One of the critical factors when choosing an ecommerce platform is scalability. However, numerous online store owners often overlook this aspect. Instead, they are focused on things they need to get their online store up and running. Without proper strategy, this can be a problem down the road as a poorly chosen platform will show its limitations sooner rather than later. This is why scalability should be taken as seriously as any other aspect of ecommerce website development.
You are most probably reading this article because you're concerned whether Magento 2 is a scalable platform. You may have heard a lot about this robust platform and its features, but scalability isn't the most obvious thing when it comes to Magento. This creates a confusion that lacks proper answers on the Web. This is why we'd like to simplify this issue and resolve your dilemmas.
Let’s break down this issue into several components that are directly related to scalability of any ecommerce website. You will also find a lot of helpful tips throughout this article that will help you answer the most critical questions about the scalability of this highly capable platform.
Preparing for The Future
If you’re planning on building and running an online store, market research is of vital importance. This helps you to understand your future customers and their needs. Moreover, the information you get can be used to plan your website’s scope. What is important to understand is that Magento helps you build both small and large websites, as well as anything in between.
If you’re planning on selling 50 products, for example, you can build a framework that supports that kind of stock. With Magento 2, this type of framework can be built using modular architecture. The truth is that hosting 50 products is an easy undertaking for this platform since it can cost hundreds of thousands of products at once. However, it all begins with a single module. In this example, this module helps you to define your budget and development timeframe aimed at selling 50 products. When the time comes when an expansion is needed, new modules can be easily added in a short timeframe.
Almost everything about Magento 2 can be scaled up or down. This kind of flexibility is unparalleled in the world of ecommerce platforms.
Use of Statistical and Reporting Tools
No matter the size of your online store, it could benefit tremendously from statistical tools. These provide two kinds of valuable data. First, there is performance-oriented data. This information can show potentially problematic areas in resource usage, server errors, indexers, and cache state. On top of that, these tools can be used to track the behavior of your visitors and customers. Put together, these tools provide information on what needs to be fixed to build a sturdy foundation and scale a website that caters to your customers’ needs.
The majority of ecommerce platforms come with built-in statistical tools. However, Magento 2 is the only open-source platform that works with an incredibly large number of third-party tools and services. Some of those are New Relic, DataDog, MixPanel, Splunk, and Google Analytics, among numerous others. In other words, Magento 2 is the most powerful platform when it comes to discovering future trends. This kind of data is invaluable when it comes to the ability of different platforms to be scaled both up or down.
Easy Database Maintenance
Databases are the core of every ecommerce website. This is why a highly optimized database is imperative when it comes to ensuring fast and fluid performance. However, not every ecommerce platform allows you to perform database maintenance.
Every Magento developer will say that this platform’s database structure is built to be scalable. One of the common issues with databases is the ‘Entity/Attribute/Value' architecture. Without being overly technical, you need to know that Magento's core is both easily adaptable and highly modular. This is why a developer can easily access different parts of Magento's database and perform regular maintenance. There's no need for your online store to suffer from overly large tables, which can be trimmed, optimized, or removed. The good news is that this platform is doing a lot of maintenance on its own. This is why Magento 2 typically runs faster without any extensive optimization actions.
Simulate Current & Future Performance Loads
The process of scaling a Magento 2 website requires a detailed preparation. This is the only way to avoid potential technical issues. Magento is quite helpful to this process by providing a set of highly useful tools. This is yet another feature of this platform that can’t be found within its competitors.
Aside from its built-in tools, Magento offers straightforward integration with third-party services. These can be used to test different aspects of a website’s performance and resolve issues that might threaten future scalability.
The first step is to test online stores with existing conditions. Then, online stores are tested with a higher load. What these tests do is check different aspects of Magento, including this platform's API's, database objects, installed extensions, and more. In case any of these areas prove to be problematic, developers can take advantage of Magento's modular framework and resolve issues on time. This guarantees problem-free scalability.
Powerful Caching Tools
Caching is every website's most powerful ally as it stores data in a temporary storage area that's accessible to visitors. In other words, caching produces reusable and fast-serving data and as such it's a vital part of website performance. After all, try to remember when was the last time you waited for more than a couple of seconds for a website to load before abandoning it?
With Magento 2, you can count on industry-leading caching tools. Varnish Cache is often said to be the fastest HTTP accelerator and reverse proxy. As you can imagine, Magento is fully compatible with this tool which provides a competitive edge.
You may be wondering how is caching is connected to scalability. Our answer – in more ways than one. A powerful caching tool allows you to expand your website without sacrificing its performance. You can add new features and add more complicated algorithms without affecting your website’s speed. Thanks to software like Varnish Cache, Magento’s scalability doesn’t come with as many limitations as the scalability of other platforms.
Limitless Customization Options
Before concluding this article, we’d like to remind you of Magento’s customization options. Since this is one of the often-marketed features of every platform, it’s important to see what Magento offers.
As this is an open-source platform, third-party developers can build different kinds of extensions. As their name implies, they can significantly expand this platform's capabilities. The truth is that almost every ecommerce platform brings their own set of extensions. However, many of them become weak spots once an online store starts to grow. This can be a severely limiting factor if an alternative that supports that growth doesn't exist. Since Magento is built upon modular framework, this platform’s extensions follow the same principle. Among the commonly used ones, you can hardly find an extension that can’t be scaled alongside Magento 2.
We hope that you gained valuable insight into Magento’s scalability. Even though you can find numerous capable ecommerce platforms that support small and medium-sized online stores, they quickly show their limitations. You need to build for the future and to be oriented towards a highly flexible platform. There isn’t currently a better option than Magento 2.