Simply put Magento is the most powerful and popular eCommerce management system on the web today, and the core software is free and open source so anyone can get involved. It’s written in PHP and can be easily deployed on hosting plans and dedicated servers that support MySQL databases (which is almost all of them these days). Its out of the box functionality and user friendly admin area allows even beginners to preside over a wide range of settings that dictate the look, feel and functionality of the website it is driving. This functionality is expanded exponentially with ‘one click install’ extensions, which can be found for free or charged at a premium. Those with specific requirements can also turn to individual Magento developers or a Magento development company to create custom extensions, templates and themes to their specifications. However even a fresh Magento install can accomplish a great deal, including:
The ability to add product categories and products at the click of a mouse.
Advanced product description and image options and social media sharing.
Search Engine Optimized Pages with the ability to tweak settings to your own preferences.
An efficient shopping cart system that can be customized and paired with your choice of payment gateways and processors (including credit cards, Paypal and Google Checkout).
An easily managed pricing process that can include discount coupons.
Mobile optimization so your online store looks good no matter what device.
Easy customer account management and order tracking.
Integrated for real time shipping rates from UPS, FedEx, DHL and others.
The ability to serve foreign language and currency versions of the store to international customers.
Cutting edge security, including a secure payment bridge at PCI Data Security Standard (PCI PA-DSS).
Detailed analytics to monitor your customers, and the growth and success of your business.
If you are looking to launch an online store or are taking your existing retail business online, Magento is definitely a platform worth taking a look at. If you are really serious you might also consider their $15,000 Enterprise Edition. This unlocks its full potential, allowing for unlimited scalability, increased performance for larger sites, added marketing support, and a whole host of backend business tools. You will also get 24/7 technical support from Magento’s own developers.
Of course if you want a custom solution without relying on free or premium themes, templates and extensions, you may want to hire a Magento development company to bring your unique vision to life (see below).
The Magento company profile began in 2008 under Varien Inc., a private company in the US. They later sold the rights to eBay who spun it off in to their own company, now known as Magento Inc.
As a leading enterprise class eCommerce management system, Magento is used by everyone from world famous brands to small speciality retailers. After being first released in 2008 it has quickly grown to account for roughly 29.8% of all online stores on the web, and around 1 in 4 new online retailers choose Magento as their platform.
Over the years the likes of Samsung, Ford, Men’s Health Store, Nespresso, Harvey Nichols, Rebecca Minkoff, Volcom, Nike Australia, and many others have turned to Magento to power their million and multi-million dollar businesses. Suffice to say, if it’s good enough for them it must be something worth exploring.
Magento development simply refers to the process of developing a website and/or business that is powered by Magento, and all of the technical requirements that go along with that.
Are you planning to expand your existing Magento store with new features and functionality? Do you want an entirely custom and unique design? Do you want to create an entirely new eCommerce business and aren’t even sure where to start? If you’re asking these questions then you may want to seek out some expert Magento developers to get the job done smoothly.
Let’s be honest, some people may be happy with Magento out of the box and all of the free options available to them, but some of us need to go that step further if we want our brand to stand out. If you and your partners aren’t exactly professional coders, then it’s completely logical to turn to a professional. The only other option would be to spend thousands on courses and classes in programming and waste your time, when you could be making money right away by investing in those that already know what they’re doing.
Likewise even if you know your way around Magento to a degree, you might still want to turn to a Magento development company if you can’t get something to work, you’re having trouble modifying a theme, you’re experiencing errors with a plugin, you want to make a big change but don’t want to damage the site, or you simply don’t have time to do what needs doing.
A total beginner to the concept of web development may be daunted by the number of options out there. Although Magento is a single platform, it’s made up of many different elements, including backend coding, web design, and plugin and theme development. There are many experts out there that can do some of what you need, but not all of it. Thankfully there are also Magento development companies and individuals that can do it all as well.
Theme Development : The look and feel of your Magento site is dictated by the theme. This includes elements such as the header image and size, how the home page is organized, how products are displayed, the color scheme, and all the other visual aspects (font style, link color etc). While there are many free themes to choose from and slightly more impressive premium themes, you would turn to a Magento designer to create a custom theme especially for you. They will know enough about the platform to turn your design concept (or create their own) in to an actual theme that can be installed on the site. They won’t however be able to develop extensions or change the functionality of the site. If you’re happy with Magento out of the box or have an existing store that you just want to give a new proverbial coat of paint, then you can start hunting down theme developers to create a custom theme.
