configure it.  Use our handy magento code cookbook to customize it and make it work for your business. Next you need to choose one of the many themes out there.  Of course, you can always use the built in responsive theme.  Now, the buzzword of the day is “responsive” which means it can adapt to small hand held devices. Install a payment processing service too. Choose one from Paypal, Intuit Quickbooks, Stripe, Squarepay, or SERV.IO.

How Much Does It Cost To Build-Out a Magento Store

Our recent industry survey shows that on average, the cost to design, build and launch a small to medium sized Magento shop is about $1500.00 USD, there are other costs that include the cost of a SSL certificate, add-ons, themes, and payment processing startup fees.  By comparison, using Shopify as an alternative can reduce your ecommerce costs. With Shopify, you can build a shopping cart site in a fraction of the time, without the assistance of a programmer, plus you do not need an SSL certificate, and payment processing is simpler and cheaper.  Shopify is the low cost alternative for small ecommerce. Eleven Dimensions has competitive rates on average for both shopify and magento.

Payment Processing Comparison

Payment processing is the heart of all online shopping. Paypal Payflow is already built in to Magento, all you need to do is sign up for paypal, and then add your banking info into paypal, and then install your paypal credentials. It will cost $30/month plus 3% fees.
Intuit Quickbooks payment processing is an plug-in for magento that will syncronize with your quickbooks. Only $30/month, plus 3% fees
Stripe is another payment processing add-on. It will cost you £74 up front, plus £99/year for maintenance, plus 2.9% + $0.30 of each transaction, with no monthly fees. Read more here . Serve.io is the newest kid on the block.  Authorize.net is an old trusted favourite that is built into Magento, Authorize.net is traditional gateway service to a traditional old-skool merchant service.  It is only $25/month, plus $0.10 per transaction, plus 0.10 per day batch fees.  Plus you will need a separate merchant account from your bank.   with any payment processing solution, you will need an SSL certificate. You can get a free one from letsencrypt.com Don’t spend a bundle of cash on something else.

What Does Responsive Mean with Magento

It is the newest buzzword in the business. It simply means the ability to choose bit of CSS code to adapt to a specific screensize.  Magento includes a great starter template for building your own custom responsive template.  We wrote a great blog entry about responsive web design that you must read.  You will need this for small handheld mobile devices. You must account for the fact that your screen viewport will be much smaller, and the user will have big fingers that need more button space. Make your responsive design small and simple to help drive your customer to his end goal of purchasing his desired product.  The added benefit of responsive is that SEO experts often will tell you that the responsive will help your ranking.  Furthermore, from our analysis of google analytics, more than 50% of visitors are using some kind of mobile device.

Responsive Design Examples on Multiple sized media

Responsive Design Examples on Multiple sized media

To achieve responsive design, the developer must code up a section of CSS styles that will determine the styling of the page on small and narrow screens.  The above image shows different screen sizes. The image below shows a snippet of CSS code for different size screens.

An Alternate CSS section

Inside your CSS code, you will need these @media sections and an alternate version of your CSS for small screens.

The easiest way to build a responsive shop is to buy a responsive theme. Unfortunately, very few of the free themes include responsive designs. You will need to spend some money on your theme.   Another way to achive responsiveness is to take Magento’s built in RWD theme and customize it to your needs.  One skill that you will need is a good knowledge of CSS and HTML to craft really clever HTML.  We wrote a blog entry on CSS DIV centering that particularly useful. Plus we wrote another great magento cookbook to help you get started on your own.

Messaging from Magento

Finally, you will need to be able to send email from your Magento site, it cannot do so without an SMTP gateway.  Notifications are one of the most important features of Magento. It’s how you get notified of a sale. Magento is famous for queing up the messages for sending as a batch job. You will need to disable that feature for immediate sending.  the ASCHRODER.com SMTP plug in can solve most of your messaging issues by allowing magento to send via godaddy’s SMTP gateway.  Of course there are many free services for sending email. One of our favourites is Socketlabs.com. We wrote a great blog entry about using socket labs to to enable a dumb SMTP gateway on IIS to send mail securely.

The Professional that you Choose Can Make A Difference

Hire a local software developer professional to help you realize your dream Magento shop.  Our company is located right here in Laguna Niguel, in the heart of South Orange County.  Call us or text us at (949)371-5079 for your free consultation.

Our Designers

our tech staff is located in Orange County CA