Maybe your webshop’s Magento migration may not be your top priority right now, but it’s a decision you need to consider. Besides the support that will cease starting with June 2020, there are many other reasons why Magento 2 is better than Magento 1: the newest version has brought important improvements in terms of technology, modularity, and performance.

The end of Magento 1 is near. The process of migration is an opportunity for both the development agency and for the client alike.

Magento 2.x is very different to Magento 1.x, meaning that any custom work completed on the Magento 1.x website will need to be re-done for the new store.

What are the benefits of moving to Magento 2.x?

Magento 2 has been designed to overcome some of the key challenges of Magento 1:

  • Performance and scalability: Magento 2 performs better than Magento 1 in all use cases. The most important feature is the built-in full page cache, that makes Magento 2 out of the box 50% faster. This leads to more conversion and allows Magento 2 to process more orders in the same time span.
  • Smooth customization: Magento 2 was built with customization in mind. Much of the logic was re-written into easy to separate and customize modules. Furthermore, it delivers a variety of methods and tools to allow developers to further customize and enhance your store.
  • Security & regular updates: Magento 2 provides regular updates with improvements and security patches.
  • Ease of use & improved SEO capabilities
  • The checkout experience: Magento 2 leads to less abandoned baskets for varied reasons, such as: a faster checkout process, more payment methods, more shipping options & guest checkout. The checkout process is much smoother and simplified compared to Magento 1.
  • The improved admin panel: So long, grumpy grey panel, the new back-office is here! It makes it easier to have a real impact on your shop. The Magento team added features like creating reports to monitor your sales. The new UI is cleaner, modern and easy to use. Slick overviews for your orders, invoices, customers and CMS content are all part of the new Magento platform.
  • The update: Keeping your store updated with the latest version is of high importance. Security breaches are discovered weekly. As a shopkeeper, you are obligated to keep the shop safe for your customers.
    Because this process is of real importance, Magento 2 is developed to be easily maintainable. Updates can be installed without hazards.
  • Mobile Friendliness: These days, 80% of internet users own a smartphone. Out of the box, Magento 2 is mobile friendly with a responsive theme and mobile friendly checkout.

Before Magento migration

The migration is a great occasion to make an inventory and decide what needs to be kept and what needs to be removed from the new webshop.

Analyse if all the elements are compatible with the M2 version. And of course, make sure you have a full backup of your shop, including the required database, folders, and files.

It’s mandatory not to use the live webshop for your migration. Instead, use the cloned database. The best practice when migrating from M1 to M2 is to start by only importing a limited data set.

After thorough testing, the bulk of data can be migrated. Make sure all the elements are compatible with M2. After installing it, make sure you set the following option in your config.xml: “<direct_document_copy>1</direct_document_copy>”.

Magento migrationThe steps you need to take for a Magento Migration

  • Third party extension installation
  • Website/Store/Storeview setup
  • Magento Configuration
  • Theme Configuration
  • Product/Category/Customer Attributes creation
  • Content migration
  • Tax Rates

Migration plan

Our developers understood that upgrading a M1 webshop to M2 is a re-platforming process and it can be problematic sometimes. Here’s a list with the most common issues and some best practices you can use in order to avoid them. Even if Magento is offering a data migration tool, we advise you not to rely on it. Choose to collaborate with a team of experts. If they are Magento certified, it’s even better. Because this means they have the knowledge and the experience needed.

#1 Only migrate the necessary data: the Magento migration is an opportunity for improving your e-commerce platform. Don’t get attached on old, poor set-ups and leave behind the past’s mistakes.

Here’s a short list with the most important elements you need to keep:

  • Customer records
  • Categorisation
  • Product Data
  • Order history

#2 Get data in the system asap: testing it at the earliest stage is the best thing you can do when migrating your webshop. Your developers will also have real data to work with, which is a big plus.

#3 Clean unnecessary data: each disabled module left data behind. Take the migration as an opportunity to clean up your database.

#4 Test the import process multiple times: this way, you will make sure the process is consistent, and it doesn’t depend on manual steps.

#5 Run updates through the migration tool: this way, you will bring across only the new changes and you’ll save time.

#6 Review extensions installed on your current shop: Which extensions have you installed? Have you identified whether you need those extensions in the new shop? Is there a Magento 2 version of those extensions?

#7 Review the custom features: Not all features are a default. Sometimes the agency is developing custom features for you. Make a list and check if they’re available in the new shop.

#8 Review your hosting: Magento 2 uses a modern technology stack. Make sure you contact your hosting partner to see if they can provide the minimum requirements. A big plus is if they already have experience on hosting Magento 2 webshops.

Data Migration Tool

Magento 2 comes with a default migration tool that makes the migration process less painful. Mind that it’s still not a piece of cake.

What this tool can migrate:

  • Settings: this allows you to migrate config settings.
  • Data: bulk migration of your main data like products, categories, order history, cms pages and blocks.
  • Delta: This makes it possible to run incremental data updates from your Magento 1 platform. These can come in handy if you previously ran a migration and want to migrate the latest updates.

What this tool can’t migrate:

  • Media files: such as product images, CMS page images, PDF’s
  • Storefront design: as previously described, Magento 2’s core architecture is different from Magento 1’s. This means that styling and themes of your current shop won’t be merged. A new theme will need to be set-up, by following the Magento 2 architecture.
  • ACLs (Access Control Lists) and Admin users: these are rules, defined to the users.

A Magento 2 migration is not an easy process and it involves plenty of technical skills. In order to make sure you run a safe migration for your webshop, don’t hesitate to hire a team of experts that can assure you a job well done.

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