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Magento 1 vs Magento 2

Posted on October 5, 2017 by

Magento 1 vs Magento 2

Magento 2 is the latest version of the most popular ecommerce platform in the world. Currently holding 14% of the market share for ecommerce platforms, it’s safe to say the Magento upgrade has been a pretty big deal for ecommerce businesses.

The key defining feature of Magento 1 is it’s flexibility. Users can create stores with a variety of functions using pre-made extensions or by utilising the coding skills of their developers. This flexibility leads to a better shopping experience, with plenty of useful features and innovation opportunities for both B2B and B2C businesses. This is one of the key reasons why Magento is so popular.

However, despite this flexibility, Magento 1 is not the most user-friendly platform. It lacks performance optimisation, mobile-responsiveness, and some admin capabilities that every online store needs. These essential features aren’t part of the Magento 1 package and would need to be developed by a skilled Magento developer. There have also been many complaints of Magento 1 running slow, which isn’t ideal for an ecommerce site.

To address these issues, the Magento team designed an upgraded platform: Magento 2.

Magento 2 comes with features that make it a better platform overall. The major changes for Magento 2 include the following:

features of majento 2

Improved UX

The admin panel of Magento 1 is notoriously difficult to navigate and not user friendly. Thankfully, the team at Magento decided to address this issue head on with Magento 2.

One of the most obvious changes and welcomed to the second edition of Magento is its brand new admin panel. The new admin interface is designed to help reduce the time managing the online store. It’s a lot more user-friendly and easier to get to grips with.

Magento 2’s administrative improvements and new capabilities include:

  1. Improved product creation: The new step-by-step product creation tools allow you to add products to your store up to 4 times faster than in Magento 1.
  2. Improved data view and filtering: Admin are able to customise the new grid-style admin panel so important business information can be accessed quickly. The personalised admin panel is designed to increase productivity when managing products, orders, and customer data. This means you are welcomed with a clean, de-cluttered user interface that offers the information you need. Magento has also added the ability to quickly filter data based on any of the attributes that have been enabled in your data view.
  3. Admin navigation improvements: Overall the admin interface is cleaner and less cluttered. Menus are more organised so that finding the page and functionality that you are seeking is much simpler. These improvements lead to a smaller learning curve and quicker productivity for administrators.
  4. Data safeguards: Magento 1 was designed for a single user admin to be manipulating product data at a single time. This is troublesome for larger sites that might have multiple administrators to work on product data simultaneously, thus making your team more efficient and allowing you to more easily keep your store’s products up to date. Magento have addressed this issue with Magento 2.
  5. Product videos: Adding videos from YouTube or Vimeo is now very simple and supported by Magento 2. This offers a great opportunity to properly merchandise your products and add some engaging video content to your site.

The admin interface of Magento 2 also now includes drag-and-drop layout editing, meaning users don’t need extensive coding knowledge to modify an online store’s appearance. This means you can create a beautiful online store in half the time.

Streamlined checkout

The majority of Magento 1 stores had to alter the checkout process in some way to make it more user-friendly. Now, better checkout options are built into Magento 2. This means every store built with Magento 2 will by default have a more intuitive checkout process.

The checkout process in Magento 2 is more streamlined, making it quicker and easier for customers to go from adding items to their cart to completing an order. It’s highly customisable and requires fewer complicated steps and customer information. Reducing the checkout time is huge for reducing abandoned carts and increasing conversions, so this is a great improvement for both customers and business owners.

Magento have also simplified customer registration by allowing customers to create an account after ordering instead of during the checkout process. When a customer goes to checkout, they are brought to a default guest checkout screen where they enter an email address. If this matches an existing customer, they are given an option to checkout faster with saved information. Guests can create an account in one click from the order Thank You page. These features which simplify the order process encourage customers to return to your site and make purchases. Fewer confusing choices and fewer forms means a significant increase in conversions as customers focus on what matters: finishing the checkout process.

The new checkout also includes order details on every step, offering greater transparency to help put your customers at ease. The order summary in Magento 2 now includes product photos. This reduces ordering errors which cuts down on returns and increases buyer confidence that leads to higher conversions.

