When an online store serves thousands of customers simultaneously, it is bound to act slowly. But, slowness comes at a price that may tune up to billions in the case of an e-commerce business as shoppers do not like snail-paced websites. Now, imagine the speed taking into account the fact that the store is selling thousands of products in hundreds of categories as well. It is a herculean task for any lightweight platform to maintain the desired performance and speed of the website.
However, Magento 2 is not a lightweight platform as it is designed to serve thousands of users in parallel and supports up to half a million products in the store. This is not the only reason for people to hire Magento developer. Let us look at some relevant features of Magento 2 to prove our point.
Magento 2 is a robust, open-source e-commerce platform widely utilized for building online stores and digital marketplaces. It serves as a comprehensive solution for businesses seeking to establish a strong online presence and conduct e-commerce operations efficiently. Magento 2 offers an array of features, including customizable templates, inventory management, payment processing, and a rich set of extensions.
It is known for its flexible nature, as it can fit to varying sizes of the business small, medium, or large. However, these very attributes contribute to its heavyweight nature, as its complex architecture demands substantial server resources and can pose performance challenges.
Understanding Magento 2 as an e-Commerce Platform
Magento 2 is a powerful and versatile e-commerce platform designed to facilitate the creation of robust online stores and marketplaces. It offers an extensive range of features, including advanced catalog management, multiple payment gateways, and customizable templates. Its scalability makes it suitable for businesses of all sizes, from small startups to large enterprises. Magento 2 empowers merchants to manage their online presence effectively, offering tools for inventory control, order processing, and customer engagement. However, while it provides a comprehensive e-commerce solution, Magento 2 is known for its resource-intensive nature and complex codebase, which can pose challenges.
1 Cron Job Queues
There are certain jobs like sending customer alerts, newsletters, Automatic currency rate updating, etc. which can be delayed during peak hours to avoid performance bottlenecks on the website. Magento 2 supports the creation of Cron Jobs, which can be scheduled to execute in the future in a job queue, preferably when the load on the server is minimal. The basic thought behind this is to impede tasks that might hamper the performance of the store.
2 Database Sharding
Magento 2 supports database sharding, i.e. creation of horizontal partitions in a database wherein each partition is called a database shard. Magento 2 supports three database shards for the product, order, and checkout data, respectively. This allows additional flexibility and scalability as these shards can either be hosted on a single server or distributed amongst multiple servers. Apart from this, one can set up slave databases for backups and load balancing. Database sharding ensures scalability and parallel functioning of the major jobs without losing on the speed.
3 Supports Flat Catalogs
The product attributes are stored in different tables across the database. So, whenever the user searches for a product, data has to be fetched from multiple tables. The fragmented data increases the time for responding to each search request. Magento stores can be customized to create flat catalogs resulting in the consolidation of data and hence, fewer database queries. Flattening helps speed up the search queries. Although Magento 2 supports flat catalogs, the default settings of fragmented data can hinder its performance. So, one should hire best Magento developer only to optimize their Magento store.
4 Elastic Search Tool
Magento 2 can be customized to incorporate Elastic Search technology. Elastic Search can be used to boost the search features of the Magento store. It allows shoppers to search for products or categories in real time. It includes the “Did You Mean” feature, which helps the shopper in finding a product even if it was misspelled. The “Spell Correction in Search” feature automatically corrects the incorrectly typed keywords. The “Synonym Filter” feature allows the shopper to search for a product by its synonym or regional language translation. The “Search Suggestion” feature suggests categories, pages, products, etc. based on keywords fed in by the shopper. Elastic Search guarantees a quick response to customer search results.
5 Lazy Loading for Images
The page load time is inversely proportional to the number of high-quality images on the webpage. Magento 2 bolsters the speed by embracing lazy loading for images. The lazy loading feature loads images or any other heavy multimedia files only when it enters the viewport. It means that instead of loading the entire page at once, Magento gives priority to the visible content. New content is loaded dynamically as and when the user scrolls down. Lazy loading makes certain that the user experience does not suffer even at minimum bandwidth.
The Importance of Platform Lightweights
A lightweight platform ensures faster loading times, providing visitors with a seamless and pleasant browsing experience. Slow-loading websites often lead to high bounce rates and decreased user satisfaction.
Search engines consider page speed when determining search rankings. Lightweight websites have an advantage in search engine optimization (SEO) by ranking higher in search results, increasing visibility and organic traffic.
Lightweight platforms are more responsive on mobile devices, catering to the growing mobile user base. Fast-loading mobile pages is crucial for retaining and engaging smartphone users.
Lightweight platforms require fewer server resources, reducing hosting costs. This cost efficiency is particularly beneficial for startups and small businesses with limited budgets.
Lightweight platforms are easier to scale as your business grows. They accommodate increased traffic and data without requiring substantial infrastructure upgrades.
Development and Maintenance:
Lightweight platforms are often easier for developers to work with, leading to quicker development cycles and reduced maintenance efforts. This results in cost savings and faster time-to-market for new features.
