Why Upgrade to Magento Commerce Sooner Rather Than Later?

I must have heard the phrase a thousand times while growing up:

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

I grew up in Arkansas, so it sounded exactly like you’re reading it.

The natural inclination for any practical person is to delay upgrading anything, if the previous version is still working just fine. (Unless you’re an Apple technology addict like me.  My current iPhone practically bursts into flames as soon as the new release is announced.  If you know of a twelve-step group for this, call me).

So, most merchants currently using Magento version 1.x are contentedly churning out commerce with no urgency, whatsoever,  in migrating to the newest offering from Magento.  They have a myriad of excuses for not upgrading, including the classics: “It costs money.”, “We still have time.” and my personal favorite, “It ain’t broke.”  And an enterprising merchant making any of these statements would be completely right.  It will,  you do and it ain’t.

While Magento 1.x still deserves full respect for what it delivers by comparison to other digital commerce platforms, many merchants loyal to the solution may not be aware of how much better the product has gotten since Magento 2.1 rolled out.  Most CTOs or eCommerce Managers currently using the M1.x, when given a demo of Magento 2.1, leave the presentation practically screaming, “Take my money!”  But for all those uninitiated to that epiphanic experience, I decided to lay out a few of the features that might inspire a greater sense of urgency to migrate.

Magento 2.1 is Faster.  With the recent upgrade, Magento has boosted loading speeds by 50% compared to its predecessor and offers an almost 38% faster checkout process. This is important, because it influences traffic and conversions, directly. Magento 2 eliminates sluggish performance and cuts the average loading time to a brisk 2 seconds.

Another major improvement is Magento’s ability to take on heavy duty tasks. With the help of superior coding techniques and enhanced design, Magento 2 is now capable of handling 117% more orders and secures 2.1 million more page views compared to Magento 1x.  But speed and workload are not the only factors behind Magento Commerce’s incredible success.

Magento 2.1 is More Secure. Magento 2 offers foolproof security with uncompromised transaction and payment procedures. Magento 2 promises ironclad security with tons of other features that can help the merchant optimize the store performance according to their preferences without falling victim to spam attacks.  

It’s Cutting-Edge Technology. Magento 2 has the most modern PHP code base, so the user interface and dashboard upgrade from M1 to M2 is like comparing apples to pineapples.  With the acquisition of Bluefoot for CMS, the drag-n-drop efficiency of building pages and adding content makes the management of your store something a marketing intern can handle.  (That sentence can also be read as, ‘Reduce your payroll by eliminating IT overhead’).  If you’re looking to bundle an entire suite of solutions into one stack AND have hosting in the cloud included, Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition puts your Magento license, hosting, CDN (fastly), performance testing tools (New Relic & backfire.io) into a single monthly fee.  Then they added platform.sh for continuous integration and rapid deployment as well as Magento Analytics (business intelligence software that PROVES you’re now driving more revenue than ever before).

If your heart isn’t beating a little faster right now, you might want to consult a physician.

If these were not reasons enough to make the move to the new Magento Commerce platform, the last one certainly should be.  Because the answer to “IF it ain’t broke, why fix it?” is not an IF but a WHEN.

Magento has announced that it will sunset support for Magento v1.x some time around the end of 2018.  At that time, there will be no more updates, security patches or refinements forthcoming for M1. A merchant who has held-out until the last minute may find their site encounters performance issues no one can address and PCI compliance issues that they can’t avoid.   At last count, there were more than 260,000 merchants currently using Magento.  The vast majority of these online stores are running version 1.x. When the sunset date looms closer and everyone starts to scramble to find trained, experienced Magento 2.x developers to manage their migration, many merchants are going to find qualified agencies are inundated with work.  This will push many late-comers over the deadline and potentially into issues with their business that will be challenges at best and fines over PCI compliance at the worst.  Some may be forced to fall back upon private developers or agencies that have little to no experience with Magento Commerce, and that is a recipe for failed implementation and glitchy sites.

In closing, my advice is Carpe Diem. The benefits alone are worth moving up to Magento Commerce, and the consequences for waiting are inevitable.

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