Do you know Magento? Everything you need to know about this CMS

qué es Magento

Magento is one of the most popular eCommerce CMS.

This platform is meant mostly for eCommerce with a high level of sales, and many major brands use it.

But do you know everything this CMS has?

If the answer is “no”, keep reading and we will tell you:

  • What is Magento and what are its features
  • How to install and set it up
  • Example online shops using it

Let’s start.

👉 What is Magento? 

As we were saying, it is one of the most used eCommerce CMSs.

It also is an open-source CMS.

What does that mean?

It means its source code (the language used to create the platform) is available to all its users. And you have full liberty to modify any aspect of your online shop.

Magento’s basic features include all key functions an eCommerce CMS needs (and some advanced ones), such as:

  • Catalog configuration: It allows you to add sizes and colors, according to the product types.
  • Promotion making: You can also set up coupons, shopping cart discounts, etc.
  • Payment and shipment management: With this eCommerce platform it’s very easy to set up payment methods for both national and international shipping. 
  • Cross-selling and up-selling functions: Unlike other CMS, Magento needs no plug-ins (called “extensions”) in order to show users relevant or suggested products, since the platform has these features by default.
  • Statistics: Magento also has a panel with various useful meters that can measure your shop’s performance (most viewed and most purchased products, average billing, conversion rate, etc.)
  • Multiple shops concurrent management: One of Magento’s most interesting features is allowing you to manage more than one eCommerce with one control panel.


Like we said at the beginning, Magento is made for big eCommerce. 

That means it’s a very complex platform, requiring constant maintenance and advanced knowledge to fully benefit from it.

We will talk about this more later, but first…

✅ How many versions does Magento have (and which one should you install)

If you already know about this CMS, you have probably seen it has different names.

  • Magento Open Source
  • Adobe Magento Commerce

In reality, these are two different versions (a free and a paid one). 

We will tackle them separately.

➡️ Magento Open Source

Magento Open Source is the CMS’ free version, as well as the most used by eCommerce.

This version includes everything we have seen up until now. Besides, it has a huge number of extensions, which allow you to add any kind of extra features.

>> Magento 1 and Magento 2, are they the same? 

Since its creation, Magento Open Source has had multiple updates.

The most important one was Magento 2. 

It isn’t exactly an “update”, but a completely different platform with no ties to Magento 1 (the original version). In fact, websites using Magento 1 had to migrate to the new Magento platform.

From June 2021 on, Magento 1 lost its support so, in order to create your website with this CMS you will need to install Magento 2.

➡️ Adobe Magento Commerce (previously Magento Enterprise)

This CMS also has a paid version, previously called “Magento Enterprise”. But since Adobe bought it, it became “Adobe Magento Commerce”.

What are the differences between Adobe Magento Commerce and Magento Open Source?

The former includes some extras to facilitate creating your eCommerce, such as:

  • A “drag and drop” template, which you can use to modify your website’s design in a very visual and intuitive way
  • Specific options for B2B sales
  • Adobe’s official technical support

However, all of these extra features raise the price (indeed, it is one of the most expensive CMS in eCommerce).

If you have a web developer in your team, with Magento’s free version you already have everything you need for your online shop.

Because of that, from now on we will focus on analyzing Magento Open Source.

👉 Magento Open Source’s pros and cons 

You already understand the basics of how Magento works. But is this CMS really worth it?

To help answer this question, let’s consider its pros and cons.

✅ Pros

Let’s start with the platform’s advantages (it has many).

➡️ Endless customization options

As we were saying, Magento is an open-source CMS.

Meaning you can make literally any change about:

  • The website’s design
  • Its features
  • Tool integration

That way, you are completely free to adapt your website to your shop and your client’s needs.

➡️ Scalability

This is linked to the previous point.

As your online shop grows, you will need to:

  • Amplify your catalog (until you have hundreds or even thousands of products)
  • Integrate new tools that add more advanced features

Being open source, Magento allows this kind of changes without restraint.

➡️ Great number of extensions

One of the outstanding aspects of this eCommerce platform is its huge number of extensions.

Thanks to them you can add many new features to your online shop. Besides, it has a selection of preset templates to customize your website’s design.

➡️ Community support

With open-source software, it’s common for users to work collaboratively to develop new features. 

Magento isn’t an exception.

This CMS community is huge, and there are forums, research and frequently asked questions compilations that can help you when it comes to designing your online shop.

✅ Cons

But not everything is rosy…

Magento’s disadvantages are few beside its pros, but you need to be aware of them if you choose to build your eCommerce with this CMS.

➡️ Very steep learning curve

Its core strength is, at the same time, its greatest weakness.

Magento has so many possibilities, it will be hard to get used to it at first.

In fact, as we said before, most of Magento’s users are big eCommerce with a technical department to take care of installing and managing the platform. 

If your online shop is just starting and you want a CMS to create it with, maybe more friendly options, like Shopify, WooCommerce or even PrestaShop would be preferable.

➡️ Advanced programming knowledge needed

Magento is a free eCommerce… But only in theory.

