Magento 2 keeps businesses up-to-date with its newest features, patches, and bug fixes through regular updates. These updates come at different intervals based on their purpose. Major releases happen approximately once a year, minor releases come out every quarter, and security patches are released as necessary.
This article highlights the most critical updates released with Magento 2.4.6 on March 14, 2023. This release’s scope encompasses security improvements, platform enhancements, and bug fixes that may markedly influence your eCommerce business. This version will be supported until March 14, 2026.
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Why is updating your Magento 2 important?
Staying in the loop with the latest Magento releases can work in favor of your web store. Going with an older platform version, on the other hand, might bring up some security concerns and even affect how well your shop performs.
When you choose to install the most recent Magento version, you’re safeguarding your business against issues like slow loading, the possibility of losing store access, data breaches for both you and your customers, malware injections, and even potential legal compliance issues.
You can find out about the latest Magento updates from:
Release notifications. You will be notified in the admin panel when a new Magento version is released.
The list of released Magento versions on the Adobe Experience League website once in a while.
Magento 2.4.6 updates that worth your attention
This Magento 2 release includes over 300 fixes and improvements. We’ll consider only the most valuable ones for your eCommerce website.
Support of PHP 8.2
Magento is a PHP-powered platform; thus, supporting the newer versions of PHP means that your web store will be more secure and stable and perform better. In the spring 2.4.6 release, Adobe introduced the support of PHP 8.2 and updated the Core Composer dependencies and third-party libraries to be compatible with this PHP version.
In this release, Magento 2 stopped supporting PHP 7.4. It means you cannot run this version of Magento 2 on PHP 7.4.
If you are still using PHP 7.4 and want to update your web store to version 2.4.6, before doing so, you should download the latest version of PHP from the official website and install it.
Magento 2 is a highly secure eCommerce platform. Because its team continuously tests out any possible hacking schemes.
With this update, Magento released eight security fixes and platform security improvements. Adobe team has identified and addressed several potentially risky security gaps. The company claims they received no reports about attacks on the fixed vulnerabilities.
If your web store uses an older version of Magento 2, you need to update it to 2.4.6 to prevent any possible attacks on your site. By not updating, you risk that unauthorized persons will exploit the vulnerabilities of previous versions to access customer data or steal your admin access to your web store.
However, to benefit from any of the addressed vulnerabilities, the unauthorized persons first needed to gain access to your Magento store admin panel. Updating the Magento 2 version and following the basic password security rules should be enough to prevent such risks in the future.
What can you do to protect your admin credentials?
- Add your admin IP address to the allowlist
- Configure two-factor authentication
- Use a VPN to access your admin panel
- Create a strong password and change it every 2-3 months
You can find more details about security issues that have been solved in Adobe Security Bulletin.
To enhance the protection of admins and reduce site vulnerability, the Magento team implemented a new system setting, “Require email confirmation if an email has been changed”. It requires email confirmation when users with admin rights change their email addresses in their personal settings.
One more admin-related update concerns better recording and visibility of specific admin actions, like mass actions and exporting. So, now it should be easier to audit such actions and detect potentially suspicious activities in your web store.
Another considerable security improvement is enhancing the reCAPTCHA validation so that it doesn’t fail when unexpected errors occur in payment processing.
Magento platform improvements
Adobe is constantly refining your and your customers’ interactions with the Magento 2 platform. In this section, we discuss the most notable improvements that can elevate your eCommerce experience and empower your online business.
In this Magento 2.4.6 release, the Adobe team has focused on fine-tuning Venia. It’s a storefront built using the trending technology Progressive Web Application (PWA) that combines the best features of both web and mobile apps.
The websites and applications created with PWA:
- Are optimized for mobile devices
- Are built following the mobile-first design principle
- Include easy-to-use personalizing tools
- Allow users to run a website as a native mobile application
- Feature higher compatibility with different web browsers and operating systems.
Venia is a modern and flexible Magento frontend solution that leverages the capabilities of PWAs to create a high-performance eCommerce experience.
This Magento 2 update includes several improvements to enhance Venia functionality and its stability and performance. The released features aim to craft better experiences for people with different types of disabilities.
The most notable improvements are:
- Addition of descriptive names for buttons, so now text-to-speech converters can recognize them better.
