Magento – CreativeMindshttps://www.cminds.com Thu, 14 Nov 2019 04:41:24 +0000en-UShourly1https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8https://www.cminds.com/wp-content/uploads/Favicon-45x45.pngMagento – CreativeMindshttps://www.cminds.com 32324 Places to Find Magento Developers (and why you should)https://www.cminds.com/4-places-find-magento-developers/ Thu, 24 Oct 2019 02:51:41 +0000https://www.cminds.com/?p=438811To create a top-rate Ecommerce business with Magento, you need to ensure that the visitors to your website have a well-designed, high-performance, experience when browsing and engaging with your products and services. But unless you’re a web developer, getting all the many facets that go into getting a Magento webstore to operate smoothly together won’t [...]

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To create a top-rate Ecommerce business with Magento, you need to ensure that the visitors to your website have a well-designed, high-performance, experience when browsing and engaging with your products and services.

But unless you’re a web developer, getting all the many facets that go into getting a Magento webstore to operate smoothly together won’t be possible, and many of the more complex features that make Magento’s platform so popular are going to be out of reach.

Even with the help of handy Magento extensions, implementing and keeping them updated still takes some notable back-end tweaking.

That’s where Magento developers come into play.

Unless they are willing to take the time and effort to learn some development skills, successful webstore managers are going to want to work with Magento developers. Before we go into some of the best places they can be found, let’s clear up the main reasons why these experts shouldn’t be ignored.

Why Hire a Magento Developer in the First Place?

Image of a hand grabbing a green silhouette from a line, representing the hiring of Magento developers

As powerful and versatile as Magento is as a platform, it’s also a complex platform that requires deep technical knowhow. Not everyone can code and design a website, but hiring a professional Magento developer virtually guarantees that your entire website will operate smoothly.

From the themes and extensions you choose to have implemented, to the custom features and modifications your website needs to best cater to its visitors, Magento developers are experts in making sure all the code involved runs seamlessly to keep your website’s performance at its peak.

But the advantages don’t end there.

1. Save Valuable Time on Website Maintenance and Development

There are a lot of guides on how to navigate the ins-and-outs of Magento, and with time and patience, anyone can learn how to manage their website.

But this requires dozens upon dozens of hours in terms of research, plus the actual work of upkeeping a website.

With a professional, all the complicated coding and compatibility concerns are taken out of your hands, leaving you more time to focus on the bigger picture.

2. An Opportunity for Hands-on Guidance

Image of two silhouettes, one with a watering can head that waters the other, who has a plant for a head

The endless capabilities Magento provides can make the platform seem pretty intimidating, especially for new users.

But working with a Magento developer gives you a prime opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the platform. If you maintain an ongoing relationship with your developer after launch, you’ll also gain easy access to on-demand technical support.

3. Guarantee Enhanced Security

Online threats to webstores plague Magento users every day, but most all of these cases are due to poor security practices.

Lacking user roles, dangerously out-of-date software, and a general lack of good security measures can be detrimental to a website. But good Magento developer can help point out and close-up security vulnerabilities to keep your website safe.

Where to Find a Magento Developer?

Picture of a telescope overlooking a bay

The benefits that a Magento developer is capable of bringing you are only as good as their own personal capabilities.

Because of this, it’s critical to find trustworthy developers from trustworthy places. Even more importantly, you need to be able to inspect whether they can deliver the quality your Magento website need.

That said, here are four of the most popular and reliable places to find a Magento developer.

1. Upwork

Upwork is a premier place to find short-term and long-term freelancers to support your website.

It’s one of the most popular hiring platforms online, provides contract protection for clients and workers, and helps foster connections. It gives clients a list of candidates that fit the bill for your job after submitting a job proposal. Better yet, it’s a popular place for Magento developers to solicit their services, meaning there’s tons to choose between.

Lastly, posting jobs and meeting freelancers through the platform’s basic membership plan requires no charge. But, important to note, that the website does take a notable fee for all work coordinated through its platform. This is especially true for work relationships that are just starting out.

Monthly Magento Store Support Packages
Monthly Magento Support Packages
Magento extensions updates, routine maintenance, Magento version updates, security audit, help desk support, optimization. In addition defined hours of monthly support for consulting, online training, bug fixes, graphic design support, integration and other enhancements and modifications.

2. Freelancer

Speaking of freelancers, Freelancer.com is another common platform where clients and remote workers meet every day. So, to broaden their search and get a larger idea of the variety of Magento developers out there, freelance-seeking website managers may want to search between both platforms.

Like Upwork, this website includes employee verification, escrow, and other protections to ensure that projects go smoothly for everyone involved. Additionally, the many freelancers registered on the platform can be searched through personally, or open jobs can be posted publicly.

Also like Upwork, every arrangement between freelancers and clients involves fees paid by both parties to the website.

3. LinkedIn

One of the longest standing social media platforms around, and themed entirely around hiring employees, LinekdIn houses many Magento developers.

LinkedIn profiles are considered more professional than typical social media pages, and everyone from CEOs to freelancers market themselves there.

However, while searching the website keep in mind that many Magento developers might be listed under more broad job descriptions. Because of this, try seeking and reaching out to profiles that list Magento as a prominent skill of theirs. To be more assured of their capabilities, see whether that skill has been endorsed by others familiar with the platform.

4. Working with Dedicated Developer Websites

Cartoon image of a web developer working at a laptop, with a backsplash of the code he works on

Lastly, a favorite surefire way to find an incredible Magento developer is by searching for dedicated services on developer websites.

A quick search will pull up an endless range of websites that allow you to hire expert developers for all your Magento needs.

Custom Hourly Support Package for Magento
Magento Custom Hourly Support
Purchase any number of hours of support services or a-la-carte service for your Magento store and receive help from a Magento Certified Developer. This can cover extension installations, components adjustments, or module development.

For instance, our own Magento development support services include performance upkeep, extension installations, consulting and available hourly support—plus the option for monthly support packages to make sure your online business always remains in top form. And of course, there are countless other developer websites that can be easily found and perused as well.

Of course, just like when checking for the quality of a freelancer, its important to vet the services you browse. Be sure to check for reviews and stories about the support services offered to previous customers on pages like this.

Magento Extension Installation support
Magento Extension Installation Service
Need help installing our Magento extensions? We can help! Our certified Magento developers will install the extension onto your Magento store.

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Magento Extensions: A Visual Guide to Everything You Want to Know in 2019https://www.cminds.com/magento-extension-visual-guide-to-everything/ Mon, 16 Sep 2019 07:00:59 +0000https://www.cminds.com/?p=425259As the most widely-used dedicated Ecommerce content management system (CMS) in the world, there’s a good chance your webstore will use Magento and rely on its extensions. Use this Magento extension guide to master it. Magento is a powerful feature-packed platform, and one of the most versatile tools available to build websites with. But in [...]

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As the most widely-used dedicated Ecommerce content management system (CMS) in the world, there’s a good chance your webstore will use Magento and rely on its extensions. Use this Magento extension guide to master it.

Magento is a powerful feature-packed platform, and one of the most versatile tools available to build websites with. But in truth, the bulk of the platform’s strengths come down to the endless variety of extensions that Magento supports.

Magento Visual Guide Table of Contents

  1. What is a Magento Extension?
  2. What Should I Look for in an Extension?
  3. Will Extensions Slow my Ecommerce?
  4. How much does an Extension Cost?
  5. Should I Update my Extensions?
  6. Are extensions safe? Why does that matter?

These add-ons bring new features to the front-and-back end of websites, allowing them to perform beyond Magento’s default version limits. Essentially, if you’re using Magento, you’re going to want some extensions that enable your webstore to do what it needs.

However, while Magento extensions are without a doubt the easiest way to improve your webstore functionality, there are a few important things to consider before utilizing them.

