Welcome to the second edition of our Ultimate Guide to Magento Resources. It’s a comprehensive update on last year’s inaugural edition, with new entries and chapters.
Designed for stores with multiple products and categories, Magento is one of the most sophisticated e-commerce solutions on the market. Global brands such as Omega, Oliver Bonas, and Helly Hansen all use Magento’s platform to build impressive and elegant websites.
Magento is renowned for its wealth of features, scalability, and support. In addition to the platform itself, there’s a vast array of resources with a global community of developers, apps, and technology providers to further enhance the capabilities of Magento for store owners.
The level of choice can be overwhelming.
With this Ultimate Guide to Magento Resources, the MageMail team has done some of the work for you. It’s a curated list of the best resources for Magento community members, whether you are a merchant, vendor, or service provider.
- A Brief History of Magento
- The Magento Story
- The Resources
A Brief History of Magento
It beggars belief that one of the world’s biggest e-commerce platforms started life as a small side-project. As the founder of Vairen, the company responsible for the birth of Magento, once explained in a interview:
“Why don’t I give you (Vairen’s developers) this little side project. Spend a couple months, and see where you are after that.”
The man who uttered those words, Roy Rubin, explained his motivation was to keep his developers occupied. Varien was trying its hand at everything from web applications to content management, and by Rubin’s own admission, it was lacking a focus.
That all changed when the “little side project” began to show some promise. The developers convinced Rubin that the e-commerce platform they were building deserved the company’s sole focus.
“You know, let’s really go all-in. Let’s put everything we’ve got into this.”
And in 2007, Magenta, which would later become the more “masculine” Magento, was born. Here’s a chronological list of key events that shaped the platform as it is today:
2009: Magento overtakes competitor osCommerce
2010: Varien becomes Magento – Magento’s runaway success leads the company to rebrand itself after its premier product.
2011: eBay acquires 49% stake in Magento – eBay invests a reported $22.5m into the platform.
2011: First Imagine conference takes place in Los Angeles – Bringing together hundreds of developers, merchants and agencies, the inaugural Magento Imagine was a sell-out. Imagine becomes the flagship annual event.
2015: Magento acquired by private equity fund, Primera
2018: Magento acquired by Adobe in a $1.68 billion deal – The news indicates a new chapter for Magento as two leading platforms merge.
A Vibrant Community
During the course of the last decade, a vibrant and highly engaged community grew up around the Magento platform. With countless events, including Magento Meets.
There is a myriad of agencies around the globe offering solutions and services for Magento. Whether you are starting up or own an established company and are looking to revamp your processes, there is an agency out there for you. What follows are the top global, regional, and industry-focused agencies, in no specific order.
Founded in Sweden by the trio of David Holender, PJ Utsi, and Staffan Palopää in 2008, Vaimo quickly expanded across Europe. They now boast locations worldwide, including Tokyo, Dubai, and Pretoria. Vaimo is one of only eight Magento Global Elite partners.
Vaimo has helped over 400 global merchants succeed in Omnichannel in areas like e-commerce, order management and product information management. Vaimo’s client portfolio includes companies like Helly Hansen, Jack Daniels and Daniel Wellington.
Gorilla Group (USA)
With 250 employees in offices across North America and Europe, Gorilla Group is a Magento Global Elite partner. Founded in 1994, as a “hardcore technology company,” Gorilla has evolved in tandem with the internet. They now specialize in e-commerce.
Gorilla boasts experience with over 300 clients. They offer a comprehensive suite of award-winning services. Gorilla’s honors include a Webby and Magento Partner of the year. Gorilla Group is considered one of the world-leading agencies for Magento merchants.
Born Group (USA)
Born Group came into being in 2011 after a merger between FMG and Pod1. Under the guidance of its CEO, Dilip Keshu, Born has grown into a leading digital agency. It works with a number of other partners including Adobe, IBM, and of course, Magento.
Headquartered in New York, it has offices in London, UK and Chennai, India. The global agency enjoys a growing reputation and was recently announced as a Magento Elite Partner.
Blue Acorn (USA)
Working out of Charleston, SC, Blue Acorn offers fundamental and incremental solutions for e-commerce businesses. The former home of influential Magento Evangelist, Ben Marks, Blue Acorn attracts famous brands such as Everlast, Hoover, and Olympus.
It sells itself as a “data-driven” agency, who use “business intelligence to manage our projects and deliver complex Magento sites.”
Blue Acorn is a Magento Enterprise partner and won North American partner of the year in 2015.
