Upgrading or migrating to Magento 2 (M2) is not as simple as running a script or issuing a few basic commands. Migrating is a complex process that must be planned. This executive overview is written for retailers who want a high-level snapshot of a typical M2 migration including key considerations, benefits, time and costs.
Consider Migration an Opportunity
A few busy retailers would prefer to remain status quo but you should consider your migration an opportunity to rethink the “big picture” and refine your online strategies.
- Are certain features no longer useful to your customers?
- Are there ways to take advantage of new technologies and marketing strategies?
- Should you consider streamlining business processes and operations to maximize profits?
A migration to Magento 2 will deliver a better platform built using the latest technologies, faster performance, improved checkout, enhanced features and a responsive, easier to use administrator interface.
What is the Magento 1 Support Deadline?
Originally set to expire in November 2018, Magento has postponed the Magento 1 (M1) “end of life” and announced that support won’t end in the foreseeable future. Magento has promised to give retailers at least 18 months’ notice before the next deadline.
What does “end of life” mean? It means that Magento will no longer release security patches and no new M1 features or software versions will be published.
Is Magento 2 Stable?
Magento 2 has been around long enough that most bugs and kinks have been worked out in the newer versions. Most popular extensions and third-party integrations have been redeveloped to support this new platform and are already available for M2.
Do I Really Need to Think About Migration Right Now?
Yes. Keep in mind that every retailer running on M1 will need to migrate eventually. You don’t wait too long to do so. As the end of life date gets closer, many businesses may find themselves in a crunch to get it done and will be waiting in line behind other last-minute retailers. If you decide to wait, set a target date, plan your strategy and budget for it. Moving to M2 will be busy enough as it is. Why complicate the process by waiting too long and dealing with the stress of a tight deadline?
What are Some Benefits of Moving to Magento 2?
There are many reasons why M2 makes sense. The set of core features available to you depends on whether you are running Community or Enterprise Edition but, in general, there are several key benefits to Magento 2.
- Enhanced performance
- A streamlined, easier checkout process
- Modern technologies
- A newly designed, intuitive admin interface
- Customizable dashboards so you can access your most important data quickly
- Built in mobile responsiveness as a core feature
Will This Move Impact My Search Engine Optimization?
If not managed properly, migrating to Magento 2 may carry some SEO risks. If there are any changes made to your URL structures, you must implement 301 redirects to map old pages to the new. 301 redirects tell Google that the page still exists and point to the new location. Redirects will ensure you do not lose any hard-earned rankings.
Are There Other Key Considerations?
- Migrating sooner rather than later might save you money. If you are active with development and site improvements, keep in mind you will likely have to rebuild or reintegrate when you move to Magento 2. The sooner you move to M2, the less likely it is you will have to pay twice for development work.
- Ensure you have the time and resources to devote to the project once it starts. Although we do what we can to make the process easy for clients, you will be called upon to review theme concepts, test the site, evaluate extensions and participate in QA of content migration or assist with data cleansing.
- If your existing site uses third-party modules or integrates with back office systems, this is an opportunity to evaluate these integrations. Before you begin any migration task, you will need to ensure your current configuration can be replicated on M2. Do you need to evaluate alternatives or consider improvements?
- If you are not happy with your current web host, you might want to take this opportunity to move to a provider who specializes in Magento for increased performance, improved security and better technical support.
- Consider migrating during your slower season. If you have not waited until the last minute, you will have the luxury of setting a schedule that least impacts your daily business operations.
What Will It Cost?
The varying nature of Magento projects makes it difficult to predict exact project costs. Your choice to use Community or Enterprise Edition is also a factor. A reputable developer will evaluate your current implementation before providing an estimate. If you receive a price quote from a company who has not audited your current installation and discussed your goals and requirements, you may be setup for disappointment and cost overruns.
Cost will also depend on your web team’s experience and talent. Successful projects generally include a well-rounded team of designers, managers, search engine optimization specialists and developers. An experienced Magento consultant will suggest options and ways to lower costs if necessary.
Expect to spend a minimum of $40,000 – $80,000 to migrate your existing store to Magento 2. Sites with advanced features, integrations and custom programming could cost considerably more. If you preserve your site design and catalog definition, your migration costs will be lower. You may get a cheaper price from a freelance or offshore developer but be cautious. You should consider time zones, communication barriers, availability and ongoing support.
How Long will a Migration Take?
The amount of time it takes to move to Magento 2 depends on the number of customizations, store complexity, extensions required and data migration requirements. Migration for a typical store with minimal 3rd party integrations is 3 – 6 months.
What Basic Steps are Involved in a Magento 2 Migration?
Although a lot of people talk about “upgrading” or “migrating” to Magento 2, it is essentially a rebuild. Magento 2 comes with a completely different architecture and database design. Magento has developed tools that make components of the migration easier but most of your new site will be built from the ground up.
- Clone existing Magento 1 store and use this version for migration tasks
- Install Magento 2
- Implement theme
- Install extensions
- Migrate or rewrite any code customizations
- Move Magento settings and data – products, categories, orders, store configurations & settings, etc.
- Implement integrations with third-party modules or systems
- Test, test, test
- Optimize new store SEO setup and prepare 301 redirects
- Go live
Interested in Migrating to Magento 2?
Our core area of expertise is Magento. Contact us to schedule a demo of Magento 2 and get all of your questions answered by one of our Magento consultants. Call 443-949-0069 or email email@example.com.