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I will pay for support but I can’t afford ≥ $8,900
 
watershed
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Right now, I’m really frustrated at the lack of thorough, in-depth designer orientated documentation and, in its absence, the lack of forum help forthcoming on me grokking Magento. I know Magento is OpenSource, but if I can’t deploy this amazing product in a timely fashion it isn’t worth diddly squat to me or my clients. Maybe Varien doesn’t care about lil ol me but it seems I’m not alone. How many like me have caught the Magento bug and then caught a cold?

Maybe with persistence I’ll find the answers I need myself or maybe I’ll just have to throw my hands up and walk away—I’m not sure.

What I’d prefer, and still hold out hope for, is the option to pay a reasonable sum for some guidance. I’m tempted to start something over at getsatisfaction.com/magentocommerce but here’s hoping someone at Varien is listening and can change my mind.

>:(

 
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The Sunday Paper
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They charge what they feel their time is worth. Those of us who aren’t up to paying their prices are left to lean on one another to find the answers we need. The Magento community is very active and supportive, and you can get a whole lot out of it if you’re patient, diligent and cooperative about getting what you want.

I strongly advise that you consider the level of your outrage against what you’re paying to use this product, which, as you know, is nothing. That is also what the developers of Magento Commerce have been paid to make it available to you. There is a limit to what you can demand of them, just as there is a limit to what anyone can expect from you for free. I can tell you already know this. What I think needs readdressing is your threat of writing an angry review of the software because a robust, full-featured e-commerce framework, provided free of charge, somehow falls short of your expectations.

We have no more right to be able to understand Magento at a price of our choosing than we do to understand how to do electrical work or build houses. We have a choice: we can pay what it costs to have it done for us, pay what it costs to get a proper education, or work very, very hard and teach it to ourselves using whatever resources we can afford. (But it’s not Home Depot’s fault if we can’t find someone to teach us the plumbing trade for $6/hr.)

It’s a lot of work. It’s very frustrating. I’m right there with you. I’m no developer, but I’ve put in hundreds of painstaking hours and I’m proud of what I’ve made with Magento. I don’t think someone at my level could’ve done it with any other software, or without this community to pose questions to and search for past answers. It’s been worth it. And there are things that no amount of community support can help me with — like running software updates on it. For that, and anything else that is simply out of my reach, I hire a professional. I highly recommend it.

For what it’s worth, I agree that it would be dreamy if someone decided to offer direct support for cheap somehow. I just can’t see getting mad about it.

And I wish you better luck in the future.

 
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watershed
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I really appreciate your considered (and timely!) response.

For the record, I’m not ‘outraged’ (tone of voice is I know difficult to discern in posts like these). I’m frustrated and disappointed.

I know it’s free. I know I have no right to make demands upon anything given for free. I’m not making demands. I’m pleading, hoping, and making suggestions, and if I say anything over at getsatisfaction now or in the future regarding Magento it will be in that vein.

Right now I have no option but to persist, with my efforts helped along ad-hoc by good people like yourself, but I’m ruing not having chosen a commercial product for the project in question.

 
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The Sunday Paper
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Understood. Part of my assumption of outrage might have been related to my understanding of getsatisfaction.com. It’s for angry people. (And most of them are probably right.)

For those of us who can afford the time and will brave the learning curve, there’s a lot of money to be saved on commercial development. Take my word for it. It’s tough, but not impossible, and it’s really worth it for any small-timer to stick with it.

Until you start getting those SQL errors out of nowhere, anyway.

 
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watershed
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Thanks for the moral support.
Onwards and upwards.
wink

 
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JLHC
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Well you may want to look into this:-
http://www.magentocommerce.com/services/professional-services

 
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The Sunday Paper
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And the timing couldn’t have been better for that manual to come out! You’ll have to let me know how it is.

 
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watershed
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I feel like I’m grokking Magento now after a long hard slog over the weekend. If I get really stuck, JLHC, I will give the Professional Services a go: thanks for the suggestion.

That list of looks great (from a business owner’s perspective).

There’s clearly a gap in the market though for someone with the time and energy to do for Magento designers what Michael Boyink at Train-EE has done for ExpressionEngine. Although, ironically, ExpressionEngine is a lot better documented.

 
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The Sunday Paper
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Glad things are looking up. Even so, as you’re just getting started, it probably wouldn’t hurt to check out the new guide, since documentation is just what you’re hungry for.

http://www.magentocommerce.com/support/magento-user-guide-book

 
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watershed
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Thanks, I bought that as soon as it came out. As the Title implies, it’s great for business owners running and configuring their own site, but very light on the details and intricacies of custom template development.

 
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