February 1, 2021 by Ben Chafetz

Magento 2 – Opportunities To Save Money (And Where Not To)

Developing a new Magento 2 website or moving your Magento 1 store to Magento 2 is a big, complicated project – and it’s not cheap.

Because of that, you may be looking for places you can save money when building your new eCommerce website. How can you reduce the initial capital outlay of building a new website?

And, more importantly – where is it a good idea to try and save some money, and where do you need to “bite the bullet,” and spend a bit extra to ensure quality results?

Find out below- we’ll take you through our top recommendations, and help keep your costs under control while you shift to Magento 2.

How To Save Money On Your Magento 2 Project

Wondering where you can save money on your Magento 2 project? There are a few ways you can reduce the overall cost of your project without cutting corners or ending up with an unreliable website.

Find extensions on the Magento Marketplace instead of using custom code

The Magento Marketplace is one of the best things about developing on Magento 2. This marketplace allows you to add all sorts of functionality and features to your Magento installation without any custom code – all you have to do is buy the extension and have your developers integrate it into your website.

The creation of custom features is often one of the most expensive parts of a Magento project. So if you can do some research and find Magento Marketplace extensions that can be used as an alternative to custom features and code, you’ll probably save quite a bit of money on your project.

Choose Magento Commerce Cloud

Magento Commerce Cloud is an enterprise version of Magento meant for large online stores, and it comes with lots of pre-loaded services like hosting, support, security patches, and maintenance – as well as a lot of other unique features like an analytics suite, B2B functionality, and more. This helps reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) and maintenance costs.

Because of all of these features, Magento Commerce Cloud is often a lot cheaper than competing products. In a case study from Magento, for example, an online shoe seller was able to save 50% by switching to Magento Commerce Cloud from their previous Demandware solution. 

Use a pre-designed theme instead of a custom theme

The argument between pre-designed themes and custom themes is one that’s always ongoing in the Magento development community. Some people think that pre-designed themes are a great option, while others think that custom themes are necessary to ensure the site doesn’t feel “generic.”

If you’re interested in a deep look at the pros and cons of both, take a look at this blog post – it has lots of great info! But we’ll sum up the key points here:

  • Ready-made themes are cost-effective, have good support, and typically have user-friendly, appealing designs. However, the quality is sometimes inconsistent, customization is limited, and the theme may not support all of the features you want.
  • Custom-made themes provide you with an exclusive, branded design. You can also focus on feature compatibility and custom functionality. However, it will take a lot longer and cost a lot more to build a custom theme for your site.

Both choices have their pros and cons. But overall, you won’t miss out on a lot if you choose a pre-designed theme – and you always have the option of implementing a custom theme later. If costs are a concern, consider Magento’s Luma theme.

Where You Shouldn’t Skimp & Try To Cut Costs

During your development project, there are a few things that you may be tempted to skip on – but shouldn’t. When it comes to these 3 things, saving a bit of money in the short-term is not worth it in the long run.

Hiring a developer for your project

This may be obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people simply choose the least-expensive bidder when they offer a development contract. Now, we’re not saying that you have to choose the most expensive developer who bids on your project, but you get what you pay for.

If you’re thinking of hiring an offshore development company that charges $2,000 to migrate you from Magento 1 to Magento 2, for example, don’t be surprised if the project turns into a fiasco – and you end up having to hire another developer to fix it and save your site.

At the very least, you should make sure you work with a certified Magento Solution Partner. To be qualified as a Magento Solution Partner, a development agency needs to prove they have the tools, skills, and employees required to handle Magento projects.

Choosing a hosting provider

Paying for hosting is one of the largest fixed monthly costs you’ll face when launching a new Magento website (that is if you decide not to go with Commerce Cloud). To save a buck or two, you may be tempted to use a cheaper hosting provider. It can’t hurt to spend a bit less, right?

Wrong. Choosing a good hosting provider with a reliable, fast hosting solution for Magento means you’ll enjoy a faster website overall – and that leads directly to more conversions.

Website performance is closely tied to conversion rates. When a web page loads in 2.4 seconds, it has a 1.9% conversion rate. Bump that up to 4.2 seconds, and the conversion rate falls below 1%. If the page loads in 5.7 seconds, the conversion rate falls below 0.6%.

While there are lots of other factors that lead to high conversion rates – like great SEO, sleek design, good copy and content, and attractive product photos – website loading speeds are still critical. So don’t skimp on hosting. It’s worth spending a bit more to get better performance.

Ongoing website support

In almost every case, the best thing to do after finishing your Magento 2 website is to use the developer for long-term website support and administration – and continue to keep them on retainer for the foreseeable future.

If you’re new to web development, you may be considering simply handing over the reins to your own IT team, if applicable, or handing ongoing website support yourself if you’re an entrepreneur. This can be tempting, particularly since Magento 2 has a pretty easy-to-use backend, at least for routine tasks.

You may even be thinking of hiring a different (read: less expensive) Magento support team to handle day-to-day administration of your new eCommerce store. But none of these options are really a good idea.

Why? Let’s say you’ve just spent $200,000 on a Ferrari. You love it. It works perfectly, and it’s a joy to drive. But it’s going to need maintenance. And when it does, will you take it to your local mechanic? Or will you take it to a certified Ferrari dealer?

The answer is obvious – the Ferrari dealer. Because they have the tools, knowledge, and proven expertise to handle the job. It’s worth paying for premium service because you’ve invested a lot in your car. In the same way, your Magento developer is the best company to handle administration, maintenance, and changes to your website.

Yes, it’s possible you could save some money by doing it yourself or hiring a different provider. But especially if your store handles a lot of sales, it’s just not worth it – even brief downtime, errors, and other issues could cost you thousands of dollars.

Keep These Tips In Mind While Planning Your Project

Building a Magento 2 website or migrating from Magento 1 isn’t a simple process, and it can be hard to know how much you need to budget for the job. But with these tips, you’ll at least know a bit more about where you should – and shouldn’t – cut costs during your project.

And if you need more help or guidance, 121eCommerce is here to help. As a Silver Magento Commerce Solutions Partner, we specialize in Magento website development, Magento 2 migrations, and Magento project rescues. Give us a call at 216.586.6656 or contact us online to learn more.

Get the latest eCommerce updates and resources.