Redbox Digital (UK)
Redbox Digital began life in London in 2004, and now has offices in Auckland, Dubai, Mauritius, and Sydney. They offer omnichannel solutions to a host of global brands including AXA Insurance, Nespresso, and Nestle.
Redbox’s work for British workwear manufacturer, Alexandra, makes for a compelling case study.
Redbox Digital is also a Magento Global Elite partner.
A mid-level market Enterprise partner, Shero was born in 2010 as an e-commerce agency focusing on Magento. Shero has expanded to other platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce but Magento remains a specialty.
Shero is a company that prides itself on its products and services: “At Shero, we only engage with customers where the value we create is greater than the price the customer pays. Our products and services speak for themselves, but it is our people that truly make us stand out in the e-commerce industry.”
Isobar Commerce (Hong Kong)
Founded as Bluecom in 2012, this HK-based commerce solutions agency was rebranded as Isobar Commerce in 2017. The agency has over 1,000 specialists and is largely focused on the Asian market.
This year, Isobar was the only agency to win Global Commercial Magento Partner in 2018, and a few months later it joined the exclusive list of Magento Elite Partners. Though the agency has offices all over the world, it’s Asia focus separates it from the rest.
Anatta Design (USA)
Anatta chooses you, as much as you choose them. They work solely with companies driving social and lifestyle change. They also only take on a few clients at a time. Creating bespoke, responsive, and clean e-commerce sites has built Anatta a stellar reputation within the industry.
Classy Llama (USA)
A holistic agency, based in Springfield, MS, Classy Llama offers a wide array of solutions for e-commerce stores. With 40 team members, give-or-take, Classy Llama specializes in website design, marketing, and user experience (UX).
With Magento Master, Joshua Warren, at the helm, Creatuity has grown to be a top agency and recognized as a Magento Enterprise partner. Located in Dallas, Creatuity has a team of over 40 developers and software architects. They create end-to-end solutions for clients including Outdoor Signs America and ClearBags.
Elgentos also offers the creation of bespoke extensions for clients as one of their services.
Gravity Department (USA)
Gravity Department is essentially a one-man show, conducted by Brendan Falkowski. Specialized in creating and delivering a front-end strategy for Magento supported stores, Gravity places a great emphasis on detail. They put great effort into analyzing each client and their niche. This empowers them to deliver the best possible results.
In its tenth year, Inchoo is a leading full-service agency for e-commerce merchants. The 50+ team is renowned for its Magento expertise. Inchoo is one of Magento’s Solutions partners. It’s also a Premier Google partner.
The Inchoo blog offers an amiable approach to tutorials. The Croatia-based consultancy post on all things related to Magento. The writers include developers, project managers, and the company’s leadership team.
The Budapest Brothers, in particular, is a wonderful read.
KOS Design (Thailand)
Having created over 1000 website designs, KOS Design is a well-renowned agency with a young, smart, and international team. KOS deserves its reputation as the agency to hire if you require a storefront with a strong visual aesthetic.
Specializing in holistic e-commerce solutions for Dutch companies, E-Tailors focuses on fusing together the “crafts” of design, technology, and marketing. The end goal of E-Tailors is to deliver to its clients an elegant, bespoke, and fully optimized Magento store.
Brave Web Design (UK)
Brave is a web agency from the south coast of England. They often work with UK companies but also count global players such as Blackberry, Ikea, and Samsung amongst their clients.
Brave’s comprehensive Magento services are complemented by its additional e-commerce solutions, like Google penalty recovery, which could prove invaluable to businesses looking to boost their search rankings.
Imagination Media (USA)
Specializing in both the Magento and Shopify platforms, Imagination Media (IM) services both startups and established companies. They don’t offer one-off solutions. IM monitors the health and performance of your store. They provide upgrades as needed.
A full-service e-commerce solutions provider, Trellis works with clients eager to create a new Magento store or improve an existing one. Stellar customer testimonials have skyrocketed the company’s reputation. Trellis’ regularly updated blog is also worth a follow.
An e-commerce solutions agency, Meanbee works exclusively with the Magento platform. The company has a team of certified Magento developers working to deliver website design, support, and customized extensions for clients.
Pinpoint Design (UK)
A Magento Business Solutions partner, Pinpoint Design is a full-service digital e-commerce agency located in Yorkshire, England. Working with partners that include Google and SagePay, Pinpoint has clients in over a dozen countries worldwide. Pinpoint also counts MageMail as a client, having made significant contributions to MageMail’s next-generation product design and development.
