With Magento 1 End of Life nearing each day, over 240,000 of store owners are facing a huge dilemma.
Magento, Visa and even the FBI warned about the dangers of the soon-to-be-obsolete M1 platform. The dramatic consequences it can bring to businesses cannot be underestimated. The safety and well-being of M1 stores highly depend on the decision to move forward with Magento 2 migration.
Magento 1 vs. Magento 2: Similarities and Differences
Magento 1 and Magento 2 are similar in one main point – their purpose for eCommerce. Both are designed to power eCommerce businesses of any scale: from simple stores to websites with millions of SKUs.
The difference between Magento 1 and 2 is dramatic, though.
What is Magento 1?
First of all, Magento 1 was created to be the most flexible eCommerce platform. It enables merchants to develop highly customized online stores with unique features and designs. This is probably the main reason why Magento has become so popular among businesses of all sizes.
Low performance was the main disadvantage of the first version. This weakness could not be mitigated by flexibility in a world where speed expectations rise every day. That’s why, seven years after the release of the first version, Magento decided to launch Magento 2. The upgraded version inherited the best features of the first version and adopted a lot of unique solutions and improvements.
What is Magento 2?
Magento 2 became the successor to the world-famous eCommerce platform. This version was released in 2017 and a year later Magento announced the planned end-of-service. A year after that, the company decided to give more time to merchants and prolonged the time to June 2020. A lot of work should be done in the near future as over 250,000 web stores are still operating on the first version of Magento.
Why You Need to Take Care of Magento 2 Upgrade
Magento is reaching the end of support this month. Starting from July 2020, stores operating on this version of the platform will stop receiving security updates and quality patches.
While the websites on M1 will continue working after June 2020, the above two limitations are weighty arguments in favor of Magento 2 migration. That’s why companies should not postpone the Magento 2 upgrade, and rather take care of it as soon as possible. The sunset of Magento 1 introduces a lot of dangers for eCommerce businesses.
Dangers of M1 End of Life
While many companies are already working on Magento 2 migration, some still hesitate to make a move in the right direction. If you are among the latter group, you will have to deal with a lot of dangers that are already crawling around your business:
- Unavailability of security patches. Security plays a huge role today, especially in eCommerce. This industry processes and stores personal data of millions of customers. Lack of security fixes can cause instability and create extreme vulnerabilities for a store, putting customers and business owners at risk. Your store won’t be able to withstand hacking attacks. Data compromise will become a persistent threat.
- No PCI compliance. Magento 1 stores won’t be able to pass PCI compliance checks. Many payment systems conduct such checks every 90 days, so M1 stores can lose access to the most popular payment gateways as fast.
- High security costs. If business owners decide to stay on Magento 1, they will need to take care of security patches themselves. Otherwise, they will jeopardize the security of their customers and business. The cost to hire a Magento development company that will conduct security audits and monitor all threats will be much more expensive than Magento 2 migration.
- Lack of extensions. You might find yourself in dire need of some additional functionality that could be added with the help of extensions. However, after Magento 1 End of Life, fewer companies will invest in the development of M1 extensions. Instead, they’ll concentrate their efforts on M2 extensions for new stores. There will be no option to implement additional features to improve customer experience, like one-step checkout or robust and highly customized navigation system.
- Lack of reliable M1 companies. After some time, it will become impossible to come across a company providing Magento 1 support services. There is no way to predict when that happens and when your store will be left without so much needed security support.
- Lagging behind Magento 2 stores. Stores on Magento 2 will be more competitive thanks to the smoother user experience and flawless security. M1 stores will quickly lose their competitive edge.
Security concerns are one of the main reasons why eCommerce businesses can’t convert customers. Magento 1 will become your main disadvantage after June 2020. Depending on the number of features, customization, and installed extensions, Magento 2 upgrade takes at least 3 months. Therefore, business owners don’t have much time to decide.
Key Advantages of Magento 2
There are a lot of reasons for Magento 2 upgrade and they don’t stop with Magento 1 End of Life.
M2 solves a lot of problems that were persistent in the previous platform version. Unlike its predecessor, the second version provides better customer experience and a more user-friendly admin pane. Magento 2 offers to supercharge your store in many ways:
- Magento can process up to 39% more orders per hour, which makes it an ideal solution for eCommerce businesses of all sizes, even for those receiving thousands of orders every day. Moreover, this platform version has an advanced order management system.
- Add-to-cart response time increased by 66%. The result of such improvement is a smoother customer experience and faster products adding to the cart. All the operations run invisibly for your visitors.
- End-to-end checkout time increases by up to 51%, which results in higher conversions and lower checkout drop-off rates.
- The updated hashing algorithm (SHA-256) allows for better password management. Therefore, your customers are better protected from different forms of hacking attacks and data breaches.
- Native two-factor authentication (which is not available in Magento 1) helps to increase the safety of your store by enabling it for store admins.
- Magento 2 supports the latest PHP versions, which positively impacts website speed.
- Full compatibility with Elasticsearch provides customers with a user-friendly search system and more relevant search results. The main benefit of this update is the increase in the number of placed orders, as customers find products they need with no problems.
- The improved software architecture allows brands to build websites with high performance.
