Magneto or Wordpress for eCommerce

I'm a Cyber Security major and I met a small business that wants an ecommerce site. I've wanted to learn Magneto, so I'm going to postpone my current projects and I wanted to learn Magneto to build the sites. I make $200 a week and I pay my rent, so I was going to build the site for $300 so I can put it on my resume.

I read the above link and it said a college student or a PHP Developer cannot create a Magneto website.

Is it unrealistic to think I could learn Magneto to create a site for a small business in 2018?

As far as hosting, I was going to recommend a $5 1GB Linode. I manage servers for my current job, so I will apply updates and manage the server for them for free, then when I need to update to a new version of GNU/Linux I will charge them a fee to do so.

I really want to learn Magneto. If this is possible can you link some good sites to learn Magneto?

If not I guess I will check out Wordpress.
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Chris StanyonWebDevCommented:
Been a while since I looked at Magento, but you will massively regret charging $300 for it. It has a huge learning curve, and is like nothing else on the market. It will likely take you months to even get a good start on it - a lot longer to become anything like an expert. The hosting environment needed is also pretty intense, so it will need a high end, optimized hosting environment.

WooCommerce with WordPress is fairly straight forward and not too difficult to get up and running pretty quickly - a much more realistic approach for $300.

My 2p worth - go with WordPress :)
Brandon LyonSenior Frontend DeveloperCommented:
I'm not sure about the current state of Magento, but as a self-taught developer I was able to understand it circa version 1 and it's initial beta in around a month. It's a robust and complex system but it can be grasped by one person reading and poking around the code.

As a person who has also worked in Wordpress I say go for it and learn Magento. Wordpress can do many things but it isn't particularly strong at ecommerce. Magento was built for ecommerce. Wordpress was built for blogging and later got extended so it could use ecommerce. When it comes to ecommerce there is much that Magento can do but Wordpress cannot.

That said, time is money. These days I generally let a third party handle ecommerce such as Squarspace / Shopify / Wix. The use cases where a customer needs Magento over Squarespace and it is worth their time+money to implement Magento are relatively few.
David FavorLinux/LXD/WordPress/Hosting SavantCommented:
Magento creates many hurdles. Plan on more like a good year to learn it.

WordPress + WooCommerce, as Chris suggested, will produce a working site in far less time...

And... Best charge by the hour, as building any site can run into large amounts of time.
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Brandon LyonSenior Frontend DeveloperCommented:
WordPress + WooCommerce, as Chris suggested, will produce a working site in far less time...

That depends on the definition of working site, and the specific list of features which the ecommerce site would need. I recommend that you sit down and create a list of features which you want to implement on this site. That will help you decide which ecommerce product to use.
burnedfacelessAuthor Commented:
I'm actually inspired that somebody has learned Magneto by themselves. I'm going to go for learning Magneto myself.

I need to know what hosting plan I should recommend. Most of my clients for sites built from scratch have no problems with a $5 1GB Linode server - hosting 2-3 sites.

What does Magneto require?

Instead of charging a set price I'm just going to ask for free products and let him know I will maintain updates for free products. I live with two roommates and my costs are like $333 a month. I think if I learn Magneto and have built a Magneto website then I can put that on my resume and that's something that will help me long term.
David FavorLinux/LXD/WordPress/Hosting SavantCommented:
This depend on many factors.

For clients I host, which normally have lots of traffic, for Magento sites I start with 64G + 16 cores/threads. suggests 2G + you'll notice they specifically state to use swap space.

I suppose if you're willing to tolerate the sluggishness of a site constantly swapping + you have near zero traffic 2G for Magento + 2G for LAMP might work.
David FavorLinux/LXD/WordPress/Hosting SavantCommented:
So I just noticed you mention 2-3 sites running Magento. I'd suggest you add much more memory.
Brandon LyonSenior Frontend DeveloperCommented:
How many resources are required will depend on what you intend to do with the site.

I have run it on a low cost shared hosting provider before but that was also a low traffic site with a limited quantity of SKUs.

That was in the days before private cloud instances though. I would recommend starting on something which is low or free cost, at least while you're learning the system, such as GCP free tier, or a cheap Linode instance. AWS would be more complicated and slightly more expensive but it would also improve your employment aspects.

After that you can learn automation and run simulated load tests in order to determine what cloud instances you'll need in order to support the expected levels of traffic you expect.

edit: I'd follow David Favor's recommendations about hardware requirements since his information appears to be more up to date. I didn't realize that Magento recommends 2G now.
Chris StanyonWebDevCommented:
Just another point to think about. It may well be in your own interests to learn Magento, but is your client willing to wait for several months at least (and it WILL be at least that!!) while you figure out a new technology (and that's probably just for the basics - don't forget that once the site is up and running, your client will expect you to teach them how to admin their site - the stock / product images / customers / orders / newsletters / coupons / shipping / payments etc.

