4 November 2016
At Absolute our open source platform of choice is Magento, with which we build a variety of ecommerce sites, ranging from simple shopping carts to complex integrations with third party software. Magento is now used by over 30% of the ecommerce market and is flexible, adaptable and robust. Open source organisations such as Magento effectively have thousands of developers checking and fixing code and creating new ways to make ecommerce more intuitive and user friendly. Without the dev intuition from a large supportive community, your website could lack progression and security.
Proprietary development is fully custom created, but what you have to be cautious with is future dev maintenance. Proprietary systems don’t have the security of a dev ‘family’ like Magento open source has and leaves you limited to trusting thousands of pounds of your money to a small development team. You and your business must be comfortable with the company building your site because it’s likely that you won’t be able to move your website elsewhere if you need to. Building with an open source ensures there will be other developers using the same development platform with the skills to adapt and update your site. Without that freedom your site may require a whole redevelopment process.
Both proprietary and Magento is great for big companies who handle large traffic and have a significant product catalogue. Magento however, can cater for both medium and large enterprise businesses. Businesses with small budgets can benefit from premade templates which can be blended with custom made pages to create a cost-effective site, with your own branding. Proprietary is always custom made, which comes at a hefty price.
As mentioned earlier, Magento developers constantly update the platform and create better ways with which to build an ecommerce site. This is particularly evident in the SEO aspects of a website. With increasing online competition, it’s never been more important to have effective SEO in place. Open source platforms, Magento in our case, offer special modules to get your website geared up correctly from the offset. On the other hand, proprietary systems - due to their in-house-only approach - may not have the progressive knowledge to develop such modules and thus leave a custom designed site without the robust foundations of basic SEO practice.