Magento is, perhaps, today’s most evolved e-Commerce platform. If you’ve been reading this blog, then you’ll know by now how much we here at Lakeshore Branding love the solution. Magento e-Commerce’s flexibility, rich feature set, SEO-friendly capabilities, and comprehensive merchandising and marketing features make it an ideal platform of online stores and sellers (regardless of size) as well as for shoppers (regardless of demographic or budget).

Looking to design, develop, implement, or fully customize your own Magento-powered store? Don’t worry yourself sick trying to figure it out by yourself. (Newbie-ness doesn’t have to be so awful.) There’s a bunch of Magento e-Commerce books – by Varien, the official developer, and by independent programmers and designers – that should help you every step of the way, no matter your level of skill and expertise in Magento. Yes, books: these are still as good an educational tool as any.

We’ve compiled a list of the best of them. Take a look:

Magento User Guide by Varien

This book, which comes from the official creators of Magento, features detailed, hands-on instructions on how to perform any of the platform’s astounding number of functions: from store setup and catalog management to marketing promotions and report generation. It also helps you develop your online store in the way that the actual Magento company envisioned you’d be able to.

Magento: Beginner’s Guide
by William Rice

William Rice is a software training professional based in New York who’s fascinated by the relationship between technology and society: it’s no wonder then, that he is at once interested in and adept at exploring the possibilities offered by Magento. The book contains a step-by-step guide to creating your own Magento store, as well as screenshots, illustrations, and other working examples to aid readers. Obviously, it’s for beginners, but this Magento book should be recommended to anyone who just wants to get their site running without having to go through a lot of technical mumbo-jumbo.

Magento 1.3 Theme Design
by Richard Carter

Creative designer Richard Carter’s Magento book is great for any online retailer, Internet marketer, or e-Commerce developer who wants to learn how to create custom themes for Magento. Some of the things that you will learn include: creating custom Magento themes, embedding social media tools and plugins, simplifying the design and development process of your Magento site, adding unique branding touches, and styling your store in a way that should look just as good in print. In catering to more advanced users and Magento customers, Carter assumes readers’ familiarity with CSS and HTML; nonetheless, the importance of having an attractive, visually appealing storefront is not lost in this book, because the author is as creative aesthetically as he is technically.

Magento 1.3: PHP Developer’s Guide
by Jamie Huskisson

Jamie Huskisson is a young twenty-something freelance developer, but don’t let his age make you doubt his expertise. He’s been working with Magento ever since the e-Commerce platform was launched a few years ago. His book, Magento 1.3: PHP Developer’s Guide, is an excellent practical tutorial for developing and deploying Magento with PHP coding. One of its most valuable contents is the part where you can learn to build applications that interface with the customer, product, or order data using Magento’s core API.

The Definitive Guide to Magento
by Adam McCombs and Robert Banh

Published December 2009, this comprehensive Magento book is more for beginners than for advanced developers and designers. Still, it can’t be found wanting useful information, because McCombs and Banh provide plenty of tips on how to customize your site, develop extensions for the Magento platform, and manage products, customers, and orders more effectively. To be honest, we wouldn’t call it “definitive” just yet, but those who haven’t quite found the right Magento book to guide them as they begin implementation should find this title handy.

php/architect’s Guide to E-Commerce Programming with Magento
by Mark Kimsal

Kimsal’s guide, which must have been one of the most highly-anticipated Magento books before it was released in 2008, takes readers through the installation process and right through to Magento deployment. This includes basic information that actually complements the documentation provided by Magento online; it also features an entire chapter devoted to quick answers to frequently asked questions about the e-Commerce platform.