Cooper Square Ventures is a New York-based e-commerce development and investment firm that helps clients both devise and implement their e-commerce strategy. Co-founded by industry experts David Gitman and Michael Dash, CSV clients have seen their conversion rates boosted by 165% on average.
Peak Activity (USA)
Peak Activity’s areas of expertise include e-commerce, predictive analytics, and technology delivery. With 70+ employees across five locations, Peak Activity are deep in experience yet nimble and agile enough to help merchant’s meet their business goals.
Wagento specializes in eCommerce development, SEO, Marketing, Web Design, and other digital services. With offices in Minnesota, India, Bolivia, Argentina, and Mexico, Wagento works as one team to expand their skills, learn from the Magento community, and solve difficult problems while delivering outstanding solutions for nearly every budget.
Wagento strongly contributes to the Magento community, coordinating and sponsoring events such as MageTitans Austin. It counts industry influencer Brent Petersen as a member. Clients include Decks Direct, Hammer Made, Ilusion, Fair Indigo, and City Winery.
Something Digital (USA)
Something Digital is an interactive agency specializing in e-commerce, website design, digital marketing, and user experience with offices in New York City, Seattle, and Florida. They offer strategic, creative solutions that help online businesses grow. Clients include Papyrus, Mackenzie, Jack Rogers, and Maddie. Industry influencer Phil Jackson is on the leadership team in the role of E-Commerce Evangelist.
Headquartered in the Netherlands, Yireo has been involved with the Magento platform since 2008. Specializing in extension development and training, they also organize the annual MageTestFest.
Commerce Hero (Global)
Last but not least, Commerce Hero is Kalen Jordan’s newest venture. Kalen continues to be a key leader for MageMail. Meanwhile, he saw another gap in the market and is hard at work building Commerce Hero: a better way to find a Magento professional for your next project or full-time hire, anywhere and anytime. It’s already attracting the top Magento professionals in the industry who are quickly and seamlessly matched with merchants, agencies, and vendors.
Best Magento Blogs
There are a plethora of Magento blogs, many of them tied to websites promoting proprietary software solutions. Self-promotion aside, the best of the blogs provide a powerful source of information and tips.
Here are MageMail’s must-follows:
An obvious choice. Where better to hear about the latest news and product updates than from the official Magento blog itself? Useful content includes everything from the latest trends to sales tax compliance. The blog is organized into 6 different categories. Authors include Magento employees and experts from partner organizations.
Getting the official word from Magento will prove to be an invaluable addition to your daily reading. It will ensure you are well prepared for any new developments or product launches. This includes incremental changes and major upgrades to the platform like Magento 2.
Magento Explorer delivers tutorials for all levels, from beginner to advanced. Tutorials are divided into relevant categories including “Magento 2”, “Magento for Developers”, etc.
Posts are infrequent, averaging one a month. But there is a wealth of evergreen content here to keep you engaged and informed.
Keeping technical language to a minimum makes Magenticians one of the most accessible blogs. It’s full of insightful posts and views from across the Magento community. With an average of five new posts a week, the content is always fresh. Magenticians will prove useful to the full spectrum of Magento users, from merchants to developers. You’re just as likely to find a post on marketing as on coding. This illustrates the breadth and depth of the blog.
Bonus points awarded for the powerful and accurate search facility. It puts the information you need at your fingertips.
“Small but mighty” is the motto of Fooman, a New Zealand based Magento extensions development business. Their products are found in Magento supported stores across 160 countries. The Fooman blog is full of coding tips.
Atwix, an Austrian e-commerce solutions agency, publish three posts a month on average. Topics incorporate all aspects of the Magento ecosystem. Atwix keeps readers abreast of the latest developments in many areas including marketing and security.
Many blogs focus on the Magento platform and its updates. FireBear focuses only on plugins/extensions and resources you can use to supercharge your Magento store. With focused, in-depth reviews, this blog is a must-follow.
MageStore provides excellent paid e-commerce solutions. Their blog isn’t far behind in terms of utility. Regular visitors will notice MageStore routinely offers special offers and discounts on their products. It’s worth visiting for this reason alone.
As per the tagline, “For Developers, By Developers,” Magebase is a serious blog. It’s comprised of tutorials and articles on coding. Unlike many other blogs, Magebase is not part of an agency. It exists solely to connect developers, users, and creators.
Yireo, a Magento extension developer, has an excellent blog featuring the latest news on its products. They also organize the Mage Test Fest, a Magento conference, in the Netherlands.
MageComp extension user? Their easy-to-follow posts make this blog a stand-out in the community.
