After years of development, including the crowdsourcing of coding from developer’s all around the globe, alpha, and beta testing, Magento 2.0 was finally released in late 2015… but it’s still not mainstream. In the development community, the question isn’t “if”, but rather “when” will it take over supremacy from the 1.x versions.
Magento 2.0 is a rebuild of the platform, and has many long-term improvements. It uses more efficient frameworks to make coding faster and easier for developers, extended API’s to connect data related to promotions and taxes, automated testing for a better quality assurance experience, better technologies to improve loading speeds, use of multiple databases to allocate hosting resources more easily, a speedier checkout, and much more.
So why is it still building up steam, and not in the mainstream? In December 2015, Karen Baker of WebShopApps, stated it quite well: “If I had £200k to burn then definitely I would go to 2.x”. Magento Extension developers are still scrambling to catch up. Many have already rebuilt their most popular extensions to be compatible with Magento 2.x, but they’re still hard at work recoding the rest. At the time this article was written, there were still under 200 extensions listed in Magento Connect as compatible with 2.x, compared to thousands of extensions for 1.x. Website owners don’t want to bear the burden of paying to custom build features that are available as prebuilt extensions for 1.x.
While Magento 2.x has been through multiple rounds of testing, they also want to give a chance for more bugs to be worked out. As of now, the link Magento put up to lead to their Magento 2.x ChangeLog still goes to a dead page, and their Release Notes page still has a long list of “Known Issues” that they’re working to address. Magento 2.x is still in it’s infancy. Small and medium businesses are still waiting for more of the kinks to be worked out.
We are hoping that closer to Q2 2016 Magento 2.x will become more mainstream for new website builds, and for rebuilds, leaving behind the 1.x architecture. On the other hand, we don’t expect most businesses with existing Magento websites to be in a rush to rebuild. While the new architecture is better in many ways, in most cases it would be hard to justify a complete rebuild of a functional website in order to get the benefits of 2.x. We don’t expect the return on investment would be significant for most small or medium businesses at this time. Much like buying a new car, if you have a 2015 model, it’s unlikely that you’ll be shopping for a 2016 this year. As they say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”. However, if your site is getting close to needing a rebuild later this year you may want to consider 2.x as the new eCommerce platform for your company
Author: Robert Rand, Rand Marketing