Similar to other open source software and enterprise solutions (like Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress) modules, plugins and extensions provide the end user with better extendibility and functionality. In this article, we have looked closely at some of the more popular Magento extensions available today.
It is a fact that the market today is saturated with high-quality premium extensions that cost up to hundreds of dollars in some cases while some are surprisingly free. You must note that all of them are not the same. Some of these extensions could be copied and there is a possibility that some of them have malware. Some people believe that n a site makes it better. I don’t know where the idea came from but that is one misconception believed by far too many people. I want to point out here that when you have unused extensions or too many unnecessary extensions, they may result in poor site performance and page load time.
Before installing any extension to your Magento website, you have to first make sure you need it. If you ascertain that you actually do need it, then look out for its security. You wouldn’t want to purchase an expensive extension only to find out it is not compatible with the version of Magento you have and if you have to use it, you will have to give several development hours to it before you can use it.
The Magento Connect is typically the first place a developer or a site admin looks to find most of the Magento extensions. Below are 8 very useful and popular extensions that offer greater customization and usability:
- One Step Checkout by aheadWorks
Different studies have shown that the checkout pages on e-commerce websites are one of the most important steps of users of the site. The purchase of items and or placement of orders are influenced a great deal by the design and ease of use of the checkout page. To effectively capture as much sale as you can, you have to make your checkout page as simple as possible to enable the effortless and speedy purchase.
You might have noticed this as well but personally, I think the checkout page for the default Magento site is strenuous and tedious, to put it mildly; and I believe there is a lot of room for improvement.
Enter One Step Checkout to save the day – and how lovely it is that all data fields can be fitted seamlessly on one page which makes it easier for the buyer to click that all so important purchase button that you want.
The ease of use and flow is the major reason most people like the One-page checkout option. I know that’s why I like it. for me, and strangely, I enjoy seeing that big orange button that has “place order” written on it.
- WordPress integration by FishPig
Magento works seamlessly with WordPress. Therefore, it’s a win-win situation if you install a fully integrated blog created on the very flexible and popular platform known as WordPress. With this, you will have the opportunity to harness the full flexibility and power of WordPress attached to the best customizable e-commerce platform available today – Magento. The user will get an amazing experience such that there will be seamless flow from your blog to the shopping page that is if it has been configured with some customization.
- Layered Navigation by aheadWorks
This extension is amazing and offers the front end user better design an enhanced usability. Users will be able to easily search for products on a website if the layered navigation is enhanced. Basically, as seen in the summary of this extension, the layered navigation is pre-installed out of the box Magento.
“Layered Navigation optimizes the navigation and lets visitors search by categories, price ranges, color, and other product attributes.”
- Reward Points by aheadWorks.
It has an excellent design and the usability extension which offers users a loyalty incentive program. It rewards users with coupons, discounts, or even free gifts based on the amount of time spent on the site
- Login as Customer by Potato Commerce
This is a clever set up that allows for a simple and straightforward installation and configuration of the Magento store. Site admin is given the opportunity to log into the Magento store as if they were customers.
- Social sharing extension by Virtual Brick
The impact and influence of social media on our daily lives cannot be overemphasized. It is known to everyone and any site that wishes to harness the full potential of its e-commerce platform must be willing to share product socially.
This extension offers its user the ability to tweet, Facebook, email etc details of their products to their pool of followers.
- Gift Wrapping extension by kamtechnology
The kind of online commerce store you operate influences the installation of this extension.you wouldn’t be needing this if you happen to run a B2B store or if you’re selling power tools. On the other hand, if you deal with consumer items like jewelry, this extension would be perfect for you.
- Address Validation by WebShopApps
As the title basically implies, this extension is capable of providing UPS shipping validation to your users or buyers.