Should you build a Magento store in 1.9.1 right now – or wait for 2.0?

Posted on

The Magento team are hard at work readying Magento 2 for a Q4 2015 release. So if you’re planning on launching a new store in the coming months should you bide your time and wait till version 2 is out? Or press ahead and develop with the current 1.9.1 release.

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.
  • 1.9.1 theme incorporates jQuery as standard so most modern JavaScript libraries will function
  • 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  • Uses outdated technology stack (e.g. HTML, CSS)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.

Summary

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.

Want to discuss a project?

Talk to our Magento experts on 01785 279920

Request a callback