Magento remains the most used ecommerce platform in the world, so when it was announced that an updated version – Magento 2.2 – would be launched it was big news. Magento 1 gained popularity as an easy to use and reliable ecommerce platform that was used by globally known brands as well as small retailers the world over. Magento 2 was in the pipeline for years before it was finally released for general use at the end of 2015. Over the following 12 months after its release developers have slowly been switching from Magento 1 to Magento 2; however some businesses are choosing to remain with Magento 1.
So, which is best for you and your business? Here we’ve outlines what makes Magento 2 different from Magento 1 and provide everything you need to know about Magento 2 and 2.2.
Why Magento 2 was created
While Magento 1 was good, so good in fact that it became the most used commerce platform in the world, there were still some areas that would frustrate developers and which could be improved. Magento worked about creating an updated platform that would address these issues and ensure that Magento remained competitive against other commerce platforms. At the same time, Magento 2 was designed to keep the features that made the original version so popular. In short, Magento 2 was created to be a more competitive, modern and flexible version of Magento 1 – a true upgrade.
Looking to make further improvements to the platform last year Magento releases a 2.2 version. This new version provided businesses with even more benefits including advanced reporting on performance, integrated fraud protection and chargeback prevention through Signifyd integration, customisable catalogues and pricing, B2B credit purchase, account management, and a quote negotiation feature.
What are the differences between Magento 1 and Magento 2?
One main reason for the creation of Magento 2 was to make it more adaptable for developers. This means that a lot of the new additions are largely unseen by online retailers and front end users; for example Magento has spent time ensuring that the updated platform includes a flexible architecture that makes it easier for developers to build customised ecommerce websites. When describing Magento 2, Magento said: “It features a modular code base that enables easier customisation, faster time-to-market, and greater deployment flexibility to public or private cloud environments”, as well as this Magento 2 offers a much wider range of extensions that enable developers to quickly add affordable enhancements to websites. Along with increasing the adaptability for developers, Magento 2 is a much faster platform than Magento 1, which was an area Magento was particularly keen to address as many developers were frustrated with the speed of the original platform.
As well as this, Magento 2 makes it easier and more affordable for developers to add upgrades to websites. This means that developers find maintaining websites built on the Magento 2 platform a lot easier to maintain than those built on the original platform.
Another major change with Magento 2 is that it has a range of features to help retailers increase their conversion rates. A lot of work has gone into improving the checkout process to make it easier and faster for shoppers to purchase goods. With Magento 2 guest checkout is assumed and the default setting, making it easier for new customers to purchase goods from websites. As well as this, small changes have been made to the process, such as the removal of having to choose the credit card type, again to make the process more streamlined and essentially easier and quicker for consumers and, ultimately, helping to improve website’s conversion rates.
While the checkout process might be faster with Magento 2, this version hasn’t jeopardised security in the process. With security being a key issue for websites now, Magento has invested a lot of time into ensuring that Magento 2 offers a much more secure payments system than its previous version. Magento 2 also provides the ability for retailers to pursue the easiest level of PCI compliance, while Magento Enterprise Edition 2.0 integrates the platform with WorldPay and CyberSource. As standard the Magento 2 platform comes with integrations with PayPal, Braintree and Authorize.net.
One way retailers will really notice the difference with Magento 2 is the changes to the admin panel design. The new design has been created to make the platform more user-friendly for retails; it is a more streamlined design that makes it easier and quicker for users to manage day-to-day tasks while also making it easier for new users to learn how to use the platform. Another new addition is that it is touch-friendly so users can make updates and track sales on mobile devices. As well as this the Magento 2 admin panel enables users to access important information about their business that can help them drive growth and make improvements to their website. The admin panel also now also enables users to set up new products easier than on the original version and its product import capabilities are 4x faster.
Clearly Magento 2 has achieved its aim of being more adaptable, secure and a faster commerce platform, not only for developers but for retailers and consumers as well. With so many upgrades to the new Magento platform it can be easy for businesses to choose this platform over the original Magento 1, however there are some reasons why websites would be better off remaining with the original platform. One major issue with Magento 2 is that many extensions and apps that work on Magento 1 are having to be re-written in order to be compatible with Magento 2. It is for this reason that at affinity we won’t immediately build websites in the Magento 2 or 2.2 platform, but instead will take time to consider which version of Magento is right for the specific site build we are working on.
At affinity we work closely with our clients when building new websites to ensure we provide exactly the right platform for their business’ needs, requirements and budget. As an agency we have been working with Magento for over 5 years across overs 30 projects; and our team of Magento certified developers are able to use this extensive experience build agile Magento websites that are tailored to suit exactly what your business needs from its ecommerce website.