As one of the leading providers of Magento extensions, the Amasty blog is unsurprisingly dominated by this subject. If you’re a client or considering becoming one, make sure to check it out.
Web developers since 2001, and focused on Magento since 2009, AionHill brings a wealth of experience to the table. It shows on their blog. This attention to detail comes at a price – many of their posts take over 45 minutes to read. It’s worth your time.
Mageworx recently announced their Magento partnership, illustrating their high esteem within the community. One of the blog’s defining features is their regular interviews with Magento influencers.
Magenable is a Magento e-commerce consultancy from Melbourne, Australia. It is a great source for latest trends, analysis and best practices related with Magento and wider e-commerce.
One of Britain’s leading Magento agencies, the iWeb blog delivers the latest news, advice, and insights from the team. The posts are in plain English and help to break down any technical jargon.
Written almost entirely by Cloudways’ Magento Community Manager, Fayyaz Khattak, the blog is packed with cutting-edge tips and ideas. A recent post on accepting Bitcoin as payment is indicative of Fayyaz’s style.
Take a step back from Magento and take a look at the wider e-commerce ecosystem. The Demac Media blog contains “how to” guides, lists of real-world examples and solid marketing advice: all with a light-hearted slant.
As the name suggests, MageTraining offers in-depth, in-person training to Magento merchants and developers located in the UK and US. Even if you can’t make it to one of their scheduled classes or hire them to visit you onsite, the MageTraining site is still an outstanding resource for improving your Magento business.
Magento developer keen to pick up quick snippets of new information? Alan Storm’s “Programming Quickies,” is the perfect blog for you. The posts are updated regularly and no more than a paragraph long. There will always be a valuable “quickie” waiting for you.
Best Magento Books in Print
Magento is a 10+-year-old platform. There are many authoritative, tech-heavy publications packed with information on the market.
Magento 1, while still in widespread use, will end its official support life cycle in November 2018. Given this fact, we will focus on books related to Magento 2.
Despite its relatively recent release, there already exists a plethora of useful publications on Magento 2. Here are some of the best:
Magento 2 Beginners Guide (Author: Gabriel Guarino)
Selected as Magento Master for 2017 by Magento Inc., Gabriel Guarino has been involved with the platform since its beginnings and is a moderator on the official forums. This beginner’s guide offers an introduction to Magento as a concept, then goes into detail on the features of Magento 2.
- Introduces Magento
- Step-by-step guide to build and configure your store
- Migrating from Magento 1 to 2
- Tips for financial compliance
- Managing shipping and logistics–connecting to UPS, FedEx, and USPS
- How to create reports tracking sales, customer activity, and statistics
- Understanding catalog and content management
- Mastering customer incentives including offers, discounts, and coupon codes
- Creating/managing customer contacts and accounts
- Automating newsletters and transactional emails
Magento 2 – Build World-Class Stores (Authors: Ray Bogman, Jonathan Bownds, Vladimir Kerkhoff, Fernando Miguel, and Bret Williams)
Written by a crew of top developers, this publication is divided into three key topics:
- Magento 2 Development Essentials by Fernando J. Miguel
- Magento 2 Cookbook by Ray Bogman and Vladimir Kerkhoff
- Mastering Magento 2 by Bret Williams and Jonathan Bownds
As it says on the jacket, “Build World-Class Stores” covers everything from “getting you started with Magento to becoming an expert at building your own online stores”.
- Installing Magento and building it out
- Transferring from Magento 1 to Magento 2 (for existing merchants)
- Building a store from scratch
- Designing custom themes
- Using or creating extensions get the most out of the full Magento ecosystem
The book is an “all-in-one” package for Magento merchants who need a complete picture of the platform and its tools. It comes with many real-world examples, including screenshots of key front and back-end pages.
Getting Stuff Done with Magento 2 (Author: Alan Kent)
One of a series written by Alan Kent, VP of Architecture at Magento Commerce, this is an essential addition to your reading list. In comparison to other Magento-related books, “Getting Stuff Done” is short but sweet. Comprised of well-curated content from Magento DevDocs, it’s very useful if you need a Magento “primer”.
Learning Magento 2 Administration (Authors: Bret and Cyndi Williams)
Many Magento-related books are aimed at developers. This book is a refreshing alternative. “Learning Magento 2 Administration” offers any would-be merchant a step-by-step overview on setup and basic configuration.
Best Magento Communities
The Magento ecosystem features a wealth of free support networks. Forums, social networks, and Q&A sites provide a treasure trove of useful information.