Fast-loading websites cater to international audiences more effectively. Lightweight platforms enable quicker content delivery worldwide, ensuring a positive user experience for global customers.
Nowadays users who surf the internet don’t like to wait for the page to load which is slower. So it is necessary to provide a seamless experience to the users for the same to bring traffic on the site. A lightweight platform can help retain customers and encourage repeat visits and purchases.
Lightweight platforms consume fewer server resources, contributing to reduced energy consumption and a smaller carbon footprint, aligning with sustainability goals and corporate social responsibility efforts.
Why Magento 2 is Not Lightweight
- Server requirements:- Running Magento 2 demands substantial server resources. It often requires high-performance hosting solutions with ample processing power and memory, which can lead to increased hosting costs for businesses.
- Performance issues:- The resource-intensive nature of Magento 2 can result in performance issues, such as slower page load times, especially when not configured optimally. This can impact user experience and SEO rankings, potentially leading to lost sales.
- Extensive file structure: Magento 2’s codebase is extensive, with a multitude of files and directories. This complexity can make it challenging to navigate and maintain the platform, requiring careful organization and management.
- Code redundancy: Redundancy in Magento 2’s codebase can lead to inefficiencies. Identical code segments in various parts of the platform can be hard to maintain and may result in inconsistencies and compatibility issues when extensions or customizations are added.
The learning curve for developers:
- Complex architecture: Developers working with Magento 2 need to grasp its intricate architecture, which involves a steep learning curve. This complexity can hinder the development process and require additional training for team members.
- Steeper development curve: Developing and customizing features on Magento 2 can be more time-consuming and challenging compared to more lightweight platforms. The complexity can extend project timelines and increase development costs.
Introduction to Lightweight e-Commerce Platforms
Lightweight e-commerce platforms are characterized by their simplicity, efficiency, and agility. Unlike heavyweight platforms like Magento 2, lightweight alternatives focus on providing essential e-commerce features without resource-intensive complexities. Examples of lightweight e-commerce platforms include Shopify, WooCommerce (for WordPress), and BigCommerce. These platforms are designed for businesses seeking a streamlined, user-friendly approach to online selling.
They often offer user-friendly interfaces, quick setup, and seamless integration with various payment gateways and third-party apps. Lightweight platforms are known for their ease of use, making them suitable for smaller businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs who prioritize speed and simplicity in their e-commerce operations.
The Role of Extensions and Customizations
Magento 2 offers a vast ecosystem of extensions and customizations to enhance its functionality. While these can provide valuable features, they also contribute to the platform’s heaviness. Integrating numerous extensions can lead to conflicts, compatibility issues, and slower performance. Customizations often involve complex coding to tailor the platform to specific business needs, further adding to its complexity. Balancing the benefits of extensions and customizations with their potential impact on the platform’s weightiness is a crucial consideration for businesses using Magento 2. Careful planning and optimization are essential to harness its capabilities effectively while mitigating its heavyweight drawbacks.
Key Differences Between Magento 2 and Lightweight Alternatives:
Magento 2 is known for its complexity, while lightweight alternatives are designed for simplicity. Magento 2’s extensive codebase and architecture require more technical expertise, whereas lightweight platforms are user-friendly and easier to set up and manage.
Magento 2 demands substantial server resources, resulting in higher hosting costs. Lightweight platforms have lower resource requirements, making them cost-effective for businesses with limited budgets.
Magento 2 offers extensive customization options, but they can be complex. Lightweight alternatives provide a balance between customization and simplicity, offering flexibility without overwhelming users.
Magento 2 is highly scalable but requires careful management. Lightweight platforms are designed for scalability, accommodating growth without sacrificing performance or simplicity.
Developers familiar with Magento 2 may find a steep learning curve when transitioning to lightweight platforms due to differences in architecture and features.
Benefits of Opting for Lightweight Solutions:
Ease of Use:
Lightweight platforms are user-friendly, making them accessible to businesses without extensive technical expertise. Users can set up and manage their online stores quickly.
Lower server requirements and hosting costs make lightweight platforms a cost-effective choice for small businesses and startups with limited budgets.
Speed and Performance:
Lightweight platforms offer faster page load times and better performance out of the box, enhancing the user experience and SEO rankings.
These platforms are designed to scale seamlessly as businesses grow, accommodating increased traffic and sales without sacrificing performance.
Lightweight e-commerce platforms often include security features and regular updates, reducing the risk of security vulnerabilities.
Many lightweight platforms offer easy integration with popular payment gateways and third-party apps, expanding functionality without complications.
Businesses can launch their online stores faster with lightweight platforms, reducing time-to-market and potential revenue losses.
Sluggish websites are a sight for sore eyes for the shoppers as well as the store owners. A store owner desires optimum performance from its store. Magento 2 eliminates all the performance inhibitors from the store, be it a job, search result, search query, image, or catalog. Magento 2 is a platform that can be used for a heavyweight performance in terms of agility and the number of parallel transactions.