Plugin Development: Where the power really lies with Magento is its extensions. These expand its core functionality in an almost limitless amount of ways. There are thousands of free extensions available, as well as many premium ones that offer advanced and sought after features. In most cases these will be suffice, but if you require something truly unique then you will need to find a plugin developer that can create it from scratch. These are experts within the Magento platform that can code in all the required languages.
Programming: Although they certainly might have other skills, a Magento programmer is essentially a regular programmer that also knows how to work within the Magento platform. You would hire them if you already know what you require and can tell them what lines of code need to be written. Think of it as time saving or outsourcing, rather than anything creative. If you are not skilled with Magento yourself, you will need to look for a full blown developer.
Full Development: Magento development refers to the process of pulling all the different elements of Magento together under one roof. You would seek a Magento development company if you’re planning to launch a Magento store but have no skills to do so yourself. They will have developed many Magneto sites from the ground up before, and have the ability to turn your ideas in to reality or suggest their own based on their experience. For example if you were looking to start a business selling customized acoustic guitars, the developer might advise you on the best way to implement multiple options on the product pages, whether there are existing extensions to accomplish this, or suggest they and/or their team create one themselves. Most Magento development companies will be able to develop extensions and themes in-house or outsource them as part of their service. They of course also know their full way around the Magento platform, from installation to minor and major tweaks.
Support and Maintenance: If you are familiar with the basics of Magento and have recently launched a store or have an existing store and need help from time to time, you can turn to a Magento expert (usually a freelancer) to help you with general support and maintenance. They will be able to get problematic extensions working, tweak themes, troubleshoot other errors, and change settings. They won’t be coding you new themes or extensions, but they’ll be there to help if something goes wrong.
Magento is fairly well optimized for search engines out of the box and there are also many plugins that can help you fine tune your SEO strategy. Some experts will also offer SEO services and market themselves as a Magento SEO specialist.
Hiring a Magento expert can be a daunting process, but as long as you know what you need doing and have familiarized yourself with the types of development available (see above), you’re ready to take the plunge. Who you approach will depend on the size and scope of your project, whether you need custom themes and extensions developed, and if ongoing maintenance and support is required. Here are the key options for handling your Magento needs:
Freelance Magento Developer: Freelancers (usually individuals but sometimes a team) can be easily discovered through freelance marketplaces like Guru, Toptal and Upwork. You might also decide to go to a Magento developer forum and hire somebody from their marketplace section. On the larger sites the process requires you to register as a buyer, which will open up a database of different freelance fields and skills to browse to. You will want to head to the web development category and filter skills based on Magento if possible, and whether you need a designer, programmer or full blown developer. Each freelancer will have a public profile where they summarize their skills and services, a portfolio of completed projects, and ratings and reviews from clients who have used them in the past. Many will also be osCommerce developers or WordPress experts as well. Drawing from this information you can make an informed decision on who to contact. Depending on your requirements you might be able to negotiate a fixed price or an hourly rate. On the flipside you will also be able to list your project and have the freelancers come to you and bid on the job. The process on a forum is similar but usually less formal. You will need to start a new thread with your project requirements or contact a freelancer through their own thread. A competent individual or team of freelancers can be much more cost effective than approaching a Magento development company, especially if your project is small.
Magento Development Agency: To save time from trawling through freelancer sites trying to find somebody suitable, you might turn to an outsourcing agency that specializes in Magento exclusively. They will operate in a similar marketplace setting or more like a company, but their function is to connect you with freelancers that are already vetted and poised to complete your project.
Small Magento Development Companies: One option is to go to a small web development company that specializes in Magento. They will have a dedicated team of developers, programmers and designers, that can build your Magento store from the ground up. Typically they will list their available services on the site, with a rough price guide or option to request a quote. They will also have a portfolio showing off previous clients, so you can get an idea of their abilities and successes. In most cases they will be able to handle a larger project than your average individual freelancer and can complete work in a faster time because of this. Whether you’re looking for a Magento development company India or anywhere else, you should easily be able to find them online.
