Now that the official support of the Magento 1 platform has come to its end, the question of Magento migration is more debated than ever. Especially keeping in mind the complexity of the “moving” process from the technical perspective on the one side and the outstanding advancement opportunities that it can bring, including the chance to build progressive web applications on the basis of Magento 2, on the other.
Therefore, if you’re a business owner with a store up on Magento 1 who is in two minds about whether you should migrate to Magento 2 or not, this interview can help you “dot the I’s and cross the T’s”. We’ve interviewed an experienced Magento expert and Chief Technology Officer at Onilab, Alex Husar, and asked him the most often occurring questions regarding Magento 1 migration to Magento 2. Below you’re welcome to read what we’ve learned!
Why migrate to Magento 2 if the site works fine on the 1st version of the platform?
Well, perhaps, the fairest answer to this question is that you’ll still have to go for migration sooner or later. Yes, your store may be functioning and performing well at the moment, and the truth is that you can keep the store up on Magento 1 for a while, there is no ASAP rush. But the site will become incompatible in a year or so whether you like it or not.
And since the migration procedure is rather complicated and quite time-consuming, you must keep in mind the large time frames ahead if you do decide to move.
Plus, after some time passes, it’ll become more and more difficult to keep up your Magento 1 store and add new functionality to it. Mainly because the Magento team stopped releasing updates and modules for this version of the store, switching their focus completely on Magento 2. So, if you’d want to add some features to M1, you’d face the need for custom solutions.
In any case, the move to Magento 2 brings tons of opportunities. You can re-think the store’s design and visuals, improve your navigation, add new features that deal with SEO, mobile optimization, neater checkout solutions, etc. You may even take advantage of the chance to create a PWA application after the move to M2 (no such chance with PWAs on M1, by the way).
At the end of the day, all of this modernization and advancement can lead to a new and improved store with enhanced performance and better conversions. So I guess I’d say what’s the point of delaying?
Can a Magento 1 store face hazards if you don’t migrate?
Definitely! Because the official Magento team won’t be releasing nor updating the security patches for the first version of the platform anymore, it’s vital to understand that the longer you stay on Magento 1, the more you’re jeopardizing your eCommerce site.
The things that you should worry about here are the possible hacks and other vulnerabilities of the store that can occur due to this. Without proper “defense”, your site can become easier to “attack”. Let me give you an example to back this idea up.
For instance, you surely don’t want to fall prey to some fraudulent activity that’ll lead to data leaks. As a store owner, you take full responsibility for keeping safe the data that your customers trusted you with (this includes their personal information like their delivery address, contact details, and even more so, payment details). If this information leaks on your fault, such a scenario can lead you to heavy and costly legal consequences.
This is one of the main reasons I’d suggest not to postpone the migration question.
So why do many business owners procrastinate their migration to Magento 2?
I assume this is because they might not see the point in it or don’t get why it’s necessary. Say, they enjoy the store just the way it is and are afraid that it’ll hurt it rather than help it.
Or they might not know how not migrating can harm their business. Another reason could be, perhaps, that they don’t have the budget for migration and are saving up for doing it later.
They can even be thinking about switching from Magento to some different eCommerce platform altogether. There are many probable reasons, really, each case is individual.
But what most Magento store owners don’t quite understand is that the first and second versions of the platform are very different technically, it’s like comparing the moon and the sun. Magento 1 and Magento 2 have very few things in common, apart from the name. This means that the migration process isn’t easy and requires experienced certified Magento developers who know both of the platforms, their differences, and other migration peculiarities.
Therefore before making a final decision to put off migration to M2, bear in mind that the procedure isn’t simple, implies the work of strong experienced specialists, and a deal of time.
And how long can migration from Magento 1 to 2 take?
The time frames for migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2 is a very individual question. The required hours of development will depend on a plethora of factors. These include how highly-customized the eCommerce store is, how large it is (including in terms of database volumes and logs), how many third-party modules it has, and, of course, how many new features are needed on the website after migration.
It’s very rare that a site owner wishes to just transfer the store from M1 to M2 without making any additional improvements to it. But even if this is the case, count on at least two to four months. If you’re planning on implementing new features and improving the site, then we’re talking about four months and up (again, the more new stuff you want and the harder it is to build, the more time will be needed). If you want to get a PWA that everyone’s recently craving, then add on several more months into the equation.
What are the most common Magento 2 migration issues?
To be fair, many things can go wrong during the process. It’s not like you copy what the Magento 1 store has and paste it on to Magento 2. This procedure requires lots of work, configuration, set-ups, untangling, and debugging.
As a rule, a lot of inexperienced teams underestimate the volumes ahead during the planning and evaluation stage. Because the two platforms have too many dissimilarities in terms of their architecture, it can get tricky to get things right. Therefore, thorough planning of the work ahead is an important step not to overlook as it can arise issues.
Not everything will be moved either, for instance, you might not need some logs from a decade ago or some of the currently used features. So, you’ll be sorting some parts of the site and deciding what to “take with you” to the second Magento. Likewise, the Magento 2 database migration generally presents an additional difficulty.
The challenge with the compatibility of modules is among the toughest that the team deals with. Every store contains various plugins, be it SEO, emails, payment methods, etc. Some of these modules are released by Magento, others are from third-parties or even coded uniquely for the store. Developers must find analogs to replace the modules on Magento 2 (since the ones on Magento 1 won’t work) and spend time configuring them. In situations when no equivalents are present, these solutions have to be coded from scratch.
What else? The re-design usually takes a while as well. New features to be added extend further development. Moreover, the same applies to any custom solutions that you’ll need.
Frankly, one more issue with migration that can be faced is hiring the wrong people for the job. If your team isn’t familiar with both of the platforms well enough or lacks previous migration experience, this can knot up and complexify the whole process to a big extent. This is why you shouldn’t hurry when looking for a development team for migration who you can trust.
Summing up the above, according to the expert opinion given in this article, migration to Magento 2 from Magento 1 has more ups than downsides. Although the process of migration isn’t simple in itself nor is it fast, a qualified team can help you boost your eCommerce store, make it more modern, compatible, and safe. Hope that this Q&A has de-veiled answers to some commonly occurring doubts. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have more questions on the subject!