Magento is Still the Biggest Piece of Shit in Ecommerce

Five years ago, I had the shittiest month of my life. I was stuck doing a web project where the client chose to use Magento for their little store.

It was supposed to be a quick and easy gig. Launch their site, import their files from an older domain using a spreadsheet, and let her rip.

How did working with Magento go for me?

I spent hundreds of hours troubleshooting motherfucking bugs and bullshit that don’t exist in any platform except for that hell hole. And because I quoted by the project and not the hour, I ended up making around $4.00 per hour on that shit (if I round up).

Working with Magento was so awful that one project caused me to quit doing websites for people. Cold-turkey. Nada. Zilch. Finito. Not a single site since.

How’s that for a product review to cap off the night?

If only it were so simple.

I revisited that nightmare of working with Magento again a couple years ago, after realizing that the people making, marketing and selling that steaming pile of dog shit that calls itself an ecommerce platform, had literally addressed NONE of the problems myself and hundreds of other developers faced.

Not a single fucking one. Instead of addressing them, they released a turd called Magento 2. They promised it would be lean, developer friendly, and not a mouth full of garbage.

They lied. Oh, how they lied.

While I have fortunately never had to touch that cat’s ass of poison, dozens of developers personally commented on my blog, emailed me, etc. to tell me that yes indeed, Magento was back to its same old bag of dirty tricks.

Why am I not surprised?

Magento Inc. is a behemoth. They make assloads (that’s metric for a lot) of money with their shitty product, worse extensions, hideous plugins, and god awful templates.

Isn’t that what a business does? Isn’t that the circle of life?

Actually, when I stop and think about it. I would like to be surprised. I would like to wake up one morning and live in a world where the biggest companies don’t fart around laughing at us.

I’d love to live in a world where products like Magento worked well. And croissants were free. And coffee didn’t give me ulcers.

Hell, products like Magento don’t even have to perform miracles, or even work as well as their competitors like Prestashop, Bigcommerce, Shopify, or even fucking Woocommerce.

Just work “well.” That’s all I ask.

But that’s not the world you and I live in. That’s a world of day dreams and candy canes, where everything tastes like bubblegum and working on the web is a rewarding, wonderful process, and not a purgatory we go through between the end of University until we give up and land a real job.

I realize that at this point, I’ve been vague. I haven’t spoken very much about the “features” of this ecommerce platform. I haven’t talked about specific issues. Maybe I even come across as being mean and unfair to widdle ol’ Magento.

Fuck that. Listing even one “feature” here would be a discredit to every other ecommerce platform.

Testing their fucking platform again would be like giving a part of my soul to the devil in exchange for a jar of broken promises. I don’t need to revisit hell to know it’s a shitty place. Knowing that hell exists is enough.

The same can be said for Magento. As long as that motherfucker is still around, there will be tears and there will be sorrows. There will also be naive young web developers (like my younger self) hoping to land a good contract only to end up with the equivalent of a dagger in their brain as they try to parse through mysteriously broken code.

As long as there is a Magento, there will be an opponent, a monster, a devil, and no web developer will be safe.

So, if you’re a developer considering using this platform, all that needs to be said about Magento is that it is still the biggest piece of shit in Ecommerce.

Stay the fuck away from it.

Consider this is a public service announcement.

Opinions Writing

Blank Made Simple

Made simple. How many times have you reared your ugly head in copywriting, marketing and lazy branding?

Just today, by looking around the web, I can tell you there’s a marketing company called MadeSimple. A reality show called Home Made Simple. A video by the guardian called Bitcoin made simple. A content management system called CMS Made Simple. Dog food called Raw Made Simple. Punctuation Made Simple. Web design made simple. WordPress made simple. House made simple. Travel made simple. Wardrobes. Volatility. Digital. Purity.

And even Church Insurance Made Simple.

I’ve had enough. The list goes on ad nausea.

If you’re thinking about what to call your product, how to market it to masses, just stop. Don’t use these words.

You might think it “simplifies” your message. Or maybe it conveys the essence of your product in two easy words.

What you’re actually doing is being a lazy bastard like everyone else.

[Blank] made simple is not only over-used and lazy, it’s also terrible, and using it in your marketing copy makes you a terrible person.

It’s a vernacular transgression. Word-based sin. It’s awful and meaningless and should condemn your product to the fiery hells of bad marketing.

