One of the benefits of working with Magento is its open source code and the subsequent community surrounding the platform. It allows users to contribute to the software, solve problems, and develop solutions for themselves and other users. This has been effective for Magento 1, as evident by the number of well-reviewed modules found in the Magento marketplace.
While we have successfully used third-party Magento modules for Magento 1 projects in the past, our team has run into some complications when applying modules in Magento 2. Magento 2 is still a relatively new, unexplored frontier, and the pressure that third-party development organizations have been under to produce new modules for that space is obvious in the quality of what’s available.
Read on to learn the issues we’ve run into and what you should be prepared for when using third-party Magento 2 modules.
What to Look Out For
When working with M1, our team has identified a number of companies and developers who have consistently created reliable, beneficial modules that we have implemented in various projects. Those expectations have yet to be matched for their M2 modules, however.
Some modules we have come across are simply M1 versions that were run through a code converter and released to the public. Without the appropriate time to code and test these modules, they are buggy and hard to leverage. In one instance, we actually found M1 code in an M2 module, so it didn’t even work when implemented. Luckily, we were able to contact the developers behind it and return the module for a refund.
With another module, everything looked good until it was time to deploy. During deployment, it was discovered that the module was trying to load before core pieces of Magento that it required were loaded, which caused a bug. Our team was able to fix the problem, but it wasn’t something that was evident prior to deployment.
What This Means for Developers
Unfortunately, these issues are really only discoverable after you have purchased the module. You won’t know until you have it whether a module wasn’t appropriately tested or not, or if it was built with M1 code. But now that you know what to look for, you can check for it upon purchase and return anything with M1 code.
The bottom line is to be aware that these issues exist and plan to be able to solve them when they come up. We have found and used some good M2 modules, however the issues we are coming across are more prevalent than with M1. Other than diligently reviewing the code and being prepared to run damage control, this may just be something that needs to run its course. Magento 1 has been around for a number of years and the sub-par modules and developers have been weeded out. The same will happen for Magento 2 as time goes on and the urgency dies down.
What This Means for Business Users
If your organization is looking to implement or update your eCommerce site using Magento 2, be sure to partner with a reliable, experienced development partner who will not only know to look out for these roadblocks, but who will know how to solve them as well. While some modules, like those using M1 code, will need to be returned, others can be salvaged by a competent team.
Do you have a Magento 2 challenge that needs a certified development partner? Contact our team.