Magento 2 was released on the 18th of November 2015. Some of the platform’s notable improvements were reduced table locking issues, new file structure, easier customizability, structured code base, and improved page caching. Following closely on the heels of its successor, Magento 2 release also brought advanced SEO features and better security to the platform.
After the launch of Magento 1 in 2008, it became extremely popular with small businesses and enterprises globally. However, with the introduction of new features into the platform, performance, and database locking issues started to crop up.
To address those issues, Roy Rubin and Yoav Kutner, the developers behind the software, decided to start working on a newer version that would fix a lot of the backward compatibility and performance-related issues in the original one. They began working on the platform in November 2011 with an estimated completion time of 12–18 months, however, the final version was only released 4 years later in November 2015.
Differences between Magento 1 and Magento 2
Here are some of the critical differences between Magento 1 and Magento 2.
At the time of its launch, the architecture of Magento 2 supported the latest versions of PHP and newer technologies like Nginx, Symfony, and Composer. Using Nginx’s reverse proxy and load balancing abilities and Composer to manage dependencies, Magento 2 could deliver better performance than its predecessor.
Magento 1 stores needed Turpentine, an official extension by Magento, to use Varnish for website cache. They also required custom ESI block policies to prevent dynamic assets from being cached for third-party extensions, making it a time and cost-intensive process. Magento 2 introduced Varnish caching by default reducing the time and money required to use Varnish tremendously.
In Magento 1, API support was added retroactively to the platform after its initial release, whereas in Magento 2, API is built into the core. Since the API is no longer held in separate classes, this eliminates code duplication or discrepancies between core and API functionality.
Magento 1 stores used Apache Solr for search, whereas Magento 2 uses the more advanced and powerful Elasticsearch. The advantage of using Elasticsearch includes a reduced database load, advanced search functionality, and a website performance improvement.
Magento 1 lacked in-built payment gateway support, whereas Magento 2 comes with payment processors like PayPal, Authorize.net, and Braintree ready-to-use.
In Magento 1, extensions performing the same function as the core code often resulted in conflicts. Resolving these conflicts was a tedious and expensive task for merchants. Magento 2, however, allows overlap so extensions no longer conflict and can work in tandem.
When Magento 1 was launched, SEO was still in its infancy. Over time, as demands for website performance on search engines grew, SEO-friendliness became an essential metric for every website. Magento 2 has in-built sitemaps, custom robots.txt, global metadata, and rich snippets support.
The Magento 1 UI was cramped, unintuitive, and lacked responsiveness. In Magento 2, the admin panel addressed all those issues and improved the product creation workflow and the product data import functionality.
By default, Magento 2 stores support newer technologies, shielding them from vulnerabilities in legacy software. They also have updated hashing algorithms for better password security that weren’t present in Magento 1.
Magento 2 was an overhaul of the entire platform that made it much more user-friendly and integrated much of the previously third-party extension dependent functionality. Since its initial release, Magento 2 has continued introducing new functionality while also improving its security.
Magento 2 stores are now capable of supporting Progressive Web Application (PWA) websites and they also provide a set of developer tools to help build PWA websites. Those on Magento 2 Commerce can even use a visual drag-and-drop style Page Builder to edit and update content on their websites. Keeping security in mind, the latest Magento 2 versions ship with strict content security policies to prevent cross-site scripting vulnerabilities.
Magento 2 has continued to grow and evolve with constant innovation and development as a platform adding in more functionality while improving performance and security.