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osCommerce v Magento Shopping Carts

osCommerce v Magento Shopping Carts

Which is better.  We have had osCommerce ( the CRE Loaded version) for 3 years.

We have been reasonable happy, although it is a bit cumbersome and does not look as modern or crisp as some of the more modern carts. To counter that we were quite experienced with it.

However, our WebDesign company has disappeared and a new WebDesign company that we are in discussions with are having problems trying to edit the previous WebDesign companies scripts, and are really pushing us very hard to switch to Magento?

Many of the old custom scripts have stopped wirking with ne newer versions of osCommerce and we also need to add new functionality & integration with external solutions such as Quickbooks and our sullpiers websites.

I know asking questions like this can start a mini war like comparing MS Windows or Unix to Apple, it depends on what your allegiance or experience has been, but selling product online is a serious business for us

Thanks for your input and feedback.
Robbie
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This question does not have a correct answer, it depends on what your needs are.

Magento is a great application. It has many nice features built in and can be extended relativity easily(assuming you are familiar with its setup).

On the other hand since it is still a young product you may find your self searching for extensions to resolve particular needs for your store.
Ex: 1. Magento shipping does not take into account "dimensional weight" which some shippers use when delivering via air.
       2. CMS - Functionality is also lacking here. You can only create basic pages. In the CE edition there is no page hierarchy. I have developed a standard add on for cms pages that provides this functionalit in CE, but it is not provided out of the box.


I see no reason not to switch as-long-as  you have discussed any specific needs your website has, and your developer has confidence that they can meet those needs.

To sum up: Magento is a great eCommerce platform, but does lack functionality in some areas.

Author

Commented:
Thank you miked2004, tha si v. good feedback!

Some negative comments re Magneto

 (* there are many positive too, I just compiled this list from various forms so that I can sit down with my new WebDesign company who are trying to convince us to change and play devil’s advocate with them and see what they have to say )

Also, some of these comments may be old and issues may have been resolved with newer versions.  

And some of the comments are probably inaccurate and / or biased


The negative comments

Costs:
------
Only the Community Edition, meant for developers only, is free to download and use
You will be paying them for it sooner or later
Only Magneto’s pay version will be PCI compliant. Buy their $500 version or pay higher credit card fees.
It doesn’t have many decent free plugins/extensions
Not recommended for smaller stores (or smaller budgets).
Needs a dedicated ( €€€/ $$$ ) rather than shared server.
If you want to add a feature that isn’t included, or isn’t one of the available extensions, then you’d better have deep pockets.


Upgrading:
-------------
Upgrading and extending it difficult and dangerous.
Fixes need to be outsourced to Varien.
Magento not real “open source”
I also ran into a glitch where item quantities on the front end would not update. Nor would wish-list items or reviews post
Updating the cart to a newer version is a crapshoot
can’t help but to wonder if they make most of their money troubleshooting their broken and buggy software.
The basic installation comes in at around 6500 files!


Speed:
---------
Magneto is the slowest shopping cart I have ever tested,
is resource hungry
Slow response times from Varien who offered hacks which worked “some” of the time.

Use:
----
It has an extremely steep learning curve.
template and theming system can, at times, be a complete headache/nightmare.
I’ve found magento (free) to be quite convoluted and over engineered.
What takes me usually a few hours to a day with a different solution, took me weeks.
I would not recommend it unless you have unlimited time to invest on the project.
over-engineered and needlessly complex file-system, themeing process, and above all –
It’s very unituitive. For example after you add products they don’t show up until you click the attributes, then “add them to your website” then you have to add display widgets to the home page.
There is barely any community and good luck finding the forum from their website.
Magento? Are you f’n kidding me? Magento is a nightmare. Poor documentation and awful support forums.
Any advanced functionality means modification of core files and then everything goes to shit.
While it is very robust and especially well-suited for managing multiple storefronts you might lose your mind trying to manage the obscene quantity of files
Magento takes the seasoned PHP programmer about two-four months to really pick up on after which said programmer can make a living by charging up to $200/hr for grueling and psychologically tormenting work. Only use Magento if you have a masochistic proclivity toward pain.
600 or more tables,
core files difficult to edit…
best out of box, but do not touch it.
works well on dedicated server, poor performance on shared sever.


Security:
---------
Probably the best cart from a security stand point because of the frequent updates an phone support
Most of the cart emails are flagged as level 8 or 9 spam unless some serious tweaking is done.

Only the Community Edition, meant for developers only, is free to download and use
         Not only for developers, but if you do not want to invest the time to learn how to set it up then you need someone with knowledge to set it up correctly.

You will be paying them for it sooner or later
      I see magento as a starting point, it allows you to start with a good base and then add specific functionality for your store. Obviously you will need to spend money or time to get it customized to your likes.

It doesn’t have many decent free plugins/extensions
     Depends on what functionality you are looking for. For more complex things you may not find a free addon. You may also need to tweak an addon to work just how you want.


If you want to add a feature that isn’t included, or isn’t one of the available extensions, then you’d better have deep pockets.
       Again it depends on what you are looking for.



Needs a dedicated ( €€€/ $$$ ) rather than shared server.
        Magento is resource intensive, but I dont think you really want to run an ecommerce platform on a shared server just for security reasons.


Upgrading:
Upgrading has gotten better with more recent releases. Upgrading between major versions can be trick. ex: 1.2 to 1.3
Lots of files b/c it is based off Zend framework
There are bugs because it is still young and developing.


Use: In general these comments sound like they came from a developer who is using/customizing Magento for the first time. Yes there is a learning curve but, that is why you pay a developer(for there knowledge and expertise). It took me a while to wrap my head around magento, but now I just set out a game plan and execute it. I get requests from other developers to do things that i regard as simple changes, but that is because I have i good understanding of the platform.

Author

Commented:
I am quite technical, but I know nothing about Magento.

I am an engineer, networking, os systems, not a programmer, but I know osCommerce and HTML quite well. I would not have much of an understanding of php.

1. I there any good training materials online for Magento that would work for beginners, and move me on to intermediate.

2. Also, however, predominately, I would need to know everything a "Store Manager" would need to  know.

Thanks you,
Robbie.
1. Ahh, there are some materials on Magento's website(limited info), plus you can buy a Manual from them. I just learn from doing and goggling specific things I wanted to know.

2. You really just need to dig in and get use to the system. Also, read the starter material on Magentos site.
http://www.magentocommerce.com/support/magento-user-guide-book

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