We’ve applied the MageMail filter to recommend the very best:
Forums and Message Boards
Despite feeling somewhat antiquated, forums and message boards remain a crucial spoke in the support system “wheel” for Magento users. If you have a question, there is often an answer waiting for you here:
The Magento Stack Exchange portal is run by three moderators, including Ben Marks and Phil Jackson, who regularly contribute questions and answers on the forum. Have an issue? You will likely find the answer here within the stack. It’s searchable and broken down by tags.
The official Magento Community forums boast over 267,000 members with 70,000+ posts. This in itself is a clear indication of the enthusiasm of Magento merchants and developers. The forums are moderated by the people who form the Magento core. There is little doubt as to their credibility.
Make sure to search for an existing answer you before you post a question. Chances are high you will find your answer without even having to ask. If not, one of the 267K+ members will almost certainly be able to point you in the right direction.
The clean interface and efficient classifications make the Magento Community forums easily navigable. It’s the perfect first stop for those just starting up with Magento, and more seasoned members.
Not a forum in the traditional sense, Nomad Mage is a monthly, online meetup of Magento developers who listen to speakers share ideas and tips. Founded by the Evans Internet Construction Company, the motto of Nomad Mage is “start a habit of continuous learning.”
Members are encouraged to join a Q&A with the speaker and have a discussion with other attendees at the conclusion of the presentation.
Subscriptions for small teams (up to 15 people) start at $3,600.
The world’s biggest social network is an obvious place for merchants and developers to gather. Dedicated Facebook groups exist to share ideas, tips and strategies for Magento merchants and developers.
Magento Developer may not boast the most members, but it is one of the most active Magento groups on Facebook. As the group name implies, the primary topic of discussion is software development. However, plenty of other topics are also covered. Recent examples include online marketing and tips for new Magento extensions.
Not a discussion page, but still a useful one to follow. The official Magento Facebook page features breaking news from both Magento and the wider e-commerce industry.
With 6,400 members, this is the group to come to if you are a stuck on virtually any aspect of Magento. Questions on the page often garner comments within minutes. Responses often come complete with suggested plugins, attached images, and even code.
Other Social Media
Operating akin to a global message board, Reddit is one of the most visited sites on the web. Magento has its own subreddit on the vast site. Over 3000 developers make daily contributions. What makes this Magento resource a stand-out is the sheer variety of content. It covers everything from metadata to marketing (and that’s just a few of the topics beginning with “M”).
Quora is one of the web’s most reliable and authoritative Q&A sites. Much like in a forum, members leave questions and can typically expect useful solutions and suggestions in return. The most popular questions are “upvoted” by other Quora members. Ask a question that other Quorans need an answer for, and it will rank higher in any Quora search. As always, it’s a considered a “best practice” to search for your question before asking it on Quora. A quick search will often yield the answer you’re looking for. This saves both you and the community time and effort.
Key Magento influencers, including Fayyaz Khattak, regularly answer Magento related questions.
Listing every useful Magento-related Twitter account would require a book in its own right. Virtually every Magento influencer has an active account. They’re only happy to share the latest Magento-related news–in real time–from wherever they happen to be on the planet.
These Twitter accounts are a great place to start. They are in no particular order. Courtesy of the good folks at Arpatech and our own list of influencers:
Best Magento Conferences
Conferences play a huge role bringing people and ideas in the Magento community together. There are several must-attend events in the Magento ecosystem. You won’t be considered a fully-fledged Magento merchant or developer until you attend a few.
Pack your bags, here are our picks:
Imagine (Las Vegas)
If you have to pick just one Magento event to attend, Imagine is it. Since its inauguration in 2011, Imagine has been possessed of “a grand vision: to connect the global e-commerce ecosystem.”
Typically spanning three days in April, Imagine puts equal emphasis on networking and learning. A full spectrum of the Magento community is in attendance, including executives, developers, merchants, and media. The 2018 edition features many of the Magento community’s leading lights as scheduled speakers. Highlights include Magento Commerce CEO Mark Lavelle, Chief Marketing Officer Andrea Ward, and Stella and Dot founder Jessica Herrin.
Perhaps the best indication of Imagine’s broad reach and clout is indicated by the scheduled appearance of “special guest star” Serena Williams. Williams has been touted by Nike as “the greatest athlete ever”. Guests don’t get more “special” than that.
Magento Meets (Worldwide)
The Magento Meets Association hosts conferences that connect “the whole Magento ecosystem and everyone around Magento.” Magento Meets became an official partner of Magento Inc. in June 2016 but retains its independence.
Magento Meets currently hosts 40 international events, on average, with plans to expand its reach even further.
