We all know how difficult it can be to get a business off the ground as a small or emerging entrepreneur. Costly overhead, unforgiving economic circumstances, scarcity of talent—the obstacles pile up quickly. And to compete effectively, it’s absolutely crucial to maintain a solid online presence; global customer bases and internet-based service offerings are the new norm. Hosting solutions aimed at this small-to-medium-business demographic seem like a godsend in such an environment. Magento GO, released in 2011, aims to leverage Magento’s extensive e-commerce resources to provide rapid, seamless hosting for merchants in this niche. Basically, it uses a Software as a Service (SaaS) model to handle all the software, servers, hosting, and security for small businesses looking to retail online as soon as possible. This all sounds great, but let’s take a closer look: for whom is this model appropriate, and what should users know beforehand?
Not So Simple
Magento GO is advertised as a turnkey, ready-to-launch solution, but it actually requires quite a bit of legwork from your team to get things up and running. It’s by no means an instant store—the setup package includes a 300-page PDF, and the average storeowner would need both a design and a tech team to implement desired interfaces and functionality. And that’s just for a no-frills, by-the-numbers site. That’s not to say it isn’t faster than a full Magento build; it is, by a long shot, and chances are it’s also easier. But you get what you pay for: ask yourself if it would really be worth it to invest in a less-than-stellar representation of your company if you’ll immediately pay extra to improve it further with customized modules or design.
The Playing Field
In the long run, Magento GO competes with hosted solutions offered by companies like Volusion, whose staying power and scalable hosting options shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand. It exists somewhere between Volusion and full Magento, acting as an all-in-one alternative to the former while lacking the flexible performance of the latter. Users will undoubtedly enjoy the intuitive feel once it’s launched, and the free trial offers a direct way to get a straightforward idea of Magento GO for anyone who’s interested.
Hosting with Hara
We at Hara Partners are proud to offer our own Magento-optimized hosting solution for small-to-medium enterprises. What sets us apart? First of all, we’re seasoned Magento experts with tens of thousands of hours of combined experience implemented customized, integrated Magento sites for a variety of customers. But the real clincher is our ability to deliver on multiple fronts for retailers in need of e-commerce results. We put the time and effort in to craft feature-rich, individualized sites with your business concerns at the forefront. Our in-house team provides complete Magento services out of one hand: developers, salespeople, content specialists, and designers collaborate on a daily basis to cover the entire site launch lifecycle, from strategizing through go-live and ongoing support. Take a look at our website and see what Hara Partners can do for you.