Magento is an open-source e-commerce platform launched in 2008. While the average person may not be familiar with Magento, people in the online development and e-commerce world certainly know all about it. The platform has become so popular that, in 2021, more than a quarter of a million online stores have been created on the platform.
The success of the original Magento led to the company improving on its creation. In 2015, they launched Magento 2. This latest platform went through several iterations in the next few years before becoming the standard around 2018.
Originally, the company said that they would end service for Magento 1 by late 2018. Several factors delayed this date, but now that day has come. Since June 30, 2020, the company has not serviced the old version.
E-commerce sites built on Magento 1 don’t necessarily have to switch to Magento 2, but it may make sense for some companies. If you have a (now) legacy Magento 1 system and are considering upgrading to the latest and greatest, here are five things to know about upgrading to Magento 2.
1. Keeping Magento 1 Will Save Money in the Short Term
If you have a site built on Magento 1 and it is working for your businesses, you may not feel compelled to change over to Magento 2. While you probably will have to upgrade someday, 2021 doesn’t have to be the year this happens in every case, even though, as Liventus notes, Magento 1 vs. Magento 2 isn’t really a debate at this point.
There are a lot of benefits to Magento 2. However, if the ease of using the older platform is still something you love and you’re not ready to make a capital investment to upgrade, you should be able to wait a while without experiencing major issues. Just be warned–the longer you wait, the more expensive it may become. This is especially true if you get forced into switching because of a problem, and you experience e-commerce downtime.
2. Upgrading to Magento 2 Means Faster Load Times and a More Mobile-Friendly Site
Statistics show that about half of all users will leave the page if a web page doesn’t load within three seconds. Additionally, if your website isn’t optimized to give users the best mobile experience, you’re not only hurting yourself with consumers but also with your SEO as well.
Page load speed had long been an issue that users complained about with Magento 1, and Magento 2 has made concrete improvements to address this problem. With the new tech stack of Magento 2, page load speeds are now 50% – or about two seconds – faster than the previous version. This improvement alone should help increase business.
On the mobile side, Magento 1 was developed before smartphones were in almost everyone’s pocket. As a result, the platform was not designed with mobile-friendly sites in mind. Magento 2 was developed firmly in the smartphone era, so every Magento 2 theme is optimized for mobile devices.
3. Magento 2 Streamlines the Checkout Process
Forget the page load speed and the mobile compatibility. Anyone who runs a Magento 1 site knows the biggest complaint they get: the checkout process. Magento 1 created an unruly six-step checkout process that involved:
- Checkout Method
- Shipping Method
- Payment Method
- Order Review
This not only frustrated some customers, but it can also lead to the dreaded abandoned shopping carts.
Magento 2 deals with this problem head-on and streamlines the checkout process. Instead of six long steps, the process now only takes two steps:
- Payment Confirmation
That’s all you need with Magento 2, and your customers will be pleased about that.
4. The New Admin Panel Makes It Easier for You
Upgrading to Magento 2 isn’t all about your customers, though. It can be about you and the people you work with as well. The Magento 1 dashboard was and still is tough to deal with. It’s not user-friendly at all and can be incredibly difficult to navigate, especially for first-time users or people who are not as tech-savvy as others.
The Magento 2 dashboard is a huge upgrade from its predecessor. It is intuitive, easy to navigate, and everything is organized, so it is at your fingertips. There are still improvements to be made, and it isn’t a perfect dashboard. It still takes some getting used to but, overall, it is a huge upgrade over the previous version.
5. Security, Security, Security
In 2021, if not the biggest, concern for any e-commerce business has to be security. Following a year with an unprecedented number of cyberattacks thanks to the global pandemic, cybersecurity is the buzzword on everyone’s lips. If your e-commerce site isn’t secure, one bad moment can cost you your entire business.
Magento is no longer providing support for Magento 1, which means it is also no longer providing security patches. This means that your site may no longer be protected against the latest cyber-threat and, as time goes on, it will be less and less protected every day, week, month, and year you wait to make the switch. In 2021, this is probably the biggest and best reason to make the transition and upgrade to Magento 2.
Magento is one of the world’s leading e-commerce platforms and has served hundreds of thousands of businesses well over the past decade-plus. If you were early to the party and had a site built on Magento 1, it has likely served you well. As of June 2020, though, those days were over. Since there is no longer service for Magento 1, it is most likely to switch to Magento 2.
If you are about to do this or considering it, keep these things in mind. Keeping the original system will save you money–for now. Upgrading will do great things for you too. It will make your site load faster and better on mobile. It will make checkout easier for your customers, and backend navigation is easier for you. Finally, it will make your site more secure, which is the most important box to tick to ensure you and your customers’ safety.