Magento Marketplace Relaunch: Leaving Magento Connect in the Past
A few months ago, a new version of Magento Marketplace completely replaced Magento Connect and became the official repository of the Magento 1 and Magento 2 extensions and themes.
One should note that this event happened with the release of renovated Magento Marketplace. In this article, we will consider the major features of the latest Magento Marketplace to find out what these changes mean for Magento store owners.
New Structure and Functionality
The layout of the Marketplace site was radically transformed and became more user-friendly. The home page was made much shorter, and now, it contains fewer featured products compared to its previous version.
New Hosting Solutions
The new version of the Marketplace site is hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud-based hosting solution that perfectly suits the needs of various business domains.
In addition, this Marketplace version works with Fastly, which provides fast and secure content delivery processes, and New Relic, allowing business owners to monitor site performance in real-time.
Improved Product Search Function
The latest edition of the Marketplace store now supports the Agolia search tool. The tool works as a plugin that can be easily integrated with Magento sites. The search works fast and offers users an immediate access to search results.
It’s noteworthy that searches, both by products and by product categories, update in real time as soon as a user starts typing a search query. In addition, the Agolia solution supports search filters on product listing pages, which significantly contributes to the user search experience.
Redesigned Product Pages
With this new release of the Magento Marketplace store, the look of product pages notably changed. First of all, the product provider name became more visible for users. Moreover, all the slider pictures can be zoomed into the full-screen size.
From now on, users can ask questions about the products they are interested in and read the answers to them right on the product page. The feature is available in the new Q&A section located under the page slider next to the Support section.
Another important novelty is the Reviews sub-section located at the bottom of the Q&A section. The implementation of this feature became possible due to the Bazaar Voice conversation solution connecting more than 700 million consumers each month.
The developers also improved checkout operations making the whole payment process smoother. In addition, the Magento Marketplace service supports the PayPal and Braintree payment solutions. One should note that the checkout process is fully integrated with Magento accounts.
Three-step Product Review Process
From now on, users don’t have to worry about the reliability and safety of the products being purchased on Magento Marketplace. All the products offered by third-party providers go through a comprehensive preliminary review before they are added to the store catalog.
During the review process, the submitted product is checked for the correspondence to the Magento Guidelines. The review process itself consists of three consecutive stages:
- Business Review – during this review step, a product is validated for the ability to solve real problems that merchants can deal with when running a business.
- Technical Review – the code of the product is thoroughly checked for the presence of malware, viruses, plagiarism, etc.
- Marketing Review – the marketing materials of the product are reviewed for the conformance to the Magento marketing requirements.
If the solutions offered by the product, as well as some its technical or marketing aspects, do not seem sufficient for the Magento Marketplace review team, the product will be declined.
Note that before going through the review process, a product must be submitted for each review step one after another. We will start with Business Review.
Submitting a Product for Business Review
Before submitting a product for the review, check it for conformance to the Business Review Guidelines.
You can monitor the status of the submission right in your Magento Marketplace account. If for some reason your submission is declined, the Marketplace support team will give you some recommendations on what should be fixed to pass the procedure. If the submission is approved, then your product will be added to the Marketplace product catalog accordingly.
To start the submission process, log in to your developer account on Magento Developer Portal or create an account in case you don’t have it. Next, fill all the required fields in the Company Profile or Personal Profile sections depending on the specifics of your business. Note that the value in the Vendor Name field must be lowercase and without spaces.
Having completed the profile, return to the My Account page and click on My Products in the self-titled section. In the My Products menu opened, choose the Extensions or Themes tabs depending on the type of your product and click on the Add Extension button.
The service will offer you to tell about your product by answering several basic questions concerning:
- The Magento platform on which the product you are offering is supposed to work (Magento 1.x or Magento 2.x);
- The title of your product – should be short (no more than 5 words), descriptive, and clear. Also, avoid using such words as “Module”, “Extension” as well as developer name, product version number, and references to Magento;
- Additional services within your product. If yes, specify the names of those services, and the URLs to the sites of their providers. If not, proceed to the next question;
- The functionality of your product;
- The unique features of your product.
Having completed this questionnaire, click on the Continue button and, the “Thanks for Submitting” notification message will be displayed. Now, your product is submitted for Business Review.
On average, the Business Review process takes several days. When the review is completed, you will be notified by email.
Submitting a Product for Technical Review
If your product passes Business Review, it will be added to the My Products menu in your Magento Developer profile. By clicking on the product icon in the corresponding tab (Extensions or Themes), you will be redirected to the Details page where you can specify the information about your product. If your product passes all review stages, this information will be added to your Magento Marketplace product page.
Now, you can proceed to the next review stage by submitting your product for Technical Review. But first of all, check out the Technical Review Guidelines.
If your product corresponds to the guidelines of this review stage, check its code for the conformance to the Magento Marketplace coding standards by using the CodeSniffer tool. Here you can see the list of all rules of this tool.
Note that you can skip the check, but in this case, Technical Review will take much more time.
Next, pack your product as described here.
Also, prepare a release note in the text format and a User Guide in PDF before moving to the next stage of submission.
Now, login to your account on Magento Developer Portal and open the My Products menu. Then, enter the Extensions or Themes sections (depending on the type of your product) and click on the product that appeared in the menu after passing the Business Review stage to proceed to the Details page.
Note that you can change the title of the product in the corresponding field. By default, the title is the same one you specified in the initial questionnaire. In the Public Version Number field, enter the version of your product to be displayed on your Magento Marketplace product page.
Next, drag the file you packed in the zip. format to the Upload File box or browse to the location of this file in your system. Note that the maximum file size allowed is 30 MB.
After this, the file icon and the name of the product will appear in the box.
Then, in the Compatible Magento Version section, click Choose and tick the box next to the version to be supported by the product.
In the Documentation section, click on the Upload button and browse to the User Guide that you prepared earlier or just drag it to the corresponding box. You can also upload a Reference Manual and Installation Guide (if any).
Having completed the upload, click on the Save button.
In the Release Notes section, paste the information from the release note you prepared earlier. Note that the release note can be formatted with HTML (but not with CSS!) and its maximum allowed length is 10 000 characters (with spaces).
If your product uses additional components, click on the Choose existing shared packages… button and tick the box next to the shared package used by your product. Read more about shared packages here. Having checked the package (if needed), click on the Continue button.
All the required fields are filled. Now, click on the Submit button to submit your product for Technical Review.
When the product is submitted for the review, you will be notified by email.
By clicking Next, you will proceed to the Details page where you can monitor the status of your submission. If you choose the Go to My Products option, you will be redirected to the My Products menu.
During Technical Review, your product also passes the Manual QA test checking that the product is installed and configured without errors. Read about Manual QA requirements here.
When the review is completed, you will be also notified by email. A link to the Technical Report will be added to the Details page of the product you submitted for the review.
Submitting a Product for Marketing Review
If your product passed the above-described review stages, and you are sure that it is ready for publication, check the Marketing Review Guidelines before submitting it for Marketing Review.
During the review, the content of your product, including documentation and images, will be checked for conformance to the guidelines.
If your product passes this final review step, congratulations! The product will be approved and published on Magento Marketplace.
The latest release of Magento Marketplace changes positively the game for Magento store owners. From now on, the service provides a completely new, more convenient and smooth, purchasing experience as well as guarantees high quality and safety of all the products offered.