7-Step Guide to Magento Migration: +Tips, Best Practices, and Much More!
Magento Migration: A Comprehensive, Step-by-step Guide
Historically, humans and animals have migrated around the world to seek out new beginnings and to see what lies beyond the horizon.
The new horizon for Magento became clear in 2015 when Magento 2 was released. We have seen beyond the horizon and we’ve helped merchants traverse the path to this new, more powerful platform.
Now, as we approach 2020, merchants who are still on Magento 1 are cutting it close to the end-of-support, slated for the end of June 2020. But there’s still plenty of time to migrate.
Let’s jump-start your Magento migration!
Why should I migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2?
Magento 2 delivers a modern, scalable ecommerce solution for businesses of all sizes, and it offers unmatched flexibility and customizations. Compared to Magento 1, Magento 2 can process more orders per hour on the same hardware with faster server response times, which provides customers with a stress-free experience.
By staying with Magento 1, you not only risk customer data, but you also lose your competitive edge because new features and innovations will only come out for Magento 2.
Magento End of life — June 2020
According to a ServiceNow study, 57% of cyberattack victims reported that their breaches could’ve been prevented by installing an available patch. And 34% of those respondents were aware of the vulnerability before they were hacked.
When June 2020 comes around, there will no longer be any official security patches for Magento 1. If you had mixed feelings before, it’s time to embrace change, because otherwise, you’ll be a sitting duck for hackers.
Magento 2 features that are worth migrating for
The latest Magento version comes supercharged with user-friendly, versatile features. Now that Adobe and Magento are working together, we’ll see closer integrations with marketing and sales platforms.
Full-page cache — overall site speed and also 1-2 sec loading time compared to 5-10 sec without full caching. A faster site speed equals more sales and increases website SEO.
Streamlined, faster checkout reduces the chances that customers will abandon carts.
Magento Commerce Cloud, formerly Enterprise Edition combines Magento Commerce, cloud infrastructure hosting, with added features such as Git integration, key development environments, staging, and live production.
Mobile-optimized layouts are a huge plus — and the number of mobile users is growing every year.
Key integrations such as PayPal, Braintree, Authorize.net, Klarna, and others offer more versatility and are much easier to integrate. Payments in Magento 2 are also more secure.
Better built-in search — Elasticsearch is available for Magento Open Source.
Full customization of the admin panel for quick access to information — this increases productivity and product import is 4x faster.
The Magento Functional Testing Framework improves testing capabilities, logging, and debugging.
Database split feature boosts scalability and helps high-load projects to improve performance
Rich content features with new Page Builder — WYSIWYG
Progressive Web App Studio allows developers to create ultra-fast storefronts.
How much will Magento migration cost?
Magento 2 is a brand-new platform, which means you will have to invest a fair amount of money to get the most out of it.
We’ve compiled an in-depth article on website redesign costs where we categorized redesign into components and did the math.
The cost of redesigning your store on Magento 2 can vary depending on the complexity of the design. For example:
A simple ecommerce website is generally anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000.
A medium-sized ecommerce website will cost $40,000 to $80,000.
And an enterprise ecommerce website with more custom design features is $80,000+.
After June 2020, Magento will delete all M1 extensions from the marketplace. Thankfully, most extensions are available for M2 so you won’t have to waste time searching for new options. This makes the process considerably easier.
This is a list of extensions we installed for a client so you can get an idea of what you may end up paying.
Our team has worked on projects to customize out-of-the-box tools, open-source extensions, and we’ve even developed an extension for gift cards.
Do you have custom coding for modules or extensions on your existing Magento 1 store? If you want it to work the same way in Magento 2, it has to be refactored or rewritten.
This isn’t a money grab for developers — a lot has changed since Magento 1.x. Magento 2 supports PHP 7.x, new caching technologies, and a host of other things. You’ll save more in the long run by optimizing the performance.
How long will it take to migrate?
A lot longer than you think.
It’s difficult to say exactly how long it will take without evaluating and planning. This is why the timing is so vital. If you start planning too late, you’ll be caught between a rock and a hard place. So start planning ASAP.
We’re always available to help guide you through the migration process, so please feel free to contact us with any questions.
