10 Must-Have Magento Extensions

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The ten Magento extensions which matter.

Though Magento lacks the user base of WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal, a significant number of Magentons use their installation for eCommerce sites. This is hardly surprising given that Magento is owned by eBay. Needless to say, it has a wealth of eCommerce and CRM [Customer Relationship Management] based extensions. For the purpose of this round-up, we shall cover a broad spectrum. A fair number are available from the Magento Connect page or from third parties (mainly premium priced).

1. Blog

AheadWorks' blogging extension enables you to turn your Magento site (or some of its pages) into a weblog. It enables you to integrate RSS feeds, switch on/off between blog modes, and add comments per page. Though free to download from Magento Connect, it is available for $49 (£30.45 at time of writing) with 90 days support from the publisher.

2. Gift Card for Magento

Supposing you own an online retailer with a bricks and mortar presence, you may be wondering how to offer gift cards, a la Amazon style. This extension allows customers to print gift cards, as well as enter promotional codes. It comes with a number of templates and allows for email and postal distribution.

3. LightBox2

No graphics heavy website nor content management system is complete without a lightbox or similar effects. Magento is no exception with the follow-up to LightBox: the ever-imaginatively titled LightBox2. On installation, it is ready to run from the off and integrates seamlessly with the backend of Magento.

  • Also Available For: N/A, though similar lightbox modules/plug-ins/extensions are available for numerous content management systems.
  • Price: free of charge (link to website required on Customer Page).
  • Website: http://www.magespecialist.it/en/ig-lightbox.html/

4. Meanbee Royal Mail Domestic and International Shipping

If you host an all-singing and all-dancing eCommerce shop on Magento, this tool is a must on these shores. It calculates Royal Mail shipping rates on anything from letter post to Airmail and Special Delivery, saving you from excess postage charges. Also great if you sell artwork and self-publish books from your own website.

5. Creare SEO

Tweaking your Magento site for higher search engine rankings can be made easier thanks to Creare Group's extension. Features are available for HTML sitemap pages, Meta Keywords and Meta Description tag optimisation, and editing robots.txt pages. Their extension is based upon their four years of experience with Magento.

6. Auto Translate

Whereas some CMSs (Drupal for example) have built-in translation facilities, there is a number of additional add-ons available. For Magento users, one of them is Auto Translate. It has support for 75 languages, enabling customers to view your eCommerce in Hebrew as well as English, German and French.

7. Social Media Buttons

No CMS worth its salt lacks social media buttons. For Magento, Helios Solutions is one of several developers. 'Social Media Buttons' offers a range of Social Follow Buttons enabling you to get more fans and followers from popular social networking sites. Among the social networks covered are Linked, Instagram and Google+, as well as the usual suspects (Facebook and Twitter).

8. One Step Checkout for Magento

One Step Checkout enables you manage all checkout steps in a single process. This extension allows you to speed up the purchasing process, thus improving matters for the consumer. With over 66% of online shoppers abandoning their carts, its quicker approach makes for faster transactions and higher customer retention.

9. i95Dev SalesForce Connect

SalesForce is one of the world's most popular CRM [Customer Relationship Management] systems. This extension allows you to integrate SalesForce into your Magento built eCommerce site with ease. There is real-time integration facilities, easy customer creation and updating facilities, and up-to-the-minute product updates.

10. Currency Geo Filter

With the global nature of online retail, our tenth and final Magento extension does to currency what Drupal language manager does to languages. The Currency Geo Filter selects the appropriate currency by location on your eCommerce site. For example, if you brought your device to the U.S., it'll display prices in Dollars; in the Republic of Ireland, Euros; in Kazakhstan, Tenge.

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