It’s early May 2016, website enquiries are flooding through to ensure ecommerce solutions are developed well and truly in time for the Christmas rush. With the release of Magento 2.0 at Magento Live Sydney in November 2015, the decision needs to be made on whether development should go ahead on the latest and greatest, or whether the risk is too great and a Magento 1.9 project is the way to go.

I thought I’d write up my tips on making the right choice when deciding on which version of Magento to go ahead with. Some key points before we look at the decision making process:

  • Magento 1.9 will no longer be supported (unofficial) 3 years post release, so thats November, 2018. This means patches won’t be released by Magento from this point in time.
  • Magento 2 has over 300 acknowledged open issues in Github. Nothing your agency shouldn’t be able to handle and work with, just understand this increases time in development
1. Project Timeframe

An eCommerce development project should never be rushed, however if timeframes are short (I’d say under 12-16 weeks) then this isn’t going to be possible on the latest version, especially if you have bespoke requirements. The platform is still new – open bugs in Github and extensions in some cases can be flakey. With the testing tools available development and deployment can take a little longer – resulting in a great product, however these things take time!

2. Stage Of Business

How long have you been trading for? Is this version 1 of the site or are you in your 3rd or 4th iteration? If you need something up at a lower cost and plan on redevelop in 1-2 years time then a safer bet may be to work with the older version.

3. Project Budget

You shouldn’t expect to pay your development agency for R&D, however the fact is the marketplace for M2 has been around a fraction of the time of M1, so you can expect there are some holes in popular extensions. Common tools like uRapidflow, Fooman Xero Connect, Webshopapps Matrix Rates are just not available yet. So in some cases custom integrations and extensions will need to be written, increasing project costs.

4. Development Partner

How long has your development partner been working with the platform? Have they undertaken any Magento 2 training? How many sites have they built?  There is nothing wrong with being first to the mark, just expect that there may be some hurdles on the way. If your partner is transparent and willing to invest their own time and energy (and not your budget) then you can expect to build a strong relationship and be successful in the process.

I’d say at this point Convert Digital are on boarding around 80% of our project as M2. So who are the 20% that aren’t taking on the platform and why:

  • Tight turnaround
  • High risk (if not delivered on time)
  • Extensions not available on the market yet
  • In some cases lower budgets
  • Will redevelop in the next 24 months anyway

If you have any questions about this article or making a decision, feel free to contact us.


Andrew Waite
Managing Director