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magento & ecommerce

Magento 1 end of life – not until 2020

During Meet Magento Prague 2017, Magento Inc. announced that they would no longer provide support for Magento 1 starting from Nov 17, 2018. The proximity of the date caused quite a bit of fuss within the community, as not all site owners were ready to upgrade to Magento 2.

Thankfully, not long after Magento decided to cancel the announcement, stating that they would never simply give up on their customers. For this reason, they replaced it with an 18-month notice policy, which would give Magento shop owners enough time to upgrade to the latest Magento in the event of support changes.

This was a huge relief for those who chose Magento to build their sites, to say the least. Magento 1 End of Life (EOL) would leave many shop owners with an outdated software, which could seriously hamper their chances of success.

How would Magento 1 EOL affect shop owners?

There’s no doubt that Magento 2 is much more capable than its predecessor. It’s packed with new features that open many doors those who build their ecommerce sites on Magento. However, the upgrade still isn’t accessible to many.

This applies mostly to owners of smaller shops, who still can’t afford the migration to Magento 2, as it can be a significant drain on resources. Many shop owners have steadfastly refused to upgrade for one reason or another.

However, Magento 1 EOL would be bad news to many who invested significant resources into building their shop using Magento 1. It would require additional resources, time and financial, to switch to the new version.

This wouldn’t be that big of an issue if the shops had sufficient technical staff for this. Unfortunately, many of them don’t, so the end of support for Magento 1 could mean the end of their business in the worst-case scenario, or at least severely limit their ability to grow the business.

Lastly, due to the many changes in Magento 2, getting up to speed with the software could be quite a challenge. Many shop owners have a whole lot of things to devote their efforts to, and such a change could entail setting aside business development for the sake of learning about the new version of Magento.

Even though this would be a smart long-term move, many shop owners simply aren’t ready to do it. Many of them may have neither the time nor the resources to do this.

Magento 1 lifecycle extension

Realizing that shop owners need more time to transition to the new version, Magento Inc. decided to extend the support for Magento 1 until June 2020. This is great news for shop owners, as it leaves more than enough time for most to switch to the upgraded version.

When it comes to Magento Commerce 1 (formerly called Enterprise Edition), the corresponding Magento shops will keep receiving both security patches and quality improvements until 2020. There are two versions that are eligible for the support, Enterprise Edition 1.13 and 1.14.

If you have an ongoing subscription or license, Magento will provide all the support you need to keep your shop running until you’re ready to switch.

Enterprise Edition 1.09, 1.10, 1.11, and 1.12 won’t be receiving any bug fixes and quality improvements. The only thing that Magento offers for those are security patches until 2020, as these Minor Releases are considered outdated.

The same goes for Magento Open Source (Community Edition). No bug fixes will be provided, but security maintenance will go on until the EOL. The software versions eligible for security patches are Community Edition 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, and 1.9.

Keep in mind that third party extensions aren’t covered by the support. This also includes customizations, as well as security and compliance.

What does this mean for shop owners?

Obviously, this change in support policy is great news. However, this doesn’t mean that you should wait until the last moment to switch, or even worse, not switch at all. Even though technically you’ll be able to keep running your Magento 1 store, it’s highly recommended that you make transitioning to the new version one of your top priorities.

The first and probably the biggest reason is security. Every shop owner should understand the vital importance of data security. Continuing to use Magento 1 after June 2020 can only expose the shop owner to major risks of data breaches. This can result in loss or theft of sensitive information, the consequences of which can be catastrophic.

Another reason why switching to Magento 2 is important is competitiveness. Shop owners who decide to switch will enjoy a much wider range of features that can provide a big boost to their business. If you keep using Magento 1, chances are high that you might lose your competitive advantage, in the sense that your shop might not be able to keep up with the ones built on the latest version.

Lastly, relying on Magento 1 in the long run will not make sense. The outdated software will become increasingly prone to IT bottlenecks, which will negatively affect every aspect of keeping your shop running.

The final word

Shop owners using Magento 1 can be at peace knowing that they will keep receiving support in the foreseeable future. Moving the EOL date has been a smart move by Magento, which can only bring good publicity and higher customer loyalty to the world’s most popular ecommerce platform.

As mentioned, this doesn’t mean that Magento 1 store owners can do nothing. The only thing Magento’s new support policy does is postpone the inevitable Magento 1 EOL. Use the time that the company has given you to do your best to switch as soon as possible. Magento 2 has been around since 2015, which means that you might have already missed some opportunities to improve your shop.

There’s still more than enough time for merchants to transition to Magento 2, so start looking into what it takes to futureproof and improve your Magento ecommerce site.

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By interactivated • on October 22, 2018

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