As for hosting, try out several - I guarantee you now that a $5 hosting account will not be sufficient for Magento - not even close!

If you're really good friends with your 'client' then by all means, offer them a site so you have a project to work on (don't promise a lead-time!), but if this is a purely professional relationship - be careful. You really should be looking at 10 times the price just to get started, but they will expect a professional service - probably not going to be too happy to discover that you're using them as your guinea pig :)
burnedfacelessAuthor Commented:
That's the thing. My client had mentioned to this guy I know that they were interested in an ecommerce site.

I'm not sure if they are ready to launch yet.

I'm going to suggest Wordpress or Magneto and let them decide. I'm going to say I can have a Wordpress site launched quickly. But I want to learn Magneto and I'm willing to build it at a lower costs if they would like me to.

What should I be presenting to them - every website almost recommends Magneto for ecommerce. I'm willing to build it at a lower cost so I can put it on my resume.

Besides the time what considerations should I give them? Is it professional to give them Wordpress vs. Magneto articles?
Chris StanyonWebDevCommented:
From a professional point of view, you should really have a detailed discussion with them about what they actually want from a site - now and looking to the future. What level of tech expertise do they themselves have (ongoing admin / maintenance of the site). From that information it would be up to you to recommend a solution (or range of solutions). Giving them articles on the 2 platforms probably isn't something I'd do personally - it's more likely to confuse them unless they are very tech minded.

Putting an e-commerce solution together is not a quick and easy thing - not for a developer and not for the client - so there are a lot of considerations. They will need to get all their product info together in a suitable format - titles / description / images / SKUs / prices / categories / product weights / dimensions etc. They will also need to consider shipping (local / national / international), Terms and Conditions / Returns Policy / Local Legislation (Distance Selling Act / Data Protection etc). Probably gonna want FAQs on there as well. Then they'll need to setup some kind of payment gateway (make sure it's compatible with whichever platform they choose - it will be you that has to integrate and test it) - they will expect you to advise them on all of this - clients can be VERY demanding!!

All this for $300! Rather you than me ;)

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Brandon LyonSenior Frontend DeveloperCommented:
If you give them comparison articles to read they might not care or understand technical things.

My recommendation would be to get a list of features they would like to implement. Each feature will cost them more development time. Some features come built into each tech platform and some tech platforms are quicker to build. Some platforms cannot provide features which others provide.

That feature list discussion would help guide you to a decision about which platform to use while also helping them to realize scope costs. It would also help to prioritize and schedule development plans.

Things like:

* Payment processors
* Shipping integration (national and international)
* SKU variants (ie this hat, this hat in red, this hat in blue, this shirt in XL / L / M / S, shoe size 13, Mens vs Women's, etc)
* Marketing platform integration
* Email harvesting & newsletters
* Product slideshows
* User reviews
* Multiple language support
* Mobile device support
* Coupon codes / gift certificates / promotions
* Subscriptions
* Digital downloads
* Audio / video
* etc
burnedfacelessAuthor Commented:
Thank you to everyone who contributed.

I plan to talk to them about what they want, if they want Wordpress, then I will get it done for them and I will do Magneto if that seems like a better fit.

Either way I will learn Magneto probably this year. My school has an Ecommerce class where we build an ecommerce site from scratch using PHP. And we talk about Magneto, but I'm going to try to learn it now and really poke around with it so that I know it by the time I graduate.

I like to code, so I'm inclined to have fun building something from scratch, but I will have a hell of an easier time getting a job if I have Magneto experience, than getting a job if I have built an Ecommerce site from scratch.
David FavorLinux/LXD/WordPress/Hosting SavantCommented:
I guess I've just worked on two many coding projects... since... shudder... 1982 when I wrote my first FORTAN...

You'll likely only work on a few projects... maybe even only one... where you do fixed price bidding or trading your time for random free products for keeping their software updated.

Better to charge an hourly rate for your time, else your client will be making changes all the time + you may end up with a full time + unpaid job.
Mike HallWebsite DesignerCommented:
In my opinion, magento is better than WordPress when it comes to e-commerce website development. Magento website development is easy and can be beneficial.

WordPress site is created with PHP scripts while Magento is particularly developed for e-commerce and follows object-oriented approach.

Moreover, magento is more reliable and secure than WordPress.
burnedfacelessAuthor Commented:
I will use WordPress for this client. But I've decided to set up their blog on, so that they can migrate to Magento when I know it.

I'm a Cyber Security major and we have Ecommerce, where we build an ecommerce site from scratch. I could build an ecommerce site from scratch right now by the class's standards. I'm going to request to either build a site with Magento, or to build a darknet market site.

It would be fun to brush up on my C and look at the bitcoin source code, but I think building a site with Magento would be better to help me with clients.
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