What is Magento 2? And Why You Should Upgrade Now

posted on November 27, 2015 3:00 pm in ,
Why Magento 2.0

There’s been much hype around the release of Magento 2, and rightly so. With massive developments from version 1.9 everyone working in eCommerce is excited to see what this update will bring.

If you’re currently using Magento 1.9 you’ve probably been asking yourself if you should upgrade. Well, we’ve got you covered. In the following post we explain what Magento 2 is, why does it matter, why you should upgrade and how to upgrade.

And if that wasn’t enough, we also look at the risks of upgrading. Something that’s very important to anyone running an eCommerce site on Magento. So read on and see what all the fuss is about:

 

What is Magento 2?

Magento 2 is the new and improved upgrade to leading ecommerce platform Magento 1.9. This means huge improvements and a variety of new features that allow you to create, modify and control your site with more ease, speed and creativity.

 

Why does it matter?

Described as the ‘ecommerce platform of the future’, Magento 2 offers standalone databases for product management and checkout, greatly improved site speed, increased compatibility and much more.  Venus Theme highlights the ways in which you can maximise Magento 2 performance, here.

Such features will ensure your site functions and performs to its best ability. Upgrading to Magento 2 will enable you to utilise these features to enhance the customer shopping experience.

 

Why You Should Upgrade Now

 

DATABASE

Magento 2 offers the ability to have two individual databases. The first manages your content, products and categories, whilst the checkout page is on a secondary database. This allows you to commit resources to those who are making purchases on your site and increase scalability.

Database improvements allow you to manage both products and orders simultaneously. Additionally, numerous users are able to access the system to update products and process orders.

Benefits:

  • Having standalone databases allows you to split the workload and accommodate growth whilst focusing resources on your end users; those who are making purchases on your site.
  • Managing products and orders concurrently and having multiple-user access allows you to improve efficiency.

 

STRUCTURE

File structure has been updated and everything will now be located under the app configuration. Additionally, each module has an individual view directory that provides access to all files for each particular module. This allows increased opportunities for customisation without having to edit the functionality of the core site.

Benefits:

  • Improved structure simplifies navigation, enabling files to be easily stored and located.

 

SITE SPEED 

Customers will be able to browse your site at a much faster rate due to speedy loading times and an easier navigation process. Page load times have been reduced to less than 2 seconds in comparison to the average 5-8 seconds on an eCommerce site.

This speed is achieved through full page caching which compresses your sites pages into basic HTML. Site visitors can browse the site 25% faster, whilst end users can add products to their basket at over double the speed of the current Magento 1.9 platform.

Similarly, Magento 2 offers a reduced Java Script code and more effective image compression, which once again reduces page load times.

Benefits:

  • Increased site speed allows customers to browse your website with ease, improving their shopping experience and speeding up the order process. This is likely to result in increased sales due to a positive customer experience.

 

TWO-STEP CHECKOUT

Further improving site efficiency is the ability for customers to purchase your products through just two steps. This simplified system means customers don’t have to create an account in order to make a purchase.

However, the option to create an account is also simplified, allowing guest users to create accounts in one click after they have placed their order. This process is much more effective, offering more convenience for the customer.

Benefits:

  • Removing time-consuming tasks such as account registration before enabling purchases is much more attractive to customers looking for a speedy order process. This simplified check out process is likely to lead to an increase in sales and customer satisfaction.
  • Screen Pages offer a video demo to reveal the efficient and professional checkout process, which can be found here.

 

JQUERY

One of the main changes is Magento 2 has made is the transition from prototype to jQuery. jQuery will reduce the amount of JavaScript conflicts present with Magento 1.9 and create a consistent interface that functions across different browsers. However, prototype is still included within Magento 2.

Benefits:

  • jQuery seamlessly manages cross-browser problems, reducing the number of JavaScript conflicts and therefore allowing your site to run without disruption.

 

BACKEND ADMIN UX AND FRAMEWORK

Extensions are no longer necessary when customising the product grid. Grid views can be created and updated in the admin area, whilst bulk images and pricing can be applied for products. Design has been simplified and modernised. Filters have been amended and updated, whilst product templates have been reduced.

Benefits:

  • This simplifies the process, increasing efficiency and making actions more straightforward for the typical Magento admin user.

 

TESTING

Magento 2 will allow you to assess your site through a variety of tests, analysing performance and much more. Tests such as this will help to ensure your site is functioning efficiently and productively.

Benefits:

  • Running tests enables you to check your site is performing as it should; this is a preventative method that helps to tackle any functionality issues before they escalate.

Further information on Magento 2’s features and updates are outlined on Customer Paradigm’s website.

 

How to Upgrade

 

Hire a Magento Agency

Upgrading any platform or software can be a stressful time for an eCommerce site. Especially if it’s your business, and any downtime will lead to a loss in revenue. With this in mind, your safest bet is to hire a Magento agency to manage the upgrade for you.

An agency that works with Magento everyday will have the experience to deal with implementing the upgrade. They’ll provide support and advice tailored to your circumstances, whilst ensuring your upgrade is prompt, uncomplicated and stress-free.

We work with Magento everyday – from a development and digital marketing perspective. So if you have any questions about upgrading please get in contact with us.

 

Data Migration Tool

Magento provide a data migration tool, advising on how to upgrade without error. The migration takes place in three phases: migration of settings, data and then delta. Using the migration tool, you can transfer product, order and customer data across to the Magento 2 platform.

The migration process will vary for each site, depending on the way it’s built and the level of customisation. Magento offer a great guide on migrating to 2.

 

 

What are the risks?  

Migrating from Magento 1.9 to 2 will be a big step that involves numerous additional resources. Testers have stated that Magento 2 requires extra extensions and support when compared to the original version.

Site Functionality

Like any new platform, until its launch it has not been tried and tested by all its potential users. This could lead to bugs affecting the functionality of the site. For example, there may be a decrease in speed or conversion. Similarly, functionality could be disrupted by incompatibility of modules.

However Magento offer various systems of support to enable the process runs without complication. They are hosting a security challenge contest, whilst working hard with an external penetration testing firm to ensure any potential threats to Magento 2 are located and eradicated before launch. This should heighten the chances of Magento 2 running smoothly once it is up and running.

New Skills

Magento 2 uses the most advanced features and technology. This means developers need to up-skill in order to make the most of their Magento 2 platform. Developers may be worried that the quality of their sites will suffer in the initial stages of migration as they adapt to the new system.

For example, the backend of the site works differently to Magento 1.9; therefore it is important to understand how this works before upgrading.

There is, however, a development server of the site. This can be updated to 2 and tested, enabling you to examine functionality and allowing staff to adjust to the new backend. This enables you to feel comfortable with the platform before you upgrade.

 

Now Available

After much anticipation, Magento 2 is now available! Visit the Magento site to find out more about how you can deliver engaging shopping experiences, boost performance and much more.

As one of the leading ecommerce platforms available, Magento consistently offer great-quality service and high standards. Therefore, it is certain Magento 2 will follow suit, providing all the developments and support needed to help grow your business. The long development process led to much anticipation of the final product, which we are certain, was worth the wait!

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