Magento 2 First Impressions

23rd November 2015

After a seemingly super-long build up Magento 2 finally arrived last week. I've managed to score a few moments to have a look over the release and put together my initial impressions. These are some of my initial thoughts as I downloaded and got the product up and running.

What the hell am I downloading here?!

The download itself contains 58,143 files according my Mac, which amass 341.9MB of space. That is one hell of a chunky monkey. I wouldn't want to be storing a lot of Magento 2 sites on my computer because it's gonna eat up disk space like I eat up pizza when I'm hungry.

Where is the core?!

After downloading I have a quick look through the codebase. I look for my familiar App > Code > Core... wait what?! No longer my friend! The codebase has been rearranged in a way that it looks completely alien if you're coming from a Magento 1.x setup. The new folder structure seems a lot simpler and move intuitive. Hopefully this pans out to be as good as it looks. Right let's get this thing installed...

Next, next, next

So after firing up my new test site for the first time I'm greeted by the installation wizard. First impression here is it looks like it has a design from the current century which is a very refreshing change of pace for Magento. I spend the better part of three days reading the terms and conditions (j/k) then I'm into the process of determing whether my setup is “ready” or not. It's not - I need newer MySql - but it's pretty clear in telling me what I need to do and where I need to do it, so we move on. I set up my DB details via a concise form, then add my store and admin URL, which saves me having to reconfigure this later which is a nice touch. I then switch between being a Londoner, British and English as I set up the timezone, currency and language respectively. Finally I decide on a username and password which Magento deams to be fair and the fun can begin...

Blast-off! No wait... Blast-... Blas-... Wait a sec... Okay I'll check back in a minute. Okay it's done.

After clicking to “launch” my admin I'm met by the inevitable Magento time-grind. I wasn't paying attention to how long but it seemed like it took about a minute to launch the admin login screen. I know that the hideous waiting times can be configured away for the most part but damn! Not cool man. Anyway I login and dismiss a popup which is complaining about my lack of cron setup. Excuse me. I just got here. Geez.

The clean!

Everything in the admin - again - looks current century. It's very refreshing. As I pop open the ‘System' menu some more structural changes are apparent. Things have definitely been moved around. So much so that I barely know where to find anything from the previous model. The main stays are there though so I have a nose around through things like products and customers and things seem like a slicker, cleaner and less cluttered version which is all good stuff.

The DL on the DB

Before I head on over to the front end I take a quick look in the DB to see if I can detect any changes. I counted no less than 64 tables beginning with “catalog_product”. Yep it's definitely Magento. Amazingly the 308 tables is a reduction on the previous total. Consider my mind boggled.

Show me the goods

The final stop of my tour takes me to the store front. Having opted for a sample-data free approach the home page looks almost entirely blank. Except my store is apparently called “Luma”. In the name of science I go back and install a version with sample data to see what I'm missing out on. My install sits at 90% long enough for me to grow a beard but then I'm all set.

It appears I'm a yoga-master! My website is now covered by very toned looking people who appear to have a different approach to me. The layout features a funky layout which (mostly) resonds when I resize the browser. My “Hot (Best) Sellers” are still in there at the bottom but again, very clean. The category page also shows off some new feature-box layouts which are pleasing enough. Everything else looks very Magento-y so I conclude my visit.

First Impressions

Overall it's mostly what I expected. Everything looks cleaner and less cluttered and is much better for it. Unfortunately it still creaks like the Magento of old. The real test will come once I get stuck into the code but things are new and shiny enough to generate some excitement to check it out!