What You Need to Know Before Migrating to Magento 2

What You Need to Know Before Migrating to Magento 2

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Do you remember, when Magento’s 2.0 platform was announced in the year 2015 and released not long after, it just created a surge of excitement in the Magento community?

The platform was already popular for its flexibility but had some core issues with responsiveness, performance optimization, and other issues like running slow. In response, the Magento team built out a really amazing upgraded platform: Magento 2. While it had its fair share of kinks early on, the team has had a good number of time to create a highly versatile open source, address the basic functionality issues, and customizable open-source platform used by some of the largest eCommerce brands.

magento 1 to 2 migration

Why should I migrate to Magento 2?

So, here is the short answer: Magento 1.x has been continuously supported and liked since the release of Magento 2, but that support and updates can’t last forever. Starting from all the critical updates for the first generation Magento platform was discontinued in 2018, so the team can focus future efforts entirely on Magento 2.

If you haven’t migrated yet, it’s time to start planning for the change. Not only you will lose that support, but also the newest concepts around omnichannel commerce are going to be designed and more than that, implemented for Magento 2.

That means no backward development. There’s a laundry list of advantages available when migrating to Magento 2 as well:

  1. Improved core performance
  2. Faster processing and improved load times
  3. Improved UX for admin panel with streamlined backend
  4. Friendly-Touch UX that is designed to be fully responsive
  5. Far fewer requirements for third party/custom extensions
  6. Easy customization means Magento 2 costs less for maintenance
  7. Self-hosting as well as Platform-as-a-service options available

How difficult is the migration?

Migrations of any kind aren’t simple processes. There are many steps for even the most rudimentary of websites with only a few pages. eCommerce stores on Magento are a whole different beast. A Magento 2 migration services are quite complex because the new platform comes with a fresh design of the database and all-new architecture. Some migration will be relatively simple and easy, thanks to the tools provided by the Magento team, but there will still be a great number of steps that require careful planning.

How much time does the migration take?

The duration of the migration and the amount of effort ultimately depend on the eCommerce store. The more extensions, customizations, and complex coding you have in your store, the longer it could take. Migration to Magento 2 migration could take as short a time as two or three months or as long as six months (or more) only if there are extensive third-party integrations and customizations.

Key considerations when migrating:

Develop a migrating plan

You should develop a plan, because of the complexity of migrating to Magento 2, which details all the steps to go from concept to completion. This migration will act both as a flowchart and a checklist to lead you through the migration milestones. If you’re not so sure what to include inside, then Magento provides a flowchart with the most critical elements plotted to get you started.

magento 2 migration plan
Source: unbxd
Analyze functionality to clean up the code

Any kind of migration or upgrade is an opportunity to dig into the functionality you have built into your own site. Because Magento 2 migration extension has a lot more native features that require fewer 3rd party extensions, this is the exact and proper time to remove redundant functionality.

Also consider that any updates to code and custom extensions require cost and time, both for development and testing. If you find
an original feature or function was used less often than expected, see if you can trim it so its cost and time are removed from your migration cycle.

Check your extension and Code Migration

If some extensions are significant but aren’t native to Magento 2 migration, keep in mind that you have a plan in place. With the new architecture in the market, the extensions used in Magento 1 aren’t likely to be compatible with Magento 2 migration extension. There is a code migration tool that can help with migrating some custom code (including some extensions) but not necessarily all of them. More than likely, if you want an extension for any specific functionality, you’ll need to have it recreated for Magento 2. Check with the developer for a current version. The same applies during the customization of themes for your Magento site.

Don’t sweat the Customer Data and the Product

On the upside, a lot of your data doesn’t have to be moved manually. Magento 2 includes a data migration tool that uses map files to verify consistency between your database structures in order to import customer and product data into your new site. The tool will track the entire data transfer process, run verification tests, and create logs to help locate any issues that arise.

Import Media Manually

Not everything can be automatically migrated, unfortunately. Any media files you have, including images or videos, can’t be handled like product data. You’ll need to move those files manually during the process of migration. Other files that need to be moved manually include storefront design, admin user accounts, and access control lists. To work with a professional team is your best bet, to handle the migration, especially for manual file migration like this. Do you know, Magento itself offers a guide detailing how you can move files.

Review Technical Optimization and Store SEO

Because of architecture and structural changes with migration, you’ll want to run through an eCommerce SEO checklist to avoid any pitfalls that could impact the organic visibility of your site content and product pages. When reviewing the optimization, check the following: Meta tags for products and categories SEO-friendly URLs for products and categories Prefixes and suffixes for title tags Canonical tags for products and categories Category paths used properly in URLs Microdata or rich snippets are used appropriately Images and media are optimized Internal links are active On-page content is properly optimized.

Performance Issues and Testing

It’s always possible that you’ll experience some issues, during migration to Magento 2 migration. Some parts of the code or an extension might not work properly, even with perfect planning. This is where it requires to work with experienced developers who are certified in handling large-scale migrations and Magento 2.

The support will shrink for aging versions of Magento. The best way to keep your eCommerce business scalable and competitive is to migrate to the newest version of Magento. You’ll be future-proofed for new updates and will have access to the latest native extensions and features, with the simplest to maintain the Magento platform to date, designed to cost less and operate more efficiently so you can earn more.

Magento 1 is structurally different from Magento 2, the migration process isn’t very easy. Want expert help? Talk to our experts and migrate your Magento 1 store to Magento 2 and get the most out of it.

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