From learning how to find cost-efficient first and third-party extensions that are actually suited to your webstore, to understanding how to make sure the extensions you do install don’t end up causing more trouble than they resolve, there are multiple steps required to ensure good extension use which can seem a little intimidating to new Magento users at first.

But there’s no reason to stress, all it takes to effectively use Magento extensions is a little familiarity with them. To that end, here’s a brief Magento extension visual guide guide with everything you need to install and enjoy Magento extensions for yourself.

1. What is a Magento Extension?

Magento Guide Banner_1_What is Extension

As previously mentioned, despite being a viable platform for building Ecommerce websites right out-the-box, Magento’s default version is somewhat restricted.

For instance, many of the most impressive features you commonly see on Ecommerce websites—from the enhanced account and cart navigation you’ll experience on Samsung’s website, to the glossary terms you probably noticed on this very page—are only available through the installation of extensions. Essentially, most (if not all) high-performing webstores who use Magento, like Rite Aid, Ghirardelli, and Coca Cola, depend upon them.

When it comes to finding Magento extensions for yourself, you’ll quickly discover that they’re all over the place. Extensions are made by 1st and 3rd-party developers, and can be found on Magento’s marketplace or by perusing developer websites.

Meaning, a quick Google search will easily bring you to a wide-range of websites that all offer extensions. The trick is finding the ones that are best suited to your webstore’s needs.

2. What Should I Look for in an Extension?

Magento Guide Banner_2_What to look for in an extension

Before diving into a search for extensions to use, take a moment first to determine exactly what you’re needs are.

Perhaps you need a way to enable and manage the activity of sales representatives on your website. Or maybe you need a way to give your customers the option to take advantage of “notify me when back in stock” features. Possibly you want something more broad, like a general desire to boost sales, and are seeking a marketplace extension that could help.

In any case, with the countless options out there online, and more extensions being developed every day, to avoid wasting hours of your time you’ll need to approach your hunt with a focused objective in mind.

This will let you guide your extension search using key-terms in your browser that are relevant to your direct needs. That way, you’ll be immediately presented with relevant options to consider and avoid distractions that come with random list scrolling.

Notify Me When Back in Stock Mailchimp Integration for Magento 2
M2 Notify Me When Back in Stock
Have your customers subscribe to receive an email notification when an out of stock product is back in stock. Displays a personalized front-end form on the product page.
[ Video]  [ Userguide]

After finding a few viable results, its time to compare. At this point, you’ll want to check which extension candidates meet all your criteria while providing a high-quality of service.

This is because there are tons of extensions out there, with many of them advertising the same features and benefits. But depending on the skill and attentiveness of their developers, massive quality differences can exist between any two like examples.

To check whether an extension is reliable or not, look over the user reviews on its store page, see if it maintains frequent updates or is neglected, and ensure that good documentation is provided by the developer. Additionally, its important to check whether an extension’s developer offers ongoing support to their users. Otherwise, you may find yourself facing a critical roadblock in website functionality that you don’t have the knowhow to solve.

3. Will Extensions Slow my Ecommerce?

Magento Guide Banner_3_Extensions Slow Down

Extensions can slow down the performance of your Ecommerce website, but they don’t have to. This is an important topic in this Magento extensions guide.

If your website’s code is organized smoothly, and your extensions don’t overlap negatively, you’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits of their enhanced functionality without any drawbacks. But sloppily coded extensions, or installation conflicts, can cause an unintended overload of resource usage that slows down your performance. It’s possible for these compatibility errors to occur between new and old extensions, as well as with Magento’s core files and the theme you chose for your store.

This is one of the main reasons why its so important to ensure you’re using quality extensions from reliable developers. It’s also why many store managers choose to run new extension installations on a test site to guarantee compatibility first.

4. How much does an Extension Cost?

Magento Guide Banner_4_How much extension costs

While there are some free extension versions and trials of available, if you want to get any real value out of them for long-term use, you’re more than likely going to need to make purchases.

The price range between extensions are varied, but most options fall somewhere between $50 and a few hundred dollars. Additionally, aside from the extension itself, users still need to consider the potential costs for support, installation, and update services.

However, when looking around, you’ll find some developers will take all these added factors into account with their initial pricing. For instance, taking a look at our own Magento extension store page: All purchases come with free 12-month support, life-time use, constant updates, and the choice to pay for assisted installation services.

5. Should I Update my Extensions?

Magento Guide Banner_5_Should I update extension

Absolutely, you should. This final point is possibly the easiest to overlook, but if neglected, can bring catastrophic results.

Critical security vulnerabilities can come from anything that connects to your website, which includes poorly developed themes and outdated extensions. So, just like ensuring your webstore is current to Magento’s latest version, your extensions must be up-to-date as well.

The developers of quality extensions will release frequent updates which you can find on their store page. Moreover, it’s also a good idea to check an extension’s Question & Answer section after updates to see if all new features and fixes are working as intended, or if there’s something you else still need to keep an eye out for.

6. Are extensions safe? Why does that matter?

Magento Guide Banner_6_Are extensions safe

Like any online software, unsafe extension use can lead to website security vulnerabilities that cause sensitive data to be compromised. Even worse, a website could be completely tampered with by whoever gains access, resulting in expensive repairs and losses.

But by adhering to basic web safety methods and staying on top of incoming updates, these issues are largely avoidable.

Interestingly enough, the overwhelming majority of online security breaches originate from neglecting out-of-date software and maintaining poor password practices. Meaning, mindful behavior is the best preventative against malicious attacks.

For instance, Magento releases core security patches constantly to close any holes found in its systems—and to stay safe it’s imperative users update to these newer versions immediately. This is because security update patch notes tell hackers exactly how they can exploit out-of-date websites to breach their systems.

Admittedly, even when all the right safety steps are followed there is always still a slight possibility of a breach occurring. No online system is impenetrable, so theoretically, dedicated hackers could still find a way into your website. But for most Ecommerce businesses, maintaining good security practices and ensuring vulnerabilities aren’t overlooked as they arise will be more than enough to keep them safe.

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How to Power Up Magento 2 Marketplace With Moduleshttps://www.cminds.com/power-magento-2-marketplace-modules/ Tue, 27 Aug 2019 11:48:55 +0000https://www.cminds.com/?p=421972The Magento Marketplace Multi Vendor Extension by CreativeMinds transforms your B2B or B2C online store into a thriving Ecommerce. But it can go even beyond with the right Magento 2 Marketplace modules! Automatically send PayPal payments, charge vendors for selling on your store, allow multiple suppliers to sell the same product, manage return requests… and [...]

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The Magento Marketplace Multi Vendor Extension by CreativeMinds transforms your B2B or B2C online store into a thriving Ecommerce. But it can go even beyond with the right Magento 2 Marketplace modules!

Automatically send PayPal payments, charge vendors for selling on your store, allow multiple suppliers to sell the same product, manage return requests… and much more with modules.

Magento 2 Marketplace modules can add that extra edge you might need to crush competition.

Check below all the ways you can power up the Magento 2 Marketplace extension.

1) M2 Marketplace PayPal Vendor Payments

Let the admin and managers transfer funds to the vendors by using the PayPal Integration module. The vendors will receive admin payments after associating their PayPal emails with their supplier accounts.

Using the PayPal Marketplace Multi-Vendor Module

  • Process small transaction automatically
  • Send payments to vendors through PayPal anywhere in the world
  • Build vendors loyalty through a quick and easy payment process
  • Reduce many of the risks in your current payment system such as fraud by automating vendors payments
Marketplace PayPal Vendor Payments for Magento 2
M2 Marketplace PayPal Vendor Payments
This module lets store managers quickly transfer money to marketplace vendors directly via PayPal. Manage and track all payments in one place.
[ Video]  [ Userguide]

2) M2 Marketplace Vendor Subscription

Create different subscription plans to your vendors, restricting how many products they can upload every month.

