8 things I wish everyone would know about Magento (and 4 bonus wishes)

I actually decided not to do any xmas/newyears stuff on my website but what the heck… ;)

Here are the 8 things I wish everyone knew about (Magento) webshops:

I Wish…

  1. … more people would know Magento is probably the best basis for their store. It’s the fastest growing platform, great community, open source, many extensions… The slogan ‘Ecommerce platform for Growth’ says it all: it’s the best base for starting and growing your online business!
  2. … more people would know a Magento webshop isn’t cheap to build or maintain. The community edition is open source and free and the commercial Magento versions are a fraction of the license costs compared to traditional proprietary systems like Hybris, Intershop or ATG. But you will still need many development hours on customizations in frontend (templating) and backend (bridges, integrations) development. And since Magento development specialists are still higher in demand than they are available, they’re a busy folk and can ask higher-than-average prices.
  3. … that people wouldn’t be scared by point 2 because you will still end up with a much better, cheaper and more flexible platform than when you would’ve chosen a proprietary system. Just don’t expect it to be free/cheap.
  4. … more people would know Magento can be really fast. You just need to have proper hosting and know what to do.
  5. … web development agencies would know that they can’t just simply decide to adopt Magento into their organization. Even if you successfully implemented several websites or webshops based on other platforms, prepare to fail miserably on your first projects. Depending on FTE, It’ll take you around 6 to 12 months to successfully implement Magento webshops within budget and on time.
  6. … every Magento webshop owner or supplier would know that attending one or more Magento events (like Imagine, Meet Magento NL, Meet Magento DE or Bargento) is great for business. Although webshops are an online business by definition, it’s still all about people. Visiting an event might cost you a couple hundred dollars (including entrance fee, travel expenses and a hotel), but the contacts and knowledge you gain will be priceless.
  7. … even more people would share their knowledge online and help others with their Magento questions once in while. Besides the good feeling of helping someone out, it’ll repay you in online reputation and it might get you some more projects in the long run.
  8. … everyone not using Magento would know that #Magento kicks your ecommerce platforms butt :D

And here are 4 extra wishes for webshops in general:

I Also Wish…

  1. … starting webshop owners wouldn’t think selling products online is easy and that just putting products online will bring you golden mountains. Starting a webshop is the equivalent of opening a real life store: you’ll need staff, clean your shop now and then, use marketing to get people to visit your store and provide world-class support and increase loyalty to get people back into your store and tell their friends about it. It’s almost like starting a real business ;)
  2. … more people would realize that your not done when you launch your shop. That actually marks the start.
  3. … more projects would ‘release early, release often‘ instead of lengthy development cycles. You can’t plan for everything, you don’t know everything about your customers, you don’t know what works best online. You don’t. So start finding out as quickly as you can.
  4. … more decisions would be made based on test results. The great thing about webshops is that you can measure and test (almost) everything. Use that to your advantage and don’t just make decisions based on the opinion of random people working on the project or your instincts. Test and know.

So these were my wishes, but what about yours? Let me know what you think people should know about Magento in the comments!

Have a Magestic 2011 everyone!

magento-chart

Presentation: Magento, the number one e-commerce platform

Today I presented my ‘Introduction to Magento’ to customers of a hosting company in The Netherlands (Oxilion). I made the (3,5 hour) presentation with the prezi.com tool and I’d like to share it here with you.

PS: You don’t have to follow the fixed path of the presentation, you can pan and zoom as you like!

I also got some really nice reactions from people who attended the seminar:

First of Guido does not use powerpoint or keynote, but prezi.com wich makes the presentation itself just a little more interactive and special. And there was Guido’s knowledge of the subject, the way he interacts and his humor. I’ve had great fun and learned a lot, I’d actually like to hire him but well.. He’s got a job ;-)

Floris Diemel – Commercial Manager (CCO), Cambrium

As Community Manager for Magento he knows his share, and was willing to share with us, what the Magento Community can and can not do. All in all it turned out to be a great seminar with lots of positive response. Thank you Guido, for the inspiring session!

