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Magento 2’s launch hasn’t been as smooth as we’d hoped, but it still has a lot of compelling features that give it the edge over Magento 1.

After many years of development, Magento 2.0 was officially released last November. Its launch has been … troubled. It still has a lot of bugs that need ironing out, and some question whether it was ready to launch and whether it lives up to its promises. It is steadily improving through cycles of patches, and hopefully we’ll see a much more stable platform before Magento 1 sunsets in 2018. Despite these issues, Magento 2 still has some clear advantages over Magento 1, and we’re going to break down where it shines, to help you know whether it’s the right ecommerce platform for you.

Improved Load Times

Depending on the page, Magento 2 can improve load time by 20–50%. Its clever use of AJAX in checkout pages and funnels can reduce add-to-cart load times by up to 66% and give you a significant conversion bump.

Full-Page Caching

One of the most anticipated features of M2, and it doesn’t disappoint. Does exactly what it says on the tin: when a user visits a page, the whole page gets cached. This can help to further increase load times client-side, and reduce your server-load.

Shorter Checkouts

Speaking of adding to cart, Magento 1’s checkout pipeline had six steps, and Magento 2’s has two. It also has 1-click options for returning users. There’s a huge body of data supporting that idea that shorter checkouts = more conversions. More pages gives them more opportunities to get bored, get confused, or otherwise just change their mind.

Better Traffic Tolerance

Magento 1 could handle about 200,000 users an hour; Magento 2 can handle 10,000,000 with the right infrastructure behind it. If you’re a small startup then you’re not going to see any difference, but this really matters for enterprises. There’s nothing worse than users experiencing slow speeds or even getting 408s because you did your job too well.

Integrated PWA Studio

Magento PWA Studio is a great tool for designing powerful progressive apps for ecommerce. If you want your store to be a bleeding-edge PWA, then you really need to be looking at Magento 2.

PHP7 support

Magento 1 only supports up to PHP5.5, while Magento 2 is built with PHP7 in mind and is well-optimized. Even if M1 does get PHP7 support (or you use the Inchoo compatibility patches), it was built around PHP4/5 and isn’t going to run as smoothly. If you want to make use of any of those shiny new operators or type declarations on Magento 1, then you’re out of luck. That’s not even beginning to cover the improvements in performance and error handling that managed to breathe the ailing PHP back to life.

Simplified, customizable admin interface

Let’s face it, Magento 1’s admin interface can be a bit of a nightmare. Magento 2 not only offers a streamlined, user-friendly interface, it also has a WYSIWYG editor and a data grid view that allows you greater control over what you’re seeing.

Elasticsearch

The fastest, most powerful enterprise search engine on the market, all at your fingertips. Users can find what they need almost instantly, even if you’ve got a huge store with thousands of items.

Application Performance Monitoring

Magento 2 has built-in integration for NewRelic APM, one of the best monitoring tools on the market. We’ve talked elsewhere about how much we love APM here at Codeclouds—more data is more power, and good data tools are absolutely invaluable.

Multiple Admin Support

Magento 1 has serious issues handling more than one admin at a time, that can result in admin lockout and other serious problems. If you keep finding yourself running into this, then you definitely need to look into M2 migration.

So … should I migrate?

In short, yes. There’s a recurring pattern here: across the board, Magento 2 beats Magento 1 if you’re going big. A lot of the issues it solves will be largely irrelevant if you’re running a local florist, and the complex baggage that comes with it is just going to drag you down—you probably want a more streamlined platform like Shopify instead of Magento 1 anyway. Magento has always been The Big One, and that’s exactly what Magento 2 enhances. It’s the Monster Truck of eCommerce platforms: it’s hilariously overbuilt for the average user, but it’s absolutely unbeatable in its chosen environment. It’s complex, buggy, expensive, but it’s also very, very powerful. Magento 1 currently occupies an unhappy middle ground where it’s just as hard to use, but can’t match M2’s power. If you needed M1, then you can benefit from M2.

That said, migrations can be expensive, slow and difficult. If Magento 1 is working for you, then it’s not the end of the world. That happens when M1 sunsets. If you’re worried about that and think you could use some help, then you’re in the right place: here at CodeClouds, we specialise in Magento ecommerce development, and we can make a difficult transition as smooth and painless as possible. If you’re sticking with Magento 1, check out our free Magento 1 Payleap Integration Module.