If you are new to Magento it is likely that the terms featured in many related articles have left you a little confused. Here we aim to save you having to ‘Google’ every Magento-related term to see what it means, by providing a full Magento Glossary of Terms.


Magento is the name of the open source ecommerce platform, now owned by eBay. It was built by a company called Varien back in 2007 and originally went by the name of ‘Bento’ however after discovering another company was already using the name, they fused it with ‘Mage’ to create ‘Magento.’

Magento Connect

Magento Connect is a marketplace (online store) for Magento themes and extensions. Merchants can browse the store to find the theme or extension they require, before purchasing and downloading it. There are thousands of different themes and extensions to choose from and some are even free to download and use.

Magento Go

Magento Go is an online service that helps small businesses to build their own eCommerce stores so they can sell their products and services online. Whilst it was a great option if you wanted to get set up quickly and didn’t want to buy your own hosting, it did have some limitations.

Magento closed Magento Go with effect from 1st February 2015. Existing Magento Go merchants are being encouraged to urgently migrate to the Community Edition of Magento instead.

Which Magento Theme will you choose?

Which Magento Theme will you choose?

Magento Theme

Magento themes are templates and layouts that are designed to change the look of your Magento ecommerce store. They are created by Magento developers and are available from the Magento Connect store, as well as other ecommerce websites. You will find Magento themes to suit all ecommerce businesses and some are even free to download and use.

Magento Extensions

Magento extensions are also referred to as plugins and modules, with their purpose being to extend the core Magento code and give your ecommerce store more functionality. Like Magento themes, Magento extensions are available from the Magento Connect store, as well as other websites. They are usually categorised by the type of functionality they offer and are available as both free and premium downloads.

Magento Hosting

Both the Magento Enterprise and Magento Community Editions require you to buy your own hosting. There are many hosts out there that you can buy server space from so you can run your eCommerce store.

It is worth keeping in mind that Magento is quite a resource hungry platform and therefore requires specialist hosting. Work with a hosting provider that has experience working with the Magento platform and you stand a better chance of getting the performance and support you need.

Magento Download

The Magento Community Edition is a piece of open source software that can be downloaded for free. To download it you will need to go to the Magento website’s download page where you will find the latest version of the software. You can read the installation guide to find out how to download Magento or alternatively you can work with an experienced Magento developer who will carry out the process for you.

Magento developers at work

Magento developers at work

Magento Developer

A Magento developer is a web developer that specialises in working with the Magento platform. They may contribute towards its upkeep, as well as create themes and extensions for merchants using Magento.

Some Magento developers are certified. This means they have undergone an examination process that tests their skills and knowledge of either the frontend or backend of the platform. Developers that pass the test become certified by Magento and can justify charging more for their services, due to their expert level of knowledge and quality developments.

Magento Templates

Magento templates are used in the theme design process. They are made up of three components: PHP template files, PHP block classes and HML layout configuration.

Templates and themes are often thought to be the same thing, so this term can also refer to the layouts used to customise a Magento storefront.

Magento Community

The Magento Community is a group of web developers and merchants who provide support to other Magento users. Seeing as the Magento Community Edition is open source, this means that it does not have official support from Magento. Instead users can take their questions and issues to the forum, where members of the Magento Community will help them.

Web developers in the Magento Community also maintain the software and create regular patches and updates so users can get the most out of it.

Magento API

An API or Application Programming Interface is a set of protocols and tools for building a software application. The Magento Community Edition is open source, so it is free to modify and extend. Magento’s only rule is that people share their modifications and do not prevent others from extending the platform.

Magento SEO

SEO stands for search engine optimisation and is the process of improving a website (both on-site and off-site) in order to increase its position on search engine results pages for related keywords. Magento is a very SEO friendly platform, meaning that it makes it easy for merchants to optimise their eCommerce websites to achieve good search engine rankings.

Magento Enterprise

The Magento Enterprise edition is known as the premium version of the software. It is aimed at large and well-established eCommerce businesses that require advanced features and professional support, which are not provided by the Magento Community Edition.

Magento Enterprise Edition

Magento Enterprise Edition

Magento Enterprise users have to pay an annual subscription fee to use the software and benefit from Magento’s service license agreement. The price varies depending on the package chosen.

Magento Commerce

Magento Commerce is used to refer to the online shopping experience provided by the platform. Today over two hundred thousand businesses use Magento as their eCommerce platform, choosing it to power their websites.

Magento Plugins

Magento plugins is another name for Magento extensions, which also go by the name of Magento modules. They are designed to extend the functionality of a Magento website, benefiting either the merchant or their customers. Magento Plugins are available from the Magento Connect store. Some plugins are free to download, whereas others need to be paid for.

We hope you find our Magento Glossary useful, if you have any questions feel free to get in touch by calling 0845 017 7661 or visit our Magento Hub page.


Image credits: decodrama visual and baummano