Is It Worth Upgrading to Magento 2.0?

Posted on the 21st December 2015

Magento 2.0 was officially released last month, and it makes a number of significant changes to this hugely popular ecommerce platform. While some webmasters will have rushed to install the new version immediately, there are others who are, understandably, questioning whether it is worth installing it right away.

Magento 2.0 has a great deal to offer, but there are some very valid reasons for waiting to upgrade, not least of which is the significant way in which the admin area’s user-interface has changed. If you aren’t familiar with how the new interface works (for example if you weren’t playing with the previews), then you might lose a lot of time and productivity as you familiarise yourself with it.

The new version uses jQuery for a lot of features that Magento 1.x offered. Whilst this should not be an issue for most people, since jQuery works in most modern browsers, this is another change that may merit some attention if you use very old browsers for your in-house systems.

Another thing that some users may want to note is that Magento 2.0 uses Composer to manage package updates. Composer is a tool which helps with dependency management in PHP. It is actually an upgrade over the old system for managing Magento updates, but if you are not familiar with it, then again, you might want to wait and spend some time learning before you roll out Magento 2.0 in a production environment.

Indeed, since the holiday and sales season is here, and this is a peak time for ecommerce, upgrading to a new numbered release of your online store platform is probably not a good idea. Many experts are recommending that webmasters wait until mid-2016, and this makes a lot of sense. SUPEE security updates should be installed immediately, because they are critical updates that protect your customer’s personal and financial information. Cosmetic and functionality updates can wait until you are familiar with the new system; any teething problems have been ironed out; and other, eager early adopters have done their bit to give feedback on the software.

Currently, the upgrade path from 1.9x to 2.0 is anything but smooth. Extensions may not work, and your theme will probably not be compatible with the new version either. There’s no ‘killer app’ as yet, so it probably makes sense to wait until a quieter trading period.

If you are eager to explore where Magento 2 can take your eCommerce store, get in touch with Radweb, we’ve been working with Magento 2 for a while now during Beta and we can set you on the right path.