Magento extensions are an important constituent of Magento store development and optimization. They not only help store owners enhance performance, but they also play a crucial role in increasing sales and profits.
One of the best Magento extension developers is Mageplaza. Let’s learn from its owner how he got started with Magento development. And, most importantly, why he chose Magento extension development to start with?
Over to Sam Thomas, CEO of Mageplaza.
Muneeb: Sam, thanks for joining me for this interview. Let’s start with the highlights of your career.
Sam: Thank you for having me in this interview. Mageplaza is my 2nd start-up and it is the most successful project of mine after many years.
Muneeb: In your opinion, what is the most critical challenge for Magento extension development agencies, as they continue to deliver on improving their footprint in the market?
Sam: Customer service is the most critical factor which affects the level of success in every business and in Magento also. How to deliver the best customer service and technical support to clients is way more important than anything else. At Mageplaza, our customers are always given the fastest support of the highest standard.
Muneeb: What is your process of extension development? What features or functionalities do the clients request the most?
Sam: We develop our extensions based on Agile Development Model. In the whole process, we appreciate and emphasize on human factors and interactions among team members. We often develop extensions related to checkout process, as we desire to help our customers increase their revenues. Moreover, checkout is really important so online stores have to invest a lot in building a perfect checkout page.
Muneeb: What significant challenges do store owners face when working with open source ecommerce platforms like Magento? Do you think Magento should be the first choice for most of the merchants?
Sam: Every platform has its own pros and cons. In Magento, I think that upgrading system is quite complicated, time-consuming and expensive. Depending on other requirements from merchants, Woocommerce, BigCommerce or Shopify can be easier to start with. However, Magento will suit the needs of a store about security, sustainability, customizability, and ability to work well with a large number of products.
Muneeb: As the CEO, I want to explore your idea of innovation. How do you think a company can innovate itself in the ecommerce industry?
Sam: This is a difficult question. Innovation is a must in every business. However, it’s not always an easy task. Innovation is not only changing in technology but also what a company can do to renew management, working process and so on. In my opinion, if a company wants to innovate itself, the leader has to keep his mind open to welcome new, or even crazy ideas, while staying up-to-date with the newest technologies is necessary. I think every firm will have its own ways to innovate itself, but the key point here is that you truly want it.
“Big Data and AI are two main arenas to watch out for in 2019,” – Mageplaza CEO
Muneeb: How has Magento 2 changed the way you work now? How does your team come up with ideas of new extensions?
Sam: Since 2016, we have always stayed up-to-date with knowledge and changes from Magento 1 to Magento 2. We build all the extensions based on the Magento 2 coding standard, and we focus on optimizing the performance of Magento 2-based websites. Our target has always been to increase customer revenues, so we build all the extensions to complement it.
Muneeb: What is your strategy for managing the uncertainty in the ecommerce market? What do you think are the main issues to watch out for in 2019?
Sam: As far as I’m concerned, BigData and AI are the main problems to watch out for in 2019.
Muneeb: Does a healthy workplace environment has a positive impact on the productivity of your team and business? Also, please share some pictures of your workplace with our readers!
Sam: Working environment can give both positive and negative impact on the productivity of the employees. As you already know, technical companies often have a stressful working environment and lack of humor. Thus, we always encourage our team to stand up and play table football, cards, and other games to relax during 15-minute morning and afternoon breaks. This helps our employees to refresh themselves before starting work again. Moreover, we hold running events regularly to motivate our employees and to have a healthy lifestyle. I see many positive results, and I will keep up with this to build up a better environment for my team.
Muneeb: How do you invest your spare time? Do you like watching movies or sports on the weekends?
Sam: I often spend my spare time to read, and play with my children. I love sports, I run and I play badminton at 5 A.M. everyday.
Muneeb: It has become very crucial to follow influencers and learn from others. Name a few people who inspired you and kept you motivated in your personal and professional life.
Sam: Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are two great men who inspired me the most. Bill Gates was the one who gave me the motivation to start Mageplaza
Muneeb: Cloudways provides 1-click Magento installation with impressive speed and great cloud infrastructures embedded within the platform. Would you prefer shared hosting for Magento stores or a cloud hosting environment like Cloudways offers?
Sam: Cloud hosting has recently become a trend in hosting service in general. Its cost, sustainability and ability to extend is kept high. Cloudways is a good platform for an online store to start with. If I’m asked, Cloudways will always be my first recommendation.
Cloud hosting has become a trend because of its sustainability, and scalability. I recommend Cloudways for any online store
Found this interview interesting? Learn more about Sam Thomas and his initiatives on his LinkedIn profile.
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Syed Muneeb Ul Hasan is a Magento Community Manager at Cloudways - A Managed Magento Hosting Platform. He is an expert in PHP and Magento and prefers to educate users in the implementation of Magento. When not working, he loves to play games and watch cricket.