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Recommended Development Workflows

This documentation provides recommendations for development workflows when working with PHP and Magento 2. Following these workflows will help developers maintain a structured and efficient approach to building and maintaining Magento 2 projects. This document assumes a basic understanding of PHP, Magento 2, and the command line interface (CLI).

Local Development Environment

To start with, it is essential to have a local development environment set up. This ensures that developers have a consistent and isolated environment for building and testing Magento 2 projects. Here are the recommended tools and configurations:

  • PHP: Install the latest version of PHP (compatible with Magento 2) and configure it with commonly used extensions.
  • Composer: Install Composer, the dependency management tool for PHP. Composer simplifies the installation and management of Magento 2 and third-party extensions.
  • Web Server: Set up a web server (e.g., Apache or Nginx) and configure it to serve Magento 2 projects.
  • Database: Install and configure a MySQL database server, which is the recommended database engine for Magento 2.
  • Magento 2: Install a clean instance of Magento 2 using Composer or the command-line interface.

Version Control

Version control is crucial for tracking changes, collaborating with other developers, and ensuring code integrity. Git is the recommended version control system for Magento 2 projects. Here are the main aspects to consider:

  • Repository Structure: Create a repository at the root of your Magento 2 project. Add the necessary configuration files to exclude irrelevant files from version control (e.g., vendor/ directory, environment-specific configurations).
  • Ignored Files: Create a .gitignore file to exclude files and directories that should not be versioned. This file should include common Magento 2 files and directories that are not required in a development workflow.
  • Branches: Use branches to separate different development tasks or features. Create a new branch for each task and merge it back into the main branch (usually master or develop) once completed. This approach ensures that the main branch always contains stable and tested code.
  • Commit Messages: Provide meaningful and concise commit messages that describe the changes made in each commit. Use imperative verbs to indicate the purpose of the commit (e.g., "Add feature X," "Fix issue Y").
  • Tags: Use tags to mark important milestones or releases in your project. This makes it easier to track and reference specific versions of your codebase.

Branching Strategy

Having a well-defined branching strategy helps streamline the development process and enables collaboration between team members. The following branching model, known as Gitflow, is recommended:

  • Master Branch: The master branch should always contain stable and production-ready code. Never commit directly to this branch; instead, use it to represent the latest release version.
  • Develop Branch: The develop branch acts as the main integration branch for new features and bug fixes. Developers should create feature branches from this branch and merge their changes back into it. This branch should ideally always be deployable and tested.
  • Feature Branches: Developers create feature branches from the develop branch when working on new features or significant changes. Once completed, these branches are merged back into the develop branch.
  • Release Branches: When preparing for a new release, create a release branch from the develop branch. This branch allows for last-minute bug fixes and fine-tuning before the release. Once the release is ready, merge the release branch back into both the develop and master branches.
  • Hotfix Branches: Hotfix branches are created from the master branch to fix critical issues in a live production environment. Once fixed, the hotfix branch should be merged into both the develop and master branches.

Coding Standards

Consistent coding standards help maintain code readability and improve collaboration among developers. For Magento 2 projects, it is recommended to follow the Magento Coding Standard (MCS), which is based on the PSR-2 standard with additional Magento-specific rules. Here's how you can enforce coding standards:

  • Code Sniffer: Use PHP_CodeSniffer with the Magento 2 coding standard installed to automatically check your code for compliance. You can run the code sniffer from the command line or integrate it with your development environment.
  • IDE Integration: Configure your IDE (e.g., PhpStorm, Visual Studio Code) to automatically format your code according to the coding standard. This ensures that your code is consistently formatted as you write it.
  • Pre-commit Hooks: Set up pre-commit hooks to check and reject commits that violate the coding standard. This prevents non-compliant code from being committed to the repository.

Code Review

Code review is an essential part of the development process, helping identify bugs, improve code quality, and facilitate knowledge sharing. Here are some recommended practices for effective code reviews:

  • Pull Requests: Use pull requests or merge requests to initiate code reviews. These mechanisms provide a transparent and collaborative way to review and discuss proposed changes.
  • Reviewers: Assign reviewers who are knowledgeable in the relevant areas of the codebase. Having multiple reviewers ensures a thorough review and minimizes the chance of overlooking potential issues.
  • Structured Reviews: Establish a checklist or guidelines for reviewers to follow during code reviews. This ensures consistency and helps reviewers focus on specific aspects of the code (e.g., functionality, performance, security).
  • Constructive Feedback: Provide constructive feedback that helps the developer understand the reasoning behind suggested changes. Focus on improving the code rather than criticizing the developer.
  • Automated Tools: Utilize automated tools (e.g., static analysis, security scanners) to supplement code reviews and identify potential issues that may have been missed.

Continuous Integration

Continuous Integration (CI) is a practice that automates the process of building, testing, and deploying code changes. CI helps catch issues early and ensures that the codebase is always in a deployable state. Here's how to set up a CI pipeline for Magento 2 projects:

  • Build Environment: Configure a build environment that closely resembles the production environment. This includes installing the necessary dependencies and configuring the web server and database.
  • Build Scripts: Create build scripts (e.g., bash scripts, CI configuration files) that automate the build, test, and deployment processes. These scripts should be versioned and executed by the CI server.
  • Automated Tests: Write automated tests (e.g., unit tests, integration tests) that cover critical parts of the codebase. These tests should be executed as part of the CI pipeline to ensure code quality and prevent regressions.
  • Static Analysis: Integrate static analysis tools (e.g., PHPStan, SonarQube) into the CI pipeline to catch code issues and enforce coding standards.
  • Deployment: Automate the deployment process as much as possible. Use tools like Capistrano, Deployer, or custom scripts to deploy the code to staging or production environments. Ensure that deployments are reversible and have proper rollback mechanisms.


Deploying Magento 2 projects requires careful consideration to ensure a smooth transition from development to production. Here are some recommended best practices for deployment:

  • Environment Configuration: Maintain separate configuration files for each environment (e.g., development, staging, production). These files should contain environment-specific settings such as database credentials and cache configurations.
  • Dependency Management: Ensure that all dependencies are correctly installed on the production environment. Use Composer to manage and install both Magento 2 and third-party extensions.
  • Compilation and Cache: Compile and deploy static assets (e.g., JavaScript, CSS) to minimize server-side processing and improve frontend performance. Clear the cache after deployment to ensure that the latest changes are reflected.
  • Database Migration: Use Magento 2's built-in database migration tools ( e.g., setup:upgrade, setup:db-schema:upgrade) to update the database schema and data. These tools handle versioning and ensure that the database is in sync with the codebase.
  • Monitoring: Set up monitoring tools (e.g., New Relic, Nagios) to track the health and performance of your Magento 2 application. Monitoring provides insights into potential issues and helps you proactively address them.


Following these recommended development workflows will help ensure a structured, efficient, and collaborative development process for Magento 2 projects. By setting up a local development environment, implementing version control, enforcing coding standards, performing code reviews, integrating continuous integration, and following best practices for deployment, developers can build and maintain high-quality Magento 2 applications.