Creating a Magento store ▶ What do you have to know? [Strategic plan]

By Hipex | 18 mei 2020 |
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  2. Magento 2
  3. Creating a Magento store ▶ What do you have to know? [Strategic plan]

There is much to consider when creating a Magento store. In the past years we’ve worked with the largest Magento stores in the Netherlands. That’s why we have a good understanding and know how we can help you in this process.

We are happy to share the experience we have with Magento shops, so you can make the right choices when creating one.

In this article, you get useful information and tooling from us that are necessary for creating a successful Magento 2 store (or let one be made for you).

In concrete terms, you will get:

  • A checklist for setting up a Magento 2 store.
  • Getting insights into costs for a Magento 2 store.
  • Examples of successful Magento stores.
  • Getting insights into the perfect hosting of Magento

Are you ready for a successful Magento 2 store?

Index

  1. Let a Magento store be made

    1. Map your current situation
    2. Requirements of a Magento 2 store
    3. Costs of your Magento shop
    4. Magento extensions and links
  1. Advantages of a Magento store
  2. Disadvantages of a Magento store
  3. Examples of Magento stores
  4. Get started

Outsource Magento store development

Whether you are going to build a Magento store yourself or let one be built by a web developer or agency. With all three options you need to think carefully about the requirements of your store.

By doing so, you know what to think about and what, for example, the requirements are for selecting a Magento 2 web developer.

1. Map your current situation

Where are you now? Do you already have an existing store? Maybe even a Magento 1 store?

Or maybe you want to switch from WooCommerce to the more powerful Magento 2.

And what are your financial goals? Do you expect a turnover of several thousand euros or is your target to have at least 100.000 euros of sales?

Do you expect a relatively low turnover? Then the choice for the powerful but expensive Magento will not be a wise one.

In addition, what is your budget for creating a store? Do you have the budget to outsource it completely, then it is recommended to do.

2. Requirements of a Magento 2 store

Try to map as fast as possible the requirements your store has to comply with. The requirements you make for Magento 2, have an impact on:

  • The choice for an appropriate web developer
  • Design/template choice
  • The costs/investment
  • The processing time for developing the shop

Make sure you map (at least) the following information:

  • Your choice of the Magento 2 version: Magento Community or Commerce (Enterprise)
  • Choose between a standard design (template) or a customized one.
  • Does your store have to be available in multiple languages?
  • When do you want to go live?
  • Which features do you want to offer in addition to all the standard Magento features? If so, are there plugins available for this? What do they cost? Does something have to be customized?
  • Do you have to migrate existing (old) data?
  • How many products are you going to offer?
  • Are you able to do the maintenance by yourself? If not, you have to outsource it, which brings you extra costs.
  • Research the possibilities in the field of Magento hosting

By getting these things clear, you will get a clear overview of the complexity and costs of your Magento 2 store.

Because the costs are an important part of your (future) business management, we go deeper into this.

3. Costs of your Magento shop

What is the price of having a Magento store built anyway?

As you have probably already read above, it depends on many factors.

The costs of development quickly become high. A simple, plain Magento setup, made by a professional web developer, costs at least €5,000.

But note: This is the absolute minimum, and will probably not be enough for you.

Magento Community or Commerce (Enterprise)

In this case, we assume you outsource the building of your Magento store. We all know that Magento is fundamentally an open-source software. The first choice you have to make is the choice between Magento Community or Commerce (Enterprise).

The Magento Community Edition is the most-used version of Magento.

The Commerce/enterprise edition is mostly used by the larger stores. A license for it will cost you at least €16.000 a year (depending on the turnover of your store).

You will get a Gold SLA Support and more possibilities than the Community edition.

However, these possibilities are minimal and the extra costs you make in comparison to Community are disproportionate in our opinion.

Because we assume you will choose for the Community edition, and so choose for the open-source one, this investment will be €0,-.

Standard or customized theme?

If you choose to create your Magento based on the existing (Luma) theme, the costs are often at least 5,000 euros.

If you choose to have a theme made customized, the costs rise to more than €10,000.

With such a new, customized theme, you have the opportunity to add more comprehensive features like Google Shopping, connections with ERP programs, etc.

If you want to launch a serious store, then our experience is that the standard Luma theme is not enough and that you end up with one-off costs of 10 to 15 thousand euros for your store.

