It has been more than five years since the Magento 2 release, which generated a huge stir within the developer community. And although the company ended support for Magento 1 in June 2020, many entrepreneurs are still not in a hurry to migrate due to the challenges the process involves.
Yes, the Magento 1 to Magento 2 migration process is, by all means, complicated and time-consuming. It may be a pricey undertaking as well (here’s a post on Magento migration cost for your reference).
So, should I upgrade to Magento 2, you ask? Is it worth it for every single Magento store? Well, in some cases, it makes sense to stay on the first version for a while. But you’ll have to do it sooner or later.
In this post, we’ll weigh all the pros and cons and help you decide whether migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2 is the right path for your eCommerce business.
|1. Reasons Highly-Customized Stores Should Migrate to Magento 2
1. Is Your M1 Store Highly-Customized? Here Are Your Reasons to Migrate to Magento 2
The following thesis may bust the stereotypes you might have come across on the web. Yet the fact is that the migration to Magento 2 itself will bring you neither better performance than your M1 store already has nor better sales. Besides, with some adjustments, your M1 store can work as seamlessly as M2 websites.
When is that the case? Some large and middle-sized Magento 1 stores have tons of unique functionality and solutions developed specifically for the business over the years. Their owners have put a lot of effort and resources into customization and optimization. Such stores may be profitable with high conversion rates. So, why should these merchants migrate to Magento 2?
In practice, highly-customized Magento 1 stores have only three reasons to carry out such a painstaking and expensive process.
Reason 1. No More Security Patches
Statistics on eCommerce platforms can be all over the place. But there are at least 250,000 Magento stores as of 2021. It’s the second most popular online retail platform in the world.
Would you like to take a wild guess of how many of them are running on Magento 1.x instead of Magento 2.x? More than half.
Now imagine all of these stores lose the ability to get new security updates in one go. Overnight they become one of the most profitable targets for hackers and scammers from all over the world.
This is because when hackers find any new vulnerability, there won’t be official Magento 1 patches for them. This threat will stay with the store forever, making it vulnerable to the same exploit again and again.
Online retail is already one of the most profitable targets for cybercriminals. And there are just one too many Magento 1 stores that hackers can specifically target.
Hackers are not always going for the money. Among other attacks are:
- store defacing;
- injecting your site with malware to infect customer computers;
- making your store a part of their DDoS or mail spam botnet;
- establishing a backdoor for future use;
- data phishing;
- hosting illegal content;
- among others.
Reason 2. Crippling Data Leak Fines and Inability to Work With Major Payment Systems
Lack of PCI compliance leads to data leaks that take place on Magento 1 websites. And eCommerce stores have a lot of data that hackers are interested in.
Do you have to switch your Magento 1.9 store in this case? Yes! Stolen CC data and personal customer info are among the most frequent attack targets. Let’s take a closer look at the possible consequences.
a) Risk of heavy fines
The leak of CC information will lead to large, potentially crippling fines from Visa, MasterCard, and other payment processors. Depending on the damage done, fines can be as high as $100,000+ or more. There is no upper limit to how much money it can actually cost you.
b) Additional issues with payment processors
Furthermore, there are peculiarities with payment processors, such as Stripe. They’ll freeze your merchant account during the investigation period. This will cause further damage.
c) Customers’ personal data is another major attack target
It can lead to loss of business reputation and potential lawsuits. Being on the receiving end of the litigation process is not a pleasant experience. GDPR laws (that protect customers’ personal data use) are strict and lead to significant fines. We’re talking up to €20 million or 4% of the total company turnover.
d) Lack of PCI compliance puts payment security at risk
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is a set of security standards. It helps businesses stay protected from breaches, reduce the risk of fraud, and increase control of cardholders’ data.
Being PCI compliant not only gives peace of mind. It also paves the way for working with various payment systems, such as PayPal.
In the immediate future, the absence of compliance will deprive the stores of major opportunities. For example, to perform transactions via PayPal or other PCI-compliant systems.
Reason 3: Serious Roadblocks or Complete Inability to Build a PWA on Top of a Magento 1 Website
The eCommerce industry is constantly changing. One technology replaces the others, and websites become more convenient for users. One of such trends is headless commerce. And keeping up with the industry development is essential since staying behind can hurt your sales.
The Magento 2 platform provides excellent opportunities for eCommerce websites. You can ensure they deliver the best UX possible, work faster, and please your users regardless of their choice of device. Thus, consider switching to headless Magento or investing in other ways of modernizing your store for current use and future competitiveness.
What are the options?
The second version of Magento has the feature that M1 is lacking, PWA Studio. Progressive web applications are considered to be the future of eCommerce. They are extremely fast, responsive, and available without an Internet connection. Plus, they provide an app-like UX and run inside the web browser, meaning users don’t have to download them to a device (like native applications).
The PWA Studio is one of Magento 2’s unique features; it uses modern tools and libraries.
- Building progressive web apps with the PWA Studio enables developers and merchants to create a fast and engaging user experience.
- Plus, apart from customizing package solutions or third-party themes, you are also free to develop a Magento PWA using ReactJS or other analogous modern frameworks.
There are numerous Magento PWA examples that you can check out to get some inspiration. Those stores which have made the switch are already reaping the benefits of improved conversions (especially on mobile devices) among other perks. This point alone is already a solid reason why the upgrade to Magento 2 is reasonable.
Can you build a progressive web application on Magento 1?
It’s very difficult to build a PWA on Magento 1 due to the absence of GraphQL compliance. Yes, in theory, it’s possible to implement GraphQL compliance to work on Magento 1.
Yet making such a custom GraphQL solution for M1 is a tricky and time-consuming process that just might not be worth it. Familiarize yourself with Magento PWA pricing and compare.