Vendor Subscription Marketplace Multi-Vendor Module Use Cases

  • Create Different Plans – Add any number of subscription plans and turn the vendors into your loyal customers.
  • Improve Store Quality – Get full control over defining the number of products and product images the vendors can add within a certain subscription plan.
  • Adapt – At any time, configure subscription plans to find the best combinations of the price a vendor pays and the features he gets. Let vendors move to another plan with no investment loss.
Marketplace Vendor Subscription Extension for Magento 2
M2 Marketplace Vendor Subscription
Create different subscription plans for vendors, restricting how many products a vendor can create before payment. The vendor must pay to activate their subscription.
[ Video]  [ Userguide]

3) M2 Marketplace RMA

Easily handle RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization) requests on your Magento stores. RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization) requests are often time-consuming and costly to manage. The Marketplace RMA module is designed to streamline requests, ease support and improve customer satisfaction.

The RMA module works in three easy steps:

  • Configure RMA statuses, types and reasons
  • Let customers send RMA requests
  • Handle RMA requests via admin panel or give permissions to vendors
Product Return RMA Extension for Magento 2
M2 Marketplace RMA
Allow admin and vendors to manage return requests for products. Create status such as 'possible fraud' or 'broken good' to streamline your RMA system
[ Userguide]

4) M2 Marketplace Questions and Answers

Let customers submit product questions, and store admins or suppliers answer them! Visitors will trust more your brand if they perceive it as engaged and informative.

Vendor Questions and Answers Module Admin Options

  • Answer Questions – Easy backend option of replying to customers
  • Questions Limiting – Prevent overload of information, and display only the important questions
  • Hiding Q&A – Simple on / off switch to hide or display Q&A form
  • Delete Questions – Trash a question if it is not suitable for the product
Marketplace Questions and Answers Addon for Magento 2
M2 Marketplace Questions and Answers
Let customers ask vendors questions about their products from the product page. Both admin and vendor can answer the customer privately or publicly. All questions and answers can be managed from the admin panel.
[ Video]  [ Userguide]

5) M2 Marketplace Multiple Vendors Per Product

Allow different vendors to list the same product with different price and description. The customer sees a table with all options and can add them to the cart directly from the product page.

The Marketplace Multiple Vendors Per Product Module works in two easy steps:

  • The admin creates the main product
  • The suppliers create variations with individual prices, description and quantity
Multiple Vendor Products Addon for Magento 2
M2 Marketplace Multiple Vendors Per Product
Allow different vendors to list the same product with different price and description. The customer sees a table with all options and can the product to the cart directly from the product page.
[ Video]  [ Userguide]

6) M2 Marketplace Inventory Updater

Update the inventory automatically! The Marketplace Inventory Updater Module fetches a spreadsheet daily to update the quantity, stock status or price of the products that are available in the store.

Marketplace Inventory Updater Module Detailed Features

  • CSV Synchronization – Bulletproof inventory updating via CSV file to your Magento Store.
  • Configuration Options – Modify the delimiter, columns, product attribute, quantity and options for products that are not in the feed.
  • Vendor / Admin Configuration – Both the vendor and the admin have the ability to configure automatic inventory updating options.
  • Easy Setup – Fill a few required fields and the sync can begin.
Inventory Updater AddOn for Marketplace Magento 2
M2 Marketplace Inventory Updater
Allow vendors to update their inventory automatically every day. They simply point the module to a CSV file. Saves precious time spent with manual updates.
[ Userguide]

7) M2 Marketplace Dropship Notification

The Marketplace Dropship Notification module allows the admin to send e-mails to the suppliers notifying that their orders are ready to be dropshipped.

Marketplace Dropship Notification Module Detailed Features

  • Supplier Notification – Automatically notify the vendors about dropshipping.
  • Email Template Choose the default one, or create your own that matches the store design.
  • Rich Email – Display all relevant data such as shipping info, item names, SKU, quantity, price, date, order number and shipping method.
  • Item Status – The admin dashboard shows pending orders and the ones that were successfully dropshipped.
Dropship Notification  AddOn for Marketplace Magento 2
M2 Marketplace Dropship Notification
Automatically notify vendors they have to send products to their customer once the order is completed. Use the default email template or create your own to match your eCommerce's style.
[ Video]  [ Userguide]

8) M2 Supplier Redirection

Add a SEO-Friendly URL for each supplier profile page in your Magento Marketplace by using the Supplier Redirection Module. Turn an ugly default generated Magento Supplier URL into branded store links.

Marketplace Dropship Notification Module Detailed Features

  • URL Branding – Brand your vendor store with a recognizable URL.
  • Automatic Redirection – Only the last redirect applies.
  • SEO-Friendly – URL with keywords can boost search engine ranking.
  • Vendor / Admin Configuration – Both can configure the supplier URL.
Supplier Redirection addon for Marketplace M2
M2 Supplier Redirection
Let vendors choose a SEO-Friendly URL for their profile pages, making them easier to find by people and search engines. Better URLs mean better raking in Google
[ Video]  [ Userguide]

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What Makes a Great Magento Support Service (and How to Find One)https://www.cminds.com/find-great-magento-support-service/ Wed, 31 Jul 2019 08:00:30 +0000https://www.cminds.com/?p=413700Magento is the most popular, and powerful, dedicated Ecommerce platform for online users to create their own webstores with. But despite Magento’s easy-to-use interface and comprehensive website building features, every online business will need a little help from time to time. Whether it’s due to compatibility issues from extensions and updates, or the implementation of [...]

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Magento is the most popular, and powerful, dedicated Ecommerce platform for online users to create their own webstores with.

But despite Magento’s easy-to-use interface and comprehensive website building features, every online business will need a little help from time to time. Whether it’s due to compatibility issues from extensions and updates, or the implementation of new features, hiccups will happen.

Not to mention the general maintenance that’s required to keep a webstore current, high-performing, and relevant alongside its competitors.

When these technical moments come, a well-established relationship with a Magento support team makes all the difference in the world.

Of course, there’s many companies out there offering such services, and not all of them are of the highest quality. Meaning, it’s critical that users take their time to carefully find a Magento support partner who meets all their needs. Otherwise, there’s a good chance that a lot of time, money, and effort will end up going down the drain.

With all that in mind, here’s a quick guide on what makes great Magento support, and where users can reliably find it for themselves.

Custom Hourly Support Package for Magento
Magento Custom Hourly Support
Purchase any number of hours of support services or a-la-carte service for your Magento store and receive help from a Magento Certified Developer. This can cover extension installations, components adjustments, or module development.

5 Requirements for Great Magento Support

Image of two hands joined together, representing a relationship with a Magento support team

When beginning to browse for a long-term Magento support team, there are a few key things to look out for. We’ll go into a list of what those are momentarily, but first, let’s talk about where to start searching.

Magento doesn’t actually offer customers hands-on website support themselves, meaning users will need to find a third-party Magento support team instead. While we’d love to just talk about our own third-party Magento support services here, a brief Google search will also provide a list of viable options.

However, telling the difference between quality support providers, and less-than-quality providers, does take some careful research. Here’s five tips to keep in mind for when you’re looking around:

1. A Support Team Focused on Magento

Image of a book through the lenses of reading glasses
For starters, it’s a good idea to ensure that the company you choose is focused specifically around working with Magento.

Magento is easy to use, but designed complexly enough to require an intimate understanding of the platform to modify it. So, while there are some development agencies out there that offer support for everything, they are almost always lacking.

Ensuring you hire Magento experts is the best way to guarantee competence from your support, and satisfaction with your website.

