In Insights

Thinking of Migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2?

Andrew Bailey Posted by

Why You Should Migrate to Magento 2 Now.

It has been a few months now since the long-awaited announcement from Magento that support for Magento 1 will be coming to an end in June 2020.  Developers and ecommerce professionals alike have been waiting for the end of life date for Magento Open Source since the Commerce edition end of life was announced as June 2019, earlier last year.

For many, the decision to migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2 has been hinged on this end of life date announcement.  Now Magento 1 users will need to start making plans to make the move if they want to remain both relevant and secure in the ever-evolving world of ecommerce.

Our certified Developers, Magento Solution Specialists and Magento Hosting experts share their advice on why an imminent move to Magento 2 is crucial for online retailers…

A Brief History:

Having worked with Magento from the beginning, we’ve seen it evolve and flourish into a world leading platform. Magento 2 was announced in 2010, with it’s full release coming 5 years later in November 2015.

The new version was not without its teething issues and following its initial release there were concerns in the industry as to the platform’s future. But with its vast community of developers, the current releases of Magento (2.1, 2.2 and recently 2.3) resolved many of its earlier concerns. This has resulted in the current platform providing a much better experience for developers, clients and end users alike.

When Magento 2.0 launched, Magento 1 was rumoured to have 3 years until support ceased for the platform, taking us to November 2018.  With the date never confirmed, many of us were awaiting an official announcement, which only came at the end of 2018 to confirm end-of-life was June 2020.

Benefits of Magento 2 for your customers, your development and your online team:

Magento 2 is a vastly improved platform, with the Commerce version offering benefits beyond those to the end user.  The new platform allows for cleaner development, meaning updates can be made quicker and more efficiently, as well as coming with a whole host of conversion-focused features and third-party integrations to deliver a great customer experience from click to parcel delivery.

“The features available on Magento 2 all work together to ultimately give your customers a better online experience, resulting in more conversions for your business.” Phil Shepherd – Digital Consultant.

An Enhanced Customer Experience

  • Pre-built integration with enterprise CMS services enables contextual commerce and personalization at scale
  • Enhanced search functionality enables and provides intuitive search
  • Two-step checkout and Paypal integration for faster, easier purchase
  • B2B Capabilities, including multiple buyers, self-service, SKU entry and streamlined order and quote management.
  • Omnichannel servicing provides your customers a rich shopping experience, after checkout, through integrations with Magento Order Manager and Magento Shipping.

Streamlining Your Business Operation.

“Your website needs to work for both your customers, and your business! Magento 2 Commerce pays close attention to admin panel features that empower non-technical teams.” Emily Garnett- Sales Manager

  • Drag and drop content management make it easy to keep your content up to date, without the need of IT specialists or developers
  • Content staging & preview enables forward planning of campaigns to ensure smooth, easy delivery of sales promotions and content, and allows your team to view future states of your site
  • Enhanced Merchandising functionality for categories streamlines work for your digital visual merchandisers, and campaign and trading managers
  • Easy to navigate, intuitive and customisable admin panels streamlines how your team works
  • Magento Business Intelligence informs improvements to conversion and customer journeys

Faster, Cleaner Development

“Magento 2 provides a number of advanced deployment tools to allow us to make deployment more automated- with automated deployment, we can increase success rates, reduce down-times, and ultimately, increase client satisfaction” Sam Butler-Thompson – Lead PHP Developer and Magento 2 Solution Specialist.

Magento 2 offers an easier upgrade path due to less friction caused by heavy reliance on extensions like its Magento 1 counterpart.  This results in quicker time to market, and reduced development costs.

So why the urgency to move now?

We’ve been encouraging our customers for the past year to move to Magento 2, not only because of the pending end of life of Magento 1, or the many benefits the new platform offers, but because this is the first step in remaining competitive and futureproofing their business. Some of the world’s top ecommerce brands have already made the move, including Paul Smith, Monin, Bauhaus and Helly Hansen.

“There is a huge focus from Magento on progressing the platform, with new updates and features being introduced all the time. Our clients who are choosing Magento 2 are remaining at the forefront of ecommerce trends, no longer left behind on an outdated platform.” Andrew Bailey – Production Manager and Magento 2 Solution Specialist.

Common Reasons for not migrating to Magento 2

We hear many reasons why clients are reluctant to move to Magento 2.  Here are some of the most common concerns and the response from our expert team:

“June 2020 is a good 18 months away… do I really need to move now?”

