Adobe has just released Magento version 2.4.4 on April 12 this year. The new version, as you may have already heard of, supports PHP 8.1 & comes with many exciting improvements. Let’s take a quick look at the most essential changes in this new release to find out the new possibilities it may bring to your Magento business.
Magento 2.4.4 features: Most significant updates
PHP 8.1 support
The biggest change in this Magento 2.4.4 update is probably the support for PHP 8.1.
As 7.4 has faced its end of life, this is great news for developers. The latest version of PHP can help Magento developers create Magento classes more easily while having less debugging and diagnosing issues to solve.
- All project libraries and dependencies are now compatible with PHP 8.1. Web API is also tested for compatibility.
- Access to PHP 8.1’s features such as enums, array unpacking, read only properties, etc
Latest version updates of dependencies
Besides PHP 8.1, other software dependencies are upgraded to their latest versions as well.
- OpenSearch 1.2 is now the default Search Engine for Magento Open Source 2.4.4 website using cloud hosting.
- Support Elasticsearch 7.16 & OpenSearch 1.2
- Update JQuery library to version 3.6, Jquery-Ui to version 1.12
- Support Tiny MCE 5.81. Remove TinyMCE 4
- Update RequireJS Library to the latest version (2.3.6)
- PHPUnit is updated to version 9.5
Security is among top concerns for this release. Many previous issues are fixed. Also, new features and requirements are introduced to create a safer site for both shoppers and Magento administrators.
- Requirements to define trustworthy plugin in the composer.json file
- Security fix to protect customer information and the admin portal better
- Session IDs are not stored in the database anymore
- Encrypt the OAth access tokens & password reset token in the database
- reCatpcha enabled for coupon codes
- HTTPs are enabled by default
- Developers can set the size and number of API resources that users can request via Web API.
Vendor bundled extension decoupled
Beside Braintree, all vendor-bundled extensions are decoupled from Magento Open Source 2.4.4. These includes:
- Amazon Pay
This results in a more compact version of Magento. Also, it enables these extensions to provide more frequent updates to merchants, without relying on Magento’s update schedule.
Merchants who still wish to use these extensions in Magento 2.4.4 should migrate to their official extensions on Magento Marketplace.
Magento store owners can now add alt tags to the image, banner and slide in Magento 2.4.4’s page builder. This makes it easier for merchants to optimize their Magento website for SEO purposes.
See more: Best Page Builders for Your Magento 2
Improved Paypal payment:
There are some significant changes in the Paypal features of Magento 2.4.4, which gives customers a more flexible and more pleasant checkout experience.
- Support Venmo payment option
- Include an option for Buy Now Pay Later based on shopper’s location
- Test the shopping experience in a specific country of choice
- Inform how much and in how many increments buyers will have to pay with the Pay Later module.
Here are some major changes in the GraphQL that developers may find appreciated:
- GraphQL’s response time is reduced
- Configuration settings for Zero Subtotal Checkout & Check/ Money Order Payment methods are added.
- Core GraphQL library is updated to version 14.9
- Translation issues with multi-site and multi-language stores are fixed. This is great news if you are having a headless Magento website that relies on this GraphQL query to run.
- New Relic is introduced, coming with descriptive transaction names to help debugging easier.
Magento 2.4.4 can be noticeably faster than its previous versions thanks to an optimized throughput order processing & message queue. According to their release notes, the order processing has increased 6x in performance compared to its predecessor.
- Module list is now faster to load
- Popular Search Term’s loading speed is also faster.
- The speed of Category product indexer in multi-store Magento site is enhanced
- A faster in-memory cache for glob() system call
- A faster asynchronous order grid re-indexing process
- The product export is optimized to consume less memory.
- Some bug fixes in cart & checkout, catalog rule, GraphQL, RestAPI, which improve the store’s performance.
- Compatible with PWA Studio 12.3.0
See more: PWA for Magento 2.4.4
Adobe has made some great updates to improve accessibility on Magento 2.4.4. This may be a great concern for large businesses who are recently having to deal with the ADA legal requirements.
- Issues with accessibility with cart navigation and checkout pages have been solved
- Screen elements tagging
- Better screen reader tools for people with low vision
- Admin buttons and icons now have unique, descriptive, accessible names
- The contrast of admin buttons is improved so it’s easier to read
Important issue fixed in Magento 2.4.4 release
There are over hundreds of bug fixes in the latest Magento 2 version, here are some important ones:
- Store owners can now upgrade their Magento 2.4.2 site with Klarna integration to the 2.4.3 version without issues
- When adding a product bundle to the cart, buyers now can choose fixed product tax with two options
- Pricing discounts for bundle products now display the accurate value
- Optimized page caching so that it won’t grow in size dramatically
- Various problems with loading customer data’s JS files are solved
- Solved the display issues when users complete payment with Express payment method.
For a detailed list of fixed issues, please take a look at Magento Open Source official releases note.
Before upgrading your Magento website to version 2.4.4
PHP 8.1, new accessibility updates and issues fixed are all good reasons to move your current Magento website to version 2.4.4. However, along with the excitement, there are worries about upgradation issues that may happen.
Here are some notes that are worth taking for a safe Magento 2.4.4 installation:
Pay attention to Backward Incompatible Change (BIC)
Backward Incompatible Changes (BIC) refer to changes in a newer version of a software / hardware system that do not match with its previous version. Magento 2.4.4 includes some BIC. Thus, if you install this latest version, some BIC-related features may not be working as expected.
In case you are using one of these features in your current Magento 2, please consider before updating to Magento 2.4.4:
Email variable usage:
Magento 2.4.3 has notified the removal of email variable usage for security reasons, and Magento 2.4.4 has continued this effort & got rid of the feature totally.
Therefore, after installation, email or newsletter templates from the previous versions may not work properly. This includes errors in admins override, themes, child themes and templates from third-party plugins.
A change in Language Package File Names
Following the naming convention of PHP 8.1, the translation package names must also be changed. To be specific, the second part of the locale name should be in uppercase. For example, instead of nl_di , the translation package needs to be renamed to nl_DI.
Merchants must change this configuration in the translation package before upgrading to Adobe Commerce 2.4.4
Check Magento 2.4.4 system requirements
If you decide to upgrade your current Magento 2 website to Magento 2.4.4, it’s important to check if your site and your software dependencies meet the requirements of Magento 2.4.4.
There are no significant differences in Magento 2.4.4 system requirements compared to the 2.4.3 and 2.4.2 version. Basically, the requirements for RAM and most software dependencies are the same.
However, there are some minor changes in the version of software dependencies asked to run Magento 2.4.4. You may want to update these softwares before installing:
- PHP 7.6 to PHP 8.1
- RabbitMQ 3.8 to 3.9
- Redis 6.0 to 6.2
- Varnish 6.5 to 7.0
Please check the official documents for a detailed list of requirements for Magento 2.4.4
Review if your current extensions support Magento 2.4.4
Since the 2.4.4 version has just been released, many extension providers may not update their products for compatibility yet. Thus, there might be some conflicts between Magento 2.4.4 and your current plugins.
To avoid unwanted issues, it’s best to check your plugins’ support versions first before any installation.
The bottom line
PHP 8.8 gives Magento developers more freedom to customize their website for optimal performance with less hassle. While developers still need time to get familiar with PHP 8.1 & its functionality to apply to Magento websites, we are excited about new store optimization possibilities that are associated with this release.
For non-techie store owners who want to upgrade to the latest version of Magento, it’s best to rely on a Magento development team to handle the task for you with ease.