Mage Titans (North America and Europe)
Designed and curated by developers for developers from the Magento Community, Mage Titans conferences occur approximately six times a year in North America and Europe, including Milan, Valencia, Austin, Manchester, Mexico City, and The Netherlands.
In the words of Mage Titans: “The Magento Community is unlike no other, it is like a family. The events are so important to keep the community spirit building and to share knowledge, best practices and to develop individuals and awesome technology. The reason we created Mage Titans was to focus on developers, and to facilitate that knowledge share and ultimately grow the Magento skill set and family.”
Magento Live (Worldwide)
Magento Live is an official, Magento-funded, conference that aims to bring the Imagine experience to the world at large. Again, the emphasis is split between training and networking.
Magento Developer Boot Camp (Global)
The Developer Boot Camp events, organized by Wagento, are targeted at hardcore coders. The barrier to entry, in terms of technical requirements, is high. You can find the details at Wagento Events. Typically “a working knowledge of HTML, CSS, XML, PHP 5.0+ and object-oriented programming techniques” is required. Not for everyone then, but well worth a look if becoming a proficient Magento coder is your goal.
Mage Test Fest (Netherlands)
Run by Yireo, one of Europe’s leading Magento agencies, Mage Test Fest is “all about testing – vital for clean coding.” The November 2017 edition takes place in the historic city of Amersfoort, spans four days, and the presentations are given in English.
Mage Unconferences (Europe)
The most recent Unconference was held in Utrecht, Netherlands in August 2017. As of publication, the date and venue for the next Unconference are yet to be set. Follow @Dutchento_EN on Twitter for updates.
Meet Magento New York (New York)
Meet Magento NYC is a premier event and yearly opportunity to meet face-to-face with Magento engineers, leading-edge developers, and the industry’s most innovative partners. More than technical discussions about Magento, Meet Magento NYC has specific tracks focused on merchants, trending e-commerce practices and evolutions in hosting and delivery.
Best Magento Influencers
Sherrie Rohde (Source: Magento.com)
The Magento ecosystem is well-stocked with larger-than-life influencers who are only too happy to contribute to the community. Here are eight names to watch (and follow):
Ben Marks (Magento Evangelist)
If there’s a Magento Inc. official at a conference in some far-flung corner of the world, it’s highly likely to be one of two people. Ben is the first. After 6 years working in Magento development and education at Blue Acorn, Ben joined Magento Inc. as an Evangelist in 2014.
The title “evangelist” gives the impression that Ben is trying to convert followers to Magento. He actually spends much of his time giving useful presentations to the “choir”. You can always count on Ben for fresh ideas along with updates on official product developments.
Sherrie Rohde (Magento Community Manager)
Alongside Ben Marks, Sherrie is the other conference frequent-flier from the Magento Inc. team. After several years spent working on Magento and other platforms like HootSuite, Sherrie officially joined Magento as Community Manager in 2015. Her primary role is to connect merchants and developers, both with solutions and each other. Sherrie also runs the official Magento Community website. This dynamic duo look set to be at the heart of the Magento community for years to come.
Kimberely Thomas (Magento Practice Lead)
Formerly Managing Director at Interactiv4, a Spanish Magento agency, Kimberley Thomas has decades of experience in the technical aspects of e-commerce. Kimberely’s stellar abilities led to her joining Magento in 2016, where she plays an active role in the community.
Piotr Kaminski (Senior Product Lead, Adobe)
A Magento veteran, Piotr Kaminski has seen it all. Approaching his tenth year at the company, he is well-placed to share his in-depth perspectives on all things e-commerce. Piotr is an active tweeter too, and shares some entertaining posts as well as the serious stuff.
Phil Jackson, better known by his nickname “Winkle”, has been working on Magento for various entities virtually since its inception. In recognition of his contributions to the community, Phil has been named Magento Master for two years running.
Vinai Kopp (Magento Expert, Developer, and Trainer)
Based in Heidelberg, Germany, Vinai Kopp started working on open source platforms in the late 1990s. Vinai was one of the first to pass the Magento Certified Developer exams and is a member of the Magento Certification Advisory board.
Vinai runs a frequently updated blog offering solutions for both developers and newcomers. He regularly participates in community hackathons and conferences.
Selected as Magento Master 2017, Gabriel Guarino, is a leading light in the Magento community. A web developer with 11+ years experience, Gabriel is often seen giving presentations at conferences like Mage Titans. He is director of Simplific, an Argentinean Magento development agency offering holistic back-end and front-end solutions for clients.
Somehow, Gabriel also found the time to the author the Magento 2 Beginners’ Guide as featured in the Books In Print section.
