Magneto 2: Developers Review

Magento 2


The stable version of Magento 2 was first released to non-developers in November 2015. This new version of Magento has “flexible architecture supporting innovation and fast time to market with enterprise-level scalability and performance”. The creators say that this new version has better performance, scalability, an intuitive admin with efficient business user tools, and new shopper experience features to improve engagement, conversion, rates and sales. Our Razoyo team began working with this new program in January 2016. Since then we have launched several eCommerce sites on the platform, so we have reviewed this new platform to give you a pracitioners opinion on Magento 2.

I interviewed three of our developers that have worked on Magento 2 and one of our clients to help give a full overview of the platform. Here are reviews from our head developer, senior developer, senior front end developer and our application specialist.

Client: VivaTerra

  • How was the transition to Magento 2?
    • The interface is structured and named in a really similar way to Magento 1, and if you’re used to using Magento 1, it’s easy to navigate the admin interface. Overall, I am happy to be making the move, and more importantly, learning the new software relatively early on. I am extremely excited about faster page load times and possibly needing less server resources with improved Magento performance.
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of Magento 2?
    • Advantages
      • Built in full page cache
      • Better speed performance
      • Admin is user friendly and easy to learn
      • Smart UX changes make admin tasks easier
      • Importing is improved
    • Disadvantages
      • Back admin runs slowly
      • Bugs slowly being worked out
  • How should clients prepare for the switch??
    • Launch a demo store and play around! It was really helpful for me to actually see the new software in action and understand how it would affect my daily workflow. Also research all possible software plugins you may need, just to be sure one exists already with a reputable developer.

Head Developer: William B.

  • How was the transition to Magento 2?
    • The transition to coding in Magento 2 was not as bad as learning Magento 1 from the start. Many of the same Magneto 1 design patterns exist in Magento 2.
    • There were a lot of new libraries and concepts also introduced in Magento 2. There is abundant documentation, because they are widely adopted in the PHP world. For example, Magento 2 utilizes composer for managing modules and dependencies. Composer has been around for a while now and is widely adopted in many PHP libraries. Another example is the dependency injection system. Although they don’t use the same exact library for it, many other popular PHP frameworks like Symfony use dependency injection and have great documentation out there for it.
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of Magento 2?
    • Advantages
      • Better testability, includes unit tests
      • Better package stability with composer
      • Full page cache is included
      • Better admin user interface
      • More robust design system (multiple theme inheritance)
      • Ability to use SASS instead of plain CSS
      • Better product import/export capabilities
    • Disadvantages
      • More steps to deploy
      • Development mode is quite slow
      • Compiling static assets and dependencies can take a while
      • Some bugs are still being worked out
  • How should clients prepare for the switch?
    • There are fewer extensions available for Magento 2, so you may need more custom development than Magento1. The extension developers themselves are still learning the new platform, so the likelihood of bugs in 3rd party extensions is higher. Most will work with you to get them fixed.

Senior Developer: Spenser P.

  • How was the transition to Magento 2?
    • Not the easiest. Magento 2 is a lot different from Magento 1. The file structure and modules have all changed quite a bit. It’s like learning Magento 1 all over again in a lot of respects.
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of Magento 2?
    • Advantages:
      • More tools available, i.e. plugins
      • Improvements to architecture to avoid extension conflicts
      • Admin panel has improved
      • Speed improvements while using Varnish
    • Disadvantages:
      • General importing and exporting functions
      • Lack of themes and extensions
  • How should clients prepare for the switch?
    • Find out your priorities and stick to it. To meet client needs there is more custom development, due to the lack of themes and extensions.
    • On Magento 1, if a client wants additional functionality developers can solve the issue quickly with an extension. Since Magento 2 is still new, there are not as many extensions to choose from. This means developers have extra custom development, which becomes more costly for the client. Therefore, if the client decides they do not want some functionality that a developer has already custom built, there is no way to refund the time spent. Unlike Magento 1, where the extension could just be uninstalled with no penalty.

Application Specialist: Ethan H.

  • How was the transition to Magento 2?
    • It was not the easiest transition, initially. I was used to the Magento 1, so getting comfortable with the new layout and features took a while. However, once I learned my way around the back-end, I had no problem navigating to the sections I needed.
    • I do a lot of catalog work, and I was thrown through a loop when I saw that the spreadsheets – specifically the columns – had changed. I’m still unsure if the new spreadsheet layout is more functional.
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of Magento 2?
    • Advantages:
      • Easy to navigate (once you learn new menu structure)
      • Aesthetically superior
      • Much faster load times
      • Ability to customize the catalog view by adding columns and filtering by those columns
      • Add attributes to products from the product view
      • Remove attributes without deleting simple products
      • Creating configurable products is a much better experience Product import process is improved, no longer have to worry about removing key information just for updates
    • Disadvantages:
      • Altered spreadsheets
      • Re-indexing requires users to manually start it via the terminal
      • Not as user-friendly as expected
      • Import/export function is still buggy
  • How should clients prepare for the switch?
    • Since it’s still a new platform, there are going to be hiccups during the building process. Certain aspects of Magento 2 require research and debugging. It’s a solid platform, but it’s not infallible.
    • Know what you are trying to accomplish. Last-minute changes can be very time consuming. Have a game-plan.

Our developers seem to agree that because Magento 2 is so new there are still several bugs and extra development time going into their builds.  Clients need be prepared and clear on their expectations, even though this is normal for new platforms. This will help your developers work more efficiently, while trying to juggle the curve balls Magento 2 throws at them. Overall, our developers are happy with the new user interface and many of the new features that Magento 2 provides.

What are your experiences with Magento 2? Have your developers and clients been running into the same issues?