A year in the Shopware 6 community

April 04, 2021 - 3 min read

At elgentos, we’ve been working with Shopware 6 for the past year. We’re mainly a Magento 2 agency but we have seen considerable interest in SW6, especially from (ex) Magento 1 merchants. This prompted us into experimenting with SW6 on two of our projects. Both projects are migrations from M1 to SW6. This is a short and not comprehensive overview of our experiences with the community so far.

Coming from the Magento community, the Shopware community is quite a change. First and foremost, the community is obviously a lot smaller. And I mean a lot. When comparing installs on Packagist, we see about 226.404 installs for shopware/platform and 7.681.849 for magento/magento-composer-installer (which we use as a proxy for M2 installs). Relatively, this comparison isn’t fair; SW6 is a lot younger than M2 and the Shopware community generally isn’t doing CI/CD deployments so the core code usually resides in Git instead of being pulled in from Composer. But we’re looking at absolute numbers right now.

Another major pain point is that the community is unfortunately still largely German. Shopware is too small to be able to get their own StackExchange like Magento has (which didn’t come easily either) so they use their own forum. The German section there is 13 times bigger than the English section. That’s a big impediment to Shopware’s growth. Hopefully Ben Marks joining the Shopware team will change things.

Shopware was closed-source up until version 4. This fact is instilled in the fact that a large number of (primarily German) agencies are their own little private islands - not much is shared, either in terms of knowledge through blogs or videos, or in terms of code through open-source extensions. For example; the topic magento2-module on Github has 1184 repositories while shopware6-plugin only has 23. Again, not a totally fair comparison but we’re talking absolute numbers here.

The Slack channels on Shopware such as the official one (~3200 members) and the Dutch one (~220) are much smaller than the Magento ones such as the official one (~9500 members) and the Dutch one (~1000 members).

The number of events is obviously also a lot smaller. Where pretty much every European country has (or, in Covid times; had) a larger-scale community-driven Meet Magento event, the only large-scale conferences for Shopware were in Germany and were organized by Shopware itself.

Thankfully there is an initiative underway called Shopware United to take up this challenge and I am pleased to see some big names from the Magento community as board members (hi there Wouter, Wouter, Claudia, Fabian, Sander, Borys & Damian!). I’m pleased to read their first aim is “English First” and the first item on their Roadmap is “Events”. They also list some great resources on their site.

From what I hear (a year isn’t much of a time frame to draw conclusions on myself) it is slowly getting better! I’m excited.

Kyle Mathews

Written by Peter Jaap Blaakmeer @PeterJaap