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Magento Migration: What You Need to Know

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How Does Magento 2 Migration Work?

Change is on the horizon for Magento. The popular eCommerce platform, which powers 1 in 4 eCommerce sites around the world and includes more than 250,000 merchants, is updating to Magento 2.

This means it’s time for Magento Community and Magento Enterprise users (Magento 1) to migrate to Magento Open Source or Magento Commerce (Magento 2) – and we have you covered from pre- to post-migration.

Why the Magento Migration 2 is Vital

We know the safety of your website is a big deal, which is why it’s more important than ever to migrate. Security patches and official technical support for Magento 1 won’t be available beyond June 2020.

What does this mean to Magento 1 users? Well, after June 2020, Magento 1 will no longer be an officially supported product, and won’t be updated for any new issues discovered within its codebase.

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Since Magento is open source – meaning that everyone has access to the source code that powers it – there is a chance that existing Magento Community members will watch for and react to any newly discovered issues after the official June 2020 end-of-life date.

However, this is not guaranteed, and it’s also not guaranteed that hackers who uncover issues on an unsupported product will share their findings with the community, instead opting to keep these exploits secret in order to take advantage of a now nicely exposed and valuable target.

Additionally, Magento 1 is currently tested and qualified to work with specific versions of server, database and scripting operating environments – the foundation on which Magento runs. This foundation is constantly updated by the various communities and vendors behind it, and in the name of safety and security should always be kept up to date. There is a high likelihood that changes at the OS and server level will eventually break functionality in Magento 1, as patches will not be issued by Magento to react to these updates. This means that existing Magento 1 properties will either need to opt out of server updates (exceedingly dangerous!) or will be potentially left scrambling each time a new OS update occurs.
Vital Design Magento Migration Benefits GraphicNeed more reasons to upgrade? According to Magento, the new version offers improved performance, a more efficient checkout process, and a vastly improved administrative interface:

There are also excellent new enterprise features like a powerful page builder:

 

Today’s eCommerce landscape demands an excellent customer experience that’s customized to each shopper’s individual preferences. Magento 2 helps you create memorable, effective customer experiences that can boost your conversion rates:

An even bigger bonus, Magento is built around a new and improved cache system, which means more efficiency and faster page loads. Faster page speed = better rankings on Google. Oh, and did we mention it’s mobile friendly?

Pre-Magento Migration Checklist

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Here’s what you need to know before you get started:

  • Consider an upgrade. When was the last time you made site improvements? If you’re ready to migrate, Magento recommends this as the right time to make sure your site is up to date. Not sure which site upgrades are needed? We’d be happy to help!
  • Analyze the extensions and code. Nearly every store has one or more custom extensions. If you rely on specific third-party extensions in order to provide additional Magento 1 functionality, you’ll need to see if these modules are available for Magento 2. If not, you’ll need to seek out an alternative that can be custom developed (we can assist!). Seasoned developers can also use Magento’s Code Migration Toolkit to help with this process.
  • Form a data migration plan. You need to see how much data is available and design a strategy. Every store has a different setup, so you need to figure out how to easily migrate the data. This process will be done in stages and can take anywhere from 6 months to a year. The data needs to be migrated from the existing live site and then staged appropriately. Magento has even created the Magento 2 Data Migration Tool to help you move your important data, products, and more to Magento 2.
  • Don’t forget the theme and customizations. You need to see how the product and catalog pages migrate to Magento 2. For example, the checkout process for a product purchase differs wildly between the two versions. Changes need to be conveyed to the client to make sure everyone is on the same (web) page.
  • Remember: It’s not just a simple upgrade. Magento 1 and 2 don’t have the same coding or foundation, so the website essentially needs to be rebuilt when migrating. It’s as if you were changing from Windows to a Mac. The general look and feel and purchase flow of Magento 1 and 2 is virtually the same, but the entire foundation of these products is different.
  • Conduct a dry run. It’s important to take your future Magento 2 website for a test drive before you fully migrate. According to Magento, this includes copying your Magento 1 website to a staging server, migrating the cloned Magento 1 store to Magento 2, and testing the store once it’s all completed.

Step-by-Step Magento Migration Process

The time it takes to migrate depends on a lot of factors, including the complexity and customization of your store, but 400 hours is a good estimate. Here’s what to expect during your Magento migration:

  • Migrate data from Magento 1 to Magento 2 locally. You will also need to migrate four kinds of data manually, according to Magento: media, storefront design, admin user accounts, and access control lists.
  • Build the catalog to ensure you don’t lose important data. You don’t want to lose any previous users and product histories. You want to ensure continuity.
  • Decide how you will reconcile existing data. Will you be “starting over?” Will you need to provide order history to existing customers? This is where you will determine how this new site will fit into your existing properties.
  • Migrate all the extensions — including third-party and custom extensions. If you don’t have these, we can help!
  • Complete the theme process. With the new enhancements and design features, there is also the option to change your theme and customizations.
  • Be Sure the Quality Assurance (QA) process is followed. Last but not least: Make sure you follow your standard QA process to ensure that everything is in line with your high-quality business practices and standards.

Post-Migration Checklist

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Congratulations on Migrating to Magento 2! Even though the process is complete, you still need to ensure that everything is in working order. Here’s what you can do:

  • Check your data. Make sure the information is intact and has migrated properly.
  • Save the customer passwords. The password encryption method in Magento 2 is different than Magento 1, so it’s important to ensure that customer passwords are working after migration.
  • Review the product URLs. From a search engine optimization (SEO) point of view, it’s important to make sure the URLs from your newly migrated Magento 2 website are the same as Magento 1.
  • Stop using Magento 1. Straight from the Magento source: Place Magento 1 in maintenance mode and cease administrative activities.
  • Finish with the general QA process. Check, double-check, and triple-check that you’re good to go!

We’re Happy to Help!

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Vital Design is an experienced Magento 2 Certified Solutions Partner. Our agency develops completely customizable websites for B2B and B2C audiences and knows the Magento migration process inside and out. We have a team of experienced designers and developers who are passionate about Magento.

Considering a migration and ready to take those next steps? It may be time to update your entire website to take full advantage of Magento 2’s benefits. We also offer a host of other web maintenance and digital marketing services that can take your store to the next level!

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