Monthly Archives: August 2017

  • Magento 1 to Magento 2: Five Reasons to Upgrade


    Magento is the best ecommerce platform, and Magento 2 offers even greater benefits including better speed, performance, features, ease of use, and customer experience. If you’re setting up an ecommerce store on Magento for the first time, using Magento 2 right out of the gate is a no brainer, but for those already set up on Magento 1, here are reasons to consider migrating to Magento 2.

    Magento 2 is everything Magento 1 was and more. It adds a plethora of new features, while maintaining enough familiarity to ease the transition for long time users of Magento 1. Upgrading is something everyone should do, and with fast high quality hosting such as MageMojo, the benefits stack up.

    Improved Performance and Speed

    First, Magento 2 offers significant speed and performance boosts by adopting Varnish and PHP7 technologies. The lower page load times are due to full page cache on both Community and Enterprise versions of Magento 2. Improved performance directly leads to higher revenues. The faster customers can get to your catalog and products, the more likely they are to buy something. Stores upgraded to Magento 2 show higher revenues and conversion rates than slower Magento 1 stores.

    PHP 7, is the latest version of the most popular web programming language and is much faster in execution than PHP 5.x. It even outperforms or hits parity with HHVM (Hip Hop Virtual Machine). HHVM also required a lot of extra work to configure for Magento 1 and the built-in Full page cache (FPC) supports Varnish out of the box.

    Magento 1 required a 3rd party extension to incorporate Varnish cache which was difficult to use. It also required an experienced (expensive) hand to get custom themes working correctly. But with Varnish cache the time to first byte goes from half a second or more down to only a couple hundred milliseconds. And total page load may be less than a second total.

    In Magento 2, a simple click in the backend creates a Varnish configuration file for you customized to your store. Varnish and PHP7 together provide faster load times with lower effort than ever before in Magento. Coupled with Magento specific hosting, such as with MageMojo, and you'll have the best performing ecommerce site available.

    More Streamlined and Easier to Use

    This aspect is great for both merchants and developers since the ease of use means you can easily customize and edit things without a developer, and even with a developer the chances of issues cropping up is greatly diminished.

    • The new Visual Editor allows for “drag and drop” customization to the site, making it easy for non-developers to build a site on Magento 2. Along with beautiful new themes which are now organized by vendor and easier than ever to find and access, you can play around with how your front end will look to your heart’s content. Cleaner and simpler organization also makes it faster and easier for both developers and merchants to manage content.

    • Quality of life improvements simply abound in Magento 2. Filterable dynamic grids have been added to many sections like the catalog and order listing. Your store data can be searched and queried quickly and efficiently without the need for 3rd party tools. The admin is also simply arranged with a clean left-hand navigation menu. The backend is overall much faster than Magento 1, where many backends suffered from long load times for basic changes such as managing categories.

    • The new step-by-step product creation tools allow you to more quickly and accurately add products to your store. This tool makes adding products up to 4 times faster in Magento 2. Plus, customizing themes and modules is easier and more streamlined for developers and incorporates modern responsive design.

    The best part? No extensions are required for payment gateways such as Paypal and Braintree, which are all automatically integrated into Magento 2.


    Better Customer Experience

    Even more improvements were put into the frontend. The customer experience is the most important part of any store, and Magento 2 adds features that shoppers expect on a modern website. The checkout, cart and registration are all streamlined, faster, and much easier for customers to use, reducing cart abandonment. The cart is now Ajax to reduce loading times (meaning no full page refresh is needed after adding a product). The catalogsearch is also faster and on Magento 2 Enterprise supports Elasticsearch by default and shipping configuration is simpler as well.

    The above changes on the frontend extend into the mobile realm, as almost a majority of shoppers today are using mobile devices. The faster search improves conversion rates for mobile users who rely on it in lieu of navigating through an extensive catalog listing.

    Improved Features

    On the development side, Magento 2 uses HTML 5 and a responsive default theme, to bring everything up to date to modern web standards. The new marketplace and integration of tools like composer also make upgrading and installing new modules more manageable than Magento 1.

