Magento 2 was built to satisfy the latest demands from merchants for a more robust and engaging ecommerce platform.The new platform was developed with a completely new architecture to accommodate these changes. For many merchants however, this makes the decision to upgrade seem like a daunting task.
Magento has worked to simplify the upgrade process, providing tools to help facilitate and smooth the process. With the uncertain future of support for Magento 1, along with a stagnating marketplace, now is the time to start planning your system upgrade. We have put together a quick guide to upgrading and migrating data from Magento 1 to Magento 2.
Before you begin the migration, you must first set up and prepare your new platform. To start off, Magento advises that merchants backup all their current data before beginning the process. We also recommend this, as there are any number of problems that can occur to your data when upgrading.
You will need to then make a duplicate of your Magento store, to be used as the basis for the migration process. You should not be using your live store as the source for migration, and so it is better for a copy to be used instead.
After making your backup, you must then make sure that your systems are able to run Magento 2. There are some system requirements that must be met to make sure that everything will run smoothly. You can check out the system requirements here. After making sure your systems are up to the task, then you can begin installing Magento 2 and testing how well it works.
When the preparations have been completed, there are then 4 steps for the migration process, correlating to the 4 different components that you can move into Magento 2. These components are Themes, Extensions, Customizations, and Data.
Unfortunately, with this new release, you will face some severe compatibility issues. There is no official migration solution from Magento for moving your Magento 1 themes into the new version. For Magento 2 themes, you will need to either design and develop your own or purchase one from the marketplace. Merchants who have created their own theme for the previous version, will need to do some extensive tinkering to make it compatible with the new platform.
Most Magento 1 marketplace themes have been rebuilt for the new platform, meaning you may be able to keep your current theme style. Building your own theme however is likely the best way for you to cater directly to your users.
Much like the themes, Magento 1 extensions will likely not work with Magento 2. Extensions must be recreated for Magento 2 specifically, to ensure full functionality.
Third-party extensions can be bought through the marketplace, which has been steadily filling up with Magento 2 compatible solutions, and will continue to grow. If you can’t find an extension you need, you can also consider developing your own so it can properly fit your needs.
Your custom code will need to be updated along with the platform and your extensions to fully integrate with Magento 2 and to ensure it works as optimally as possible.
Magento has developed a Code Migration Tool for moving most, if not all of your code over. Structural differences between the previous and current versions may lead to some compatibility issues, but a complete rewrite of the code shouldn’t be necessary.
This is probably the largest and most daunting part of the upgrade process. Migrating all your data, which includes product data, configurations and settings, may be part of the reason merchants are hesitant to move to Magento 2. However, Magento has developed a Data Migration Tool to help facilitate this process. This tool greatly simplifies data migration by leading the merchant through each step.
During data migration, you have the opportunity to thoroughly inspect your data and remove anything that is not needed or outdated. Doing this will help to speed up the process somewhat and streamline your platform by using only the necessary amount of data. Media data such as product images and banners must be imported into Magento 2 manually, which will likely be a very time-consuming process.
In regard to difficulty, Magento has made it easy to upgrade within their ecosystem by including tools and guides for moving between versions of their popular e-commerce platform. If you’d like to learn how to perform the migration to Magento 2 technically, you can take a look at WEB4PRO’s technical guide to migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2 with Data Migration Tool. However, the amount of time and effort needed for the process ultimately depends on how large, complex, and customized your current store is. Thus, it is advised that you hire a well-trained certified Magento 2 agency to carry out this transition and thoroughly test the platform after the migration process.