Modularity : Enhance your online business with community creations

There is no need to re-invent the wheel. This is something I tell every online business owner especially if they are leveraging a modern platform. A decent modern platform should be built with the ability to let the community develop and build upon to enhance the platform in many ways. With the creativity of the collective community, fascinating ideas and platform improvements come about, giving all the opportunity to leverage said feature without having to custom build it ourselves.

These enhancements are referred to in a few different technical terms. Magento for example refers to these as ‘extensions’ or ‘modules’. BigCommerce and Shopify name these ‘apps’. WordPress ‘plugins’, EpiServer ‘add-ons’, SalesForce Commerce Cloud (formerly DemandWare) ‘cartridges’ so on and so forth.

My favorite example of this are the Lego bricks. The community essentially produces their own brick, most times to solve a specific problem (like GDPR for instance). Or for a feature the base platform does not come OOTB (Out Of the Box), or integrate with a 3rd pty service or system.

However! Not all of these creations are perfect, safe, or done in a best practice manner! I have also seen cases where too many if these installed creates more problems than they solve as too many open risks of module conflicts!

In conclusion, these community enhancements are a wonder in the ability to reuse pre-developed features and dramatically reduce the development effort involved.

Before installing any of these we recommend reading the developer notes. Most have a demo or at least a few screenshots. Reviewing what others had to say about the feature is also a good indicator on quality. Lastly, I myself like to look for developer responses to some of the sub-par reviews, this hints to me on the developer’s willingness to support.

I will leave links below for you to reference some of the marketplaces these platforms have put together. Happy building friend!

BigCommerce
https://www.bigcommerce.com/apps/

Shopify
https://apps.shopify.com/

Magento Commerce
https://marketplace.magento.com/

EpiServer
https://marketplace.episerver.com/

SalesForce Commerce Cloud
https://appexchange.salesforce.com/
https://www.salesforce.com/products/commerce-cloud/partner-marketplace/

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