Shipping Problems Extinguished With Top Magento Plugin
What is Magento?
Most of us Internet Folk have heard of Magento, and how it is taking the e-commerce world by storm. For those out of the loop, Magento is an open-source platform that is totally customizable by the user, and has a large development community creating plugins, called extensions in Mage-Lingo.
These extensions are to add functionality in an easy to use package. At first, it was for developers to tout their modifications, so other developers could take a look at the code. More recently, the number of extensions have exploded, and instead of having to alter the core files (meaning you’d never be able to upgrade Magento) the never versions of the base platform allow for more customization without affecting the core files. Now, the extensions have become fully developed plugins that are easy to find and install, even for novices.
The marketplace to find all of these plugins is called Magento Connect, and has a great selection of plugins organized by function. One of the most popular sections, as one would imagine with online businesses, is the shipping section. With the internet being world-wide, if you sell a physical product over the internet, you are going to need to ship it to the end consumer. It’s also possible that this person is located in some country you’ve never heard of, because there’s few roadblocks to websites based on geographic location. Basically, if you can read and understand the language, you are allowed on the site.
The basic Magento package has provisions for shipping, but since the Internet is Global, many businesses find that the lack of separation by country and shipping type is too great an obstacle. Also, the default Magento shipping tab requires manual entry of all data.
So how has this problem been solved?
Now, I’d like to take a second here and urge everyone to head over to Magento Connect and search for the extension that will best suit their needs. The clients that I develop for have massive inventories, and ship globally, and for their money, MatrixRate was the best extension for them.
The price: Free. This free extension takes all of the problems with the original Magento themes that large international websites run into and solves them.
First of all, the entire shipping price table is completely customizable. You can section of shipping rates by filters. So a filter could be international, then another filter could be: Sweden. That way, if you know that you have higher taxes or prices shipping to Sweden, you don’t need to manually figure that out after the order has been placed, its figured out for you, right in the code logic itself.
Second, if you have a large inventory of products like my clients do, it’s a lifesaver. My client sells wallpaper globally, and has an inventory of over 200,000 products. Some are sold in single rolls, some are sold in doubles, and the rolls come from separate warehouses, and sometimes also include samples. Instead of uploading all of the different factors that could go into each order manually. You can create filters in your shipping table, that will calculate based on item, which warehouse its in, and distance in real time. You can upload all of this information in a .csv excel file, and all of it is done in minutes, not hours.
Finally, it is a trusted extension, and it’s FREE. For an extension to become trusted, it has to be tested by many developers, and has to be highly rated. Not only are all of the consumer reviews good, but also this extension has been found to be extremely stable. When that happens, you get a little badge next to the download link, indicating a trusted extension.
In my opinion, there’s nothing better than a free, well developed, and well tested extension that also solves all of my problems. Check out Magento Connect to find your fix!
Pete Wise is a White-Hat SEO Jedi and Content Creation Sensei. This article was researched for Customer Paradigm, who employ expert magento developers. Do you need help upgrading to the newest version of Magento, or want to learn how to install Magento? Call Us! Follow Pete on Twitter: @MySEOHeadache. Connect with me on My Google+ Profile