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Magento, the World’s leading open source platform for building eCommerce websites, announced back in late 2015 the arrival of Magento 2 – the successor to the original platform in the Magento ecosystem.
After several years of development and alpha, beta, and release candidate phases, Magento 2 was released to move the eCommerce community forward and meet the demands of a shifting marketplace.
Our Senior Applications Engineer, Ross Ritchey, recently spoke on the topic of the popular Magento eCommerce CMS to further clarify what this migration to Magento 2 means for the Magento community.


“Seven years ago, World Synergy decided to start using Magento 1 as an application for our eCommerce customers. When Magento 2 was released in November 2015, we evaluated it as a company knowing that we have a lot of eCommerce customers, and we wanted to make sure they are not moving to something that’s not ready for their needs.”

As with any new platform build, it takes time to troubleshoot issues that arise  which is why our team of Applications engineers chose to hold off on jumping in and recommending this platform to clients; in order to make sure a good amount of extensions were ported over or built new, and the core code itself hit a point of general stability.

“At release, we reviewed the software and determined that it was not ready for general use with our customers. Much of the functionality that our users have come to depend on was not available yet, and the software itself needed some more time to become truly stable.

The team has been keeping track of the progress of Magento 2 and the community that is building around it over the past 18 months. We had to do our due diligence before recommending the platform for our clients. With the upcoming release of Magento 2.2, I am now comfortable starting to recommend that new Magento builds are in Magento 2.”

That said, Ritchey believes the time to start planning for the migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2 is now.
“I think the time to start planning is now. There are a lot of reasons to move to Magento 2 – first and foremost is performance improvements; the security of the platform itself, and also the technology the platform is built on. Because Magento 2 is a complete rebuild, they were able to use more current technologies, so with that, they’re also going to get gigantic performance benefits.”
So, what exactly do we need to know about the migration to Magento 2? Our team of Applications engineers have broken down a few key issues in regards to the newest Magento platform.

Lifetime of Magento 1 Support
According to an official statement on their blog, Magento recently announced that they will be supporting Magento 1 for “the foreseeable future.”

Magento has also committed to announcing any changes in support plans at least 18 months in advance of making the change. At this point, users can continue working in Magento 1, as Magento will support software and security patching until they announce otherwise.

What Exactly is Magento 2?
Magento 2 is the latest incarnation of Magento software. It’s important to note that Magento 2 is a complete rebuild of Magento 1 – meaning it is not just an update to the software that can be installed.
When the Magento community started building Magento 2, they went back to the basics and re-imagined the entire application from the ground-up. Everything about the code is completely different from the original platform, and there is no reliable way to automatically port extensions or themes over to the new system (besides some tools that can get you part of the way).

That said, one of the benefits of rebuilding from the ground-up is that users can implement very drastic changes very easily. Because of this, the Magento team implemented some significant performance improvements for an out-of-the-box site.

The Benefits of Magento 2
In all reported testing, Magento 2 out-performs Magento 1 at every level – regardless of caching or performance tuning. These benefits include:

Open Flexible Architecture. With Magento 2, users can readily manage a site from anywhere. The administrative areas of the application are now responsive and touch-friendly, allowing users to work from phones or tablets instead of laptops or desktops. Magento 2 is also cross-platform, cross-browser compatible, and mobile friendly.

Engaging Shopping Experiences. Magento 2 is estimated to give 20% speed/performance compared to Magento 1. Continuous updates to Magento 2 add new features and enhancements that help the shopper and merchant, which creates faster and more profitable commerce through new payment functionality and performance and feature improvements.

Enhanced Business Agility and Productivity. Magento 2 can optimize web pages for faster delivery, accelerate server response times for all site activities, increase efficiency for backend operations, and boost database flexibility and scalability to handle peak loads.

Enterprise-Grade Scalability and Performance. Magento 2 allows users to drive sales and improve productivity, includes PayPal enhancements, simplifies PCI Compliance through Braintree, includes Elasticsearch as the new search engine, improves admin experience, and introduces a new Enterprise Cloud Edition. The cloud allows the flexibility to deploy a site without worrying about infrastructure.

Secure Payments. Magento 1 does not support the most current server technology – meaning that even if Magento itself is patched for security, users should be worried about patches on the server software itself.

What Magento 2 Means for Different Users
Depending on what end of the spectrum you are on, there are different perspectives from different users of the Magento 2 product that give reason to move from Magento 1 to Magento 2.

From an End-User’s Perspective, Magento 2 helps with personalization, advanced search, and a streamlined checkout.

Magento 2 has the technology behind it that allows the user to offer personalized products, services, and marketing incentives. The advanced search has many different types of search options to help the customers find what they need. The checkout process is more efficient than previous versions.

From a Store-Owner’s Perspective, Magento 2 is good for usability, optimization capability, internationalization, and responsive design.

The powerful tools at backend make it easier to use, automate, and manage the order of sales, shipping, inventory, and reporting. Magento 2 allows the business owner to use drag-and-drop visual merchandising for product optimization in a cross-platform, cross-browser compatible, and mobile friendly system. Internationalization supports various languages and currencies from around the world.

From a Developer’s Perspective, Magneto 2 has the benefits of open source, easy integration, compatibility, speed and rapid development, smoothness, security, and flexibility.

The platform lets developers build user-centric storefronts, and makes it easy to integrate data, third-party tools, and services. It is compatible with the latest version of PHP and its frameworks including Zend and major databases such as MySQL, Oracle, and Hadoop. It also has JavaScript library as default jQuery Library for hassle-free programming. Magento 2 also has a concept view called “View in Module” which removes complexity and reduces development time, offering a component based structure of modules that enhance flexibility and performance.

A Recap: Magento 1 vs. Magento 2 Key Differences
With its improvements to native functionality and the availability of over 350+ extensions, Magento 2 has a lot to give in comparison to Magento 1. Here’s a recap:


Download: Magento 2 Feature List

What You Can Do Next
To learn more about Magento 2, there are a variety of resources available for you to learn more about the platform or next steps you should take for your business.

Training. The main training website offered by Magento is Magento U. Magento offers a wide variety of Magento 2 training videos to help new customers understand and use Magento 2. Other courses and training are offered for Developers, Merchants/Marketers, Front-End Developers, System Administrators, and Business Analysts.

Certifications. For those that want to distinguish themselves from others in areas of Magento, there is an online certification process through the training as well.

Contact Us. Our Applications team is always watching the trends in the industry and making informed recommendations on which platform to use to build your website. Stay tuned for additional updates on the Magento platform, both for any support updates regarding Magento 1 and also for updates on the growth of Magento 2.