Magento 1 or Magento 2? The low down

Written by Zak on December 7, 2015

It’s been over 4 years (and probably 1000s of cups of coffee) in the making but on 17th November 2015 Magento 2.0 was finally released into the wild!  Here at Big Eye Deers we couldn’t be more excited about Magento’s fancy new framework and how great it will be for our clients.

We’ve actually been tracking Magento 2’s progress for quite some time through webinars, Magento’s git repo and also the various release candidates so it’s great to see it finally arrive. We’re also up to our eyeballs in the fundamentals course, making sure we master the platform before unleashing it on our clients.

Since the release there seems to be a couple of common questions on everyone’s lips  so we thought we’d offer our thoughts on the various matters…

When should I upgrade to Magento 2?

This seems to be the biggest concern for both merchants and developers.  Ultimately it’s going to be down to personal preference as well as the current needs and situation of the client. The folks at Magento have stated that 1.x will be actively supported for 3 years after the release of Magento 2 so there’s no need to panic and rush to the new platform.

If you’ve got an existing 1.x store which is relatively up to date (1.8+) and is performing well we think it’s best to evaluate your current situation and make a solid plan to prepare and upgrade when the time is right for you.

If your store isn’t performing and is running out of date and problematic code then we would suggest that upgrading should be more of a priority.  It’s important to note the limited number of plugins (including payment gateways) available for Magento 2 at this time so an evaluation of the custom functionality you require is key before deciding on an upgrade.

If you’re still not sure then drop us a line here and we’ll do our best to advise!

I have an existing Magento 1.x store, how can I upgrade to Magento 2?

To be perfectly honest in most cases upgrading will be pretty painful! The framework has undergone a massive, and much needed, overhaul and as a result the portability of 1.x modules and themes is pretty much non existent and will require complete rewrites.  There is a handy data migration tool though which will allow your customer, product and order data to be migrated.  We think it’s best to view an upgrade to Magento 2 as a great opportunity for a fresh start.  It presents a great time to sit down and properly evaluate your store:

  • What existing functionality works well for you and/or your users?

  • What functionality do you no longer require?

  • What parts of your store don’t function so well and could do with improving?

  • What awesome new features are on your wishlist?

  • What new design trends would you love your store to have?

Having this mindset will mean that as well as updating the core framework your store will get a good revamp and offer your customers an improved, modern and slick experience.

Why should I upgrade to Magento 2?

It’s awesome! Seriously though – there are a vast range of improvements and new features, here are some of the key points:

  • Backend technologies such as dependency injection, service contracts or interception enable high quality development which will be faster, more modular and more stable.

  • Modern front end development technologies such as jQuery and LESS combined with a high quality base theme make it possible to implement themes professionally.

  • Huge performance improvements delivered via a cleaner code base, better database management and full page caching in both CE and Enterprise editions among other things.

  • A better, more streamlined checkout experience for your customers.

  • A hugely improved admin panel making it quicker and easier manage all aspects of your store.

 

There will also be a time (3 years from now according to Magento) where 1.x will no longer be actively supported or updated with security patches.