When’s the last time you waited more than two or three seconds for an e-commerce site to load? Current cart-to-conversion statistics reveal the sobering fact that for every second your page doesn’t load, you lose seven per cent of your conversions. In fact, subpar site performance correlates to the likelihood that 8 out of 10 consumers won’t return to your store and that 44 per cent of those with a less than stellar view of your site’s performance will forewarn friends to steer clear. Your e-commerce platform better is functional and perform to the exacting standards of today’s fast-paced market. According to the popular Magento, 250,000 e-commerce sites worldwide use either its community or enterprise editions of Magento 1.x or 2.x. It’s no secret that both have had past performance issues. But how do they compare today?
According to January 2018 BuiltWith stats, Magento’s Community Edition ranks fourth of all e-commerce platforms, while Magento Enterprise ranks eighth. The 1.x free, open-source Community Edition (CE) and the pricey Enterprise Edition (EE) remain viable, but will 1.x legacy users migrate to 2.x should 1.x reach its end of life? Support for 1.9 was officially supposed to end November 18, 2018. However, with so many e-commerce sites worldwide utilizing the platforms and extensions, the Magento company realized that migration to 2.x will take time and development for established 1.x legacy users to migrate without adversely affecting functionality and performance. According to a May 2017 statement by Magento Commerce, the company is committed “to a minimum 18-month notice before we make any changes to our support levels.”
- Magento CE is now Magento Open Source
- Magento EE is now Magento Commerce
Features, Functionality and Performance Metrics
You’re not comparing apples to oranges when you’re comparing Magento 1 and 2. It’s more like visiting an auto show and finding that your favorite ride now has some exciting new upgrades and features that make it run more efficiently. Magento 1 established the framework. Magento 2 takes that framework and optimizes it to better align with current and future functional and performance needs of merchants worldwide.
Some key differences between Magento 1 (M1) and Magento 2 (M2) include:
- M1’s flexible architecture is updated for speed in M2.
- M1’s API was not cored as it is in M2.
- PayPal is external in M1 while it is part of M2’s streamlined checkout process.
- Fewer extensions are available for M2 than M1 which has over 7,500 in its marketplace.
- M2 supports HTML5, CSS3, PHP 7.1 Varnish 5, and MySQL 5.7.
- M1 video isn’t integrated as it is in M2.
- M1 doesn’t support cache out of the box while M2 does.
- M2’s admin panel is customizable.
- M2 allows social media connection.
Why are these differences important to Magento merchants and their developers? Because updating and migrating products and extensions can get tedious and expensive, especially when support is not guaranteed for 1.x. For some merchants, Magento 1 works for them and they’ll use it as long as they can. But as more merchants migrate to Magento 2, both open source and commerce platforms, these differences in functionality mean increased ROI.
But is functionality synonymous with performance? That depends on your perspective. Functionality from a developer’s point of view is different from how a user defines functionality and if that functionality translates into a sale or not. If a merchant is using a legacy version of Magento 1.x, whether it is the open source or the commerce platform, and it takes more than a few seconds for a page to load, that lack of functionality may affect your cart-to-conversion stats. Consumers want a user-friendly site that they don’t have to work too hard to get what they want. Developers look into a different kind of performance metric. They look at server response and page load times and tweak the code to make pages run faster so that merchant won’t continue to lose sales and to keep merchants higher in search rankings.
Can Speed Be Cranked Up?
So Which is Better?
While Magento 1 doesn’t have the innate bells and whistles Magento 2 has, it does perform well as a legacy platform with thousands of extensions available to bridge functionality issues. The bone of contention is how long will it be supported as Magento 2 takes root? In 2017, Magento Open Source released version 2.2.0 with numerous enhancements and functionality fixes. Developers continue to tweak the functionality and performance issues that beset both M1 and M2 early on as evident by its recent 2.2.2 releases, patches and tools.
Choosing to continue with Magento 1 or to migrate to Magento 2 depends on your vision of your e-commerce site. Choose your developer wisely, seek counsel on viable benchmarks and budgets as maintenance can be expensive, contact us to help you navigate through any muddy waters.