Costs of plugins & links

The standard Magento installation rarely complies with the wishes of many store-owners.

If you want to expand your standard set of features of Magento, you will have to make use of extensions. While these extensions sometimes are free of charge, in most cases, you have to pay an amount of money to use it. This differs from one-time costs to a monthly fee.

In most cases, stores have to be connected to external systems. Think about links with an ERP plan, a shipping service or an accounting system.

Of course, the costs vary per module, but if you want to have a professional store with many functionalities, you will spend 2500 euros on one-time costs. In addition, there will be yearly licensing costs for some licenses. Take into account, there will be 10 percent of extra licensing costs each year.

All these Magento plugins and links have to be installed and configured correctly. Maintaining and updating these, need to happen regularly. Moreover, you’ll therefore have to reserve extra costs for this.

Maintenance costs

Creating your store is one part of the job and costs.

Because when the website is live, you want your website to run smoothly and provide it with the best security.

Magento 2 is an open-source platform where bugs, improvements and security issues are found regularly. You need to implement these improvements to keep your store stable and safe in the long run.

A Magento update is not the same as a WordPress update for example, that can be executed with a push on a button. A Magento update is a process that has to be executed well and has to be approached carefully.

You make sure that the developer of your store will take responsibility for maintaining it. He knows your website to the core, is familiar with the custom code which is used for developing and you have already been in contact with each other for a (long) time.

This ensures cheaper maintenance and a smoother collaboration, than when another developer has to be hired to maintain your store.

Moreover, think about the costs of answering questions/support you have to deal with anyhow, when it’s about maintenance costs. For example, agree on a fixed rate/hour for support questions.

A lot of web developers/web(hosting) agencies have Service Level Agreements (SLA). With a SLA, you are assured of a certain level of service, you agree how quickly you will be helped with your problems, for example.

The costs regarding a SLA is dependent on the SLA-level. There are SLA’s for one hour a month, but also SLA for more than 10 hours. Assume, you will need 2 to 3 hours of service each month and reserve a budget of at least 200 euros.

Magento hosting

An important aspect of the success of your store is having a stable, safe and super fast web hosting service.

Because Magento 2 is not only a powerful, but also heavy software, you don’t have to settle for cheap shared hosting. Shared hosting is relatively cheap, but has some big disadvantages like it is slower and less secure than the slightly more expensive alternatives.

In addition to shared Hosting, there is an opportunity to choose for Dedicated Hosting (managed & unmanaged), VPS hosting, or optimized Magento hosting.

The costs for hosting are dependent on the quality of hosting and the heaviness of your Magento shop.

If you expect a lot of visitors and so a lot of data traffic? You need to take more powerful hosting.

Serious stores that expect many visitors are doing well to purchase dedicated hosting. The monthly costs of dedicated hosting servers differ from €250 to €500.

Since Hipex is specialized in Magento hosting and we therefore know better than anyone what kind of hosting Magento stores need, we are happy to provide you with the right advice.

4. Magento store extensions

As we already described above, the standard Magento setup might not be enough for all your wishes.

To tackle this problem, you can make use of extensions and links with external systems.

Although we are not in favor of too many plugins, in some cases it may still be advisable to install some (think of time savings and/or cost savings)

Having plugins can cause extra security related issues or performance drops.

Before you purchase or install a Magento plugin, read the reviews and check carefully whether you could solve your wishes through customization.

To get you started, we have listed some important (and useful) extensions:

Smart One Step Checkout M2(costs: $570)

This plugin ensures that visitors only need one step instead of 6 to finish their order.

In addition to the reduced number of check out steps, you also benefit from other tricks as automatic completion of address details and automatic adjustment of prices.

It is a relatively expensive plugin, but you will quickly recoup this investment through to the improved conversion.

Full Page Cache Warmer(costs: $149)

The speed of your store is an important part of the user experience of the visitors and it is also part of Google’s search algorithm.

An important method to improve the speed of your store is to set up caching. Magento 2 supports Full Page Caching by default. This extension ensures an even better handling of it.

This extension automatically checks the state of the cache. After the page cache is cleared, the plugin will visit this page and warms the cache. This way, your visitors will always see the fast cached page.

