In 2008, when someone was thinking seriously about having an online store, they would usually have picked a store based on the Magento platform. Back then, Magento 1 was very popular for merchants who wanted to sell goods over the internet. The time was just right because it was an era when the e-commerce industry was growing extremely fast, and a lot of companies wanted to emerge on this piece of the market.
As a result, a lot of online shops have been relied on Magento 1, enhanced by custom code and modules created uniquely for their businesses. Everyone was happy—companies could sell their products for a broader range of customers and the whole e-commerce industry created a lot of new workplaces.
The dawn of Magento 2
At the time when the entire e-commerce business was growing rapidly, developers started detecting bottlenecks and severe problems with the Magento 1 platform. That forced them to start working on Magento 2.0.
The new version of the Magento system was intended to solve all the limitations and problems, as well as to make the whole project more flexible in comparison to Magento 1.
The task was demanding, so creating a new version of Magento took some time, but in 2015, Magento 2.0 was finally released.
The upgrade Magento version introduced many architectural changes that made Magento 1 and Magneto 2 incompatible with each other. The incompatibility made it impossible to upgrade Magento 1 to Magento 2 directly.
To avoid the extra cost, most small and medium business owners decided to stick to the Magento 1 platform. Magento 1 was still being maintained and updated by a maintainer so they didn’t have to worry.
Then recently, one significant ‘but’ has appeared…
Adobe announced the end of support for Magento 1.x release line
In September 2018, Adobe announced that they would no longer be supporting Magento 1.x version. Luckily, they didn’t stop supporting this version of Magento immediately and gave near 2 years for making migration to the newer version of the platform. The final date of End of Life (EOL) of Magento 1 was set on June 2020.
But what does the whole “End of Life” confusion mean for business owners?
After this date, your store will still be running, and you will still be able to sell your products. So what’s the point, you might ask—and it’s a good question. Well, from the platform-use perspective, you can still run the shop on Magento 1 as you have been doing it until now, but after June 2020 you will not be able to update the core code of your shop because Magento 1 updates won't be released anymore.
Probably, I don’t need to mention that leaving the shop without bug fixes and security updates, you’re putting your site, your brand’s reputation, and customer data at risk. I bet you don’t want to be in a situation when data of your customers will leak, or when the number of their credit card will be stolen during the transaction, right?
Unfortunately, as I mentioned earlier, when you want to migrate to Magento 2, you have to be aware that most of your current code needs to be rewritten. This means that all modules and code that has been created uniquely for your company must be adapted to the requirements of the Magento 2 system.
Besides, you must remember that all the data, such as the customer base, orders history, etc., must also be transferred to the Magento 2 system. So as you may see, the entire migration is a time-consuming process and can be one of the main reasons for procrastination.
And isn’t procrastination just as harmful for your business as negligence?
Why should you migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2?
If you still haven’t migrated to Magento 2, I’d like to make you aware of severe problems you may encounter. Here’s why postponing the update and ignoring the ‘End of Life’ thing is not such a great idea…
1. You put your store (and reputation) at risk
While your store will still be available and will still be able to sell your goods online, your site will no longer be officially supported with security updates (and bug fixes!). A website without such updates will be vulnerable to attacks, and sooner or later you and your customers may be hacked. This can lead to a large damage to reputation (and even money), after which the business may not recover for a long time.
2. Enhancing your shop will be harder and will take more time
As Magento 1 will no longer be supported, companies and even independent developers will stop providing services related to this version of Magento. As a result, you will have trouble finding high-quality software support that will create appropriate improvements or extend the functionality of your store.
Additionally, even if you will be able to find a developer who still wants to work with Magento 1, you will have to pay even more for their work as he has to take more risks to provide a safe solution for unsupported software. In short, things that once were easy can get much more difficult or nearly impossible.
3. Strategic providers may stop working with your store
By saying strategic providers, I mean payment providers in the first place. You can imagine what it means when a payment provider will terminate a contract with you because your store runs on an unsupported and unsecured version of Magento.