    Here are some highlights:

    • Making custom code is easier for developers with higher quality and lower maintenance
    • More in depth review and testing of extensions, extensions that make it to the official Magento Marketplace are proven to work and are better quality. They are also vetted for security.
    • The theme improvements also enter the mobile realm. Themes are now mobile friendly, which is better for SEO now that Google ranks up mobile friendly stores higher

    Magento 1 will only stay up to date on security patches for another 3 years, so it’s good to start planning the move to Magento 2 at some point, especially given the major performance boosts it offers. It is also more secure using more modern coding paradigms. The development community will be focused on Magento 2, so Magento 1 will not see much attention anymore. You don’t want to get left behind and this is a fantastic chance to make improvements to your site and usability in the process.


    Migrating to Magento 2 is Easy

    The Migration Tool makes moving from Magento 1 to Magento 2 easy and simple. Custom code, themes, and extensions will have to be redone, but this gives merchants a chance improve your code, add better, tested, extensions and upgrade your site’s theme. Customer and product data can also be directly imported with tools from Magento.

    Moreover, when upgrading Magento 2 between versions, it makes sure modules are compatible and if they are not, the upgrade stops. Gone are the days of hoping your upgrade works from Magento 1.

    Starting the upgrade is a no brainer. All stores will eventually have to switch to the newer platform so it’s a good idea to start planning the move now, especially so you can maximize on the benefits that much sooner. In the competitive world of ecommerce, you don’t want to get left behind. Better yet, upgrading sooner than later will put you ahead of the curve and give your shop a leg up on the competition. To maximize on this you'll want the best hosting available as well, such as MageMojo which is the number one Magento specific hosting service.

  • Best Solution for eCommerce [7 Reasons Why Magento is Superior]

    Choosing a platform for your online business is a major decision, but for any ecommerce business, large or small, Magento is a great choice. Roughly a quarter of all ecommerce sites worldwide use Magento as it is agile, flexible, and full featured.

    From small to big companies, there are millions of businesses on the Magento platform. Some of the biggest brands including Samsung, The North Face, Ford, Fox Connect, Lenovo, Olympus, Men’s Health, Vizio, Nestle Nespresso and Nike use Magento and so do millions of small and midsized ecommerce companies around the globe. Coupled with powerful hosting like Mage Mojo, the potential of Magento is limitless.

     

    Here’s why Magento is such a great platform for ecommerce businesses.


     1.  Magento is Fully Customizable and Adjustable

    The community marketplace allows you to download extensions to customize your store. Open source means anyone can add to or extend Magento to their needs. And the continued use of open source licensing in Magento 2 shows Magento’s own commitment to the community alongside their Enterprise offerings.

    As an open source project, extensions are widely available, both paid and free, for Magento. Just about anything a merchant would need that is not included in Magento can be found with a simple click. Even the software requirements for Magento are all open source (Apache/Nginx, PHP etc) creating an entirely open stack for eCommerce. And many features available to customers, were re-created by community developers, namely the Full Page Cache (FPC). For hosting companies like MageMojo, open source allows their support to recommend free extensions for customers who may not want to spend $100 or more dollars for Full Page Cache capability.

    Search is another area with a lot of extensions. Magento 1 and 2 both use MySQL to store search data for the product catalog. Though Enterprise has always had more search options (Apache SOLR and Elasticsearch), commercial modules are available to bring similar solutions to the Community edition. And for many of the features available in extensions, the price is modest compared to the cost of a developer to make a custom module for you.

    2.  Magento is Always Evolving

    This means developers can modify the source code to your heart’s content, adding or creating extra features, add-ons, or plug-ins as necessary. This makes Magento an immensely powerful and versatile platform like no other.

    As an open source project, Magento is continually reviewed and improved by thousands of developers. It only continues to get better with users seeing constant improvements. These contributions have created an incredibly stable and secure platform for online stores. The Magento Community Edition is also free! The benefit of Magento’s community is immense as security updates are released often as a patch for everyone to secure their stores.

     

    3.  Magento is Highly Scalable from 1 to 1,000,000,000

    Magento is built to run on established technologies: Apache/Nginx,PHP and MySQL. They are very stable and side effects from the hosting stack are reduced. Plus they are all very scalable to handle. Whether your online store services one town, a whole state, or country, or operates internationally, Magento and its plethora of features can handle it with ease. This ability to grow is why so many businesses choose Magento right from the start.

