Magento 2 Modes Explained: Default, Developer, and Production

Magento 2 Modes Explained: Default, Developer, and Production

Magento 2 modes are essential environments to develop and deploy a Magento 2 store. You can switch between 3 modes (default, developer, and production). Each mode is designed to enhance performance for specific tasks. This tutorial will explore Magento 2 modes, their purpose, and how to switch between them.

Key Takeaways

  • Learn the essentials of Magento’s three core modes: Default, Developer, and Production.

  • Discover how to switch between these modes for optimized site performance seamlessly.

  • Understand why each mode is crucial for debugging, customization, and live operation tasks.

  • Get step-by-step guidance on how to change modes using command line commands.

What are the different modes in Magento 2?

1. Default Mode

As the name suggests, the default mode is when no other mode is specified. In the default mode, you can deploy the Magento application on a single server without any changes in the settings. When you first launch a Magento 2 site, it automatically starts in the default mode. This mode is a combination of developer and production mode.

  • The user never sees errors. Errors are logged to the file reports on the server.

  • Static view files are materialized first, then cached. It's not ideal for production.

  • Symlinks to static view files should be published to pub/static.

2. Developer Mode

It is specifically designed for developers. It handles all development tasks by automatically compiling code and providing advanced logging and debugging features. While slower on the front end and Magento admin, it's great for customizing or extending Magento 2's default features.

  • Static view files are stored in the Magento pub/static directory and are not cached.

  • Errors and exceptions are shown in the browser.

  • System logging is set to verbose.

  • Exceptions are displayed in the error handler instead of being logged, making it easier to identify and troubleshoot errors directly in the browser.

  • If an event subscriber cannot be invoked, an exception is thrown, leading to faster debugging of extension conflicts.

3. Production Mode

The live and operational Magento 2 sites are in production mode. This mode ensures that the website is optimized for performance, stability, and security.

It allows for efficient handling of customer requests, smooth transaction processing, and reliable delivery of content. For the best customer experience, switch your store to the production environment.

The production mode utilizes full-page caching and a complete pub folder for seamless and efficient store functioning. Debugging in production is challenging because errors are logged in the file system and not displayed to the user. Additionally, merged CSS and Javascript do not function in this mode.

  • The production mode is the most secure for security.

  • It doesn't create a symlink for the pub/static folder.

  • If an unauthenticated user accesses pub/static and tries to change the data, they will only modify duplicate file versions.

  • These changes will be overwritten during the next static deployment.

How to change Magento 2 Mode?

1. Setting Magento 2 Developer Mode

You need to run the command below:

php bin/magento deploy:mode:set developer

Magento 2 Developer Mode Command Line Interface

2. Setting Magento 2 Production Mode:

You can enable production mode by running the below command:

php bin/magento deploy:mode:set production

Enabling Production Mode in Magento 2 CLI

How to Check which Magento 2 Mode is Used?

You need to run the following command:

php bin/magento deploy:mode:show

Command to Display Current Magento 2 Mode


1. What does the frontend code compilation refer to in Magento 2?

The frontend code compilation in Magento 2 converts all relevant static files (such as CSS and JS) into a single file for more efficient loading. This helps to decrease page load times and improve overall performance.

2. How do I set production mode in Magento 2?

Use the command line interface and type php bin/magento deploy:mode:set production to change to production mode. This sets your site to production mode, the most secure setting.

3. What is the developer mode in Magento 2?

Developer mode is used for debugging during development. It compiles code on demand, making spotting and fixing errors easier. You can set developer mode in Magento using php bin/magento deploy:mode:set developer.

4. How to activate the maintenance mode in Magento 2?

Running the command php bin/magento maintenance:enable turns on the maintenance mode, preventing site access during updates or maintenance.

5. How do the Magento modes command line work?

The Magento modes command line allows you to switch between different operational modes (developer, production, default) for your Magento 2 site.

6. Where is the mode specified in Magento 2?

It is specified in env.php file. So when production mode is set on any magento setup then it should be mentioned under env.php file.

7. How to check the current mode in Magento 2?

Run php bin/magento deploy:mode:show on the command line. This will display the current operational mode.

8. What was the purpose of introducing Magento 2 modes?

Magento 2 modes were introduced to improve performance and usability across different stages of a site's development and maintenance cycles. Magento 1 had one mode for both development and production. But with the introduction of Magento 2, three modes have been implemented to simplify and enhance Magento site speed and experience.

9. What happens when I enable production mode on my Magento server?

Enabling the production mode on the Magento server increases your site's performance by serving static content, minimizes error messages to end-users, and is ideal for a production environment.

10. How has the site's mode change improved since the release of Magento 2?

Changing the mode has significantly enhanced the management of e-commerce websites. Switching easily between default, developer, and production modes allows for efficient debugging, optimized performance, and secure, seamless user experiences.

This feature has been quite useful in the Magento ecosystem since the release of Magento 2. To ensure this, look for Magento hosting providers that offer technical support, regular backups, and advanced security features.


Magento 2 modes optimize tasks and cater to different stages of development. In this tutorial, we have discussed each mode's functionality and primary applications. Familiarizing yourself with these modes will greatly enhance your experience with Magento 2.

For optimal performance and scalability of your Magento 2 site, choose a hosting provider specialized in Magento multi-server hosting.

Shivendra Tiwari
Shivendra Tiwari
Technical Writer

Shivendra has over ten years of experience creating compelling content on Magento-related topics. With a focus on the Magento community, he shares valuable tips and up-to-date trends that provide actionable insights.

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