There are many reasons companies look for a Magento agency, a new website design and build, to have their website hosted somewhere, ongoing support and maintenance. But there are hundreds of websites offering Magento services out there, how do you choose which is the right fit for you?
One thing that we’ve seen come up a number of times as a deciding factor is ‘are they Magento certified?’
But this should not be the most important factor to look for when deciding who is going to manage your Magento website. Here at isev for instance, we are not Magento certified (we talk about this in a bit), but there are other qualities you should look for such as communication, they’re knowledge and experience of Magento are just a few.
There are a number of aspects to look for beyond the Magento certifications and here’s why.
What’s does a Magento certification show
- That the agency has learned the official way to use the system.
- They’ve been tested and shown a level of competence and understanding of the CMS.
What it doesn’t show
- Actual experience using and applying this to a Magento website.
Let’s take a look at an example…
You have one role you need fill and two candidates applying for the same job; The first Candidate has higher education and qualifications, however, it’s their first job like this in the field, so no real world experience.
The second candidate does not have as expansive an education, but they’ve had a previous job where their role and responsibilities overlapped what you’re looking for.
Out of the two, with all other things being equal, who would you normally choose? Companies will almost always choose experience over education.
But why is this?
It’s because theory (education), without practice, is sterile, everything that’s done works, but only in theory. However, in the real world, situations don’t always work out so neatly, in this situation, who will better be able to handle the pressure; Someone with experience working in a similar situation or someone with a better education. Someone without that experience does not have that knowledge and won’t be able to demonstrate or explain how they overcame a problem.
So what about the Magento certification?
So what’s different about the Magento certification, why do people put so much faith into Magento certified agencies? It’s because it gives that sense of security, some notification that these people will know what they’re doing with your system.
We are not Magento certified, but have worked with a number of reputable companies, designing, developing supporting and hosting Magento websites. Some of these companies were specifically looking for a Magento certified team, but after we’d talked to them, they were happy for us to look after their website, why?
Because we have experience and real-world examples of Magento work we’ve undertaken.
Why aren’t we Magento Certified?
Now the reason we’re not Magento certified is that it’s a big investment, both financially and in terms of time. The Magento developer boot camp, where you learn all the essentials of back-end development in Magento is $3,595.
This consists of three courses which have a completion time of 76 – 84 hours to complete…on an 8 hour work day that’s about 10 working days (two weeks) for one person! And all this is JUST the back-end developer training, there’s also the front-end developer and system administrators courses.
And what does this give us in the end? A logo from Magento saying we know how to use their system (by the way, there is no expiration on these). And these costs are then generally passed on the customer via higher fees.
What should you look for instead?
The way we think about it is if a client came to us, what would they rather see;
A few logos saying we’re certified Magento developers or;
Real world examples of work we’ve actually done?
It’s education versus experience, and we feel that experience wins out every time. This is not to say that the Magento certification is worthless (far from it), but not essential or the basis for choosing a Magento agency.
There are a range of other qualities to look for in a Magento agency such as experience, how good they’re communication is, that they support both Magento 1 and 2, that they are accountable for their work to name a few.
The lack of a Magento certification also allows is to offer some benefits;
- We aren’t tied to a specific process and use different practical method for different clients.
- We are more flexible on pricing.
- We can prove our ability and experience, letting customers see that we can take care of their websites.
What we value more on Magento is experience, we’ve been using and working on it since 2008 when it launched, designing, developing, supporting and hosting Magento websites.
The same is true now for Magento 2, we’ve taken the time to learn how it works, and we’re creating new websites in it as well as supporting them too.
So when searching for a Magento agency, remember the certifications aren’t everything, the experience is what counts.
If you need help with your Magento website, get in touch, we’d be more than happy to help.