10 reasons why you should have an online shop on Magento 2.3
When we started work on a new, large online store, we decided to build it on the foundation of just-released Magento 2.3. Believing in the stability of this new version, we persuaded the client to use what is today the most powerful solution for e-commerce. For like no other e-commerce platform, Magento is constantly developing and expanding the features offered to end users, shop owners, but also to programmers. It was easy to convince our customer: a demonstration of the possibilities of the new version was enough – in particular, the ability to rapidly build progressive mobile apps for smartphones.
However, there are more reasons to get started today with Magento 2.3. We present 10 new features, which in our opinion make a new version of this e-commerce platform a solution without competition.
1. Multi-source inventory (MSI)
Now the owners of online shops will be able to manage any number of inventory sources without the need for additional extensions. Thanks to this it is possible to manage the stocks for all those who have many physical warehouses and sell their goods within one online store.
The new Magento 2.3 introduces with this inventory system the possibility of reserving a given quantity of products from the stock, instead of automatically reducing the stock at the time of placing an order. This allows keeping the correct quantity of goods in real time, at the same time reducing the load on the shop, which can be particularly felt at times of peak demand on the shop.
It will also be easier to import and export goods data between ERP and Magento systems.
2. Page Builder
Until now, Magento forced shop owners to know HTML and CSS, in order to create their own pages with static content. It was a considerable inconvenience given that many competing e-commerce platforms offered easy visual editors. For software houses, it may have had its advantages, primarily an extra income, but on the other hand, it was a very dull job, not worth even junior developers.
Magento 2.3 introduces (for the testing) a tool called Page Builder. It is simply an improved extension Bluefoot CMS, bought earlier by Magento. Instead of writing modules or themes containing layout files specifying the placement of blocks on the page, Bluefoot provides a drag-and-drop interface to create freely content on the pages, with access to a palette of different widgets.
This means that the shop owner can now create a new page and add content to it using a visual editor, assigning widgets to it with a variety of rules. It is possible to specify whether the widget is to be displayed for a specific page, product page or category view.
For now, this is to be introduced in the commercial version (Magento Enterprise Edition), but already next year we should expect Page Builder in the open source version (Community Edition).
3. Powerful search engine
Along with version 2.3 of Magento comes a powerful search engine ElasticSearch v5, previously available only in the commercial version. It works practically in real time and supports faceted searching.
With this feature, users of Magento stores will be able to easily use filter sets to find products with specific features in common. The search engine also offers better context recognition, automatic hints and many other attractions that make it the best solution of its kind on the market.
4. Better content editor
The main text editor in Magento is TinyMCE. With the new version of the platform, it was updated to new version 4. Among other things it allows, to precisely determine the place for new content during the drag-and-drop operations. The text cursor follows the mouse pointer, so you can see where the content will be inserted.
In addition, the editor has become more modular – widgets, variables, and the media gallery are now plugins that can be enabled globally or for individual store instances.
5. Protection from bots
Magento 2.3 has been integrated with the free reCAPTCHA service running on Google servers. It allows you to protect your website from the activity of bots, in particular from spam. For this purpose, it uses a number of risk analysis techniques, forcing the user to perform tasks of complexity depending on the probability that they are not human.
In the simplest case, it will be enough to click on the confirmation that you are not a bot. In the most doubtful situations, it will be necessary to go through the recognition of the content of the images.
6. Better secured admin access
Magento 2.3 allows you to increase the security of the online store by enabling the so-called two-factor authentication (2FA). This standard practice of protecting against unauthorized access attempts involves asking for additional information in addition to the password. It can be e.g. a hardware USB key, such as YubiKey, a one-time code generated by Google Authenticator app, or a code sent by the Authy service.
7. Asynchronous Magento API
Processing a response in the traditional Magento API takes some time, so the client has to wait a while before receiving it. And the more products in the shop, the more changes are introduced, the longer it takes to wait.
Magento 2.3 received a new asynchronous API, running on the message queue and allowing to perform tasks in the background, without waiting for a response from the server. This makes it easy to perform batch operations, such as exchanging information with ERP systems, e.g. for inventory updates. Owners of the largest stores will appreciate these possibilities.
8. Rollback of database changes
New Magento allows describing database structures and changes in XML declaration files instead of installation files. Magento itself will convert these XML files into SQL database commands and execute them.
Thanks to this it will be possible to undo changes made by the plugins, and it will be easier to install Magento as well as update it.
9. New query language by Facebook
In 2015 Facebook introduced a special API query language called GraphQL. Now it becomes an alternative to traditional REST and SOAP technologies in Magento. It will be of particular interest to those who have mobile shops on Magento.
Thanks to GraphQL it is possible to extract in just one request precisely the information that is needed, with fewer data sent over the network. The mobile application will work faster.
10. Progressive applications for mobile devices
We leave this biggest novelty in the end. Magento developers have created PWA Studio, a set of tools for building mobile storefronts in Progressive Web Apps technology. Such apps combine the advantages of native applications like the ability to install applications on the phone (with an icon on the desktop), offline work, and quick run with the advantages of websites – they are easy to edit and develop.
For this purpose, they use the same technologies as on websites – e.g. Angular or Vue.js frameworks, and the installation of PWA applications is not from Google or Apple app stores, but directly from the owner’s website.
PWA applications created with PWA Studio use the above mentioned GraphQL (so they cannot work with older versions of Magento). The tool itself gives the possibility to quickly build prototypes of applications and provides convenient personalization.
We have no doubt – Magento 2.3 is today the best solution for medium and large online stores. If you want to use this platform in your online store, please contact us. You will receive an attractive discount on the password “two dots three” on the entire development work.
Also published on Medium.