Nov 04

Replatforming to Magento 2

Adobe announces End of Life for Magento 1

If your store is on Magento 1 it is time to replatform.

A lot has been discussed over the last 2 years on the EOL planned for Magento Commerce 1. The much anticipated or dreaded moment has finally arrived. Adobe announced the phase-out of the currently supported versions of Magento 1 starting June 30th. This means that Adobe will cease to provide updates or support these old versions of the Magento Commerce Platform.

History of Magento

Magento was launched in 2007. Built on open source technology, Magento was one of the early players in the eCommerce market. From then on Magento saw multiple investors and changed many hands until Adobe acquired the company in 2018. This acquisition promised an end-to-end online retail solution that combined Adobe’s marketing products with an all-powerful eCommerce platform. It put Magento on a fast track with its popularity increasing amongst both SMEs and big corporations. Adobe’s backing only goes to prove that things are going to get bigger and better for Magento. So if you are considering replatforming your eCommerce store you may want to check out the latest that Magento has to offer.

The downside of continuing on Magento 1

Magento 1 is the initial version launched in 2008. Over the next few years, we saw various editions including Magento Community, Magento Enterprise, etc. All these versions have been successful and widely used by web developers. Then came the new and improved Magento 2. In 2018, soon after the acquisition of Magento, Adobe announced the EOL for Magento 1.
Some of the most concerning aspects are the non-availability of software security patches or updates which can result in data breaches and malicious cyber attacks. A recent news article published by the FBI seems to point to the fact that the risks are real and there is merit in upgrading.

You can read the full article here: https://www.zdnet.com/article/fbi-warns-about-attacks-on-magento-online-stores-via-old-plugin-vulnerability/

With more and more businesses and organizations slowly making the shift to the newer version, the support that you are banking on from the Magento ecosystem, community-based and third-party security patches, as well as updates & extensions, will start dwindling. So while you can hope to continue on Magento 1 trouble-free for a little while, it is imperative to start planning a complete replatforming exercise. And of course, the fact that you will lack the latest features and functionalities that are available in the newer eCommerce platforms are reasons enough to make a switch.

Options to choose from

There are multiple SaaS eCommerce solutions available in the market today. From BigCommerce to Shopify, WooCommerce, and 3D Cart, the options are unlimited. All these platforms come with their advantages and disadvantages. To arrive at the right platform for your business it is critical to study your existing platform and its functionalities, identify new functional specifications required, understand whether the new platform will support the integrations you already use and whether your existing tools are compatible with the new system. In this article, we will run you through the features and functionalities of Magento 2 and the key differences with Magento 1.

Introduction to Magento 2

Magento 2 was launched in 2015. It is estimated that over 60,000* sites are already using Magento 2 with 8000+ sites being added quarterly. So what made them choose Magento 2 over the other options in the market? (source:* https://trends.builtwith.com/shop/Magento-2.).
Today the success of an eCommerce store boils down to the customer experience that you can deliver when he/she reaches your site. Magento Commerce 2 has technological capabilities that meet and exceed customer demands. If you are looking to create a great digital storefront, then Magento 2 is the platform for you. Known for superior cloud-hosted performance, Magento 2 comes loaded with business intelligence capabilities. The platform promises unmatched flexibility not found in the market today. The fact that you can deliver an outstanding customer experience in record time and at reasonable costs makes it a hot favorite among store owners and developers. The latest version in the Magento 2 series is Magento 2.3.5 which was released on April 23, 2020.

Why choose Magento 2 over Magento 1

AspectMagento 1Magento 2
ArchitectureSupports Zend Framework 1Supports Zend Framework 1 and 2.

PHP7 based architecture offers better optimization and customization.

Magento 2 also supports HTML5.

New technologies added over Magento 1 – NGINX, Varnish, Composer, Symfony, Redis
Performance & Loading TimeAverage page load speeds of over two seconds resulting in a substantial drop in conversion ratesFaster performance thanks to new technologies. On average the page loading speeds are around 50% faster on the homepage and product pages. 38% faster checkout.
Mobile FriendlyNot optimized for MobileMobile-friendly, Responsive themes, Checkout optimized for mobile, Supports Progressive Web Apps
Admin InterfaceDifficult to navigate, not user-friendlyEasy to navigate, comes with a new dashboard with enhanced analytics
Payment GatewaysCustom development work or third party integration required to integrate the payment gatewaysCustom development work or third party integration required to integrate the payment gatewaysSupports popular payment gateways automatically without any additional integration work

This is not an exhaustive list but a few key reasons to upgrade to Magento 2.

Benefits of Magento 2

Superior shopping experience

Site speed, mobile responsive design, visual presentation, product videos, smooth checkout process, etc. are what make an eCommerce site stand out from the competition. Magento 2 comes with better shopping tools, plenty of new features and is also more secure which is an important consideration point when people choose a site to do online shopping.

Smooth Checkout Process

Conversions to a large extend depend on how simple your checkout process is. The biggest drawback of Magento 1 was its complicated 6-step checkout process. In Magento 2 this has been reduced to just 2 steps with an Instant Purchase feature added in. This feature allows returning customers to checkout faster by using previously entered payment credentials and shipping information. It allows the customer to skip totally 2 checkout steps and proceed directly to a purchase confirmation page. This is a huge improvement that will ensure higher conversions.

Highly flexible platform

Magento 1 came with a whole host of tools that allowed developers to customize their store. But often developers found these tools to be complicated and intimidating. Magento 2 comes with a better admin interface. It is user-friendly and responsive so even a non-technical user can find the tools and add new product listings with ease. The back-end interface allows changes to be made easily without the help of a programmer. So finally you have an option to take control of your store and reduce IT dependency.

Mobile Responsive

Mobile eCommerce is expected to account for 54% of the total eCommerce sales by 2021. With more people using mobile to shop it is imperative to have a site that is mobile responsive. In the latest version of Magento, all themes and templates are responsive and device agnostic and the front end has been designed to deliver an outstanding user experience. Built-in features like mobile-friendly checkout and progressive web applications in Magento 2 all help to up your site’s mobile performance.

To summarize, replatforming to Magento 2.3.5 will help you boost your site performance and enhance store security.

Coming soon – Magento 2.4

The launch of Magento 2.4 was announced during the recent Adobe Summit 2020. Get ready for a power-packed version with breath-taking features, platform improvements, updates, and product stability. The new version is expected to hit the market in Q3 2020.

It is too early to get into the product details of Magento 2.4 but what is evident is that Magento 2.4 will come with:

  • Comprehensive B2B capabilities
  • High levels of flexibility to deliver an enhanced user experience
  • Smooth and secure Magento Web Payments
  • Cloud hosting option
  • Adobe Stock integration to help create more professional and visually compelling sites
  • Progressive Web Applications for mobile commerce

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