First, what is Magento?
Magento is a common open source eCommerce platform, which in recent years has risen through the ranks of its competitive market to become one of the most popular platforms available, alongside names such as Woocommerce and Shopify. It has been available since its first full platform release in 2008 with multiple platforms running alongside it since such as Magento Community Edition. Magento’s main functionalities are that it allows users to create and operate several Ecommerce shop fronts from one convenient admin panel. It offers multiple extensions that allow more control and personalisation over the sites it runs and generally is widely accepted and used on a large majority of websites.
So, why did they need a new platform?
Times are changing, eCommerce is forever developing and expanding and this kind of platform needs to be able to adapt and expand with it. After long use of a platform it becomes nearly impossible to continue to update and add things to the software without causing serious performance issues. To avoid this, Magento decided to create an entirely new platform with better capabilities that they could continue to work with. As well as this, even though Magento was as popular as it is and works as well as it does there were complaints, some that could not be fixed with updates, such as its speed. A problem that was found to be something that could not be changed, however it could be on an entirely new platform.
As well as this Magento was found to be incredibly confusing, users had issues with things such as adding categories to shops that did not show, changes in the back of the website not relaying on to the front end and even trying to set up another domain on their account. All of these operations are easily carried out, if someone knows how, but for someone new to this kind of platform figuring it out alone was near impossible.
What does Magento 2 actually do better?
The new platform, which has been in the making for many years, is getting a lot of attention and positive looks in the eCommerce community Magento 2 has improved the classic Magento for many reasons other than its improved speed. One of which is its user interface, which has been streamlined to be more efficient and easy to navigate, especially for first time users, making it easier to do things such as add products and find necessary menus.
Other features that help the website developers and admit are that Magento 2 also supports a high level of code quality and testing, alongside with easier installations and upgrades, ensuring users can keep their websites running efficiently and fix issues quickly.
But the benefits do not just reach to the developers. It also now supports payment options that it never used to, offering a more diverse checkout to customers, this has the same benefits as the improved speed, as both benefit the customer greatly. These updates improve the speed of their experience, as together they provide quicker page loading times, quicker page updates from the back end to give them information as quickly as possible and also a faster and more efficient checkout, great for businesses as it increases the chances of conversions.
Surely Magento 2 is the obvious option?
Even with all these leaps of improvement and new features surprisingly Magento 2 is not having the greatest success when regarding its figures. Not every Magento 1 user is rushing to switch over to Magento 2, in fact very few are and this is for many reasons. The first is that even though there were complains about the original Magento 1 such as its running speed, the platform overall worked fine, it functioned and did its job, meaning many customers are content using the software they have. There is also the lack of extensions to consider, if a company uses a lot of extensions on Magento 1 that are not quite yet available on the new platform they are less likely to move until they appear. Add onto this the requirement of a site rebuild on the new platform in order to move over from the old one, which can be incredibly time consuming for a business and it’s plain to see why for the time being many users are happy to stay settled.
Which platform should I use?
Both Magento 1 and 2 are highly regarded in the eCommerce community, but there are differences between the two and deciding which one is most suitable can be difficult.
Magento 1 is a better option if you have a smaller budget, as there is the choice of the community platform that is completely free and the cost of the Magento Enterprise platform was around $18,000 per year, and staggering $4,000 a year lower than just the license for Magento 2. Also if you have an existing site using a large amount of extensions you may only be able to get many of them on Magento 1, as the new platform is still developing, it is also incredibly reliable and user friendly once it is understood properly.
Magento 2 is ideal if there is a higher budget plan and a multiple websites expected to be run on one admin panel, this is because it appears to be a much more capable platform, with shorter checkouts and faster running speeds. However to use this platform acceptance of adaptation is essential as being brand new it doesn’t quite have everything it is expected to, such as extensions as these are still being added so for the time being a lot of popular choices will not be available, and also it may require a complete website rebuild even if moving from Magento 1.