Disclaimer: Magenticians does not necessarily agree with the views expressed in this guest post. They are presented to bring to light all diverse views in the Magento and general ecommerce community.
Magento 2 has become the leading enterprise ecommerce platform utilized by over 2,30,000 online retailers. The software offers a range of flexible tools that cover your marketing, Search Engine Optimization, and catalogue-management-needs even more than it did before.
If you have worked with the previous iterations of Magento, you’d be familiar with all the features it offered. However, with Magento 2, they took it to a whole new level and created the most user-friendly and balanced ecommerce environment yet. Hence, you now have so many reasons to upgrade that it’s difficult not to!
Magento was stripped down and rebuilt from scratch to what is now a quicker, easier, and safer Magento 2 version. It not only offers improved scalability, but also some exclusive features that help users to set up a functioning online shop easily. It also improved on the administrative options that enhance the customer shopping experience.
Combined with the newly added HTML5 and CSS pre-processor technology, and you have an ecommerce game changer in Magento 2!
Here are some Magento 2 features all users can enjoy:
1) Open and flexible architecture – powered by entirely new, next-generation architecture, it provides flexibility to bring your vision of commerce to life.
2) Enhanced business agility and productivity – Magento 2 empowers its merchants by providing a more efficient experience that facilitates growth.
3) Engaging shopping experiences – Engagement is central to a seamless and personal customer experience on any device.
4) Grade scalability and performance of the enterprise – Over 50% of faster page load speed across checkout pages and catalog, performance lies to enhance the customer experience and also improve rates of the conversion.
5) Easier upgrades and maintenance – A modern and modular architecture empowers functionality provided by Magento 2, that provides scope and flexibility.
6) Secure Payments – Magento 2 offers built-in integration with payment gateways like PayPal, Braintree, and Authorize.net.
7) Backup/Rollback system – It has a very elegant and powerful system. The command line tool has handy commands. These commands can be added to the system to make backups. Rollback is another command that places the site in the maintenance mode, restores the file and the media, and re-enables the site.
8) Some handy commands:
- Setup: backup – Takes the backup of Magento application code base and media database.
- Setup: rollback – It rolls back Magento application code base, the media, and database.
- Info: backup: list-Prints list of backup files.
9) Upgrading core files and its modules – Introduction to PHP based dimensions management using composer. Composers ensure that all its components maintain its expected versions. With only a single command, its third party gets updated.
10) PSR Compliance – Stands for PHP Standard Recommendation.
11) Performance – Improved its indexers, Magento 2 performance kit, Varnish caching integration, and to provide better performance and scalability, full page caching is required to the shop.
12) Migration Tool – It comes with a migration tool that helps migrate from Magento 1.9 to Magento 2.0 easily. By using this tool, one can easily log shop settings, customers, catalogs, and categories. Magento 2 makes data and settings easy.
13) Scalability – Modular architecture lets us break down the subsystem and the hosts on different servers optimized for all load types. Catalog, sales, shipping, payment, and check out can be optimized for stability, security, and performance.
14) Testing the framework – Magento 2 provides its own testing framework. There are various sections involved like integration, functional areas, performance, and the static environment. This can also reduce the bug fix while making testing easier.
Features of Magento 2
These were some of its basic features. Let’s discuss the top 8 features now:
- New File Structure in Magento 2
- New Layout Elements
- CSS Preprocessing
- Magento UI Library
- Under the hood
- Improved performance and scalability
- No more prototypes
- Reducing upgrade efforts and costs
1. New File Structure in Magento 2
There are major changes in the Magento 2 file structure. Everything is placed under the app structure. Every module has its own directory in which you can easily access all the templates, layouts, js, CSS/fewer files of a specific module. This is definitely a big help for the module developers as they can have more opportunities for custom without changing its core site.
There are four types of directories in Magento 2:
- Primary directories- These directories cannot be changed that include base directory, code directory, lib directory.
