The power and scaleability of Magento lends itself well to complex ecommerce projects. Recently Williams Commerce have worked with a number of customers with a large product range with many SKUs, complex pricing and the need to store multiple product attributes. SKUs (Stock Keeping Units) are the common name given to product codes.

Magento can handle several hundred thousand product SKUs without any major performance tuning requirements. There really is no limit to the number of SKUs Magento can hold. We feel a standard Magento store would handle 500k+ SKUs on a single server with a good amount of RAM (32-64GB) and fast hard drives (preferably SSD).

As the SKUs increase the mechanisms to improve performance are: -

  • Separate the database server from the front end web server
  • Offload the images to a CDN so they are not relying on the web server to deliver this content. Examples of a CDN include Amazon, Rackspace etc
  • Full page caching plugins such as Varnish are essential.

Magento Enterprise is a strong contender for large product catalogues and ranges, the built in full page cache functionality removes the need for 3rd party caching.

Whilst the above points address the server performance, the second challenge of a large product range is how the customer navigates the site. Magento's built in search is adequate in many scenarios but we regularly chose the addition SOLR search to provide enhanced and more easily tuned search results.

The use of a mega menu, layered navigation and consistent searchable product attributes also greatly reduce the number of clicks between the customers starting point and required product or destination within the site.

If you are considering Magento and have a large product range or have an existing Magento implementation suffering from performance issues why not give us a call and see if we can help on 0116 326 1116. Alternatively, send us a message via our contact page.