How to Migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2: a Short Guide by Gomage

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Discussing the future plans with our clients, we realized that some of them are planning for migration to Magento 2. In this regard, there are some questions that we would like to review.

Magento Migration From 1 to 2. What are the Advantages of the Magento 2 Platform?

Before starting your Magento migration to another server, you should know all the pros and cons. Let’s get to know some of the advantages of Magento 2.

Best customer experience
Most of the modern customers would like the online shopping process to be as fast as possible. Magento 2 platform has a built-in checkout feature that greatly optimizes the purchasing process. This feature redirects buyers to a confirmation page where they can place an order. Due to this, they no longer need to create a profile in the online store.

In addition, thanks to the integrated payment modules such as Braintree and PayPal, the online stores save information about the customer's bank cards, which also reduces the time required to place an order.

Responsive Mobile Design
In fact, a great number of orders are made using mobile devices. If you want to keep up with modern trends, then your online store should be convenient for those who want to make a purchase from a mobile phone. Unlike Magento 1, templates for Magento 2 initially have an adaptive design. Besides the fact that the page loading speed is 50% faster, Magento 2 has an advanced product search, which makes it easier for users of mobile devices to find the product they need.

Design
An attractive design is very important for an online store because it really affects the buyer's decision to make a purchase. Templates for Magento 1, with many steps in in the orderign process, slow loading of pages and the lack of responsive design no longer satisfies the needs of modern customers. Because of this, you lose potential profits. At the same time, Magento 2 has the ability to place an order through a guest profile and has many attractive templates that adapt to screens of any resolution.

Performance
Performance is very important for high conversion rates. If your online store is loading too long, then you will increase cart abandonment rate. Magento 2 can process 40% more orders per hour while adding 70% faster to the cart.
Advanced Reports
In order for your business strategy to be really effective, you need to track the most important business metrics. One of the functions of Magento 2 is about 20 advanced reports on the profitability of your online store, which you can track from the admin panel.

Marketing automation
To increase customer retention and “make friends” with customers, you should use mailing services. Dotmailer, a mailing automation tool, was originally integrated into Magento 2. You can create automated SMS, push, and mailings.

Magento Migration Steps. Where to start?

magento migration steps

Based on previous experience, we can say that the migration of an online store is a very complicated process that requires preliminary preparations. Therefore, we strongly recommend hiring an e-commerce developer to help you migrate to another platform without losing important data. Let's take a look at the step-by-step migration process to Magento 2.

First, we recommend reading all official documentation on Magento.com. It can help you to understand the stages of this process which is not an easy one. If you do not have enough programming and development skills to understand all the information, GoMage is ready to assist you in the process.

The main task of the merchant is to do careful preparation. Some useful recommendations are below.

Determine a low sales season
In our experience, the low sales season is the best period for migration. It is very difficult to predict how everything goes during the upgrade process, so it is important to upgrade during your period of decreased activity if at all possible. This will help to minimize losses.

Many merchants prefer to plan the migration of the live site on weekends when the store is closed and doesn’t provide any support or delivery service. It is not always a good decision.

Some work can be done during the weekend if it is necessary. But there may be a situation when hosting support stops responding, or the help of an HTML layout designer is needed and the person is not available. There may be many contingencies, so it is better to use business hours or working days. As soon as you identify the migration period you will be able to start preparing.

Make a list of all extensions for Magento 1 that are installed in the store
The list of installed extensions will determine the amount of work that should be done before migration.
If an extension is not provided by the Magento Community you can order its development, which is usually expensive. Another option would be to postpone your migration.

Think About a New Design for Your Online Store

Magento 2 is significantly different from Magento 1. The theme of the existing store can’t be used in the new version. The migration to Magento 2 is a good opportunity to update your store design. You can create a document describing what you’d like to change and what you prefer to leave as it is. Doing such an analysis now can save both time and money in the future.

Make a list of functions you’d like to add during your Magento migration
In fact, migration to Magento 2 means that a new online store will be developed. It will not take as much time as the first one because you have content, products and so on. But from the technical point of view, it is like a new store. You can expand the existing functionality and make your store more user-friendly .

