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Kristopher Pursel December 12, 2017

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Looking for the best eCommerce software to power your online business? Magento 2 could be it. The open-source Magento platform helped 260,000+ sites manage $1.01 trillion in transaction volume in 2016 – about 45% of ALL online sales. Today, Magento 2 is far more powerful than its predecessors, but it also has advanced development requirements and an intensive migration process. In this article, we’ll look at the top Magento 2 Pros and Cons so you can decide if it is right for your business.

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What is Magento 2?

Magento has been a household name among eCommerce companies since it launched in 2007. Developers and eCommerce retailers cheered when Magento released the long-awaited Magento 2 upgrade. It brought the platform up to speed with the latest frameworks and coding patterns and was endlessly scalable. The best part, though, is how well it supports sales.

“Magento 2 allows for a faster and more personalized shopping experience, plus superior user-friendly admin controls,” says Amit Bhaiya, CEO of DotcomWeavers

Builtwith compared eCommerce platform usage in 2017 and found that Magento (1.0 and increasingly 2.0) powers 28% of websites across the internet and 16% of the top one million websites. If nothing else, Magento’s massive popularity indicates that this is a platform to consider. But let’s examine why 2.0 was such a big upgrade for the platform.

Advantages of Magento 2 vs. Magento 1

Magento 2 is quite different from previous versions. It was designed for the future of eCommerce. While Magento 2 carries a host of general improvements from Magento 1, there are some important updates to consider:

  • Magento 2 is significantly faster
  • It uses PHP7 (up from PHP5)
  • Its popularity among developers means constant and robust improvements
  • More theming options and UI/UX customization potential
  • Ability to better handle peak order volume, extra-large catalogs, and outsized customer lists
  • Supports many more simultaneous administrative users on the backend

Now, let’s look at the pros and cons of Magento 2 and how they affect your eCommerce business.

Magento 2 Pros

If we listed every great feature that Magento 2 has to offer, this article would be ten times the size. Here we’ve listed some of our favorite Magento 2 pros and they happen to be the ones that have the biggest impact on your online business!

Modern Technology Stack: The bundle of software (OS, servers, databases, and code) that powers Magento 2 means its performance is unparalleled. [For the technical reader, the technology stack requires: PHP, Zend Framework, PSR-0, PSR-1, PSR-2, PSR-3, and PSR-4 (Coding Standards), Composer, HTML5, CSS3 (LESS pre-processor), JQuery, RequireJS, Symfony, Apache, Nginx, MySQL, Gulp, Twig.]

Optimized Code: The next-generation PHP7 code architecture allows for true customization, so your eCommerce website will be beautiful and seamlessly functional.

Scalable: No other eCommerce platform will scale to your business like Magento 2. Thanks to its robust and flexible features, Magento 2 makes growing your eCommerce business simple. How? It can easily handle enterprise-level traffic for rapidly-growing merchants.

Blazing Speed: Magento 2 smashes industry norms for speed. Built-in Full-Page Caching and Varnish support mean that page load times are at least 50% faster than other platforms.

Amazing Admin Interface: Non-technical admins will love the simplified interface. The Magento 2 admin learning curve is also much less steep than with Magento 1. You’re in full control with Magento 2.

Easy Product Setups: Creating categories and products is now quicker and easier than ever. You’ll see an instant boost in efficiency.

Mobile Optimized: In 2018, you don’t just need a responsive website – you need a mobile-first solution that is optimized for use on mobile devices. As expert Magento 2 developers, trust us when we say, this platform was made for mobile. Remember too that a quality mobile experience is linked to higher conversions, so Magento 2 is the perfect choice for a future-ready eCommerce business. And Magento 2 didn’t forget the admin experience either. The mobile-friendly backend makes it easy for admins to track sales and update products from their smartphones.

Quality Extensions: In the Magento Marketplace the quality of extensions is monitored by the Magento team. There are currently more than 1,000 approved extensions.

Payment Gateways: Integration with payment gateways such as PayPal, Braintree, and is now part of Magento 2 – no extensions required.

Improved Security: The platform includes many security enhancements that developers and retailers asked for.