 

the benefits of magento 2

More mobile-friendly

As more and more customers are shopping on smartphones and tablets, mobile responsiveness is key to improving sales. In fact, 50% of online transactions are now performed on mobile devices. The Magento team recognised this and made mobile responsiveness a priority for Magento 2.

Magento 2 comes with new responsively designed and SEO-friendly themes, integrated video features and a streamlined checkout. These all improve the look and function of Magento stores on mobile devices, thus encouraging mobile sales. A much more streamlined, mobile-friendly checkout and faster performance will result in a much higher conversion rate for your mobile shoppers.

The new admin panel is also responsive and touch-screen friendly so you can manage your store on the go. This enhancement ensures easier control and configuration of the online store. This is great for merchants who work with their CMS via iPads or tablets – make changes in the office, on the train or at home.

Performance enhancement

Magento 2 was designed with performance in mind. The developers behind Magento have achieved this through utilising the following technical improvements:

  1. Ajax cart: Magento 2 uses JavaScript to add items to the shoppers cart without reloading the entire page, putting less load on your hosting hardware resulting in a more responsive experience and a faster checkout time for your shoppers.
  2. Cache: Magento 2’s improved caching system stores commonly accessed page elements to serve them faster to your visitors, and now includes support for caching technologies like Varnish (a popular HTTP accelerator).
  3. PHP 7: PHP is the programming language that Magento is built with. Magento 2 is optimised for PHP 7, which provides superior performance to previous PHP versions.
  4. Hosting environment improvements: Magento 2 includes new features and functionality that allows you to more easily spread the demand on your hosting infrastructure over multiple servers, which makes handling large traffic spikes much easier.

Magento 2 will run an average of 30% to 50% faster than it’s predecessor. Faster site speed encourages more user interaction with your site and more products added to your site’s cart, leading to more sales and fewer abandoned carts.

The latest Magento version can handle up to 39% more orders per hours with 66% faster add-to-cart times that Magento 1. It can also better handle many catalogue pages without slowing down, with a nearly instant server response time for catalogue browsing.

Magento 2’s improved functionality also means it can handle more traffic. Magento 2 can manage 10 million page views an hour, whereas Magento 1 can only process 200,000. This makes it ideal for large stores and able to grow with an online business.

In addition to all of these fantastic new features, updates within Magento 2 are designed to work a lot quicker, making it easy for Magento users to take advantage of new features as they’re released.

Key payment integrations

As we’ve mentioned, Magento 2 integrates a lot of popular extensions so stores have better functionality out of the box. This includes payment gateways like PayPal and Braintree. These are payment platforms the majority of Magento users choose to integrate anyway, so having them already integrated into Magento 2 makes it a lot easier for store owners.

Magento 2’s integration with PayPal means customers do not need to re-enter payment information such as a billing address as this is handled by PayPal, another development which makes the checkout process smoother and quicker.

There are also integrations with Worldpay and Cybersource to increase payment security, so customers can rest assured that their payments are safe and secure.

So, Magento 2 – have you been persuaded to transition?

Web-Feet have certified Magento developers who are eager and ready to help ease this transition. Let us help give your customers the benefit of Magento 2’s new features.

Although some have reservations about moving to Magento 2, it’s clear this platform was designed to provide a better experience for both customers, store owners and administrators. It maintains the flexibility Magento is known for, but with improved features.

What’s more, soon Magento 1 security updates will be stopping, so all Magento ecommerce site owners will have to move over to Magento 2 sooner or later.

If you’re thinking about moving your ecommerce site over to Magento 2, or creating one from scratch our team of expert Magento developers are here to help.

Contact Us


Fed up with WordPress?

Posted on August 19, 2016 by

WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system (CMS), powering over 25% of the world’s ten million largest websites and almost 60% of all websites using a CMS – but that doesn’t mean it is the best. We’ve had a few people come in with concerns over WordPress’ security and reliability – so in this post we’ll discuss some of the common problems with WordPress and show your our solution – Coaster.

Fed up with WordPress?

Continue reading →


Web-Feet launches Coaster CMS!

