From Magento 1 to Magento 2, in dept guide

Published by Stijn de Ridder 2019-05-22

Magento migration article

When it comes to your store, there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, you make sure that your display windows are spotless. You showcase all your eye catchers and convince people to come in. Now that they’re inside, you want them to feel right at home. You arrange your products just right, play some music and greet people as they walk in. Clients buy your product and you hand them a coupon to ensure they come back.


This is no different for your webshop. You optimize your SEO and ads so people find your site. With a beautiful design (mobile friendly, of course), you make them feel right at home and they proceed to the checkout. You send them a thank you mail and add a coupon. 

Not so different right?


When choosing a platform to host your webshop on, we love using the young and dynamic Magento 2 instead of its grandfather Magento 1. In this in depth article we hope to answer all your questions regarding Magento 2 migrations.


Magento 1’s End of Life


Why will Magento stop their support for Magento 1? Their first version still has so many users that are satisfied with the way things are. I paid for a webshop and now I have to invest in migrating to Magento 2. The answer? Magento 1 has become severely outdated. What was once a solid and secure environment is becoming a platform of the past.


Magento 1 and security

Perhaps the biggest, most critical problem with Magento 1 is security. Magento releases updates to prevent these issues. However, this is useless if webshop owners don’t apply the patches. This is why a lot of webshops are vulnerable to security issues. Let’s look at a couple of examples. 

The first and most common vulnerability is probably XSS injection. This allows malicious users to insert scripts in your forms to steal data. The script injection can be prevented with custom coding but a lot of your code can prove to be completely useless as a lot of extension builders never took XSS injection in account. So even when you have secured your Magento 1 core functionality, you still need to improve your extensions to not be at risk. 

Another common issue is “Brute Force Attacks”. Hackers unleash a script on your login form that tries every possible login and password combination until they gain access to your admin panel. If you think it takes them a long time to succeed, think again. A brute force script can hack into your webshop within minutes or even seconds. 

Finally, you have the “Shoplift Security Leak”. This is probably the most dangerous one out there. The Shoplift leak is a vulnerability allowing malicious users to access admin pages and inject SQL (a coding language for databases) to access, steal and abuse your data.


Other Magento 1 flaws

Now of course, these issues can all get patched with a bit of development. There have to be other reasons right? Right! The admin panel is quite unstructured and on top of that, it’s also somewhat slow. 

Another pain point is that it’s not focused on mobile users (almost 50% of webshop traffic is mobile). 

There are problems with scalability and the checkout has to many steps generating an insane bounce rate on the checkout cart. This only scratches the surface, but you get the idea.


Magento 1 end of life


What does Magento 1’s End of Life mean for my webshop?


As is the case with any platform, functionality and security continuously gets improved. When features aren’t functioning well, they get updates and when a security threat shows up, it gets patched. Quite simple and straightforward. 

Because Magento 1 is outdated, Magento wants users to hop over to their improved and safer version. The end of life means that the functionality and security patches will stop in 2020. 

If a security threat shows up afterwards, it will no longer get patched. This means your webshop’s security is at risk and hackers get more bugs to exploit by the day. Be sure to stay ahead of the end of life and start planning your migration today! Discover all the advantages of Magento 2


The advantages of Magento 2


Now that we know Magento 1’s issues, Let’s take a closer look at how Magento 2 tackles these.


Improved security for Magento 2

Brute Force Attacks can be easily prevented on Magento 2. You can customize your admin path and add a recaptcha (from Magento 2.3), giving bots no chance to enter your admin panel. 

As far as XSS goes, the Magento 2 core is fully tested. Of course, you still need to check your custom extensions. The shoplift leak has been fully patched and is a thing of the past in any new version of Magento 2.


Admin improvements to save time and money

Magento 2 comes with a list of admin improvements. The advanced admin panel makes creating new products up to 4 times faster. This is all thanks to the step-by-step creation tool. With the new layout comes an improvement on data viewing and filtering which allows you to navigate more efficiently through Magento 2’s extensive admin area. 

Since you have to spend less time on administration, you or your employees have more time for other important things. In other words, the improved administration saves you time and money.


How Magento 2 turns your visitors into customers

Magento 2 makes it easier for you to convert visitors into customers. This is achieved by fully integrated B2B functionalities, an instant purchase option, a cleaner and clearer 2-step checkout process and by integrating google’s advertising channels. 

The main focus here is to allow your visitors to go from your product page to the checkout payment with as little steps as possible. This makes checking out feel less like a chore and gives your visitors less time to doubt. 

A cleaner and faster checkout process also increases the overall experience of your shop, making customers more inclined to return to your store for future purchases.


Magento 2 Upgrade


Focusing on an ever growing mobile community

Magento 2 has greatly focused on creating a better mobile experience. This focus is no coincidence as the amount of mobile users on webshops grows by the day. The vast majority of customers own a mobile phone and that phone will soon be the most popular way into your webshop. Keeping this in mind, shops that aren’t mobile compatible see their bounce rates greatly increase. 

