Over the past few months, there’s been a lot of talk on Twitter debating whether Magento 2 is really a good fit for the small business (aka SMB) sector. Some claim Magento has decided to sidestep that market entirely, and aim strictly for the medium business and enterprise market. Others claim Magento 2 is, in fact, ideal for everyone (WINK WINK).
Some people view Magento 2 as ideal for the small business that wants to stand out, desires flexibility, and craves the ability to grow down the line. Many others claim it’s just too expensive and complicated to develop, too pricey to host, and too costly to maintain.
What gets lost in all this chatter and back-and-forth debate is one very simple (yet deeply educational) fact:
Magento 1 was never feasible for the small business sector when it first gained traction all the way back in 2008. In fact, it wasn’t until a community was born (an almost cult-like following, some might say) that Magento 1 became truly feasible (and better yet, affordable) for small businesses to implement and maintain.
Magento 1 was initially very expensive to host. It was a resource hog that needed significant CPU and IO. Back then, you almost couldn’t run a store without Compilation being enabled. Things like Memcached were only for the big boys. Software such as Redis and Varnish weren’t even an option. No one dared run Magento on Nginx & FPM. Now, here we are in 2016, and Magento 1 hosting has been perfected, right down to a science. Hosting companies all tout their secret sauce to Magento hosting as being the fastest, the most efficient, and the most inexpensive. Magento 1 has hosting companies that are run by technicians who have as much background in the Magento application and its infrastructure as they do in the art of managing web servers. It’s just a matter of time until these same folks break down Magento 2 and turn its hosting into a science of its own.
It’s also important to remember that Magento 1 didn’t start out with thousands of extensions. When Magento 1 was first picking up steam, you had to pay thousands of dollars to have a development firm code your business logic, marketing needs, and look and feel – all from the ground up. Today, there’s a Magento extension available for almost any business logic you can conjure up. The beauty behind a Magento Extension for the small business was and still is very simple which is “why reinvent the wheel and spend a fortune, if you can buy an extension for $99 to $199? “
On the flip side, for a Magento extension company the beauty also lay in the simple, limitless income. Why build it once for someone, when you can build it once for everyone – and continue to sell it over and over and over again? That same business logic still applies in the development world today. Magento 2, with its lack of free documentation online and lack of overall experience, may seem like it’s expensive and tedious to develop for. All of that may be true…UNTIL the community steps in and starts to document experiences, document steps to solve problems, develop how-to guides – and money starts to justify the complex development process of Magento 2.
Magento 1 didn’t start out with a huge development community either. Community leaders people look up to today didn’t start out as leaders, they forged a path alongside Magento 1. I am sure there are tons of other people whom I don’t know, who have done amazing things for and in the community of Magento. There were no fancy talk shows dedicated to Magento, no swanky conferences at billion-dollar hotels. There weren’t even any free t-shirts & backpacks. Magento 1 was an idea that grew and grew and grew, fueled by those who created it – people like Roy Rubin, Yoav Kutner and many others.
In terms of Enterprise-grade business, let’s face it, the big boys are always going to pay the big boys to accomplish their business goals. They aren’t buying piecemeal extensions from Magento Connect, SIP 100 packages from Nexcess, and services from companies like Imagination Media.
So sure, Magento 2 may initially start out as a product geared towards medium-sized businesses and enterprises. That might be true. At first. BUT, if the community is willing to get behind it from a product growth standpoint, see the value in building for it, and most importantly, figure out how to make a profit?
Well, then it’s just a matter of time before we can all confidently proclaim:
MAGENTO 2 IS FOR EVERYONE.