How to Find the Best Magento Extension?
Launched March 31, 2008, Magento is the most popular e-commerce platform worldwide. According to Magento Commerce, more than 200,000 businesses choose Magento. Impressive number, isn’t it?
Of course, all these enterprises have their own characteristics and needs. So, it is safe to say that a clean Magento installation is hardly able to handle all the requirements Magento owners might have to run their business successfully.
So, the question is: who can satisfy all these needs? Thanks to a flourishing Magento ecosphere, there are numerous IT companies developing functional extensions for the platform, but it might be a huge problem for any merchant to choose among them, as options are numerous.
Any store owner, administrator or developer who starts a “selection process”, have to work out certain criteria to be able to find the module they want.
We would like to offer the main ones and hope this will help you make proper choice.
1. Corresponding functionality or I want the extension that does exactly what I need.
The description of an extension and its features would only give a facile idea of how a module works. In order to understand it in details you should get acquainted with the user guide, change log and try out its demo. You have to ensure that it is compatible with your Magento version and other third-party extensions installed or customizations made in your store.
2. How the extension works? What kind of logic is implemented into the module and how is it realized, including coding principles?
Magento is a very complicated product. Due to its rich functionality it consists of a huge number of files and classes. Third-party extensions installation and incorporation should not interfere with overall Magento operation.
One more important thing is how the extension works. To obtain seamless and “elegant” work of a module the developers team have to find the most rational way to accomplish a task. Only professional teams are able to create truly effective solutions.
3. Who is the developer? It is a complex question and consists of several parts.
- Support staff professional level
Support staff expertise and experience largely influence on customers satisfaction. Professional consultations are very valuable when one faces any minor issues during installation, configuration, or initial stages of use.
- Support team reaction time
Sometimes it is crucial when you experience any issues with your live store. Most developers set 24-hours reaction time for the first appeal. The best ones resolve issues even faster.
- Support terms
Support terms considerably differ from one developer to another. You can get from 90 to 180 days of free support in average. It is not crucial in most cases, as the majority of issues are brought to light right after the installation, however, it can be important if site development takes more time than initially planned.
Remember, the issues covered by standard free support also vary by developer.
- Developer experience
Long-established companies traditionally have well-adjusted business processes. So, it is an additional guarantee for a customer.
- Developer’s portfolio
Revising developer’s portfolio is important in cases when you plan using several extensions. Modules made by the same development company usually are compatible with each other. If technical issues arise, you will only need to contact one support team to fix them.
- Developer’s recognized achievements
Professional skills of the development team or other achievements of the developer are more obvious when they are confirmed by certificates, diplomas or by testimonials of well-known persons.
- Developer reviews
No need to comment. Review is a great way to see what other customers have to say about the product and point out its pros and cons.
4. What is the price?
I consciously put the price in the end of the list. It affects the choice greatly, of course. But you should consider this factor only at the end of the procedure. In that case you will be able to choose a really valuable product. Otherwise you risk getting nothing even for little money.
All this uncertainty and complexity of choice discourages and frustrates, doesn’t it? The simplest way out in this case is to find a reliable developer or two and purchase from them. At first you will need much time to make an initial choice, but once it’s made, you will always stay in a “safety area”.
Magento extensions marketplace counts thousands of products and hundreds of developers. But only several developers are well-known and trusted. What brought them on top? Of course, excellent products and high-quality related services. And if you go through all the steps mentioned above you will certainly track them down.