Powerful SEO: Magento 2 has a full suite of SEO customization features such as index management, which allows you to control which links are passed to Google. There are also lots of discoverability tools like HTML/XML sitemap variations. For more advanced SEO performance Magento 2 offers prefixes and suffixes, canonical tags and more. In short, Magento 2 makes it easier for you to get found online.

Thorough Testing: A built-in PHPUnit testing framework can help decrease pre-release defects by 40-90%.

Developer Friendly: It was built according to modern development logic, which makes it more efficient for developers to work with, maintain, and upgrade. This means lower costs and faster delivery timelines for you.

Routine Platform Updates: Magento 2 releases new features for both Community and Enterprise Editions every few months.

Magento 2 Cons

As you saw in the Magento 2 pros section, the power of the platform is vast. But there are several Magento 2 cons to consider before beginning a Magento 2 eCommerce project. Here are the Magento 2 cons you should watch for:

Price: While the Magento 2 Community Edition is free, the Magento 2 Enterprise Edition carries a price tag. Check the table below for costs, though Magento will work with businesses on an individual basis.

Themes Can’t Be Ported: When it comes to themes, you’ll need to start from the beginning. (Of course, a ground-up redesign could be a strong move for your eCommerce brand in 2018.)

Incompatible Extensions: Not all the extensions from Magento 1.X will work on Magento 2.

Development Time and Costs: Due to the complexity, true development expertise is required. The hosting also requires a professional admin.

Intensive Migration: The data migration tool helps, but migrating Magento 1 store data to a Magento 2 database requires a lot of effort. If you are upgrading from Magento 1 to Magento 2, prepare for a resource-heavy and potentially bumpy migration.

Note! Before you write off Magento 2 as too demanding for your current eCommerce needs, consider what DotcomWeavers’ CTO, Mayank Agarwal, said about the platform:

“Magento 2’s resource-heavy requirements can be a boon because they force you to streamline the logic, interface, and functionality in ways that almost always benefit eCommerce performance. It pushes you to be better – and more profitable.”

Magento 2 Migration for Small, Medium, and Large Businesses

For some eCommerce stores, Magento 2’s power and flexibility make it the perfect solution. While small, medium and large businesses can all benefit from moving to Magento 2, its intensive development requirements and costs may seem prohibitive at first. There are two items to consider in this regard.

  1. Magento 2 remains the #1 re-platform choice among eCommerce stores for a reason – it delivers powerful results.
  1. In 2016, Magento announced that it would end Magento 1 support on November 18th, 2018. They have since extended the cutoff date, but no one knows for how long. Magento says they will alert Magento 1 customers at least 18 months in advance, but this still means that a migration will be necessary.

**July 2018 update: there is still no confirmed end of lifecycle date for Magento 1. However, this does not mean that businesses running on Magento 1 should relax. Quite the opposite. As Magento 2.0 and its suite of extensions continue to grow and improve, companies running on the older platform will find it harder and harder to stay competitive.

Now is the perfect time to plan for a business-transforming update. If you have questions, contact us today for a free Magento 2.0 migration consultation. To help you plan for an upgrade to Magento 2, here are typical migration timelines based on business size. Estimates are based on the migration of existing code and data.

For a redesign or new website, the timeline would vary according to scope. We are happy to provide project timeline estimates during a free consultation – please give us a call today: 888-315-6518

Is Magento 2 Right for My Business?

Magento 2 can deliver extraordinary results for eCommerce companies when implemented properly. Magento’s improved site performance, customization features, and options for omnichannel strategies are unmatched. If you are starting with a new site, Magento 2 is a clear choice.

Migrating to Magento 2, however, can be resource-intensive, but the move is almost always worth the effort and expense. While this article reviewed the Magento 2 pros and cons, we suggest you speak with an expert Magento 2 development team before deciding what is right for your eCommerce business.

DotcomWeavers and Magento 2

We have worked with Magento since its debut in 2007 and we prefer it for most of our eCommerce clients. Here are just a few of the recent Magento 2 websites we built for clients across a variety of industries:

Today, our focus is increasingly on Magento 2 development. For more information about Magento 2 pros and cons, to discuss your next eCommerce project, or for general questions, please get in touch!

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