With dozens of successful migrations under our belts we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common Magento migration mistakes we come across.
Migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2 is one of the most common re-platforming projects that we’re tasked with – particularly since the announcement that support for Magento 1 will cease in June 2020.
As Magento is such a sophisticated platform there are a lot of challenges that affect both merchants and developers when looking to move across from one version to another.
Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive but should act as a prompt to help you plan your migrations more effectively and reduce the likelihood of downtime or any further issues.
The Most Common Magento Migration Mistakes
1. Not making the most of Magento Commerce features
Moving from Magento 1 to Magento 2 is not just moving from one website to another, it’s an investment to move a whole new ecommerce platform with a wide range of features, functionality and potential for growth.
Medium sized businesses who are considering opting for Open Source rather than Commerce, given the lower outlay involved should seriously consider opting for the latter thanks to the wealth of additional perks:
- Elastic Search – provides a far better user experience than default Magento search
- B2B selling – Magento’s B2B features allow you to provide quotes, one-to-one company pricing and more to close big business deals
- PageBuilder – easily create and update CMS pages with the block builder function
- Customer Segmentation – offer a personalised experience to specific customer groups
- Loyalty scheme – reward your key customers without a bulky integration
2. Under-estimating the importance of SEO
When moving across from one platform to another it might be unavoidable to temporary slip down the search rankings but that doesn’t mean you should be complacent with your SEO.
It’s crucial to ensure that your robots.txt file has been updated to suit your new structure, redirects have been implemented where necessary and landing and category pages have been optimised for your main keywords.
Having a clear pre and post-migration SEO plan can help you avoid any drastic, permanent drop in traffic whilst being able to build on your previous position.
3. Expecting your themes to transfer
Web design has come a long way since 2008, when the first iteration of Magento was released. Since then, mobile first design leads the way with users expecting lighting quick speeds and intuitive layouts.
Structurally, Magento 2 is far different from Magento 1 so simply migrating your existing theme in the hope that this will be compatible with your new platform isn’t a feasible solution, as much as some web owners might like to see.
What this does provide though, is the opportunity to refresh your store’s look, create a brand new theme that brings your web-store right up to modern standards and take advantage of the enhanced front-end capabilities that Magento 2 offers.
4. Missing modules & incompatible integrations
As modules provide so many additional features for Magento websites it’s almost inevitable that, over time, stores will become overrun with additional extensions and third party integrations that offer functionality outside of core-Magento.
When approached to take on a Magento 1 to Magento 2 migration we commonly see stores that are bloated with modules that either lie dormant or are out of version to the point where it could be compromised.
On the one hand, a migration provides an ideal opportunity to purge some of the deadwood but for those more crucial extensions that are integral to a merchant’s day to day business a like for like replacement may not always be available.
Unfortunately, whilst the Magento Marketplace is ever-growing with more modules for the Magento 2 platform, the user may have to learn a similar module that performs the same tasks as their current Magento 1 module, just with a slightly different interface.
5. Migrating non-essential data
As tempting as it is to keep track of that record breaking Black Friday back in 2015, chances are that you won’t ever need to re-visit that data again on your brand new Magento 2 website.
The data migration is almost always the most arduous of tasks involved during a migration and is fraught with potential issues and opportunities for things to go wrong.
So it stands to reason then that letting go of your discontinued products, ancient orders, CMS pages that are no longer relevant and other forms of data that haven’t seen the light of day in years will help to speed up the process and make it far smoother – you can always keep an M1 backup on a local server if you need to.
6. Under-estimating timescales
Time to market is crucial for all merchants, particularly so in ecommerce where standing still presents a golden opportunity for your competitors to gain an advantage.
The timeframe for a Magento build from scoping to completion depends on a whole range of variables, including the complexity of the dataset, new functionality required, design and the seasonality of the merchant’s market.
One of the most common misconceptions is that moving from Magento 1 to Magento 2 is simply a version upgrade, when in reality it is essentially building a new website, on an entirely new platform so always plan for contingency just in case of delays.
If you’re still running a Magento 1.x website and haven’t yet decided on your next steps then now is the time as official support for all versions of Magento 1.x will end as of June 2020.
If you’re considering re-platforming, contact our team who will be able to offer help and advice on the best options for your business’ needs.
7. Choosing the wrong developer
Fast. Good. Cheap. You can pick two. As blunt as it sounds, there’s simply no gain in trying to find a developer who will promise all three – you’ll simply end up out of pocket further down the line.
A Magento 2 website is a long term investment which should be approached with caution and foresight so it’s essential to do your homework and be ruthless with your selection process when shortlisting developers.
Create a sturdy brief, ask for testimonials and work with a creative team of certified Magento professionals to help you build a website that helps your business grow online without leaving you out of pocket.
There’s no quick fix that gets your Magento migration completed overnight, but there are plenty of ways of avoiding these common Magento migration mistakes.
Find a reputable team of developers, plan accordingly and give yourself plenty of time to get your website up and running.