Magento Extensions are add-ons for Magento that extend or change its basic functionality. There are thousands of extensions already available for Magento, and almost every simple use-case has already been covered. However, if your ecommerce needs are more specialized then you may need to write your own custom Magento plugin. Here are a few resources that will help you get started on the road to Magento Extension development.
Magento’s Official Extension Pages
The official Magento website is a treasure-trove of information relating to extension development. The site offers advice for how to build-in compatibility for Magento connect if you wish to share your extension with other users, and how to optimize your extensions for best performance. It also offers a range of tools to make creating and sharing extensions easier.
T.Wits.sg Development Page
If you’re an experienced developer then the articles offered by T.Wits.sg should be very useful to you. The blog has not been updated for quite a while, but much of the information offered is still valid and useful to new Magento developers.
Alan Storm’s Blog
Alan Storm is a professional web developer who has a lot of experience working with Magento, Druopal, Python, WebOS and AppleScrip. His series of articles on Magento development includes a useful explanation of Magento’s configuration, the request system, the Magento API, and more. He even offers solutions for common bugs and browser compatibility issues.
Magento Page Request Flow
This large flowchart shows the page request flow that takes place every time visitors view one of the pages on your Magento website. This request flow is broken in to View and Model sections. It is important that you understand what happens at each point in the workflow before you attempt to build an extension.
Real Time Designer is a popular online custom product design tool which has been available for almost ten years. The company behind Real Time Designer has been working in the field of signage and graphics since 1997, and made the move to online product design in 2002, releasing their standalone design script in 2006.
The Real Time Designer product is a script that allows business owners to provide their customers with the ability to design signs, t-shirts, mugs, cards, magnets, banners, flags and a huge range of other products, all from within their browser. If you can print it, you can create it.
What sets the script apart from other design scripts is the power and flexibility of it, for example:
• Store owners can upload their own otf and ttf fonts, to easily allow for unique designs.
• Both store owners and users can edit and upload vector files, giving them unprecedented flexibility in their designs.
• It is easy to integrate the platform with other content management systems.
• The CSS files are editable, so your design tool can be branded like the rest of your site.
You can easily integrate Real Time Designer with WooCommerce, OpenCart, Shopify, Volusion and Magento, which means that webmasters can use the technologies that they know well to offer their users the best possible experience.
The designs that Real Time Designer produces can be exported in vector format and used for screen printing, sublimation printing and sign design. Because vectors are a scalable, lossless way of saving images, the designs can be scaled up or down so that they can be printed on almost anything. The only limiting factor is the quality of the original image – naturally, if the source image is a low resolution bitmap there will be limits to how well it will scale up.
Easy for End Users
The Real Time Product Designer uses modern web technologies to offer users the most flexible and intuitive experience possible. It runs in most browsers, and can even be used on some smartphones, so users can place orders for products from your store whenever they have the urge to do so.
Magento is a great ecommerce solution, but out of the box it offers a rather bland shopping experience. Here is a list of a few of the best premium Magento extensions for building a successful, feature rich and professional looking ecommerce website.
1. One Step Checkout
Fast and easy to use checkouts are a must-have today. Shoppers are accustomed to smooth and convenient shopping experiences thanks to Amazon’s one-click system and similar offering by other popular online stores. The One-Step Checkout extension, which costs just $85, allows you to add similar features to your website.
2. Media Gallery and Product Videos
The premium Media Gallery Extension for Magento allows you to add product showcase videos, galleries and other media to your product pages. You can add multiple videos to one product, allowing you to show testimonials, unboxing videos, advertisements and tutorials if you wish. This extension costs $85, but makes your website look incredibly professional.
3. Advance FAQ Management
Advance FAQ Management is a MAgento extension produced by FME. This extension allows you to add to and edit FAQs, and allows your users to search those FAQs for answers to their questions. The extension costs $59, and is far more feature-rich and flexible than most equivalent free offerings.
4. Enquiries Management
The Enquiries Management extension allows your customers to send messages to you enquiring about specific products. You can then respond to those queries. This extension is useful if you sell bespoke products, clothing, or expensive items that users may want to learn more about before purchasing.
There are thousands of other Magento extensions available, including ones for SEO, Media, testimonials and even niche specific extensions for selling products by size, area or weight. You can make Magento do almost anything you could possibly imagine.