Better Configurable Products vs Simple Configurable Products – Magento Plugin Review

Posted Tuesday 6th Nov 2012 by Claire Jennings 2 Comments

I have been building Magento eCommerce sites for a while, and as much as Magento has improved over the past few years significantly, there are still a few things that i would love to be improved, mainly the usability of the configurable products for the purchaser…

One thing you can improve using plugins is: Simple Product prices not showing in Configurable products…

Within the configurable products, instead of being able to use the price from the simple product itself, as default, you have to add in the difference in price for every single option. (See Fig.A of how most of Creare clients need it to work)

Fig.A

This is not always suitable, in fact, it is not suitable for most of our clients! One plugin that did solve this issue was a plugin called ‘Simple Configurable Products‘ which is a free plugin, a bit glitchy, but at the end of the day – it’s free.

Plugin 1: “Simple Configurable Products” plugin

Cost: FREE, Score: 2/5

This plugin isn’t completely bug-free however; There are two fundamental points you need to know before using this: (It may work for you in one way, but stop something else working!)

1) To re-index the price data, you have to disable the plugin manually. Disabling this in System>Config just did not work, and we could not rely on our clients to do this.
2) Only the selected simple product information would send through to the checkout, and not the Configurable product data, nor, the Custom Options data.

If you can settle with the above, then this plugin is perfect for you, otherwise, I have found a new favourite. which isn’t free, but it’s worth it… And the plugin is…‘Better Configurable Products’.

Plugin 2: “Better Configurable Products” plugin

Cost: £approx £120, Score: 4/5

It is pretty amazing, and does what the “Simple Configurable Product” plugin does, but funnily enough better, plus a few extra bells and whistles along the way. It’s the bells and whistles that make it even better. I personally think they should re-name it to, “super-awesome better configurable products” plugin. But maybe that’s the name for the next release?

“Better Configurable Products” benefits are:

  • Show Simple product images when selecting the simple product (perfect for products with different colours)
  • Show Simple product Price, not differences (See Fig.A)
  • Show Simple product Short Descriptions, Long Descriptions and Additional information when selecting the simple product
  • Optional Ajax Loader when selecting Simple products
  • Display the total price of the selected options in the drop-downs menu (See Fig.B)
  • Supports custom options on configurable products and in addition associated simple products (See Fig.C)
  • You can select to have the cheapest product as the default when landing on the configurable product page.

(Fig.B)

(Fig.C)

As I have only installed this plugin on one website, I cannot vouch for it working on all Magento versions, however the plugin does state that it supports most Magento versions, and on the plus side, the developer is German, so fingers crossed that the renowned German reliability is also consistent in the web developers department as well!

Give it a try, it made me smile :)

For more information on the plugin, just type in ‘Better Configurable Products’ in Google.

By Claire Jennings

Claire loves to design pretty website's all day long, she especially likes creating Magento and Wordpress based websites, and finding out new nifty tricks along the way. In her spare time likes to make Truffles, Think up new ideas whilst brushing her teeth, and change her hair colour. (On that note what colour shall i do next?)

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  • Matt

    Please could you please post a link to the website so I can see this plug-in working on a live website? Thanks!

  • crearedesign

    Hi Matt, you can see it in action on the developers website. Just type in Google ‘Better Configurable Products’ I will try and post a live site with it on as soon as possible for you