In any case, using GraphQL is very handy when building a progressive app. It’s a perfect alternative to REST which has proven itself to be quite ineffective for multiple reasons. So, if you want a PWA for your site, moving to Magento 2 makes a lot of sense.
2. Is Your M1 Store Poorly-Customized? Here Are Your Reasons to Migrate to Magento 2
Let’s assume a Magento 1 store is poorly-customized and cedes ground to competitors. Why should you upgrade Magento? Do you have to change Magento 1.9 to 2?
A standard non-customized Magento 1 store can boast neither good performance nor high conversions. Well, then it has a lot more reasons to migrate apart from those mentioned above.
Again, highly-customized Magento 1 stores need M2 migration mainly for security reasons. Unlike them, stores with a low level of customization simply can’t ignore this process.
💡 We strongly recommend switching to the latest Magento version because it offers many useful features out-of-the-box. As such, the necessity for development services is less. This means that you won’t have to pay for the developers’ extra hours and save your money.
Besides, dealing with the second version is much easier as everything within the platform is tooled for smooth work.
Let’s have a look at other reasons to move to Magento 2. This is in addition to the reasons stated above.
Reason 4: Lack of New Functionality
Magento 1.9.x is the final version of Magento 1. So apart from security patches, Magento 1 stopped receiving new feature updates as well. The lack of new functionality in a changing and highly competitive eCommerce environment is a huge setback.
Yes, you can easily supplement most features with third-party extensions. But every year it will get harder and harder for you to find new stuff. Independent developers are not going to stick around for long. And you don’t want to get stuck on a stagnating platform.
💡 On the contrary, there are over 5,700 third-party extensions on the Magento Marketplace for Magento 2, and this number is constantly growing. New extensions and themes get released or updated on a daily basis.
But what about Magento 1 extensions? There are still more than 2,000 M1 extensions and themes on the Marketplace. Do they get the same amount of attention? Nope.
Got bugs or long-promised features for your favorite M1 extension? Not a chance it will ever get updated again. You are basically stuck with what you have.
On the other hand, Magento 2 has a much wider selection of themes and extensions. New extensions will get released only for Magento 2, making M1 a desolate and lonely place.
Today Magento 2 default functionality gets updated with PWA capabilities and complex warehouse management tools. Not to mention other awesome features that will never come to Magento 1. Ever.
Reason 5. Subsequent Technological Lapse
The development and server environment are moving forward too. Right now your hosting provider has to support dozens of configurations. This is done to ensure that every website and store runs on its recommended software.
This includes certain modules and solutions that are out of date or no longer supported by the development team. The same regards outdated PHP and MySQL versions.
While it might not seem like a huge deal to you right now, after some time, your hosting provider will also urge you to move to a more recent server environment.
Reason 6. Raise of Development and Support Costs
The effort to maintain an aging environment and platform is something to keep in mind at all times.
💡 As new technologies substitute old ones, it will get harder and harder to find skilled developers. Mind that not all developers want to work on an outdated project with an outdated technology stack.
Right now Magento 1 might seem pretty recent. But further down the road, Magento 1 will feel older every day.
Take a look at our Magento 2 pricing guide. It shows how much it will cost you to run the new store on a daily basis.
Reason 7. New Admin Features and Better Checkouts
Magento 2 backend not only looks better, but it also works better. Consider this:
- new data safeguards to help multiple users work on the same content simultaneously;
- native video embedding capabilities;
- reworked Admin Panel UX and menu logic;
- step-by-step New Product menu;
- improvements to grid view for products.
Yes, the necessity for Magento 2 speed optimization won’t go anywhere. But things are more complicated with Magento 1 in this respect.
For instance, throughout its lifetime, Magento 1 had to deal with a sluggish and complicated Checkout process. The Magento 2 team managed to rethink how the Checkout should work. They made it faster and simpler. Of course, you could customize your Magento 1 website to make the checkout better. However, this process requires much time and effort.
Reason 8. SEO Improvements
Magento 1 gets a bad rap for how it handles SEO. Especially what regards duplicate content and meta tags.
💡 The Magento dev team learned their lesson and made many SEO improvements in Magento 2. It has become more consistent, Google-friendly, and just easier to cope with. Take a look at how to boost it even further in our Magento Google PageSpeed Insights guide.
Magento 2 learned how to improve meta tags too. They are now present on all product pages natively (no need to use SEO extensions). By all means, an SEO specialist’s work is much easier on Magento 2.
Reason 9. Mobile Friendliness
No need to say mobile is on the rise. The number of mobile users in 2021 reached 7.1 billion, according to Statista. They estimate the growth to 7.49 by 2025. It is, therefore, crucial that your online store runs perfectly both on desktop and mobile devices.
💡 Magento is tailored to run equally well on all phones and tablets. It offers an easy experience and properly sized landing pages for all mobile users.
All those Magento 2 benefits are available out-of-the-box. So, for poorly-customized websites, it makes sense to get ahold of them by migrating to the second version. This is better than paying for extra hours when trying to customize their old Magento 1 store.
All in all, Magento migration isn’t simple and comes at a price. We’re not going to lie, things may go wrong, and there is a possibility that you’ll face Magento 2 migration issues during the process. For this reason and many others, some business owners aren’t sure why the upgrade to Magento 2 is a worthy investment, doubting whether they should commit.
Yet an eCommerce business won’t go far if it sticks to a soon-to-be outdated solution. In due course, Magento 1 won’t be enough to tailor to the growing customer demands and expectations. And as an owner, you must think ahead, safeguard your store’s reputation, and properly handle its security.
Our verdict is quite simple: the move to Magento 2 will be beneficial. The advantages will certainly pay off, especially if you opt for an experienced team and professional Magento 2 migration services.