Magento 1.8 Is Here: Upgrade or Not?

Magento 1.8 has been released. When Magento first came out, releases were regular. However, this time it’s been over a year since 1.7 came out. It was starting to seem like the takeover by Ebay had ceased all development. Unlike previous releases there hasn’t been a flood of complaints stating how buggy it is. This is either because nobody has updated and installed it, or because it’s better quality than previous first releases. In my view, however, it’s more likely because of poor timing. This is a really bad time of year to alter an ecommerce website.

We’re in the run up to the busiest time of the year for many ecommerce businesses. No one ramping up their systems and solutions for the holiday season would think about doing any non-essential update to their cart. It is a case of if it’s not broken, then do not fiddle. I guess that many operating sites would enjoy to update to 1.8, but don’t want to. I’ll be scheduling my update in January or February when everything goes quiet.

Additionally it is probable that any new website will be well under way in growth — or not begun yet — and thus not utilizing 1.8. It’s not wise to open a new ecommerce website so late in the year.

In a sense this is a shame. It means that by the time I get to update, there might not have been plenty of early adopters going before me finding all the bugs. In general it’s normally better to upgrade to a.1 or a.0.1 launch as opposed to the completely new.0 release.

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There’s absolutely not any doubt, however, it might be well worth updating in the New Year, for the following reasons.

  • It’s intended to be faster and less resource hungry (always a great thing).
  • The tax calculation procedure has been broadly re-written (and may therefore resolve the tax bug that’s been in my system for two decades and nobody can locate or fix).
  • It is going to have the most recent security fixes.
  • It is much better to proceed with all releases, since it’s done in”small” steps, as opposed to falling behind and having a significant upgrade problem when you’re forced.

I understand that the growth of 2.0 of Magento continues. It may also come out in 2014. If it does this means I know what I will do in January 2015.

Version 2.0 of Magento promises much. It will probably mean that Magento has finally come of age. It will demonstrate that Magento still has a future and an upgrade path, and that its purchase by Ebay hasn’t been detrimental — supposing that what is currently guaranteed gets delivered.

When Ebay bought Magento, there was the worry that they would stop growth, or turn the entire concept into some type of hybrid connected somehow to Ebay. It’s great to see that this hasn’t happened. It’s great to see that development persists. It’s good to understand that my investment in Magento has been rewarding, and it has a future I can subscribe to.

So now that I understand I will update to 1.8, and understand that I will most likely upgrade to 2.0, this choice also determines how I will update. Whilst I’m certain that there’ll be some type of upgrade path from 1.8 to 2.0, I will not use it. For so significant a change in design I’d like to do a clean install and re-import my products and clients. I believe it is always better to have a clean break. You are not as likely to take forward old bugs, and it provides you the opportunity to examine and not use any extension which you no longer desire. It’s always worth doing so every couple of years. Since I will do this for version 2.0, there’s absolutely not any need to do it today. So instead I’m simply updating the running website.

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The update method always appears the simplest, but with Magento it’s never trouble free. In previous years I have discovered that waiting a couple of months, and then upgrading, has led to a relatively trouble free update because you haven’t gone first. It’s very likely that someone else has the exact same problem and has fixed it. So it’s merely a matter of Googling the issue and applying the fix. Hopefully with 1.8 it’ll be the same. As with any update however it is vital to check it out with a copy of your system.

So that is my January, all piled out. Now all I must do is keep busy until then.

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