If you’re looking for Magento resources and end of life software best practices to navigate a major eCommerce transition, you’ve come to the right place.
As you’re probably aware, Magento Commerce 1 and Magento Open Source 1 have reached their end of life. The Magento 2 release date was in July of 2015. The end of life for Magento 1 doesn’t mean that the software will just disappear or stop working–rather, it means that the company will cease to provide support and security updates for it.
What does this mean for you? Well, if you were to continue business as usual without following any end of life software best practices, the best-case scenario would be that your site slowly stops working properly and becomes more and more buggy as functionality breaks down and integrations become outdated. In a worst-case scenario, you put your business and your customers at a direct risk of a major security breach as transactions take place on a site that’s neither secure nor protected. Either way, it’s not a good situation.
If you’re still using Magento 1 or are in the process of transitioning off of it, here are a few Magento resources and end of life software best practices to follow.
Choose Your New Platform
The most obvious solution for brands who need to transition off Magento 1 is to migrate to Magento 2. However, that’s far from your only option. There are countless eCommerce platforms on which to run your online store, and the one that’s best for you will depend on what you sell and how you do business.
Here are the primary factors to consider as you compare platforms.
- Cost. What will be the up-front and recurring costs to build, maintain and update your site?
- Scalability. eCommerce platforms aren’t one-size-fits-all. A site that handles 10,000 orders a month needs a different infrastructure than one that handles 100 orders a month.
- Ease of use. Do you have a developer on staff to manage updates on a more technical platform, or do you need a platform that’s more accessible to the average user?
- Integrations. Does your platform integrate easily with other applications you use to do business, like your CRM or marketing software?
- Reputability. What do the reviews say about the platform? Does the company offer the level and type of customer service you need from a service provider?
- Security. The integrity of your customers’ data is of utmost importance. Does the platform support HTTPS/SSL so you can offer a fully secure checkout process?
For a deep dive on ten of the most popular eCommerce platforms, check out this guide from eCommerceCEO, which is based on an analysis of more than 1,000 websites.
Plan The Transition
Once you’ve chosen a new platform, it’s time to migrate. Unfortunately, migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2 isn’t as easy as simply installing a software update. It’s a completely different architecture and you’ll need to plan for it the same way you would if you were switching to another platform entirely. The good news is, that means you can follow the same migration steps no matter which platform you’re updating to.
Your transition needs to account for four aspects of your site:
- Data. The back-end of your website. This includes your inventory, orders, customer database, etc.
- Theme. The design of your website, or how it looks on the front end. It might be a pre-packaged theme from a design company or something custom coded for your brand by a designer.
- Extensions. Also called plug-ins, these are the add-ons that help make your site run and add functionality on top of the platform’s basic features. Some of your existing extensions may carry over, while others may require an update.
- Custom code. The code behind any custom functionality that can’t be achieved out-of-the-box on your platform or via a plugin. This is custom built by a developer.
You’ll also need to plan for what will happen to your old site during the migration. The best approach is to build out the new site in a test environment so that you can get it fully up and running behind the scenes, then “flip the switch” by updating your DNS when you’re ready to make the new site live. This will keep downtime to a minimum and allow you to troubleshoot any major issues before actual customers hit the site.
If all of this sounds daunting to you, you’re not alone. Switching to a new platform while following all of the pertinent end of life software best practices is a tall order. That’s why many brands choose to rely on a migration service provider to handle the heavy lifting.
A migration partner can be as involved as you want them to be in the process. For example, they might tackle the complex technical setup while you handle the transition of products and customers, or you might opt for a full-service option where the migration is completely executed by a third party.
Test and Troubleshoot
Finally, the last step in a platform migration is to test and troubleshoot. No matter how well you prepare, there are always going to be kinks that need to be ironed out on the new site.
Here are a few key areas to test:
- Pages. Did all your site pages make it through the transition? Check for 404 errors, which hinder the customer experience and hurt your SEO, using a broken link checker.
- Forms. Do all your onsite forms work as expected, and does the data end up where it’s supposed to be?
- UI/UX. Are all fonts displaying properly? Are images sized correctly and fully visible? Do all page elements look as expected?
- Checkout. Test your entire checkout process on mobile and desktop using both a test purchase and actual purchase.
- Site speed. Is the new site loading quickly? If not, use a tool like Google’s PageSpeed Insights to identify what’s slowing it down.
- SEO. Do all site pages have title tags and meta descriptions? Do all images have alt tags? Check out Moz’s guide to on-page SEO for other basic best practices.
Springbot is Here to Help
To aid retailers who still need to transition from Magento 1, we’ve partnered with some agencies that are ready to migrate sites now:
20North is a full-service digital marketing agency and experts in SEO, Google Ads, web design and development, social media marketing, content creation and analytics. As a Magento 1 & 2 certified developer, 20North has decades of experience building eCommerce sites on platforms such as Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce and Squarespace, as well as using content management systems such as WordPress and Drupal.
GoMage is a Magento Development Agency with 9 years of hands-on experience and 900+ developed projects. The agency helps Magento stores migrate and update to the latest M2 version without a hitch. All because they have plenty of certified developers on board and have been working with M2 since 2015 when it was in beta
Jamersan is an e-commerce agency like no other. They parter with online merchants with a single goal in mind: growth. The Jamersan team helps you grow your business with the right blend of data analytics, e-commerce store optimization strategies, and a deep technical knowhow driven by years of experience.
Visiture is an end-to-end eCommerce marketing agency focused on helping online merchants acquire more customers through the use of search engines, social media platforms, marketplaces, and their online storefronts. Through search engine optimization, pay per click management, conversion rate optimization, development, and user experience design services; Visiture paves the way for online merchants to achieve higher returns from their online marketing channels.
Check back here soon for our updated resources page Magento 1 users can use when they’re ready to migrate. Ready to make the move now? Feel free to shoot us a message and we’ll be happy to help get you started.