Common reasons for upgrading
- You’re currently on a version of Magento lower than 1.7.2 (in an ideal world, by now your Magento site should be on version 1.8 or above)
- You’re on any version of Magento 1 and are looking at updating your site with plugins and extra functionality (i.e. planning on spending a chunk of money on improving your Magento 1 site)
- You’re not on Magento at all right now but you want a brand new and up to date Magento site
Magento 2 is obviously going to be better than Magento 1 – there’s no reason to create something new if you can’t improve it. It does come with its risks though, like any new platform. However, Magento 2 has passed it’s ‘guinea pig’ stage and is now growing as a reliable and popular platform. So, what are the positives and negatives of Magento 2 compared to its predecessor?
Positives of Magento 2
- Improved security and more payment gateways out of the box
- Optimisation of old code
- Improved scalability so your store can grow
- User friendly CMS – Magento 1 is notorious for having a poor admin interface (or CMS). Magento 2 is so much better (*breathes sigh of relief*)
- Supports HTML5, jQuery, CSS3 ; the latest tools for developers.
- Security fixes with PHP update 7.0.2. PHP7 is twice as fast as its predecessor, and Magento 2 supports this new version automatically. PHP7 will give your site a huge increase in performance
- Up to 50% increase in site speed on catalog pages
- Tonnes of out the box features, including:
- Varnish full page cache, which will improve your site speed, and it’s an out the box feature on M2 and M2 Enterprise, and
- Elasticsearch – a cloud based search software which is highly comparable to one of our favourites, Algolia. Unfortunately this is only available out the box on Magento Enterprise, but it might be rolled out to Community in the future
- M2 is the most recent version of the platform, the biggest update the community have seen in years, and will be supported for a long time. Official statements say Magento 1 is only supported until November 2018 (though this may be extended)
- It’s been around long enough for sites on the platform to stop being ‘guinea pigs’, and for bigger brands to make the leap (including fashion brands Radley, Kurt Geiger, and Victoria Beckham)
- For you devs, there’s improved architecture using latest PHP, deployment and build processes. This helps keep Magento in-line with other popular frameworks.
Negatives of upgrading to Magento 2
- More stable extensions to add or enhance functionality available for M1, but this is only due to the amount of time it’s been around. In time, M2 will have just as many (if not more) plugins, and these will be maintained regularly
- Themes on Magento 1 cannot be transferred to Magento 2, however there are a loads of great themes on Magento 2 that you can use. This will incur more of a cost though, which is something to consider if you’re already using a theme that you like on M1
- It’ll cost a fair bit to transfer – it’s not just a simple click. However, if you have a Magento site, you’re going to have to upgrade sometime, so unfortunately this cost is inevitable
- Magento 1 is still faster than Magento 2, but only when configured correctly. That means using (or paying for a developer to use) PHP 5.6 or PHP7 , Redis cache, Bolt full page cache, and Nginx web server in order to get the best from the original platform
- There are a lot of Magento developers who are familiar with how M1 works – this large community know what they’re doing and often write tutorials or blogs to get you out of tricky spots
- Magento 2 users are still experiencing a few bugs here and there, but in time this will become far less common
- Currently, many M2 blogs state that development time can be up to double that of a similar Magento 1 project. This may be due to it being a new platform to work on for many Magento specialists, so this might even out in time
If you’re on any Magento version from 1.8 up, you’ll be fine for now. Granted, in a couple of years, it will be time to take the plunge, but the chances are you’ve only recently invested in an M1 website, and you may not want to fork out more. If you are ready to upgrade though, there’s a great platform just waiting for you, filled to the brim with a load of fantastic features.