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The Problem with ‘Magento 2 Agencies’

Written by Lilly Brown

You wouldn’t go to a farmer who specializes in growing fruit to buy a sack of potatoes. Not when you could go to a potato farmer to get better quality potatoes at a lower price…

That would be silly, right?

It’s the same with Magento 2 agencies. Unfortunately, many agencies that offer Magento 2 development don’t actually specialise in it. They’re usually SEO or PPC agencies who’ve bolted on Magento 2 development as an extra service in order to squeeze a little more revenue out of existing clients. So whilst you want a high-quality, cost-efficient job doing, you could be investing thousands into a service that’s not as good as it should be. The consequence? You pay higher development costs whilst the technical debt is repaid or the project is re-done. Not ideal when you’re on a strict timeline and budget.

That’s why we need more specialist agencies in the Magento 2 space.

It might sound as if we’re shooting ourselves in the foot saying that as a Magento 2 specialist (our director Ryan Copeland has 3 Magento certifications ? ). We don’t necessarily want more competitors. But what we really don’t want is more businesses being burned by generalist agencies overpromising on quality and efficiency, but under-delivering…

Generalist agencies have their merits, but when it comes to highly technical work like Magento 2 development, using one could cost you time, quality and a lot of money. 

This blog explains why you too should be aware of them. By the end of it, you’ll understand why most generalist agencies tend to produce below-average Magento 2 sites and how you can ensure you receive the best site possible to support the growth of your business for years to come.

Time is money

Developing Magento 2 sites takes longer for agencies that don’t specialize in it. Which makes sense, because they don’t have the expertise to get things right the first time. 

The product they initially create won’t be perfect. So it’s often the case that agencies have to learn, tweak and upgrade as they go, improving on what they create in a process that stretches out the project over a longer period of time. This means that the project can take twice as long as you first thought. 

Not only does that prevent your business from progressing on other projects, you also end up paying for more agency hours whilst they get things right.  Or if you refuse to pay, what you’ll find is that a number of corners are cut to get the job done as quickly as possible, sacrificing quality. Often with Magento development the longest approach in the short term provides much better long term gains.

Quality over quantity

Every customer wants the best results for their bucks. With generalist Magento 2 agencies, you’re less likely to find that. Most agencies don’t have specialists in-house so lack the experience to identify and fix problems quickly with tried-and-tested solutions. Something generalist agencies don’t want you to know is that they often outsource much of this work to freelancers and other offshore companies that are not vetted properly as they dont have the technical knowledge or experience.

It also means they’re less likely to anticipate problems that may arise during the project which can cause delays, require additional budget.

Which puts the onus on you as the client to have to deal with poorly executed development. Consistently trying to improve a broken platform is hard. It means future development takes longer and the site can be more difficult to scale.

The result?

A site that doesn’t work how you want it to and doesn’t perform well in the eyes of Google. This leads us to the next issue… money!

You get what you pay for!

Most agencies charge by the hour – anything from £75-£200 per hour. 

So it makes sense that the quicker a job is done, the less you pay. And the more convoluted the development process is, the more you spend to cover the inefficiencies of the developer. All this makes time efficiency critical.

A lack of in-house experience, expertise and specialists means agencies will take more time to develop your site. And the more time it takes to develop, the more it’s going to cost you. 

Of course, you don’t want to sacrifice quality.

But you don’t want to be paying huge sums of money for no reason either. Especially if the job could be done much quicker and to a higher standard, for a fraction of the price.

So what can you do about it?

Nobody wants to pay a high price for a poor-quality job that takes ages to complete. This is exactly what you’ll get with agencies that are more focused on SEO and PPC trends than Magento.

The solution?

Work with agencies that specialize in Magento 2 development. Like us. We’ll work with you to create a clear development specification, provide project guidelines and key milestones and go through a solution workshop at the start of every project to get fine details of what’s required and get visibility on all of the requirements that are needed in your ecommerce solution in order for your business to function


– Is their developer team in house?
– Do their dev team have Magento certifications?
– How detailed is the scope of work that they are proposing?
– Have they explored all areas of your business from fulfilment to marketing?
– How many other Magento 2 merchants are they actively currently providing development services to?
– When did they last launch a Magento 2 project?
– How many other Magento 2 projects are they actively developing?
–  Ask to speak to their existing clients that use their development services, not their SEO or PPC services.
– Do you speak directly with the Magento developers / solutions architect or do you have to deal with an account manager?

The answers and reactions to the above questions will give you a much better feeling of where they are at as a specialist Magento 2 agency.

This allows us to create the scope of the project much more accurately and avoids us delaying the project or asking you for more money as there are things that we did not anticipate happening in the project that require additional development time to complete. It’s a short-term investment to save you lots of money and to then make more long-term. 

That way you get exactly what you pay for.

And more importantly, what you deserve.

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