July 03, 2018 by Hedgehog

Magento: Modules, Themes, and How It Works

Magento, an Adobe company, is the #1 eCommerce platform in the world. It is open-source, flexible, and a powerful cloud based solution, was recognized as the leading commerce platform to the 2017 Internet Retailer Top 1000, B2B 300, and Europe 500 lists. For answers to the basic questions that come up when considering Magento, we turned to two of our Magento experts, Sukiman Hung and Keith Bauer.

How does Magento work?

Magento is an open-source PHP based eCommerce platform and like any other platforms, it parses, processes, and serves output on users’ requests. Technically, from a Magento perspective, the site gets an incoming request and parses the request to determines which module should handle the request. The ‘selected’ module parses the request by using its controller, then renders the output based on defined layout (which usually has a series of blocks).

Why is Magento used for eCommerce?

Magento is an eCommerce only platform that comes with a lot of out of the box modules for building eCommerce sites. It's also highly scalable, customizable, has good support and community, and supported by many third-party vendors providing payment gateways, shipping services, and marketing tools.

Magento Modules

Magento Modules are the core of the platform. Each module has distinct functionality and has minimal dependencies on other modules. Magento comes with a lot of core modules, for example:
• Mage_Customer which handles Customers related functionality, e.g. login, register, etc.
• Mage_Checkout which handles Checkout

Modules are also used to extend Magento functionality. Like “Plugins” in other CMS systems, 3rd party modules (also called extensions) can be installed on Magento to provide new or extend existing features. Often there is not a third-party module that fits the exact needs of the situation and in those cases, modules are used by Magento developers for writing custom business logic to achieve those unique needs.

Magento Blocks

Magento blocks are the components of a page. Blocks are created to pass business logic from modules, to the HTML code that is defined in templates and can essentially be placed anywhere on the page layout.

Magento Themes

Magento Themes are collection of code (CSS/JS/view templates) that control the design of a web page. Magento comes with 'base' theme which we can extend to provide customized web design. At Hedgehog, we excel at Magento sites using product configuration or other complex visualization elements. Learn more about our Magento development services or reach out to learn how we can help you strategize.

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