Magento Development: Frequently Asked Questions

If you've ever had a custom website developed you know first had that the process is quite involved. Whether you are migrating your existing ecommerce website to Magento, upgrading or starting a new online store there is much preparation involved. We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help make your process as smooth and efficient as possible.

How long will it take to develop my website?

A typical project can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months. In general this would depend on a number of criteria including the size and scope of the project, whether or not there will be custom graphic design and integration specifications. Here are a few questions to answer that will help you get a better idea of the road ahead.

Do you have all of your product images and content ready, including pricing and description?
In addition to just uploading images and writing descriptions your products will need to be organized in a way that makes sense for your customers. This means planning the category structure, attribute filters and how to handle specials. You may also want to put together a list of which items should be related, up sells and cross sells. You will save quite a bit of time by planning your ecommerce structure in advance.

Images will often need to be optimized so that they fit with the design, load quickly and look great on the web. It is a best practice to start working on image optimization as soon as the design specifications are approved. In addition to product and category images our designers will also need to work with the appropriate team members for content and banner images.

Have you created accounts for shipping integration, payment processing and any other third party integrations you are planning to use? (UPS, Authorize.net, etc)
In addition to setting up your website we will also need to work with third party solutions providers to integrate additional features into your Magento store. Some integrations are simple and straight forward such as payment gateway or analytics, others may require much more research and custom coding, such as integration with an ERP or CMS. For more complex integrations is it better to get an early start so that there is enough time for debugging and thorough testing before launch.

Are you familiar with Magento administration and how to manage your products, customers and orders?
It's never too early to start learning how to manage your Magento store. The platform is feature packed and there is quite a steep learning curve involved. Whether you are on Magento Enterprise or Community Edition you can download a copy of the user guide from your account. Speak to your project manager about getting access to staging environment so that you can hone up your skills while your website is being developed. This will ensure that you are well prepared to take the reigns of your website from day one of your launch.

Have you already setup your Magento website hosting account?
Magento websites require quite a bit of resources in order to function optimally. Magento hosting has to be tuned according to your specific configuration. Some key tuning revolves around the setup of staging environments and the Solr search engine. If either of these will be installed on your website then you simply cannot use a standard web host as your website performance will be greatly affected. In order to meet your launch date your hosting environment should be setup and ready to go at least 2 weeks in advance.

How do I send you my website content and product images?

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