Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Store Manager for Magento vs. VirtueMart

Magento is a feature-rich, professional open-source eCommerce solution that offers merchants complete flexibility and control over the look, content, and functionality of their online store. Magento’s powerful marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and catalog-management tools give merchants the power to create eCommerce sites that are designed to meet their unique business needs.
The development has been set up properly and is advancing fast, there are regular updates available packed with new functionalities. However, Magento does have a few drawbacks. First, the entire web shop package is extremely heavy and not every hoster can therefore accept it. Another common complaint is that the system is slow. In addition, if you want to use Magento you'd have to have some knowledge of programming language such as PHP. Expanding or customizing Magento can be tough, also because Magento uses advanced programming techniques that not all programmers are familiar with. One also has to take his time to learn Magento and then can get to work.
VirtueMart is an open source eCommerce platform that was designed as an extension of the Mambo or Joomla content management systems (CMS). VirtueMart was formerly known as mambo-Php Shop, an eCommerce web application. It was the first substantial stand-alone native eCommerce component for the Mambo CMS. After Mambo (essentially) became Joomla, phpShop became VirtueMart. VirtueMart is written in PHP and requires the MySQL database environment for storage.Virtuemart require less technical knowledge. Granted, the PHP code and layout is sloppy, but Virtuemart allows you nevertheless to quickly put your shop online and maintain it easily as there are many extensions readily available so you don't have to program this yourself. And if you already know your way around Joomla, Virtuemart will prove to be a breeze to work with. Functioning of both Joomla and Virtuemart are based on the same principles.
Joomla has more than 3500 extensions and Virtuemart will usually function seamlessly with these. The big advantage of this is that you can easily transform your website into a community including a forum, blog, guestbook, photo album and so on. Your web shop will rank higher in Google because of this and you'll also retain more customers.
A major drawback of Virtuemart is the slow development and a lack of (default) advanced functionalities. There are luckily often (commercial) providers that have developed these functionalities and offer them as paid extensions, like PDF invoices in Virtuemart. However, you would naturally rather see these extensions standard in the Virtuemart package, as some of them are standard in Magento.
VirtueMart vs. Magento
  • Both are open source
  • Both have large development communities
  • Price by range feature not available with VirtueMart
  • Product comparison capability not available with VirtueMart
  • Magento is an eCommerce platform, while Virtue Mart is an eCommerce addition to a CMS
  • Magento boasts vastly improved inherent SEO capabilities: auto generated Google sitemap, Meta for products and categories, etc.
  • Magento combines open source while offering merchants unprecedented control over store functions.
  • Magento offers layered navigation, which saves time for merchants selling technical products (can filter products based on attributes)
  • VirtueMart may be a better fit for small businesses, while Magento can handle any size online store, from small to enterprise
  • The Magento Dashboard offers more options and greater flexibility than the Store Summary in VirtueMart
  • Magento’s shipping options allow for shipping cost by weight, flat rate or free shipping, ship to multiple addresses, ship the order in multiple shipments, and restrict shipping destinations OUT OF THE BOX, while these are not available with VirtueMart without various extensions
  • Speed of both depends on specific hosting and server details
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