On November 17th, 2015, Magento launched a new version of its e-commerce platform: Magento 2. Insiders agree that with this new version Magento confirms its top position in the list of e-commerce platforms. Our experts, Pieter and Jeroen, explain why.
Guys, why a new version of Magento?
Pieter, Magento developer: Magento launched the first version of its e-commerce platform 8 years ago, in 2008. In IT, this is a long time. On some points, the Magento 1 technology became a little outdated. The new version makes Magento future-proof again.
What’s new in Magento 2?
Jeroen, front-end developer: The biggest changes are made on the side of the technology stack, the engine, as you may say. It will run faster and more efficiently.
Pieter: Development work changes a lot. Magento 2 is built in a more modular way.
It will be easier to integrate modules with extra functionalities: In Magento 1, multiple modules could sometimes conflict with each other.
This should no longer be the case, as Magento will apply stricter quality checks on the modules. These changes should make Magento 2 shops more stable.
For the first time, Magento will define standards for modules built by 3rd parties. Developers who make a custom module for Magento 2, will be able to sell it via Magento itself. Before selling those modules, Magento will first check whether they apply to the standards. This way, we can be fully confident about the modules we buy. The modules for Magento 1 often had to be tested and debugged before we could integrate them.
Magento 2 supports the latest versions of PHP, the code in which the main part of Magento is written. Even PHP 7.0, launched in December, is supported. Shops written in PHP 7.0 will run between 25% and 50% faster than those written in the current version of PHP.
So webshops in Magento 2 will be faster?
Will there be more improvements to the user experience?
Jeroen: Yes, definitely. The main idea behind Magento 2 is to provide consumers with the ideal shopping experience, anywhere, anytime. In marketing terms, this is called omnichannel. Optimal user experience on all devices and improved APIs allow consumers to make their purchases even faster and easier than before.
The check-out has been redesigned. Guest check-out is now standard, but at the end of the purchasing process, customers can choose to create an account with one button click. Customers can check-out in only 2 steps:
Will there be changes for the webshop admin?
Jeroen: In Magento 2, the webshop will be a lot more user-friendly. The back-end will be responsive, so you will be able to manage your shop on your tablet. The interface looks a lot more attractive, with more reporting tools and a ‘wizard’ that will help you create configurable products in 4 simple steps:
New and improved SEO features are available, like the ‘rich snippets’ that automatically show up-to-date stock info in the Google search results. Another handy feature is the automatically filled in meta descriptions, based on product field information.
That sounds promising. Can I upgrade my current Magento 1 shop to the new version?
Pieter: That’s possible but quite complex.
An upgrade to Magento 2 is almost like building a new shop.
Your shop database, with product data, customer data, order data, content, and configurations, has to be migrated entirely.
The theme has to be reworked as well, and customizations, like translations, have to be redone from scratch. Modules for extra functionalities can not be taken over from the old shop, so they will have to rebuy.
Is my shop in Magento 1 now outdated?
Pieter: Not so quickly. Magento will offer support for current shops for at least 3 more years. At this moment, Magento 2 does not have a lot of extra features, and there are still very few modules available for the integration of shipment and payment providers.
So Magento 2 is not yet ready for use?
Pieter: No. The first shops in Magento 2 have been built already, but the modules for the integration of the main shipment and payment providers are not yet available. Some bugs still have to be fixed.
Magento promised a three-monthly upgrade, with new features and optimizations.
When will Baldwin build the first Magento 2 shops?
Jeroen: At this moment we are researching and testing the possibilities of the new platform. Once we come to a stable configuration with all necessary modules for payment, shipment, and translation, we can start building shops in Magento 2. We expect that this will be in the second half of 2016.
We are looking forward to it, thanks a lot you guys!