We all know that the Magento extensions can be downloaded from Magento Connect and they have a huge collection of extensions. But the problem with this system is that the user have no control over what files are downloaded and where. Sure Magento itself is a great product. But they don’t check each and every extension that is added in Magento Connect and a lot of them actually break the system besides not working. I know that someone who is working with Magento for some time now will never install new extensions in the live version. But the staging or test versions also need time to set up and we cannot afford to reset it for every extension that we try.
So my personal opinion will be “Never install extensions via Magento Connect” unless you are playing with a local installation or have loads of time in hand.
What is the solution then? Magento does not offer a direct download link. But there is one site using which you can download the actual archived extension and then use it manually.
This site offers a system where you need to provide the extension key and they will provide a link to download the extension archived. You can then manually place the files or upload it via FTP.
A few extension archives do not have all the files placed in proper hierarchy using folders and sub folders. In those cases you can also download the ready to paste version where the folder and sub folders are maintained as per Magento hierarchy. (Though I personally think any seasoned Magento developer would know where to place which file. But still it’s a nice feature).
Happy coding 🙂