How does Magento 2 reach these mobile users? The standard Magento 2 themes (Blank and Luma) come with fully responsive pages, mobile checkout and a responsive header. Even though Magento 2’s templates are mobily responsive, it is up to the developers to keep it that way. With Magento’s version 2.3 comes PWA or progressive web applications. PWA is a web application that uses modern web technology to provide a reliable, fast and engaging user experience.


Limitless scalability for your ever expanding webshop

With most platforms (Magento 1 included), scalability is a common issue. You start out with a small webshop that has a limited assortment. All of a sudden your shop starts to boom and you need to start expanding. With Magento 2, your store can easily be scaled up or down, depending on your needs. 

For this feature, Magento 2 definitely takes the lead compared to any other platform. The scalability is achieved by a powerful caching tool, a set of reporting tools and easy database management and maintenance. 

Finally, because Magento 2 is an open-source platform, it’s rather easy to customize any set of options. Your webshop is growing and you want to enable customer reviews? Done! You want to integrate a chat functionality? Easy, just search an extension on the marketplace and you’re good to go.



Magento 1 vs Magento 2, the numbers


Amount of Magento 1 vs Magento 2 webshops

In april 2019, there where about 3.000 Magento 1 and nearly 3.500 Magento 2 webshops active in the Benelux. Worldwide, there are over 45.000 live Magento 1.9 and almost 49.000 live Magento 2 webshops. 

It’s becoming clear that more and more, the numbers are shifting towards Magento 2. The conclusion? Your competition has heard the wake up call and have started their Magento 2 migrations. Don’t stay behind but start planning your migration today, you’ll have to eventually anyway!


Magento 2 statistics worldwide


Plan your migration today


The page speed of Magento 1 vs Magento 2

When it comes to speed, both Magento 1 and Magento 2 could come out as the winner. 

There is one thing to mention though, the fact that Magento 2 has a better infrastructure to improve loading times. In other words, if you use Magento 2’s infrastructure properly, you can drastically decrease your page loading times, making it a lot of seconds faster than Magento 1.  


How to migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2?


Even though the process of transferring your entire webshop and all its data sounds painstaking and long, it’s in fact quite simple! 

As long as you follow these five steps, success is guaranteed.


Step 1: Preparing for a successful migration

Your migrated webshop should be an improvement of it’s previous version. Not just a more stable version of your old functionality. To achieve this, you analyze the way your webshop is currently set up and ask yourself these questions:

  • What would I like to see added?
  • What do I want to see improved?
  • What must be preserved at all cost?

Step 2: The data migration tool

The data migration tool is a tool that Magento offers to let the first phase of your migration run smoothly, without any data loss. There are three “modes”:

  • Settings: the tool takes care of migrating all your configured settings to Magento 2
  • Data: perhaps the most important one. Migrating all the data from your database(s) to Magento 2
  • Delta: transfers incremental data updates that are added to your Magento 1 store or admin panel


Step 3: Rebuilding your extensions

To bring their platform to a new era, Magento changed the entire coding structure for their version 2. Because of this new coding structure, your Magento 1 extensions will not work anymore. That is why you will have to rebuild or repurchase your extensions and implement the functionalities you wanted to see added after your initial analysis.


Step 4: Options to consider to get the most out of your upgraded webshop

After the three previous steps, there are a few additional options you must consider. First of all, you want people to know to know you’ve upgraded to a new, advanced platform right? So let the search engines know as well!

It is the perfect time to tweak your SEO as well. Check your content and double check your header tags. Optimize your pages for mobile and ready your blogs for social shares. SEO? done! What’s more to do? What about a brand new design? You now got an up-to-date, state of the art website, surprise people with an improved, new-age design! 

Put your focus on user experience with eye catching Call To Actions and a responsive design.


Step 5: Launch your new webshop with a blast!

Your renewed website is now ready to launch. This is where the adventure truly begins. As you get to explore the improved admin panel, put your marketing team to work to let your customers know they can start enjoying your faster, modern webshop. Let’s hope they find their way to your improved checkout pages as well!


Magento migrations steps 



To conclude, Magento 2 is a complete revolution of it’s older version. The extended functionality and admin panel makes life easier for you and scrolling through your pages a lot more fun for your customers. 

Security wise, Magento 2 is an armed fortress by design. When a security issue shows up, Magento patches it with high priority. In other words, you’re as secure as it gets. Compared to Magento 1 where security is more like a guarded hut and patches are handled with far less priority. 

By becoming mobile friendly and with the help of new features like the one step checkout, your customers are much more likely to convert and to return. Because of its improved SEO management, your site’s visibility will skyrocket.


When it comes to migrating your webshop, you need to take the following steps in account:

  • Thoroughly prepare your migration
  • Migrate settings, data and delta with the “data migration tool”
  • Rebuild and repurchase your extensions and add your preferred new features
  • Optimize your webshop’s SEO and design
  • Blow your customers away with your new webshop


Get started with your Magento migration today

Are you ready for your migration or do want to know more about your webshop’s migration? 

Get your free audit today and relieve yourself of the pain that comes with Magento 1’s end of life!


Plan your migration today



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Stijn de Ridder Backend Developer

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