04 May 2021 What is Magento 2?
Magento is the leading eCommerce platform used for online stores. It is a high-performant, scalable solution with powerful out of the box functionality and a large community built around it that continues to add new features.
In 2015, Magento 2 was released in 2015 and is a re-invisioning of the platform bringing it up to date with the latest development practices as a foundation for future features and growth.
History of Magento
Magento 2 is the latest upgrade of Magento, which was originally developed by Varien Inc, an US private company headquartered in Culver City, California, combining with the voluntary assistance. Started officially in 2007, which to be more certain, August 31 is the date of first public beta version release. Then Roy Rubin, CEO of Varien decided to sell a substantial of 49% share to eBay. Later, eBay acquired ownership 100% of Magento 2 on June 6, 2011, but spun out as an independent company by new owner Permira private equity fund on November 3, 2015.
On November 17, 2015, Magento 2 was officially released. Inherited lots of success factors of Magento, Magento 2 also present modern technologies and structure, as well as modified directory structure but more simplified customization. Now Magento 2 and Magento 1 are existing simultaneously.
Overview of Magento 2 Features
Like almost current platforms, Magento 2 consists of both frontend and backend (or Admin Panel), one for administration and one for customers of store. Now let’s take a close look.
1. Backend features
In comparison with Magento 1, Magento 2 Admin Panel is much more intuitive and friendly. In Magento 1, you enjoyed the horizontal menu on the top of Admin Panel, like this:
But the menu in Magento 2 is vertical on the left, and is designed with flat type.
In most review of new interface in Magento 2, the backend interface delivered both improved utilizing and be friendly with larger click and tap button. Clearly, Magento 2 aims directly at merchant targets, who are almost non-technical users.
The dashboard emphasizes more at Lifetime Sales and Average Order, highlight both Lifetime sales and Revenue – 2 factors that store owners care most. You can also enable/disable chart to show revenue in a variety duration of time. The old 4 tabs is bigger, much easier to click.
Sales: Just like the Dashboard, all sub categories in Sales: Orders, Invoices, Shipments, Credit Memos, Transactions, Tax display bigger tables. However, Order View of Magento 2 is not just big but also long, making you scroll more and therefore, this Order View is more irritating. There is a new sub category Billing Agreements replaced Terms and Conditions.
Products: There is no category called Catalog anymore. The tables are bigger but not allow customize quantity of products per page like Sales category. Also, there are lots of default view.
Store view separates in basics settings and advanced settings for best User experiences.
The old Promotion category in Magento 1 is now just one sub category in new Marketing category. There are more things for store owners to manage like Communications, SEO & Search and User content.
Content: This is where CMS old category place in, and with new Design sub category.
Report: New category and really this is one of a must have functions for store owners to manage their website. Report is not only for Marketing: Products in Cart, Search Terms, Abandoned Carts and Newsletter Problem Reports or for Sales Report; you can have wide overview of customers’ reviews. Now report is not a burden bit a powerful tool.
Store: This is where you put your Magento 2 extensions aimed to turn your tiny ecommerce store into a robust business site of online retail in order to manage inventory, suppliers, purchase orders, enhance e-commerce user experience and help ensure a successful online shopping experience.
System: The last in Magento 2 backend menu, for customizing settings.
However, the Magento 2 default features may not be enough to satisfy your requirements, especially for complicated stores. So, you can consider to use the professional eCommerce solutions aimed at boost sales and maximize profit.
2. Frontend features
Okay, so you all agree that Admin Panel in Magento 2 has some nice improvements, but what about the frontend. Well, what I could tell you are:
The new default Magento 2 Luma Theme looks much better than default theme in Magento 1:
Now the responsive web design and faster performance is two new advantages of frontend theme of Magento 2. Your customers won’t need to suffer from waiting for whole page to load in order to see full content length.
New 2-step Checkout for Magento 2, it is now much easier than default 6-step checkout process of Magento 1. Allow your customers to sign up right in checkout page. The Order details are clear with all displaying products, their quantities and the images. But it is still far from being perfect. Chances are, another store owner already uses the One Step Checkout which boosts 40% faster than the default Magento checkout.
