4 Main Hurdles of Magento 1.x to Magento 2.x Migration You’ll Have to Overcome
“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often,” Winston Churchill once said. Well, the Magento e-commerce platform creators seem to have this quotation framed and put up on a wall in their main office — just like any CMS providers for that matter.
The Magento team, though, seems to have outdone all their competitors in the number of new features the second version of the platform offers and in their degree of novelty. Magento 2.x is a huge step ahead when putting it side by side with its predecessor, Magento 1.x.
MAGENTO 2.x BENEFITS
1. SHORTER PAGE LOADING TIME
A slow website is an online business killer. A Magento 2.x-powered online store performs 20 percent faster and processes a larger number of orders — up to 40 percent more compared to Magento 1.x. Why?
- Magento 2.x is equipped with full-page caching
- Magento 2.x uses PHP 7
- Magento 2.x has an advanced image compression mechanism plus enhanced indexers
2. REVAMPED CHECKOUT
In the new version of Magento, the checkout procedure is comprised of two steps just like in an ordinary retail outlet. Contrast it with the 6 steps that Magento 1.x store users have to go through.
Magento 2.x users can now place an order immediately. All they need to do is click the instant purchase button, and they’ll land on the confirmation page right then and there.
Less data to provide
With payment gateways such as Paypal storing users’ credit card data for future use, a Magento 2.x-powered website saves customers from having to type too much while shopping around.
3. FOCUS ON CONSUMERS WITH HANDHELD DEVICES
Mobile-friendliness is at the core of Magento 2.x. Whatever type of device a consumer uses to access a website, responsiveness is guaranteed. The result: a higher conversion rate and a better position on search engine results pages.
4. ENHANCED ADMINISTRATION CAPABILITIES
The new admin panel is easy to navigate. The available tools enable the admin to manage product listings in a most convenient way.
It would take up too much space and time to go over all of Magento 2.x’s benefits here. We could also talk about improved security, better search functionality, clever data separation, and other features.
Despite all these new bells and whistles, you may still say, “So what? I don’t feel like migrating to Magento 2. I am content with my present setup. Why throw money at the new platform if I get what I need with Magento 1?”
We must disappoint you here. You’ll have to migrate anyway. The reason? In June 2020, all support of the old version will cease. No more updates. The main problem this will entail is a security risk.
Anything can happen when your website protection is weak or non-existent. The Internet is filled with cybercriminals of all sorts. Why put your profitable business in jeopardy? Migrating is wiser.
However, moving to the new version is a lengthy process full of pitfalls. What are the major hurdles you’ll have to overcome while migrating to Magento 2.x, and what can you do to make the transition smoother? We’re going to look into that next.
4 MAIN MIGRATION HURDLES
HURDLE #1: SEO
One of the worst-case scenarios for an online store is losing the SEO rankings. With years of hard work and tons of money spent on improving the search engine visibility of your Magento 1.x website, you may suddenly discover that it has vanished from the SERPs once you’ve upgraded to the new version. These are the most likely causes:
- The URLs of product and content pages have changed
- Internal links are broken
- Improper screening of the robots.txt file has created several copies of the same content
- Localization issues
As a consequence, your potential customers fail to find your updated Magento 2.x-powered website on Google or another search engine. You lose money and may end up waving good-bye to your business.
- Right after moving to the new version, search for all pages that return the 404 code and use appropriate 301 redirects. You can do that with your webmaster tool.
- Study the Magento 2 internal link formatting guidelines and apply them to all of your internal links.
- Make sure that your canonical URLs are correct in order to get rid of identical content.
- Check if the meta tags for categories and goods are correct.
HURDLE #2: DATA
This is definitely the most serious challenge you’ll have to face during the entire migration process. Magento 2.x has new database table structures. You’ll need to adjust your data properly so that it perfectly fits within those new tables.
A layman may struggle with data migration. One wrong move and the data turns into a meaningless mishmash of product descriptions, page content, and meta titles. It may render your online store completely inoperable. You may also lose valuable customer data. The horror!
- Take stock of your data. If you come across something you don’t really need, leave it where it is. Don’t move it to the new site.
- Make a copy of all your data before you start transferring it to the new system. You can store it in the cloud or on an external hard drive.
- Move some of the data automatically using the handy data migration tool provided by the vendor. It will check the mappings between your current goods and customer data before transferring it to the new tables. The tool will also test that the data migration process has been successful and inform you of any mismatches by registering them in its log files.
- Make sure your customers are able to log into the new site using their previous credentials. Also, give your website users an easy way to change their logins and passwords in case something goes awry.
HURDLE #3: EXTENSIONS
Throughout the years, thousands of custom Magento 1.x extensions have been created to meet all kinds of functional requirements. These modules may link an online store with payment processors, product databases, and CRM software, or perform other useful tasks to provide a more convenient experience for customers and administrators.
The big downside of Magento 1.x to Magento 2.x migration is that you’ll have to leave all these time-tested tools behind. Installing them on the new version is impossible.
- As with your data, review your old custom extensions and decide which of them you can painlessly part with.
- Try to find Magento 2.x alternatives for the extensions you do need — unless it’s something unique — and purchase them.
- For custom extensions that perform non-standard functions, hire a developer to build their Magento 2.x equivalents from the ground up.
HURDLE #4: THEMES
Extensions are not the only Magento 1.x assets you’ll have to dump. Themes are in for the same plight. Magento 2.x theming is totally different. Don’t expect the migration tool to do theme conversion between the versions. It can’t.
- Purchase a new Magento 2.x theme available in the vendor’s collection. That doesn’t guarantee it will meet all your requirements, though. Your developers will still need to tweak it so that it’s 100% what you want.
- Hire a developer or designer to build a completely new, custom theme that may or may not resemble the Magento 1.x version. While it’s cost-intensive and time-consuming, it’s a perfect opportunity to overhaul the look and feel of your store, keeping in line with the latest UI and UX trends.
We would be lying to you if we said that all your possible Magento 1 to Magento 2 headaches were limited to those four above. There are many, many more underwater currents that may send your Magento 2 ship in a totally wrong direction.
That’s why it’s so important to have a reliable Magento development partner for your web store. PSD2HTML is just the right company to help you overcome every hurdle on your way from the old to the new version of the most powerful e-commerce system in the world.
We’ll take care of the entire migration process, starting from data back-up and transfer and ending with new custom Magento 2.x-optimized extensions and themes.