- SEO dedicated tools help to easily add meta tags, create SEO-friendly URLs for product and category pages, and much more.
- Ability to create progressive web apps. Magento 2 provides native support for PWA so that merchants could explore all the benefits of mCommerce and lightning-speed websites.
The above list illustrates only a small portion of all Magento 2 benefits. When you combine all of them, you get a powerful eCommerce website with high performance, robust features, built-in inventory management system that quickly converts customers, and which provides exceptional user experience.
Getting Ready for Magento 2 Upgrade
Magento 2 migration comprises different stages that should be addressed carefully to ensure the success of all operations. Usually, the process consists of four major steps:
- Data migration
Data migration is the first step in Magento 2 upgrade. Development companies use the Magento Data Migration Tool that was designed by Magento to streamline data migration. The capabilities of the tool are limited. You can only use it to transfer products, customers, promotions, basic settings, and configurations.
If we talk about big stores with a lot of customization, the Data Migration Tool will be able to perform only the basic tasks. The process of data migration for such eCommerce websites is much more complicated and long-winded, as it requires a lot of manual work and thorough knowledge of the platform.
- Extensions and custom code transfer
Migration doesn’t stop with data. Highly customized online stores rely on a number of third-party extensions and custom code. These require manual migration as the Data Migration Tool doesn’t cover such tasks.
As M1 extensions are not compatible with Magento 2, it is important to install a compatible M2 version. If an extension’s provider doesn’t have the required versions, you need to look for alternatives that offer the same functionality. It should be noted that you might not need to install all the same extensions, as M2 has a broader set of features as compared to its predecessor.
- Migration of media files
Media assets like product images and videos, categories, WYSIWYG editor, etc., can only be transferred manually. That’s where you’ll probably need help from experienced Magento developers.
- Transfer of storefront design
Very often redesign of an existing M1 store for M2 takes the same amount of time as the design of a store from scratch. Therefore, many companies decide to start with a fresh, new design that incorporates the best features provided by Magento 2.
As you can see, the Magento 2 migration process is a complex one. It requires a thorough understanding of differences between Magento 1 and 2, knowledge of the platform, its features, and how to utilize them in the best way possible.
Main Pitfalls of Magento 2 Upgrade
A lot can happen during the Magento 2 migration. Knowing all possible outcomes will help you circumvent problems in the future. Let’s take a look at the main problems that you might need to face during the process.
- Loss of database
Data transfer is a pivotal moment in moving your store to Magento 2. A small mistake can cost you a lot, from data disorder to data loss. Losing information about customers, products, and stock can impact business operations and warehouse management. That’s why it is highly recommended to create a backup of all data that you will be able to use if something goes askew.
- SEO damage
Due to the differences in architecture, not all data can be transferred without a hitch. Very often, eCommerce businesses find themselves with serious problems touching their content. Such issues include duplicate content, improper canonical URLs, changed URLs for products and categories, broken links, a new structure of pages, and much more. Such issues negatively impact SEO and put your store in danger of falling out of SERPs.
- Too long process
Many companies are hesitant about Magento 2 migration because of a too long and complicated process. If you don’t have technical knowledge yourself, you will probably need to hire a Magento development company that will help you move your store to the new version of the platform. Here, you need to find a company that will become your reliable technical partner and perform all the tasks within the shortest time frame possible. In total, Magento 2 migration takes three months or more.
- Slowing down M1 website
As Magento 2 migration doesn’t happen in a day, you will need to run your M1 process during migration. During this time, the speed of your current website can be impacted, creating inconveniences for your customers.
It should be mentioned that highly-optimized Magento 1 websites won’t have such problems. Therefore, you need to perform a website audit, identify bottlenecks, and solve them before you start the migration process. You may also want to let your customers know that you are working on migration to improve their experience and ask them to forgive any inconveniences that might occur during shopping.
Magento 2 Migration: Key Takeaways
Undoubtedly, migration to Magento 2 is a complex process that requires technical knowledge, an understanding of the differences between Magento 1 and 2, and the best development practices. That’s why it is recommended to hire Magento developers that already have experience in Magento 2 upgrade and know how to make the process smooth.
Overall, the process of Magento 2 migration can be divided into the following stages:
- Review of already installed extensions
- Analysis of database assets that should be migrated
- Building and preparing Magento 2 store for migration
- Migration of a replica of M2 store to M2
- Transfer of website settings
- Migration of database
- Setting up reindexing for all M2 indexes
- Making post-migration changes
- Thorough website testing and QA
- Successful Magento 2 store launch
Migration to Magento 2 is the only choice for companies that care about security and always strive for innovation. Upgrading to the latest version will help them stay at the top of the game, provide clients with an unprecedented level of security, and retain a competitive advantage.
GoMage is a Magento Development company with 10+ years of experience and 900+ successfully delivered projects. GoMage specializes in Magento 2 Development and Magento 2 Migration, and helps clients build robust eCommerce websites.
Olha is a Content Marketing Manager and technology writer at GoMage, a Magento development company specialized in Website Development and Magento 2 Migration. Olha is passionate about educating and sharing deep knowledge of modern technologies, which helps her translate it into engaging content that resonates with readers.