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Migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2: What You Need to Know

Migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2: What You Need to Know

Magento is one of the most utilized ecommerce platforms on the planet. With options ranging from simple open-sourced Ecommerce to fully-supported Enterprise digital commerce experiences, the evolution from Magento’s version 1 to the current Magento 2 (Magento Commerce) has been a tale of innovation and a commitment to providing world-class customer experiences. Magento 2 (M2) takes the Magento 1 experience to the next level with new features, improved security, improved performance, better analytics, and with vastly improved integration options.

Average Magento 2 Migration OutcomesEND-OF-SUPPORT FOR MAGENTO 1 COMING IN 2020
Magento has announced that support will be ended for Magento 1 after June of 2020, although feature and iterative development has already ceased. The end of official support means that any business conducting transactions on the Magento 1 platform will then run the risk of a security breach and potential liability due to running an unsupported platform. There’s also the risk of User Experience stagnation due to the increasing costs of custom feature development and security patching.

We’ll let some statistics do the talking here: Average Magento Commerce 2 migration outcomes see a 49% growth in revenue/sales, a 39% increase in conversions, and a 10% growth in average order value. These impressive growth statistics are a reflection of the superior user and operator experience that Magento 2 provides over Magento 1. Here’s how a Magento 2 migration will impact your business:

Deliver better user experiences: Page Builder allows visual page building, content staging and preview capabilities allow for more frequent (and scheduled) site updates, and modern themes deliver fully responsive capabilities with optional support for Progressive Web Application deployments.

Grow sales faster: Optimized checkout process, integrated shipping options, integrated Amazon Sales and Google Ad channels, integrated dotdigital (dotmailer) bundled extension.

Operate smarter and faster: Redesigned modern and touch-enabled site administration, Magento-optimized cloud infrastructure, multi-source inventory management capabilities, scheduled and staged site updates, modern developer-friendly code base.

Deliver performance that scales: Modern technologies and architectures across all major functionality areas, optimized performance that delivers a faster and more secure browsing experience, Includes built-in PCI-compliance, performance monitoring and tools, a content delivery network (CDN), web application firewall, and peak volume allowances.

Given the end-of-support and clear improvement that Magento 2 represents over Magento 1, it is our opinion that upgrading is an obvious decision for any business seeking continual improvement of their customer’s Ecommerce experience and the desire to demonstrably increase online commerce revenues.


The migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2 should be an exciting, low-stress, project as long as you plan properly, set clear timeline expectations, and select the right partner to help you with the transition. Here’s what the migration process involves:

1) Gather your current site information
Ensure that you have your current site’s administrative login, hosting login, version number, and extensions installed along with any other relevant information such as customization logs or other documentation.

2) Find a trusted partner
Engage an experienced Magento partner who can work with you to make the Magento 1 to Magento 2 upgrade process as smooth as possible. A reliable partner will have performed platform migrations in the past, have a long track-record of customer success, and can articulate a clear methodology and project plan for the migration.

3) Theme/UI migration
The first part of the transition is to move the page content from the old platform to the new. Generally, site operators are opting to select a fully-responsive Magento 2 theme for the migration, as this is an opportunity to enact major User Experience and User Interface improvements. A custom theme or a headless implementation will require updating to ensure compliance with Magento 2’s new capabilities and flexible architecture.

4) Extension and Customization migration
Next is the migration of any site extensions, whether native or custom, to the Magento 2 platform. We’re finding that many of the custom extensions developed for Magento 1 are available as native-functionality or ready-built Magento 2 extensions. Most popular commercial extensions that operators wish to retain are available for the Magento 2 platform. Any custom code still needed will have to be tested, and in some cases, updated to ensure Magento 2 compatibility. 

5) Data migration
This is where your catalog and page content is migrated from the Magento 1 to Magento 2 platforms. While manual checks and updates are always required with any such migration, a quality Magento partner will have tools to help automate this process. Unless a major problem exists within the Magento 1 catalog structure, the fastest path to go-live is to retain the existing structure, then use Magento 2’s analytics capabilities to inform catalog iterations moving forward. 

6) New feature configuration
Many new native capabilities means that decision must be made in terms of how to leverage these new features. This is the fun part as the new User Experience capabilities in Magento 2 come to life before your eyes.

7) Fine tuning adjustments
Testing, final UI refinements, and pilot/soft launches are common during this phase. Most of the work is done at this point. The only thing left is the final user acceptance testing and any beta testing or soft launch activity that will inform minor adjustments before go-live.

8) Training
Site operator training may begin ahead of this point, but should also be happening during the final adjustment phase before go-live. Magento 2 is far easier to administer than Magento 1, as the interface is much more intuitive and capable overall. Your Magento partner should help you get to know the operations of the news platform in conjunction with on-demand knowledge content from Magento. 

9) Go-Live
After a pilot or soft-launch, you’re ready to declare your new site officially open for business. This is a cause to celebrate, as you are giving your customers a better user experience and are likely improving the daily lives of your ecommerce operations staff. Treat this occasion as a grand re-opening and launch a promotional blitz including promotions, social media, outbound email, and all of the other tactics covered in this blog post for launching a new Ecommerce property


Now that you know why migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2 is step in the right direction and what that process entails, reach out to us at info@mcfadyen.com so that we can help get you started along your journey today.

Thomas Gaydos
CMO & Marketing Practice Lead
McFadyen Digital
Connect with Thomas on LinkedIn

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