7 things you should know about Magento 2

It’s been a long time in the making (5 years to be precise!) but Magento 2 is finally in sight. It won’t be available until November 2015 but the company is already paying a lot of attention to promotion among the developer community who are looking to embrace the new code as soon as possible. And with major improvements to the checkout process and promises of speeds up to 20% faster, it’s easy to see why everyone’s so keen to get their hands on it.

When Magento’s first CMS platform launched in the marketplace back in 2008, it was a definite game-changer for ecommerce. But if we cast our minds back to this pre-iPad era, the ecommerce landscape has changed significantly so it’s no wonder Magento has needed to adapt in order to remain current.

Still a major competitor in the ecommerce space, Magento is the platform that powers some of the biggest names in retail including: Made.com, Paul Smith, Bench, Harvey Nichols and Habitat – all of which utilise address validation services from PCA Predict in their checkout.

So what’s new?

New Structure: The file structure in Magento 2 witnesses two distinct updates. The first is that everything is put under the app structure. The second is you can access template, layout, JS and CSS/less files of any particular module in its own VIEW directory. Instead of using Bootstrap, it now uses a LESS pre-processor in the theme core.

Improved checkout: As one of the most crucial parts of any ecommerce store, Magento have paid much needed attention to the checkout process in order to improve user experience. Instead of the accordion layout we’re used to, the steps and progress indicator are now located across the top making it cleaner and easier to navigate. In addition to this, there’s also automatic guest checkout, prompts for registered customers to login, and users aren’t forced to enter a billing address unless it’s required by the payment solution. As providers of address autofill, it’s no surprise that this caught our attention – entering information on web forms is always a chore; entering it twice is just ridiculous, especially on mobile devices.

Boosted compatibility: Magento 2 supports new technologies and is compatible with the Zend Framework, PHP 5.3, MSSQL and Oracle among a whole host of other databases, making it easier to integrate a website with other platforms.

Improved customisation: While there are thousands of pre-constructed themes available for Magento, developers were faced with a complicated process when they wanted to create a custom theme. These issues have all been addressed by the introduction of Visual Design Editor and it’s easy to use ‘drag and drop’ interface for editing Magento layouts. Thanks to the appearance of Visual Design Editor, modifying containers and blocks will not require specialised technical knowledge. Hence, you can make many changes in the admin panel with ease.

Enriched website testing: Testing is now more important than ever, and Magento 2 seeks to support users’ testing needs with a more test-friendly structure. The new framework supports static and unit tests, performance tests, legacy and migration tests as well as integration tests. Furthermore, it uses a new testing framework that helps automate the functional setting.

Performance and scalability: Magento 2 includes improved indexers and a new Magento performance toolkit, Varnish Cache. The new indexers come with more efficient updates to speed up performance, Magento performance toolkits help to verify and optimize system performance and Varnish Cache helps to reduce server load and speed up the page load.

With Magento 2, multiple admin users can also create and edit products without the fear of data conflicts. Yay!

Enhanced data protection: This latest Magento version raises the bar when it comes to security. Magento 2 features a specialised directory enabling users to guard their code against a variety of breach attempts. Thanks to this, your online store will get much better security.

Our type-ahead address validation service, phone and email verification is now available in the Magento 2 marketplace. Our extension makes it quicker and easier for customers to complete their address in the checkout and guarantees accurate delivery addresses for the etailer, it works internationally too.

Visit the Magento Marketplace to find out more.

  • Alex Ford

    I have an M2 Enterprise build in progress and need PCA. Please contact me.