2. Able to Demonstrate their Expertise (Magento Certified Developers)

Image of a blackboard with the words "Goal", "Plan", and "Success" written in chalk

Adding to the point above, any company can simply put a sentence on their website saying they know Magento’s ins-and-outs. However, only a Magento certified developer will be able to prove their expertise with a badge issued by the platform.

This badge is a quick way to see if a support team is officially qualified to work with Magento. But at the same time, certification isn’t a hard-set requirement, and there are many excellent uncertified Magento developers out there.

Basically, a Magento certification badge is a good way to see if a support team knows their stuff to quickly find candidates. But those without certification aren’t necessarily ones you should dismiss, and still have the potential to be your perfect fit.

3. Offers Transparent Pricing Structures

Image of a frozen bubble sitting transparently in the daylight
Nobody likes hidden costs, and any support team that depends on them is probably not too friendly toward their customers.

In order to maintain an effective business relationship, both website owners and their Magento support teams need to be on the same page.

This means detailing straightforward costs for website work, and all specific tasks, before any of the labor has a chance to start. Of course, due to the nature of some website upkeep, cost approximations might be necessary on occasion. What matters most here is that both parties maintain clear-communication, and respect, for the other.

The best way to discover how well a Magento support service does this is to locate their pricing pages and reviews. From these, a general idea of support service costs, and how well they work with previous customers, can be determined.

4. Provides Support Models that Match your Business

Every online business is unique, and all operate at their best when working under schedules specifically catered to their operations.

With that said, flexible options between support models is a must for any great Magento support provider. Whether your webstore requires monthly, weekly, or even daily attention, the availability of your support team must match your needs.

5. Are Accessible when Needed

Image of a key opening an abstract lock, representing the accessibility of Magento support teams

While it is unrealistic to expect 24/7 access to a support team that intimately knows your business, if something goes wrong with your website, there needs to be a way to get a quick response.

This last point might seem like a no-brainer, there’s a lot of hard-to-reach support services out there. And after all, what’s the point of paying for a support team when they aren’t around when you need them?

So, whether they are reachable through live chat, by submitting a support ticket, or emailing them directly, ensure the Magento support team you choose offers easy means to get in contact. Additionally, learn what response times you should be able to expect from them in return.

Note: A lot of Magento services and extensions come with complementary support emails and tickets too, so keep an eye out.

CreativeMinds Magento Support Team Services

Monthly Magento Store Support Packages
Monthly Magento Support Packages
Magento extensions updates, routine maintenance, Magento version updates, security audit, help desk support, optimization. In addition defined hours of monthly support for consulting, online training, bug fixes, graphic design support, integration and other enhancements and modifications.

Our in-house team of developers have created a range of extensions, and provide ongoing support services, for everything Magento.

We support all versions of the platform, offering assistance as users need it to keep their websites up-to-date.

From website consultations and performance services, to custom hourly support and extension installations, our certified Magento experts are standing by. If you need help with Search-Engine Optimization, we’ve got you covered there too.

Consulting Hourly Support for Magento
Magento Consulting
Purchase any number of hours of consulting or planning services and receive help from a Magento Certified Expert. This can cover designing a solution, code review, migration questions and more.

But, after talking about everything above, you should see that these above claims aren’t enough to demonstrate any real value. Instead, feel free to reach out and get to know our services personally, or browse around with the above tips in mind until you find a Magento support team that’s perfect for you!

Hire Us Inquiry

  • You can send your request also by email to hireus@cminds.com.

    One-On-One Appointment: In case you want to set a meeting with one of our representatives use this booking system to set up an appointment
 

 

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Creating My First Magento Marketplace in 2019: Magento Tutorialhttps://www.cminds.com/how-create-magento-marketplace-tutorial/ Thu, 18 Jul 2019 07:00:51 +0000https://www.cminds.com/?p=408072Online marketplaces are becoming more profitable every year, and Magento is the best Ecommerce platform around for creating one of your own. Longtime websites such as eBay and Amazon, and more recent markets like Airbnb, are proving the value behind this industry. For some numbers on online marketplace performances, in 2016 they racked in over [...]

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Online marketplaces are becoming more profitable every year, and Magento is the best Ecommerce platform around for creating one of your own.

Longtime websites such as eBay and Amazon, and more recent markets like Airbnb, are proving the value behind this industry.

For some numbers on online marketplace performances, in 2016 they racked in over $1 trillion in total revenue. That number is expected to grow four-times in size by 2020, meaning over $4 trillion in sales across Ecommerce marketplaces.

Naturally, such lucrative opportunities have created a lot of curiosity about what it takes to create a Magento marketplace. The curiosity is well placed too. If you have an effective idea in mind, then building an online marketplace is a viable way to conduct business — all it takes is taking the right steps.

To that end, here’s our brief guide on creating a new Magento marketplace with educational resources containing everything you need.

What is Magento and Why is it Good for Ecommerce Marketplaces?

Image of Magento's website logo

First things first, Magento is the preferred choice for building an Ecommerce marketplace due to its user-friendly performance, high customization options, and powerful features that enable virtually endless selling possibilities.

Studies show Magento is the most popularly used Ecommerce platform in the world, hosting websites for more than 250,000 merchants. Additionally, the platform is supported by over 150,000 trained web developers, and maintains a helpful and responsive community of users.

While it’s true there are other effective ways to create effective Ecommerce websites, such as WordPress’ WooCommerce, Magento is uniquely designed with the tools to create a high-performing online marketplace—making it one of the easiest and most cost-effective methods around.

To install Magento’s current version, find the download at this link and follow the “How to Get Started” instructions there.

For more information on using Magento for the first time, check out our comprehensive Magento guide for beginners here.

Installing Marketplace Extensions

Image of an online marketplace to represent a Magento marketplace
Perhaps the greatest feature Magento provides is its compatibility with third-party developer software that extend the features of the platform. Technically, this implies someone with the knowhow could program their own Magento extensions, though for most this won’t be the case.

Instead, those users are be able to find in-house and third-party extensions on Magento’s website, and from other developers. Many Magento extensions are free, but those capable of empowering an effective online marketplace tend to require payment.

But keep in mind, finding which extensions will best meet the needs of your online marketplace takes some good research. These extensions consist of the code that will power your Magento marketplaces’ key functions, so it’s important they’re carefully selected.

For more thorough information on how to find great and reliable extensions, check out our guide on the topic here.

3 Crucial Parts of Building an Effective Online Marketplace

Graphic of the number 3, made to look shiny and chrome
While there are many components of an effective online marketplace, the following are three key areas that make or break a business.

1. Setting up a Lucrative Online Marketplace

Advanced Permissions for Magento 2
M2 Advanced Permissions
Easily manage multi-vendor stores by assigning custom role permissions to specific managers. Let them see and edit only particular products, categories, store views and websites.
[ Video]  [ Userguide]

Establishing your online marketplace isn’t easy, but with the right idea and resources, it’s something any determined entrepreneur can do. A marketplace’s creation takes a few steps, and we’ve detailed them thoroughly for you in this short guide here.

But for a quick run-down, creating an effective online selling environment for vendors to sell, and consumers to browse, requires:

A well-planned marketplace model that demonstrates actual value

A great Ecommerce platform and powerful tools (which we’ve touched on above)

Ensuring a speedy and effective online environment for selling and buying

Officially launching your marketplace and ensuring it continues to grow

But, even after all the components come together and your marketplace goes live, the job won’t be close to finished. Maintaining a successful Magento marketplace requires thorough monitoring across the board, and diligent action to keep its online performance competitive.

Meaning, building an online marketplace requires a commitment to its health throughout the entire lifespan of its operation—not a simple task. However, with this industry’s exponentially increasing value, the lasting efforts of online marketplace creators have the potential for incredible returns.

