Learn what Marat Mingazov, CEO of WEB4PRO, has to say about the future of Magento 1 and 2, ecommerce trends, and Magento development principles and workflows in Ukraine in our one-to-one session.
Cloudways: Can you please share some highlights of your life, such as your career path, memorable experiences, and the projects that you are most proud of?
Marat: Hi everyone, I’m glad to meet the Cloudways’ readers and introduce my Magento 2 Development company, ‘WEB4PRO.’
Thank you for such an excellent opportunity!
I’ve been working in the IT sector for more than 15 years. I was always fond of web development from the rise of the internet, so naturally inclined towards the field, I started creating online stores for several clients. I found ecommerce a potential area with promising future and therefore wanted to contribute to its growth. One of the projects that I’m proud of is my company, WEB4PRO. Its story began in 2003 with my desire to build a team. This desire helped me team up with young enthusiasts. With their help, I grew the company to more than 40 professionals in the field of web development.
In the beginning, I worked only with ecommerce projects. The first platform where my team worked was osCommerce, which was released in 2000. At that time, it was a well-used platform supported by the extensive community of web developers around the world. But after a while, the world was introduced to Magento, which showed great hopes, and so our choice turned to this technology. From last ten years, we are working with Magento. We have completed about 100 ecommerce projects for our clients, and now one of our main areas is Magento 2 development.
If I talk about cherished moments, I remember how I and my team carried out the first ecommerce conference in Ukraine “Ukrainian Online Shops 2011.”
It opened a lot of new opportunities for us and was a step in the right direction to get partnerships and exciting projects. Now, our mission is to bring our partners’ ideas to life, solve their problems, and take care of their businesses.
Cloudways: As an experienced ecommerce enthusiast, what kind of challenges did you face in your professional Magento career? What are some of the essential strategies that you would recommend to newbie Magento developers?
Marat: It was always vital for me to understand the clients’ needs. Sometimes communication between technical specialists and clients becomes challenging. Web developers are used to explaining things in their technical language, which is a bit complicated for an average user, and this can become a problem for clients. I think that junior and even senior web developers should focus on writing not only pure code but also the detailed understanding of business tasks and clients’ needs. In our case, Magento is a powerful and qualitative product, but first of all, it’s a tool. Any tool is for people. It’s important to me that all members of our team apply creative approaches to work on the project and offer the most comfortable and efficient solutions. Clients use these solutions, so they need to be simple and convenient.
After many years of work in the field of ecommerce, the strategy I recommend is following: take care of clients, their businesses, and projects. Only in this way, a qualitative and user-friendly product can be designed.
Cloudways: One of the toughest decisions in ecommerce store development is choosing the right platform. What is the criteria for selecting an appropriate ecommerce platform for your business? And, is Magento the right choice?
Marat: Choosing the right platform for a project is one of the most critical decisions the client has to make. There are plenty of different ecommerce platforms on the market. The choice of the appropriate one depends on the desired website functionality, the size of a project, and future updates. First of all, a business owner should determine how many categories, attributes, and products the online store should include. It’s always a good idea to think whether their online store will grow and need any functional customizations later on or not. Also, it is important to pay attention to the security and reputation of the platform, its compatibility with various payment methods, and simplicity in the user interface for the website administrators.
As for Magento, it’s an excellent way to go for mid-sized businesses and enterprises. Magento allows you to extend and customize website functionality using modules, and perform various third-party integrations. The vast community of web developers supports Magento as it has shown itself as a reliable and safe solution from past 10 years.
Cloudways: What are the latest trends in online selling? Is Magento the best option to set up an ecommerce store? If so, why?
Marat: Ecommerce sphere has always been promising and continues to develop actively. Great online markets that work on Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms are replacing ordinary ecommerce stores. I think now AI and Virtual Reality are among the recent trends in online sales. Thanks to them, users can get the most relevant offers to their request, use 24/7 support, and try lifelike experience with products right from their computer or mobile screens. Online retailers can get rid of manual data analysis and have the chance to show their products in the most favorable light. All this is possible using the latest technologies, such as chatbots, Big Data analysis, and virtual showrooms.
Also, one of the latest trends in online retail is the increased use of mobile devices. Now users spend more time on the go and do shopping on their smartphones and tablets. With the growth of mobile traffic, we can expect the growth of social selling via Facebook, Instagram, and messengers. Even the most recent Google algorithms give weight to website responsiveness and page loading speed on mobiles when ranking pages in SERP. This process is known as Mobile First Indexing.
At the same time, voice assistants, such as Apple Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana, are making progress. User requirements for shopping experience are growing. Very soon, online shoppers will want to order the products with their voice. This tendency is gaining traction, and business owners are optimizing their websites to voice search. As far as I know, there are no ready-made ecommerce solutions for voice search optimization, but I think they’ll appear soon as an essential element of store management. All these technologies are moving forward, and I believe they will be a new stage in technological progress. At WEB4PRO, we have already started to cover these topics on our blog.
If we talk about whether Magento is a right choice for a project, all depends on the size and needs of the particular business. For example, sometimes a WordPress plugin, WooCommerce, is enough to build a lightweight online store. In case of a large-scale eCommerce project which includes many categories and product pages, I recommend Magento.
