Why it is never too late to migrate to Magento 2
At the moment, thousands of companies are still using Magento 1.x with enormous success. However, since the fateful passing of “June 2020”, the date in which support was removed for Magento 1.x, it is a very urgent matter to update your system to Magento 2. Security concerns are at the top of the list when using Magento 1.x and could expose your business to multiple risks.
Security concerns are not the only reason to migrate to Magento 2. In this article, we will take a deeper dive to ensure the main reasons are outlined as to why to migrate to Magento 2 and how it will benefit your business, and hopefully give you a push in the right direction. To give you a taste of what is to come, we cover improvements to performance, scalability, and frontend design responsiveness across various devices. Let’s get right to it!
Security is a major concern for the ecommerce market and those who own valuable IP that would bring a business to its knees if a would-be hacker or disgruntled ex-employee got hold of it. Every day there is news of a security flaw in a particular product. Yes, some of these flaws are minor, but can be just enough for an informed hacker to get in and wreak havoc.
With no more support for Magento 1.x, it opens the security doors wide open. Magento 2 effectively solves this problem with its nifty security features. Here is a list of some note-worthy features:
- Data Encryption: Magento 2 uses a strong encryption key to protect passwords and other vulnerable information (i.e., credit card information, and payment/shipping form passwords). All information is enciphered with the AES-256 algorithm and keys are auto-generated when installing Magento 2. If the encryption key is changed, all sensitive information is re-enciphered all over again – an extra surety that your information is safe.
- Cookie Validation: An HTTP cookie is a small packet of data sent from a web server to a user’s web browser to transfer data from one page to another. Since cookies can be modified to inject malicious code into a user’s browser, a new secure cookie type was implemented in Magento 2. All cookies are now sent over an encrypted HTTP connection.
- 2-Factor Authentication: Magento 2 offers a 2-factor authentication extension, providing an additional layer of protection for your ecommerce business.
Performance and Scalability
The performance of an ecommerce store can mean the difference between a sale and an unsightly empty cart. Let’s look more closely at the importance of page speed and how it can lead to better SEO with Magento 2.
Customers rate page speed as the number one factor to decide to stay or leave on your shop. In a recent study, it was even discovered that 79% of shoppers avoided shopping again at a site where they had a poor experience or that was too slow (source). With Magento 2 you’ll make a huge leap forward regarding this. It has been estimated that pages in Magento 2 load 30% to 50% faster than when using Magento 1.x (source), which means eventually a drastic reduction of cart abandonment.
Apart from page speed, with Magento 2, your overall performance will be better as well. The more users that come to your website, the higher the performance needs to be to keep up with the demand. Research data suggests that Magento 2 shops can handle up to 37% more orders per hour than Magento 1 stores, even at peak times.
Although the security and performance improvements of Magento 2 tops the list, let’s not forget some of the other features that deserve a brief mention. Here are just three:
Magento 2 includes Elasticsearch, which is a “distributed, free, and open search and analytics engine for all types of data, including textual, numerical, geospatial, structured, and unstructured” (source). Elasticsearch optimizes the quality of searches and, consequently, the user experience. It supports complex aggregations and geographical filters – did we mention it is lightning fast?
Third-Party Software Integration
Magento 2 allows for integration with third-party software. This software can include, for example, external management software (PIM and CRM) and ERPs (Oracle E-Business Suite, IBM i/AS400, and Epicor P21, to name a few). The integration of these software packages opens a wide range of new opportunities for ecommerce businesses wanting to get ahead of the curve.
Magento 2’s administrator is simpler and more intuitive. It presents an overview of the following functions:
- Last orders placed.
- Frequently searched terms.
- Most viewed products.
- Average order amount.
- New customers.
- Sales situation.
Responsive Web Design
Responsive web design has been built into Magento 2 themes, allowing for an optimal viewing experience across a wide range of devices (from desktop monitors to mobile devices). More than 50% of online transactions occur on mobile devices, so it makes sense to have a responsive storefront.
Get Ready To Make the Switch
Migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2 is not a straight-forward process since care needs to be taken to avoid affecting your website traffic due to changes in SEO specific parameters (e.g., indexed pages, top-ranking pages, etc.). In most cases, we recommend speaking to an expert Magento developer.
Migrating can lead to severe data loss and so it is important to backup all data before starting. All customer information, meta titles, tags, and descriptions need to be kept intact. Use a reliable external hard drive or USB (an SSD is always a better choice compared to an HDD), cloud storage, or a combination of the two to back up your current Magento website.
Here are four items that you will need to consider when migrating to Magento 2 (proceed with caution):
- Themes: Magento 1 themes cannot be converted to Magento 2 themes, but an option exists to replicate the design of a previous Magento store or you can develop a custom Magento 2 store that will still suit your business goals.
- Extensions: Again, Magento 1 extensions cannot be converted to a Magento 2 extension. List all Magento 1 extensions that you used and find equivalent extensions for your Magento 2 website. The only other option is to develop an extension from scratch, but that would incur additional costs and require development time.
- Customizations: The easiest way to migrate your Magento 1 store (running custom code) to a Magento 2 platform, use a Code Migration Toolkit for easier custom code migration.
- Data: Transfer your website’s data to Magento 2 and adjust it to the new structure. Ensure that multiple tests are run on the new store to find any bugs that may have occurred when migrating.
It’s a No-Brainer
The security of an ecommerce store cannot be emphasized enough. One careless mishap and your store (and your income) can go down. Don’t leave the migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2 till the last minute and expose yourself to risk. The security and performance improvements in Magento 2, as well as the other features, are too good to pass.
Contact our expert Magento developers today for more information on making the switch to ensure business continuity. Moreover, we bring industry-leading consulting services and training to Magento agencies and merchants all over Europe and the USA.