I am about to start building a new site in 1 week. I would like to use 1.8 but it is only alpha release so im not sure.

Given that a site will take around 12 weeks to create i am almost certain the stable release will be out by then and it will be an easier upgrade than from 1.7 to 1.8.

Can anyone advise what is best to do here.

  • there are lot of security and performance fixes applied in 1.8 which is in alpha stage, which means 1.7 is prone to all those issues, should we still consider using 1.7?
    – user3290
    Commented Sep 19, 2013 at 7:27
  • Update 10/1/13 was officially released. All new and spec builds should take place on 1.8CE from here on out.
    – philwinkle
    Commented Oct 1, 2013 at 23:50
  • Developing on Alpha code - probably mostly harmless, it will be Beta and RTM by the time you're ready. And learning about upgrading is good for ya... A little trial by fire never hurt anyone <grin>. Running or upgrading a live commerce site to Alpha means you probably have accumulated bad karma somewhere and are into self-punishment. Running or upgrading a live commerce site on Beta means you're one of those tolerant to living on the Bleeding Edge, may have a masochistic streak or are really good at squashing bugs as they fly into your teeth. Those with experience will probably use STABLE code Commented Dec 14, 2013 at 5:06

3 Answers 3


IMHO you should just build it on 1.7; from what I've read in the changelog there aren't any changes that I could see becoming a problem in the upgrade process from 1.7 to 1.8


Since this answer is accepted, I'll put this here:

Update 10/1/13 was officially released. All new and spec builds should take place on 1.8CE from here on out. – philwinkle Oct 1 at 23:50


If you build it on 1.8 ...

Worst case scenario is that they alter (add or remove) some of the core functions/phtml files - that make your new template redundant/need to be re-templated.

If you build it on 1.7 ...

Worst case scenario is that you have to template a few more layouts and that perhaps an existing function you are using is deprecated in 1.8.

We wouldn't build anything on the basis of an Alpha, Beta or Release Candidate as you simply don't know what will change.

Not to mention that running the latest release is fairly unpredictable. It usually takes a few weeks/months for bugs to be identified and resolved in new releases.

Staying 1 release behind "stable" is a safe option and allows you to back-port bug fixes.

Magento's release cycle is far too quick and the BETA test period is far too short. So immediately upgrading to the latest "stable", is in reality, upgrading to a largely production untested release. The new "stable"'s (especially for major point upgrades) - should really be considered BETA until they've been out in the field for a while.

Just look at some of the past releases, anyone ...


Have a look at version information and official advise here:


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