Key Factors to Evaluate When Choosing a Magento Developer

2 July 2013


Edinburgh: Ecommerce platform offers great flexibility, but hiring the right developers to implement it, will be a key to success.

Magento, an eBay company, is the industry leader and presently has 23% share of the market. The Magento platform is ideal for businesses with revenue greater than $1 Million that are seeking significant scalability on the Internet. If a company is not acquainted with Magento, they must think of it as a blank eCommerce slate that is simply integrated with hundreds of software solutions that will make any site easily customizable to any specs. None of the basic software is proprietary and all the platforms run on open source. What this means for any small business is that they will never have a trouble with licensing and working with numerous developers as well as adding or exchanging extensions. 

With the increased fame of the Magento eCommerce solution that was first initiated in 2007, here are top decision factors that every company must think about when deciding a company to implement an eCommerce platform.

Magento is a huge platform as it allows for a lot of flexibility which is one of the key reasons so many companies like it. Also, with any eCommerce platform, it is only as good or flexible as the extensions and plug-ins that are obtainable on it. Magento has literally hundreds of extensions. For developers, Magento may be somewhat intuitive, however it is much more complex and there are some development dependencies involved. If a developer or company is not skilled or experienced, it will finish up costing your company more in development time and also dollars in the long run.

1. Do they have experience specific to Magento?

When a company is looking to execute Magento, they need to ensure that the developers have significant experience with Magento, not just eCommerce in general. Companies should request them for their portfolio of Magento sites and extensions. Another good question is to ask them about their experience with Linux server administration. Hosting performance and optimization is vital to managing Magento websites. For Magento, there is in fact a certification process for developers, so be sure they have that certification as well. Finally, be sure they have long term business relationships with their clients and that those clients are contented with their work.

2. Where are they located?

Selecting a team that will be devoted to long term Magento needs is a critical choice because chances are this will be a long-term business relationship. The team chosen won’t just be creating the site, but they will be supporting all the extensions, new releases and other development considerations in the months and years to come. Proximity should be a concern because in-person meetings and regular conference calls ought to make the process of implementing and supporting the site just that much smoother.

3. What kind of Extensions is required?

Before hiring any company, the hiring company needs to fully comprehend what their development needs will be and which Magento extensions might solve their needs. There are hundreds of Magento extensions that support everything from site navigation, marketing, advertising, email marketing, customer experience, utilities and plenty more. Knowing prior to beginning development what type of extensions might be needed will aid any company choose a Magento team that has experience in those particular extensions.

4. Do they offer complimentary SEO services?

Another thing to reflect on is whether the company will also optimize the site as they are building it. Though there are many SEO extensions, only an expert developer that knows the rules of search engine algorithms like Panda and Penguin will be able to navigate, optimize and make sure that all the extensions are working together to raise the search engine ranking. If a SEO specific developer or company is not building the site, then some of the extensions bought and installed may default to the most common SEO solution and not a solution specific to that site. In other words, by hiring someone to optimize in tandem with development, the company will help make certain that they are leveraging the site and extensions to their full potential.

5. Do they offer support?

Just developing your site using Magento is the start. Once the site is up and running, the company will want to ensure that the developers you have chosen can provide maintenance support as well as scalable growth for the website. It will be best to negotiate the maintenance part of the contract on a monthly basis and be sure to define what the scope of that maintenance will include. Basic terms generally account for support in the existing attributes of the site and any add-ons after the initial launch would be negotiated on a case-by-case basis and rolled into the monthly maintenance fee subsequently.

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