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Are We Ready to Embrace Magento 1.8?

Editor’s Note: This post is provided for aheadWorks blog by Mike Swan, a content writer by mood and a web designer of PSD to Magento* by profession.

Magento ver. 1.8

The wait is over! Magento 1.8 is finally here! The latest update  gives us enough happiness to start talking about and discussing the latest Magento 1.8 update. Is the latest update worth considering? Or are you better off with the 1.7 version? Let us find it out.

What does the new system have to offer?

The only way to understanding whether you should upgrade Magento to 1.8 or not is by looking at what all the new system has to offer.

Of course, the new system has made certain improvements and logical additions to its legacy, but are the updates going to be enough? Let us find out more about them below:

1. Security UpdatesThe security feature of the system has witnessed a major overhaul with the recent update. Not only has the system removed the loopholes in the existing billing information, but the vulnerabilities related to new registrations have been fixed too, which only means that the user information is much safer now, at the time of signing up.

With the update in the security feature, hackers would have a difficult time barging in various sites, even if the auth credentials are known to them. In addition to that, the development team has changed the cryptographic methods instrumental in saving the passwords in databases.

Thus, it goes without saying that the new update is much more secure and reliable than its predecessor.

2. Tax Calculation Update – Copious changes have been done in this regards, in order to allow the ecommerce website owners to offer a much more credible platform for online shoppers. The update suitably handles the computation of taxes and their display on the website, with the help of rounding off features and a lot more. The system also generates a warning message each time you decide to opt for a tax configuration setting which might actually end up being more cumbersome for you than the absence of the same.

3. Performance updates We already know the improvement and reliability of tax calculations. Besides, Magento aims to improve the performance further by limiting the large lookups of databases, removing the unnecessary RSS Cashes and allowing the users to load a large number of tax codes.

4. Fastidious performance The new system update is meant to work much more swiftly, at the same time reducing the stress it would otherwise put on the resources – something which is definitely a welcome change in the system.

5. Other updates there are various other updates which revolve around fixing the pricing and shipping issues. With the new update, users can use special characters in the URLs of their products, easily search and return the order of the user, the free shipping option for table rate shipping method is fixed, and so are the issues pertaining to unit prices and tiered prices.

The update also allows online merchants to control the free shipping option from the admin panel, and also to include the weight units in kilograms, with respect to the shipping method by FedEx. Besides, the upgraded system has fixed a lot of bugs and functionality issues pertaining to the promotional rules.

6. API Fixes - API fixes have seen a major overhaul in the current version. Firstly, the products are not slated to return a specified numeric value, and the order status has been corrected with the help of salesOrderAddComment. The move between Shopping cart product to customer quote works without a glitch.

Besides, the system has also reviewed various issues with WSDL and WS-I compliance, which otherwise used to cause a nuisance. There are several other API changes too, just waiting to be discovered by you.

7. Slow progression instead of making your system fall back first and then take a huge leap of faith, the 1.8 update brings little changes in the platform, which improves your Magento experience and also rules out any major problems with up gradations that you may eventually be forced to brave.

New updates sound great, should we upgrade it to 1.8?

We are really excited about the new update and would like to suggest you to opt for the update ASAP. But then we do understand the fact that a lot of people rely on their Magento ecommerce website for running the monthly expenses. Thus, sleep on it, consider the pros and cons, check whether you require the aforementioned benefits or can still manage without them.

And if you are like us, who would rather try out than wait, well here is a thing that you can do, to ensure that you don’t wander off to forbidden territories while updating. The golden rule of updating the system to a new version is Backup! You obviously do not want to risk your online presence, thus, before installing the update, get the backup of all the files and databases.

Also, if you have any 3rd party extension installation, ensure that it is compatible with the latest system, otherwise you risk damaging major functionality of the site. And just to be sure, you may want to clone the existing store on some other subdomain or host and then perform the update.

P.S. For the users that have deployed the USPS shipping method, it is important that you print all the labels prior to upgrading the system. The new system has changed the name of priority and express shipping method. You are also required to redefine the shopping cart rules which make use of shipping method several conditions or criteria.


Thus, updating the system or not is a choice you have to make. And we are sure that a lot of interpersonal factors and experiential learning would come into play, as you mull over the decision to upgrade or not. The new version does offer a range of lucrative and productive features, some of which you definitely would not want to miss out on. Follow the discussions panels on various online communities, discuss with fellow Magento users and decide what works best for you.

This post is provided for aheadWorks blog by Mike Swan, a content writer by mood and a web designer of *PSD to Magento by profession.