Here’s the breakdown of each stage of migration:
Creating a migration plan
Preparing a testing environment
Installing extensions and custom development
Data migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2
Launching plan and additional database synchronization
Magento 2 store launch on a live server
Total migration time
Approximately 2-3 months
Please keep in mind that this is a rough estimate. If you run a small business, migration can be way faster, and on the opposite end of the spectrum, large businesses may require twice as much time to migrate.
Will my store stop working during migration?
Our aim is zero downtime, but there will be some downtime (a matter of minutes). The process is fairly straightforward and developers that have experience shouldn’t have any issues with the process.
Just to be on the safe side, you can prepare and send out an email to your customers to inform them of the day and time your site will be unavailable. Imagine their surprise when they see a beautiful, brand-new store.
Can I migrate all my stuff (products, categories, content, blog, etc)?
Yes, you can migrate almost everything. With the help of the automated Data Migration Tool, you can migrate orders from Magento 1 to Magento 2 as well as products, customers, settings, store configurations, and promotions.
The only option to get the rest zoomed over is to do it manually. Manual migration is required for:
Extensions and custom code To take advantage of the architectural advances in Magento 2, developers need to manually port custom code and extensions to Magento 2.
Web services credentials You must manually create credentials for SOAP, XML-RPC, and REST in Magento 2.
Media on the file system Media assets include, for example, images for products, categories, WYSIWYG editor, and so on. You must copy these manually from the <your Magento 1.x install dir>/media directory to the <your Magento 2 installdir>/pub/media directory.
Layouts Layout updates implemented in Magento 1.x cannot be used in Magento 2. You must migrate the following manually: XML in CMS category pages in the Magento AdminLayout updates specified in widget instances
Can I migrate on my own using the Data Migration Tool?
We sometimes get this question, and the TL:DR is — given the fact that you’re not a Magento developer, you’ll need to find a reputable Magento 1 to Magento 2 migration service provider.
The Magento 2 Data Migration Tool is meant to help you efficiently and securely transfer data such as product, customer and order data, store configurations, and promotions. It is one of the key components of the migration process and is intended to ensure minimal downtime so you can get up and running quickly.
However, the databases that need to be transferred may not be structured properly. For example, if you have customized data fields, the databases have to be adjusted and in some cases, rebuilt, to guarantee the transfer goes smoothly. There are also other parts to the Magento migration process, like migrating themes, extensions, and custom code.
Plus, there are lots of things that can go wrong. That’s where Magento experts can be invaluable — they can go through your site, perform an audit, and determine the scope of work needed to get everything working properly. The data migration tool is powerful, but only in the hands of certified Magento developers.
How to migrate Magento 1 to Magento 2: Success in 7 Steps
Magento 2 migration includes four components: data, extensions and custom code, themes, and customizations.
Step 1: Create a migration plan
Before any code is written, the stakeholders, internal team, and external team have to sit down and map out the process so everyone is on the same page. The more details you write down, the more time you’ll save on development and post-deployment.
With our clients, we split up planning into three stages:
Migration details for data — products, categories, customers, orders, and content (articles, pages).
Project specifications — are needed if any additional development is required. In this section, we describe how the project will be developed, including all pertinent processes. This means that every page, every tab, button, and block has to be described. We suggest using digital tools such as InVision.
Project planning — a step-by-step list of milestones with deadlines and definitions of done.
Step 2: Prepare the testing environment
It is highly recommended to perform each step of migration and develop all related projects in a separate environment (on an allocated server) so that your current store can continue operating without downtime.
At this point, we prepare a test development environment and install the default Magento 2 platform (Open Source or Commerce), and configure the version control system (Git/SVN) to make sure everything is ready to run the project. It’s important to involve a good DevOps engineer at this step.
Step 3: Install extensions and custom development
This is where we take our migration plan with the mapped extensions and install the corresponding Magento 2 extensions (if applicable). This is also where we develop custom extensions or additional features for Magento 2.
Step 4: Data migration
A very important step in the process because it’s the bulk of the information that you need to transfer. As we mentioned before, Magento includes an automated tool for transferring only the data existing in Magento by default: (everything except files, layouts, media, custom code, and control access configurations).
