Migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2 Commerce and Open Source editions has been on the agenda for many companies since Magento 1 officially reached end of life on 30 June 2020

There won’t be any further support, patches or security updates for Magento 1, so many users are looking at Magento 2 migration as the next practical step. 

There could of course be some issues along the way. Here are some things to consider. 

Before you start 

Even with the best-laid plans it’s possible that the process could go wrong. Before starting, it is important to create a backup of your database and files. 

Magento 2 has a different architecture and database design to Magento 1, so migration won’t be a simple process. Some migration steps can’t be automated, such as media stored in files, your storefront design, user rights and access control. 

You should be satisfied that Magento 2 will provide the functions that you want. You will also need to allow time to thoroughly test everything before you switch over. 

It’s a good idea to test the migration process in a staging environment first. To do this, you will need to make a copy of your Magento 1 website and ideally save it on a different server, so you can run through the steps you will need to take to move to the new environment. 

Requirements 

You will need at least version 7 of the scripting language PHP, and ideally the latest version 8, which was released in February. Magento 2 won’t operate well on older PHP versions. You will also need at least MySQL version 5.6 or MariaDB version 10.1. 

Magento 2 will need at least 2GB of random-access memory (RAM), especially if you are using Magento applications and extensions, and 24GB or more solid-state drive (SSD) capacity. 

Step by step 

Once you have your new version of Magento 2 and all the PHP extensions you need installed on a server it will be time to begin migration from your Magento 1 site. Use a cloned database rather than transferring directly from your live online store. 

The Magento 2 migration process has been simplified with an automatic Magento Migration Tool (MMT). It will verify that the tables and fields in the Magento 1 and Magento 2 databases are consistent and will track and log the transfer process. 

The MMT will place the files into a Magento 2 folder, and you will need authentication keys to complete the process. You’ll find these in the My Profile area on the Magento Marketplace website in the My Products menu. 

In your migration plan your theme, extensions and customizations will need to be transferred before your orders, customer information and store data. This can be done manually or automatically: the automated option ignores differences between the source and destination to complete the process. 

You will also need to migrate your media files, such as your product images. If your media are stored in a database they can be transferred automatically to Magento 2, as long as it is synchronized before data migration. If your media are stored in files you will need to copy them to Magento 2. To complete the process the new store will need to be reindexed. 

Some considerations 

You might be able to transfer your existing Magento 1 theme to your new site, but this will probably involve some work within Magento 2. Because the database structure of Magento 2 is different to Magento 1, layout files can’t be simply copied and pasted. Alternatively, you can use a pre-made Magento 2 theme. In either case you might need the help of a Magento 2 developer to achieve the results you want. 

Magento 1 plugins don’t generally work on Magento 2, so you will need to understand the role of each of your existing extensions. You might not need all of your Magento 1 extensions on your new site and there could be better Magento 2 alternatives available. Again, you might need to work with a developer at this point. 

If you still need customized code that you have been using on your Magento 1 site you can use the Magento 1 to Magento 2 code migration tool

Migration issues 

After migration you might find you have some empty categories or landing pages. This is often due to inconsistencies in the content management coding between Magento 1 and Magento 2. 

Images might not appear, which can require a time-consuming process to regenerate your image cache, to resize your product images, and to put them in the correct cache folders. 

In some cases you might receive error messages indicating that products don’t exist (“No Such Entity”). This is often related to corrupted store tables, and some detective work in the form of multiple queries could be needed to find the cause. 

Go-live 

When your initial data migration is complete and your theme, extensions and customizations are in place and tested, you will be ready to go live. You must be prepared for a pause in your business processes at this point. 

You will need to make sure that you have transferred orders received since you started the process along with any new customer information and new products. 

The data migration tool allows you to migrate only selected changes and you can run these updates as often as you need. However, changes on your Magento 1 database aren’t tracked. After migration, removing or adding products, orders or customers on your new Magento 2 database could affect this process. It is also possible that changes to inventory levels in either database might not be picked up. 

Before you go live you will want to be sure that all the features that you want to keep from your Magento 1 site are available and working as planned. This could include your payment methods and, of course, making sure the money is received in your account. 

Your shipping processes, checkout, customer registration and product management will need to be tested before you take the final step. You should also test your new site with a simulated traffic load. Whether your normal amount of traffic is ten or a hundred or a thousand customers at a time, make sure site speed and functions are as expected. 

Work with a trusted partner 

Does all this work sound like a bit too much effort for a bit too little reward? Working with professional developers that have experience of Magento migration is an option to consider, and maybe your existing agency or internal IT department is equipped to do so. 

There is another way. A simpler way. 

Cloudfy is a best-in-breed SaaS B2B ecommerce solution that will never suffer from this type of upgrade crisis. It gets you selling to your clients right out of the box, and with all of our customization options, we get the platform out of the way of your business so you can concentrate on what you do best.  

Please get in touch if you would like advice about migrating from your Magento 1 site today.