Within less than 10 years since its first release in 2008, Magento has evolved into a global leader with its e-commerce management system that allows creating robust web-stores and driving innovations to businesses. This eBay-owned e-commerce platform wins more business than ever, and now 250,000+ web-stores run on it.
The advantages it brings to companies include:
- Business augmentation and cost reduction compared to those of companies that base their e-stores on competitive solutions.
- The platform’s ultimate flexibility for customization in accordance with changing customer behavior and smooth adjustment to buying patterns.
- An immense number of developers worldwide, which resulted in Magento Marketplace and Magento Connect emergence, a huge store containing more than 2,000 free and commercial off-the-shelf Magento modules (aka extensions or plugins).
When it comes to Magento-based solution customization, this powerful platform allows adding the most sophisticated features a company may demand and altering its basic configuration to fit customer requirements perfectly. In some cases, however, the embedded platform’s configurability doesn’t meet specific needs of online retailers. So, the download or purchase of ready-made modules may become a workaround.
To enhance the current platform’s performance and add required functional capabilities, a company may access any of the pools where core and custom extensions reside: core, community or local ones. The main difference is the nature of the extensions:
- Core pools. These pools contain core modules that are created by Magento developers. The platform’s basic configuration comes fitted with the modules, and their modification should be avoided as it may be lost after the platform’s update.
- Community pools. Custom modules that belong to these pools are written by third-party developers and can be downloaded from Magento Connect. The purpose of these plugins is to complement core modules and enrich platform by default functionality. Modules from community pools are universal and can be used in any project in which Magento is featured.
- Local pools. As in the case of extensions from community pools, ‘local’ plugins are also written by third-party programmers, but they are designed for specific projects and can’t be installed via Magento Connect.
However, despite a great number of ready-made extensions available in the market, certain projects have the requirements that existing modules can’t cover. In such cases, companies go for Magento custom module development to ensure a positive user experience.
Module Types in Demand
Creating a Magento module allows businesses to get the most out of their selling platforms by extending the framework’s out-of-the-box functionality and enhancing its performance. Shaped by specific character of e-commerce, the most sought-after module types are purchase- and trade-related. Based on our wide experience in Magento extension development, SaM Solutions can point out the following types that are in high demand with our clients:
- Search extensions. The capability to offer the company’s goods when customers google them or surf the company’s website may boost sales. So, a carefully designed search extension is not only sensitive to search queries and provides the list of goods that correspond strictly to the request. To help with cross-selling, such a plugin should also predict accompanying products that clients may need. Also, a smart search based on previous purchases or “frequently bought together” options will enhance the customer experience.
- Shipping module. Building a shipping module for a specific forwarder that the platform doesn’t support by default is crucial if a web store’s targeted audience uses this forwarder’s services on a constant basis. For instance, if a company provides DHL and UPS delivery cost and time calculation, but its core audience prefers ordinary mail, creating a mail shipping extension helps draw targeted public. Also, a lot of companies develop custom shipping plugins that provide discounts to clients based on previous purchases or other conditions.
- Payment module. Similar to the shipping module, this module generally allows for using a specific payment service provider, other than the one Magento supports in its core. Also, creating a payment plugin that fully suits a company’s individual strategy, such as those that allow discounts, payment in several currencies and more, will enhance sales.
- Checkout module. Remember that the checkout process should not bore or irritate potential customers, so checkout facilitation is what these modules are made for. The eliminated necessity to fill in dozens of forms on several pages encourages ordering and buying and increases conversion.
- Blog extension. If properly developed, a company’s blog is a powerful tool that draws traffic to and translates it into purchases. So, a blog module allows creating an easily readable blog with rich content, which is seamlessly integrated with Magento, enables commenting and social networking, and uses best SEO practices.
- SEO extension. This type of extension adds SEO value to a website by making its content more visible for search engines.
Choice of a Service Provider
As custom module development is quite a high-priced process, there are some points SaM Solutions recommends you check before turning to a service provider to avoid extraneous expenses. First, make sure that there’s no extension in core Magento pools or in local and community pools that meets the case. Since some ready-made plugins are free or cheap, a company may find an appropriate solution at no or low cost there. Secondly, compare the estimated profit from the building of a new plugin with the cost to develop a custom Magento module and decide if module creation is worth the effort.
After a company finally decides on custom module development, the tough issue is to choose a reliable supplier that won’t cost a fortune. Here are some suggestions that can help you choose a well-trusted outsourced development company:
- In the first place, a well-trusted company analyzes its customer’s project, IT landscape and available resources to check if a custom module can be implemented at all.
- A reliable service provider usually charges a client separately for analysis, instead of concealing its cost in the development part.
- A reliable partner doesn’t just write a plugin code; it’s rather focused on how to solve the customer’s issue.
- Before falling on the development stage, a trustworthy service provider develops a detailed project plan and builds up its budget. Only after the client gives their approval for the project and its cost, the supplier proceeds with further steps.
- The supplier tests the solution’s frontend and backend thoroughly before launching the project to find possible bugs and fixes them in a timely manner.
The Cost of Magento Module Development
Choosing the right partner to tailor a quality module at a reasonable price is quite a challenge. A customer may be asking themselves, “How much does it cost to develop a Magento extension, and what is a reasonable price?”. As is usually the case in custom software development, there’s no fixed price when choosing an IT service provider for extension creation. So, the cost of two seemingly alike projects may vary enormously because of each solution’s unique features. Yet while plugins vary widely in their purpose and specifics, reliable suppliers of customization services unfailingly include the following components that custom extension costs consist of:
- Current project analysis. This part is paid-for as it’s quite time- and resource-consuming, and depending on the project scope, it may take up to several days.
- Extension planning and design. At this step, a service provider makes a custom Magento plugin development price estimate and sizes up the project scope.
- Extension development. Normally, this solution-oriented part is the most time- and resource-intensive and is the principal component of the cost of building a Magento extension.
- Extension testing. Testing prior to implementation is crucial to make sure a plugin performs as intended.
- Extension implementation. The supplier is responsible for how the extension works in customer’s specific IT infrastructure, so faultless implementation is one of their major challenges.
SaM Solutions’ Magento Success Story
Being a Magento Bronze Partner, SaM Solutions has 100+ success stories under their belt. Now, equipped with comprehensive knowledge of Magento Core, we put the primary focus on developing Magento custom modules for social and mobile integration. Our Magento team is the second-largest in Eastern Europe, and our certified programming experts can both write an extension you need or can temporarily augment your development staff.
Since we are bound by NDAs with a large majority of our customers, there are only a few cases we are allowed to discuss. One of them is a website for Electrical-Components.Com, we are particularly proud of. Aimed at creating multiple online shops with a sole control panel, out team built a website from scratch and developed a custom PayPal checkout module for this large international trading platform.
Smooth User Experience Through Customization
Developing Magento extensions for a company’s website can make the best use of the scope of opportunities e-commerce gives to businesses. While Magento is too expensive and unmanageable a platform for startups and small companies, big enterprises can enjoy in full the advantages it offers. Individually tailored modules not only add features to e-stores and address a wide range of issues, but also consider companies’ available resources and IT networks. All of this translates to a positive and seamless user experience, which results in higher conversion and increased sales.