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magento & ecommerce

Migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2: 5 things to consider

Support for Magento 1 ended in November of 2018 and it’s not too late to migrate to the new platform. Magento 2 offers a number of upgrades that can give your online business an edge.

Besides a better overview of business results and enhanced website performance, you also get an improved omnichannel e-commerce experience.

Sounds good? Let’s do it!

Before you start

The things needed to migrate to the latest version of Magento includes theme, custom code, customer and product data, and extensions. To ensure everything runs as it’s supposed to, you should devise a strategy and follow the Magento migration diagram.

Start by inspecting your extensions. Check if the extensions are available for Magento 2 and remove ones that you don’t use. Also consider if you need additional capacity or more advanced functions. Then you can install and set up the new Magento and test its functionality.

Quick Migration gude

After running the tests, it’s time to initiate the migration. Go to admin panel and stop all activities except order management. You might want to migrate data from a backup database.

Reindex and do more testing on Magento 2 to determine if there are any issues. Afterward, you’ll want to get the latest data updates and transfer them to the new software. This includes customer profile changes, new orders, and reviews.

Now is the time to go live. Your store will experience a few minutes of downtime as it changes the DNS settings and reindexes.

To minimize mistakes and ensure a smooth transition, check out the following 5 tips.

1. Migration complexities

Keep in mind that the new Magento has an overhauled database design and different architecture.

Magento estimates that the latest version is only 20% bigger. But the size itself doesn’t ensure a smooth ride. The time and effort needed for the migration depend on the complexity of your website.

For example, if you have a bunch of extensions and customizations, it will take more time to migrate everything to Magento 2.

2. Importing

When it comes to importing, you need to move media files and all your product and customer data. Luckily, Magento provides you with the right tools and guidelines. Here is a simple guideline on how to do it.

Customer and product data

The Magento 2 Data Migration Tool allows for a smooth data transition. The tool transforms the data to the new Magento store by using map files.

It verifies the database structures (fields and tables) between Magento 1 and Magento 2. The tool also tracks data transfer and logs the progress and performs tests to verify the data.

Here’s how the Data Migration Tool operates. First, it moves configuration settings, and then it transfers the main data to the new database. Finally, it migrates data updates to the admin panel and the storefront.

Media files

Unfortunately, there isn’t any app that can migrate the media files for you, at least not yet. So what’s left is a manual transfer of all your images, videos, and other media files. Just follow Magento’s guide on how to safely move these files.

3. Extensions and themes

Chances are you’re using a few extensions which are incompatible with the new version of Magento. Some of the extensions can be migrated using the third-party Code Migration Toolkit. You can also check if the developers have released a new version for Magento 2. Otherwise, you might need to consider using a different extension.

Similar rules apply for the themes. It’s crucial to recreate both the themes and the extension to fit the new Magento architecture, and perhaps equally as important, to not confuse and turn off customers who have gotten used to your store.

4. Errors and fixes

Despite your best efforts and careful planning, some error messages might still appear. You can retrace your steps to determine the reason for the error. But if all else fails, you can always get in touch with Magento support for additional guidance.

5. Timing

The migration process is imminent so it’s best not to postpone it indefinitely. It’s recommended to migrate to Magento 2 first before making any further changes to your Magento store.

You should also plan the migration according to your marketing campaign. For example, you should probably initiate the process now if you heavily promote year-end holiday sales. It might take up to 6 months to fully transfer to the new architecture.

Regardless of your current success, you can benefit from Magento 2’s improved admin interface, B2N and CMS features, and streamlined performance.

More importantly, the new version comes with custom features that may improve your sales and conversion rates if you work on it. They include cross-sells, reward programs, upsells, and more.

In addition, it now supports various global shipping services that you might find useful. These include air freight logistical transfers to extremely affordable last-mile delivery services that are cropping up in numerous countries. You no longer have to depend on USPS, the most popular shipper for US stores that ship overseas.

Migration sevices

If you’d rather not do all of that on your own, you can hire a Magento 2 migration service.

Whichever service you decide to go for, they need to be a certified Magento Developer. This verifies that the company/developer has the right experience to move and transform your e-commerce to the new platform.

Post-migration support is also another important factor. Once the migration is over, the service provider needs to test all the aspects of the store for you to make sure there are no technical issues. Of course, you’ll also have to test the site yourself and work with the provider on any issues.

Move to better performance

The benefits of Magento 2 are obvious. However, it may not be a simple upgrade for everyone. Imagine redesigning and moving your brick-and-mortar business to a completely new location.

Okay, we’re exaggerating – it’s not exactly that painful. But you get the idea.

When all is said and done, it all boils down to careful planning. But if you are not exactly confident about doing everything on your own, feel free to ask for a quote from a Magento migration service provider.

By interactivated • on March 29, 2019

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