Magento Connect – The Marketplace for Magento Extensions
Magento merchants can use extensions to increase the functionality of their online stores, gain better control over the backend processes and improve their site’s user experience for their customers.
The Magento Connect store is the largest marketplace for extensions in the world. It features over three thousand Magento extensions, which you can find out more about by viewing our page titled Magento Extensions – a world of choice.
However with so many extensions to choose from, you will probably be left wondering where to start when you first visit the Magento Connect store. Luckily for you, we’ve provided a complete guide to using it below.
Choose the Magento eCommerce platform to empower growth
When you first land on the Magento Connect homepage, you will first presented with staff picks and if you scroll further down the page you will see featured extensions, highest rated extensions and the most recent extensions to be added to the store. If you are new to using Magento and are not really sure what extension you are looking for, the staff picks and highest rated extensions are a great place to start.
Developers will have paid to have their extensions in the ‘featured’ section, so the quality of these extensions cannot always be guaranteed.
When browsing the Magento Connect marketplace, it is worth keeping in mind that there are three different types of Magento extensions available.
Magento Core Extensions – These are Open Source extensions that have been created by the Magento Core team. They are released under an OSL 3.0 license and distributed for download through PEAR.
Magento Community Extensions – Again these are open source extensions, however rather than being created by the core team, they have been created by members of the Magento Community or partners. They are also released under an opensource license and distributed for download through PEAR.
Magento Commercial Extensions – Last but not least we have Magento Commercial extensions. They are extensions that have been put up for sale by members of the Magento Community or partners. The sale, distribution and licensing is managed by the seller externally.
Magento Connect – the marketplace for Magento extensions
Searching for Magento Extensions
If you have a particular Magento extension in mind, e.g. the ‘one step checkout’ extension, you can simply type it into the search box and you will be presented with the most relevant results. This is the quickest way to find extensions.
Alternatively you can browse extensions by category. If you look at the main navigation bar you will see that extensions have been organised into the following categories:
Customer Experience (shopping cart, navigation, social elements, personalisation, etc.)
Site Management (billing & invoicing with the use of a free invoice maker, content management, admin, order management, etc.)
Integrations (CRM, email integration, shipping & fulfilment, payment gateways, etc.)
Marketing (affiliate programmes, analytics, SEO, social marketing, pricing & promotion, etc.)
Utilities (developer tools, optimisation, server performance and caching, etc.)
You can further refine your results by using the menu on the left hand side of the page. Sort your results by most popular, featured, recent, low to high cost and high to low cost. You can also select to view free or paid for extensions or extensions by platform e.g. Magento Go (which FYI is shutting down 01.02.15), Community and Enterprise.
Something we recommend doing before choosing to integrate a Magento extension with your website is checking out the reviews. Reading other merchants’ reviews of the app will give you a better idea of its benefits and whether they found any issues or bugs with it.
You should also consider writing your own reviews of Magento extensions you have used to give other shoppers a helping hand!
Each extension featured on the marketplace has a Q&A tab. This is where users can ask questions about the extension. Anyone can answer the questions from the developer of the app to members of the community. If you have a question about a particular extension, have a flick through to see if it has already been answered and if not, fire away! The Magento Community is very tight knit and always happy to help out a fellow merchant!
Purchasing & installing Magento extensions
Purchasing and installing extensions from the Magento Connect marketplace is pretty straightforward. Once you have found the extension you want to install, check the reviews and then press install. You will then be prompted to login to your account. From there you will need to accept the license agreement and copy the unique extension key.
Next, log into your Magento panel and go to System > Magento Connect > Magento Connect Manager. You will probably have to enter your admin details again before you can paste the unique extension key into the box and install it.
What if you can’t find what you’re looking for?
Although there are thousands of free and paid for extension to choose from, it may be the case that you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for. Don’t worry – all hope is not lost! You can always have a custom extension created for your Magento site instead.
Simply get in touch with a Magento developer and they will be able to build your extension from scratch, ensuring it is tailored to your needs, requirements and budget. The great thing about having an extension built for your website, is that no one else in the world will be using exactly the same one!
If the exclusivity of a custom Magento extension appeals to you, get in touch with one of Online Media Direct’s developers today. Our Magento developers have years of experience creating bespoke extensions that help customers to achieve a wide range of goals at affordable prices. For a no obligation quote, submit an enquiry using the online form on our website.
If you have any questions about the Magento marketplace that we haven’t answered here or on our Magento hub page feel free to give us a call us on 01706 830 965.