Today's topic of discussion comes from Folk's Senior Developer & Lead Technician, James Aindow, on why purchasing bespoke built functionality through modules far outweighs off-the-shelf solutions available from third-party providers.
The marketplace for Magento modules - Magento's answer to the Apple app store - has grown massively over the past few years, and there are a wide variety of modules available out there.
These modules aim to build upon the already extensive Magento feature set to varying degrees.
Quite often you can browse and stumble across something that seems to fulfil all of the criteria you are looking for, but below are the dangers of plug and play solutions, and the reason why we prefer to build functionality from scratch...
Multiple modules can often lead to compatibility problems.
There is no guarantee that the module you bought will work with other modules installed on your site.
Trying to get them to play well together can be hard going and require unexpected additional development time.
There is no guarantee of quality.
Although there are quality module providers out there, there is no guarantee that any particular module is going to be written to a high (or any) standard.
At Folk, our modules are built by certified developers with Magento best practices in mind.
The result is quality modules, built to a high standard.
When it's time to upgrade your store, the more third-party modules you have installed, the harder it can be.
Indeed, simply haphazardly installing modules can put you in a complicated position when it's time to upgrade.
There is no guarantee that any modules you have purchased are secure, as there could be a vulnerability in the third-party code that could potentially allow someone to compromise your website.
Magento Enterprise security is covered by Magento’s SLA and is built with security in mind.
Reputable providers will account for good security practices when building a module, some less reputable providers won’t.
Therefore you could have had a complete site security audit carried out on your site (which is pricey) that could be invalidated by a single module installation.
Third-party code could also have a negative impact on your site’s loading time.
Excessive loading and external calls to third-parties alone are good reasons to be careful when considering a provider.
Suspect licensing checks
Some third-party modules use remote license checks to make sure that you have actually purchased the module.
Not only does this mean the module will be making remote calls (requests from your site back to the module provider) to your site - which has performance implications - but, if for any reason the check fails, it could leave ugly license notices on the frontend of your site.
A module built by Folk is yours to use freely, without the dodgy license checks.
This is possibly one of the most practical reasons not to buy an off-the-shelf solution.
At Folk we aim to build the majority of our modules from scratch.
Why? because this gives us the flexibility to build the module exactly to our client’s needs.
Rather than making a square peg for a round hole, we can ensure that every detail of the client’s brief can be catered for. We find that this way of working results in satisfied customers.
So, in closing, choose your module providers carefully and if you do require something bespoke to be built, then come to Folk and we'll provide you with a seamless solution that is built to your specifications, rather than plugging a gap so it's ‘good enough’.