Magento 1 vs Magento 2 – should I stay or should I go?

Magento 1 vs Magento 2 – should I stay or should I go?

The Clash put it nicely: “If I go there will be trouble… and if I stay it will be double.” Do these lyrics hold true for merchants planning their move from 1.x to Magento 2?

What’s involved and how to make a good decision on when is the right time to plan a move? We bring you three most common questions merchants are asking. And answers, of course.

Magento 2 is finally out! Yes, you’ve all heard the news, it was all over the Magento ecosystem. I love the fact that Magento has finally shipped its new product, and this tweet from Alan Kent sort of sums up the excitement around it.

Is Magento 2.0 the most finely tuned piece of software ever published? Well, I’ll just leave this here and let myself out for a minute 🙂

But jokes aside, Magento 2.0 is here, we’re looking forward to new challenges because, well, that’s how just about anyone has to roll these days.

As for the merchants, you know, those people that actually put bread on our table – what’s in it for them?

There’s in excess of 240,000 shops on Magento out there (or at least that’s the official figure), Magento 1.x that is. So, how should all these businesses approach this change?

The questions we’ve been getting lately can be summed up in:

  • When should I plan the upgrade to Magento 2?
  • How smooth or painful process can I expect?
  • Is it worth it?

So, let’s try to answer these basic questions:

When should I upgrade to Magento 2?

This depends highly on your current site and its current condition – bottom line is, if your site is performing well (running smoothly, orders are coming in…), and you’re using a version that’s not really outdated (I’d say anything before 1.8 CE and 1.13 EE would be considered quite outdated), there is no rush, but you can (and should) start exploring Magento 2, ask your solution partner to give you their thoughts and start doing some basic plans.

If you’re on an older version of the software or even on a newer version but having serious performance issues, and on top of that you have a number of 3rd party extensions installed, now would be a great time to plan for a revamp.

If you need to do something serious to significantly improve your store’s performance (and we can help you figure out the condition your site is in and why), you should definitely plan the new investments to be done on Magento 2.

The move – smooth or painful?

Let’s prepare for less-than-smooth here 🙂 Smooth is something you are not going to get – yes, there is a migration tool ready that should help you (and your solution partner) with the data (store setup, products, customers, orders, promo rules…) move between the platforms. We’ve also blogged about how to use it and what it enables you to do.

But, as it is clearly noted over there as well, theme and code customizations (which includes 3rd party extensions) will not be transferable, meaning they would need to be redone on Magento 2.

So, extra investments would need to be made in the visual and functional revamp. This should, in my book, be treated as a good thing because:

Let’s face it – if you have 50+ extensions on your store (and this is even an understatement based on some of our recent experiences), Magento 2 can be a lifesaver as it will make you think, re-think and redo things, hopefully in a better way.

Is it worth it?

It will be. And the main reason is the change itself – for Magento there is no going back. Yes, they will be supporting the older versions for several years – and this is why you are in no need to jump the gun if you’re doing ok right now and you don’t have any plans to be a market leader or pioneer of sorts in your niche.

But you should also be aware that the majority of the investments and explorations of newest concepts around not just e- but any type of commerce out there (did anyone say omnichannel?) will be done on Magento 2, starting yesterday.

So if you are making active plans not to get left behind, even if you are staying put with Magento 1.x for the time being, consider these action items:

  • start thinking about what you’d like to improve on
  • make a list of extensions you are not actively using (or have no idea what they do)
  • open up the conversation with your solution partner about your (and their) plans for Magento 2

The next steps

For all you Magento store owners, 2017 is the year to make some good decisions for your business. It appears like you have enough time until November 2018, but the clock is ticking.

Magento 2 brings a whole new playing field for merchants and solution partners alike, and while we’re trying to stay on top of our game (we got our Magento 2 Trained Solution Partner badge and most of our developers and consultants have passed official Magento 2 trainings), you should too.

If you need any help with planning the next steps for your business, check out our Migration to Magento 2 service and get in touch!

