On October 2nd Magento released Magento Open Source 2.2, which was already the second major revision of Magento 2. With every major revision the questions arises whether it's time to upgrade your Magento 1 installation.
Although Magento's support for Magento 1 will eventually stop, upgrading will also take a major investment, which creates a big dilemma for much of the 250.000 merchants using Magento.
This article tries to shed some light onto the question of whether it's worth it to upgrade to Magento 2.2 from Magento 1.
Upgrading to Magento 2: a major upgrade
If you are reading this article, you have probably already heard that upgrading Magento 1 to Magento 2 is a major upgrade. The code for Magento 2 has been largely rewritten meaning that all themes and extensions made for Magento 1 cannot be used for Magento 2. From a technical viewpoint, migrating Magento 1 to Magento 2 comes pretty close to setting up a entirely new shop.
However, to make things a bit easier for all current users of Magento 1, Magento has created a Data Migration Tool that migrates all critical data from your Magento 1 installation to your new Magento 2 store. This leaves you, or your developer, with the task or re-creating your template and custom extensions on the Magento 2 platform. Furthermore, most important third-party extensions like OneStepCheckout have already been made available for Magento 2.
Magento 1 will be supported after November 2018, but time is ticking
In the beginning of 2017, Magento suprised the Magento community with an announcement on twitter stating that Magento 1 would reach 'End of life' by November 2018, meaning that Magento Inc. considers the software to be dead and will stop supplying the community with security patches, essentially leaving your web store vulnerable to newly discovered leaks and hacks.
Luckily, this message was pulled back by Magento's CEO Mark Lavelle on May 30, 2017 announcing a continued support program beyond November 2018. This means Magento 1 stores will be safe until May 2019, giving the Magento community more time to upgrade. Because eventually all shops have to be upgraded to Magento 2 if they wish to keep receiving security patches from Magento.
More reasons to upgrade to Magento 2
Continued support and security-updates is a very good reason to update your software framework, but there are many other reasons to upgrade your e-commerce platform to Magento 2. We have summarized the most important ones below.
Speed is the most important reason for many merchants to upgrade to Magento 2. Modern code design in the Magento 2 framework makes Magento 2 load a lot quicker and ask a lot less resources from your hosting infrastructure. Furthermore, page loads are speeded up using techniques like CSS preprocessing.
New extensions will be developed for Magento 2
Developers on the Magento Marketplace will focus more and more on Magento 2 as their initial platform to develop their extension. More and more we see developers first releasing their extension for Magento 2 and only after that release them for Magento 1, or not releasing them for the latter at all.
Features such as product videos, better search engine and REST API
There are many new features in Magento 2, for now we will highlight 3 of them.
Firstly, the fast and comprehensive REST API that comes with Magento 2 enables headless e-commerce (For example, creating a native mobile client and connecting it to your Magento backend).
Secondly, the search engine within magento 2 has been significantly improved. Futhermore, due to its easier integration with Elasticsearch, it is now much easier to connect Magento with it with an advanced search engine.
The third notable feature for merchants is the ability to use product videos next to the use of product photos, bringing it up to date with the standard in product promotion of nowadays.
Other features are more of specific technical value, considerably reducing the cost of ownership for the merchant, because it will save development time and cost and will create a stable platform with less downtime.
Conclusion: upgrade Magento 1 to Magento 2 now?
Wezz e-Commerce is convinced that in time everyone Magento webstore will have to upgrade to Magento 2. In the long term the costs of support and development, the security-risks and the lack of development on Magento 1 will become a problem too big for every serious Magento webstore.
On which term and in which way the upgrade will have to take place is dependent on the costs and benifits for your specific webstore however.
To determine the costs of an upgrade for your webstore the following questions need to be answered first:
- How much work would it be to upgrade your current theme to Magento 2?
- How much custom made modules are currently active on your webstore and need to be rebuilt for Magento 2?
- Which of the standard module you are using al already available for Magento 2?
Furthermore, it is important to asses which custom development you will need for your Magento 1 webshops in the short-term, since it will all have to be rebuilt in Magento 2. The more you build for Magento 1 now, the more expensive an upgrade to Magento 2 will become in the future.
Finally, the benifits of upgrading to Magento 2 are not the same for every webstore. The more benefit you will have from the new features and improved performance of Magento 2, the easier the decision to upgrade to Magento 2 will be.
Want to discuss what upgrading to Magento 2 would mean for your webstore? Send us a message!