Magento 2 is here, and already we are getting inundated with calls from retailers who are thinking about migrating on to it, and want information.

So what is our advice?

Well, as always, the devil is in the detail and it depends on the size and complexity of your eCommerce infrastructure. In the main our advice is always centred around managing project risk – and this means the risk that projects may go over budget and/or be delivered later than planned.

There is no doubt that Magento 2 will carry on from where Magento 1 left off, and become the default platform for SME retailers. It has all the great functionality that the original platform had, it scales better, is better integrated with caching tools such as Varnish and the ecosystem of extensions and services is growing day by day. Strategically it is a no -brainer. The question is more tactical – when should one make the switch?

If you are a small retailer, using a largely standard Magento installation then the risks of going onto Magento 2 are very small – no larger than the project risks of going onto the latest version of Magento 1.9CE / 1.14EE. If you are a large retailer or you have customisation that need to be migrated across too then the project risks will increase exponentially.

Some Magento 2 'Home Truths'

1.  Magento 2  is a more expensive platform to develop on.

This is for 2 reasons, firstly simply because it is newer – and as a result there is less advice, documentation, pre written code and ecosystem available for it. Secondly, the architecture itself is more complicated than that of the old Magento platform, which makes development more difficult and therefore more expensive. There is a reason for the additional complication; reducing module clashes – so there is method in the madness!

2.  No code developed for Magento 1x is directly transferable to Magento 2

This includes modules, skins/themes, hacks. All of this needs to be re-developed from scratch for the new platform. What is transferable is product, customer and order data, and there is a Migration Tool to achieve this.

3.  There are some big improvements in Magento 2

Magento 2 is without doubt a big improvement over the original Magento 1.x. The new modular structure of the code and overriding content / layout XML  and JavaScript  improvements will make a real difference to your site. There should be less extension collisions; so once the extension ecosystem is there it should be easier to add functionality.

4.  No major retailer has yet launched on Magento 2

This in itself is not a bad thing, it is early days for the new platform, and there are a number of pretty serious ones coming. We are building a module for a fairly huge one right now – and when that retailer launches it will go a long way to reassuring the marketplace as to the scalability and robustness of the new platform.

5. We are still on version 1.0

There are bugs – we have uncovered a number  –  and there will be plenty more (this is the nature of software development). Wait until the next version comes out!