Magento 2.0 vs. 1.x

On November 17th 2015 Magento announced the availability of their next generation open source ecommerce platform; Magento 2.0. Years in the making, the much anticipated release of Magento Community and Enterprise Edition 2.0 promised enhanced performance and scalability to boost conversion rates, business agility and productivity – but did it live up to expectations?

According to the platform itself, there is currently in excess of 240,000 stores on Magento 1.x. Since the release of Magento 2.0, a number of merchants have made the upgrade to this new platform. So, should you stay or should you go?

When should I upgrade?

The need to upgrade is dependent on your business' needs, what size is your business is and, how your current Magento website performing for you.

If you're someone who is scared of getting left behind; moving to Magento 2.0 might be the best decision. However, if your current version of Magento is serving your needs, we would recommend considering whether the upgrade will actually add value to your business at this current point in time.

In respect of Magento itself, their main focus is on medium to large customers looking to annual gross merchandise from $20million to $100million. So, if you're a small to medium size business, going to Magento 2 may not be the best choice because of financial and technical issues. One important thing to be aware of is that Magento will continue to support 1.x platforms for 3 years – so there is no rush to make a decision right now.

Advantages of Magento 2.0

If we're going to compare Magento 1.x with 2.0, there are a number of clear benefits that you should take into consideration:

1. Enhanced performance & scalability
The improved architecture of Magento 2.0 means you're website should load faster and scale more easily. One of the main benefits to your business is improved page load times for home, category and product pages – Magento is promising sub 1.5s per page on first view and sub 0.75 on second view.

2. Better support
The new-kid on the block, Magento 2.0 is getting a lot more attention than its predecessor. With that comes better support for bugs and fixes.

3. Quality extensions
An open-source platform; one of the main advantages to Magento is the number of extensions that have been written against it to extend its core functionality. The changes in Magento 2.0 should allow for developers to write better quality extensions – with a new marketplace organised and monitored by Magento themselves. As a merchant this should mean you don't need to worry about poorly written modules anymore.

If I go will there be trouble?

If you're looking for a smooth transition – you're probably going to be disappointed. Whilst the Magento 2 data migration tool has been developed to help port over key product, customer, order data, store configurations and promotions etc., it has its limitations.

It's also worth noting that any custom development, themes and 3rd party extensions are not transferable. This means that everything you've done in Magento 1.x. will probably need to be redone in Magento 2.0. For some this could be a good thing; if you've got 50+ extensions in your store, it could help you cull the ones that no longer work for your business.

Initial estimates indicate that migrating to Magento 2.0 is 20% larger than a Magento 1.x upgrade; however this largely depends on how your site has been built and the level of legacy code and customisation in place.

Is it worth it?

In the long run, it's definitely worth upgrading to Magento 2.0. Like with any software upgrade, the newer version will always take over and for Magento 2.0 – there is no going back. Remember, there will be continued support for 1.x versions for 3 years so you're okay right now.

If you're ready to start making migration plans, consider these action items:

  • Make a list of what you'd like to improve
  • What extensions are you not actively using (or have no idea what they do)
  • Have an open conversation with your developer and/or solutions partner

Next Steps

For Magento store owners, 2016 and beyond looks to be an exciting time. 2.0 promises to bring with it a new host of extensions and functionality that will help merchants get ahead.

If you need any help with planning your next steps, let us know.

Featured image credit: Magento.com

Catherine Durham

Catherine Durham

Digital Marketing Manager (Dip DigM)

Digital Marketing Manager at Netmatter, Catherine Durham graduated in Press & Editorial Photography. She has since gone on to work in digital marketing and ecommerce, with experience in SEO, copywriting, design and photography.

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