Last Updated on September 23, 2022
Magento dates back to 2008 since its first release version 1.0. Those days open source e-commerce software was not as competitive as today. I will give you a quick answer to the title question which you probably searched out of curiosity. We do not know for sure but we can speculate by using basic math and version history. Since this is not a development guide or decision-maker article, I will talk about its history and how it evolved while trying to find future release dates for its versions.
Back in the day, we didn’t have Shopify or a super easy-to-use free WooCommerce plugin of WordPress. I distinctly remember OpenCart (first release 1999) was the most dominant e-commerce platform followed by PrestaShop. It was a common discussion among web developers about which one to choose between these two. Those days even Amazon.com was not as crazy big as today. I remember eBay as my preferred shopping platform but this might be related to my interest and lifestyle being significantly different than today.
How Often Magento Versions Are Released?
It took me 3-4 years to start thinking about using Magento after its first release in 2008. Around 2011, developers started hearing more and more about Magento when Version 1.6 was released. On a side note, things were much simpler than Magento 2 days. No compiler, no composer, no command line commands to index the site, or even install an extension. Simply you’d go back in the FTP, make your changes, and they are live as you save your file. Between versions, the extension compatibility was significantly less problematic compared to whatever came after Magento 2.0.
From 2007 when the first Magento was started being developed, almost every month there were significant version Number changes in the releases. For example:
- 2008 March: Magento 1.0
- 2008 December: Magento 1.2
- 2009 March: Magento 1.3
- 2011 August: Magento 1.6
Of course, this is not a complete list. You can see a nice graphic created by Shero Commerce. Long story short, it took Magento 1 to reach Version 1.9 only 6 years and in 2014, Magento CE 1.9 was released.
When Was Magento 2.0 Released?
After all this fast development and adaptation of Magento, in July 2015, Magento released 2.0 for Beta testing. It was a wild period because of the new release bugs and hesitation to switch from a well-developed Magento 1 site to another platform almost nearly from scratch. The catalog could be transferred easily but everything else, your paid extensions (must repurchase!), your settings, homepage, theme, and all other tiny here and there details you took care of in long years needed to be hand developed on a very new platform and with a brand new workflow. Magento 2.0’s first days were very difficult and with constant pressure from the community and clients, Magento 1 updates were extended nearly until the Magento 2.2 release which is when the majority of Magento 1 websites were migrated to Magento 2 by force, not by choice. I think this type of evolution is necessary for open-source software, but I am very certain that many Magento users switched platforms because of this reason. The first name for the new platform of choice that comes to mind is, of course, Shopify.
Magento 3 release date: It took 7 Years for Magento to Reach From 2.0 to 2.4.5
In comparison, the entire Magento 1 to 2 releases took only 6 years but from 2.0 to 2.4.5 it is 7 years. At this rate, you could come up with some random year like 2033. Realistically, who cares.
Will There Be a Similar Migration Headache Compared to Magento 1 to 2?
The short answer: Yes. There are already significant changes being made to Magento 2.4. As I am writing this article, Magento (Adobe Commerce) already announced 11 days ago that Magento 2.3 support EOL (end of life) has arrived (September 8th, 2022). Also, every Magento 2.3 extension is being removed from Magento Marketplace every day. If you are using a custom theme (ThemeForest or another Magento Development company theme), you will need to download the 2.4 compatible themes or patch if the theme developer released one. And for the plugins you purchased from other vendors (Amasty, Mageplaza, Webkul, etc.) who sell their extensions on their sites, you will need to download the 2.4 compatible extensions and reinstall them with composer.
It almost feels like one step quicker than upgrading Magento 1 to Magento 2. The only difference will be keeping your data on the same server and not reinstalling Magento with credentials. I won’t get into the details of how to upgrade in this post because it is not the purpose of it. If you tried already, you know what I mean. If you are a developer, just know that I know your pain and how much it takes to explain all of these to your clients. “Didn’t we pay like 3 years ago to build a new site, why are you telling me all this?!”. Magento 2.3 to 2.4 upgrade takes anywhere between 20-60 hours. Who will pay for that?
What the heck is Magento3.com?
It is difficult to find any information regarding Magento 3 but I was able to find two silly things on the internet dedicated to Magento 3:
Magento3.com: Says coming soon. Will it though?
And this silly twitter named “IsMage3Ready” answering the vital question: https://twitter.com/ismage3ready?lang=en
Magento3.com only says “Coming Soon”, but I doubt it is Adobe’s doing. It looks like a parked domain that probably was purchased by some Magento lover who plans to do something about it when (if) Magento 3 is released. Magento2.com also shares the same fate. Other than that, google will not show you anything you can read about this rather pointless and silly subject (until it is released in the year the 2050s).
Will Adobe Do Something About Magento Soon?
Since Adobe’s acquisition of Magento and the must-mention acquisition of Figma, the collaborative web application for interface design company, it is not hard to say things will get a little different. The developers who worked on Magento since the early days probably remember the disastrous dismantling of Magento Go (think of it as Shopify Basic) and we are hoping never to see it happening again. Adobe made so many changes that made many users angry in the past. Especially the “only subscription” type business model for Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Cloud software such as Premiere, Illustrator, etc. Do you remember the days when you could just purchase desktop software and use it for years without paying a dime again? We can’t anymore. We didn’t want the future to be an only-subscription business model but I guess this is the future now. As you might also remember, Amasty, which is probably one of the most popular Magento Extension developers, also announced last year that every extension they sell will be subscription only. From the Amasty website:
As of February 1, 2022, the annual product subscriptions went into effect, meaning that all products within new orders become available by subscription only.
Will Everything Become Subscription for E-Commerce?
As I type more, I realize how much I hate this subscription-only model and how every single company out there is turning into subscription vampires. We don’t mind purchasing licenses for every client (as we already do even if a license key is not required to install the extensions!). Explaining this to small business owners to fork in extra $$$ every month because things change is not the most fun thing to do.
Biggest Concerns for Magento and Adobe’s Approach
Now that Magento is owned by a giant corporation that acquires the biggest software companies for billions of dollars (Figma, $20M), we won’t be surprised to see Magento becoming a subscription-based software soon. I don’t mind having Figma and Adobe Photoshop integrated (somehow) with Magento and having a super nice workflow without painful updates. If that happens I am sure the Magento developers will celebrate in tears (likely tears of pain), it will be a strong Shopify competitor with more advanced tools (server maintenance and deployments will likely stay though). I am already feeling the anxiety of the days coming for a major Magento change like this and started to think about how to explain these to our Magento clients. I surely will be laughing at what I wrote here in 15 years or tell other people “I told you so!”.