waterworks2 - 1:12 am on Feb 12, 2013 (gmt 0)
I built a website using the free "developer" version of Magento. It really is an incredibly robust CMS and after finally getting through my first (and so far, only) website build with it, I can see why so many big companies like North Face, Sony, etc. all use it for their websites.
However, it is not user-friendly in the back-end when compared to other e-commerce solutions. This is OK if you're an experienced programmer but a big problem if you're turning the basic everyday back-end admin tasks over to someone who doesn't have a lot of experience.
Overall though, it's an absolute beast of a program and can do a lot. I highly recommend taking the time to read through the entire PDF from the Magento people on how the system works.
Also, my client had Bluehost webhosting and we had problems running it on Bluehost. I should say that in 4+ years of building many other non-ecommerce websites on BH, I've never had a problem. Great service and solid company. Bluehost has a great feature called Simple Scripts to auto-install CMS systems with a single click. They have many to choose from including Wordpress, PrestaShop, etc. They used to have Magento on there and I noticed just recently it's no longer an option. I don't know if this has to do with eBay buying into Magento or if too many people were having performance problems. We switched web-hosting companies and went with a dedicated server and it helped a lot with page load time.
Interestingly, eBay bought a big share of Magento and if I recall correctly, they now own 49% or something around that. Not soon after, the pricing for the paid editions raised significantly. The pricing for the three versions used to be something like [ free, 5k and 15k ] and now it's [ free, 15k, 50k ]. Also has a lot of great extensions but they can cost a lot of money compared to some extensions I've seen for other major ecommerce systems.
Update: I guess eBay just bought the rest of Magento last year for $180m.