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However, we have seen many disgruntled Magento users move to us, keen to work with an agile, specialist eCommerce agency which offers extensive eCommerce experience and know-how, combined with a real commitment to the eCommerce platform we provide, service and support.

When theory meets reality....

On the surface Magento has a reputation for being customisable and portable between agencies – giving clients (in theory) a sense of control should they fall out of love with their agency or if the agency ceases trading.

Some retailers also express a belief that open source software advances more quickly than other eCommerce platforms (this is certainly not the case, in fact quite the opposite – please don’t confuse bug fixes and patches with real progress). 

In our experience online retailers are realising that there are many downsides to relying on open source agencies, beholden to a behemoth like Magento.

In practice few Magento agencies are that keen to pick up the work of another agency.

Furthermore many clients face constant upgrades and patches (if the agency actually remembers) and operational delays due to inefficient working practices as one contractor tries to unpick the work of a predecessor.

This is a snapshot of some of the real life stories we've heard so far in 2018 from retailers regretting their Magento decisions.

Behind closed doors

Many open source agencies lack the expertise to modify the platform they’ve sold you – especially true now with the roll-out of Magento 2, as experienced practitioners are scarce.

Open source eCommerce software is usually developed by many individuals around the world, rather than one company. Systems such as Magento are sold by agencies who are not involved in the development, they simply deploy the software and sell you the visual design and hosting for that platform.

Open source agencies often ‘get in’ a contractor, contractors come and go, individual contractors do things differently, given this the agency’s ability and indeed commitment to really support its clients longer term has to be questioned. This is at complete odds with our approach – we are totally focused on and committed to our IXO Commerce platform.

Furthermore, if you require anything that does not come as ‘standard’, there is a potential problem and you have to rely on the agency to modify software that they did not create. This equates to plenty of risk and plenty of unknowns going forward for the retailer.

As already mentioned; the coming of Magento 2 is very likely to exacerbate these issues –as  real experience and expertise is painfully thin on the ground.

Increased security risk

Think about it….open source eCommerce software enables anyone to freely download and view the source code of the solution.

There are tens of thousands of Magento sites out there – if you were a hacker it is well worth spending the time looking carefully at the code, looking at the support forums, probing for weaknesses.

At Iconography we use our own technology and we do not allow anyone to view our source code.

Updates can be slow to apply

Often when a new version of an open source eCommerce platform is released there will be a succession of updates such as security improvements and bug fixes, your agency need to update the site quickly or put your business at risk.

Unfortunately this 'patching' isn’t always easy, plenty of room for human error, especially if you factor in multiple contractors, sketchy documentation and version control issues, plug-ins and bespoke modifications.

Who is supporting your Magento site?

Open source eCommerce software rarely has direct support from the original developers. Support is usually provided via community forums, as is the case with Magento, in which case you may never get an answer that helps you.

Some specialist third-party companies also provide support, in which case you will be phoning a call centre to try to explain your problem to them. Good luck with that!

Compare and contrast

The team at Iconography:

  • seasoned
  • specialist
  • dedicated 
  • highly skilled developers
  • working in a consistent fashion
  • following proven processes

A solid team of Digital Artisans is dedicated to crafting our enterprise level IXO Commerce platform day in and day out to benefit our clients.

The genuine alternative to Magento

Iconography provide you with a dedicated account manager who liaises with our senior developers  - the very people who lovingly write the code.

One team, under one roof, working together to help our clients quickly and efficiently.

If you are seeking a real alternative to open source platforms like Magento, deployed by agencies reliant on contractors – talk to us, Iconography – the digital artisans.