The countdown to the end of Magento 1 is well and truly on. At the time of writing, there’s a year remaining before Magento 1 stops being supported.
Without frequent support, Magento 1 stops being a responsible platform for an eCommerce company to use. No troubleshooting, no security patches, no guarantee it will continue to support new browsers – these are all real problems.
Magento customers make up over half of all eCommerce sites online, and a significant number of Magento customers are still using Magento 1. Tens of thousands of businesses have to decide on their next platform and make the change in the next year.
So where should you go?
Moving On from Magento 1
Seen as the logical next step, Magento 2 was first released in 2015. There’s an official tool to help with data migration, and the interface is similar (although it’s not identical – one thing you will have to do whatever you move to is learn the ins and outs of a new interface).
The biggest issues you might face with Magento 2 are still worth considering.
Magento works best when you have a Magento dev on your team, or easy access to one. If you’ve had trouble getting adjustments made, or if your current dev isn’t familiar with Magento 2, there could be issues with the migration.
Magento 3 is on the horizon, so Magento 2 won’t be supported indefinitely. Moving to Magento 2 just starts the clock running again.
We can’t say much about Magento 3 yet. It’s been in development for some time – so long, in fact, that there’s a Twitter account dedicated to checking whether it’s ready yet. (This account also tracks update speed for Magento 2, although it has its tongue very clearly in its cheek when it does.)
By looking at the things that didn’t change between Magento 1 and 2, we can get some idea of what Magento 3 will look like. We believe you’ll want a specialist dev with experience to really make the most of it, as was true for 1 and 2. How quick it will be to import or update products is not clear yet.
However, there’s no firm release date, so we can’t recommend staking your hopes on it. It’s more likely than not that it won’t be live by June 2020.
Another major eCommerce platform, Shopify is a hosted solution. (You need to manage your email separately, but that’s a simple process to set up.)
There are disadvantages to a hosted solution, but there are benefits too. You get to wrap all of your website costs up for one place, so if the price changes, the calculation is easy. And you get Shopify’s team on the case if your server ever goes down. Unlimited storage and bandwidth are available, along with 24/7 technical support.
Even taking that into account, Shopify and Magento tend to target very different markets. Magento is a dev-heavy platform because it expects to cater to complex sites. Shopify focuses on smaller companies who are happy with their site matching a template closely.
If that’s a trade-off you’re happy making, give Shopify a closer look.
WooCommerce might be Magento’s closest competitor, as it also has over a quarter of all eCommerce sites. But that shouldn’t be surprising – WooCommerce is the leading way to make an eCommerce site on WordPress, and WordPress effectively powers the Internet at this point.
WooCommerce is completely free, but requires you to pay hosting costs. Magento plans all include hosting.
WooCommerce doesn’t include security measures as advanced as Magento’s – the assumption is that you’ll be using other plugins to handle that.
The big change first: EKM has dedicated iPhone and Android app support. As technology moves forward, EKM makes it more flexible to check in and see what needs doing. If you realise there’s a problem with a product listing on the go, you can fix it on the go.
Of course, if you’re using an order management system like Cloud Commerce Pro, a lot of that gets taken care of for you.
Visualsoft’s unique selling point in this market is that they also offer digital marketing support, direct from the people whose platform you’re on. Their marketers have a clear advantage in monitoring, tools, and being able to shape their campaigns to your system’s requirements.
Replatforming from Magento 1
Unless you go for Magento 2, you have a tough migration ahead of you. However, if you had any frustrations with Magento 1, you might benefit from putting in the work (or having someone else do the work for you) to make a shift to a platform that’s easier to manage.
We offer a professional web design service, so businesses migrating from Magento can easily maintain their website’s look – or adopt a new style for a new era in the business. Our team also assists with adding products and mapping SKUs so that when the site is live, there are no hidden issues waiting for you.