NOTE: I originally wrote this article for fishtankagency.com on their blog here
With over 245,000 websites powered by Magento, it is one of the World’s largest eCommerce platforms.
Back in 2015, Magento released a completely rewritten version (Magento 2); whilst simultaneously announcing their support for Magento 1 would end in three years. That 2018 date has since passed, however, Magento has now confirmed that on June 2020, its support for Magento 1 will end.
With only a few months remaining until Magento 1 dissipates, there is still a staggering number of merchants yet to migrate to Magento 2.
What does this mean for online merchants using Magento 1?
Put simply; official support for the Magento 1 will end in June 2020.
There will be no new feature or functionality updates for it and most importantly there will be no security updates or fixes.
Does this mean I have to migrate to Magento 2 before June 2020?
Technically no. The Magento 1 platform will continue to function however the lack of official support will leave sites exposed to security vulnerabilities. If you are running your business through an eCommerce site powered by Magento 1 then the risk of natural and malicious failures increases daily.
How easy is it to upgrade to Magento 2?
This is completely dependent on your platforms size, complexity and customisation, but you will likely need a developer. You should consider the following three key areas:
Data – Magento has several tools to assist with migration from Magento 1 to 2, but their focus is around data migration of things like: product, category, customer, order, etc. Customised or third-party data, for the most part, will have to be migrated manually.
Extensions and integrations – For third-party providers, you will be reliant on developers to update extensions for Magento 2. Bespoke integrations will have to be removed or redeveloped.
Theme – Themes will have to be redeveloped for use in Magento 2 but many online merchants are using this as an opportunity to tweak or redesign their sites.
What will it cost?
Magento development is pretty much a vocational specialism and therefore comes at a higher cost compared with “regular” development or the build of alternative eCommerce platforms. You can expect to pay around 50% more for a Magento developer and with the sunset of Magento 1 looming, you can expect to see costs rise.
Is there an alternative?
Loads. I develop eCommerce platforms using WooCommerce and since its release in 2011, the platform has been growing in popularity and functionality. According to Built With, WooCommerce rivals Magento as the most used eCommerce platform and due to its association with WordPress, it has some of the best official and non-official, support systems in the world.
Can I migrate from Magento to WooCommerce?
Absolutely. The process of migrating from Magento to WooCommerce is pretty much the same as the upgrade from Magento 1 to Magento 2:
Data – Your data can be migrated into WooCommerce using similar tools as you would use for a Magento migration.
Extensions and integrations – WooCommerce has hundreds of official extensions and integrations and loads more independent ones too. Many have been developed to match and in some cases improve upon their Magento counterparts.
Theme – As with the Magento migration, your theme will still need to be redeveloped, but since WooCommerce is integrated with a WordPress CMS, you instantly gain greater control over the design and content of your website.
What would the benefits be from migrating to WooCommerce?
Cost – In both the short term and the long term, it is more cost-effective to move to WooCommerce because of the developments costs. The migration and continuing maintenance that eCommerce platforms require would simply cost less in the long term.
Functionality and ease of use – Let’s be honest, using the Magento 1 admin area could be a pretty ugly mind-boggling experience. With WooCommerce you benefit from a CMS that is intuitive, with over 17 years of UX and UI development.
Peace of mind – WooCommerce is a thriving eCommerce platform so you can be sure that support for it will be both proactive to the needs of your platform and long-lasting.