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    Categories: Hear from Interviews of Magento ExpertsInterviews With Experts and Influencers

Darshit Parmar on Magento 2 and Store Optimization

Darshit Parmar is an expert in Project Management and SEO. He has more than a decade of experience of working with ecommerce business owners and improving the overall store performance. Darshit is a certified Google Analytic Individual and has extensive experience with Oracle 9i.

Throughout his career, Darshit has gained valuable experience in Magento in the backdrop of UI design and SEO. The knowledge he shares in this interview will really help you in marketing your brand and solving possible Magento optimization issues.

Cloudways: Darshit, you have years of experience in the ecommerce consultation, project management, and data analysis. When did you start working with Magento?

Darshit: I had a tremendous admiration for Magento since the beginning of my career. Though I worked as a Team Lead–SEO & UI Design at my previous companies (WooCommerce, Drupal Commerce, and OsCommerce), I had a desire to work for a company whose merits were based on Magento. It was the summer of 2011 when I decided to join M-Connect Media, where my first Magento experience was a project about mobile accessories.

Cloudways: Currently, you are working as a Magento and Ecommerce Consultant at M-Connect Media. What made you join this company? Share some of your exciting experiences and challenges.

Darshit: To be honest, we all want to have a unique technological adventure. I was eying the vast exploration of e-commerce industry for some time. And coincidently, M-Connect Media was the right answer to my curiosity. My friend (who was also an M-CONNECTian) regularly updated me on the workplace culture of the organization. I was not surprised that I was interviewed by some of the most friendly and brainy executives, who not only blew away my doubts but also prepared a blueprint of the future.

I started by handling search engine optimization for the website of the company. In addition, I was assigned the role of the internet marketer. It was around this time that I started working with Magento.

Cloudways: How do you see the growth of Magento in the ecommerce industry?

Darshit: According to a well-known cliché, “Magento is the WordPress of the ecommerce world.” Magento has significantly simplified many ecommerce issues, and the new updates to the platform further streamline the various processes. The result is a flexible, scalable and very adaptable ecommerce platform. There is tremendous momentum across the Magento ecosystem, with more than 240,000 businesses using the Enterprise and Community Editions.

The latest changes in the code structure of Magento 2 might put off developers, but the issue is immaterial for the clients. Magento has already built its reputation for robust B2C and B2B solutions.

Cloudways: Darshit, as a Magento consultant, what are the most common queries you encounter when dealing with Magento store owners? How much do these questions influence the development of the platform?

Darshit: The most enquired query about Magento is its PCI compliance. According to many store owners, lack of compliance and security is a serious issue that directly impacts the sales.

Many clients also worry about the design and layout of the store. Alongside this, performance is another major concern. All they want is agility, robustness and beautiful user experience, which leads to better conversion. A neatly designed store with minimal page load time is the ideal Magento store.

Another important concern is the fast checkouts for the stores. A slow checkout process is one of the biggest shopping annoyance, and this is one area where Magento developers could significantly help out their clients.

Cloudways: What are your thoughts on Magento 2? What features would you love to see in Magento 2? What are your predictions about the future of Magento 2?

Darshit: Magento already powers about 25% of all ecommerce stores. The updated Magento 2 has taken care of many of the shortcomings.

There have been a lot of changes in the new version, and it might take the developers some time to get used to it.

Customization has become much easier and simpler than the previous versions. Easy to use, drag and drop interface help out both the merchants and developers alike in creating great UI for the stores. Also, the new structure has reduced the root directories from 9 to 5. The data is stored in one directory, and everything would be visible at this point. Earlier, files were divided into several directories which made visibility difficult.

The future of Magento 2 appears very bright. Store owners have already started to accept Magento 2 as their preferred platform. Eventually, the Magento world would migrate to the new version by 2018, when the support for Magento 1 ends.

Cloudways: Magento modules are handy. Which modules would you recommend for speeding up the performance of Magento stores?

Darshit: Magento 2 offers a built-in Full page caching system supported by Varnish, with the help for Redis cache which improves page load time remarkably. Magento 2 requires PHP 7, and we all are aware of its agility and speed.

There are also few modules, in addition to these caching system, which could considerably improve the store’s performance:

Cloudways: What is your one advice for the store owners who want to optimize their stores?

Darshit: Performance of magento stores is a matter of using the right modules and avoiding bad practices. The performance of the store depends on a lot of web optimization.

Web optimization should be the priority of the store owners who could use the following steps to improve the performance of their store:

  • Use the latest Magento version
  • Utilize caching
  • Enable Flat Catalog
  • Image Optimization improves page load time
  • Concatenate (merge) CSS and Javascript files
  • Enable Magento Compilation
  • Regular scrutiny and clean-up of Magento Databases and Logs
  • Indexes should be updated
  • PHP Accelerators should be used
  • Choosing a fast Web Host improves efficiency

Cloudways: What are your tips for Magento newbies and young entrepreneurs? How could they become good at what they do?

Darshit: I don’t want to sound philosophical, but the most practical tip for young entrepreneurs and newbies is to have confidence in their ideas. They should have rock solid ideas, and their execution should be solely based on their own convictions.

Cloudways: Magento has a huge and very friendly community. How do you connect to the community? What is the impact of the community on Magento feature development?

Darshit: Since the community is amiable, it gets much simpler to connect to all members of this community. Magento’s development is the product of the hard work and collaborative efforts of the Magento community.

As a developer, you can create your account on Magento’s StackExchange. In this community, developers support each other, and you could always find a great solution to your problems.

Cloudways: Darshit, let’s put Magento aside and talk about your personal interests. 🙂 What are your hobbies? Do you like traveling, watching movies or hanging out with friends and family?

Darshit: I like to play games like Chess or Sudoku. I try to break down the patterns of these games and produce a series of the algorithm.

I like to visit peaceful places which detoxify my brain and increase the positivity in my life.

Cloudways: There are always individuals who stand out in the crowd. Name some people who inspired and influenced you the most in the Magento world?

Darshit: We all try to idolize someone in our lives to better our directions, to steer toward perfection in our personal and professional life. For me, Alan Storm and Marius Strajeru are two such people who have helped me better my professional life.

Cloudways: Cloudways provides 1-click Magento installation with impressive speed & great cloud infrastructures embedded within the platform. Do you prefer shared Magento hosting for stores or a cloud hosting environment like Cloudways offers?

Darshit: I am a huge supporter of cloud hosting (though it costs a little more than shared hosting).

The best thing is that one doesn’t need onsite hardware or need to budget for setup expenses. Cloud hosting is easily scalable with security and backup for dealing with disasters.

Fayyaz Khattak: Fayyaz is a Magento Community Manager at Cloudways - A Managed Magento Hosting Platform. His objective is to learn & share about PHP & Magento Development in Community. Fayyaz is a food lover and enjoys driving. You can email him at m.fayyaz@cloudways.com