Pros and Cons of Magento 2
Now we will dig deep in the Pros and Cons of Magento 2, and see if Magento 2 is a necessary upgrade or not.
Non-technical store owners exactly want the New Backend Admin Panel:
You hate to call all your dev team to fix some images of products in your store. Well, the nightmare ends now, with highly – improved Admin Panel interface and optimized UX, Magento 2 help non-technical users accomplish more works than they could do in the past. This is also one of the competitive advantages to compete with Shopify Plus.
The speed is matchless by Magento 1:
Well, Magento 1 is infamous for its slow loading time compared with other platforms. Chance is, you may want to upgrade to Magento 2 because it is much faster. One of the reasons is how the caching is set up. Cache is temporary storage of data to reduce lag, server load and bandwidth usage. With the built-in Full Page Cache, you can reduce the loading time of Magento 2 by half.
In a nutshell, improving cache means your pages will load much quicker, allowing delivering your content quicker to your customer and also to your backend environment. Quicker load time means a better UX: optimization of cache in Magento 2 can help improve your overall customer user experience, meaning a higher conversion rate.
Magento 2 integrates with almost Popular Payment Gateways:
Although Magento 1 has released several updates to integrate with more popular payment gateways, Magento 2 is supported to do that from the beginning. Easier integration with more popular payment gateways is one key factor to better overall checkout UX. New popular payment gateways have been included in Magento 2:
+ WorldPay (Enterprise Edition)
+ CyberSource (Enterprise Edition)
Magento 1 Themes can’t be ported:
Well, even if the default theme of Magento 2 is better than Magento 1, you may still want to keep the old themes so your customers won’t feel strange. Though you can try to migrate data using some Migration tool to Magento 2, Magento 1 themes still can’t be transferred properly. So it’s better you should think about new themes of Magento 2.
Today, Magento 2 presents lots of great themes which you can bring a new face to your store.
Not all Extensions are available for Magento 2:
There are many trusted research confirmed that Magento 1 extensions can’t be ported to Magento 2, either. You should wait for your provider to upgrade their extensions to Magento 2 so you can download it again, or eventually repurchase this extension with higher cost.
This con, in particular, is one that creates a hesitancy in many merchants considering upgrading to Magento 2. It will take time for the development community to dig into Magento 2 and build extensions compatible with the new release. Also, these extensions will need to be verified by the Magento community before making them publicly available.
However, Magestore policies allow our customers to free update to Magento 2 once they purchased Magento 1 in the past. Interesting, isn’t it?
Magento 2 Enterprise Edition costs more:
Magento 2 Community Edition will continue to be free, but the Enterprise Edition requires much more money in the price tag. Despite of the increase in its cost, there are many benefits in the Enterprise Edition of Magento 2 such as:
+ Enhanced site management
+ Enhanced catalog management
+ Dynamic marketing & management features
+ Customer loyalty programs
+ Dedicated 24/7 support
Summarized features of Magento 2
Powered by an entirely new, next-generation architecture, Magento 2 provides unparalleled flexibility so your ecommerce website will be much more beautiful.
Magento 2 empowers all store merchants with Enhanced speed and so does productivity. Featuring over 50% faster page load speeds across catalog and checkout pages, performance lies at the heart to enhance the customer experience and improve conversion rates.
Magento 2 offers more secured payments. And since security is one of the key elements to success, you should think about upgrading to Magento 2.
Not only the frontend UX is good, but Magento 2 Admin Panel is also described by one word: “amazing”. Lots of new features help even non-technical store owners manage Magento 2 easily.
Moreover, Magento has easy maintenance and update, which bring the unsurpassed flexibility. And so do Magento 2
Due to aheadworks research, Magento’s market share is about 30%, being the most popular ecommerce platforms.
Builtwith shows trend of Magento among ecommerce platform: about 5%.