Hyvä 11/24/2020

From the idea to the realisation of Hyvä Themes

Having an idea is one thing, but actually turning it into reality is something completely different. How the idea of Hyvä Themes emerged in the first place and which events led to the realisation of Hyvä Themes is told in this article. First of all: Sometimes it takes a certain amount of frustration to create something new.

Willem Wigman and his JavaScript optimisation guide

One of the biggest problems of Magento's Luma theme is the enormous loading time. Willem Wigman has been investigating this problem and has spent months of research to find a solution that optimises loading times. And he succeeded. Willem managed to bring the PageSpeed, which is measured by Google and is an indicator of the performance of a website, from under 30 to over 90 of a maximum 100 points. In the process, PageSpeed was measured on mobile devices, where it is even more difficult to perform well than on the desktop. To share his knowledge, he wrote the ultimate guide to optimising JavaScript in Magento 2 with almost 9,000 words.

A successful story that was not meant to last long. An update of the Google PageSpeed algorithm followed, after which the optimised shops dropped back to a PageSpeed between 15 and 40. This was an enormous setback and within seconds a good part of the months of work became useless.

The main problem for the bad performance is the large amount of more than 4 MB JavaScipt and 1 MB CSS in the standard theme of Magento 2, the Luma theme. This basic problem prevents a good Lighthouse score (and therefore a better ranking) and cannot be solved without a fundamental rethinking.

The bitter taste of PWAs from a developer's perspective

Progressive Web Apps are, as the name suggests, solutions that use some aspects of apps for websites. So far there are only a few shops that successfully use PWAs. Currently, the primary discussion is whether PWAs can already be used effectively and are ready for practical use. What is completely left out of the debate: Web developers have intentionally chosen their area of IT and are not app developers. However, PWAs force them to become app developers, which means a completely different approach.

This component also causes frustration for some developers, which we have noticed increasingly in recent months. Magento developers worldwide form the core of the community, without whom the success of Magento would not be possible. The current state of PWAs requires a very broad knowledge and extensive experience, which makes the hurdle for frontend developers to enter Magento very high.

So why not create a solution that is not only oriented towards user requirements, but also takes into account the needs of web developers and the Magento community?

The decisive moment

The issue has already caused much frustration and lack of understanding. Nevertheless, there was a defining moment for the start of the development of Hyvä Themes:

Willem Wigman, a Magento developer for 9 years and currently triple certified Magento developer by Adobe, was asked by his wife to develop a webshop for her in early 2020. Despite years of experience, he began to doubt whether Magento was the right system. These doubts prompted him to think about what he would change and how he would build a new Magento shop from scratch, especially from the perspective of smaller retailers. He came to the conclusion that the goal was a nice design with good performance and extensive possibilities for customisation. In terms of front-end development of Magento, this means reducing complexity and reducing the amount of code.

The idea quickly turned into action and the foundation for Hyvä Themes was built. 

You want to start your own Hyvä project?

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