- System directories- That includes DI directory, generation directory, etc. directory. To change its location, you need to run the EntryPoint class.
- Application directories- The directories include app directory, design directory, temporary directory, cache directory, log directory, session directory.
- Public directories- Include pub directory, media directory, upload directory, static directory, pub view cache directory.
To change the location of public and application directories, use the same technique applied to change the location of the system directory. Both these directories can be configured via config.XML file.
2. New Layout Elements
In Magento 1.x, core/text is used to serve as a structured book. Magento 2 now introduces a new concept of container wrappers. The containers contain blocks and render all the children. Organizing blocks will now be more intuitive by just moving the blocks and easily define the sections in an easier way.
3. CSS Preprocessing
Magento 2 no longer uses BootStrap. Instead, it uses own less and CSS in theme core. It has the publisher to find and publish CSS together with overview static files filed under the pub and directory. The publisher also supports preprocessing of files that have to be published using some preprocessors.
CSS preprocessor consists two independent preprocessors:
- LESS preprocessor: LESS PHP adapter, LESS preprocessor enables the use of LESS in Magento.
- CSS URL resolver: Resolves to links found in CSS source files using the publisher and then replacing them with the correct ones.
Key advantages include:
- LESS helps users to custom theme faster and easier.
- LESS preprocessor and CSS URL helps enhance performance, speed up the page load, and make the system friendly with a search engine.
4. Magento UI Library
It’s a flexible modular Magento library that employs a set of mixins for base elements and also helps to ease theme development and its customization. Its key features include:
- Easy to maintain
- Focused on web standards
- Built on LESS preprocessor
Magento Library helps its users to customize every element mentioned below:
- Actions toolbar
- List of theme variables
5. Under the hood
Magento 2 include:
- HTML 5
- PSR Compliance
- Full page caching
- Varnish support in its core
6. Improved performance and scalability
There is some improvement needed in performance and scalability in Magento 2 that include:
- Indexers improving- Magento system transforms merchant data, such as catalog, data, prices, users through indexing by creating the index tables and by keeping them updated to boost the query speed and the performance of your store. New indexes include all the functionality as in the previous versions of Magento 2. They come with more updates and is improved to speed up the performance of the query.
- A performance toolkit of Magento- One can create a test environment and code changes to verify and optimize the system performance by using a new set of test scripts.
- Varnish-To help to reduce the server load and to speed up the page load, Magento 2 is integrated with the Varnish Cache – leading HTTP accelerator technology – that is responsible for caching common requests.
- Caching in full page – All content of a page is cached, which increasingly performance and significantly reduces the server load.
- Multiple admin users- Multiple admin users can create and edit products with Magento 2without the fear of data conflicts.
7. No more prototypes
8. Reducing upgrade efforts and costs
Upgrading and installing extensions in Magento 2 is seamless. Also, extensions in Magento 2 are lightweight compared to Magento 1.
- Upgrading to newer versions- Magento 2 includes updated information on policies and upgrade compatibility.
- Installing Magento- Installing new Magento has become easier and faster with the new Magento 2’s new installer. It will first check for prerequisites before starting the process of installation. System integrators can easily script the installations and upgrade to create the deployments.
- Upgrading and installing the extensions- Installing or updating will affect your site. Magento 2 allows the developers to provide the detailed information on compatible versions of their codes which include a dependency on components, versions, and requirements of the system.
- Upgrading to Magento 2- One can use export and import functionality to export the customer records, inventory data, customer data, and other records then import them in Magento 2.
If you are existing user of Magento then you might have cleared your doubt on upgrading to Magento 2 from the above post. The new version of magento is ultra-fast, secure and more reliable. Magento 2 provides features of scalability and improved performance along with security and maintenance.
Shara DJ is a mid-level programmer working for magento website development company, Pattronize InfoTech. My favorite playground happens to be Magento but I do like others as well. I write some technical topics in my free time. You can contact me on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.