Magento 1 vs Magento 2: The Reasons To Upgrade To Magento 2

Guides & Advice
September 16, 2019
Guides & Advice
Magento 1 vs Magento 2: The Reasons To Upgrade To Magento 2

Magento 1 will cease to be supported at the end of June 2020, so Magento store owners should make the tough call of whether they should continue operating their ecommerce websites on Magento 1 or upgrade to Magento 2

Magento 2 was released to address many of the drawbacks, malfunctions, and bugs of Magento 1 and turned out to be a significant upgrade in terms of performance and usability compared to the former. 

How do you know when it’s time to upgrade and what are the key points in a Magento 1 vs Magento 2 comparison? Elogic has been providing Magento upgrade services since the launch of Magento 2. The new platform came out with significant changes compared to the previous version.

This article will look at the key differences between Magento 1 vs 2, analyze when you should consider upgrading to Magento 2 and how problematic it is to migrate Magento 1 to Magento 2. 

Magento 1 vs Magento 2: Key Differences

Magento 1 was originally developed as a flexible ecommerce solution. However, the platform lacked some vital features (performance optimization and mobile-friendliness) that were found on many rival ecommerce platforms. Therefore, many merchants were complaining about the slow performance of their Magento 1 stores leading to lost customers and decreased revenue.

Magento 2 has come to resolve all of the problems encountered in Magento 1. Moreover, Magento 2 includes even more benefits compared to Magento 1. Let’s highlight the top differences between Magento 1 vs Magento 2 features. Some of these key improvements  are:

  • Architecture 

The Magento development team has modified the stack by adding different new technologies – Apache, NGINX, Varnish, Composer, Symfony, Redis, and more. The architecture now supports the PHP7 version, which essentially means even better chances for optimization and customization.

Magento 1 vs 2 technology stack:

Magento 1 Magento 2
Apache 2.x Apache 2.2./2.4.
  Nginx 1.7 or greater
PHP 5.2.x – 5.5.x PHP 5.6.x/ 7.0.2 / 7.0.6
MySQL MySQL/MySQL Percona 5.6.x or greater
Solr (Only for EE) Solr 4x
  Varnish 3.x / 4.x
  Redis 2.x / 3.x or Memcached 1.4.x
JQuery (in latest themes) JQuery
  RequireJS / Knockout.js
  PSR – 0 / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4
Zend Framework 1 Zend Framework 1 / 2
  • Performance

Once your business expands, you will get more traffic and require a solution to be able to cope with a large flow of visitors. If we’re talking about Magento 2 vs Magento 1 performance, Magento 2 is faster all around: on the product, category, and home pages. As mentioned above, many new technologies were added to Magento 2 that helped to optimize pages for fast delivery, reduce the server response time for site activities, and make backend operations more effective. 

The average loading time is now below two seconds (50% faster than Magento 1), which means there is a much smaller probability that your customers will leave a website because of slow page loads. This is all possible due to full-page caching technologies such as Varnish and NGINX.

According to Benchmark Testing, now Magento 2 can operate around two million more page views and process up to 39% more orders hourly compared to Magento 1. Add to cart server response is now 66% faster, and an end-to-end checkout is also 51% faster. 

Even though Magento 2 offers a fast performance by default, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need to optimize your site speed. In general, slow interface and loading time issues are caused by a lack of knowledge in optimizing the website. Slow load times hurt crawl efficiency and lead to fewer pages being indexed, so make sure you do everything possible to speed up Magento 2.

Speed up Magento in 6 steps - here is how:
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How to Speed Up Magento 2: Follow These 6 Easy Steps to Make Magento Blazing Fast
  • Dashboard 

The admin panel in Magento 2 is customer-friendly, easy in navigation and intuitive. Thus, you can find info effortlessly, navigate all elements of the admin panel smoothly, and operate your ecommerce store more effectively. 

