If you are one of the many companies using Magento to power your business website, you’re well aware that it is one of the most popular and well-built eCommerce platforms on the market. Perhaps you chose it because of its incredible flexibility or based your decision on the fact that it has worked wonderfully for so many other businesses. There’s no doubt that Magento-built websites are more attractive, customizable, and intuitive than the vast majority of its industry alternatives but a recent update in the platform is leaving the Magento community solidly split between a single decision.
To upgrade to Magento 2 or stay in the safe extension-rich environment of Magento 1? We know that change is hard and you’re worried about the transition but Magento 2 was built to make online business easier for you and your clients. You have every reason to update your website to best new thing this amazing platform has to offer and we’re here to show you why.
The Flexibility You Know and Love
Many of Magento’s happy customers chose the platform for its intuitive design and incredible flexibility. For those who don’t need custom or expanded features, you can build yourself a robust eCommerce website quickly and easily with a few basic controls and simple item importing. It scales from five items to thousands with relative ease and you can build attractive layouts that will delight your customers. But what about Magento 2?
The good news is that none of the flexibility you’ve come to love has changed, except to become even easier. The Magento team has worked hard to improve your ability to customize every page of the website from your beautiful category pages to the back-end admin dashboards. No matter what you have done with Magento 1 in the past, Magento 2 can handle it for you faster and more intuitively.
Faster Than Ever Before
Of all the amazing things about Magento, snappy page loading is not one of them, especially if you are a large-scale retail supplier with many thousands of items listed. This was one of the primary focuses of the Magento 2 upgrade and the team has worked hard to make the entire platform 20% – 50% faster than ever before. Part of this transformation was pairing Magento 2 to PHP7, the latest version of the leading web-development language.
With these upgrades, Magento has been able to provide for the things you care about most. For larger Magento users, they have ensured that the new platform can handle many catalog pages without slowing down ensuring that your customers can shop on several tabs without serious lag. Finally, for those of you who make massive sales all day long, Magento 2 is capable of processing 135K more orders per hour than its predecessor.
A Quick and Easy Checkout
Guiding your customers through checkout is one of the most delicate processes in the eCommerce incomplex. The more complex or difficult checkout is, the more likely someone is to abandon a cart. One of the downsides of Magento 1 was the necessity to customize your checkout in order to improve user-friendliness and ease the path of your guests. With Magento 2, checkout has become much more intuitive and convenient, providing you that user-friendliness right out of the box instead of requiring work before you’re ready to open up shop.
In order to improve your sales and the enjoyment of your customers, Magento 2 has done a lot of work on the customer checkout process, simplifying and reducing the total number of clicks required to get from cart to completion. For customers who are not logged in, they can either access their existing account or make a new account with a single click after entering their email address.
Variety of Payment Integrations
You have loved the ability to integrate a large variety of online payment times into your Magento eCommerce site in the past and the team has decided to make this twice as easy for you. Magento 2 has gone out of its way to ensure that you and your customers have several ways to pay online. Integrated into Magento 2 right out of the box is quick and easy payment through PayPal, Braintree, Worldpay, and Cybersource with the option to add more through extensions as usual.
New and Improved Admin Interface
Like most stores, the backend always takes more time and effort to improve than the storefront and Magento 2 has stepped up to the task. Your admin interface has been drastically improved to make management easier and much less time-consuming. The team has focused on improving the user-friendliness of the entire admin half of the platform from customization to product management and reduced the amount of coding necessary to make significant changes.
One of the key improvements it that each and every admin can customize their dashboard to include information and tools personally associated with their tasks and the needs of their store. This means that you can assign employees to separate store management tasks and their dashboards can then be optimized to engage in these tasks specifically which will drastically increase your employee productivity when managing your Magento site.
As for personalization and appearance editing, the admin abilities now feature an incredibly easy drag-and-drop layout design interface meaning no more tedious coding to create a unique store appearance. As a final time-saving touch, the Magento 2 team has ensured that creating new products in the admin panel is both easier and 4x faster than before.
Taking On Mobile
When Magento first launched, there was significantly less emphasis on mobile accessibility so while Magento sites look nice on mobile, they left something to be desired in responsiveness. Magento 2, however, was designed with the new mobile landscape in mind and includes a complete overhaul of the mobile interface and options. The primary improvement is better mobile responsiveness and vastly improved mobile features. Magento 2 doesn’t just look better on all device sizes, you can also integrate videos, select from several SEO friendly mobile themes, and mobile checkout has gotten a much-needed boost. To top it all off, the admin interface is touch-friendly so you can manage on-the-go.
Why You Should Update to Magento 2
If all these improvements still haven’t swayed you, chances are that your Magento 1 website is doing amazing things for you and you’re happy with that performance. This is great but it’s important to look toward the future beyond your current success. As more and more people update to Magento 2, start their websites with the new platform, or switch from a different platform entirely to the upgraded Magento, support will begin to ebb for Magento 1. If you want to stay at the cutting edge of plugins, extensions, and awesome new Magento features written both by the platform team and the community, switching to Magento 2 is going to be your best bet.
What to Consider Before Upgrading
As much as we’d like to see everyone on the awesome new Magento 2 platform before the year is out, we understand that more than a few vendors will have good reasons to hang back until they’re ready for the full upgrade. The most important thing to consider before making the switch is that Magento 2, while built on the same principles with most of the same features, is essentially a new platform. Many extensions, themes, and site customizations will need to be completely rebuilt for the new, faster infrastructure.
Migrating Existing Data to Your Magento 2 Website
Once you’re ready to upgrade, there’s good news: You won’t have to re-enter all your store data. In fact, most of the important information like your product listings, client contact information, store history, etc. will come right along into Magento 2 with a quick and easy migration process. All you need to do is build your new Magento 2 website, make sure any data-changing extensions are lined up, then run automated migration using the Migration Toolkit. Once the migration is done and you’ve tested the new site for customer readiness, simply unhook the old site and redirect traffic to the new one and you’re ready to run your shiny new Magento 2 online venue.
If you’re using an out of the box version of Magento 1, have extensions that have already been upgraded, or are simply ready to take the plunge, upgrading to Magento 2 could be the best thing you do for your eCommerce business this year. However, if you have a lot of custom work, you may want to plan your upgrade path carefully and work with an expert Magento programmer to ensure that none of the features and designs you want most are left out of your new Magento 2 website.
If you’re ready to upgrade your eCommerce site to the faster, more intuitive Magento 2 platform, contact us today and our web experts will gladly help you make a smooth transition.