Identify your top pages not to lose your position in search engines
Does migration has an impact on SEO. With Magento 2, your store will be more SEO-friendly. What you definitely need to do is to make a list of pages/references to the pages which have TOP positions in SERP. This means these URLs mustn’t be changed, even if you prefer to update the category structure.

Otherwise, you need to implement redirects not to lose your search traffic. Quite recently Google changed its policies regarding 301 and 302 redirects and the pages don’t lose their weight anymore.

Integration with other systems
If your existing store is integrated with CRM, ERP or other systems, the migration will be more complicated. In this way, your developer should help you strategically plan the work.

NOTE: You will need more time for the project to be completed.

All this information is enough to start making the requirements for your migration project including choosing the developer who will help you to do this.

For certain reasons, it is better to deal with the same company who developed your Magento 1 store if possible. Their team knows the peculiarities of your business and they will need less time to understand your requirements.

What problems can you face with while organizing Magento migration from 1 to 2

Now, we would like to tell you about the most frequent problems encountered while migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2.

  • Loss of important data. The most common problem of online store migration with the help of a developer is the loss of information about customers and products. Such data loss adversely affects the operation of an online store. Therefore, we recommend hiring a developer who is aware of all the nuances of migration.
  • Slow work of the current online store on Magento 1 during the migration. During the migration, you can continue to work online store on the platform Magento 1. However, this can adversely affect the speed of loading the site. Therefore, we offer the following solutions: hire a developer who optimizes the online store on Magento 1, avoid migration during periods of sales and holidays, when your site will be a large load of traffic, tell customers the time and date of the migration so they can wait for the process to finish.
  • Loss of site positions in search engines. During the migration, the URLs of your products, categories, and CMS pages are subject to change. We advise you to identify the existing pages with 404 errors on the new website and adjust the 301 redirects to them. In addition, you can transfer all navigation URLs and pages to the new site to avoid duplicate content.

How to Choose the Right Partner – the Development Company

What we can offer, or GoMage advantages
GoMage has been working with Magento storefronts since 2010 and specializes in Magento only. In our portfolio, we have several successful Magento migration projects and we are ready to provide you with references from our clients.
Gomage has a wide range of services which can be useful for the development of your online business:

  • full range of services for complex store development from scratch and existing store customization
  • professional upgrade of your existing store to Magento 2 with all extensions and customizations retained
  • innovative design and UI/UX services for your Magento store to attract new customers and keep them coming back
  • full-service support and maintenance with continuous monitoring of performance and store development
  • professional server optimization and 24/7 support for your store to reach and remain maximum performance
  • overall security audits detect store vulnerabilities and provide detailed security optimization reports.

How we work. Magento Migration Plan

  • We estimate the project cost and timeframe within 24 hours of receiving your inquiry.
  • We split the project into several milestones and specify the project completion date.
  • We assign a project manager who will work with you on the project.
  • We set up your project in our Project Management system along with the development environment and Git repository.
  • We work on the project until completion, ensuring you are well-informed of the process at every step.
  • Our QA team tests every completed task and conducts final testing of the project.
  • We release the results of our work and carry out a final round of QA testing.
  • We provide you with ongoing support and maintenance, plus 24/7 server support and optimization.

How to Migrate Magento 1 to Magento 2

The extensions for Magento 2 are also available, so you can be sure that the main eCommerce processes will be optimized with the best extensions for Magento 2 in order to help your business grow successfully.

In conclusion, we would like to say that migration to the Magento 2 platform has a positive effect on the following factors:

  • Reduced cart abandonment rate. Due to the order through the guest profile and improved website loading speed, your customers will be able to place an order more quickly, thereby reducing the number of left product pages;
  • the increase in the number of orders. Thanks to Elasticsearch, Magento 2 has an advanced search of products on the website, so your customers will be able to find the product they need quickly, thereby increasing conversion;
  • more orders from mobile devices. Adaptive design allows your customers to make purchases even more convenient, using mobile devices. As a result, not only the level of conversions increases but also the profitability of the online store.

The Magento migration process for each project can be both simple and complex, it all depends on the state of the data (SQL database) if there are any errors in them, as well as how much information needs to be transferred. As with any task, everything can be solved solved; it is only a matter of time and the professionalism of your developers.