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 31 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 found in Magento 1. In all those years, we have seen many versions and additional features in Magento 1, but the most critical thing was the architecture issue, which is now resolved in Magento 2. Magento 2 has a more modular approach than Magento 1. You can find files of an extension in one place, and files of the same extension are not scattered in many places like in Magento 1. The other thing which was the most painful in Magento 1 was – Extension conflict, which is now resolved in Magento 2 through a plugin. In addition, there are many upgrades to the admin panel and front-end to improve customer experience. There are many more such advanced features in Magento 2 than Magento 1, which we will discuss in this article.
The first thing that comes into mind is how fast your site is. That is the main factor as this can affect ecommerce conversion ratio and sales. Magento 1 was undoubtedly very fast in its time, and that was one of the reasons for its popularity. Still, with 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 of Magento 1 and raised the page loading speed to 50% faster on standard pages and 38% on checkout pages.
Also, Magento 2 can handle around 2 million more page views per hour than 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. In addition, 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 first making the simple products individually. Kudos to Magento on this.
Similarly, you can customize data grids; admin users can organize the result page according to their needs. Also, they can select what data they need to show in the grid by simply selecting the attribute they need to show.
Generally, while designing a store, there are many extensions used. These extensions work fine until their fields do not overlap. But when two or more extensions are rewriting the same functionality, there is a problem. In the 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. So, 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 is degraded. In Magento 2, however,
thanks to the ajax add-to-cart, the new system doesn’t have to reload the entire page when a new item is added to the cart, thus enhancing the user experience.
Checkout steps have been improved, and now it is easy for users to navigate. For example, 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 addresses, which feature was not available in Magento 1.
You can now create an account on the order success page after an order is successfully placed. This is helpful because, in Magento 1, 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 if they missed it before checkout.
Class files that are the most critical to M1 are often large, making it difficult to determine its core functionality quickly. An architectural decision inherited from less enterprise-grade platforms, 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 the hashing algorithm (SHA-256) for passwords, thus making passwords stronger against security attacks.
Only one person can be logged in per admin user account (you can disable this feature from admin) is also an excellent achievement for Magento 2 for enhancing security.
Rich snippets on the catalog pages allow for improving search results look in search engines. These were missing in Magento 1 – the developer had to put it by either extension or customization. However, snippets are still very basic in Magento 2, so if you want more keywords, you still have to customize them.
The layer of Magento 2 is highly responsive by default as well as touch-friendly and thus making it more reliable and design-friendly on 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 most significant change in Magento 2 is in its architecture as opposed to Magento 1. In Magento 1, a module was scattered in code, frontend, and style, making it more challenging to manage a module. Magento 2 approach is different, and all the module files are present in one place. This well-managed approach makes it easy for the developer to create and manage a module.
So, in conclusion, we can say that Magento 2 has some significant improvements for users from all different sides of the platform – from admin users to developers and the customers.
Also, Magento 1 support will be provided till June 2020 only (according to the 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 apparent winner is Magento 2.