The Costs of Developing an Ecommerce Site With Magento


Magento is currently the most popular eCommerce platform in the world. It’s used by over 240,000 merchants worldwide but a quote from a developer can be confusing, with quotes ranging from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands. Having built multiple sites for ourselves, we figured we would let you know the most common reasons for the varying costs.

Basic Installation

The basic installation cost of a Magento webstore is low. In fact, it’s not much more complicated than a WordPress installation and if you are able to do one, you should be able to do the other. Overall, costs shouldn’t be more than a few hours of a developers work.

Design Cost

The design or in Magento parlance, the Theme can be purchased off-the-rack or custom built. Off-the-rack themes are between $100 – $200 with the upper-end often including responsive layouts. Many of these themes are functional and will do most starting eCommerce store owners, with minor adjustments available for an hour or two of work. Again, Magento generally makes theme installation very easy – expect an hour of work at most for a direct installation, a few tweaks should be only a few hours more work.

Custom theme prices can vary. A good design is often in the $500 – 1000 range, which will give you flat design files. After that, the developers will need to actually create the theme from the design files, adding another 15 – 30 hours of work depending on the complexity of the theme and variance from ‘base’ Magento design.

Payment Gateways

Payment gateways for and PayPal and a few others come pre-integrated to Magento so installation / set-up on these should be negligible. However, if you need another payment gateway that’s not installed you generally will need to purchase the module for it. Modules generally cost $200 and installation should take no longer than an hour in most cases.


Shipping modules for FedEx and UPS come pre-installed in Magento. Again, set-up should be negligible. Outside of those, modules will cost you $50 – 200 and might take a few hours to integrate.

The above is the minimum requirements for setting up your webstore. You will also need to upload your products, but we will not touch on that in this discussion. Beyond this, there are numerous modules that can be installed into Magento to provide additional functionality. Those modules can provide for better search functionality, blog integration, newsletter integration, more sophisticated reporting options and automated upsell / cross-sell features. However, it’s important to realize that the more modules you add, the higher the cost will grow including the potential for conflicts between modules.

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