Posted on March 7, 2016 by

We are very excited to announce the official public product launch of Coaster CMS today. Coaster CMS is our own Content Management System, conceived 3 years ago to fill a gap in the market for a simple to use yet feature rich CMS.

logo

In an industry that’s keen to push WordPress as the CMS of choice we decided that it was time to break the mould and deliver something to the market that actually worked in the best interests of our clients rather than the developer building it. As such, we’ve taken all the best bits of all the CMS solutions out there, added some great new features to make it incredibly flexible and combined this with a user interface that is actually intuitive and easy to administer. Nobody wants frustration, a steep learning curve and a load of disparate plug-ins to keep up to date and secure. Coaster has been used by our clients for these last 3 years and we consistently get great feedback on how simple it is to use, letting our clients get on with running their business. So, in the last 12 months we’ve been working hard to launch the CMS as an open source product in its own right, available to all to use via the popular software distribution site GitHub.

thanks for the website – we are really happy with it! Its so easy to load everything on to it.

Aside from the usual content management features we are excited to say that Coaster CMS is one of the first fully integrated CMS solutions set up to work with Bluetooth Proximity Beacons and the Physical Web right out of the box. If you’re not familiar with Beacon technology, they are the gateway to enabling interaction between the web and the physical world. So, once you are in the proximity of a Beacon, using your phone or tablet, you can interact with the Beacon in ways only really limited by your imagination. When near a Beacon, you can receive a notification, specific to the Beacon, and interact with it (and therefore it’s location) via a web browser or app. Beacons will revolutionise how we interact with the web. Coaster CMS has built into it, the ability to manage the content for beacons to allow the simple and rapid deployment of Beacons for whatever purpose you wish. As we continue to develop and improve Coaster, we will add further features and Physical Web integration opportunities. As such, not only can you manage all of your online content via Coaster, you can also add interaction with the Physical Web, immediately and with little complication or complexity. Only your imagination will hold you back in terms of innovating within your business.

How does Coaster CMS compare to the competition?

Coaster also comes with many more features, including a fully responsive dashboard that allows you to make changes to your website when on the move with your smartphone or tablet. Additionally, Coaster sports the ability to create rich, engaging content with the use of Coaster’s advanced repeater block based system. SEO experts can rest assured that many SEO tasks such as XML sitemap generation is all managed automatically. Other SEO tasks such as redirects and meta tags can all be changed from within Coaster without the need of any additional plugins.

Coaster boasts out of the box features that beat the likes of WordPress and Joomla:

Features WordPress Joomla Coaster
Manage pages secondary feature yes yes
User friendly interface yes no yes
Multiple menus via additional work yes yes
Content block types enable design consistency no yes yes
OOP Framework partial yes yes
Composer compatible no no yes
Developer friendly until plugin overload no yes
Unique “repeater” block feature for hugely flexible websites no no yes
Beacon compatible no no yes
Built in SEO tools (automatic sitemap + 301 redirects) with plugin partial yes

Go to the Coaster CMS website to find out more and to get started with our great Content Management solution.


Is WordPress a good CMS solution for a business?

