Everybody knows Magento is an open-source e-commerce platform written in PHP. Magento also has an enterprise paid version now called Magento Commerce. Magento 1 was first launched on March 31st 2008 as general-availability. Almost after 8 years of its inception on November 17, 2015, Magento 2.0 was released to address many of the flaws, bugs etc of Magento 1. In all those years we have seen many versions and additional features in Magento 1, but most critical thing was the architecture issue is resolved in Magento 2. Magento 2 has more modular approach than Magento 1. You can find files of an extension in one place and files of same extension are not scattered in many places like in Magento 1. The other thing which was most painful in magento 1 - Extension conflict, which is now resolved in Magento 2 through plugin, in addition, there are many upgrades to the admin and front-end to improve customer experience and there are many such changes which makes the life easy for developers as well as for store owner i.e. Merchants in Magento 2. There are such many advance features in M2 than M1 which we are going to discuss here in this article.
The first thing that come into mind is that how fast your site is. That is the main factor as this can affect on ecommerce conversion ratio and sale. Magento 1 was undoubtedly very fast on its time and that was one of the reasons of its popularity but with the time, Magento 1 can no longer produce the loading speeds required by average to small sized websites today. Magento 2 loading time is way faster than the Magento 1. Magento 2 removed all those glitches having in Magento 1 and raised the page loading speed up to 50% faster on normal pages and 38% on checkout pages.
Also, Magento 2 can handle around 2 millions more page view per hour than in Magento 1.
The admin panel in Magento 2 is user-friendly, interactive and intuitive. It allows finding information easily, navigates to all parts of the admin panel and manages your store more efficiently. Magento 2 has a comprehensive dashboard that shows lifetime sales, last orders, average orders, top search terms, revenue tax, check bestsellers & customers, shipping, and quantity, which helps to monitor the current state of your business.
In M2 there are enhancements to common admin tasks, such as product creation, creating configurable products has been transformed into a streamlined experience. You can create configurable products all from within the new product page, without having to first make the simple products individually. Kudos to Magento on this.
Similarly, you can customize data grids; admin user can organize result page according to their needs. Also, they can select what data they need to show in grid by simply selecting attribute they need to show.
Generally, while designing a store, there is a large number of extensions used. These extensions work fine until their fields do not overlap. But when the same functionality is being rewritten by two or more extensions, there is a problem. In case of Magento 1, one needed to resolve this manually and it can be very time consuming to determine where the conflict is and how to fix it. Yet, it was necessary that any conflicting extensions are fully functional. To save all this time and hard work, Magento 2 came up with a plugin to help reduce conflicts among extensions that change the behavior of the same class or method. This way, a lot of time is saved.
When a product is added to the cart in Magento 1, the system reloads the page, and hence performance degraded. In Magento 2 however,
thanks to ajax add-to-cart, the new system doesn’t have to reload the entire page when a new item is added to cart, and thus also enhances user experience.
Checkout steps have been improved and now it is easy for users to navigate. You don’t have to choose your credit card type anymore, the system will fill this out for you. Also, Magento 2 can automatically find the existing registered customers by analyzing their email address which feature was not available in Magento 1.
On the order success page, you can now create an account after an order is successfully placed. This is a helpful because in M1 it caused a lot of confusion for customers if they had just placed an order, and then made an account, expecting to see that order information in their account. Now, it is possible to get that order information, plus it gives customers another chance to sign up for an account, in case they missed it before checkout.
Class files which are most critical to M1 are often large, so large that it made it difficult to quickly determine the core functionality of its functions. An architectural decision inherited from less enterprise grade platforms, this eventually became more of a problem as additional functionality was packed on in later releases.
M2 solved this issue through dependency injection: abstracting out the dependencies of a class to make it lighter weight and easier to read.
Magento 2 strengthened hashing algorithm (SHA-256) for password thus making passwords stronger against security attack.
Only one person can be logged in per admin user account (you can disable this feature from admin) is also a great achievement for Magento 2 for enhancing security.
Rich snippets on the catalog pages allow to improve search result look in search engines. These were missing in magento 1 and developer had to put it by either extension or by customization. However snippets are still very basic in Magento 2 so if you want more keywords you still have to customize it.
The layer of Magento 2 is highly responsive by default as well as it is touch friendly and thus making it more reliable and design friendly in mobile devices by default. Magento 1 platform needed to be modified and enhanced to be made responsive and yet, the amount of responsiveness that Magento 2 offered by default is unmatched by Magento 1.
The biggest change Magento 2 is in its architecture than in Magento 1. In Magento 1 a module was scattered in code, frontend, and style, make it more difficult to manage a module. Magento 2 approach is different and all files of a module is present in one place. This is well managed approach and easy for developer to create and manage a module.
Magento 2 supports latest PHP versions. These versions include security improvements that affect store’s speed.
Better browser caching for static content.
A notable change is: base of Magento 1 is Zend framework only while for Magento 2 its both Zend framework and Symfony (that’s why we are able to use CLI in Magento 2)
So, as a conclusion we can say that Magento 2 has some great improvements for users from all different sides of the platform – from admin users, to developers and to the customers.
Also, Magento 1 support will be provided till June 2020 only (according to statement in https://magento.com/blog/magento-news/supporting-magento-1-through-june-2020). Thus in all the above comparisons between Magento 1 vs Magento 2, the obvious winner is Magento 2