A good overarching development strategy for all new ecommerce site builds, regardless of platform, is to align as many requirements as possible to out-of-the-box (OOTB) platform functionality. This strategy has proven successful with both ecommerce and non-ecommerce projects across multiple platforms, including Magento 2, and has shown to be very beneficial for several reasons.

Related Content: Migrating Your Magento 1 Ecommerce Data to Magento 2 Successfully

Let’s explore how Magento 2 implementations perform better when you stick closely to the native platform, or you engage a skilled partner for more complex customizations in your ecommerce website.

Limits budgetary risk

Staying close to OOTB limits budgetary risk to the project, both for the merchant and the implementation partner.

Staying close to OOTB limits budgetary risk to the project, both for the merchant and the implementation partner.

With every platform customization comes the need for custom development. With every piece of custom development comes the need for an estimate, and with every estimate comes risk.

Depending on the style of contract, this risk can fall on either the merchant (T&M) or the implementation partner (fixed bid). As the number of website customizations increase, so does the risk to the agreed-upon budget and the project’s timeline.

As a seasoned implementation partner, customizing the Magento 2 platform is second nature to DEG, but we know that the proverbial devil is in the details, and sometimes those details appear and/or evolve during a project. By anchoring your conversations around native functionality, it is easy to recognize when risk is being added and both parties are on the same page.

Increases the speed of delivery

The best path forward is to deliver, review the analytics, and then customize to maximize ROI.

The best path forward is to deliver, review the analytics, and then customize to maximize ROI.

Delivering even the most simplistic ecommerce site takes time. Migrating data, implementing your brand’s theme, and connecting all of your integration points takes careful time and effort.

The taste of customization is addicting, and Magento’s brilliant architecture makes any customization possible.  I’ve seen clients become consumed with customizing their store to the detriment of the business.

At DEG, our position on this topic is to launch as quickly as you can by utilizing OOTB features. Once the site is live, decisions around customizations and enhancements can be informed by analytics, so that ROI can be maximized.

Decreases the effort around upgrades

Sticking to Magento’s architectural patterns help with upgrades, but any customizations will need consideration during a version bump.

Sticking to Magento’s architectural patterns help with upgrades, but any customizations will need consideration during a version bump.

Magento has put careful thought into the upgrade path of Magento 2. The architectural patterns and choices guide Magento developers toward customizations that take into account upgradability between minor and major versions.

However, Magento 2 does not always guarantee backwards compatibility, leaving the potential for major breaking changes. This represents the trade-off between maximum customizability and maximum stability.

Magento gives maximum freedom, but it is up to the merchant to use that freedom wisely and judiciously.

Reduces the effort and risk around security

Magento will ensure that its platform is secure, but only you can ensure your customizations are secure.

Magento will ensure that its platform is secure, but only you can ensure your customizations are secure.

Between Adobe’s bug bounty program and the ever-growing community of Magento technical enthusiasts, the Magento platform is kept up-to-date and secure. However, when a site begins to deviate from the native platform—by way of purchased extensions or customizations—the risk around security increases.

It then becomes critical for a merchant to perform targeted security scans against areas of the site that are customized. There is both time, effort, and budget that is needed to ensure that a custom piece of code, or a purchased extension, does not introduce vulnerabilities that put your business at risk.

Increases site stability

Every line of code should be written with an eye towards performance, scalability, enhancements, and stability.

Every line of code should be written with an eye towards performance, scalability, enhancements, and stability.

Even the smallest ingredient can dramatically change a recipe. Likewise, even the smallest line of code and dramatically change an entire website.

Staying closer to native functionality will likely result in a more stable website. Knowing that customizations are almost inevitable, it is important to choose a partner who understands the Magento 2 framework deeply to ensure that every line of code is written to support performance, scalability, enhancements, and stability.  Not only is this important for customizations, but also in vetting installed extensions.

At DEG, we want our clients to always make informed decisions and go into a new implementation with their eyes wide open. So, what is realistic?

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There is a high likelihood that your business will require something that is unique, outside of native Magento 2 functionality. It may be for the purpose of differentiation or may be because of legacy decisions made years ago. This is why the Magento ecosystem exists and, frankly, where DEG provides a tremendous value to clients.

After many Magento implementations, we have recognized the common gaps that exist within the native platform and have developed a solution to round out the missing feature set. If you’re interested in learning more about our DEG Commerce Quick Start solution for Magento Commerce Cloud, reach out and connect.

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