Launched in March of 2008, Magento 1 has an official end of life (EOL) date of June 2020. As a result, many Magento merchants are getting numerous phone calls and emails with ominous warnings telling them they have to move off of Magento 1 by June 2020 OR ELSE….
Rather than try and play off your fear, Coalition would like to help you get a more accurate assessment of (a) whether or not you need to get off of Magento 1, (b) whether or not you need to have that done by June 2020, and (c) if Magento 2 is where you need to go to.
Q: Do I need to get off of Magento 1.x?
A: Yes. Any time software has an end of life date, it means that the company behind it will no longer be supporting it with critical updates and patches.
Because Magento 1.x is an ecommerce platform powering entire businesses’ web stores, that lack of support is even more significant than say updating your home computer.
As an ecommerce merchant, you have legal and moral obligations to your customers and your brand to ensure that you can provide a safe and secure browsing experience. Magento 1.x is already a frequent target for hacks and other cyber crime because of its popularity, and that’s unlikely to change.
If you are on early versions of Magento 1.x, then you are likely already in a position where you should have upgraded or migrated off of Magento. If you’re on a later version of Magento 1.x, you are likely in a slightly ‘less urgent’ situation to move on.
Q: How important is it to get off Magento 1.x by June 2020?
A: It depends.
As we noted previously, the earlier your version of Magento, the greater the need is to get onto a secure and current ecommerce platform. If you’re in that boat, upgrading to Magento 2 or migrating to another ecommerce platform is something that should be done within the next few months.
If you’re on a later version of Magento 1.x, with limited plugins and reliable patching / upgrades completed, you may be able to push the timeline a bit further than other merchants. The 2020 EOL should mean that Magento (Adobe) will continue to patch vulnerabilities and other issues up through June of 2020 rather than doing nothing until that point. In that instance, sooner is likely better, but not a mission critical item for your business and customers.
Q: Do I need to upgrade to Magento 2.x? Or should I go to a different platform?
A: We’d love to talk to you before we make this final recommendation since each business is different. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us via the phone number in the header.
A word of caution- we may not give you an upfront, absolute answer to this question like other agencies you’ll encounter. Right now, the ecommerce agency world is corrupted with a lot of affiliate dollars that heavily skew agency bias and opinions about where to go. You’ll get a lot of bad advice about which platform you should be on if you only read blog posts and rely on agencies that primarily subsist off of referrals from one particular platform.
Here’s a short summary of what types of merchants should consider moving to Magento 2 or some of its leading competitors-
IF you have a highly complex business and have very particular demands around your checkout, customer groups, merchandising, or promotional logic, Magento 2 could be a solid bet for you. It is likely to be more expensive both in upfront costs and in ongoing TCO but that’s part of the sacrifice you make to have an ecommerce platform that caters to you.
IF you have a super simple catalog, requirement set for customer groups, merchandising, or promotional logic, moving to Shopify or Shopify Plus could be a good decision. Shopify is the Kleenex of ecommerce stores right now, riding a wave of ‘get rich quick’ marketing promotions to have the largest # of stores deployed for SaaS ecommerce platforms. BUT it is more limiting in what it does than other platforms and has a lot of dependency on 3rd party apps that add to your total cost of ownership. That being said, its popularity is driven by its ease of use and ease of management for business owners and their teams. If your long-term plan is to have internal management of your ecommerce store with relatively lightweight requirements, Shopify could be a great selection. (Shopify also excels in a few other areas, but we’re painting with a broad brush).
IF you have moderately complex requirements for your ecommerce business, and are looking for a more secure, stable alternative to Magento 2 at a lower cost, BigCommerce or BigCommerce Enterprise could be worth considering. Generally more affordable than Shopify and a lot more affordable than Magento 2, BigCommerce has a comparably robust set of marketing, promotion, and catalog management tools, along with a longer term commitment to the Open SaaS concept. If you decide that BigCommerce is the right platform for you, we can definitely help you migrate from Magento 1. BigCommerce does have some drawbacks, like Shopify, so we may advise on alternative platforms if we feel the fit isn’t there for you.
Q: How do I choose which ecommerce platform to migrate my Magento store to?
A: Talk to us! Magento grew in popularity largely because it was free, and because it was enormously successful. If you’re an established Magento merchant and want to protect your business with a platform selection that will benefit you for years to come, talk to one of our digital strategists. We provide in-depth scoping and quoting up front, without added cost, to help you make the right platform decision. And since we are platform agnostic (meaning we work with the leading ecommerce platforms as we see fit) we’re more likely to give you an honest answer about what’s right for you.
You can also read up on our thoughts on some of the biggest ecommerce platforms here.