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MagentoCommerce has released the latest stable versions of Magento CE 1.9 (community edition) & Magento EE 1.14 (enterprise edition) on Tuesday 13 May, 2014. Good news is that apart from various enhancements, they have come up with default themes which is fully responsive and look very good. Both the versions have many feature upgrades that help store owners to sell more with improved efficiency and user experience.
Although, this time they have issued a notice to cross check whether the existing theme, extensions or other custom functionality before upgrading to the latest stable version. Being a Magento extension and themes developer, we are working hard to cross test all our extensions and themes to see if there are any conflicts. We will take little time to upgrade and make modifications to work well with the latest stable release.
Magento CE 1.9 & EE 1.14 Key Enhancements
There are various product and speed specific improvements which are mentioned by MagentoCommerce, we are listing the most important one’s below:
1. Responsive Design Theme Reference
A new responsive design reference theme will definitely help store owners to cut the development time typically required in building a responsive store. As per Magentocommerce they have taken care of all the major flows, product types, and features, with a clean modern code base that makes customizations super easy. Moreover, they also mentioned that the reference theme offers much better SEO benefits as per Google’s guidelines.
2. New Financing & Streamlined Checkout To Improve Conversion
PayPal’s bill me later and improved PayPal express checkout was always on the cards, this time the new version has both the functionality inbuilt. It is believed that bill me later functionality will definitely improve the conversion rate by 18% if not more. PayPal express checkout can be completed in fewer steps and will automatically try alternative payment options when a customer’s credit card is rejected. That’s pretty impressive.
3. Search Indexing Update Offers Better Admin Performance
Magento EE 1.14 now has native support for Solr 3.6.2 and features indexing improvements tht provide shoppers with more up-to-date search results & merchants with more efficient operations and better admin performance. Indexing is performed automatically as the product catalog changes with no manual intervention. If you are upgrading your Magento EE to latest 1.14 you have to take certain steps to upgrade your Solr instance.
4. Price Consistency Across Borders Improves Shopping Experience
Merchants operating across different regions, geographies now an and option to display single, clean prices regardless of the tax structures or policies that vary across region and countries.
5. PHP 5.4 Compatibility
PHP 5.4 compatibility ensures better memory usage and much faster performance. If you are upgrading to latest version because of the speed improvements make sure you upgrade to PHP 5.4 as well.
6. Enhanced Product Quality
They have declared more than 50 product improvements that address customer support issues etc. to enhance overall product quality and security.
We recommend that you verify test and ensure that the latest stable versions are not breaking your current store before upgrading your production version. Please leave us a comment and share your view on these new enhancements released by MagentoCommerce.