Nowadays, Magento is a leader among the other ecommerce platforms due to its flexibility and scalability. A vast community of web developers is continually working on its improvement. Anyone always has an opportunity to receive feedback and qualitative assistance on issues related to this product. You can extend Magento website functionality with modules, and useful Magento extensions come out on a regular basis. You can find several Magento 2 modules, developed using AI. Now our company works mainly on Magento 2 development projects, and we certainly recommend Magento 2 for corporate clients.
Cloudways: Developers love to create automated workflows that facilitate them in continuous development issues. How would you describe your typical workflows for Magento development?
Marat: Each of our projects goes through several stages. They include the collection of client’s requirements by a project manager, the estimation of the work scope, the approvement of the required functionality, the implementation of logic and architecture, development, quality assurance, and delivery to the client.
Our web developers follow the Magento code standards, and our company supports the procedures described in project management guide PMBoK. We have slightly changed our process to our needs to make them more convenient for our clients and us. Cooperation with project managers helps to save clients time and better understand their requirements. At the same time, this helps web developers focus on the technical aspects of the project.
Cloudways: Community plays a vital role in the lifecycle of an open-source application. What are your thoughts on the empowerment of the Magento community and its contributors?
Marat: I’m sure that the success of any product depends on the people who work on it. Magento community plays an essential role in the development of the platform and contributes to the growth of ecommerce business. It is a large number of talented web developers from around the world. They continually create new Magento extensions, improve the platform, and place their products on Magento Marketplace. Our team supports the Magento community and actively contributes to its progress. We develop Magento extensions and come up with new creative approaches to solving Magento 2 issues. In my opinion, a well-developed community of engineers ensures the success of the platform.
Cloudways: How do you see the growth of Magento, where will it be in the next few years? What are your predictions for the growing Ukrainian ecommerce industry?
Marat: Magento continues to make progress after the release of its second-generation version, Magento 2. Based on the growing demand for it, and rapid development of its community, Magento can remain as the leading ecommerce platforms for next several years.
But of course, only time will tell.
As for the growth of ecommerce market in Ukraine, it’s difficult for me to make any predictions. WEB4PRO’s focus direction is the international market. We work with foreign clients from the USA, Canada, Europe, and Australia. It’s safe to say that ecommerce industry is moving around the world and is becoming more advanced with the advent of global markets with a multi-million audience. In any case, according to the market research, we see that many well-known world brands are entering the Ukrainian market. And many of them now choose Magento.
Cloudways: Pictures of industry influencers’ workplace is a massive source of inspiration for developers and leaders. I would appreciate it if you could show us how your workstation looks like.
Marat: I lead an active lifestyle and like to work on the go. It all depends on where I need to be at a particular moment. In general, I find myself comfortable working in places where I have the inspiration and ideas. So I just need my laptop and a cup of coffee. One of my favorite places to think about business is the creative space at our office.
This is how it looks like:
Cloudways: What will you recommend for reading to newbies interested in Magento ecommerce development? What is your one advice to them?
Marat: The first thing I’d recommend is to study the Magento documentation and the user guide. It’s obvious, but it all begins with these fundamentals. Any knowledge or practice starts from the basics. Also, it’s useful to check out the updates from famous web developers’ blogs, read cases, and practice them. Developers can find out the answers to many questions on the technical forums, such as Magento Stack Exchange and Stack Overflow. In my experience, you can get a lot of useful information about ecommerce from these platforms. You can also communicate with experts at the international conferences arranged by Magento, like Meet Magento. We usually plan to attend such events each year.
The main advice I give to any web developer is to spend more time practicing and mastering their skills. Only hard work with Magento can help beginners become qualified specialists.
Cloudways: Free time is rare but necessary to keep your mind fresh and relaxed. How do you spend your spare time? Do you like sports, traveling, entertainment, or hanging out with friends and family?
Marat: I’m married, and I have three children. They make my life bright and happy keeping me always busy and active. I spend most of my free time with my family. We like to travel together by car and discover new picturesque places. These exciting adventures bring me a lot of positive emotions and give vivid impressions.
Cloudways: Who inspired you the most in your personal and professional life?
Marat: Honestly, there is no specific person who I can call an idol or an influencer. I used to rely on myself and achieve the goals on my own. Speaking about professional life, my team, people I work with, are those who inspire me. Together, we face challenges, develop projects, and enjoy the results. It helps all of us to move forward.
Cloudways: Would you prefer shared hosting for Magento stores or a rapid-fast, one-click cloud hosting environment like Cloudways?
Marat: In our practice, the client usually takes the responsibility of choosing a web hosting service. We recommend narrowing their choice to a robust and reliable cloud hosting platform or a dedicated server. In the case of Magento 2, shared hosting capacities are not enough. Magento 2 is an efficient but power-consuming technology that сalls for a lot of server resources. If you don’t follow the technical requirements of Magento, a website will run slowly and improperly. As I know the high-quality capabilities of cloud hosting platforms such as Cloudways, I will recommend it to my clients as a reliable cloud hosting provider for Magento.
Enjoyed the piece? Read more interviews of Magento professionals on Cloudways.
“You can easily extend Magento website’s functionality with useful modules and extensions that’s why we recommend Magento 2 to all corporate clients.” – Marat Mingazov, CEO WEB4PRO
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