PWA Studio is growing, and month by month, new features are being added. PWA and headless are hot topics right now, but the current Magento monolithic frontend based on the Magento Luma theme is still the first choice for merchants. There are a few reasons for this:
The current frontend is stable and well known
There are many developers experienced in Magento theming.
Merchants can find a lot of third-party extensions for the current Magento frontend.
And much, much more.
The crucial fact here is that the current Magento frontend has many more out-of-the-box features compared to PWA Studio.
In this article, I want to show you the differences and the current State of PWA Studio and its plans for the future. We will focus on out-of-the-box features. If you want to read about the differences on the tech side, take a look at one of my recent articles:
Page builder lets you create CMS Content with an easy drag & drop visual editor. PB is part of Magento Enterprise Edition, and it’s supported by PWA Studio as well. Take a look at the latest Venia demo homepage, which is built using Page Builder.
PWA Studio homepage:
Magento Luma homepage:
I have noticed some limitations and things that haven’t been done yet. For example, when you add the Products list widget to your CMS Page/block, the content of this widget will be displayed in a PWA Studio instance without styles.
Category & search results page
The primary functionality here is displaying products. Using the current Magento Luma frontend you can see products in list or grid mode, sort, and filter them. You can also use pagination if there are many products.
Magento luma category page – grid mode:
In addition, the customer is able to select product options (in this case color and size) and add the product to the cart, wishlist, and to the comparison.
Magento Luma – Product block
Magento Luma – category page in list view
In PWA Studio, a customer can see products only in grid mode. Filtering and sorting products work as well
Venia – category page
Please note that in PWA Studio, a customer is not able to add a product to the cart directly from the category page.*In this case, a customer needs to go to the product page and then add the product to the cart. In some cases that’s OK, because Merchants want the customer to buy through the product page where there are more product information and related products.
* Adding a product to the cart from the category page is planned by the core team for implementation in 2021.
The last thing I want to discuss in connection with the category page is the functionality commonly known as the “Category landing page”. In the administration panel, you can set the display mode to “Static block only” for the selected category and select the CMS block to be displayed. Unfortunately, this does not work with PWA Studio, where only products are always displayed.
Product reviews are not visible, and there is no option to add new reviews.
Related and up-sell products are not visible
Magento Luma product page:
Venia product page
Magento gives merchants the ability to add a few types of products:
PWA Studio currently supports only simple and configurable products.
Minicart is available in both Luma & PWA Studio storefronts, but in PWA Studio there is no possibility to change product quantity directly from the mini cart.
Cart & checkout page
The PWA Studio provides an internal checkout flow (including Minicart, and a separate Cart page)! We know exactly what Magento Luma Checkout looks like, and what a difficult part of Magento it is. Fortunately, The PWA Studio checkout implementation it's much easier to customize.
PWA Studio Cart page:
Magento Luma cart page:
Venia – checkout – shipping information:
Venia – checkout – shipping method
Magento Luma – shipping step:
Venia – checkout – payment method:
Magento Luma payment step
My account pages
PWA Studio supports a few account pages like:
Venia - My account - wishlist:
Magento - My account - wishlist:
Take a look at the list below, where other PWA Studio features have been listed. Those featured are developed mostly in last year which shows how much progress the PWA studio core team is making with the help of community contributors.
There are still a few features that PWA Studio does not support yet. For instance:
Cross Sell, upsell, related products
Video in gallery on Product Detail Page
Many of Magento Enterprise and B2B features
Take a look at theofficial roadmapif you are interested to see what will be done in next year.
PWA Studio is growing quickly and it is definitely the future of the Magento frontend. The main problem here is that the current Magento monolithic frontend has many more out-of-the-box features and thousands of third-party modules and themes, I think that the lack of full support for Progressive Web App technology on the iPhone (Safari) effectively prevents the development of all PWA applications (not only PWA Studio).
It’s difficult to say exactly when the PWA will replace the current M2 frontend, but it will definitely happen, and I see that PWA Studio is quite better year by year!
Did you like it? Share!
Each share supports and motivates me to create new content Thank you!
About the author
Frontend developer, Certified Magento Full Stack Developer, writer, based in Poland. He has eight years of professional Software engineering experience. Privately, husband and father. He likes reading books, drawing, and walking through mountains.