Our speed comparison test between Magento 1 and Magento 2 - updated 2019
Magento ecommerce has been around since initial launch in 2007, and has become a leading platform for ecommerce. It was recently announced that Magento 1 was going to be phased out with support ending in June 2020. With the latest version Magento 2 becoming the platform of the future with claims of unmatched speed that is reported to increase basket conversions and improve the user experience.
So we wanted to put these claims to the test, but rather than look at published statistics, we wanted to understand what this meant to the customer. How did Magento 1 stack up to the latest kid in town, and is it really worth upgrading to Magento 2 based on speed alone.
We took a Magento 1 store and a Magento 2 store, then carried out some simple user tests. These tests were designed to explore how this benefited a typical shopping experience, rather than to make a technical comparison.
We hear a lot about how Magento 2 is faster than Magento 1, but we wanted to explore what this meant for the everyday customer and their shopping experience.
So whilst this test may not be carried out in a hyper clinical environment, it demonstrates the all important user experience. So this was the ‘testing’ setup to keep things as comparable as possible and fair, although one obvious difference would be the version of PHP running, as the version of PHP is an important factor that may demonstrate any speed improvements of Magento 2 over Magento 1.
- 8 x Intel Xeon 4.2Ghz CPU
- 1 x Intel Xeon E3–1270 v6 Processor
- 64GB — 2133MT/s DDR4 RAM
- 2 x 240GB SSD Raid 1
- 1000 Mbps Port Speed
- SpeedStack OS
- Running PHP 5.6 for Magento 1 and PHP7 for Magento 2
Internet connection speed is also a factor, of course. This was a standard setup, much like a customer would have at home with 70MB download speed and 20 MB upload. No other devices were on the network so only our test computer was in use at time of testing.
So as you can see the hosting server was reasonably well matched apart from the version of PHP running, which as explained earlier is an important difference between Magento 1 and Magento 2.
With Magento installed on the hosting server, we populated both with 1000 product skus along with 1000 product images, so both websites were identical as they could be in both design and product content. The computer we were using as the ‘customer’ computer was the same for both tests. This being a 2011 Apple iMac 2.7GHZ 16GB Ram DDR3, 27inch display running macOS High Sierra Version 10.13.6 using the Google Chrome Browser.
With our Magento 2 and Magento 1 test sites setup and customer computer ready to go we carried out a typical shopping experience, timing each part of the process. The areas we tested were:
- Home page load speed
- Product search
- Viewing product details from search result
- ‘Checkout’ — Adding item to basket, completing delivery and payment info to final payment page.
1. Home page load speeds
This is the single most important part of any ecommerce website. This is the shop front, the first experience the shopper will have of your business, so it’s important to make a lasting impression. The home page design in this test case was kept simple, and in-line with a typical ecommerce website design. Showing one main banner image and products with relevant ‘more info’ buttons and a footer with quick links to further information pages.
So how did they compare?
Well, Magento 1 loaded in around 2 seconds and Magento 2 loaded on average between 0.5 and just under 1 second, which even we were impressed with, as that was around well over twice as fast!
2. Search result speed comparison between Magento 1 and Magento 2
Search results comparison We carried out a search using the same search term; “tent” which we had assigned to every product, to ensure the query used full use of the product database. In Magento 1 the results were returned in approx 2.5 to 3 seconds, Magento 2 results were returned in less than 1 second. Again this is an impressive difference between Magento 1 and Magento 2 with Magento 2 returning results around 2 seconds quicker than its predecessor.
Even using the next page to navigate through the search results was visibly quicker, which was very impressive and certainly could see how this would impact on the overall shopping experience.
3. Clicking through from the search results page
All of us have used ecommerce websites before, at one time or another, so clicking in and out of products is a common shopping experience. We did this repeatedly and took an average from clicking into 10 different products. There was no question that Magento 2 performed this quicker, with an almost instant page load. So we scored this at less than half a second compared to Magento 1 page speeds on average of half a second. Which doesn’t sound huge in real world terms but the speed felt visually very different.
4. The checkout experience
Checkout pages comparisons The checkout experience within any ecommerce website is crucial, this is often the area you can win or lose a customer. Your home page can look great and your product pictures are awesome. But if the checkout process places an obstacle in their way, hinders their experience or takes longer than they had expected. This all adds to the risk of them abandoning the checkout process altogether.
So in our little test, we added a product to the basket, then viewed the basket, clicked on the checkout button, entered our address and payment information and followed this through to the final page to request credit card details.
We did all this without being distracted by cat videos on Youtube, which is also worth mentioning.
Within Magento 1 from the point of adding the product to the basket and landing in the payment page we recorded a time of 90 seconds. In part some of this may be down to the speed of the person typing, but again, this is aimed to give ‘real world’ experience. With Magento 2 following the same basic checkout process, we recorded a checkout time of 70 seconds.
Across all our testing, there was no doubt that Magento 2 was faster to navigate and use than Magento 1. I guess this came as no surprise when you consider the technologies Magento 2 now uses. The enhancements to PHP alone would demand some level of speed improvement.
“Magento 2, without doubt, will provide a faster shopping experience to your customers.”
The important takeaway from this comparison between is that Magento 2, without doubt, will provide a faster shopping experience to your customers. Whilst there are factors that could affect this such as over loading the home page with images and making bad website design choices. The customer is less likely to abandon their shopping basket and more likely to recommend your website.
With the added and important benefit that being in the latest technology like Magento 2 ensures you remain both compliant and secure, there really is no reason you should be hanging around, and should be planning your upgrade from today.
Request a Magento 2 demo today or get in touch so we can discuss your requirements in more detail.
This is not claiming to be a definitive clinical test between the 2 Magento versions.
Magento 2 Upgrade and Support
Experts in Magento 2 upgrades and providing Magento Support for online retailers of all sizes, from SME's and independent retailers through to enterprise level multi-store brands for over 15 years.