The process of choosing a Magento Development Company can be a tough one because there are so many variables that come into play for the decision making process. For instance, one has to ask if the goal they have for their website is realistic for a projected budget and timeline as well as knowing who they can trust. This is why Magento Commerce, the creators of Magento, have come up with what is known as the Magento Partners Program.
The Magento Partners Program
The Magento Partners Program allows Magento development companies to join a list of featured Magento solution providers via a membership program which caters to both small, medium sized and enterprise sized businesses. There are 3 levels to the Magento Partner Program:
A Gold Partner is basically a Magento Development Company that pays a fee of $10,000 per year and has a minimum of 2-4 Magento certified developers. Per Magento’s Solution Partner Guide, Gold Partners are entitled to the following benefits:
- Access to an Enterprise production and development license
- Discounts on training and certification Yes Yes Training Included
- Access To Technical Support And Marketing Materials
Gold Partners are usually large development companies suited to handle very large E-Commerce projects such as fortune 500 or fortune 1000 companies.
A Silver Partner pays $5,000 per year and is expected to have at least 2 Magento certified developers. Silver Partners receive some, but not all, of the benefits of a Gold Partner and are usually built to handle medium to large sized businesses.
Magento Associate Partner
A Magento Associate Partner is likely going to be a company that has Magento Certified Developers on staff, but is not required to have, and will cater to smaller sized businesses that are just starting to venture into e-commerce.
They do not receive many benefits that Silver and Gold Partners have access to but it provides a way for them to get listed in the Magento Commerce Developers list so companies around the world can find them should they be looking for a Magento developer. An Associate Partner also pays a $5,000 annual fee for their membership.
So with this being said, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of working with a Magento Partner, including a Gold or Silver company.
The Benefits Of A Silver or Gold Developer
The benefits seem to be obvious such as having certified developers at their disposal as well as experience running with large e-commerce projects. This would indicate that they can handle the most complex jobs and deliver on any request. The question is, what could the cons possibly be?
The Potential Cons of A Gold or Silver Partner
They may be too expensive and may not offer you the level of customer service you look for. It actually depends on the size of your company, your budget and what you are looking to accomplish. If you are a fortune 500 company, there is no question you want to go with a Gold or Silver level Magento Partner because they are going to have experience working with larger scope projects and are built to solve all of your problems. With that said, what happens if you are on a small budget and just want to get started?
If you are on a budget or have a limited scope project, it may be best to start with a local company and qualify them based on their experience. Then consider a Magento Associate Partner that is listed nationally or, even better, within your state and see what they can do for you. This way you are able to have your website built by a company that knows Magento, and can provide more personalized service, without having to invest at least $50,000 into your first e-commerce store.
Everything is a matter of perspective and what is great for a first time e-commerce website owner is not nearly good enough for a fortune 500 company. Focus on companies with the experience that fits your goals first, see if you can find one that is local, as they will probably provide the best level of support and, should that not work, use the Magento Partner Directory to see if you can find the right fit. Just make sure you put in the time to perform the research and vet them carefully. Ask questions and look at the work they have performed and take it from there.
If you have any questions about Magento or setting up an E-commerce website, please do not hesitate to ask a question here or contact us directly.