May 6, 2019 - Justin Emond

If You Upgrade to Magento 2 for These 8 Reasons—You’re Doomed

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If you’re on Magento 1 right now, you’re about to make a huge investment whether you decide to stick with Magento 2 or move to another platform. Why? Magento 2 is a complete rewrite of Magento 1, so upgrading to Magento 2 is really the same effort as migrating to another platform entirely.

Though we’d argue there are few cases where Magento 2 is better than Shopify Plus (six to be exact), the key is to base your decision off valid reasons rather than sunk costs. For the love of increasing profits, get these misconceptions out of your evaluation.

Misconception #1: We built the entire theme in Magento 1 already

Even if you aren’t redesigning (admit it—there are a few rough edges on your theme you wish you could refine), you’ll have to rebuild the theme mostly from scratch to make it work in the Magento 2 theme system.

Because Shopify Plus is a native cloud SaaS application, the backend of the site is managed for you. You don’t need to spend time building it from scratch, so you save a considerable amount of time compared to a Magento project. Based on our client projects, this translates into considerable budget savings—typically around 30 to 40 percent of the total cost.

Misconception #2: We can’t reuse the CSS and JavaScript code we have in Magento 1 if we move to Shopify Plus.

This misconception goes back to how Magento 2 is a rewrite, not an upgrade. Think of it this way: You can reuse your CSS and JS just as easily in Magento 2 or Shopify Plus builds.

In both cases, the theme layers are so different from Magento 1 that you will still have your work cut out for you.

Misconception #3: We built a custom integration for our backend system that we can reuse in Magento 2

Sorry to say, but your existing integration code isn’t as reusable as you thought.

The Magento 2 APIs have completely changed, so many of the core routines you built to make the integration work need to be rebuilt to follow the new API patterns. You should also adapt your code to new best practices during this process for future success.

Misconception #4: We already built out the infrastructure to host our site and it’s working fine

This is the same as knowing an easier option exists but you’ll stick with the harder way.

Magento 2, even more than Magento 1, is optimized to ensure that Magento hosting companies stay in business. Moving to Shopify Plus means you have no infrastructure to maintain, upgrade, scale, or worry about. You don’t have to carry the pager.

Misconception #5: But we are moving to the Magento Cloud, so we will get the same benefits as we would with Shopify

Don’t be fooled—Magento released its cloud platform two years ago as a counter to developments from Shopify Plus and other players. But a quick look under the hood reveals that the Magento Cloud is just a white-labeled version of, a newer entrant into the PHP cloud hosting space. Look deeper and you will see that Magento Cloud runs your Magento site using simple virtual machines, though they are fully managed. Wrapped around this traditional hosting infrastructure are useful tools for version control, environments, and releases.

Still, Magento Cloud is just a hosting infrastructure and one that entirely lacks the infinite platform scalability that Shopify Plus’ elastic mesh network offers—for free. And with the Shopify Cloud, you get a globally-managed security layer that is monitoring threats across the planet, in real time, and protecting your site against every single one of them.

To say that Magento Cloud is similar to the Shopify Plus cloud is like saying an electric Ford Focus is like a Tesla Model M. Sure, they are both electric cars, but I bet you would pick the Tesla every time.

Misconception #6: My merchandising team is used to the Magento backend

When pressed about the Magento admin interface, most users will find wisdom in the old adage, “If you can’t change something you don’t like, it’s best to learn to like it.”

Shopify Plus offers an intuitive set of merchant management tools that empower merchandising teams. Yes, your team is used to the Magento admin, but learning a new backend is a short-term loss of productivity, not a long-term pain point. Short term losses of productivity are not obstacles to platform change if the new platform increases developer and merchandising velocity overall, because short-term losses end, by design.

Shopify Plus offers tons of documentation, training, and videos to help make you productive with the store backend right away. It also doesn’t hurt to have a certified Shopify Plus agency help you with the migration and initial process setup (wink, wink).

Misconception #7: We built out super helpful custom reports in Magento that our business team needs

The reporting in Magento is great, but like most parts of Magento 2, your Magento 1 reports need to be rebuilt anyway. Custom reporting is one of our favorite features in Shopify Plus for good reason: It’s powerful, flexible, and intuitive.

With Shopify Plus, you’ll have access to in-depth customer reports that can give you actionable insights on your best and worst customers. The beauty is that the reporting is naturally designed to show you ways to feed your marketing automation strategy so you can connect with your customers at key parts in their lifecycle.

This rebuilding process on either platform should be looked at as a good thing. Measurement strategy can lead to out-of-control overtime, and it’s smart to re-evaluate what data you’re using, what you don’t really need to look at and what you need to add.

Misconception #8: We need to use Magento to ensure pages load quickly for visitors

Shopify Plus offers complete code control on the front end layer of your commerce stack, so you can write efficient, best-practices-driven CSS, JavaScript, and HTML, just like you can in Magento. Shopify Plus includes a terrific content delivery network (CDN) built-in, which, out-of-the-box, offers better front-end performance than a Magento 2 (or 1 for that matter) site. You can use narrow (but powerful) optimization tools—like one of our favorites, Cloudinary for images—to push the visitor experience even faster. You really aren’t limited.

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