Step 5: Create a design for Magento 2
The themes for the Magento 1.x and Magento 2.x platforms are incompatible. It is possible to copy your current theme for Magento 1.x to Magento 2, but this will require some elbow grease, and we highly recommend updating the design because so many more features are available in Magento 2.
If time is a concern, we also suggest using a default theme available in the Marketplace.
Step 6: Launch plan and additional database synchronization
After finalizing and testing the design, we set up the hosting server according to the new system requirements for Magento 2. Once we optimize the server for Magento, we can perform a final database synchronization so no orders or customers get left behind in migration.
Once you’ve tested the final version and ensured everything works, the store is ready to launch.
Step 7: Magento 2 store launch on a live server
This is the last step of migration — launch day.
If everything was done correctly and according to the plan, your engineering team will perform a smooth transition to the new store so you can start selling and shipping products right away.
The full workflow breakdown of migrating from Magento 1 to 2:
What can go wrong during migration?
Planning and auditing go a long way in mitigating any risks.
The available tools allow you to migrate customers from Magento 1 to Magento 2, including accounts, passwords, orders, etc, in an encrypted format. That’s why data security should be one of the last things on your mind.
Magento 2 data migration isn’t as simple as dragging and dropping— this is an important point for both time and business considerations. You can’t clone the site and magically make it run on Magento 2.
Messy code and a shoddy data structure may mean a lot of custom development — you can run into this nasty pitfall at any point during the migration process. The only way to power through is experience and a proper audit before you start migrating.
You may experience poor SEO performance after Magento migration — Since the page structure is different in Magento 2, developers need to go through and tag any pages or groups of pages that need to be redirected to save SEO rankings.
You can’t use Magento 1 extensions in Magento 2 — not to mention that Magento 1 extensions will be deleted from the Magento Marketplace on the June 2020 end-of-life date.
Store theme and design have to be redone from scratch — you can still salvage the old design, but since you’re upgrading, we recommend using one of the new, mobile-friendly and responsive themes.
The process may take longer than you think — as previously mentioned, you need to be ready to launch well before the support cutoff. A single day without support may make your business vulnerable to security breaches.
There’s no end in sight if there is no definition of done — there have to be requirements for a successful migration. Involve all of your stakeholders and make sure the internal and external teams are working together.
Which Magento 2 edition is right for my needs?
Both Magento Open Source 2 and Commerce 2 have significant improvements over Magneto 1. But since you’re migrating, why not migrate to Magento Commerce? Is Magento Commerce that much better?
Earlier this year, Adobe commissioned Stax, a global strategy consultancy, to evaluate how merchants benefited by migrating from Magento Commerce 1 and other competitive solutions to Magento Commerce 2.
We’ll let the numbers do the talking.
165% 3-year ROI from migrating to Magento Commerce 2
29% increase in mobile revenue
5% increase in average order value
61% reduction in content creation time
25% increase in site traffic
16% increase in conversion rates
Also, when you upgrade to Magento Commerce2, you can reduce the number of extensions you need because there are more essential features built in.
But again, your choice will depend on your needs. To get a better understanding, take a look at the table below. You can also consider the cloud-hosted version of Magento — Magento Commerce Cloud.
Feature Comparison — Magento Commerce vs Magento Open Source
Magento Open Source
Administrator Permission Roles on Website and Store Levels
Add to Cart by SKU
Automated Email Marketing Reminders about abandoned carts and wish lists
Rome wasn’t built in a day. The grass is greener on the other side. We could list off cliches ad nauseam, but to put it bluntly, Magento migration teaches you patience, and as we near June 2020, it’s looking like everyone will have no choice but to relocate (but with clear benefits).
Hopefully, after reading this article you have a better understanding of what’s involved with Magento 2 migration. To reiterate:
You can migrate all of your data with a hybrid approach (manual + automated).
You can retain your Magento 1 design, although we would recommend investing in a new design with modern technologies and architecture that Magento 2 offers.
It will take approximately 2-3 months; depending on the size and complexity of your business it can go much faster or take much longer.
By entrusting the process to Magento experts, you minimize risk and downtime.
Magento 2 has more features and Adobe is continuing to improve the integrations and feature-set.
Magento Commerce 2 is superior to Magento Open Source — it provides everything an enterprise-level company needs (and saves them money at the same time).