8 min read

Migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2 has been one of the most commonly discussed topics in the world of eCommerce. Magento 2 was made available in 2015. Subsequently, Magento declared it will end its official support to Magento 1 in 2020. This makes the migration to Magento not only desirable but also necessary.

Why you should migrate to Magento 2

As mentioned above, support to Magento 1 ends 2020. Here’s a list of the six most important reasons why migration from Magento 1.x to Magento 2 is important for your Magento store.

Security

Once the official support to Magento ends, security patches for different versions of Magento 1.x will no longer be offered. That means, if you continue running your Magento website on Magento 1.x, you’ll be exposed to a variety of risks and threats, many of which may have no official solution.

Competition

When your store is practically the only store that hasn’t migrated to Magento 2, you are at a severe competitive disadvantage. So while your competitors enjoy all the innovations that will continue happening on Magento 2, your Magento 1 website will be left out.


Mobile friendly

From regular shopping to special holiday purchases, an increasingly bigger proportion of e-commerce businesses come from mobile devices. Magento 2 is better optimized for mobile phones as compared to Magento 1.

Performance

In the e-commerce industry, better performance leads to better business, increased revenue and higher conversions. Magento 2 enables up to 66% faster add-to-cart server response times than Magento 1. Hence, Magento 2 becomes your best bet for growth.

Checkout

The number of steps for checkout has been slashed in Magento 2, marking a significant improvement in the buying process. Magento 2 offers the Instant Purchase feature which lets repeat customers purchase faster.

Interface

Magento 1 had an interface that wasn’t always friendly. Magento 2 has delved deeper to find the exact pain-points and made the new interface extremely user-friendly. Adding new products, editing product features or simply looking for tools has become easier with  Magento 2.

FAQs for Magento migration

By when should I migrate my store?

All forms of official support for Magento 1 will be discontinued on June 2020, you should be migrating your store before that.

Your Magento e-commerce store should be ready well before the deadline, so it’s highly recommended you start working towards the migration right away.

How long will the migration take?

It’s difficult to answer that question without further information about your store. The size of your store, its database and the kind of customization you need are some of the factors that influence the time horizon.

Should I hire a Magento developer for the migration or should I let my in-house team deal with it?

As with the earlier question, this question too needs further information. If you’re having your own team do it, allow them a good deal of time to learn a number of things and factor in a few false-starts as well.

However, doing the migration all by yourself means you’ll have to divert a lot of in-house resources to the migration. That can negatively impact your ongoing business and put undue pressure on your revenue streams. Nearly all Magento stores have found that instead if they hire an experienced Magento 2 developer, they get better outcomes.

Pre-migration checklist for moving from Magento 1 to Magento 2

Before you carry out the actual migration, you’ll want to prepare your site for the migration. Here’s your pre-migration checklist for Magento 1 to Magento 2

  1. Filter your data. As you move to a better more sophisticated technology, you don’t want to carry outdated data or data that’s no way relevant to your business needs. There’s no point loading the new system with stuff that will only hog resources without ever being useful. So begin by removing data that’s not going to be useful.
  2. Critique your site. This is perhaps the best time to have a close look at your site and seriously consider upgrading it. Advanced technology like Magento 2 will produce even better results if your site reflects the current trends in e-commerce store design. Magento 2 offers better opportunities and you don’t want to be left out just because your site isn’t equipped to encash them.
  3. Build redundancy. Despite all your planning, there’s always a small risk of some kind of data loss. To safeguard yourself against it, make sure you replicate your Magento 1.x database. When you are actually implementing the migration, use this replicated database as your source for migration, without disturbing the original.
  4. Prepare to freeze admin activities. When you begin the dry run or the actual migration, continuing your administrative activities can alter your database. That would result in a patchy migration with some loose ends. To prevent this, go through a drill to prepare your business to stop all admin activities when you practice dry run and actual implementation of migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2.
  5. Finalize your blueprints. Unless absolutely critical, don’t waver from your original plans. Sticking to what you had planned will produce the best results. Changes that have not been factored in, can slow down or weaken your migration and even make it more expensive.

Steps for migration from Magento 1 to Magento

Migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2 doesn’t just depend on 1 activity but it is interdependent on multiple activities. They are:

  1. Data Migration
  2. Theme Migration
  3. Customization Migration, and
  4. Extension Migration

Let’s look at each of them separately.

Data Migration

Step 1: Download Magento 2 without taking in the sample data. Follow the steps given for the setup and install the platform.

Step 2: You will need a Data Migration Tool to transfer your data. You can download it from the official website. Remember, the Data Migration Tool version should be the same as the Magento 2 codebase version.

Step 3: Feed the public keys and private keys for authorization. The keys too are available from the Magento site.

Step 4: Configure the Data Migration Tool. How you configure it depends on which Magento 2 edition (Community Edition or Enterprise Edition) you would be using. You may not migrate from Enterprise Edition to Community Edition.

Step 5: The next step is a mapping between Magento 1 and Magento 2 databases.

Step 6: Get into maintenance mode to prepare for the actual migration. This will stop all administrative activities.

Step 7: In the final step, you may migrate the Magento site, along with the system configuration like shipping and payments.

Theme Migration

Unlike Data Migration, Theme Migration in Magento doesn’t have standard tools that will take care of your theme migration. That’s also because of the fact that the frontend templates and their codes are hugely different in Magento 1.x and Magento 2.x

So instead of looking for a tool, the best way out will be to get a new theme. You could either buy a Magento 2 theme that suits your style and requirements and customize it or develop one.

This is one of the reasons why we suggested, upgrading your entire Magento store.

Customization Migration

The name customization itself suggests that what works for one online store won’t fit another. Which is why there’s no single way of migrating any of the customizations you might have done for your Magento 1.

So you’ll be required to design all the customizations you need.

However, there’s an important point to remember. Because of its efficiency and versatility, your store on Magento 2 may need lesser customization than you believe. So before you hurry into re-designing everything, take time to study what exactly you need and to what degree Magento 2 satisfies those needs.

As you migrate from Magento 1.x to Magento 2.x, the number of customizations will possibly turn out to be considerably fewer than what you originally planned.

Extension Migration

Again, the same rule applies for extensions and plugins. What plugins worked for Magento 1 will likely not work for Magento 2 and you will have to build them again.

Instead of interpreting it as something that’s frustrating, you can actually take it as an opportunity to correct minor errors and improve the overall experience. A dedicated Magento developer who specializes in Magento migration services can be of great help here.

Final remarks on Magento migration

If all this sounds a little overwhelming, relax, you’re not alone. Because Magento 2 is considerably superior to Magento 1, the migration may appear more challenging than what you had originally bargained for.

In any case, the migration is compulsory; otherwise, you’ll face security threats and won’t be able to handle the competition.

From the year 2020, this migration will not be a choice, so you might as well begin early so that you have more time to plan out things better.

If you need help, a competent Magento web development company can make the migration more efficient and easier for you.

Author Bio

Kaartik Iyer is the Founder & CEO at Infigic Technologies, a web and mobile app development company. Kaartik has contributed to sites like Huffington Post, Yourstory, Tamebay to name a few. He’s passionate about fitness, entrepreneurship, startups and all things digital. You can connect with him on LinkedIn for a quick chat on any of these topics.

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