2. Creating a Diverse Vendor Base

Marketplace Multi-Vendor Manager Extension for Magento 2 with Frontend
M2 Marketplace Multi-Vendor Manager
Turn your online store into a Multi-vendor Marketplace with multiple supplier accounts that can create, update, track and manage products, orders and shipments, while maintaining exclusive admin capabilities.
[ Video]  [ Userguide]

When you look around an online marketplace, like Amazon, you’ll notice that many different sellers are utilizing the platform.

Likewise, for your Magento marketplace to succeed, you’ll need to build a vendor base that offers shoppers products to browse. This process also requires a few steps which we have conveniently detailed for you here, but here’s an overview.

Provide options for suppliers to easily manage their products, access product descriptions, images, and more from their website’s front-end.

Establish selling fees for vendors using your platform, whether through a fixed global rate or a business-to-business basis.

Allow vendors to effortlessly manage customer and shipping orders to save time, reduce costs, and keep frustration at a minimum.

Making your Magento marketplace enticing for vendors to use takes some time and care, but every little convenience helps overall. Just think of the online services you use yourself, and the reasons why you choose it over the many similar ones that are undoubtedly out there. By approaching your own store from a user’s perspective like this, you’ll be able to find ample areas for improvement.

After all, in order to thrive as an online marketplace, it must attractively cater to both sellers and shoppers alike.

3. Nurturing a Community

FaceBook Direct Campaign Publishing Extension  for Magento 2
M2 Facebook Direct Publishing
The Facebook Direct Campaign Publishing allows you to promote products directly on your company's Facebook Page. Each promotion is automatically tracked, giving you quick access to sales numbers, profit, conversion rate, and more useful data.
[ Userguide]

After your Magento marketplace goes up, and you’ve attracted some vendors to sell their wares, it’s time for community building.

To keep your website’s economy active and customers happy, a strong community is necessary—both on and offline. We’re covering the main points now, but click here for our full guide on building a Magento marketplace community.

Elevate brand awareness by creating a distinct tone-of-voice and personalizing your marketing channels, from e-mail to social media, to the content of your Magento marketplace itself.

Advertise the unique advantages of your online marketplace, it’s niche, and how it sets itself apart from competitors.

Make the most of social media to amplify marketplace awareness and draw in a higher volume of potential customers.

Offer additional value in the form of informative blogs, engaging discussions, featured stores and stories, and other points of relative interest. Allowing your community to contribute to this content through comments and forums is another great way to drive their engagement.

When your community begins to gather steam, and conversations start forming, stay on the lookout and study their behavior. By tracking the data of what works and what doesn’t, you can amplify your marketplace outreach and intensify its performance.

Always pay attention and use your website’s data to continue enhancing marketplace content, functions, and community engagement for best results. Simply enough, by staying alert and following trends within your website and its industry, your marketplace will naturally thrive all the more.

The post Creating My First Magento Marketplace in 2019: Magento Tutorial appeared first on CreativeMinds.

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4 Surefire Ways to Improve your Ecommerce Product Pages in 2019https://www.cminds.com/4-ways-improve-ecommerce-product-pages/ Thu, 27 Jun 2019 07:00:15 +0000https://www.cminds.com/?p=400859When operating a webstore on Magento, or any other online platform, Ecommerce product pages are what influence customers the most. In fact, those who find product pages first when browsing webstores end up making purchases around 8% of the time. Since the global Ecommerce conversion rate is somewhere between 2-3% right now, that means people [...]

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When operating a webstore on Magento, or any other online platform, Ecommerce product pages are what influence customers the most.

In fact, those who find product pages first when browsing webstores end up making purchases around 8% of the time. Since the global Ecommerce conversion rate is somewhere between 2-3% right now, that means people who come across a business’ other pages first are about three times less likely to take any action.

8% might not sound like a lot, but when you consider that only 45% of people tend to spend more than 15 seconds on a webpage—that figure becomes all the more impressive. It also highlights the importance of optimizing your product pages to perform as high as they can for your business.

This means going beyond just writing product descriptions; and employing all the tools at your disposal to best influence customers.

1. Use Engaging Visuals

Image of a close-up on a woman's eye

It’s no big secret that appealing visuals are a great way to entice the eye and get people excited. After all, a product picture tells customers more about what it is—and whether they might like it—faster than a paragraph of description.

Images and videos that represent your products effectively will make a huge difference on how your product pages come across. Moreover, attractively designed visuals will also elevate your brand’s image over all your competitors who don’t go the extra mile.

In truth, engaging visuals should be the forefront of your product page’s presentation. With that in mind, here’s a few rules of thumb that’ll make them even more efficient:

Remember Videos are more Effective than Images

Though they require time, effort, and money to produce, business should never neglect the power videos have on internet shoppers.

Websites who implement videos into their Ecommerce product pages attract three times more traffic than those who don’t. They also tend to keep visitors on pages twice as long.

Plus, by now, mobile browsers access video content just as much as desktop users, meaning virtually everyone online appreciates it. Videos are simply the fastest way to express what your product’s about, and provide opportunities to creatively connect with audiences.

Use Empty Space Thoughtfully

Cluttered websites become ugly websites, and harder to navigate. But the intentional use of whitespace is a great way to spruce up your design and focus your customer’s attention.

By keeping the area around your images empty and letting your pictures, videos, and paragraphs of description stand boldly on the page, their impact will be all the greater.

Provide High-Definition Visuals

The standard of quality for Ecommerce product pages demands crisp and clear images of any goods offered.

Customers expect to see an accurate and detailed representation of a product when shopping around. That means it’s essential you provide them with high-quality images that represent the best of what you have.

For added effectiveness, it helps to include zoom features that let potential buyers inspect close-ups of the items they’re considering.

2. Let your Customers Represent your Products

Image of three customer review statuses with a checkmark in the smiling green face, representing customer representation for Ecommerce product pages

One part of Ecommerce product pages that customers rely on most are the product reviews, ratings, and any customer testimonials. In fact, customers are over 58% more likely to make a purchase when reviews are available.

So, to showcase how your product brings satisfaction to buyers, use whatever social proof you have to assure your visitors. Something as simple as providing a space on your pages for 1-out-of-five ratings with written reviews is more than enough.

But be warned, if you’re tempted to fabricate positive reviews to bolster this area of your Ecommerce product pages, you’ll likely do more harm than good. Most people who shop online are savvy to unusual internet behavior and sleazy tactics, and an inexplicable amount of 5-star reviews will send up more red flags than anything else.

3. Provide Answers to Likely Questions

It’s no secret that customers want to know as much as they can from the Ecommerce product pages they visit. So, by giving them easy access to all the information they frequently need, you’ll be one step closer to securing their business.

Product Page Q&A

There’s nothing more frustrating for internet shoppers than finding a product they want to buy, but not being able to get the necessary information they need to confirm their purchasing decision.

Therefore, including Q&A sections on your product pages with all the questions customers asked about them goes a long way. Not only will this save your business time by preemptively providing answers to common customer questions, it’ll increase sales too.

Note: Q&A sections aren’t a default feature for Magento, but are available through the installation of Magento extensions. For an extension that allows customers to browse and ask questions directly on your product pages, look here.

Product Questions for Magento 2
M2 Product Questions
Let your customers ask questions directly on the product page. The store admin can approve, edit and answer each of them.
[ Video]  [ Userguide]

FAQ Page

Image of a lightbulb on a chalkboard with empty spots for questions

For customers wanting to know more than what’s displayed on your Ecommerce product page alone, include a FAQ page link.

All Ecommerce websites should have an FAQ page that answers typical queries, like shipping fees, refund policies, and the like. To make your customer’s purchasing journey as convenient as possible, make sure your FAQ links are on all product pages.

Note: If your Magento website doesn’t have an FAQ set up yet, adding one is easy through Magento’s extensions. You can find ample FAQ extensions online, or feel free to check out the FAQ extension we offer here.

