Having a Magento website means you need to use its extensions. There are thousands of ready-to-use Magento modules, and choosing the right one can be a tough job. In many cases, there won’t be an exact extension you need, so you would need to build a custom Magento module. Continue reading to learn how much does it cost to develop a Magento extension, when you should opt for an existing solution, and how to tell a nice Magento module developer from a poor one.
Prior to anything else, make sure that the feature you want is not included to the Magento core functions. Some time ago our client asked us to write a Magento shipping module. But we told them there is an in-built support for FedEx and UPS. The client saved a lot of time and money, so can you.
But as for other shipping companies, some of them have Magento plug-ins and some don’t. That’s why the price to activate the UPS shipping will be much lower than to create a module for a shipping service that doesn’t yet exist in the list of Magento extensions.
Another example: Magento supports payments via PayPal and Authorize.Net, which is quite convenient. However, there are a lot of other acquiring agents, some of them being very popular in particular countries. For example, in Australia, there is ANZ processing solution, highly preferred by local customers. So if you want to add other acquiring agent than PayPal or Authorize.Net, you’ll have to find an extension for it or even write one from scratch.
You want to buy a Magento extension and want somebody to install it
In this case we recommend you to contact the developer who was in charge of creating your Magento website. If they made any changes to the core of Magento, it may affect the possibility of keeping your Magento version up-to-date and installing new modules.
They should also make sure the version of a plug-in you want is compatible with the version of Magento you use. Generally, new extensions are build for the latest Magento version, so you might need to update yours. Inversely, some old modules were meant to be used with older Magento versions, so your developer has to make sure it can fit it your newer Magento version.
In case the module you need is present on the market, the total cost of its implementation will comprise the following:
- Analyzing your Magento website and your needs
- Buying the ready plug-in ($0-500)
- Integrating it to Magento
- Implementation to the production version of the website
Some Magento extensions are free, like Blog - Community Edition by aheadWorks. So in this case you, pay only for the developer’s time. Unfortunately, free plug-ins have quite basic features. To show recent or most popular posts below each article of your blog, you’ll have to create an extension from scratch.
On rare occasions, an advanced Magento user can install an extension without knowing how to code on PHP. However in most cases you will need to do some manual tuning. Sometimes it is necessary to write a piece of code, and at all times you should implement and test everything on the developer’s environment (different server), while your live version stays in a stable mode. Have in mind that some features require changes in the Magento core, but modules don’t.
You need a custom Magento module to be built from scratch
First, check the existing Magento plug-ins for the features you need. Let’s take Magento check-out modules. During a basic Magento check-out, a user has to fill in numerous fields on several pages. We all know it may lead to a lower conversion. There are some extensions which allow you to implement a one-step check-out (Onestep Checkout, $20), a check-out without registering within your service or even to manage a check-out via phone call. Or try Configurable Checkout ($69) to make a custom check-out you need.
There are also nice Magento SEO modules: SEO ― Advanced SEO Suite ($149) boosts the native Magento SEO features, and the other Advanced SEO Suite ($249) is the ultimate option with all you might ever need. Both of them cost less than $250, which makes them a real cost-effective option. There is no need to reinvent the wheel when you have a good and reliable solution.
As for search, the in-built Magento search features are quite basic. Search Autocomplete and Suggest ($99) is the plug-in to add autocomplete to your search. To make sure your pages are indexed better you can use Search ― Advanced Sphinx Search Pro ($99). Or try the ultimate one — Search: Sphinx Search Ultimate ($149).
However, there are no ready modules which allow you to show a custom search results in a particular order. Let’s imagine you sell consumer electronics. A user types “Samsung TV set” in you search box. Without a special search module they would get all the Samsung TV sets you have, then Samsung TV set accessories, then some other Samsung products. A custom search extension lets you show the TV sets you have from other brands after the ones from Samsung. Thus, you have higher chances to sell your items. The total cost of such Magento extension development can be around $1500. So always make sure you are able to cover the expenses on development with the revenue obtained due this extension.
When you checked the built-in Magento features and all the existing extensions and didn’t find what you’ve been looking for, it’s time to consider a Magento module development.
The price of creating a Magento plug-in consists of the following:
- Analysis of your existing project
- Making a project scope
- Developing the extension
Custom Magento plugin price estimate depends on the time, that your supplier team will spend on it. Beware, if they don’t charge you for analyzing your project and making a project scope, they will definitely add this time to the development time, so you won’t save money here.
How to tell a good supplier from a bad one
When there is no extension you need, you can have it built specially for your project. If there are no developers in your team, start looking for a right supplier. Here are the features of a good one:
- He wants to look at your project first, to see if adding a plug-in is possible at all.
- He charges you for the time he spends on the analysis as it requires from a couple of hours to couple of days.
- He is trying not to sell you an extension, but to find a solution to your problem.
- He writes a detailed project scope and asks for your approval.
- He tests both frontend and backend before and after implementing on the work copy.
At Kultprosvet, we stick to the rules above for all the similar projects. We’ve been developing Magento extensions for many years, and we know all the good solutions on the market. However, the most important thing is we don’t strive to sell you a Magento module, we want to find a way to satisfy your needs and meet your business goals.