Frustrated with Magento - time to move on?

Hi all,

I am in the process of developing a eCommerce shopping site that ultimately will sell 30-50k products, but ideally will be built on a platform that could expand closer to 100k if necessary.

I hired a web programmer about 3 months ago for this project, and they suggested Magento. The site is now fully built in Magento, but I have not launched the site yet as I have found frustrations with both my programmer and the Magento interface itself. Namely, the site is incredibly slow. Part of this is due to the fact that I host it on the Rackspace cloud (there are similar threads here related to this issue). However, from what I can tell, Magento is not known for its speed (which I find frustrating).

I am soon going to hire a new programmer to finish this last project (as it was not done properly) and also to start on some new projects for related sites (but with fewer products). My dilemma at this point is whether I continue on the path of Magento, or do I scrap this work and move on to a different solution (perhaps even a custom one).

I am not averse to paying for a shopping cart so long as it is reasonable (for instance, the Magento Enterprise Solution is not in my current budget).

I have read extensively through this forum, but it seems that most of the comments are on smaller sites (less the 2k products). I would like to hear input from other webmasters or programmers that have experience with larger sites, and the eCommerce solutions they prefer.

Any guidance you could give would be very much appreciated, as I have reached a point of severe frustration and am looking for some guidance!


Well I can’t say I blame you for saying the Magento Enterprise Solution is too expensive because it IS!

What I don’t understand is why anytime the word ‘enterprise’ is attached to a product the price becomes outrageous. whether it’s 10 products it 10,000 it’s all the same code (if done properly) so why the huge increase in price?

Maybe it’s just me but with many of these current OS projects it appears the goal is to suck the customer into a HUGE paying contract.

actually I think magento is a great shopping cart, and now it is the most perspective product on the shopping carts market. the only bad point of magento is that it is slow down when there are too many products, unfortunately.

I know a client who run store based on Avactis with 101K products without any problems.

Anyway, no matter which shopping cart you choose you will need a good server (probably based on nginx), in this case you will reach maximal performance.

Or maybe he is just not telling YOU about his problems and goes straight to Avactis support, unless of course … heheh lol

maybe yes (maybe no), who knows. but he has a store with 101K on Avactis, it is a fact.

that’s great, tell me this…

in the Avactis Admin area - General Settings:

  • Paginators in Admin Area
  • Paginators in Storefront

List of available products per page values

I wonder why Avactis does not allow entering 4 digit or 5 digit values? 999 seems to be the largest possible. Don’t you think it’s a bit inconvenient trying to navigate 100K or 250K or more products if you are setting the limit at 3 digits?

OP, you might try a new host, or at least upgrade to a virtual dedicated server. I know that when someone usually brings up performance to Magento, they just tell you to throw hardware at it…

My big frustration with Magento right now is how complicated all of the interfaces are. The way they layer products and attributes is very different from how I’m used to it, so I am still trying to get my mind around all of that.

Yup. After 3 mo of development, it’s probably worth giving it a chance on a dedicated environment. Try to find a host that will do the transfer for you pro bono, that’ll save you a little bit, 4 gigs ram should do, 8 gigs is or course better.

I am not sure how the “product per page” configuration value is connected with overall products limit. Online help in avactis back-end tells the following regarding this configuration parameter:

Field Name: Default products per page
Field Description: Select how many products are displayed per page by default.

So it is a number of the products shown on a single page, not the total of all products. you may have 999 or 9999 pages with products, this amount is not limited.

Please let me know if I answered on your question.

Yes I know it is not connected to the overall product limit, which should be more around 1 mil records. I am talking about the “Number of products displayed:” listbox on the bottom of the page when you manage products. What is the particular reason to limit pagination to 999 records per page?

Also, I wonder if there is a screen in the Avactis admin which allows editing prices and attributes of multiple products simultaneously - similiar to the Quick Price Updates contribution offered by osCommerce. Cause if there is, it would also be limited to 999 records per page and with 101K records, we are talking about 101 x 999 result pages of products.

How does your client manage price updates throughout the store?

The reason is obvious: most of customers don’t want to see 1K products on a single page.

Also, I wonder if there is a screen in the Avactis admin which allows editing prices and attributes of multiple products simultaneously - similiar to the Quick Price Updates contribution offered by osCommerce. Cause if there is, it would also be limited to 999 records per page and with 101K records, we are talking about 101 x 999 result pages of products.

Yes, there is a group editing tools in back-end, it is described in avactis manual here (‘Bulk Product Updater’ part):

How does your client manage price updates throughout the store?

I didn’t told that this is a client of mine.

But basing on my experience, most of customers with large amount of products do not use product editing via back-end, they use import procedure to update the products catalog.

Magento enterprise fee is actually cheap compared with many enterprise level e-commerce systems or vendors where the same can be spent per -month-.
It’s not aimed at small suppliers but large (i.e enterprise) vendors where the cost of magento enterprise, compared with turnover, stock and staff costs is neglible.

If you look at the cost of employing a pool of skilled developers to develop and maintain enterprise quality software of this nature, costs can run into many 100’s of thousands easily. These costs don’t get met by giving away the free version. Most free users won’t need the enterprise version features.

Regarding speed, I agree it needs hosting on a dedicated or good VPS, and would also say that it needs proper host configuration - typical apache and mysql settings won’t do it any favours.

We’ve been running the free version of magento on Liquid Web servers with no problem at all. You can see the speed of one here…

With the cost of the Enterprise version being more than our clients can afford, we came up with a help file for those of you installing the regualar version to your local machine for testing.

I know I’m replying to a rather old thread but for future reference it may be useful anyway.

Magento Enterprise Edition is very expensive unless you have a very large budget to play with and for most project where you don’t need BridgeConnect integration with accounting systems, the Community Edition will do just fine. Especially now that it actually has a WYSIWYG editor in the recently released version 1.4.

My point is regarding the speed.

First of all, without good hardware I wouldn’t even consider Magento as an ecommerce alternative. I do however still recommend it to all my ecommerce clients since it’s worth spending some money on hosting to get this platform running smoothly. But it’s not just about the hardware. Let me explain.

I’ve recetly moved a quite large Magento CE system to a my own VPS and upgraded the Magento system from 1.3 to 1.4, which also has some slight performance improvements according to the changelog. The reason for moving the site to my own hosting instead of their current one was exactly the issue discussed here, the performance. It was so slow that some customers gave up and bounced away, and my client’s current web agency doubling as hosting provider wouldn’t help them even after me advising them and providing how-to assistance.

But, with the right hosting provider (VPS) you can certainly optimize the Magento platform to run acceptably fast, really. If you know your way around server (LAMP) optimization as well as Magento specific optimization, you can achieve truly better performance, without doubt. There are examples out there of Magento shops that tun very, very fast which proves this—although they may spend piles of money on hosting, who knows.

Optimizing everything I could is what I did the past few weeks and that’s how I achieved the performance my clients wanted for their Magento shop and and now they are happy and switched to me as their developer. If you want further advice or have questions, just PM me or email me. You’ll find contact details in the links in the signature.

Fairytale story, isn’t it beautiful? :stuck_out_tongue: