With end of life support approaching incredibly fast for Magento 1, now is the time for online retailers to turn their thoughts, if they have not already, to upgrading to Magento 2. With a technical plan in place and the right steps followed, upgrading to Magento 2 need not be a problem and could be a positive change for your online business given the number of customisable options available for online businesses.

For those still on Magento 1, support for this will cease at the end of June 2020. This date has exceeded the initial end of life date by 18 months – so if you are still on the original version and asking how this may impact you, here’s some advice on how you should move forward.

Magento 1’s Long Walk into the Sunset

Magento 1 has long been on the way out as there have been no updates since 2014 with the team at Magento, instead prioritising developing the new Magento 2 platform.

Magento 1 users will need to factor in timescales to ensure that the upgrade to Magento 2 is successful and as part of this exercise, Magento had extended their software support from its original end date of November 2018 to June 2020. Thus, affording users the time to gather any requirements and build a plan around moving onto the new platform so that web businesses can continue to operate smoothly.

By moving onto Magento 2, retailers will be able to gain access to enhanced features available as well as the security and continued performance Magento brings to the table. Magento 2 is better placed to support businesses modern omni-channel marketing strategies offering upgraded features such as refer a friend emails, ability to create wish lists, UGC and customer segmentations.

When will Magento 1 Support Run Out?

Magento 1 support will run out at the end of June 2020 - meaning e-comms platforms need to rethink their ongoing needs for their online business.

So, what's the difference between Magento 2 Open Source & Commerce?

It is quite simple really, with the Open Source version, webmasters are able to download this for free and host it with their chosen server provider.

The Magento 2 Commerce version is ideal for those who may not have thought about the practicalities of a technical set up and sought server provider set up already – of course this only applies to businesses going online now. This version is hosted already, and you will need to pay a fee for both hosting and licencing – but comes with additional features – what you pay will ultimately depend on what you generate in revenue.

Key Features of Magento 2.

Both versions of the Magento 2 platform will offer the following features as standard:

  • Product catalogue management
  • ElasticSearch site search
  • Integrated checkout
  • Order processing
  • Smooth payment journeys
  • Easy shipping functionality with the ability to ship internationally
  • Ease of accepting multiple currencies
  • Mobile first design templates
  • Ability to extend functionality with the App Marketplace

What's involved in the migration to Magento 2?

Magento 2 is not the same eCommerce platform as Magento 1. You will be building a new website and migrating all your products, sales, and order data to the new platform.

As with any new project, this will include scoping out and understanding all of the requirements to carry this out, with a full design and development phase. This will allow you to think about what functionality you want to carry over from your old platform and what new features you may want to have when you launch your new website.

It is essential that all customer and historic data is carried over to the new platform, as this will allow you to personalise the UX for customers moving forward.

One thing which is key during this process, will be for you to evaluate what you need from an e-commerce platform. Whilst Magento 2 will be a powerful platform, businesses now have the option of other e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce and BigCommerce. Each platform will have its own nuances for everything from pricing options down to available features which need to be suitable for your business.

Time to Make the Switch!

We hope our guide has been of use to you. With the Magento 1 platform discontinued support fast approaching, now is the time to ensure that your site is secure and supported – whatever platform you adopt.

If you need help discussing your businesses requirements for an e-commerce platform, do not hesitate to contact us as we will be happy to have a chat.