Magento 2 was first released way back in 2015. Despite its replacement being around for years, you’d be forgiven for still using Magento 1 for your eCommerce business. Migration is never an easy or a simple task, even when you are transitioning between two versions of the same system. When embarking on Magento 2 migration, you’ll have to leave behind all your customized features and Magento themes (although you can transfer over products, databases, and other attributes). You’ll want to employ professional developers to migrate your business, especially when handling databases. When you get your hands on your new Magento 2-based system, you’ll have to learn a lot of the intricacies of day-to-day management and administration all over again.

When faced with the effort and potential cost of migration, you might be tempted to stick with Magento 1. But while migration may be a headache, there are far more reasons to switch to Magento 2 than there are not to. In fact, with Magento officially announcing that they will cease support of Magento 1 in June 2020, putting off migration is no longer an option. But if your eCommerce business is still running on Magento 1, you shouldn’t feel as if you’re being pushed to the newer platform – instead, consider the move as an opportunity to optimize and improve your business. The following are just some of the reasons why 2019 should be the year you make the switch:

Improved Performance

Put simply, Magento 2 far outshines its predecessor when it comes to performance. Pages in Magento 2 load up to 50% faster, add-to-cart times are up 66% faster, and the platform can also handle almost twice as many orders per hour as Magento 1. The newer platform can also handle vastly higher quantities of page views per hour, leading to increased potential for scalability.

Much of this increase in performance is down to the additions and enhancements the Magento developers have included with their new product. While its predecessor is based on the now outdated PHP 5.6, Magento 2 is optimized for the superior PHP 7, a faster, less memory-hungry iteration of the popular programming language. Full page caching has been completely reworked in Magento 2, and native support has been included for HTTP accelerators such as Varnish. Magento 2 also includes Ajax Cart as standard. In Magento 1, each time a shopper added a product to their cart, the system reloaded the entire page. Ajax uses JavaScript to allow items to be added to a cart without prompting a reload, speeding up the shopping process and reducing the load placed on the server.

Easy Administration

While there may be a new learning curve to master, Magento 2 makes administrating your site more efficient through a number of features. The sleek dashboard interface delivers a convenient overview of all your most important data, including last orders, most viewed products, average order amount, and much more. A step-by-step product creation tool speeds up the process of adding new products to your store, while merchandising opportunities have been enhanced by the introduction of native support for YouTube and Vimeo video embedding.

The admin interface has been optimized for tablet and mobile and sees several big improvements in usability. Foremost among these is support for multiple admin users to manipulate product data simultaneously. Data safeguards ensure simultaneous editing remains safe, while increased customizability guarantees each admin user a richer experience. Magento 2’s data grid view can be customized for each individual administrator, allowing each member of your team to work as efficiently as possible, and new filter options increase the speed and convenience of managing data.

Customer Experience

Just as important as your administrative experience is your customers’ experience of shopping on the site, and here Magento 2 also offers significant improvements over Magento 1. The increased performance of the platform, as well as the addition of useful technologies like Ajax, makes for a snappier, more streamlined shopping experience, and a modernized checkout process. Improved account creation minimizes registration confusion, while the introduction of in-site PayPal and Braintree payments means your customer never needs to leave your site.

An important addition to Magento 2 is Elasticsearch. This search engine offers easy configuration and customization, and a wealth of useful features including autocomplete, spell correction, search suggestion, and synonym filters, all of which lead to more accurate search returns and a more enjoyable customer experience.

Last but not least, Magento 2’s improved frontend makes it significantly more mobile-friendly. This is vitally important when you consider that over half of all online transactions are now carried out on mobile devices, and even more so considering that Google’s algorithms also tend to favor mobile-friendly websites in rankings. More intuitive search capabilities, a streamlined checkout and generally faster performance all make mobile browsing a much more attractive prospect on Magento 2.

Making the Switch in 2019

Making the move to Magento 2 is not a decision to take lightly. Migration requires considerable planning and forethought, as well as expert input. However, it has also never been a better time to migrate. With support for Magento 1 due to be discontinued next year, upgrading is vital to ensuring the stability and security of your eCommerce site.

Magento developers have demonstrated a commitment to providing detailed documentation and quickly patching and updating Magento 2, making it by far the more reliable platform. With increased performance, more intuitive administrative options, and a better customer experience, Magento 2 represents a significant improvement over Magento 1. Our experienced team of senior developers can help you migrate your existing eCommerce site to Magento 2, supporting your business strategy and providing a seamless shopping experience for your customers. Find out more today, and make 2019 the year you make the switch.

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