It’s 2015 – Bespoke E-commerce Software is Dead: Move to Magento

It’s 2015 – Bespoke E-commerce Software is Dead: Move to Magento

If you are running a bespoke E-commerce system in 2015 is it time to stop and look again at your options? The agencies that we see now touting bespoke e-commerce solutions seem to be doing it just to lock you in.

Think about it. You have a problem or need a new feature? You’re going to have to go back to the original developers.

What about changing the design? You probably can’t drop in a new theme, tweaked to your liking by a web designer. So it’s back to the original agency.

It might be cheaper to start with (only might!), but once you’ve got vendor lock-in it’s a game of ‘name your price’. What if the agency thinks it’s too much work and they’d rather not do it? They’ll probably still quote you, but you can bet they’re going to drop an extra zero on the end of the price! This is to say nothing of the fact that the agency could go out of business and leave you with the very difficult task of tracking down someone who knows the system.

If you take something like Magento, you can quickly get setup with an agency. It’s standardised, it’s well known. Many developers specialise in it and even if a developer doesn’t know it well, if they’re a PHP person they can get to grips with it relatively quickly. This gives you flexibility. Now you’re in charge and if you don’t like the quoted price for a new feature or re-design you can easily go elsewhere.

But isn’t one well known system a bigger target?


The answer to that is yes and no. As soon as a software system is installed by both a lot of people and very big brands it becomes a target. There’s no getting round this. However, just because your system is less well known it’s not inherently more secure. This idea is known as ‘security through obscurity’. This technique is something you can add to a system to slow down attacks, but it should never form the entire basis of your defence.

That’s aside from the fact that a homebrew e-commerce system could easily fall victim to all sorts of developer errors. What if user input is not sanitised? Then anybody could come along with more or less ‘off-the-shelf’ code and exploit you using SQL injection. If you use something like Magento you know it will be thoroughly built, tested and patched should the need arise.

The Move to Magento

Hopefully by now you’re convinced to go with Magento rather than risk the vendor lock-in of a cobbled together homebrew e-commerce system.

Well, we can help.

We’ll work with you to understand what features are essential to your business. We’ll help you to standardise your product database so it can be imported into Magento. We’ll take care of design – reflecting your brand’s personality and creating a great user experience. We’ll help you to extend the already powerful base functionality of Magento so you can utilise blogging, multi-channel selling and a host of other features.

Then you have options, you’re not locked into us, but we can continue to help you with support options and our marketing team, experienced in the art of Magento SEO.

Get in touch with us today to discuss how you can benefit from moving to the world’s best e-commerce platform.

Author Owen Radford

More posts by Owen Radford
  • mdawg

    Standardised? Really? Unit tests. Composer. Conventional design patterns. None of these are present in Magento.

    Magento willingly ship vulnerable code, and have done for a few months. Their response on the remote code execution bug for CE?

    “Due to our lack of automated tests, we have no possibility for a quick release cycles.”

    Magento is a mess of unnecessarily complicated catacombs of code. They adopt a configuration over convention approach, and to do literally anything requires editing of XML files — every single time. These are then smashed together at runtime, meaning any rule can be placed in any file, and is the recipe for a massive headache.

    Developing in Magento is a lot like riding a bike. Except the bikes on fire, you’re on fire, and everything around you is on fire because you’re in hell.

    • elementarydigital

      Oh to be a developer! 🙂 What’s your preferred open source e-commerce platform?

      ED – Owen

  • Lee Stovin

    I really enjoyed reading this blog. The only problem with Magento is that it seems to be a much more expensive option than a bespoke solution.

    • elementarydigital

      Thanks Lee. I don’t see how you mean – are you thinking of the Enterprise Edition?

  • Lee Stovin

    I am talking about Community edition the last two Magento projects I project managed the agencies charged between 7-8k for the websites with the larger agencies charging £15-£20k, where if I went down the bespoke option I could have sites developed for £3-5k.

    • elementarydigital

      Interesting – we’ve commonly seen bespoke solutions quoted north of £20k; that’s not to speak of the total lifetime cost of changes or updates. Funny how it varies so much!