Google Tag Manager(costs: $99)

Google Tag Manager is a useful tool to expand your Magento store with external tooling without hiring a (Magento) developer.

For example, with Google Tag Manager you can easily load Google Analytics, link Google Ads or easily integrate tools such as Hotjar or Visual Website Optimizer.

So invest $99,- once and save on long-term development costs, because you can now set up external integrations yourself.

SEO Suite Ultimate(costs: $299)

The default settings of Magento aren’t that bad when it comes to SEO. However, if you want to make advanced changes, for example changing the URL-structure, advanced Rich Snippets and more options in the field of pagination. For this, you either need a lot of development capacity, or you solve this with this Magento plugin.

This SEO plugin comes along with many possibilities and also offers extensive SEO reporting options. Almost $300 is not a big amount when you consider the SEO benefits you get (potentially).

Read more about SEO for Magento.

Advantages of a Magento store

A Magento store offers many advantages. The most used edition is the open-source version and is therefore continuously under development. There is an extensive community to ask questions and a Dutch translation is available.

But, there are even more advantages, like:

  • Multi shop option
  • Many available plugins
  • Basics of SEO are good
  • Great set of marketing functionalities
  • The support of multiple currencies
  • Extensive product management
  • Easily scalable
  • Payment option with and without an account
  • Et cetera…

Disadvantages of a Magento store

Of course, a Magento store brings not only advantages. There are also some disadvantages of a Magento store. For example, consider that Magento is a fairly unwieldy and heavy system. Other disadvantages are:

  • Maintenance is intensive
  • Without optimization (or good hosting), Magento is not extremely fast
  • Fewer plugins available than WooCommerce
  • Far from bug free (although they are solved rapidly by the community)
  • Takes a lot of time to implement

Because of the disadvantages mentioned above, it is obvious that Magento 2 is suitable especially for bigger stores. If you have a relatively low budget and you expect not a really big turnover, Magento is probably not the ideal solution for you.

Examples of Magento stores

The number of stores running on Magento in the Netherlands is not available, only an estimation about this number can be made. There are several researches that all show different numbers.

It seems that there are at least 10,000 Magento stores in the Netherlands. To give an example of successful Magento shops, we give you 3 examples. Not only for inspiration, but also to learn from.

Example of Magento store: High-end segment

PME Legend is one of our favorite Magento 2 stores. In our opinion, they comply with all current standards and innovations.

The shop is based on PWA, extremely fast, looks beautiful and in terms of SEO, they are doing a great job as well.

Example of Magento store (dutch): middle segment

The store of Brabantia is beautiful too. The website has a clear focus on performance and smart elements have been carefully considered to increase conversion. Moreover, the website is graphically beautiful, multilingual and on-site Marketing is well organized.

Example of Magento store (dutch): low segment

Have you ever heard about Annadiva? This store focuses on lingerie and swimwear and is booming. An important part of the success is the successful implementation of Magento. The store looks beautiful of course, and the performance is not suffering from that. A good example of combining speed, conversion and design in the right way.

The ball is in your court!

If all goes well, this article has provided you the necessary tools and inspiration to (let) build a Magento store.

One last tip we would like to give you is the tip with which we started the article: consider everything well before taking this step. Building a Magento shop is a time-consuming and complicated process.

Letting a Magento store be made for you, does not happen in the blink of an eye. Many things are involved, so make sure you think everything out well.

Talk to other (successful) store owners in advance and learn from the mistakes they have already made. And of course also learn from the success stories.

Step 1: Map your current situation (Where are you, what is your budget)

Step 2: Determine your goals (financial, time)

Step 3: Determine your technical requirements (what should your store be able to do?)

Step 4: Map your marketing channels and requirements

Step 5: Decide whether to build your website by yourself, or have it outsourced (and by whom?)

Step 6: Determine which hosting you want (and which requirements do you set for this?)

Step 7: Start developing

Step 8: Pay attention to it and adjust on time (when needed)

Step 9: Configure your Magento 2 store (together with your web developer)

Step 10: Think about maintenance and updates (done by yourself or by your web developer)

Do you have serious plans? a wide product range, sufficient time and budget? Then a Magento store is definitely suitable for you.

Now, we are curious ...

What do you encounter when developing a Magento store? Please let us know!