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?’
And we understand this, it makes sense to look for a company that is officially qualified tow work in Magento.
This however, 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 we’ve worked on and created Magento websites for big, household name brands.
We know there are other qualities you should look for too look for in a Magento agency, beyond the certification, such as communication, they’re knowledge and experience of Magento to name a few.
There are a number of aspects to look for beyond the Magento certifications and here’s why.
What’s a Magento certification means
- 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.
Qualities that you’d hope to find in any competent Magento developer, but these can be acquired by others who aren’t officially qualified.
But there is more, the qualification 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 available in your company that you need to fill and two candidates applying;
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 experience and responsibilities overlapped with what you’re looking for.
Out of the two, with all other things being equal, who would you normally choose?
Out of the two, most companies will almost 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 a real world 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 may not have that knowledge or real world experience, and won’t be able to demonstrate or explain how to overcome the 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 here at isev for example, are not Magento certified, but have worked with a number of reputable companies, designing, developing supporting and hosting Magento websites.
And 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 Magento website – why?
Because we have and can demonstrate real-world experience and examples of our Magento work.
Why aren’t we Magento Certified?
But you may ask, why not jsut get Magento certified?
A solid question and we’ll tell you – 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.
What do you get in the end?
A logo from Magento saying we know how to use their system, which then results in higher service costs that are generally passed on the customer via higher fees.
There’s also another thing, there is no expiration on a Magento certification. Which can mean that the work competence and changes to Magento may not have been maintained.
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 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 should not be the sole 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.
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, not being hindered covering the extra certification costs.
- 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 isn’t everything, the experience should be a major factor that counts.
If you need help or have questions about a Magento website, get in touch, we’d be more than happy to help 🙂