Fancy FAQ for Magento 1
M2 Fancy FAQ
Fancy FAQ extension for Magento 2 creates a beautiful responsive FAQ page. Your customers can easily search FAQs. Admin can create categories and add question and answer per each.
[ Video]  [ Userguide]

4. Cross-Sell with Relative Product Suggestions

Image of a shopping cart on a keyboard, representing cross-selling on Ecommerce product pages

While customers add items to their cart from your website, some well-placed product recommendations are a good way to encourage larger order sizes.

Such suggestions conveniently let your customers move from one product that interests them directly to the next. Plus, when your website points out products that pair well with the items customers buy, they’ll likely appreciate the heads-up.

This makes relevant on-page product suggestions a great way to naturally increase the average order value for your webstore.

Note: For those looking for a way to embed recommendations into their Ecommerce product pages, see our Related Products extension here.

Automatic Related Products for Magento 2
M2 Automatic Related Products
Create the lists of related products, upsells and cross-sells automatically, and place special blocks with products anywhere on your website.
[ Video]  [ Userguide]

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We Have Over 200 WordPress and Magento Products. Is That Too Much?https://www.cminds.com/200-wordpress-magento-products-much/ Thu, 30 May 2019 07:00:16 +0000https://www.cminds.com/?p=391098What’s the best way to sell WordPress plugins and Magento extensions? How to balance service quality with profitability? Where to focus our time? Are our customers happy? As a provider of products for both platforms, these are some questions that haunt us from dusk to dawn. A recent move by WPMU DEV inspired us at [...]

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What’s the best way to sell WordPress plugins and Magento extensions? How to balance service quality with profitability? Where to focus our time? Are our customers happy? As a provider of products for both platforms, these are some questions that haunt us from dusk to dawn.

A recent move by WPMU DEV inspired us at CreativeMinds to reflect intensely about these topics.

WPMU DEV’s Shift

Their decision is huge – they’ve retired the overwhelming majority of their WP products, choosing instead to focus on a few core plugins (they went from around 100 plugins to less than 10).

Everything is explained in detail in their thoughtful, yet heartfelt article This Is Gonna Be Emotional, We're Setting over 90% of Our Premium Plugins Free!”. It’s been gathering quite a bit of attention and we hope the transition is smooth.

This change made us reflect for a variety of reasons. For one, they operate on the WordPress market, like us, so every shift is interesting by default. Some of our products even have similar features.

Also, they were one of the few companies that, like us, boast a huge portfolio of products. Most players choose to focus on a core, single-digit group of plugins or extensions instead.

Finally, they face the same challenges as we. If I may paraphrase Ben Parker, Spiderman’s uncle, “with a great portfolio comes great responsibility”.

What About CreativeMinds?

CreativeMinds

CreativeMinds

So, naturally, that got us thinking. Maybe we should study doing something similar?

We have over 200 products between WordPress plugins and add-ons, as well as Magento extension and their modules.

If you ask “Can I do x with a CreativeMinds product?”, chances are the answer is “yes” – or, at least, “partially, but we can consider this with some additional customization”.

At the same time, the sheer number can be overwhelming. We can’t even expect our pre-sales chat team to remember all names on the spot, let alone features – that would require photographic memory!

So, organizing information is essential. For that we have individual product pages and documentation guides – over 100 for WordPress alone, most with at least 5 articles on specific topics. Also, videos, blog posts, newsletters… You get the gist.

Programming banner

Perpetual Development

But that’s not all – far from it.

Most products are breathing with all sorts of updates, such as fixes, security patches, added features and new integrations. Between February and April, we had 232 releases across WordPress – that’s a whopping average of 2.6 updates a day!

Ideas come from every corner – user requests, technology improvement, our own insights. We encourage our developers to work on and improve specific products so that they take ownership. If it would be possible to feel cozy while improving a plugin, that would be our goal!

Such flow benefits from code that is easy to maintain and update, something we strive for. We also have a core code that runs on all products so that updating is as straightforward as possible.

Support banner horizontal blog

Supporting the Support Team

Let’s not forget that premium plugins and extensions come with support tickets of all shapes and sizes – from simple “How do I add a post” to complex requests involving API integration, theme conflicts and specific use cases.

All in all, our teams process an average of 70 tickets a day, which has to be done both strategically and with care. After all, you can automate only so much when dealing with humans.

We employ multiple teams with two support tiers, which ensured a 78% “great” and 10% “ok” score during that three-month period. These are quite nice stats, but not nearly good enough, and we are working on improvements.

Last, but not least, we have frequent newcomers as well – in the same three months, we launched five WordPress and four Magento products. Before May is over, we’ll have more.

That means our developers always have their hands full with work. Managing that is a challenge in itself.

To Trim or not to Trim?

Scissors art blog

So, all things considered, how to move forward?

Cutting down 200 items to a handful would undoubtedly ease the workload of our entire staff. Less updates (critical or not), less time spent with tickets, less workload.

We thought about that, and we still do. And we concluded that the key is in the word “workload”.

You can think “workload” as a burden or as a necessary component of delivering a rich variety of products to the customers. And our bet is in the latter.

Notice: We are Not All-Seeing

Important remark: we don’t mean to imply WPMU DEV made a bad decision.

Despite the similarities, our businesses have core differences.

They provide hosting and courses, while we focus on products, customization and SEO services; they are 100% WordPress, and we also deal with Magento and eCommerce; they offer a subscription model, we favor one-time purchases.

There’s just no proper comparison.

So, Retirement is Never an Option?

Top-Popup-Banner-WordPress-Plugins-and-How-to-Use-Them- (1) blog banner

As mentioned, we thought about this and we still do. We can’t commit to never retire a product and we have already retired a few that didn’t have too many users.

Reasons to retire are related mostly to low user base or a technology that’s deprecated. That can, in some degree, motivate us to gently let go of one our creations.

But switching the focus to a handful of WordPress and Magento extensions – that’s not on our horizon. We think the variety in our case wins!

Conclusion

Here at CreativeMinds we choose to have a sprawling portfolio of products. This does mean some will be stronger than others and that we spend a good amount of our time with the smaller ones.

But that’s ok.

If it means our plentiful solutions help users solve problems big and small, then we are confident it’s worth it.

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4 Big Benefits of an Ecommerce Store Credit Line (and how to start one)https://www.cminds.com/4-big-benefits-ecommerce-store-credit-line-start-one/ Tue, 28 May 2019 07:30:30 +0000https://www.cminds.com/?p=390190Giving Ecommerce customers a store credit line allows them to buy items from webstores and pay the remaining balance later. This might sound like an extraneous feature to provide, but establishing lines of credit for your customers drives notable results. For instance, credit lines tend to encourage larger size orders of higher priced items, and [...]

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Giving Ecommerce customers a store credit line allows them to buy items from webstores and pay the remaining balance later.

This might sound like an extraneous feature to provide, but establishing lines of credit for your customers drives notable results. For instance, credit lines tend to encourage larger size orders of higher priced items, and stimulate more repeat business.

Plus, when it comes to business-to-business (B2B) Ecommerce stores, credit lines are often expected. Many B2B customers need the ability to purchase goods on a credit line before managing their finances at scheduled times.

This naturally means many Magento merchants need to find a way to supply a line of credit to their customers. But thankfully, with Magento extensions that’s not very difficult to do.

With that said, here’s the benefits of Ecommerce store credit lines, and how to establish one in your Magento store.

Benefits of establishing an Ecommerce Store Credit Line

Image of three plants growing from stacks of coins beside an alarm clock

Looking a couple decades back, before the conveniences of the modern digital age, B2B operations played out much differently (and slowly).

Company buyers weren’t purchasing their supply from websites, but rather making phone calls and holding in-person meetings over product catalogues. But since then the availability of Ecommerce has massively simplified those processes—and most people are pretty happy about that.

