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With Magento 1’s end-of-life approaching June 1 of this year, we’ve partnered with some agencies who are considered the experts with the Magento platform to help stores migrate off of the shopping cart. Today’s blog post is by one of those partners: GoMage.

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.

After you’ve finished reading, make sure to visit our Magento Migration Resource page and schedule time to speak with an eCommerce expert about your transition.

After being on the scene for over twelve years, Magento 1 is sunsetting in favor of its successor: Magento 2.

Businesses running stores on Magento 1 are at the crossroads of either migrating to Magento 2 or staying with the soon-to-be-obsolete version of the platform. Even though the newer version is better equipped to meet the demands of modern challenges, many still hesitate to migrate to Magento 2.

Is your store still running on Magento 1? 

We’ve prepared an article that highlights the main benefits of Magento 2 and provides examples of successful migration. You will learn how migration to Magento 2 will help your business and enable it to cater to all customers’ needs better.

Dangers of Magento 1 EOL: Reasons for Migration

The days of Magento 1 are already numbered. Magento officially announced Magento 1 end of life. After June 2020 they will stop releasing quality updates and security fixes for this version of the platform. With over 240,000+ active sites on Magento 1, a lot of work should be done in the near future.

Naturally, Magento 1 website will continue working even after June 2020. Still, Magento 1 EOL is a game-changer for businesses all over the world. Software sunset can have tremendous consequences for your online store and bring along a lot of dangers.

If you decide to stay on Magento 1, you will have to face the below challenges:

  • No more security patches – while this might seem like no big deal, security is the main concern these days. Lack of security fixes can make all the data in your store vulnerable, both payment details, customers’ personal data, orders information, etc.
  • Lagging behind Magento 2 stores – competitors that decide to migrate to Magento 2 will be at an advantage as they will be able to provide customers with top-notch security and smooth shopping experience.
  • Increase vulnerability – this is what awaits your store if you ignore the urge to upgrade to Magento 2. Soon, Magento 1 will become extremely vulnerable to hacking attacks.
  • Constant need to invest in security – without security patches released by Magento, you will need to invest in regular Magento security audits. The cost of such services combined will be much bigger than the cost of migration to Magento 2.
  • No new extensions – companies are very unlikely to continue releasing and supporting Magento extensions for the outdated version of the platform. Hence, you won’t be able to implement additional features to streamline the customer experience, like one-step checkout, which is native in Magento 2.

Security concerns are nam the main reasons why customers don’t convert in eCommerce. As Magento underlies all fundamental operations of your store, it can become your main competitive disadvantage and undermine your trustworthiness in the eyes of customers.

Depending on the store size, the number of extensions, custom features and other factors, the process of migrating from Magento 1 can take a significant amount of time. Usually, the process takes at least three months, so there is not much time left to make the decision. 

Is migrating to Magento 2 worth it?

While the issues with Magento 1 end-of-life are vast, the reasons to move a store to Magento 2 are more.

Magento 2 offers a lot of benefits compared to its predecessor. This version of the platform is better suited for eCommerce needs and provides both an improved shopping experience and an easy-to-use admin panel for store owners.

If you are wondering what Magento 2 will bring you, check out the below list of advantages:

  • Magento 2 can process 39 percent more orders per hour
  • Add-to-cart response time is increased by up to 66 percent
  • End-to-end checkout time increases by up to 51%
  • Updated hashing algorithm (SHA-256) allows for a better password management
  • Native two-factor authentication (which is not available in Magento 1)
  • Support of the latest PHP versions
  • Compatibility with and built-in features for mCommerce
  • Improved software architecture
  • SEO dedicated tools
  • Compatibility with Elasticsearch
  • Ability to create progressive web apps

Above is only a fraction of Magento 2’s benefits over Magento 1. Combined and the result is broader opportunities for business owners to create a seamless shopping experience and provide users with a fast purchasing process.

 How to Get Ready for migrating to Magento 2

Migrating to Magento 2 is a complex process consisting of many different steps and factors. Before making any moves, it is important to prepare your store for the migration and organize your steps in a structured plan. If you plan on working with a Magento development company, it will take care of all the tasks and help sidestep any pitfalls.

Here is an overview of the steps that you’ll need to take:

  1.     Migrate data with Magento Data Migration Tool

To make the process of migrating easier, Magento released an automated Magento Data Migration Tool. As its name implies, it is aimed to simplify the process of data migration. However, its capabilities are limited to the transfer of products, customers, settings, store configurations and promotions. If a store relies on a lot of customizations, the migration becomes much longer and more complicated.

  1.     Transfer extensions and custom code

Aside from data, a lot of other elements should be transferred to the Magento 2 website. These include extensions and custom code for which manual migration is required. 

There are a lot of stores that provide unique customer experiences based on custom codes and extensions. Such code should be adapted for Magento 2 manually.

Magento 1 extensions are not compatible with Magento 2, so you’ll need to find alternatives or, if their providers have updated them to Magento 2, install those versions.

  1.     Transfer media files

There is no automated solution to transfer media assets such as product images and videos, categories, WYSIWYG editor, etc. This is another area that you should take care of manually.

  1.     Migrate storefront design

Differences between the structures of Magento 1 and Magento 2 don’t allow for an easy migration of storefront design. CSS, JavaScript, templates and XML layouts should be optimized for Magento 2. This means that you’ll need to create a new design for an updated store to fully utilize the offered set of features. It is also recommended to use responsive themes for a proper mobile shopping experience.

The Magento migration process is complex and requires a thorough audit of code, installed modules, extensions and other customizations before migrating to Magento 2.

Successfully Migrating Fashion Eyewear to Magento 2

As the clock is ticking, more and more companies are starting to migrate to Magento 2. Fashion Eyewear, which is a leading glasses online store in the UK, has made the right choice a long time ago and now enjoys the benefits of Magento 2.

Fashion Eyewear’s website was running on Magento 1 and could not meet the needs of the rapidly growing business. The company contacted GoMage and asked for help to address the following problems:

  • unstable website operation
  • slow-loading pages
  • frequent website breaks and errors

 Aside from performance improvements, Fashion Eyewear wanted to improve customer experience with the help of some new features. Magento 1 didn’t allow for such a change, so the decision to migrate to Magento 2 was made.

GoMage conducted a thorough analysis of all site components, including extensions, themes and other customizations on the client’s website. The process helped assess the number of changes to be done and estimate the time needed for migration. 

Challenges encountered during migration:

  • Fashion Eyewear is a very popular website with thousands of daily visitors. We needed to ensure zero downtime and keep the website running during migration.
  • Their eCommerce site had over 40,000 products with many unique attributes and all the data needed to be transferred to the new website.
  • The client’s website had a number of extensions and themes, not all of which had alternatives for Magento 2.

 GoMage developed the step-by-step migration plan that ensured a smooth migration to Magento 2. Over the course of the migration, two custom modules were developed to better suit the client’s needs. Also, a custom data migration module was designed to transfer only the products that Fashion Eyewear needed at that moment, and filtered out all unnecessary products that only slowed the website down.

 Website migration to Magento 2 solved the major problem with website performance, resulting in a 30 percent increase in overall and a 2x increase in product page upload speed.

Migration to Magento 2 is a necessary step for companies that strive for innovation, want to stay at the top of their game and provide clients with an unprecedented level of security.