An advanced dashboard is what Magento 1 was missing. Magento 2 admin dashboard displays last, new, and average orders; lifetime retail sales, top search keywords; income tax, bestsellers; the number of products; and amount of shipping that helps to determine the progress of your ecommerce business. In addition, with Magento 2 you can create configurable products and customize data grids. 

Magento 2 Dashboard
Magento 2 Dashboard. Image credit: Magento
Magento 1 Dashboard
Magento 1 Dashboard. Image credit: Magento     
  • Security

Maintaining security is crucial when operating an ecommerce website. Magento 2 supports advanced built-in security options. One of them is SHA-256 (Secure Hash Algorithm 256) for passwords, which makes it less possible for a dictionary attack to succeed. 

Magento 2 also comes with the fraud protection system Signifyd. Signifyd is embedded in the latest release of Magento 2,  allowing the platform to determine and reject orders that seem to be scams and deliver 100% chargeback protection. The cost of Signifyd depends on the number of orders your store processes.

The good thing is that if you’re running your store on Magento 1 and you’re worried about security protection, you can add security modules to your ecommerce website through extensions. The bad news is that there’s a bigger possible cybersecurity threat due to the fact that Magento will stop supporting security updates and patches in June 2020.

  • Extensions

With Magento 2, you can integrate and make modifications to new extensions less expensively and with no hassle. The process of installing extensions and updating features became simpler because of the new technologies (HTML5, CSS3, Require.js) integrated into Magento 2.

There are numerous third-party extensions available in the market for Magento 1. However, there could occur conflicts when two or more extensions attempt to rewrite the same functionality. Magento 2 introduced a change that enabled third-party plugins to overlap the core code, rather than overriding it. 

  • Functionality 

One of the major Magento 1 vs 2 functionality differences is the introduction of Ajax Add-To-Cart to Magento 2. In Magento 1, when a product is added to the cart, the system reloads the page, leading to deteriorated performance. With Magento 2, by adding Ajax Add-To-Cart, the new system doesn’t need to reload the page when a new product is added to the cart. 

Checkout functionality has also been simplified and now it’s easy for customers to navigate. Magento 2 automatically recognizes inputted card types of registered customers. This feature is not available in Magento 1. 

Magento 2 takes this further and also provides advanced reporting and marketing automation. Magento 2 offers crucial business metrics, allowing you to track 20 online store reports right from the admin panel. 

When it comes to marketing, Magento 2 has introduced Dotmailer e-mail marketing automation. With Dotmailer, you can create automated marketing campaigns for Push, SMS, e-mail, and other channels.

Last but not least, one of the most important changes in Magento 2 is the dependency injection. In Magento 1 class files are often large, so it’s difficult to determine what their core functionality is. Magento 2 solved this problem with dependency injection, a design pattern that abstracts out the dependencies of a class to make the process quicker and easier. Dependency injection is an excellent way to diminish tight coupling between application codebase. 

  • Support

The end of Magento 1 support is coming soon. At the end of June 2020, Magento will stop releasing and updating security patches and important fixes on their part. Evidently there will be no more innovations, new features or enhancements for Magento 1. 

At the same time, Magento 2 has integrated new features like page builder, PWA (Progressive Web Applications) and is expected to realize even more functionality to deliver robust ecommerce solution with better speed, security, and performance.

  • SEO

When Magento 1 was launched in 2005, it lacked significant functionalities for SEO. Magento 2 has introduced many enhancements in search engine optimization. For instance, is aimed to boost the search engine rankings of your store. Also, rich snippets on the Magento 2 catalog pages make your product data much easier to crawl by search engines.

  • Cost

This could be the only aspect where Magento 1 wins the battle, as the Magento 1 license is cheaper than Magento 2. With so many updates, new functionalities, and the latest features, it’s obvious why the Magento 2 license costs a pretty penny. 