In reality, you will need a web developer to take care of most modifications, as well as implementing tools as you need them.

➡️ There is a lot of available data… but only in English

It’s true, Magento has many available resources (such as guides, forums, etc.)

The only problem with this is that those resources are only available in English. And because of the technical content, there will be terms that are probably hard to understand for non-native speakers.

Another reason to hire a developer if you want to work with this CMS.

👉 How to install and set up Magento

Now that introductions have been made, let’s see how you start using this powerful eCommerce platform.

✅ Installing Magento

The hosting you choose for your CMS can affect the complexity of the installation process.

This is because most hosts do not come with a Magento self-installation system, which means you will have to do so manually:

  • First of all, you will need to download Magento Open Source’s newest version, from Adobe’s official website
  • Next, upload the downloaded file to your server with FTP
  • Set up the database and other technical aspects on your server

If your hosting does have a Magento installer, this will be done automatically. Otherwise, it is best that your programmer or web developer takes care of it.

✅ Online shop setup

Once Magento is installed, it’s time to start shaping up your online shop. 

➡️ Add new pages

First of all, go to Magento’s side menu and click Content –> Pages –> Add new page.

An editor will open and you will be able to choose:

  • The page’s title
  • The content (text, images, tables, etc.)
  • Key settings for SEO, like URL, meta title and meta description
  • In which websites it will show up (useful if you are managing more than one online shop)
  • Design (you can use one of the default designs on Magento or upload your own with HTML)

Got it?

Lastly, click “Save” and let’s keep going. 😉

➡️ Add products

We will look into making up your shops’ catalog.

In order to do that, click Catalog > Products > Add product, and choose:

  • Name
  • SKU or product reference code
  • Price
  • Images
  • Added taxes
  • Meta title and meta description
  • Remaining stock
  • Weight
  • Categories to show up in
  • Etc

Next stop: payment gateway.

➡️ Payment methods

Now go to Stores > Configuration > Sales > Payment methods, to set up the different payment gateways.

By default, Magento lets you automatically integrate gateways like PayPal. You can also connect to others such as Google Wallet, Amazon Pay or Braintree.

➡️ Shipping method

Still in the “Sales” section, go to Shipping methods.

Here, you will find the following options:

  • Flat rate: If the shipping costs never vary, choose this one.
  • Free shipping: You can establish some cases in which shipping will have no costs (e.g. when the order volume exceeds X). 
  • Fee schedule: Most used one. This option allows you to establish different shipping costs depending on destination, weight, number of products, etc.

You can also state here what shipping companies you work with.

👉 What online shops use Magento? Here are some examples

As we have seen throughout the post, Magento was planned as a CMS for eCommerce with a high number of sales.

That is why it isn’t strange that the examples in this list are well-known brands.

Let’s take a look at them.

✅ HP

Magento is the CMS of choice for one of the leading electronic devices companies in the world.

HP takes on a simple but sleek design, with a few CTAs on the homepage that allow the user to access the website’s main sections. 

It also has an extensive menu, easy to use, which enhances page navigation.

✅ Canon

Still in the field of technological eCommerce but moving now to the photography and printing industry.

Canon is another major brand that bets on Magento to build their eCommerce website.

It couldn’t be any other way and in Canon’s website, the main elements are the visual ones: asymmetrical photo galleries and full screen high-quality videos.

Check it out here. 

✅ Tom Dixon

Tom Dixon is one of the most famous decor stores in the world.

This store unlocks Magento’s full potential for international selling. It just so happens that you can order from their website from any continent.

Their page’s design is aligned with their product’s elegance: minimalist aspect, dominated by white and high-quality images.

✅ Land Rover

Land Rover’s online shop is not your typical one. You cannot buy a car and have it delivered to your house (at least not yet). 😉

But what you can do is customize a vehicle’s design to your liking, with options such as:

  • Car color
  • Glass type
  • Accessories
  • Seat fabric
  • And a lot more

Once you’re finished, you add the design to your “cart” and send it to the nearest car dealership.

If you think about it, it is kind of like a “click & collect” system, which has become very popular in eCommerce in recent years.

👉 What every Magento online shop needs: A smart search engine to increase your sales.

If you’re still reading, you’re probably thinking about bettering your shop by installing this CMS.

Are we right?

Then, you will like what we have to tell you. 

Imagine if you could increase your online shop’s conversion rate by 10-20%… just by installing an internal search engine.

We’re not pulling your leg!

This is the average for shops that use Doofinder’s smart search engine.

An advanced search engine that uses AI and

  • Has advanced functions, such as autocomplete and search filters
  • Can manage synonyms and typos and show relevant results, (cutting no search result pages down from 15% to 1.3% on average)
  • Gives users customized results according to their search and navigation history

The best thing is you can check all this out yourself by installing Doofinder to your shop for 30 days for free.

Like any other extension, it takes 5 minutes to install, no code modifications or bank account data needed.

Are you ready to have your Magento shop’s sales skyrocket? 😉