According to research from Forrester, 74% of B2B buyers find websites to be more convenient than anything else. However, with the cutting-edge tools available to nurture leads and transfer bulk amounts of vital data, that’s no surprise. What’s more interesting is how 59% of those same buyers would rather not engage with a sales representative at all.

Basically, the streamlined conveniences that B2B Ecommerce offers is a major reason why customers appreciate it. By providing the additional convenience of store credit line, not only will you elevate your webstore above any competitors who don’t, you’ll make your customer’s purchasing experience that much more enjoyable.

Consider checking: eCom Elites Dropship Course Reviews.

1. Provide Customers with Purchasing Flexibility

Image of two laptops facing each other with hands coming out from each screen, one holding a bag and the other cash

When B2B customers consider their finances, purchasing decisions are often hesitated by the funds they are also allocating everywhere else.

From investing in startup capital for new projects, to paying for contractor salaries and general maintenance, when managing all their costs there are frequently circumstances where an Ecommerce store credit line is appreciated.

Even if used infrequently, offering a credit line still provides customers additional peace of mind that creditable funds are available to them as a customer of your website.

2. Supply Businesses with Better Cash Flow Management

Image of a river, used to represent the open cash flow provided by Ecommerce store line credit

Aside from the convenience a store credit line gives customers, it shouldn’t be under stressed how helpful the availability of additional capital can be for new businesses.

The ability for a business to control its cash flow is critically important, especially when it comes to newer companies. In fact, it turns that out 82% of small business failures come entirely down to cash flow problems

Because of this, many businesses make it a practice of securing credit before they ever need to use it. This means to even be considered by these kinds of customers, credit line options are a must for their vendors.

3. Inspire Organic Customer Loyalty

Image of a heart-shape formed by a length of rope to represent customer relations

Aside from drawing in the kinds of B2B customers that only shop where credit is supported, an Ecommerce store credit line also naturally builds repeat shoppers.

Consider how nearly every online business accepts payments via credit card, which can be used to buy virtually anything at any place. While a store credit line also offers the ability to pay off purchases over time, unlike a credit card, it only works in your specific webstore.

Because customers are only able to use store credit for your products, this essentially makes your credit line perform like a digital loyalty program. Instead of looking for other providers, businesses are organically incentivized to keep using their existing credit lines to get what they need from your store.

4. Improve Company Image and Customer Relations

A blackboard with a customer icon drawn in the center, surrounded by the terms "service", "quality", "efficiency" and "reliability"

Finally, aside from the practical benefits of establishing a line of credit for your Magento store, it also comes as a welcome show of trust for your customers.

Trust plays a major role in all relationships, including professional ones. In this manner, fostering a business environment in which customers feel can depend on your store will further enhance the strength of your brand.

Establishing a Store Credit Line with Magento

As mentioned earlier, through the Magento platform’s extension capabilities anyone can enable a store credit line with relatively little effort.

Searching the Magento marketplace, you’ll come across multiple store credit line extension options to browse between for purchase. Of course, when searching for the extension you want to use, it’s important to ensure your picking a reliable one.

(Additionally, feel free to check out the Magento Store Credit Line extension we’ve developed for Magento below)

Install your Extension

Magento Extension Installation support
Magento Extension Installation Service
Need help installing our Magento extensions? We can help! Our certified Magento developers will install the extension onto your Magento store.

After selecting the extension that’s best suited for your webstore, you’ll still need to install and configure it on your website.

Follow the documentation the developer of your extension provides to complete the installation, and to avoid potential compatibility errors, ensure you backup your website first and try loading the extension on a test site. If you’re unfamiliar with the extension installation process, an overview of the basics you need to know is available here.

For those for looking extension help, or assistance with Magento in general, CreativeMinds offers Magento extension installation services and consulting.

Magento Store Credit Line Extension

Available in versions compatible with both Magento 2 and Magento 1, this extension lets store administrators establish customizable credit lines.

With them, customers are able to manage their credit balance and monitor personal transaction histories through an added dashboard page. They can also make purchases at any time using their credit line, with ‘store credit’ listed as a payment option.

Store admins choose whether to limit credit amounts and modify payment scheduling for all accounts, or only specified customers. Options for both automated and manual invoices are also included to notify and remind customers of new and existing balances.

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Best Practices for Integrating WordPress and Magento in 2019https://www.cminds.com/best-practices-integrating-wordpress-magento-2019/ Fri, 24 May 2019 07:30:52 +0000https://www.cminds.com/?p=387383Here at CreativeMinds, it’s no secret how much we love both the WordPress and Magento content management systems (CMS). They are two of the best, if not the best, CMS users will find available on the internet today. In a Nutshell: Magento is an Ecommerce powerhouse that’s unrivaled in popularity and e-selling features, while WordPress [...]

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Here at CreativeMinds, it’s no secret how much we love both the WordPress and Magento content management systems (CMS).

They are two of the best, if not the best, CMS users will find available on the internet today.

In a Nutshell: Magento is an Ecommerce powerhouse that’s unrivaled in popularity and e-selling features, while WordPress is an adaptable blogging platform that can be turned into a website of virtually any kind. When you bring both these website building titans together, that’s when the magic really starts to happen.

There’s a variety of benefits that influence why many webstore managers end up integrating WordPress and Magento for their business. Basically, whether you’re an entrepreneur with a Magento-fueled Ecommerce operation, or the owner of a WordPress-powered website, integration will naturally allow you to boost your online business to greater heights.

To understand the concrete benefits of this integration, and how to best bring these platforms together for yourself, read on.

The Benefits: Why Integrate WordPress and Magento?

Drawing of many arrows coming together in one central point
Integrating WordPress and Magento will break the barriers that separate both platforms’ capabilities, making navigating between their tasks much easier. Or in other words, you’ll be taking advantage of the combined features in both CMS under a single user-friendly platform.

To Name a few of those Advantages:

Gain access to both WordPress website and Magento store themes for a greater range of customization options.

Utilize the features and components of both platforms together, including static blocks, navigation menus, and cart data.

Apply WordPress search-engine optimization (SEO) for Magento Ecommerce products to drive stronger web-traffic to your business.

Design a seamless blog-to-cart user experience that optimizes every step of your customer’s flow. From discovering the blog pages that advertise your products, to naturally guiding their way to the check-out page.

Ways of Integrating WordPress and Magento into a Single Platform

Abstract image of a platform forming to represent integrating WordPress and Magento

Platform integration wouldn’t normally be such a simple task. To program platform integration, users would need some good coding knowledge and an intimate understanding of both WordPress and Magento.

But thankfully, there’s plenty of third-party plugins and extensions out there which will do all the complicated work for you. After you’ve finished successfully installing both WordPress and Magento, all you need to do is install an additional integration module and follow the appropriate steps.

But a quick search will show different multiple plugins and extensions to choose between, each with their own unique differences. On top of that, the steps you need to take are a little different depending on whether you’re integrating WordPress into Magento, or vice versa.

Meaning all-in-all, you’ll need to find an effective integration module which accomplishes everything you need that also supports your preferred order of integration.

MWI: Integrating Magento into WordPress

Image of two hands bringing puzzle pieces together to represent integrating WordPress and Magento

To make your Magento blocks ready to use with WordPress, you’ll need to find a WordPress plugin first. There are good free options available, with most offering paid upgrades to access additional premium features.

For instance, we recommend using this free plugin by Modern Modules which has a paid version offering full functionality here.

The free version lets WordPress users access their Magento header in their WordPress theme, blocks to customize the header further, and their Magento store views. The premium version, on the other hand, brings the deeper selling aspects of Magento right to WordPress websites.

These premium features include:

Ability to seamlessly utilize Magento blocks with every part of WordPress’ themes

Access to Magento product, layout block, and static block short codes in WordPress’ editor

Shared cart and session data between both platforms

Magento product info in WordPress’ editor

Once users decide which version is best for them and make their installation, they simply need to follow the brief integration instructions the plugin provides. Then they’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits of their newly combined platform.