Larger Magento Development Firm: The larger Magento development firms out there come with a certain prestige and will have a price tag to reflect this. These are ideal for big brands, with big budgets, who may also need some extras in terms of branding and marketing. These companies will have a track record of high profile clients and a big team of top end developers to take on any project large, small or complicated. Your custom theme, advanced custom extensions and large inventory should be no trouble. But it will cost you more than using the other options.
Do It Yourself: If your Magento store is more of a side project and you were never going to be spending big bucks on development anyway, doing it yourself is not necessarily as difficult as it sounds. So long as you know your way around your hosting plan or server, you can install the platform in just a few minutes. And although it can be daunting to begin with, most of the settings within the admin area are self explanatory. If you do get stuck, pulling up a Magento developers guide online should help you along. Likewise there is literally a Magento development tutorial for everything you could think of, without mentioning the extensive support documentation available from the official Magento site. Of course if you want to learn coding and design so you can make your own extensions and themes yourself, you’re going to have to dedicate some serious time. However if you can get by with the endless free options out there, beginners can become proficient at managing their stores quite quickly. Starting at a Magento developer wiki will help.
Whether you’re searching for “magento developers india” or a large company in the US, a bit of common sense will ensure you find the best Magento website development services and weed out unqualified and troublesome developers. The first thing you should always do is browse our large database of reviews here at Skilled.co and find the developers that offer Magento. All of the reviews in our Magento developers directory are genuine, so if you find some highly rated developers for hire, you’re sure to have a great experience.
This should obviously be coupled with your own research via Google and other sources. Whether you’ve found a freelancer or a dedicated company, they should be open and honest about their skills, abilities and available services, and you should be able to see clear examples of their past work and clients. This is why freelancer sites are quite handy, as you can see ratings from other clients. Sites like Upwork will also actively test a freelancer’s skills, with the results displayed on their profile.
Besides their portfolio you can also check to see if testimonials are genuine, whether they have a decent footprint on social media, or just drop them an email to see how fast they reply and if they’re professional in the way they communicate.
One clever way to locate a good developer is to find sites that look good and are running on Magento, and see if there’s any sign in the footer or about page as to who developed the site.
You can also use social sites to your advantage. For example searching Twitter for “hire magento developer” or similar terms can return a surprising amount of results. Just click through to their profile and see what they have to offer. A professional network like LinkedIn is also a useful option.
The development side of your Magento project is only one aspect of the full cost you will incur. You will also have to factor in the cost of hosting an eCommerce store, which can be quite expensive if you have a large database of products and information, lots of customers and many extensions running.
Magento can certainly be operated from a shared hosting environment if you don’t have many customers and small site, but in general you can expect to pay between $150 and over $4,000 a month for an adequate server. As your store grows in size and popularity, as will the cost of keeping it running.
The cost of developing the site itself depends on the size of your store, whether you want custom themes and extensions, and if you need somebody to manage day to day maintenance and support. Here is a general pricing list to give you an idea of how much you might ultimately have to spend:
Enterprise Edition: $15,000
Premium Themes: $50 to $200
Premium Extensions: $20 to $150
Individual Freelancer: $10 to $100 an hour
Custom Extensions: $300 to $5,000
Custom Themes: Up to $10,000
Full Development Service: $10,000 to $200,000 Plus
According to data from various career sites the average salary (or amount an individual Magento developer can make in a year) is rising, no doubt because the platform itself is becoming more popular and there is more of a demand for such experts. The current average annual salary is over $85,000, which is more than rival Zen Cart developers and Joomla developers make.
Of course freelancers at the lower end of the scale make much less than this and often have to bid alongside an international pool of talent.
A full blown Magento developer job description is vast. They are expected to know the full ins and outs of the eCommerce platform, how to install and manage it from the server side, how to install, manage and fix themes and extensions, and every other setting and option available. They must understand the relevant coding languages, such as PHP and the MySQL database side of things, and if they want top money they must also be able to get in to the code itself and create extensions and themes. They should also have the ability to test everything from a Magento development server.
So if you want to become a Magento developer, the first step is to take a traditional route of programming. Then you can take one of the accredited courses from Magento themselves, resulting in a certified qualification. While this badge of honor is not required to begin freelancing, it will certainly help you attract clients and get the best Magento developer jobs. If you just want the skills for yourself, consider finding a Magento developer tutorial online and set up a Magento developer environment to test your skills.