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  1. Hi there!
    Thanks for such a useful and well-detailed article! Your points sound really convincing! 🙂
    I was advised to use Cart2Cart migration tool which, by their words, moves all entities fully automatically. Seen some good reviews and that there’s a free Demo available. Almost sure I’m gonna give it a try but I’d love to hear any feedback from Inchoo. It would be great if you manage to do a sort of review or sth like that, as I can’t find anything detailed on using Cart2Cart for Magento 1 to 2 migration expect their own materials.

    Thanks in advance!:)

    1. Now that the End of Life is set for 2020, it will become time sensitive to upgrade as soon as possible.
      Upgrading has it’s challenges.. What has tools do you recommend for Migrating many stores into one installation?
      Rapid flow seems to be great at this, but I’m interested in other peoples experiences.


    It’s been more than a year now since the Magento 2 series got launched. The GA version of Magento 2 launched in November 2015. Magento will most likely quit supporting the 1.x Enterprise Editions in November 2018.

    Though the data can be migrated through some tools, the design and functional customizations would all require to be done again. Also there had been an outcry about the unavailability of Magento2.x compatible extensions in the market. But over the last one year the developer community has worked hard and now most of the major and popular extensions have a 2.x version.

    1. When should you upgrade to Magento 2.x?

    Small businesses – Less customization:

    If you are a very small business operating on Magento with relatively less amount of customizations, migration to Magento 2.x will take a couple of months. So you can consider upgrading as late as Jan 2018.

    Mid-sized businesses – Few hundred SKUs and moderate customization:

    If you are a mid-sized business with some hundred SKUs and a moderate amount of custom work done on the store, you should start your upgradation by mid-June this year. It will roughly take 3-4 months to migrate, get all the custom work re-done and have a perfectly streamlined store.

    2. Why should you upgrade to Magento 2.x?


    Figures like 50% faster load time and 38% faster check out in comparison to 1.x series mean a huge leap ahead. With proper hosting setup it can now deliver nearly instant server response times for catalog browsing. Magento 2.x can manage 10 million catalogue page views an hour compared to only 500,000 page views per hour as supported by the Magento 1.9 or Magento 1.14 platform.

    Improved Interface:

    The new admin interface has a fluidic and interactive design which is far more user friendly than that of its previous generation. Due to the intuitive back end UI merchants can now open up the admin panel from any touch based device. Though the backend is not completely responsive but its far easier to use than the previous version.

    Continue Reading: Why upgrade to Magento 2

  3. I’m looking for a magento 2 marketplace to make an online estore with multi vendor format. While I Googled for this software script, I got webkul, apptha, cedcommerce. Any suggestion regarding this.

    1. You can also check out this one – – it’s one of the most popular multi-vendor / marketplace extensions out there.

      On most of our client projects we actually worked on some custom solutions, but I believe some of these would be a good start.

      Don’t forget to check out what’s available on official Magento 2 Marketplace around multi-vendor solutions –

      Good luck!

  4. Aron- as a start company eCommerce furniture store(from the scratch) with 15k products would you say advise go with 1x or go directly to 2?

    1. Hi Mir,

      if you’re starting from scratch the logical choice would be Magento 2. It is the one where all the improvements and additional innovations will be made, and it will also be more frequently updated for security patches and similar.

      We can help you out during the planning phase, so drop us a line anytime 🙂

  5. From a developer point-of-view (Ohkay, I just got start with M2 couple of weeks ago), working with M2 is actually easier than M1 because of the structuring. This might be because I am coming from the framework background. Making extensions would be easier too in M2, so expect all the important 3rd partyextensions to be re-written pretty soon. All in all, M2 FTW, but don’t rush it. That’s the message to all from me..

  6. Hi. Any idea what (if any) are the scope of changes from an SOAP or REST API standpoint when migrating from 1.x to 2.x Magento? Much appreciated.

  7. Hi
    I am running my store on magento 1.9.x and i would like to understand how do we define performance here. I mean for security we have many tools alongside cdn and sitelock, etc. but how does it help in faster mysql and css performance when moving to magento 2 with more than 15000 products. I am talking specifically about speed at customer end. How does it help my customer.

  8. Hi, new players on the market here – No skills or knowledge about back end 🙂

    Is a new store owner setting up things now, should we choose Magento 2?