No list of influencers would be complete without a mention of MageMail’s own Kalen Jordan. Having founded MageMail in 2010, Kalen continues to be part of the team in an advisory capacity. He founded Commerce Hero, the Magento developer marketplace and is the co-host at MageTalk, the Magento podcast with fellow influencer Phil Jackson.
A highly active member of the community, Brent Petersen, is the Chief Magento Evangelist at Wagento. His repository on developer mecca Github is arguably one of the best for Magento merchants and developers. Github hosts 68M+ projects across a variety of platforms, so this is very high praise indeed.
Paul Rogers (E-Commerce Consultant)
Paul Rogers is a regular speaker at Magento conferences and events. He also runs his own e-commerce consultancy, specializing in “re-platforming”. This means migrating from one e-commerce platform to another.
Paul regularly takes strategic roles with consultancies, agencies, and product companies to help solve difficult e-commerce problems. Current and recent roles for Paul include consulting with partners, clients, and product as a Solutions Architect at Klevu, a Finnish company offering AI-powered search solutions that are used by 3000+ e-commerce merchants. Paul is also a Managing Director at Vervaunt, and Director (Strategy & Operations) at GPMD.
Here are a few samples of Paul’s most popular Magento guides:
- A Guide to Magento Fashion and Lifestyle E-Commerce Stores https://paulnrogers.com/guide-magento-fashion-lifestyle-ecommerce-stores/
- Creating Initial Specifications for a Magento Project https://paulnrogers.com/creating-initial-specification-magento-project/
- Definitive Guide to Magento 2 Checkout Best Practices https://paulnrogers.com/definitive-guide-magento-2-checkout-best-practice/
Eric Hileman (CEO at MageMojo)
Eric has been working with Magento since 2009 and is currently the CEO at MageMojo – the dedicated hosting solution for Magento merchants. He has been building websites since 1998 and is widely regarded as one of the most authoritative voices in the Magento community. Working alongside Kalen Jordan, Eric helps bring the right merchants and developers to Commerce Hero. He is a true Magento matchmaker.
Apps, Plugins/Extensions, and Hosting
Magento businesses typically use various apps and extensions/plugins to customize, extend, and enhance their stores. Apps – such as MageMail and GrooveJar – are comprehensive, stand-alone software solutions that are usually based on a SaaS model. Extensions/plugins (the terms are virtually interchangeable) usually solve more discreet problems and are often available for one-time fees plus add-on fees for services and support.
Making the right choice from the thousands of options available takes time and research. You need to think about what is right for your business and not simply choose the cheapest option available.
The choice of where to host your Magento storefront is also something that many merchants don’t pay enough attention to. This decision can dramatically affect merchant conversion rates. If you make a bad call on hosting, pages will take too long to load and your potential customers will simply leave. We share a compelling solution for this underrated component of your site’s overall success below.
Here are just a few of our top choices for apps, plugins/extensions, and hosting solutions that help to improve the customer experience and increase your sales.
All listed features and pricing are accurate as of the publication date and are subject to change:
Triggered email and email marketing campaigns can prove highly effective at boosting the revenue of your business. Abandoned cart emails are a perfect example of how you can put that to work. Studies suggest there is a 75.6% shopping cart abandonment rate across all industries, with a 77.5% abandonment rate for retailers. Targeted abandoned cart emails were opened by 11.61% of recipients, leading to a 29.9% purchase rate. This is money no business can afford to leave on the table.
MageMail app puts the power of triggered, marketing emails at your fingertips and specializes in keeping your customers coming back. MageMail has recovered over $60M in lost revenue for customers, with the average client recovering 15%. MageMail’s pricing model is also unique in that the majority of fees are based on performance, putting your success in MageMail’s interest.
Price: $49/month plus 3% of MageMail generated sales. Annual and large merchant special pricing available.
GrooveJar contains a powerful set of popup and triggered email apps to turn visitors into leads and leads into customers. Most of the popups use behavioral psychology (e.g., urgency, crowd influence, social proof) to encourage site visitors to take action, mainly to provide you with their email address or to purchase products outright.
Once you have their email addresses, the Collect & Convert app allows you to create customized, triggered email campaigns to turn leads into customers.
It’s one of most efficient lead generation and conversion tools on the market, capable of generating 9-20% conversion instead of the 3% industry average. Best of all, it boasts a five minute setup time and, as of August 2017, is part of MageMail’s suite of tools.
Price: $39/month with a 14-day free trial for new users. Discounted pricing for MageMail customers available ($19/month through 2017).