Think about it.What are you conveying with “volatility made simple” or “purity made simple”? What do either of these actually mean?

“You know, it means our facial cleanser is simpler than all the other complicated ones.”

Oh yeah? How so? What makes yours so simple and magical and different? Does it fly out of the bottle and apply itself or do you have to put some on your hands and rub it on your face like everyone else?

What about Church insurance made simple? Are all those other bastards mucking it up for everyone with their over-complicated, mechanical, soulless church insurance policies?

How many people on earth even need church insurance to be made simple? Where are the masses crying out, cursing the skies because insuring their church is just too damn complicated?

The worst part it, “made simple-ism” isn’t going to go away anytime soon.

Every day new products, new websites, new crappy brands emerge from the either and demand lazy ad copy. The people behind them will hire some marketing agency made simple, get the same regurgitated copy as everyone else, and pat themselves on the back while giggling about how clever they are.

If you’re one of the bastards writing this type of copy. Just stop. Please. For the love of good words and better phrases.


Thanks, Facebook: Russia’s “Being Patriotic” Campaign

Facebook has a problem (okay, not just one).

According to a recent investigative article in The Daily Beast, a Russian “troll factory” played as much (if not more) of a role swaying the minds of American voters in the run-up to their 2016 election than our earlier (and dire) suspicions.

Somewhere over 10,000,000 Americans saw and were possibly influenced by these ads, many of them targetting hot-topic and (sadly) divisive issues like LGBT rights, gun control, and the like. And, of course, the Clinton / Trump divide.

“Being Patriotic” was the account name and Twitter handle for one of the more popular Russian-backed groups on Facebook. According to The Daily Beast, some 200,000 Americans joined the group which then went on to organize at least a dozen potential marches and rallies in Trump’s favour during the last election cycle.

The sad part is that it’s not hard to understand why the 200,000 Americans who followed that group did so. The implications are clear: supporting Donald Trump meant you were patriotic, while supporting Clinton meant the exact opposite – being unpatriotic.

No one wants to be labelled “unpatriotic.” Least of all, in the United States where Patriotism is a currency, a challenge that always seems to face new contenders.

The crushing irony is that there was nothing patriotic about this group, since it was being secretly backed and organized by Russian operatives. In effect, Russia was telling Americans how they should understand patriotism. Never mind what it says about electoral integrity, campaign laws and voting fairness (not every candidate is fortunate enough to have Russian backers sponsoring you from the sidelines like daddy) — it’s a pretty damning look at the power and perniciousness of present-day social media.

Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg loves to talk about how his platform helps people connect, makes the world a better, and a whole other spool of yarn. While some of that may be partially true, it’s becoming more and more obvious than the opposite is taking place well.

In this sense, Facebook’s simplicity, ease-of-access, and droves on content are both a blessing and a curse. It helps more and more people get online and “connect” with others, while also subjecting them to more information at a faster rate than anything most of them had been used to before.

The problem is it doesn’t look like people know what to do with all this information or how to take it. Perhaps people are too trusting and accepting of whatever they read (no matter the source, nor the headline) and are inclined to take it at either face value or on an emotional level.

Unfortunately, information (and data) is meant to be taken critically or analytically (and not based on one’s emotional attachment to the keywords in the title). If people aren’t trained or taught to be skeptical of everything they read (or at the very least, of suspicious claims), then we have a problem. People will make uninformed decisions

it would seem then that thanks to Facebook, people are essentially being exposed to information which they are unable to properly process at a faster rate than they can handle. This information in turn leads to real-world events and actions. Some can be big and elaborate (like organizing rallies based on a Russian sneak’s claims to patriotism) or more mundane.

It even happens where someone a person casually sees on Facebook (“hot water causes cancer!”) might seep into casual conversation after (“did you know cold water is better for you?”). When it comes to mundane things like water temperature, it’s not so bad, but when it comes to making an informed decision about who you think should run the country, then it’s another matter altogether – and a more frightening one at that.

Since the article ran in the Daily Beast, Facebook has come forward with more details about Russia’s use of their platform. In tandem, the social media company has promised greater oversight and moderation, but the most obvious part of the damage it seems has already been done. The less obvious damage – people’s inclination to read ingest whatever they read on the internet – isn’t something that they can patch with a few quick fixes. It’s systemic.