Why Magento Extensions Are Never as Easy as They Seem
One of the strongest areas of Magento is the massive community of developers, technology partners, extensions, and agencies that support it. However, the lack of standards among the Magento Connect market place and extensions out there is also a frustration for many who do not understand what they are getting into.
Business owners and companies who lack Magento technical expertise see an extension expecting it to be a quick installation and woolah, now they have this shinny new feature. When it comes to open source Enterprise eCommerce software this is a hopeful wish.
Every Magento site is customized to the brand and needs of the company, therefore those customizations, the hosting environment, and other factors could lead to major conflicts with the extension.
Testing Alone Can Be Expensive!
When you install a new Magento extension, if you actually got it to work, you now have to test your entire site! You may have some regression testing and automated tests in place, but its possible the extension broke something in the account pages, the check out process, or something seemingly unrelated to the extension itself. Chances are, you broke something, and launching this new feature without thoroughly testing your site is risky.
Front End Extensions Are Not Always Compatible:
If you are like most Magento sites, you either used a theme from Themeforest or have a custom theme with some sort of responsive framework like Bootstrap or Foundation. The front end extensions are not going to be compatible with every possible way that a Magento site is customized for the frontend, therefore it is almost guaranteed that you will have to modify the front end extension to work with your website. Any extension that displays data on your website or manipulates the user experience of your website can be considered a front end extension.
Data Mapping is Specific to Each Use Case:
Magento stores data a specific way and has a specific data base / table structure. Additionally, within Magento you can create new websites, stores, store views, attributes, attribute sets, and many other things that could change the database structure.
Often times an extension will be mapping data from a third party to Magento which can cause major complications. If you end up using the software in a way that goes beyond what the extension was meant to do, this might mean that some of this data is not mapped properly. Additionally it might not map the data to the way you have setup your data in Magento.
Customization Can Cause Complications:
Chances are you have heavily customized your Magento website, whether it be on the backend or frontend, it will most likely be customized to some extent. Some of these customizations could have a conflict or create issues when installing or configuring an extension to be setup the way you want it to be setup.