A Guide to Migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2
If you’re running a Magento site for your business, you have probably thought about whether you need to migrate your site to the Magento 2 architecture.
In our experience, most eCommerce site owners will consider a Magento 2 update for several reasons:
- They aren’t able to gain the benefits they need from Magento 1
- They are concerned about the long-term support available for Magento 1
- They want to integrate features such as Responsive Web Design and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)
Of course, the migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2 can seem daunting, and for good reason. In most respects, more than an update, it’s actually a rebuild. Yet, when you consider the new features and benefits of Magento 2 it can be well worth the time and cost.
Take stock before you start
The first step in the transition process is to conduct an assessment of your current installation. This should include custom or third-party extensions, integrations, and workflows. Magento 2 will likely have a lot of functionality that can better meet your needs, but you need to consider what can be transitioned over.
This is especially true if you’re considering working with a new Magento developer for the project. They’ll need to understand what they’re working with before they can build a new site for you. They can also perform a code review and audit service if needed.
With this in mind, here are five essential questions to ask before migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2.
Which third-party extensions do you have installed?
To identify all third-party extensions you’re using in Magento 1, go to system > config > admin > advanced > disable module or custom modules. Here you’ll see what you have installed in your existing Magento store along with the functionality they provide on your eCommerce site.
This step is important since not all third-party extensions are currently available for Magento 2 and some extension providers are taking the opportunity to ‘retire’ some older, less popular extensions. It’s worth pointing out that existing licenses for Magento 1.x extensions are not valid for Magento 2 stores, so licensing costs will need to be added to the overall project costs.
What front-end improvements are you looking for?
If your current Magento 1 site doesn’t have a responsive design, then the transition to Magento 2 would provide the perfect opportunity to change it. Magento 1 themes aren’t transferrable to Magento 2, so it’s a time when any front-end improvements you want can be added during the migration.
Does your team understand the architecture?
The technical architecture of Magento 2 is very different from Magento 1. For this reason, it is important that it understood by the members of your team who’ll be using the new site. If you have in-house developers or technical users within your organization, consider that they will need time to understand the new Magento 2 framework properly.
I’d suggest allowing your team some time to get comfortable with the system, and to review some online guides and tutorials for Magento 2. Doing this early will help reduce downtime and delays once you’ve launched.
How will you migrate data?
Another significant consideration is going to be the data migration from your Magento 1 site. Again, if you’re using a Magento developer, then this is likely to be managed by their team. Magento does have a data migration tool available, and it allows the transfer of standard and custom data tables. Keep in mind that this requires mapping and testing to ensure your data migrates across correctly.
If you’re changing the extensions you’re using (which is likely), then some data manipulation might be required. Data migration is a big part of the Magento 2 migration process, and it’s crucial that you have a team ready to QA all aspects.
How will you manage testing for the site?
While your team will be the ones operating the website once it’s running, getting them to conduct formal testing of an eCommerce platform may not be possible. Working with Magento Developers or a Develpment Agency will take care of this. Remember that your staff are busy with their day to day workload, and they likely are not professionally-trained testers. QA testing can often be tedious and repetitive. Magento does provide coded tests, however Magento Developers can (and ideally should) also write tests specifically for your site and theme.
As you can see, the key to a successful Magento 2 migration is preparation. Remember that you are essentially rebuilding your site so that it functions with the new extensions and themes.
By taking the time to fully understand what you currently have in place, to consider what can be improved, and finally to test the transition site thoroughly, the move to Magento 2 can be a positive and profitable experience.