Benefits of using 1.9.1 now
- Plenty of community support in the forums; if you run into a problem – chances are someone else has ran into it before.
- Plenty of plugin support and proven extensions.
- 1.9.1 now comes with a responsive theme by default so your site won’t be behind from a looks point of view.
- Magento will support 1.x versions with security patches for 3 years after the release of 2.0
- 1.9.1 is a proven stable version and has been around since November 2014.
- Magento have stated that there will be a data upgrade path from 1.x to 2.x so things like Products and customers can be ported to 2.0 when it is released.
Drawbacks of using 1.9.1 now
- Currently no upgrade path for modules; although Magento have recently offered a community bounty of $5,000 for a tool that can convert 1.x modules to 2.0.
- Currently no theme upgrade process to Magento 2.0
- Uses outdated technology stack (e.g. HTML, CSS)
- The responsive theme included in 1.9.1 is not a true mobile first experience
Benefits of waiting for 2.0
- Mobile first!
- Uses latest PHP / MySQL technologies so should be faster.
- Magento Testing Framework means that developers can test code more reliably than ever; resulting in better quality modules.
- An up-to-date technology stack ensures your site is future proof.
- Improved install/upgrade process so upgrading to future 2.x versions should be straight-forward.
- The new Magento UI library and use of CSS Pre-processors will make customising the Magento themes a lot quicker / faster.
- More efficient indexing processes will benefit stores with a larger catalog.
- Did we say mobile first?
Drawbacks of waiting for 2.0
- Not released until Q4 2015.
- Although a beta is available; most developers are not as familiar with 2.x as they are 1.x.
- Unproven code / features.
- Limited extension availability at launch.
Magento 1.x is not going anywhere for a good few years; Magento themselves, extension developers and the wider magento community are going to be supporting it for the next few years. Magento 2 is shaping up to be a very exciting platform; although like with all new things there are going to be some teething issues to contend with when it gets released. I personally think it will be a year or so until the initial teething issues are ironed out; and even then there is going to be a big plugin gap to contend with.
If you’re going to undertake a small to medium sized project – building in 1.9.1 right now should be a no brainer… if you’re looking for a larger Magento store that is going to take over a year to complete then I would seriously weigh up the benefits and drawbacks listed above before pressing ahead.