Open Source Edition: Magento 1 and Magento  2 are free of charge

Commerce Edition: 

Magento 1 CE license cost (starts at): $18,000 per year

Magento 2 CE license cost (starts at): $22,000 per year

Check out our article to find out which edition is the best option for your ecommerce business
Choose Magento
Magento 2 Commerce vs Open Source vs Commerce Cloud: Which Edition Suits Your Ecommerce Business?

Magento 1 vs. Magento 2: Upgrade or not upgrade?

Upgrading your ecommerce store is vital to being one step ahead and meeting your customers’ demands. How do you know when it’s time to upgrade? 

The best time to migrate from Magento 1? Several months ago. The second best time to migrate from Magento 1? As soon as possible.

You should already be developing plans for upgrading to Magento 2 if you’re thinking long term. Our team recommends performing a Magento 1 to 2 upgrade right now if:

  • your existing Magento 1 store has performance problems
  • you’re building a new ecommerce store
  • you’re planning to introduce significant modifications
  • you’re planning to redesign your store
  • your ecommerce website is running on an already outdated version.

It might still be worth updating to Magento 2 if you have absolutely no problems with the current system. Why? As has been mentioned above, Magento 2 offers a number of new features, opportunities, and innovations that can take your retail business to the next level.

How challenging is it to migrate your Magento 1 store to Magento 2?

Magento 2 migration
Magento 2 migration. Image credit: Magenticians.

Let’s face it: migrating is never an easy process, even when you’re upgrading to a new version of the same platform. Magento 2 has a brand new architecture and functionality. Technical progress itself makes migrating complicated.

In our experience, data migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2 is quite a challenging process which requires thorough preparations. All extensions and custom code must be reviewed, rewritten, and made compatible with Magento 2 and the latest versions of PHP. For that, it’s a good idea to hire an experienced Magento development agency that will help you migrate Magento 1 to Magento 2 without the loss of any vital data. 

With this in mind, let’s look at the Magento 2 migration process. There are seven major steps in Magento 1 to 2 upgrade

Process of Magento 2 migration
Process of Magento 2 migration
Find out how to migarte your Magento store in 7 steps:
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Your 8-Step Guide to Magento Migration: +Tips, Best Practices, and Much More!

For those retailers who are considering moving to Magento 2, you should understand that it’s not a simple “version upgrade.” Magento 2 is an entirely new platform with substantial framework differences from Magento 1. Thus, the Magento 1 to Magento 2 migration cost can be quite expensive. 

The cost to upgrade to Magento 2 starts from $3,000 and may reach tens of thousands of dollars based on your technical requirements for the new store. Usually, you have to use your budget for purchasing a new theme, buying extensions, and employing a credible Magento agency to conduct the migration process. 

Key Points: Magento 1 vs Magento 2

In Magento 1 vs 2 comparisons, Magento 2 wins the battle hands down as it is the more robust and efficient solution to base a retail business on. With M2 you get a total omnichannel platform with advanced functionality that offers:

  • Comprehensive architecture ( Redis 2.x+, Varnish 3.x+,NginX 1.7+, RequireJS, Knockout.js, Symfony, Composer, PSR – 0 / 1 / 2 / 3)
  • Better speed and performance
  • Easy integration of third-party extensions
  • Strong security
  • Better SEO
  • Improved checkout
  • Advanced reporting
  • Marketing automation
  • Streamlined dashboards.

If you want to build your website on Magento 2 or migrate Magento 1 to Magento 2, feel free to contact us. We have experienced Magento 2 backend and frontend developers who can help you in the migration process.

Need to migrate your ecommerce website to Magento 2?

The earlier you start, the more time you have to get everything right.

Learn more

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What a great post on Magento 1 vs Magento 2 comparison. Now I see all the benefits why merchants should upgrade to Magento 2. Always great reading your posts, Yuliana!


I firmly believe that Magento 2 upgrade is just a matter of time. Thank you for sharing valuable information on the key differences between Magento 1 vs 2. Always great insights!

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