And unfortunately, such situations do happen!
The biggest payment providers start to back off from partnership with merchants who run stores on unsupported software. They do that because of security concerns and because they don't want to support modules for platforms, which reached End of Life status.
So, if you're still running your shop on Magento 1, you need to be aware that 3rd party functionalities could stop working at any time. In the worst-case scenario, you'll not be able to run your business anymore.
Sounds quite scary, doesn’t it?
Migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2 platform. What should be done?
If you didn’t start the migration process before EOL of Magento 1, I can say that you missed the best time to do it. Another great moment to do the migration is now. But before you do that, you need to be aware that such a migration consists of several steps that must be carefully considered.
1. Assessment of your current shop
The migration process is a great opportunity for making an audit of your current store and checks if all mechanisms are necessary and which ones could be enhanced.
2. New template is necessary
Unfortunately, the template created for Magento 1 will not fit the Magento 2 system. The Magento 2 platform introduced a new way of creating templates which is completely incompatible with the older version. During the migration process, you'll have an opportunity to update your template to meet your new requirements and also adapt it to the new standards ie. responsive web design (RWD).
3. 3rd party modules need to be changed, as well
Extensions are very important elements for every shop running on the Magento platform because they enrich stores by adding unique and necessary functionalities, which helps customers and merchants achieve the business goals.
Unfortunately, as in the case of the themes, modules written for Magento 1 will not be compatible with Magento 2 system. That's why all the extensions used in the shop relied on Magento 1 needs to be rewritten or bought again (if the same or similar module is available on marketplaces).
The good news is that developers focused around the Magento platform are working hard to migrate all known and popular modules on the Magento 2.
4. Dedicated code need to be rewritten
Simple stores can rely only on 3rd party extensions, which are available on the Magento module market. But there are cases when shops need to have a dedicated solution solved by a module that precisely aims the business needs.
As I mentioned in the previous point, modules written for Magento 1 will be not compatible with Magento 2, so custom created code needs to be moved too. Magento provides additional tools that can ease this process a little bit, but the help of an experienced developer will be necessary during this migration.
5. Migration of your database
The last step is related to the database. It would be nice if all the data stored in your store like products, clients, shop configurations, etc., would be migrated, as well—right? After all, no one wants to waste a time filling all this data manually again.
Here, Magento is also providing an additional tool that eases this process, but this tool is also dedicated to experienced developers who should participate in the migration process. The migration of the database is also a great opportunity to clean it a little bit by removing unnecessary categories, products, and other stuff, which isn't used anymore.
If you think that migration to Magento 2 is laborious… then you're right.
As you can see, the whole migration process is a complicated and time-consuming task. This process consists of many topics, and each of these topics is essential from the migration perspective.
Unfortunately, the migration process doesn't end once the whole codebase and data are migrated. After the technical part of a migration will be finished, you should still reserve some extra time for testing of the new version of your shop.
Checking if every significant aspect of the store works properly is an absolutely necessary step. You don't want to end up with a higher bounce rate because, e.g., a buying path doesn’t work properly, do you?
That's why both developers and sales teams should be involved during the testing process.
Secondly, you also need a little additional time to train yourself - and your team - to use the new system efficiently. Adoption of the new system can take a while and it is strongly dependent on the ability of your team. It is also reasonable to inform the sales team, or even the customer service team, about the changes because they need to be ready on it too.
As you can see, migration to Magento 2 is a highly necessary step if you want to provide a secure and innovative way of selling your goods.
As it is a very challenging topic, it can be done smoothly if you plan it properly before the implementation process.
Unfortunately, as I've proved in the following article, this process requires a lot of technical knowledge and without it, you can do more harm than good. That's why finding a reliable partner who performs this whole process will be a great solution for your business.
Here, in Codetain, we can help you out and migrate your shop from Magento 1 to Magento 2. We have a lot of experience in this topic because we've been working with the Magento platform for quite a long time. Don't hesitate to contact us and entrust this migration task to us. I promise—you won't regret this decision.