Migrating to Magento 2: What 2 Know

May 23, 2019

By: Kali Kasprzyk,
Author Title: 
Director of Marketing
, Echidna

For Magento 1 users considering a move to Magento 2, this overview provides guidance on functionality, expected costs, and timelines to help you decide how to approach your migration off of Magento 1 and when you should kickoff the project (hint: sooner than later).

Key Magento 2 Benefits

Magento 2 was released back in 2015 as the latest version of the Magento eCommerce platform that is utilized by 1 in 4 businesses worldwide. It offers beneficial features that resolve issues many encountered with Magento 1 such as:

  • Improved Performance: Magento 2 sites will run on average 20% faster than Magento 1 sites. Highly performant sites have been proven to increase sales and improve search engine rankings.

  • Streamlined Checkout Process: Magento 1 has a hefty six (6) steps, while Magento 2 offers a simple 2 step checkout process and the Instant Purchase feature. With Instant Purchase merchants can now offer returning customers a faster checkout experience by using previously-stored payment credentials and shipping information to skip checkout steps altogether, taking them to a confirmation purchase page.  Sites with easier check-out processes (like instant purchase) have historically seen increased sales.

  • Better Admin Interface: This is a non-technical user’s dream! Magento 1’s user interface was often touted as confusing for business users, but Magento 2 offers a clean, user-friendly experience where even the most non-technical users can find tools and add new product listings with ease.

  • Mobile Friendly: With more customers than ever shopping on smartphones, it is imperative to have a mobile responsive site. Magento 1 sites did not deliver optimum performance on mobile devices, but Magento 2 makes mobile commerce a priority. With the release of Progressive Web Application (PWA) Studio in Magento 2.3, customers can take their mobile performance even further.

Does My eCommerce Site Need to Migrate to Magento 2?

Magento announced they will be ending support for Magento 1 in June 2020 as long as licenses have been extended to align with that date. Even though support has not ended yet, it is clear the days of Magento 1 are numbered.

Other items to consider if you stay on Magento 1:

  • Security patches will not be produced for these versions once support ends;

  • Your competitive edge will be at risk, as no new innovation or features will be added on Magento 1 because all of the innovation that is needed to stay competitive is happening on M2;

  • Magento 1 will become increasingly vulnerable to hacks as the code grows older;

  • Magento 2 users will enjoy a widening competitive advantage based on features and functionality

Because running unsupported software is extremely risky, particularly when the software that isn’t supported is such a fundamental part of your operation, we recommend moving to Magento 2 sometime in 2019 if you have not already done so. The timeline for a migration can vary based on your eCommerce site, but a safe bet is to allow a minimum of 3 months. Again remember, this timeline is totally dependent on the level of customization you have done on the M1 site.

Magento 2 Offers Future-Readiness

Magento 2 utilizes the newest technologies and features such as; LAMP stack - Linux, Apache/Nginx MySql, PHP with latest versions of each as well as other techniques like Database Clustering, Full Page Caching, Performance Monitoring through New Relic, Blackfire.io, Pagebuilder WYSIWYG CMS, Extended Reporting through Magento Business Intelligence as well as Magento Shipping. Magento 2 also introduces Magento PWA Studio to harness Progressive Web App technology and transform the way consumers—and merchants—conduct business through mobile. This is the free open source version of Magento 2 that does not come with technical or account management support or many capabilities tied to conversion, efficiency, and scalability that are native to Magento Commerce 2. It is best suited for smaller businesses.

Magento’s inherent flexibility and interoperability via APIs is another reason why it is the right platform to be on over the long haul, enabling merchants and partners to adjust for the changing commerce environment long into the future.

What to Expect with a Magento 2 Migration

Migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2 involves changing database structures, themes and working with a new API. You will want to have the migration expertly managed to avoid data loss and downtime. Here are a few considerations for the migration:

Before you start: Do consider an upgrade of your site at the same time as the migration. It is a perfect moment to make serious changes and get your eCommerce site ready for the next level of digital growth. Work with experts in user experience and technology to consider whether your site needs to be designed with more hardware, more advanced topology, etc.

A basic migration plan will look something like this:

  1. Review extensions and data on your current site. Determine which extensions are now part of the core Magento 2 code. Many clients find that they need far fewer customizations on Magento 2 than they had on Magento 1. Also, take time to remove outdated and redundant data from your Magento 1.x database to simplify your migration.

  2. Build and prepare a Magento 2 store for migration. In order to provide redundancy in the event of unexpected issues, it is best practice to replicate your Magento 1.x database. Use this replicated Magento 1.x database as the source data for your migration;

  3. Dry run: Before you start migration on the production environment, follow the best practice of going through all the migration steps on your testing environment. It is best practice to cease all administrative activity on both Magento 1.x and Magento 2 during your migration test runs (and during the actual data migration);

  4. Start your migration with the Data Migration Tool. This tool will migrate customers, catalogues, orders, shipment, and your core configuration. However, it is important to know what it does not migrate. Your custom data, admin rights, media files, and certain other custom technical aspects will not carry over seamlessly on the tool;

  5. Migrate Magento 1 theme to Magento 2 and make User Interface level changes;

  6. Make changes to the migrated data as needed;

  7. Update incremental data. After migrating data, you will then have to gradually collect the data updates that have been added in the Magento 1 store (such as new orders and reviews) and go into Delta mode to transfer these updates to the Magento 2 store;

  8. Go live: Now that your Magento 2 site is up-to-date and is functioning normally, you can cut over to the new site!

What Magento 2 Edition is Right for Your Needs?

  • Magento 2 Open Source—This is the free open source version of Magento 2 that does not come with technical or account management support or many capabilities tied to conversion, efficiency, and scalability that are native to Magento Commerce 2. It is best suited for smaller businesses.

  • Magento Commerce 2—The enterprise version of Magento 2 is geared towards medium to large businesses and has extensive management, marketing, B2B and business intelligence options.

  • Magento Commerce is cloud-hosted, providing merchants the benefit of a single contract and support contact for commerce and hosting. In limited instances, Magento Commerce can be hosted on-premise.

Learn more about Magento 2 Here

Other Considerations

  • Cost: Just like an upgrade between 1.x versions, the level of effort to migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2 depends upon how you have built your site and its level of customization. Also, as mentioned earlier migration is the right time to consider an upgrade to the eCommerce site, such as improving upon the User Experience (UX). Changes like these will further influence the cost of migration to Magento 2.

  • Extensions & Custom Code: You might have used third-party extensions on your Magento 1 eCommerce store to fulfill some functionality not offered out of the box. While migrating to Magento 2, a diligent review needs to be done to see if extensions can be removed and replaced with out of the box Magento 2 features or a Magento 2 equivalent extension available in Magento Marketplace.

  • The right delivery partner is crucial to success: Whichever Magento 2 option you decide on,  moving from Magento 1 to Magento 2 requires a careful, considered approach.

To further understand and navigate your Magento 1 to Magento 2 migration, please download our free resource

About Echidna

Echidna is a leading digital systems agency focused on helping B2B and B2C brands evolve their commerce journey and maturity. With strong digital commerce solutions knowledge, thought leading strategy disciplines, and using an evidence-based user experience philosophy our proven processes have helped numerous enterprises bring future-ready digital commerce solutions into their organization through the practice of continuous innovation. From looking holistically at everything involved to create a successful multichannel growth plan to a partnership of specific capability expertise, we realize digital commerce is more than simply implementing a technology platform. To have continual success, we are here to address all aspects of your company’s ability to manage and grow the online channel. For more information, please visit http://www.echidna.co. Commerce Evolved.