Magento 2 Admin Panel Improvements

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With Magento 2 scheduled for Q4 release, developers are abuzz with what’s to come with it.  But what about store owners who are looking to upgrade to 2.0 when it’s released?

Thankfully, the Magento 2 dashboard is leagues above the one that is featured in Magento 1.9.

From a purely aesthetic standpoint, it is a lot cleaner, and less cluttered.  The admin panel utilizes less colors, drawing attention only to where it’s needed.  Upon first logging in, the same information is available, but in less overwhelming manner.  The menu bar of the dashboard is now accessible from the left side, similar to popular CMS applications, like WordPress.

Each button on the menu features subcategories organized based on its subject of relativity.  Rather than having Pages and Blocks under “CMS”  it’s set under “Content”.  E-mail templates and Promotions have been grouped together in a category called, “Marketing”.  This rearrangement of menus makes Magento 2 much more user friendly, especially for store owners.

Though it might take a few moments for someone used to Magento 1 to get used to this setup, everything, for the most part, is located in a similar, if not, the same, area. One of the most vital configuration menus,  System > Configuration, is more or less the same in Magento 2 as it is in previous versions, but is now found under Stores > Configuration.  The familiarity between the two versions will not be lost.

Adding a product in Magento 2 has also become a lot more streamlined.  All of the default required fields are on the first screen of product creation.  No more worrying about why your product isn’t showing up on the front end — between setting it to “Enabled”, “In Stock”, AND adding a quantity greater than 0, Magento 2 has shortened this process to just a few steps.

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Many of Magento’s admin functionality have been updated to run faster, as well.  Pulling another example from adding a product, users now just have to type in a category to add a product to it. Checkboxes are a thing of the past.

Cache Management in Magento 2.0 is a lot more robust, featuring out of the box full page caching, and more cache types.  The same can be said for Index Management, although it seems as if the Re-indexer is not something available from the Admin panel and must now be run from ssh or a CRON job.

Some completely new features in Magento 2’s dashboard include Google Content managing, Frontend Apps, and Terms of Conditions.  Google Content mapping makes handling how your products are displayed in Google easier, especially since it’s out of the box.  Frontend Apps seem to be the new replacement for Widgets.  Frontend Apps includes functionality for things like New Products and Recently Viewed Products blocks, which previously required a third party extension.

The only particular downside I have encountered so far is that there is not much support for SEO out of the box.  That being said, I also can’t say how third party extensions might be handled in the future.  The last thing I noticed was a a tool called “Web Setup Wizard” which seems to be the Magento installer.  This can be good or bad, depending on the situation.  For the most part, it looks like it can be used to restore a database or migrate a database.

Overall, Magento 2 is a heavy hitter.  With new UI libraries, drastic changes to coding and designing, Magento 2 is also easier to understand for those who are not as tech-driven.  Store owners will have a significantly easier time managing their websites and finding settings as needed.

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