Niek Slaghekke – Sales Consultant, Oxilion

I attended the session to get to know Magento better and know what ist’s abilities are and whether it could be used for a future webshop for my company. The presentation itself was very well designed, executed with both patience and humor and Guido made sure the audience kept involved and alert at all times. In the meantime, I managed to learn quite a lot from it too. I would recommend Guido as a speaker when it comes to Magento and especially when there is a less-then-formal atmosphere.

Randal PeelenProductmanager, Cambrium

Sherrie Rohde

Interview: Sherrie Rohde

It’s Friday so it’s time for the next Magento interview! This time we have the honor to learn more about Sherrie Rohde.

Sherrie lives in Illinois, USA and works as a Multimedia Graphic Designer at Minerva Promotions. You can find here online on her website sherrierohde.com and connect with here on LinkedIn, Skype (kreativ.slr), Twitter or the Magento forum as sherrie where she is one of the forum moderators.

So let’s get started and meet Sherrie!

What did you dream of becoming as a child?

I think my strongest childhood daydream was to be an Olympian Gold Medalist whether it be for soccer, snowboarding or figure skating—the event seemed to change based on my stage in life.

My philosophy on life is…

Life is what you make of it, if you want to have an average life than by all means sit around and do nothing. I have huge goals so I work on myself daily whether it be through reading, association or simple steps along the way.

What is your average day like?

I start the day way too early (in my humble yet accurate opinion) but well caffeinated drawing pretty pictures at work. I code, too, but my favorite description of what I do is drawing pretty pictures. After work I generally am active for about an hour whether it’s running, cross training or cycling. From there it varies depending on the day but I always find time to catch up with friends and be productive before falling asleep in a good book.

The ideal night out is…

Anything I can still remember the next day that involves being with my friends.

I’m good at…

Everything. I kid, sort of. I really believe I can accomplish pretty much everything I put my mind too, though. So I guess I’m good at problem solving and determination!

I’m very bad at…

Sitting still. I’m pretty sure I have undiagnosed ADD. In fact, an online test told me so once.

What are you proud of?

I’m proud of who I am and who I am working towards being. I’m proud of my refusal to be average.

How did you get involved in Magento?

We needed a low cost e-commerce solution at work and I happened to be on a competitor’s forum where someone threw in a plug for Magento. At this point the first stable release had not yet been made but I dove right in and got my hands dirty. By the time Magento was ready to launch, so were we.

I am (still/currently) involved with Magento because…

Magento has proven to be a fantastic flexible solution to meet our constantly growing and changing needs.

What should every newcomer know about Magento?

Magento is not a click and go product. If you want to get dirty and have fun then by all means have a blast! Just don’t expect to not do anything at all and then complain about it later. It is a learning curve, depending on your current knowledge, but it’s totally worth it.

Which feature would you really like to see added to Magento?

To be honest, Magento has all the features we currently need. The ones it lacks I’ve added in on my own.

And what feature would you really like to see removed?

Nothing really comes to mind.

What is the first extension you install in Magento?

Haha … my own. :). I actually have two extensions. One of them allows store owners to enter multiple flat rate options for the customer to select from – alternatively this can be used to select pickup locations. The other extension allows the store owner to set a minimum quantity of items in the shopping cart required in order for the checkout button to be active.

What’s the first thing you would improve on magentocommerce.com?

The search functionality—it used to be so good, allowing you to pick which sections of the site to search (i.e. wiki, forums, etc), I don’t know what happened to it. Also, the current captcha and I fight. A lot.

What are your future plans with Magento?

My future plans for Magento usage are to continually stay up to date with our installations at work while pursuing new innovative ways to use it for our needs as well as continual work with the Magento staff on various tutorial documents and forum moderation tasks.

Complete the sentence “Magento changes the e-commerce landscape forever because…”

…it gives you the flexibility to make it whatever you need it to be without the hassle of implementing core features upfront.

Thanks Sherrie for your cooperation! Next time I’ll interview Brent Peterson from Wagento Data Consulting LLC. If you want to stay up-to-date, you can subscribe to the RSS feed, the Newsletter or my Facebook page.