In our previous article we covered whether now is the right time to move to Magento 2. This is the next article in our series. Magento 2 marks a huge improvement on its predecessor, Magento V1, and has come awash with plenty new features.

Here we explore in more detail just what’s new with Magento 2:

New structure

The Magento 2 structure has been completely revamped; firstly everything is now placed under the app file, and secondly each module now has its own individual view directly where you can have access to all layouts, templates, js and CSS/LESS files. This is a positive step for developers who now have the ability to customise much further without changing the core site functionality.

Performance

Magento 2 has improved performance with features such as full page caching, CSS pre-processing and the requirement of less hardware to scale. Magento V1 didn’t always have the best performance, and so this is a huge improvement for the eCommerce platform.

CSS preprocessing

As mentioned above, Magento 2 now uses its own LESS and CSS in the theme core, which supports the preprocessing of files being published by using other preprocessors. The advantages of this are that you can use LESS to customise your theme easier and faster, and the LESS preprocessor and CSS URL resolver to increase performance and speed load times, as well as making your system more compatible and friendly with the search engine.

Improved indexers

Magento systems transform merchant data, such as catalog data, through indexing; by creating index tables and updating them regularly to increase the performance of your online store. Magento 2 has improved indexes with more efficient updates and this results in faster query performance.

Scalability

Scalability, alongside performance, is an area that Magento have spent a lot of time improving. We’ll explore this in more detail below, but some examples of increased scalability are that the new updates now allow for up to 10million page views page hour and up to 90,000 product orders per hour.

Mobile responsive

Magento 2 is now much more mobile and tablet responsive, something that wasn’t always the case with the pervious version. Not only does this comply with Google’s new algorithm ensuring your page is ranked highly, but it will offer a new level of accessibility for your customers and clients.

Replacement of the Prototype Framework with jQuery

jQuery, now the most popular javascript library on the market, was the obvious choice for the new Magento 2 system and so they have made the switch from Prototype. jQuery offers a more robust and supported system, again making it easier for both users and end-users.

Improved user experience (UX) design

The UX is much better than in Magento V1, with a more user-friendly backend UI and easier menu functions that are now displayed more logically, resulting in an improved, more organised user experience.

Some of Magento’s upgraded areas

Some of Magento’s upgraded areas – https://vimeo.com/145947876

Checkout improvements

Checkout has been improved to offer an all-round better experience, with features such as assumed guest checkout and automatic recognition of emails. Small tweaks like this have a much larger, lasting impact in your customers mind and add to the overall performance updates of Magento 2.

Split database

There is now a split database; ‘Main’ for the admins and ‘Checkout’ and ‘Orders’ for the customers.This will increase performance by speeding up page load times for both users and will allow the admin to continue working on the Magento database while the customers browse; ensuring neither is affected.

Ajax add-to-cart

A vital update that means customers can now add products to their cart without the need for the page to reload every time. This was a nuisance in Magento V1, and this minor tweak is sure to make the customer’s experience much smoother.

Elastic replaces SOLR

Magento have replaced their previous search engine, SOLR, with Elastic. It is much easier to configure, runs quicker and provides a better solution when it comes to amending indexing settings.

RabbitMQ (Message Queue Framework)

RabbitMQ is a new, extremely transparent messaging system which allows you to easily stay on top of your messages both internally and externally, making the process of communicating between employees and customers much smoother.

Testing framework

Magento 2, with regression testing, means that testing is constantly being done on your system and its new features to ensure that anything new that you try and implement won’t cause any problems. It also offers a platform to allow you to test new features before you roll them out.

Admin table filtering

This feature will allow you to configure your table views much more extensively, making for a much easier viewing process. You can save your favourite ways of viewing data and also share this with admins, all allowing you to view and analyse your data in ways that you choose.

DevDocs

Magento, having built on feedback from the community, have released DevDocs with Magento 2, which acts as a documentation-portal. It is led by the community but moderated by Magento, meaning there are thousands more users able to help, but all the content will be Magento approved.

Magento 2 will now also use PHP 5.4 & 5.5, HTML 5 and CSS3, as well as support for Redis and Varnish which will help to reduce the server load and speed up the page load. These features, alongside the numerous updates listed above, all provide a much more robust system that results in a more efficient and positive experience for your customer.

Magento’s modern tech stack

Magento’s modern tech stack – https://vimeo.com/145947978

Security updates 2.0.1 & 2.0.2

Magento have also since released patches 2.0.1 & 2.0.2 to fix some minor bug issues and security flaws, as well as introducing compatibility with PHP 7.0.2, resulting in improved performance. The security features of update 2.0.1 are listed below:

  • SQL injection
  • Ability to save XSS code into the database
  • Fixed persistent XSS vulnerability for order comments made from the Admin
  • Now a reflected XSS in cookie HTTP header
  • Fixed CSRF vulnerability on cart checkout
  • Ability for users to bypass filters by editing the inline transitions, as will as a new ability to access core platform information and save XSS code through customised options
  • Stopping attackers from accessing order information in the store
  • An increased strengthening of password quality when changing admin passwords

Magento’s full release notes for the 2.0.1 security update can be seen here: http://devdocs.magento.com/guides/v2.0/release-notes/tech_bull_201-upgrade.html?_ga=1.207444950.413430912.1455076991.

The features released with update 2.0.2 are listed below:

  • Fixed the exception/fatal error that is experienced when trying to upgrade from Magento 2 to 2.0.1
  • There are no longer any errors when trying to upgrade from 2.0 to 2.0.1 using the composer update, as well as the elimination of updater application errors for the server during the upgrade process
  • There is now the successful use of Packagist to upgrade from 2.0 to 2.0.1

Previous articles in the series

Magento 2 help and support

Clearly, Magento have provided an extensive overhaul to their previous system, and we’ve covered most, but not all of the updates above. If you want to discuss further just what’s new with Magento 2 and see if it’s the right eCommerce platform for you, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team online or call 0121 371 0435 or email hello@ecommercedesign.agency.

 

Image credits: https://magento.com/blog/technical/magento-2-merchant-beta-release