    This scalability extends into the hosting industry. Merchants can choose from a variety of hosting environments, platforms, and other offerings for their store. With the right hosting, such as Mage Mojo, Magento can handle even the Superbowl and other television promotions. It’s no wonder so many Fortune 500 companies choose to run on Magento.


    4.  Diverse Community Offerings

    The Magento community is worldwide and ranges from the tiny freelance developers to large web agencies and no matter the size, they all contribute with open source modules and improvements for Magento. Anyone can get help when they need it from helpful communities at the official Magento forums and sites like StackExchange. And with Magento 2 on Github, issues are constantly being reported and discussed. Many are resolved with new contributions for the next release. Hosting sites like MageMojo consistently contribute and work with the community to integrate the latest practices and fresh feedback to make their hosting better.

    This means the speed, functionality, and security of your site is forever being improved and new features are constantly being added. This readily available support makes Magento especially appealing for non tech/code savvy business owners.

    In fact, as an ecommerce business owner you can meet this community of developers in the flesh at Magento events such as Meet Magento which will be hosted in New York City by Mage Mojo. Not sure what features Magento offers? Still have questions? This is a great place to talk to experts who know everything there is to know about ecommerce solutions and find great inspiration for your own store!


    5.  Limitless Ways to Integrate External Elements into Your Website

    Many merchants also have brick and mortar operations or other external systems particular to their market. Trying to integrate them into other platforms can be a mess, if it is even possible. You may need to track inventory between Magento and your point of sale systems at various franchise locations.

    With Magento’s API you can keep your physical and digital locations in sync with ease. The most popular platforms tend to already have modules available for Magento (like Amazon, eBay, and ERP software). For example, a merchant has physical locations along with sales on eBay,Amazon, and their Magento store. Through the Magento API and a few modules, their inventory at their warehouse is synced across all of them automatically and their Magento store doubles as the overall source of truth for all revenues and order processing.

    This seamless integration is a major benefit. But even if your shop is purely online, Magento allows for integrations with any third party extension such as payment gateways like Paypal, database applications, shipping, shipment tracking, and has built in integration with Google Analytics and Google Base. Magento is an all in one solution for everything your business needs.

    6.  One Online Store Not Enough? Free Multistores

    Unlike most other platforms out there, Magento doesn’t limit you to using a single online store. Instead, you have the capability to run multiple stores from the same backend interface, with all of the information for all of your stores available on the same admin panel. Multistores lets any merchant host several domains while conveniently sharing information between them, such as customer data and product catalogs.

    Managing a diverse collection of sites has never been easier. With Magento, the hassle of multiple backends and duplicating content throughout your stores is no longer a problem. For example, a site hosting many different brands of the same style of shirt, such as for college sports teams, can re-use content across multi-stores without having to manage dozens of Magento instances. Or many different stores can be used to be region specific, with their own language and products to fit the demographic. From a single admin dashboard, you can control the inventory, billing, and records for all of your stores.

     

    7.  Very Flexible Stock & Inventory Functionality

    Out of the box Magento packs a ton of features and more than enough to get started for any new merchant. A store can get up and running in no time without the need to install dozens of extra modules. With a low barrier to entry, Magento fosters online competition without excessive risk and merchants have flexibility to try new ideas. We have seen many dropshipping sites get up and running with off the shelf parts - themes and extensions - in less than a week from installation to going live. Magento is user friendly, mobile optimized, allows for search engine optimization and analytics, and is specifically designed for ecommerce.


    Coupled with powerful hosting, the possibilities with Magento become limitless. If you’re still unsure, we suggest you attend a Magento event and meet with other ecommerce business owners and developers.

    The next Meet Magento event is sponsored by the industry’s leading Magento hosting companies, Mage Mojo in New York City. Innovators and veterans, will be present for you to learn about ecommerce and ways to improve your sales. You can learn about others who have found success with Magento, what features they used, what features are available, glean inspiration, and find out how the community is always integrating the latest tech and improvements. Further details are coming soon, so keep an eye out!

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