If you are considering launching a Magento website to facilitate all of your e-commerce, there are quite a few things you should know before starting the project to ensure you get the best possible finished result.
Choosing A Designer
So you’ve decided you want to build your e-commerce store on the Magento platform, now it’s time to find someone who can really bring your ideas to life. Start by searching out designers who not only have a considerable amount of experience in layout and UX/UI, but more specifically designers who have UX/UI experience specifically in e-commerce. It is important that this designer fully understand the subtle differences between designing for a branded store, a “marketplace” type store, a store with minimal products and the various other types of potential e-commerce websites there may be. If your goal is to have a store with 10,000 products from various brands and manufacturers, it will need to be designed very differently than a website that is for one specific brand to showcase their product line. By looking through the portfolios of potential designers, you should be able to get a good idea of the e-commerce work they’ve done and how well they can communicate each website’s “core message”. Once you’ve found your design team you will need to contract with a developer.
Finding The Right Magento Developer
While you may be able to find an agency that employs strong designers as well as experienced Magento developers, there is no law that says the person who creates the website designs is the person who must implement the website development. Often times, the best developers won’t be very strong designers and vice-versa, so it is important to do your due diligence. Start by searching out Magento developers with a proven work history or portfolio of creative, functional Magento websites. Check these websites for page speed, bugs, mobile responsiveness and any other issues or problems you may find. Chances are, if a majority of the websites in the developers portfolio are slow to load and don’t work very well, yours will end up the same way. Another great resource for finding and vetting Magento developers is Magento Connect. Many Magento developers will publish themes and extensions to Magento connect, often times for free. You can then verify that they are in fact Magento developers and even try out some of their work to see if it would suit your needs.
Securing The Best Hosting
Once you’ve found the team to build your Magento website, it’s time to secure a hosting provider that works well with Magento. Magento is a very large PHP application, which means it will require more than your average shared hosting server to operate properly. As a web design agency, we have worked with just about every major Magento hosting provider, and at this point our favorite is Nexcess. Nexcess has several very affordable hosting options that come fully optimized for Magento and include some very necessary add-ons, like a CDN for example. Nexcess also has an extremely knowledgable support staff, not only in managing your server, but also in general Magento knowledge and troubleshooting.
Experienced Ongoing Magento Website Management
While you may be able to afford to bring on someone in-house to manage your Magento website, it’s probably best to engage with a professional web agency to manage the technical operations of your Magento website. Aside from simply adding and modifying your products, quite a bit of work goes in to properly managing a Magento store, and often times it can get fairly technical. Finding a team of experienced Magento web developers and designers to manage and maintain your Magento store will ensure it continues to run at peak performance and maintain best possible security.
Bricks & Mortar Creative is a web design agency that focuses on all three areas of Magento – design, development and management. We are not only highly experienced when it comes to user experience for e-commerce website, but have also spent a lot of time working directly with the Magento code base, continuously refining our Magento development skills. Further, we work with brands and companies of all sizes to manage, maintain and grow their Magento websites and e-commerce businesses. No matter how large or small your company or website is, feel free to drop us a line if you’d like to talk with us about any of our Magento services.
2020 Update – Magento End of Life
Another thing to consider when building a website on Magento is the version of Magento you’ll be using. Starting in June 2020, Magento 1 will no longer be supported. This means that things like security patches, platform updates, and even new 3rd party extensions will no longer be released for Magento 1.
While Magento 2 is a very robust platform, it’s not without its quirks. Developing a website for Magento 2 is also considerably different than developing for Magento 1. This means you could see an increase in development costs, and a potential decrease in website performance and usability if not built properly.
Because of the major changes in the Magento ecosystem, as of late 2019, we have made BigCommerce our preferred e-commerce platform. BigCommerce offers a wide range of enterprise e-commerce features, has well-documented and straightforward development, and best of all, it’s easy for clients to use which makes it an excellent Magento end of life option. If you’d like to schedule a free demo of the BigCommerce platform, contact us today.