Magento is an open source content management system for e-commerce websites, based on the PHP/Zend MVC framework. It was first released in 2008, and currently has a market share of 29%, being one of the most popular e-commerce programs.
Magento uses the MYSQL/MariaDB relational database system with the entity-attribute-value model to store data.
It is provided on two distinct platforms, Magento Commnity Edition and Magento Enterprise edition. Two further platforms, the Professional and Go editions have been deprecated.
Magento Community Edition is an open-source content-management system, which allows anyone to modify its core system. Developers can implement the core files and extend its functionality by adding new plugins provided by other developers. Since the initial version was released in 2007, Community Edition has been developed and customized in order to provide a basic eCommerce platform. The latest version is 1.9.2 which was released on Jul 07, 2015.
Magento Enterprise is derived from the Community Edition and has the same core structure. Unlike the Community version, it is not free, however it has extended features and functionality. This edition is designed for large businesses that require advanced technical support with installation and configuration. Although Magento Enterprise has annual maintenance fees, neither Community nor Enterprise Editions include hosting. The Magento team develops Enterprise Edition by cooperating with users and third parties. The latest version is 188.8.131.52 which was released on May 13, 2014.
Magento supports a Web template system which generates multiple similar-looking pages and customised themes.
Magento provides a basic theme which sets up an eCommerce website. The theme is designed for customizing all pages by adding or editing the PHP, HTML and CSS. Magento users may install themes which change the display of the website or its functionality. Without loss of content or layout of pages, themes are interchangeable with Magento installations. Themes are installed by uploading theme folders via FTP or SSH and applying them using the backend admin system.
Magento developers have created Magento plugins which extend its basic built-in functionality. Magento users can install modules by downloading them, and uploading them to their server, or applying a module's Extension Key through Magento Connect Manager.
Magento allows users to integrate several different domain names into one control panel and manage more than one storefront at a time from a single admin panel.
If you are looking to start selling online, Magento should certainly be one of the systems to consider. With such widespread support and a vast community of users and developer, it will continue to maintain its popular market share for the foreseeable future.
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