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Magento Versions & Extension Conflict


seo linksAs I discussed in the previous article, Magento extensions are the way to go in order to expand your Magento eCommerce website. With that being said, it may not always go smoothly. I’m taken back to the days of studying stats for this next insight. We are dealing with two different planes of data. First, Magento releases new versions quite often and each of those versions vary in their stability and problems. Second, each extension is attached to one or multiple versions. Now for the tricky part. I would venture to say that a lot of versions and combinations of extensions have never been tested together.

With more then 4,000 extensions and probably at least 50 versions of Magento we are looking tons of combinations of possible version/extensions that could exist and the problem is you might be running the first test of a certain combination. When you fall victim to extension conflict you won’t be happy, but here is what we recommend you do:

  1. Research
  2. Install and Thoroughly Test
  3. Contact the Extension Developers
  4. Implement Patches or Find An Extension That Works

Before anything else, on any given Magento extensions we recommend you research if anyone out there has had problems with the extension. It might sound obvious, but if when you search something like “problem with Company Name extensions” and you find hundreds of articles about it, this may be great warning sign to heed. Though I mentioned you might be the first to try a specific combination, more likely than not a given extension might have problems with other extensions as well and this can help you know the chances you are taking. On this same note, another thing to research is the general quality and responsiveness of the vendor who makes the extension and whether or not they keep their extension(s) up to date is another factor to consider.

Install and Thoroughly Test
One of the easiest ways to isolate a bug is it iteratively test. If for instance you install four extensions at once how will you know which one is the problem. Once again the answer is simple, but obviously logical. Try one thing to test first and then if everything breaks move to Step 3.

Contact the Extension Developers
Most of the Magento extension developers are pretty responsive on helping you figure out what went wrong on their extension. I’d say the one irritating factor here can sometimes be slow responsiveness of some developers. On a few occasions, we’ve waited weeks to months for a response but in general it’s usually fast. One thing we will do while waiting for a response is repeating Step 1 and search Google for the problem we are having. Most of the time there is an answer out there.

Implement Patches or Find An Extension That Works
If you weren’t able to solve the problem on your own, you may be lucky enough to get the trick from the extension developer. Oftentimes the trick is some sort of configuration that they omitted from the documentation or in other cases it is a patch. Once you’ve tried what they recommend, if there is still a problem, continue to contact the developer or consider finding a similar extension that works. Our experience has been on a few occasions, it is just not worth it to make the extension work if it is just bad. Luckily there is often another extension that may do the trick for you.

Magento extensions are oftentimes an amazing shortcut that makes building a Magento website fast and economical. Nevertheless, save yourself the headache by using our 1-4 process installing extensions. If you want us to help you install an extension(s) for you let us know.