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For those not in the know, Magento Extensions are additional add ons for the Magento Ecommerce Platform, adding new functionality to your website. Magento categorises their extensions into two classes – Enterprise and Community. Enterprise extensions are only available for users operating a Magento Enterprise edition. The main difference between the two being that the Community edition is free to download and comes without developer support (amongst a few other features), whereas the Enterprise edition does, but comes with a price tag.
Magento Extensions can be found at the Magento Connect website and are further categorised into sub categories to help users easily find an extension that fits their requirements. Let’s say for example you were looking for an extension to integrate a WordPress blog into your Magento platform. You would find such extensions under the main category of Customer Experience and the sub category of Blog Tools.
To assist users in making a good choice, the Magento Connect website provides an option for sorting the most popular extensions first. Each extension comes with a popularity score which is calculated by an algorithm which is thought to be based around the amount of times the extension has been downloaded and the age of the extension age.
Rather than trawling through all of the different categories and subcategories in Magento Connect, Verve has found the most popular extensions across a number of prevalent categories. If an extension has been rated by Magento Connect as highly popular, then it is widely used, which is a good signal – suggesting it provides a solid solution. Extension reviews help clarify the quality of the extension post download.
Don’t overlook paid extensions though, some less popular extensions are only so because they charge a fee to download. With this fee there is usually developer support so it is well worth considering if you are not a competent Magento Developer. Some of the most successful Magento Developers charge for their extensions because they have made a business out of planning and coding very useful extensions that require a team of developers, lots of research, lots of man hours and an endless supply of Magento support.
Name: WordPress Integration
Author: Fish pig
Popularity Score: 100,163
Integrating a WordPress blog directly into your Magento store isn’t a simple task for any developer, so an extension that provides a seamless integration was always going to be popular with Magento site owners and Development agencies alike. The extension is packed full of features and is 100% free to use. The extension doesn’t need Magento Core or WordPress file modifications and you can implement your Magento theme into your WordPress blog saving you time on styling.
The extension allows you to integrate your existing WordPress blog and amazingly keep the same URL’s, minimizing risks on SEO.
The extension proudly displays 280 reviews with an average score of 3.9/5.
Name: WebShopApps Matrix Rate
Popularity Score: 59,151
This is one of the original Magento solutions and boy has it stood the test of time! For Magento store owners who require complex shopping options, the extension provides a matrix shipping solution that allows you to define different shipping rates based on a number of variables such as shipping destination, shipping method, weight, price and also quantity.
A helpful feature of this extension is the ability to group postcode delivery charges by pattern or number range to differentiate delivery costs on a granular level. Any site owner who charges different rates based on a number of variables knows the importance of a solid shipping extension that can support a complex shipping matrix and WebShopApps seem to have grasped and understood this better than anyone.
The extension has over 122 Magento connect reviews with an average score of 3.9/5.
Name: Responsive Custom Menu
Author: Web And People
Popularity Score: 18,662
Mobile responsive web design stopped becoming a luxury and started to become a necessity quite a few years ago,so it is not surprising to see a rise in the popularity of Magento mobile extensions.
The Responsive Custom Menu developed by the Web And People team has become extremely popular – and for good reason! The main purpose of the extension is to add a responsiveness nature to your menu, but it packs a whole host of other responsive features such touchscreen support, customisable columns and the ability to display all subcategories at once. If your Magento website isn’t providing responsive functionality for your website menu or it’s customisable features are limited, then this is well worth a download.
Another popular extension within community boasting 113 reviews and an average score of 4.2/5.
Name: Google Analytics+
Popularity Score: 18,662
The default analytics module is good, but the Google Analytics+ extension makes it even better! The sales funnel feature is one the best ways to profile the user journey your site visitors take and helps you isolate areas to improve, focusing on improving conversion rates. You can analyse customer drop off points to see what stage in the sales process the user has abandoned their sale and if you notice customers are dropping off at a certain position, you can analyse this for potential obstacles or journey obstructions.
If you don’t want to venture into website files to implement tracking codes, then this is the extension for you as tracking codes such as the Remarketing Tag can be dropped in through the admin area.
Anyone who is a fan of the standard Analytics will benefit greatly from the features provided by the extension and with 68 reviews and an average score of 3.9/5 it would seem the majority of users agree.
Name: Advanced Reports
Popularity Score: 2,912
Basing business decisions on facts rather than assumptions is key to the growth of any business. Sounds pretty obvious doesn’t it? But you will be surprised to hear that many decisions in the digital world are either made without facts or with very few.
Reporting extensions have long existed in Magento Connect, but nothing quite so advanced as the Advanced Reporting extension released by aHeadWorks. The amount of information that you can extract from the extension is unbelievable!
The user interface is uber friendly and an array of customisable options are available with every report, but where this extension differs from similar ones is in its planning phase. Long before development started on this application, developers formulated a list of popular questions that webmasters were asking of their reporting systems and set about developing an extension that could provide the solutions.
With 22 reviews and an average rating of 4/5 this extension continues to please.
Name: ET IP Security
Author: ET Web Solutions
Popularity Score: 3,515
The security extension by ET Web Solutions provides the administrator with restriction options that can be applied to permissions or overall access.
The benefits of this extension really come into their own when business owners only want their staff to access the website admin area from the workplace. In this scenario the website owner can place an IP access restriction on user logins allowing only for log ins on the workplace IP only.
IP Restrictions are not only restricted to back end access IP blocks can be added to the front end of the website and this task can also be performed in bulk, adding multiple addresses in one go. Whenever the restriction rule is triggered the visitor is redirected to a page in the website whereby you can display a particular message and the website administrator is notified.
Out of 39 reviews this extension boasts a score of 4.3/5 and continues to be the most popular IP extension available in the Magento Connect marketplace.
Name: Doofinder On-Site Search
Popularity Score: 1,737
Every Magento store owner will know the frustrations they suffer with Magento standard search. Don’t get me wrong the Magento search provided by default is much better than a lot of open source search functions, but in order for your users to enjoy a stress free shopping experience there needs to be an efficient method of searching for products and this is where the Doofinder On-Site Search extension provides an excellent solution.
When a visitor searches for keyword associated products are displayed in search window instantly. The search function is dynamic so it reacts instantly to the search word, enter a word and see the results, delete that word and enter a new one and the results instantly change. Doofinders phonetic technology is clever enough to recognise misspelled words and synonyms can be added to search terms easily by the user to provide results for related searches.
The extension is free to download and price plans are available depending on how many search requests are made to the server. Doofiner kindly allows a 1 month free trial so that you can calculate how many search requests you would need and then pick the corresponding plan.
Doofinder may only have 13 reviews, but don’t let this put you off. Every one of them so far is 5/5!
There are many popular Magento extensions available to download, some paid and others free. Verve knows choosing the right extension is a difficult task so we have tried to provide you with a few popular extensions to assist you.
Verve are Magento specialists with a wealth of experience and expertise between our team. If you would like assistance finding and implementing a Magento extension, just give our friendly team a call on 01743 360000 or contact us by email here. If an extension doesn’t exist to provide the right solution we can custom code one just for you!