FishPig: Integrating WordPress into Magento

Puzzle pieces connected around a yin-yang symbol

If you wish to bring WordPress’ features to your Magento website instead, the method to do so is very similar. The main difference being the need to use a Magento extension rather than a WordPress plugin.

We recommend using this free plugin by FishPig. Fishpig’s WordPress integration extension has been active for years and is one of the most highly rated integration modules around. It also offers a range of paid premium add-ons which enhance the functionality of WordPress’ features in Magento.

The free version lets users connect WordPress posts to their Magento products and combine the menus between both platforms. It’s also designed to coordinate alongside other WordPress plugins without complication.

But if you want to extend the functionality of the features that come with integrating WordPress and Magento, you’ll want to look over the plugin’s available paid add-ons.

These premium add-ons include:

Integrating WordPress and Magento between multiple websites

Ability to customize post types and URLs

Joint search-results system between both platforms

Support for short codes and widgets

Customer synchronization for a single-sign on between sites

Providing advanced custom fields

Optimization for page loading speeds

Once users complete their installation, integration can be completed without making any changes to core Magento or WordPress files. Simply follow the instructions that the plugin provides. Afterward, any premium FishPig add-ons may be purchased and integrated at any time.

Conclusion: Integration Assistance with CreativeMinds

Image of a figure helping another climb onto the word "HELP"

For those who want to go ahead with integrating WordPress and Magento, but prefer assistance with the processes, we’re happy to help.

CreativeMinds provides consulting for both WordPress and Magento websites to guide users of all experience levels to enhance their online operations.

For any performance and optimization concerns that may arise after your WordPress and Magento integration, we provide website analysis as well.

Our in-house team of developers will extensively review your WordPress and Magento store and highlight your opportunities for optimization.

The post Best Practices for Integrating WordPress and Magento in 2019 appeared first on CreativeMinds.

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Magento GDPR: 7 Steps to Protect your Store (and your Customers)https://www.cminds.com/magento-gdpr-protect-store-customers/ Thu, 02 May 2019 07:30:22 +0000https://www.cminds.com/?p=381700After decades of loose online legislation and abstract digital data guidelines, the Wild Western days of the internet are ending. User privacy and data protection are frequently debated issues, especially with the recent concerns regarding morally questionable social media practices. But now concentrated action is finally being taken though the European Union’s (EU) General Data [...]

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After decades of loose online legislation and abstract digital data guidelines, the Wild Western days of the internet are ending.

User privacy and data protection are frequently debated issues, especially with the recent concerns regarding morally questionable social media practices. But now concentrated action is finally being taken though the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The regulations defined in the GDPR dictate how companies must gather and manage user information within the EU. Meaning, any online companies who do business in the EU are going to be affected—regardless of their own location. This includes Ecommerce, so all Magento merchants who provide goods and services to EU consumers also need to adapt accordingly.

Thankfully, Magento is ready for GDPR, but that doesn’t mean Magento merchants can simply proceed without being mindful of the new rules. To ensure GDPR compliance, and continue conducting online business in the EU, there are some steps that must be taken.

To help Magento merchants abide, here’s a quick guide on what you need to protect your store, and your customers.

Understanding GDPR

Image of a touch pad against a backdrop representing GDPR regulations

GDPR went into effect May 25th of 2018, and if violated, the financial penalty is either 4% of a company’s annual turnover or €20 million—depending on which amount is greater between the two.

While the fines may sound intense the intention of GDPR is largely altruistic, aiming to accomplish two primary goals:

1. Make it so the personal data of individual users is always handled with respectful care.

2. Eliminate the obstacles of data sharing between different regions by standardizing regulations across nations.

Overall, the GDPR revolves almost entirely around personal data, which regards a range of specific user information. Namely, anything that can be used to identify an individual.

For example: User names, locations and addresses, photographs, IP addresses, and even biometric data falls under the protection of personal data.

Under GDPR, online businesses are allowed to gather and utilize this personal data if, and only if, the individual it relates to has given their explicit permission. On top of that, GDPR also dictates that gathered data may only be kept for a certain amount of time after permission is initially granted.

7 Steps to Keep your Webstore Magento GDPR Compliant

Image of a checkmark over many faces displayed on tiny screens, demonstrating secure personal data

While the exact guidelines of the GDPR are fairly in-depth, there’s a few simple rules of thumb that will help Magento merchants avoid violations.

1. Only Collect Data which is Absolutely Required

Many businesses make it a habit of acquiring as much personal user data as possible. After all, the more online sellers know about their customers, the better they can cater their businesses to them.

However, this mentality proves dangerous under GDPR. To reduce the possibility of violating a user’s privacy, simply refrain from asking what doesn’t need to be known about them. For instance, if users want to sign-up for your webstore’s emailed newsletter, there’s no reason to request their phone number.

2. Deactivate Default Opt-Ins

Under GDPR, users must give their explicit permission to share data. This means the presence of opt-in by default processes, such as pre-checked boxes, are in violation of the new regulations.

Essentially, a user’s silence should never mean consent, nor should their inactivity indicate their passive acceptance.

3. Update Policy Notifications and Disclosures

For many websites, their notices on privacy policy are going to be out of date with the changes GDPR brings.

Magento merchants need to update this information to let customers know how their personal data is collected and stored. Aside from GDPR compliance concerns, this transparency will help build trust in the more cautious visitors to your Ecommerce website.

4. Provide Easy-to-Locate Links to Privacy Policies and Unsubscribing Options

Updating privacy policies is one thing, but they don’t help if that information is buried somewhere obscure in your website. Furthermore, when users subscribe to the marketing content of your website, they should never be punished by not being able to easily unsubscribe at will.

Ensuring you provide easily accessible means to find your privacy policy, and options to unsubscribe from your webstore’s notifications, will help maintain the transparency clauses of the GDPR. Like the above step, this will also demonstrate respect to your customers, and naturally reinforce their favor for your webstore.

5. Ensure Collected Data is Secure

Hacking and data breaches are constant dangers for digital vendors. With the GDPR, these vulnerabilities have become even more damaging for online businesses.

This is because maintaining GDPR compliance includes protecting the data you consensually gather from external threats of all kinds. To avoid the typical headaches of security breaches, along with the legal wrath of GDPR violations, strict data protection measures must be taken.

6. Establish Processes that Notify Users of Data Breaches

If a data breach does affect your website, users who have their personal data stored there need to be notified.

To do so in a timely GDPR compliant manner, make sure your webstore has an automated notification process in place.

7. Ensure GDPR compliance with third-party tools and vendors

The steps above will help users maintain GDPR compliance on their end. But these preventative steps don’t mean much if all of their stored user data is hijacked through a third-party’s vulnerabilities.

Because of this, it’s become critically important that Magento merchants use extensions and services that also maintain GDPR compliance.

Conclusion: Final Tips

Image of a 3D figure sitting atop characters spelling "100%" to represent GDPR compliance

In the end, transparency is what the GDPR is most concerned with.

This means to stay safe moving forward, Magento merchants need to communicate with users clearly, concisely, and in plain language. To do so, webstores should avoid uncommon legal speak in their privacy policies and present information in a way anyone can understand. More than that, webstores must ensure their activities accurately follow the privacy policies they present.

As a final piece of advice, it’s a good idea for all online businesses to maintain documentation of their data collection processes.

Keeping track of what users consent to, and how that consent was gathered, is a safe record keeping practice that helps prove compliance. If auditing should ever take place, such documentation will help demonstrate that a website operates in-line with the spirit of GDPR.

The post Magento GDPR: 7 Steps to Protect your Store (and your Customers) appeared first on CreativeMinds.

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