- Ensuring that keyboard-only users can access all functionality provided by the storefront. Previously some features were inaccessible to such users.
Thanks to these improvements, you can better engage the audience that could have had a hard time using your web store due to some physical disabilities.
Venia and PWA Studio can help eCommerce businesses create a high-performance, engaging, and user-friendly storefront that enhances customer experiences and boosts conversion rates. These Adobe tools are primarily intended to help you improve the UX and interface of your site.
Moreover, with Magento PWA Studio and Venia libraries, you can considerably reduce the costs, efforts, and time required to develop your online store.
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Braintree payment method
Braintree is a PayPal service for handling payments in web stores. The Magento 2.4.6 version includes three new features for this payment handling system. One improvement is somewhat technical, while the other two may significantly improve your web store’s user experience and security of payments.
Pay Later with PayPal
Starting from this release, you can use the Pay Later feature with PayPal Vault. It’s a service for offering payments in parts for customers. These can be short- or long-term payments in parts, monthly installments, or even “buy now, pay later” offers, but you will be paid up-front.
Enhanced fraud protection
Now, when a risky decision is made in Braintree, the system will trigger a notification to activate fraud protection mechanisms.
In this release, Magento has focused on improving the handling of large data amounts for the web store’s customers and your admins.
Customer segments are the functionality to display personalized products and offers to shoppers based on different properties (address, previous buying history, etc.). Magento runs a real-time check to assign a site visitor to any segment. Now this functionality runs faster and can be disabled if it considerably slows down the site loading time.
Limit the number of products in the product grid
This improvement is beneficial for web stores with many products. Limiting the number of products displayed in a product grid can enhance your Magento store’s performance. The default limit is 200,000, but you can change it anytime.
Import records faster
Using the new REST API endpoint, you can import up to 100k records/minute from a CSV file to your Magento store. This functionality is handy when you need to perform actions in bulk, e.g., manage products, prices, and customers.
Process large numbers of orders faster
Now, if you are using Magento on cloud infrastructure and need to process large numbers of orders simultaneously (1000 orders/min), you can expect better performance. If this is not enough for your scales, you can rebalance the orders processing load and speed up your store even more.
Notable bug fixes
Bug fixes are as important as new features. While most companies tend not to disclose details about bugs they’ve addressed, Magento communicates such fixes explicitly.
In every release, the Adobe team resolves hundreds of issues. Likely, you have never experienced most of them, or if you did, you might not have been aware that they are issues of some sort.
Let’s look at the bug fixes that may have a major effect on your eCommerce business.
The Magento team ensured the screen reader functions on the order history page as expected. Now, the screen reader reads the correct descriptions and labels, articulates where a user needs to input any data, reads the list of search results, etc.
Handling bundle products
This release contains around a dozen bug fixes addressing issues with handling bundle products. The most noticeable are:
- If you have several stores and update a bundle product in one of them in one store view, the bundle product will not be overridden in another store view anymore.
- Now you can seamlessly filter bundled products on the Products page in the admin panel with all localizations. Previously, you would encounter an error when filtering in specific locales.
- If you set a special price for the bundle products that exceeds 1000, you won’t experience any issues anymore. Previously, such an action would result in an error.
- Improved the searchability of products that are not assigned to any category but feature as product options for bundle products.
Cart usability improvements
These improvements will likely improve your customers’ interactions with your store at the order finalization and payment. For example, the Magento team has reinforced the reCAPTCHA’s stability when users interact with it, or admins change related settings.
What to expect in the next Magento 2 releases?
Adobe Commerce has already released the first beta version of Magento 2.4.7. Since the beta version is still unstable, we do not recommend installing it just yet. It’s better to wait until the stable version is published.
From this release, you can expect increased performance and scalability, B2B enhancements, the beta version of the Adobe Commerce Extension meta-package, and two hundred other bug fixes and enhancements.
Wrapping it up
Keeping your Magento 2 version up-to-date is crucial for the seamless functioning of your eCommerce business. Every new version includes security enhancements, new features, updated third-party resources and libraries, and bug fixes.
The 2.4.6 version of Magento includes hundreds of updates. Most of them are purely technical, but they significantly improve your store’s performance, UX, and usability.
By not updating your merchandise software, you risk exposing your customers’ data and losing access to your store. That is why we recommend updating your Magento 2 whenever a stable (not beta) version is released.
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