August 8, 2016

Magento 2.1: A Few Features to Get Excited About

by Jennifer Kijek

enter image description here

With a more flexible and advanced architecture, improved performance and scalability, and an all-new admin UX, eCommerce merchants have a lot to be excited about with the release of Magento 2.1.

While there are many noteworthy enhancements, here are a few that make an upgrade from Magento 1X to Magento 2.1 a worthy consideration.

Performance and Scalability

The first enhancement is Magento’s performance and scalability. Magento 2.1 offers faster page load times, which can support the enterprise-level traffic of large or fast-growing merchants.

Separate Databases

Magento 2.1 supports separate database instances for product information, orders, and checkout data, which means you’ll see greater overall checkout performance even if the rest of the system is under a heavy load. Better checkout performance is critical to improving user experience, which in turn can help improve conversion and sales.

Content Staging and Preview

This long-awaited feature is now available in 2.1, allowing site administrators to stage, preview, and schedule new content like products, categories, and promotions.

PayPal In-Context Checkout

PayPal In-Context Checkout allows shoppers to check out using PayPal without leaving the site. Advantages include a new design that reduces the number of clicks required to check out, simplified PCI compliance, and consistent user experience across devices.

Varnish Support

Magento 2.1 now supports Varnish right out of the box, another aspect of the platform’s enhanced performance. Varnish, or Varnish Cache, is a caching service that reduces the time it takes to deliver a web page to a browser. Varnish saves an entire copy of a web page (or a component of a page) in memory and delivers the cached copy to other users who are requesting the same page. This results in better user experience through improved site performance.

Effortless Support and Upgrades

Another enhancement to Magento 2.1 is ease of upgrades. The platform’s new modern, modular architecture simplifies the upgrade process, which reduces the complexity and cost of maintaining your website. This means you can future-proof your investment in the platform by adding new, innovative site functionalities as they’re released by Magento.

Xcelerate Technology Partner Program

In July, Magento launched the new Xcelerate Technology Partner Program (pdf). Two key components of the program are the new Marketplace and the Extension Quality Program (pdf). The program aims to validate that extensions are fully reviewed by Magento and compatible with Magento’s latest release.

The validation process will include documentation review and formal code audit to ensure integrations meet the development guidelines, best practices, and auditing tools of Magento Expert Consulting Group. The outcome of those reviews and audits will ultimately determine whether or not an extension becomes available in the marketplace.

There’s plenty more to get excited about in Magento 2.1, so if you’re looking to upgrade, read Considering a Magento 2.0. Upgrade? Here’s What You Should Know on the LYONSCG blog.



Jennifer Kijek is the director of strategic alliances at LYONSCG. Reach out to her on Twitter at @JenniferKijek or via email at jkijek@lyonscg.com

LYONSCG is a Gold Partner in the Magento partner ecosystem.