What is Magento 2 and do I need to upgrade from Magento 1?

We’ve been asked about Magento 2 a lot over the past couple of weeks and since the official launch we’ve had some more discussions with clients about this.

I’ve asked Mike to put down some of the common questions that we’ve had – if you don’t see your question below, get in touch with us and we’ll help you!

What is Magento 2?

Magento 2 was first announced back in 2010 and promised to appear at the end of 2011 but this never came to fruition. Years passed packed with rumors and speculation, many believed it wasn’t going to happen but it has! Fast forward to November 17th 2015, the official release of Magento 2 was finally announced at Magento Live Australia.

So what’s new?

The install process couldn’t be more simple. It has a built in compatibility check telling developers exactly what they need to enable in order to install Magento 2. Installation won’t complete unless all points are validated.

Another important point to mention is the default theme is aesthetically pleasing and responsive out of the box allowing merchants to quickly setup a very basic store in a matter of hours.

Magento 2 Homepage

In terms of the backend (admin area), the UI (that’s what it looks like!!) has been completely revamped. It looks good and it’s responsive which allows Merchants to easily manage their stores on the move. Despite the new look, the process of adding products, creating categories and updating pages is very similar if not almost identical to that of Magento 1. Even without prior experience of Magento, managing a store is very intuitive.

Magento 2 Admin

As one would expect, performance and scalability have been greatly improved. The directory structure has been re-organised full page caching is available in the Community Edition which vastly speeds things up and increases the security of the platform. The caching and indexing available in Magento 2 reduces the number of times the server needs to read data from it’s hard drive.

For developers Magento 2 is powered by the latest technologies, utilising HTML5, CSS pre-processors and jQuery helps to cut down development time and improves the overall look and feel of a store. Updates are easier to install as Magento 2 has been developed to be even more modular than it’s predecessor. Modular extensions are also easier and quicker to create as their directory structure has been vastly simplified.

Can I migrate from Magento 1?

It is possible to migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2 but it depends on the overall functionality of your theme and whether your store requires any third party modules/extensions. At the moment, most third party extensions aren’t yet compatible with the current release and are awaiting the Magento Community to update them as such. Magento themselves offer a migration guide but this will not cover the redevelopment of any extensions that do not work in Magento 2. If your store is basic Magento installation with limited customisations it would certainly be possible to migrate/upgrade to Magento 2.

Why wouldn’t I want to use Magento 2?

As stated above there is a very limited supply of third party modules available for version 2. If your store requires extended, bespoke functionality and your budget allows you could certainly develop some extensions yourself or have them developed for you. However, there’s nothing wrong with sticking with the latest version of Magento 1 (1.9.2.2 – Released Oct 27, 2015).

Can I run it on my current hosting platform?

You may want to ask your web developers this question, but to get to the dirty technical detail…

Server software

  • Apache 2.2 or 2.4 (with the mod_rewrite module enabled) or nginx 1.8 (or newest stable version)
  • PHP 5.5 >
  • MySQL server
  • Mail server (Mail Transfer Agent or SMTP)

PHP extensions

  • PDO/MySQL
  • mbstring
  • mcrypt
  • mhash
  • SimpleXML
  • curl
  • xsl
  • gd, ImageMagick 6.3.7 (or newer)
  • soap
  • intl
  • bc-math (Enterprise edition only)
  • openssl

SSL

  • Valid security certificate required for HTTPS
  • Self-signed SSL certificates not supported

So, there you go – now you know.

To speak to us about Magento, Marketplaces or your eCommerce strategy you can give us a call on 0161 638 3869.

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