Each of the major point releases for Magento offers significant improvements, and 1.9 is no exception. It includes more than 50 different quality of life and security enhancements, as well as performance improvements.
The Magento 1.9 update includes several major performance innovations, as well as some interesting updates. The new version is responsive by default which means you won’t have to make extensive modifications to the theme in order to make your online store look good on smartphones and tablets. Getting a mobile-friendly website up and running is now faster than ever before, and you can do so without spending any additional money on themes.
In addition, the update offers better currency handling. Merchants can now take advantage of the new price consistency model to retain the same prices even in countries where the tax rate is different from the main store tax rate. This is particularly useful for store owners who have European clients, where cross-border commerce can be complicated because of the different currencies that are in use, and the different sales taxes levied in different regions.
The update is future-ready, too. Magento 1.5 used an older version of MySQL, but Magento 1.9 now supports both MySQL versions 5.5 and 5.6, as well has having improved compatibility with PHP 5.4, and memcached PHP.
There have been some new usability improvements, too, allowing end users to select Bank Transfer and CoD as payment options when they check out. Users will also appreciate the security updates in this version. While it’s true that store owners who have been keeping up to date with the SUPEE patches should find that their stores are generally secure, the update offers all new users the peace of mind that they will have a secure site out of the box
Is it Worth Upgrading?
Many people hold off on installing new versions of Magento. There are still people running 1.5 even though 1.8 is available, and security patches are released for all ‘still supported’ versions of the software. However, for most people upgrading is a better choice than waiting, especially now that there are so many new features on offer, and because of the mobile update.
People who have already deployed 1.9 are reporting better performance and better conversions too, as well as improved workflows for staff who are responsible for managing the stock in the store. Upgrading makes good business sense.
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