31 January 2017
Magento development keeps getting stronger and more popular day by day. Magento now has become an indispensable asset for both the business owners and the customers. Magento comes with various kind of extensions that can help you to attract more customers, increase your sales and even make managing process become simpler and easier.
The main problem now, with that all available extensions to buy, which one you should choose? Some extensions may have the same basic function, but each of them has their own advantages and disadvantages.
With all that choices, how you can pick the most suitable extension for your Magento? In this post, I will give you some tips to solve this problem.
1.Define your purpose clearly
By default, Magento has all the basic features for your basic business needs. The extensions provide supporting features in order to meet all your business demands and make your website better.
There is no need for you to use all of those extensions at once. Doing that is not only ineffective but also will cost you more. As the owner of the website, first, you need to know your own purpose. There is no one else but you who can know your own business demand, right?
Price is always one of the most crucial aspects when buying any kind of product. This also the same when you buy an extension for your Magento store. Product with lower price usually will sell faster. However, you can not depend on the price alone. There are other things that you need to check first, like the quality and quantity of the extension’s features, support service, refund requirements, upgrade policy, etc. Do not let cheap price to ruins your business.
So, when you are in the market to buy new extensions, the very first thing you need to do is to define your own purpose clearly. Why you need to buy an extension and for what?
Each extension has their own feature and benefit. For example :
In Magento default mode, there are 6 separated steps to complete the checkout process. It is considered long and may annoy your customers. This is where the One Page Checkout extension can help you. Just like its name, this extension will help simplify your checkout process into a single page.
This useful extension also comes with an auto-complete feature that will automatically fill in the checkout process for your customers. This is a must try extension if you want to simplify your checkout process.
This extension allows your Magento store to connect with MailChimp, one of the most common used and the most popular Email Marketing Platform for E-commerce website. This extension is extremely easy to use. All you need to do is just connect your Magento with your MailChimp account and you can start synchronizing your subscribers right away.
This extension is not only easy to set up, but you also can use it right away. When you finish configured it, it will help synchronized your MailChimp account effortlessly and seamlessly. If you want, you even can set up your own field mapping with a very simple configuration tool for extended email list segmentation.
This is one of the most popular shipping extension which you can get from Magento Connect store. It enables you to offer multiple shipping options to all your customers based on the location where they live. With this extension, you can define the shipping rates based on the destination, product’s weight, the shipping method, and price or the quantity of the product. If you want to get more flexibility on how to decide the shipping price, then this extension is a must for you.
Online shopping has become more and more common now. However, there are still some people out there who will not buy anything from other people whom they do not know online. In cases like these, usually customers will depend on online review to determine whether they should buy the product or not
This extension will help your business to generate tons of reviews, photos, and other forms of user-generated contents in order to give your online store more traffics, boost your sales and increase your conversion rate. Just like MatrixRate, this extension comes in two version : the basic free one and the premium pay one.
Those are some popular and commonly used extensions for Magento. Choose ones that suitable with your purpose the most.
2.Choose the best provider
Here are some tips how to choose the right provider among all available extension providers in the market :
When you are interested in one particular extension, usually you will contact the provider, talk to them directly and discuss your requirements. However, usually doing that will not be enough. In order to know the provider better, you should see the experiences of the customers who have used their extension too.
You can find the online reviews on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Most reviews come from a real life experience, and some of them are totally honest. They will help you decide.
Just like how Magento keep growing up, the extensions should be like that too. Extensions must be treated as an intangible asset which is never fixed, they should be updated on the regular basis. Before you pick an extension, make sure to check how many times they have updated their extensions?
Extension updates usually consist of fixing bugs, update changelogs, etc. Developers who always update their extensions in regular basis are the ones whom you can trust.
Check whether you can ask your money back in case there is something wrong with the extension. Do not waste your money on anything, so you need to make sure your Magento extensions can fulfill all your business needs. A good and trustworthy provider must be able to show they will take full responsibility with a money back guarantee.
As one of the most popular open source platform, Magento has a big community. You can ask them in Magento twitter community or Reddit. Those places usually free from vendor spams and you can get an honest answer from fellow Magento users.
You can try to submit a help request ticket and to the developer or their support team and see how their reaction to your queries. Are they really sincere and trying their best to understand your question before giving you a reply or are they just want to get a quick sale?
Before you decide to buy a paid extension, make sure the sales after support is included inside. You can not know whether that extension will always work properly or not, especially if you use customized template in your Magento store.
3.Test and try the extension
If the provider offers a demo version of their extension, then try it out! It will be even better if you are able to test both the front end and the back end version too. You want to ensure the extension is compatible with your Magento version, easy to set up and runs smoothly.
Keep in mind that there is no extension in this world that can be suitable for all Magento online stores. That is mean, you need to take one step further and think about tweak the extension a little or make a small cut here and there so it will suit your needs better. This is especially important if you apply the extension for the frontend part.
This also means you need to talk directly with the provider so they can know exactly what you want and what you need. Do not forget to discuss the price too. A customized extension will cost you higher.
4.Check the provider’s work history
History of the provider will give you an insight about their experiences. Basically, it will tell you whether they are a newbie who just starts making an extension, or an expert developer with many successful extensions. Magento market is full with a fierce competition, so it is normal for an experienced developer to show their abilities.
5.Make sure the extension is not a copycat version of the others
It is not uncommon to find two extensions with the same exact functions, but one is cheaper than the others. When something like this occurs, there are two possibilities :
So, how you would be able to identify a copycat among both of them? It is actually quite easy. Both of the extensions will look similar at first sight, but when you look closer, you can see two big differences. First is the price. A copycat extension usually will be sold at lower price than the original one. The second is the pack features. An original one will have a complete feature than the copycat one.
Those are some tips to choose the best extension for your Magento store. We hope this article can help you to find one which fit your needs the best.
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