In our previous articles, we’ve covered the problems associated with remaining on Magento 1, as well as the benefits of using Magento 2. But what’s involved in the upgrade and migration process to Magento 2? In this post, we’ll cover what you need to consider when making the move and how we can help you do it without any difficulties or stress.
When it comes to migrating any Magento 1 store, the last thing you want is for something to break or become lost. That could be disastrous and cause some major setbacks. With this in mind, we always ensure that any issues that could occur throughout the process can be avoided with the following precautions and advice.
Backing things up
Firstly, creating a complete backup of a Magento 1 store is crucial. This includes all forms of data including files, folders, and a store’s database. This provides a solid solution for reverting back to a stable, working version of the store should anything go wrong. We would also make the move to create a clone of your Magento 1 store, as migrating the live version of a store is not a great idea. This way, we can carry out all of the important work with the clone store whilst leaving the live store running as normal so you don’t lose out on any revenue.
Out with the old
Once everything is backed up and cloned, we can go through things with you and help you determine what you want/need to keep, as well as things that you don’t. Under normal circumstances, we’d keep everything that is necessary for your store, whilst removing anything that is no longer needed from the clone store.
Extensions and themes
As we mentioned in one of our previous posts, some extensions and themes may no longer be available or supported for Magento 1 as time goes on. This is because many third-party extension developers are likely to be moving their focus to Magento 2 with the end of support for version 1.
If the extensions and themes you currently use on Magento 1 are ones that you genuinely rely on, you may be in luck – many of the providers of Magento 1 extensions and themes may have Magento 2 versions available, meaning you’ll be able to continue comfortably after the switch.
Any extensions and themes that don’t have Magento 2 versions may unfortunately have to be abandoned, but Magento 2 extensions are likely to be more powerful, more flexible, and more intuitive as the platform continues to evolve. Plus, as time goes by, you’ll find more and more extensions becoming available for the updated platform.
Whatever the situation with your extensions and themes during migration, we’ll help you determine whether these extensions are available and able to meet your needs during the entire process. We’ll also help you to find alternatives for crucial tools that may no longer be available.
The beginning of the migration
Now that we’ve handled backing things up, checking extensions and themes, and streamlining the data on your cloned store, we’re able to begin migrating all of that data. At this point, we can begin to remove useless or outdated information from the database. This will help both us and you keep the entire process lightweight in preparation for the move. We’ll help you determine what should be kept or removed to ensure maximum efficiency for your store as well as the migration. Once this is all in order, we’ll also ensure that a fresh copy of Magento 2 is installed in the correct location (typically the same hosting server as your Magento 1 store) in order to smooth-out and eliminate stress from the process.
Other considerations prior to migration
Traffic. This is one of the biggest things to think about before making the move. In order to continue with the success that you’ve worked so hard to build from your Magento 1 store, you need to retain all of that crucial SEO-driven traffic for your upgraded Magento 2 store. We’ll cover everything that this entails in a future blog post, but we can help you to maintain and grow your traffic throughout the migration process (which is crucial for keeping your success going).
As a quick overview, cataloguing and analysing all of your high-performing URLs and keywords, valuable backlinks, and other SEO-related data is a priority. An experienced SEO professional can help to get the most out of this process.
As we mentioned in our earlier post about the benefits of Magento 2, the upgraded Magento platform also has integrated advanced SEO features that will make optimising your store significantly easier in the future, which is something that Magento 1 was missing. We’ll help you get to grips with the tools when going through the migration process, so that you can maximise the performance of your store going forwards.
So, we’ve carried out the pre-migration recommendations above, and now we’re ready to start making the move. Let’s take a look at the process after this preparation:
Data Migration Tool – We’ve got your Magento 2 instance installed on your hosting server, so now we can start making the move. We’ll begin by using the Magento 2 data migration tool (we’ll ensure that it’s the same codebase version of the Magento 2 instance we’re using for your store, this is important for the migration commands). After setting up the tool with the correct commands, we can continue with the tool’s configuration and start taking steps towards the data migration process.
Prerequisites – There are a few other things to do before beginning the data migration. These include stopping all Magento 1 activities, stopping Magento 1 cron jobs and potentially putting the store into maintenance mode, opening relevant ports in your firewall for easy communication between both Magento versions, and migrating your theme, compatible extensions and other customisations to your Magento 2 instance. We’ll ensure that all prerequisites are met prior to migrating to give you the smoothest move possible.
Website and Data Migration – After customisation migration, we’re ready to migrate your store and system configuration. This will cover all of the important aspects of your store such as shipping options, tax settings, payment gateways and more.
Once this is done, we can begin running data migration commands through the data migration tool. These commands will be able to display any errors or issues which we can fix, ensuring that once we have your store close to its final Magento 2 form, it should run smoothly and efficiently. We can also force certain tables and fields by placing their entries in the map.xml file.
You’ll know that the migration process is complete as a message will appear. There are also commands that we can use to migrate new order data to your database too. Once done, the data migration process is complete, meaning we can begin flushing the Magento 2 cache and begin the testing phase of your newly-updated Magento 2 site.
Media Migration – This is one of the final steps to the migration process. After the data and site has been migrated, we can simply copy any required media files from version 1 over to version 2.
One final note on the migration process – If you require any customisation of your data (such as any product and customer attributes), enlisting further development help can benefit you by supporting you throughout the complete migration process. We can look at completing a ‘dry run’ before your final migration in production to ensure that everything is working and performing correctly.
A complex process
We’re not saying that migrating to Magento 2 is a simple task. As with anything, there may be problems or small walls that get in the way when making the move. But that’s exactly why we’re here. Magento is our speciality, and our meticulous attention to detail means we’ll fix and eliminate any problems that should occur throughout the entire process.
If you’re ready to make the upgrade, or you’d like more information on the process and what it involves, get in touch with us today via our contact page, give us a call on 0330 223 4565, or drop us an email to email@example.com and find out how our experienced team can help you.