MageMojo is a dedicated Magento hosting solution. Run by influencer Eric Hileman, the New York-based company serves a variety of clients from small businesses to multi-million dollar corporations. MageMojo’s primary goal is to improve the customer experience by optimizing stores and speeding up the load times of pages. This can have a dramatically positive effect on customer conversion rates. It also offers 24/7 customer support – a must for any hosting company.
Price: Starts at $58 per month for small businesses, rising through different stages to $798 per month for large corporations.
LiveChat is a powerful tool that allows you to communicate with your customers in real time. The 2017 Customer Service Report found that businesses employing Live Chat enjoy an 87.5% customer satisfaction rate. Merchants can respond immediately to individual inquiries. This ability to resolve issues straightaway can prove an invaluable asset for customer retention. Satisfied customers are much more likely to return, as well as buy your product in the first place.
Price: Varies according to packages. Comes with a 30-day free trial.
Special Promotions Pro enables merchants to run 22 different types of promotion. The beauty of this extension is that it allows the user complete control of their campaigns. You can segment special offers to customer groups with merchant-specified attributes. Order history would be a common metric to look at.
This is a great way to foster loyalty and keep your customers coming back to your store, time and time again.
In this era, you need more than basic search to turbocharge your sales. More often than not, searching for items within e-commerce stores is a frustrating task. Artificial Intelligence is changing the game for all industries, and Klevu is applying the technology to create smart search capabilities that reduce friction, improve discoverability, and ultimately connect your shoppers with the products they want to buy.
We’re obviously keen on solving the abandoned cart problem. How about combining that with abandoned search? With Klevu, that’s what you get.
Key features include self-learning and lightning fast search, dynamic facets, actionable search insights, prioritized/promoted merchandising, and the ability to fully customize search functionality.
Price: Starting at $199/month with a 14-day free trial
The challenge of SEO is a familiar one, not only for Magento users, but for e-commerce businesses around the world. The race to the top of Google can be a relentless, and at times, thankless task. No plugin can fix this issue overnight, but the Magento 2 SEO Suite Ultimate is a step in the right direction.
SEO Suite Ultimate continually monitors links and other settings to optimize your site for SEO. You can set up templates for metadata and indexation settings. It comes with free product updates and support for life.
Price: $299 (Magento 1 extension owners can purchase the Magento 2 version for half-price).
Images are a powerful marketing tool for any business, especially for those selling physical products. The Banner Slider gives the user the ability to position and style banner images, on either the homepage or elsewhere on their site. A particularly useful feature is that performance and analytics reporting is available for each individual “slide”.
ShipperHQ offers a complete solution for managing shipping rates from a variety of carriers in your Magento store. It also allows your customer to choose a time and date for delivery within parameters options set by the merchant. It also offers address verification saving you money and your customers time and frustration.
Price: Starts at $50 per month for the Essentials package, rising to $300 for the Pro version. Larger organizations should contact ShipperHQ directly. ShipperHQ offers a variety of promotions, as well as a 30-day free trial.
It’s been a big year for Magento. The acquisition of the platform by fellow technology giant, Adobe, was seen as a largely positive move for all involved.
For Adobe, Magento serves as a ready-made addition to its Experience Cloud which already included advertising, analytics, and marketing. The commerce component is an attractive proposition to Adobe’s existing and potential clients.
For Magento, joining forces with Adobe gives it access to many more resources, which will enable the platform to accelerate its growth and consolidate its position as the world’s number one e-commerce platform.
For the foreseeable future, we won’t be seeing dramatic changes to the vibrant, thriving Magento community.
The flexibility–and corresponding complexity–of the platform has spawned a wealth of agencies, blogs and other resources focused entirely on Magento. In just 10 years, the platform has generated its own vast ecosystem. The official forum alone has over 312,000 members.
For each merchant pain point, there are abundant developers ready to step in to help.
For each incremental or full platform update, there are countless blogs giving advice on how to improve and adapt.
For each shortfall, there are apps, extensions/plugins, and hosting solutions to help gain back lost ground.
Conferences and courses are an integral part of the Magento ecosystem. They give merchants and developers the opportunity to attend workshops, network, and swap stories with their peers.
Influencers energize and support their fellow Magento merchants and developers, both online and in person, at conferences and meetups.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of printed books offering blueprints for success to startups and experienced Magento store-owners alike.
The Magento community is truly one of a kind. But the sheer volume of available resources can be overwhelming.
We hope that our Ultimate Guide to Magento Resources Second Edition enables you to get the most from the very best available.