Magento 1 End of Life - Upgrading to Magento 2
Why March to July 2019 is the very best time to migrate.
Magento has announced that they will end support for Magento 1 in June 2020. Magento has been encouraging merchants to upgrade their websites over to their latest version since it was released a few years ago, and now with this latest announcement more merchants may be inclined to do so.
What Does Magento 1 End of Life Mean For Merchants?
Websites are built on and supported by several interacting layers of technology. You own the surface technology: your design and your own data. But there are extensions, data layers, and lines of code that you don’t own which also support your website.
When Magento says it’s supporting a platform, it means their team is constantly releasing code upgrades and security patches for their platform which keep your website secure and ensure optimal performance. Once they end that support, your website is essentially left behind while the rest of the web moves forward.
You may not see problems the day after they stop support, but you will see UX issues and larger security vulnerabilities the longer you stay on Magento 1.
We recommend that you start planning a migration to Magento 2 now. Even if you can’t engage in a project now, you can ensure that it’s slated for a tracked future date. The good news is that although an upgrade can be a significant project, Magento makes migrating your website from version 1 to 2 as straightforward as possible.
How To Migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2?
There are few different methods of migration, but since you’re upgrading from Magento 1 to 2, you have the option of doing a direct programmatic migration. This means using Magento’s M2 Migrate API to port over all pages, blocks, configuration, products, and any other data stored in your old website to your new website.
Magento 2: Handling Your M1 Customizations
Purchased extensions for M1 will need to be re-purchased for M2.
Integrations on your old website will need to be reconnected. For example, an integration with Sage might mean a custom API code needs updating, or might mean just getting the Magento 2 version of a connector extension.
Your website’s theme - the front-end - will need to be rewritten on your new website. You can choose to rewrite your existing theme, but many use this as an opportunity to accomplish a total refresh on their website.
If you have any fully custom extensions your team or a vendor have created, those will need to be re-written for Magento 2.
How Long Does Migrating From M1 to M2 Take?
Every project is different, because no two websites are the same. In our experience, it has taken anywhere from three weeks to four months to migrate from Magento 1 to 2. What will ultimately determine the timeline of your project will be how custom your website is.
Is There a Deadline For Migrating Your Magento Store?
Although there’s still a year until M1 support is ended, when you compare that timeline to the business calendar, March to July 2019 is the very best time to migrate. For most merchants Q4 is a busy season with multiple holidays - it’s a tough time to launch a new system. This means that if you wait to start your project in July 2019, your website won’t go live until October/November 2019.
If you miss the Q3 launch date, you will have a short amount of time in 2020 to start your project before end of life in June. Waiting until the last could also mean further delays if you have to wait in a queue.
Your Magento 2 Migration should be done by October 1, 2019, meaning March-June 2019 is your ideal start.
What Happens if I Don’t Migrate My Website Before End of Support?
You may not notice any significant changes to your website at first. But Magento is constantly being supported by releases and patches from their core team and community that ensure the performance of your website, as well as the security. Without those, you will start to see increased security vulnerabilities and breaks across your website.
These problems will only get worse and more frequent as your Magento platform becomes more dated. For ecommerce websites especially, maintaining security and performance at all times is especially important as there’s more of an incentive to take advantage of vulnerabilities and a greater risk to you.
On the other hand, depending on who’s hosting your website, you may go offline if you haven’t migrated to Magento 2 before Magento 1 end of life. In an effort to protect the other websites on their servers, some hosting companies force everyone to be on fully supported technologies. It’s not likely that your hosting company will stop hosting your website without any warning, but we recommend checking with them to see how Magento 1 end of life will affect you.
Is This a Normal Occurrence?
Absolutely. All technology from your phone to your car to your web platform have major new releases every few years as technology continues to develop, minor releases occur between those, and patches continue to be released all the time.
In between the release of Magento 1 and 2, there were many subsequent, smaller releases. For example, Magento version 1.9.3:
1 represents the platform release
9 represents the minor release
3 represents the patch release
While coordinating a website migration may pose an inconvenience, it also presents you with an opportunity to access new administrative capabilities that weren’t available when Magento 1 was first released.
Why You Should Migrate to Magento 2 As Soon As Possible
The good news is that you have a lot of great things waiting for you in Magento 2. Ecommerce has changed quite a bit in the years since Magento 1 was first released, and Magento 2 was built to handle current standards of ecommerce. Magento 2 features a much better administrative suite, making your job of managing your website that much easier. A host of new features were added directly to core, making customizing your website and building out a truly competitive, custom branded ecommerce website that much simpler.