Posted on October 29, 2015 by

It’s not uncommon for a business to come to us and say they want a WordPress website. This is interesting because they aren’t coming to us and saying they want a content managed (CMS) website or a WordPress blog but a WordPress website, which suggests that perhaps they don’t actually know why they want a WordPress website in the first place. First of all, by way of a disclaimer, we have built our own CMS (Content Management System) platform from the ground up, so yes we are biased, however, if you are interested in having a website work for your business rather than work your business around your website, then read on. Also, we built our own CMS for a reason, if WordPress really was the best CMS solution out there, and it’s free, why would we bother? WordPress is essentially a blogging platform, written using open source code, that has thousands of plug-ins to do everything from e-commerce to search engine optimisation. It also has a database sitting behind it so to use it to manage content (i.e. a CMS) is technically, fairly straight forward. Herein however, lies the rub. For WordPress to do anything other than blogging, it needs plug-ins. These plug-ins slow it down and create potential security issues. They also create an admin headache because each and every plug-in is it’s own entity. Even a basic WordPress installation needs at least five plug-ins, this along with regular WordPress updates makes for a bit of an admin headache. Equally, if you ignore all the updates, you risk creating security issues. This is where the potential for your website to stop being an asset to your business and more like a headache becomes very real. Also, you have to work your business around how WordPress or it’s plug-ins work, not how you want to work. For instance, even getting a page laid out exactly how you want it can sometimes be a headache and very frustrating, leading to much wasted time or a poorly formatted web page. There’s also no guarantee that it will work or be displayed consistently across all platforms and devices, what if it doesn’t? Who’s going to fix this for you? If you run a business, you’ve probably got bigger fish to fry, not waste valuable time evaluating WordPress plug-ins. Trying, installing, evaluating and uninstalling plug-ins takes time. Our approach is to listen to you about how your business works, what systems you are using and how you are using them, and also, how your website can make your business work more efficiently and underpin your brand and it’s values. We take this information and build a website, with a content management system that is tailored to how you want to run your business, and if you want to add functionality, you can without having to search for a plug-in that might fit the bill. Now, in the short term this might mean making a slightly bigger investment in your website, but in the long term, you win in every way. So, if someone is trying to sell you a WordPress website because it’s what everyone else uses, perhaps you should question their motives – are they trying to make life easier for you, or themselves? Oh, and finally, don’t think we are anti WordPress, we’re not, in actual fact this blog uses WordPress, because it’s great at that (and that’s also why we haven’t built our own blogging platform).


CMS Menu System

Posted on July 16, 2015 by

Our CMS menu system is easy to understand as it’s all based on pages. When creating or editing pages you can select which if any menus they will appear in, however there is a whole menu section in the admin which gives more options for organizing menus.

The menu section shows all the menus on the site, depending on the design this might just be the Main Menu though some sites may have extra footer or side menus.

menu

Each of these menus then contains a list of pages currently added:

  • Pages can be added to a menu by clicking the orange button and then selecting one from a simple drop-down list of all pages in the site.
  • Pages can be sorted by a simple drag and drop system.
  • Pages can be removed by clicking on the delete (trash can) icon.

There is also a sub level setting, this controls how many levels of sub menu will be shown. How many sub levels can be selected will depend on the design. Sub menus are based on sub pages, and sub pages of those pages, and so on. If these sub pages don’t exist the sub menus won’t be created no matter the setting.


Multi-User CMS

Posted on December 18, 2014 by

Managing multiple users in a CMS is often more complicated than it should be, having to fill in field after field when most of the data is never even used or needed.

Web Feet’s CMS provided a very short and simple “Add User” function. All you need to enter in is the new users email address and then select their role ie. Admin, Editor. The system will then produce the new login details including a randomly generated secure password and have them emailed directly to the new user.

New User


Roughton International Case Study

Posted on December 5, 2014 by

We recently built a large CMS for leading engineering services firm Roughton International. We are very grateful in that they have written up a Case Study of our work with them and how pleased they are with what we’ve provided both in terms of  the end product and the service throughout the project.

We’re pretty pleased with the outcome, but don’t take our word for it – read for yourself how it went!


Why we use WordPress, but only for blogs…

Posted on October 30, 2014 by

Wordpress Logo

I am writing this in WordPress, at the same time our website is built on our very own CMS where we edit content for the pages there. Why? You may ask. Well we believe that WordPress is brilliant for what it is, a blogging platform. Yes, you can extend it and yes you can add pages and create menus but the primary purpose of WordPress was always as a platform for bloggers. WordPress is also favoured by google in the search results as Google knows and understands the structure of WordPress sites, so it creawls them more specifically.

So we took a decision to use WordPress for blogs for that reason, it’s great for blogs and combined with the Yoast SEO plugin, our clients and ourselves can use it to target specific audiences and drive traffic to the rest of the site. This way we can let our CMS be great at what it does; clever templates, quick editing of content and pages, easy video search, simple file management and page linking and brilliant features like a comprehensive search and news articles without the additional features of a blog). Our CMS also means we can create some custom features in the admin system, like dropdowns for content specific to our clients and linking between sections and pages.

We think that WordPress is great and we think our CMS great, and we’re constantly thinking of ways to make them work better together and of how we can imporve our offering to our clients who want to edit and add content as simply as possible.


Some of our happy customers

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