There’s in excess of 240,000 shops on Magento out there or at least that’s the official figure, Magento 1.x that is. So, how should all these businesses approach this change?The questions we’ve been getting lately can be summed up in : When should we plan the upgrade to Magento 2? and How smooth or painful process can we expect? So, let’s try to answer these basic questions
If you’re currently using one of the older versions of Magento, fear not! There are several options of upgrading to Magento 2 – you are more than welcome to tailor your own path. Good thing here is that if you decide to stick with the current version of Magento, you won’t be left alone. Magento will continue to support Magento 1 products for three years, so, until 2018. What will change is the fact that they will stop adding new features to Magento 1. There will be no new major development and, effectively, Magento 1 will go into maintenance.
Where does that leave you?
If you were hoping for a quick and easy upgrade, sorry to tell you this, but it’s not going to happen.It’s a bit more complicated than that.You should probably try and plan to upgrade to Magento 2 in 2016 or 2017 (at the very least). One of the reasons, as I mentioned, is the fact that there will be no new features for Magento 1 after November 15th, but also, the fact that there will tons of them for Magento 2. We all know that the power of Magento lies in its community – extension developers are already building for Magento 2 and companies are already training their developers for the new platform (at least to the maximum possible extension since not all of the trainings are released yet). To simplify, the community is getting ready for the new product which means its focus is shifted to the new and better.
When should we plan the upgrade to Magento 2?
This depends highly on your current site and its current condition – bottom line is, if your site is performing well (running smoothly, orders are coming in…), and you’re using a version that’s not really outdated (I’d say anything before 1.8 CE and 1.13 EE would be considered quite outdated), there is no rush, but you can (and should) start exploring Magento 2, ask your solution partner to give you their thoughts and start doing some basic plans.
If you’re on an older version of the software or even on a newer version but having serious performance issues, and on top of that you have a number of 3rd party extensions installed, now would be a great time to plan for a revamp.
If you need to do something serious to significantly improve your store’s performance , you should definitely plan the new investments to be done on Magento 2.
How smooth or painful process can we expect?
Let’s prepare for less-than-smooth here Smooth is something you are not going to get – yes, there is a migration tool ready that should help you (and your solution partner) with the data (store setup, products, customers, orders, promo rules…) move between the platforms. We’ve also blogged about how to use it and what it enables you to do.
More references : http://www.magesolution.com/blog/magento-2-data-migration-tool/
But, as it is clearly noted over there as well, theme and code customizations (which includes 3rd party extensions) will not be transferable, meaning they would need to be redone on Magento 2.
So, extra investments would need to be made in the visual and functional revamp. This should, in my book, be treated as a good thing because:
- it can give you some new ideas and make you re-think your business as a whole
- you will be able to get rid of some of the legacy code
- you can improve overall usability of your site
Let’s face it – if you have 50+ extensions on your store (and this is even an understatement based on some of our recent experiences), Magento 2 can be a lifesaver as it will make you think, re-think and redo things, hopefully in a better way.
Is it worth it?
It will be. And the main reason is the change itself – for Magento there is no going back. Yes, they will be supporting the older versions for several years – and this is why you are in no need to jump the gun if you’re doing ok right now and you don’t have any plans to be a market leader or pioneer of sorts in your niche.
But you should also be aware that the majority of the investments and explorations of newest concepts around not just e- but any type of commerce out there (did anyone say omnichannel?)will be done on Magento 2, starting yesterday.
So if you are making active plans not to get left behind, even if you are staying put with Magento 1.x for the time being, consider these action items:
- start thinking about what you’d like to improve on
- make a list of extensions you are not actively using (or have no idea what they do)
- open up the conversation with your solution partner about your (and their) plans for Magento 2
And if you’re a merchant looking to make plans for a Magento 2 move – you know what to do – contact us!