Learning Magento Best Practices: Building A Maintainable Future with Magento 2

  • Nidhi Arora
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Magento is one of the leading eCommerce platforms in the world.. Even the best fashion and eCommerce brands prefer to work on Magento for its flexibility, reliability, and open-source environment.

Many leading online businesses and retailers are migrating from other platforms to Magento due to its rich functionality and scalability benefits. Especially, after the release of Magento 2 in 2015, the market share of Magento technology jumped to 30% and since then, it is dominating the entire eCommerce platform services industry.
The credit certainly goes to powerful features that are made to drive performance. Some of these include Cache CSS preprocessing, CSS and JS Minification, code generation, inbuilt full page, improved JS, NGINX, Redis, Varnish support, and user-friendly checkout.

Here we bring you a quick list of Magento best practices that every Magento development service provider needs to keep in mind for optimal store performance. Let’s begin.

Coding Standards

First of all, it is necessary that any developer working on Magento should understand and follow the coding standards. Whether you are a newbie or an expert, no changes must be made to the core files as they can break the default behavior and may cause vulnerabilities with the end results.
Since most developers tend to lose their focus when it comes to code standards, make sure you aim for quality and progressive response rather than quick results with a lot of shortfalls. This can be done by following Magento coding standards i.e. Zend coding standards, PSR1, PSR2, and PSR4.

Module Development

Magento development is all about core code along with certain optional components that are made to enhance the core code or sometimes replace it. Magento offers more than 100 such components that we know as modules, themes, and language options.

Though you may feel like creating a new module for every new project, it is very important that you must actually access the need for creating that module for functionality goals. A better way to do so is to get the default code and override it to your requirements rather than working from scratch. It can save you a lot of time, but you will have to ensure that you only rewrite the code sticking to the original main class since the new class extends from it.

Besides, developing modules should have proper naming conventions to ensure consistency when working through various classes, files, folders, and methods. Even if you think Magento 2 needs a lot of additional coding, make sure you understand that it is designed using simple concepts.

A quick tip: Struggling with code creation? Consider taking a look at source code, it always works as an inspiration when you approach anything new on Magento.

Understand Magento 2 Framework

If you are working for the first time or have just switched to Magento 2, always begin with studying the Magento 2 Framework. Especially, if you use any third-party modules, make sure you recall on Magento standards and ensure everything is proper before you are ready to run the code.

Also, you can consider using a git to version your code using automated deployment software while using a local virtual machine for development such as docker.

Write & Utilize Re-usable code

Wondering what makes Magento Partner development companies so special? It is just that they avoid redundancy or duplicity with the code. While it may appear like a hard task to perform, you only need to avoid the copy/paste process for creating code. You can simply create a class or method that can be referred to when needed.
It is necessary that you make code reuse a rule of thumb for any development tasks you do on Magento. Moreover, the code you create should be easy, focused, and should work as a generic solution to all similar situations in the future.

Avoid Helper Classes

Helper class can also be called Utility classes which are filled with static methods that do not fit relentlessly on anything. This is more of an anti-pattern and against the object-oriented programming goals. For instance, if you have Class A defined for a code and a Helper Class A that offer certain static functions that work on Class A, it is always better to refactor Class A for those functions rather than making the code complex.

Also, a helper class that is used randomly in the code breaks the single responsibility principle as it is considered as an attempt to solve problems associated with a single class and not a generic solution. Therefore, it is always suggested to rewrite code and add the additional functions you want to achieve with the helper class to the original class.

Observer Overriding

Observers are the modifiers that are used to modify the behavior of Magento store through dynamic injection into the execution flow. Since poorly worked and designed observers could cause stability issues with the system or sometimes break an application, it is always a good idea to be extra cautious about observer overriding.

Layout XML

Magento 2 with its recent updates has introduced an all-new layout definition that is more advanced and restricts the modifications made to template files, unlike Magento 1. If you are working on the XML layout on Magento 2, you may find several new additions made to container, move, reference block, reference container, move, update, and argument tags.

Clear Cache

Last but not the least, clearing the cache is a significant component of the development process since forgetting to work on the cache could bring you a lot of unwanted stress. When any content is retrieved from the cache, visual spot checks get unreliable. Therefore, it is advisable to clear or disable cache before you work on visual checks for the correct display of content for a theme.

Also, when you are working on Magento components as defined previously, the rapid change in the environment needs periodic clearing of cache and certain directories. Otherwise, your code on compilation may show exceptions in behavior with functionality issues.

Conclusion

Once you are done working through all of the above-defined tasks, the developer needs to ensure that all the code directories and files must have permissions defined based on their respective user levels to avoid unauthorized access to the system.

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