  9. Hi, this is all complete gobble de gook to me, we are being advised by our new web designer to move to a magento platform after being on a custom built site for the last 10 years. He has advised us to go with Magento 1, with a view to moving in a couple of years to m2, after reading this blog, i am unsure if now is a good time at all to be joining Magento as neither 1, which will be outdated very soon (waste of money) or 2 which is still in the guinea pig stage, seem a very safe bet.

    1. Hi Judy, thanks for the comment. I can see where the confusion is, and the jury is still out on Magento 2, that’s for sure. But, I also remember how the jury was out on Magento 1 and it got to where it is today.

      What I would advise you is not to rush anything, especially if your business is doing well with the current solution. Take a closer look at what’s happening for yourself – what is certain is that Magento (1 or 2) has a huge ecosystem around it and you are able to find excellent partners to grow your business with (and that’s the most important part for any merchant, more important than the technology behind the scenes).

      Now, to avoid any further gobbledygook :), for any significant investment, I’d say go with Magento 2 – this is where the innovation and upgrades will be, they have some amazing things in their product roadmap, while Magento 1 will slowly fade out. And if you would go with Magento 1 right now, you will need to consider that the move to 2 a couple of years from now would be another completely new project, more a complete refactoring rather than a revamp.

      I would be happy to discuss some of your plans and try to help you with the decision (no strings attached), so feel free to send us a quick note via our contact page and I’ll get back in touch.


  10. Thanks Aron for the information. I agree that we should move to Magento 2.x because of increased security and performance. The main concern here is with the hosting providers where many of them are not ready with support for new technologies like PHP 7 and other eCommerce related optimizations.

  11. For me, attempting the migration was extremely painful; so painful we gave up. Installation was more troublesome that Magento 1.9, and error upon error shoed as we finally got Magento2 installed but could not migrate data. Migration tools from Magento and from UB both failed, no hope. Instance was unrecoverable after attempting data migration. Considering migrating to a static site with Ecwid e-commerce because Magento is just too much trouble and very expensive to maintain.

    1. Hi Kevin, thanks for your comments, I’m sorry to hear that the migration tool hasn’t worked properly, what I can assume is that you had quite a few customizations on your database as the tool works primarily with default installation, perhaps you needed to make some additional preparations before using some of those automated tools.

      In any case, it might be useful to post your experience to official Magento forums – I’m sure you’ll hear from someone over there who may have already tackled similar issues.

      Good luck, and don’t move away from Magento just yet 🙂

  12. I prefer 1
    Sometimes, it is important that what we need.
    If store is running good in 1.9 then I advise to stay with it.

    1. If the site is running ok and the sales are coming in, yes, it doesn’t make sense to disturb that, at least for the time being.

      But again, any significant investments in improving the site(s) in the years to come should include plans for M2 because M1 will not be the platform that will continuously evolve, it will be here for several more years, but it will most likely fade away.

  13. I personally wouldn’t recommend Magento 2 right away for all clients, simply because 3rd parties are yet to catch up with Magento 2. Note, I’m not talking about extension shops but SaaS companies with their own Magento extensions – if it forms a critical part of the store, then it’s probably best still to go Magento 1 until they release a stable build for 2.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Francis.

      I agree completely that if a business is relying on certain outside services and/or extensions for some of the core parts of their processes, they should be more patient.

    1. Thanks, Roberto – if you are only starting, then it would make sense to go for Magento 2, unless you are looking for some really fast turnaround with many extensions – and who would do that, right? 🙂

      The thing is, all new Magento 2 sites are inevitably going to be a “playground for testing”, but you also strike while the iron is hot…

  14. Great article. I agree that businesses shouldn’t make too fast if their current Magento store’s are performing good. We expect to see a major shift from Magento 1.x to Magento 2.x in the second half of 2016, as a lot of businesses are in talks with development companies about their transfer at this moment.

    Excited for the future of Magento 2!

    1. Actually, we do have something in the works, but shhh for now 🙂

    1. Thanks, Andreas, for sharing your blog post – it’s a great overview covering some things I haven’t touched on in this one.

      Good luck preparing your clients for M2 and we’ll see what stories we’ll be able to share with your team at Developers Paradise! 🙂

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