12th June 2017

Magento Development: Agency or In House?

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When it comes to developing a Magento store many businesses question whether it’s better to employ a development team themselves, or select an agency to support develop and support their store.

There are pros and cons to both options, so we thought it would be helpful to outline our thoughts on each route as even handedly as we can (SPOILER ALERT: We think the agency route wins, but I guess you knew that!).

Magento Development In House

There are some good reasons why you might want to take the development of your Magento project in house. Maybe that’s how you’ve built other areas of your business or maybe you like having things right under your nose so you can see exactly what’s happening day to day. Or maybe you just want to avoid paying agency fees.

First and foremost, an in house developer works for you and you alone. You change your mind about something, they can act on it. You spot a bug you want fixing now? No problem, they can drop everything else and do it.

Sure, your in house developer will take five weeks holiday every year during which time your project will stand still, but that’s OK, you can plan around it. And the UK is recording the lowest number of sick days per employee since records began – that’s just another week to deal with.

So let’s consider the skills you’re going to need. When you hire a web developer you get the skills they come with, but can you be sure you’ll have the skills that your business will need? 

Developing a Magento store requires a lot of different technical skills. For a good looking site you’re going to need a front end whizz – someone with excellent CSS and HTML skills, as well as someone with JavaScript knowledge to build all of those elegant interactions you’re dreaming up.

Of course you’re also going to need someone to do the heavy lifting of the back end development. PHP, MySQL, knowledge of APIs, server setup, payment gateways, deployment processes and so on. That’s a lot for one person (or even two or three) to get their heads around.

Until now, we’ve only been thinking about the development end of your website project, but creating a successful website takes a lot more than just development. There’re a whole host of wrap around services that are just as important, from creating the specification to understanding the user experience and working through the many aspects of design. And that’s before you get to the most important job of all for ensuring it gets delivered… project management.



There’s a lot to get right and that’s difficult if you’re setting up a team from scratch. For a start, how do you even go about interviewing candidates whose skills you don’t fully understand or planning for what they’re going to do once the project launches.

The Magento Development Agency Solution

This is where the agency model comes into its own. We’ve already hired the teams, got the processes in place and experienced the challenges you’re likely to encounter. We’ve got flexible resources so we can hit the key milestones of your project on time and we’ve got a broad set of skills on hand to tackle those specialist problems or find the challenging solutions. Plus, we’ll be thinking about search engine optimisation and other digital marketing consideration from the outset, not as an afterthought when the site goes live.

More than that, we bring our experience working with clients in every sector you can imagine to your ecommerce project, giving it the best possible chance of success.

At the end of your project we continue to support you with the development of your website, either on an ad hoc or retained basis. You can call us for advice, pick our brains or speak to experts who know your website inside out.  Plus we offer wrap around services to give your online business the best chance of success, including PPC management, conversion rate optimisation (CRO), social media management and email marketing.


Tell me more about your Magento Agency

With Magento development offices in London and Leeds we help businesses nationwide with their ecommerce development needs. If you’d like to know more about how we work, our experience or how we would approach your project why not drop us a line here or give us a call on 0203 603 1689.