Magento, as you may already know, is a website building platform exclusively tailored for ecommerce. Magento extensions, as the name implies, are add-ons that will help achieve feature-rich functionality. For all practical purposes, an extension is an easier and sensible way to give your website an organic touch. For instance, if your house needs an additional bedroom, would you just build an extension or tear the house down and start from scratch?
Magento extensions are modular units that act as a “plug and play” accessory feature that can enhance the performance of your website. These extensions may be specific to a particular feature or may perform a list of features. So, basically if there is a feature that doesn’t come in-built with the website, these extensions can easily help bridge that gap.
These extensions also play a major role in making Magento a powerful and versatile platform. However, being open source, it is open to the universe. Which means there exits tens of thousands of options out there and choosing the right extension may not come as easy as it sounds.
Looking for a Magento Extension:
There are a wide range of options available when it comes to Magento extensions. There can be hundreds of options available for a particular feature that you may be looking for. This is what complicates the extension-hunting process. Ideally, searching for an extension and going with the first relevant extension that appears to you would be the solution. But, there’s more to it than that.
The first place that you’d usually go looking for a Magento extension would be the Magento Marketplace; then, probably if you’ve exhausted your options you may look for extensions from third party developers. Frankly, there is no right or wrong way about this. The third-party offerings can, at times, be what you’re looking for. It’s worth skimming through both types of distributor catalogues. For, oftentimes, it is third-party developers who cater to the evolving and abstract functions that facilitate a said function in Ecommerce operations. Here’s a sneak peek into our Magento extension storefront.
Caught up in a tornado of options whilst looking for that one extension you need? How are you going to play the cards? You most certainly know what you’re looking for. The bare minimum expectation is for it to flawlessly carry out its intended purpose. But then again, can you milk a little more out of it, without affecting the performance of the website whatsoever? If an additional feature tampers with the optimal performance of the website, it could negatively impact the website. So, be careful what you choose.
Attributes of a great Magento Extension
You’re fully aware that generally a multitude of Magento extensions are built around a particular feature with a slight degree of variation from one another. This is what makes the choosing a challenge.
We’ve put together a few guidelines that would help you in this journey and pick a killer extension for your website. Before we delve into the details, there are 4 key attributes that every great Magento extension must possess. With this checklist, you should be able to weed out the rest of the options that cloud your judgment.
The 4 key attributes of a Great Magento Extension
The 4 main attributes that make up a great Magento extension are
- Effective, Efficient & Performance: As mentioned earlier, Magento extensions are created from Magento’s open-source software. This allows anyone with minimal coding skills, on this platform, to create an extension. This opens up an avenue, even for mediocre developers, to create and publish their work. Obviously, the extensions developed by lesser-skilled coders can take a toll on your website by affecting performance. This is one key area you need to be watchful about. If you find an extension in the Magento marketplace, it would be rational to look for an extension quality program to vouch for the performance of the extension. Another quick way to go about this would be to look for reviews and ratings of the extension.
- A Flurry of Features: Generally, an extension would serve more than one purpose. Besides the core underlying feature around which the entire extension is built, most extensions offer other “nice-to-have” functions too. So, going over the description of the extension thoroughly would help make an informed decision. Some of the additional features can really help notch things up to the next level.
- Strength of Support: The criticality of this element is often ignored in the initial stages. It’s only when a glitch stalls the website’s normal functioning you look for that helpline number. It’s sensible to study the level of support rendered and turnaround time involved beforehand. It is always advisable to be prepared for unexpected hiccups along the way. A quick way to assess this would be reviewing the extension’s support forum – it provides a powerful vantage into the recency and frequency of problems and solutions.
- Compatibility: Last but not least, it is important to add to your search filter the relevance of the extension in context of Magento’s latest version. Magento is a constantly evolving platform and hence older or obsolete versions may create more problems than they solve. A way around this would be reviewing the update logs; this would provide insights on how active the developers are. Always take a test drive before you buy! Check out the trial version, it should render a first-hand feel of the extension before you make the final call.
So, regardless of what extension you’re looking for, benchmark them against the four key attributes mentioned above. It will help make your selection process a lot easier.
VelanApps: The home away from home to Magento extensions
With a lasting legacy of over a decade and proven proficiency in Magento, we offer you services catering to your custom needs. Equipped with a healthy mix of specialists, generalists and versatilists we drive and deliver not just your business’ desired outcomes, but also values.