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I'm wondering on what Magento CE version to work on for a new project.

I'm pretty confident with Magento 1.9.x versions, had some issues but already know what to do with most of them. I'm thinking that the unknown issues will result to complete loss of time and possibly it will feel like starting all over.

I haven't built anything on Magento for more than a year, so I'm not sure what has changed. I'm not a developer for what it's worth.

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Magento 2 is a completely different system then Magento 1. For most experienced developers, it takes about 6 months of learning to get comfortable with it. You say you aren't a developer, so i'm not sure what your familiarity is with M1, but it is definitely a challenge to get Magento 2 running.

The pros of developing a new site with M2 is that you will have a evolving code base with lot of improvements and new features. The next steps in web dev like GraphQL and PWAs are happing in M2 right now, and will be rolled in with version 2.3. The cons of M2 is it's just a much more complex system to learn (again, depending on what you know before going into it).

The pros of M1 is that it is stable like a rock. The platform is a known system with lot of extension and tons of documentation. Also, there are lots of experienced developers out there to help you with the site (since you say you aren't a developer). With M2, there are much fewer people that have taken a project from ground up to live. The cons for M1 is that at some point (no one knows when yet) the code base will be so out of date that you just wont be able to run that store anymore and stay up to date with PHP versions, PCI compliance and server tech. Realistically that concern is 2-5 years down the road, and there will always be workarounds if you are willing to invest in them. But as time goes on, those fixes and patches will become harder and more expensive to support.

Not knowing what you are trying to do exactly, it's hard to say one way or the other, every store and business model is different. At the agency that i work we are not doing any new builds on M1. We push all our clients to M2. But we have the experience and staff to support that. If you don't and you are more comfortable with M1, your turn time on development will be much shorter and you wont have those pain points of a challenging learning curve.

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Let me also add some advantages of Magento 2 here. I’m convinced that system requirements constitute the major difference between Magento 1 and Magento 2. Magento 1 is more than 10 years old already and that’s important because technology defines the breadth of solutions of what you can do to your store. Another difference is Varnish. For Magento 1 it’s available but only as a third-party extension. Magento 2 supports Varnish natively from the standard configuration menu. Moreover, you don’t need to purchase a separate Elasticsearch extension for Magento which is also a great bonus. Magento 2 works much faster with PHP 7 because Magento supports it natively. If you consider migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2, use this guide to maximize the performance of your store. Please keep in mind that Magento 1 will stop being supported soon and even if you start the project with Magento 1 you will have to upgrade. Good luck!

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