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Is Moving To Magento 2 Worth The Hassle?

  • Written By Chris
  • Posted June 11, 2018
  • 7 minutes Read Time

Since its release back in late 2015, Magento 2 has been at the forefront of many eCommerce business owner minds ever since.

Not only was this upgrade meant to dent the growing popularity of other simpler eCommerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce, Magento 2 targeted larger stores that were already using their existing service and marketed itself as the place to be for any business looking for a site that could remain flexible and scalable regardless of the speed of growth.

It’s fair to say that Magento has always been feared by a small group, mostly due to its technical nature and the specific set of skills one requires to use it to its full potential. Once you’ve gained an understanding of its unique mechanisms, however, the learning curve lessens and the platform becomes easier to work with. If you enjoy a more modular structure and robust architecture, Magento is probably the right choice.

If you enjoy eCommerce platforms with a more modular structure and robust architecture, Magento is probably the right choice for your business.

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The flip side of the coin with this argument is that the more entry-level platforms like the ever-popular Shopify are much more straightforward and can get smaller stores up and running significantly faster. Furthermore, if you’re already on Magento, there is a fair bit of work to do in terms of upgrading to Magento 2 – it’s not a flick of a switch, unfortunately.

Having been heralded as a huge step forward thanks to an improved range of built-in features and broader customisation, the Magento 2 upgrade has always promised plenty – but is it all it’s cracked up to be? Should you make the move from Magento to Magento 2? Is it actually worth all the hassle?

Yes, You Should Absolutely Upgrade!

From where we’re sitting, upgrading to Magento 2 is a no-brainer. As a platform, Magento 2 has seen significant changes in terms of its usability, optimisation and overall support that has made the transition a must.

To give you a better understanding of why we believe moving to Magento 2 is the right decision, it makes sense to look at where most of you will be already – there are quite a few things to consider in terms of why you shouldn’t stick with the original Magento platform.

Less Performance

Since the very first release of the platform, a lot more emphasis has been placed on speed and how this impacts eCommerce; in particular the likelihood of sales. Magento has worked hard to ensure its latest upgrade is significantly faster straight out of the box by refactoring subsystems and adding asynchronous indexing. Even things like full page cache support, which was only previously available to Enterprise Edition users, are included in Magento 2 as standard.

Outdated Technology

By not moving across to Magento 2, existing Magento users will be stuck utilising older technology. The original Magento platform is built around HTML4 and CSS, lacking in important modern-day features like automated testing support, Javascript support, and standard store responsiveness. There is a general lack of support across some key areas like SEO and mobile performance that can only be truly remedied by making the upgrade to Magento 2.

Poor Scalability

As technology has advanced, the original Magento platform has seen a number of bottlenecks that have limited the ability of bigger stores to keep scaling with growth, particularly around cloud-based solutions that simply weren’t available when Magento was first developed. The platform itself was incredibly database-heavy and adding common 3rd-party extensions just exacerbated the problem. Effective scalability in the modern climate is both challenging and time-consuming on Magento 1.

Lack Of Guidance

Developers that feel comfortable working on the original version of Magento have either had to attend pricey training courses or simply learn the hard way by reverse-engineering the platform. Is this an effective way to understand how to develop the platform? Certainly not. Having to find solutions to problems online via blogs or forums can’t be sustainable over the long term, especially when official support for Magento 1 will cease at the end of the year.

Weaker User Experience

Generally speaking, Magento users have always found site interaction to be problematic and unnecessarily complicated. As an example, from a developer perspective, even the standard-issue Checkout process didn’t aid conversion rates in any way. Behind the scenes, the Admin panel interface is incredibly outdated and makes even basic tasks like import/export or image uploads needlessly time-consuming.

So, having highlighted the various issues that could impact your store if you choose to stick with Magento 1 in the long term, it makes sense to compare these to the new Magento 2 offering – specifically the benefits that upgrading can bring.

Greater Performance

One of the greatest strides made by Magento 2 is the noticeable step up in performance, in most part thanks to full page caching which has been added as standard to the Community Edition package. Alongside this, a migrated store will also benefit from greater database support which has been reworked to reduce data bottlenecks and improve performance.

The overriding feeling with Magento 2 is that it delivers a new level of performance that cannot be matched by the existing Magento platform.

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The overriding feeling with Magento 2 is that it delivers a new level of performance that cannot be matched by the existing Magento 1 platform, especially when it comes to caching. This provides users with a smoother, more enjoyable experience across all the browsing and buying stages.

Improved Learning Process

There is significantly more (and more extensive) developer material available for Magento 2, making learning and understanding the platform that much easier. The material has also been tailored to Front-end Developers, Back-end Developers, Solution Specialists and Admin Users.

Not only that, the entire codebase is versioned and published in GitHub with all bugs and other issues tracked online. Magento is now providing their own on-demand courses as part of an introduction to the Magento 2 development program, so all users have a much better chance of understanding the platform instead of having to investigate and work things out for themselves.

Better User Experience

Another key reason to move across to Magento 2 is the fact that the user experience element of the platform has been reworked from the ground up. Important features such as Checkout have undergone full reviews and now require less interaction from a customer perspective, making the whole process simple and, crucially, more focused on driving conversions.

Caching has also been greatly improved when compared to the original Magento offering where full page caching was practically disabled at every stage of the Checkout process. Customers that use Magento 2 will notice significant speed upgrades and a more seamless purchasing journey.

Support For Modern Technology

Some of the latest tech, is now supported by Magento 2 – support has been added for a number of technologies including HTML5, CSS3 and mobile responsive browser caching. As a platform, Magento 2 is in a significantly better place to customise and release site changes in comparison to the original Magento version thanks to an overall improved level of stability. Support for Automated Testing has also been added and covers the vast majority of the core functionalities whilst assisting developers to create better quality code.

Summary

To summarise, Magento 2 is still undergoing continuous development which will ensure additional enhancements and fixes keep coming down the pipeline to further benefit the end user. Magento 1 is still a fully workable system, but with support due to expire at the end of this year, making the transition to the newer version makes perfect sense.