The Final Countdown. Why it’s time to make the move to Magento 2.

 Some news that may have been missed among the many coronavirus headlines and worries of the past few months, was a release by Visa urging merchants to migrate their online stores from Magento 1 to Magento 2 as quickly as possible.

For us, here at Redbox, the advice was nothing new. We have been banging that drum for more than 18 months since Adobe announced that its new end-of-life date for the Magento 1 ecommerce platform would be June 2020.

At the end of June, Adobe will stop supporting the first versions of the platform, meaning it will no longer be releasing security patches and updates, leaving online stores more vulnerable to hacks and other issues.

Last month’s intervention by one of the biggest payments’ companies in the world may have come as a bit of a shock.

Visa shared its own concerns of not migrating with digital retailers under the heading ‘Urgent Action Required,’ with the consequences including:

  • Without any upgrade or security patches, merchants’ ecommerce sites may degrade and become unstable
  • Extensions or plug-ins functionality may break or become unavailable
  • Merchants will fall out of compliance with PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)
  • Ecommerce sites will be more exposed to security risks and increased likelihood of an account data compromise due to the lack of security upgrades

Again, nothing we can disagree with there!

The release added: “Given the absence of security patches after the revised cut-off date, any sites that have failed to migrate will be vulnerable to security breaches and pose an increased risk to the security of payment card data.”

As an Adobe Platinum Solution Partner, Redbox has a proven track record in helping some of the most recognisable brands across the world migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2. From Builder Depot and AXA, to Paperchase, Nespresso, Budd and Latest in Beauty, we have supported each through the process.

If you are still running on Magento 1, we suggest taking a look at the information Magento released about its software support policies here.

Below are some steps you should consider if upgrading to Magento 2, or thinking of re-platforming or getting online for the first time.

What to do if you are migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2

Merchants should be aware that the migration to Magento 2 is not a quick solution. It’s a major upgrade, meaning existing features need to be reworked. Design can be translated but not migrated, while content can be re-used but will also need to be reworked. With so many new features and functions it’s the perfect opportunity to refresh your site design and processes.

The biggest jobs involve creating the store and web store architecture and the products, before adding the product attributes and customer lists and seeing to the migration of customer data.

Redbox believes it’s a real opportunity to refresh your site design, content and processes.

Migrating to Magento 2 opens up impressive business potential thanks to a suite of innovative technologies and thriving developer ecosystem.

There are additional add-ons, extensions and themes, enhances to security and the new version is faster through improved caching and JavaScript minification.

It delivers superior shopping experiences with the drag and drop page builder and PWA studio, all sustained by an optimised cloud infrastructure.

If you haven’t made the first steps, it is essential you do so now. The whole process can take anywhere between three to six months. Below is a guide to what the steps could look like:

1. Review your existing site

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Look at the world from a multi-device standpoint and work out what can be improved upon. Review the extensions and data on your site and which extensions are now part of the core Magento 2 code. Many clients need fewer customisations after migration. Think about which data is outdated and can be removed to simplify your migration. Ensure strict discipline when it comes to adding custom features and extensions, as Magento 2 provides a richer set of features that will reduce the number of third-party extensions you need to add.

2. Start planning the migration

Involve as many people from the company as possible early on, including IT, finance and marketing. Listening to their opinions can save a lot of time further down the line. Work out what your budget is, with build, upgrades, third party module costs, all having to be factored in.

3. Find a good Magento partner
What makes a good Magento partner? A company willing to listen and work with you from start to finish. This should be a collaboration. What companies and brands have they helped through this process before? How difficult were the migrations? What was the feedback like? Find a company you are comfortable with, that has a good track record and that can put dedicated teams on the project.

4. Discovery
Before migration, your Magento partner will review your data, design and content and give you advice and examples of what your new site will look and function like, before preparing a detailed plan of what each stage will be, including costs and deadlines. They will give you advice and discuss the risks.

5. The Build

The Magento partner will build a Magento 2 store ready for migration. Each stage will be signed off and open communication along the way is key.

6. Migration

A testing environment will be set-up before themes, extensions and plug-ins are moved across, before content, customer data, order history and so on follow behind. Changes to data will be made.

7. Go live!
After further testing, the moment you have been waiting for - your new site is ready for action! Choosing the right Magento partner who can provide ongoing support and account management will ensure any future issues are dealt with swiftly and any additional changes, upgrades and enhancements can be made as and when they are needed.

Re-platforming or choosing Magento 2 for your first online retail venture

If you are not migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2, but are considering Magento 2 for your online business, why is it the right fit for you?

In a Redbox blog, guest writer Paul Rogers – founder of Veraunt, an ecommerce consultancy and retail paid media agency in London - had the answers. He said:Magento is an excellent option for retailers with complexity around product, a heavy international focus, some form of B2B or wholesale focus, or a need to scale up functionally as the business grows.

 “Magento has definitely moved up the food chain over the last 12-24 months, but it remains an excellent, scalable platform for the right small retailers and large retailers.”

Magento is perfect for larger retailers looking to grow into new channels, markets or introduce new complex features.

Whether you are re-platforming, or whether Magento 2 is going to be your first online venture, a good Magento partner is essential to help you make the transition as smooth as possible.

In conclusion 

If you haven’t migrated over from M1 to M2, even Visa is now telling you time is ticking. It really is ‘The Final Countdown’. Don’t delay any longer - in just over a month’s time your ecommerce site will be more exposed to security risks with the increased likelihood of an account data compromise due to the lack of security upgrades. And that’s just the start of the issues that could await you and your business.

It may seem a daunting migration, but start planning with your own team as soon as possible.

If you are unsure whether Magento 2 is the right fit for your company, take a look at some of the case studies on our website and some of the brands – large and small - that we have supported, advised and helped.

Then pick up the phone to find out more.