It’s true Magento have given us a good amount of notice for the Magento 1 End of Life date but for those businesses who have yet to make the move, they’re now in the same boat as their competitors who will all be keen to remain relevant and won’t want to be caught out using an unsupported platform. This will no doubt lead to demand for migrations to Magento 2 to increase, which could cause time delays and cost increases across the industry.

In addition, making an efficient move the Magento 2 requires time to ensure your new site is improved in the best way it can be. Make sure your business is in the queue early, allowing yourselves plenty of time to iron out the complexities of your project.  Act now and speak to your Magento agency about migrating your M1 store to ensure you can achieve everything you would like to before the deadline hits.

“We’ve only recently had our website updated on Magento 1”

Due to the fast paced and changeable nature of the technology and ecommerce industries, unfortunately, buying into a ‘new product’ may not actually be that ‘new’ as more up-to-date versions are created. Luckily, this doesn’t necessarily mean your time and money has been wasted as it could give you a good opportunity to review your website and decide what is good, what is bad and what you still need. This will often result in a much more manageable and futureproof website in the long term.

More specifically, moving your recently updated website from Magento 1 to Magento 2 can be possible in parts. For example, custom code used by a Magento 1 store is compatible with Magento 2 in most cases and several types of data can be migrated from Magento 1 to Magento 2. However, an incremental migration plan is advised in cases where significant downtime is not possible or if the data being migrated is large and complex to minimise errors. As with all things technical, not everything will be possible to be migrated to Magento 2, but by having an in-depth discussion with a Magento 2 partnered agency about your needs and goals of your website, it will be possible to see the results you want with the new platform.

“I can’t afford the investment”

If you use an Agile Agency you will be able to work up a Minimum Viable Product (or MVP), which means you don’t have to have the ideal end goal of a website live and paid for straight away. Working in an Agile way, you can talk strategically with your agency about your long term, bigger picture plans, and work together to come up with your own MVP – what you really need to be able to improve on what you currently have.

The new process also allows a much more flexible approach. The order in which sprints are completed can be chopped and changed by the client depending on changing priorities and budget. Each sprint has a predetermined MVP meaning that there is clarity over what each segment of work will achieve and giving you the ability to make informed decisions about the order in which work is completed. This version of your website may not have all the functionality and features that you want straight away – but it will be something you can put live in the interim whilst working in phases on adding all of the additional ‘nice to have’ elements.

“I’m concerned about disruption to my current site during the transition”

Migrating to Magento 2 should be fairly disruption free. If you have a successful trading Magento 1 site, your Magento 2 store can be built in the background. You will just need to ensure SEO basics are right, such as a thorough set of 301 redirects for any URL changes, good onsite optimisation and thorough testing of the Magento 2 build.

Using an agency such as Nublue, who have development and Magento hosting expertise under one roof, will help the transition when your new site is ready to go live.

“Magento 2 integrates and leverages a lot of modern hosting systems and solutions. It’s a more progressive and exciting platform that looks to the future, while Magento 1 reaches its EOL.” Rickie James – Systems Operations Agent.

“I heard it was a sub-par platform”

Following the initial release of Magento 2.0, the ecommerce community voiced concerns about some problems that the new platform brought with it.  This reputation had marred Magento 2’s image with some professionals but Magento 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 have since eradicated many of these problems. Especially with the improved security features, PHP 7.2 support, introduction of elasticsearch and import/export enhancements in Magento 2.3, these developments have led the platform to result in being the world class platform it is today.

What to look for in an agency to move your Magento store forward

Migrating to Magento 2 is an important investment, so make sure that both the agency and hosting providers you choose are fully skilled and experienced in the platform. Ideally look for agencies who have an official partnership with Magento and certified teams who will have a better understanding of how to get the most out of the platform.

If you want to evolve your online store towards your bigger picture goals, and constantly stay ahead of your industry, you may wish to choose an agency which offer development retainers allowing you to work strategically on your website over time.

At Nublue, we are fortunate to have expertise in both the design, build and hosting of Magento ecommerce stores. So, we are not only able to create conversion focussed inspiring websites, but ensure they are performing as smoothly as possible, at all times – with the added benefit to our clients that they only need to deal with one company.

Whoever you choose to take your Magento website forward, ensure you speak to their expert consultants without delay. The clock is ticking with June 2020 and the end of Magento 1 approaching quicker than you may think.