Choosing the Best Approach for Magento 1’s End-of-Life in 2020
As of the spring of 2020, more than 150,000 online stores rely on the Magento 1 platform for their ecommerce operations. For years, Magento 1 has been a mainstay of online shopping sites, providing shop owners with a versatile, customizable, and integrable ecommerce tool that has become one of the most popular open-source platforms in the world. All good things end eventually, and Magento’s developers have officially announced termination of direct updates and support for the Magento 1 platform as of June 2020.
While this announcement first hit in September 2018 to provide ecommerce sites with as much time to prepare as possible, many ecommerce websites may still be struggling to determine the best approach to this major change. As of right now, any sites still running the Magento 1 ecommerce platform have three choices:
- Migration to another ecommerce platform. This option will likely be the most expensive and the most difficult, as site owners will need to adjust to the new platform’s mechanics and potentially retool integrated customer relationship management (CRM) tools and other connected applications.
- Migration to the new Magento 2 platform. Users opting for this route will enjoy greater functionality along with everything that made Magento 1 so great, but this option does come at a significant cost similar to migration to a new platform.
- Remaining on the Magento 1 platform, which can be risky without solid security support from a trusted managed service provider (MSP).
If you haven’t decided on your approach for the Magento 1 end-of-life date in June 2020, it’s time to evaluate your options and commit to your approach for the future.
Moving to a New Ecommerce Platform
The most challenging approach to the Magento 1 end-of-life announcement would be to migrate to an entirely new platform. While many ecommerce platforms available today like Shopify offer great functionality and reliable service, Magento 1 grew to such immense popularity for a very good reason. If you have been using Magento 1 for your ecommerce needs for several years, it will be a difficult transition, and you may lose key functionalities that you have come to rely upon for everyday operations.
Migrating to an entirely new ecommerce platform will also be very expensive. Migrations of this nature can easily exceed $50,000, depending on the extra plugins and integrations you expect to implement with the new ecommerce platform, and this applies to smaller ecommerce sites just as much as larger stores.
Upgrading to Magento 2
The Magento 2 platform offers significant improvements over the Magento 1 platform, but many users may still find migration surprisingly difficult and expensive. The Magento development team likely expected most Magento 1 users to simply prefer to upgrade to Magento 2, but this upgrade could still cost anywhere from $10,000 to $200,000 depending on the range of implemented features a user expects.
Magento 1 reached the level of popularity it has achieved due to its affordability and functionality compared to most other ecommerce platforms, and many present Magento 1 users may not have the financial flexibility to afford the upgrade to Magento 2. Additionally, upgrading to Magento 2 would likely still incur many of the same complications as switching to another ecommerce platform; site owners may need to rebuild large sections of their websites or rebuild their sites entirely.
Remaining on Magento 1
The third and final option will likely be the easiest for most Magento users, but it does not come without challenges. Remaining on Magento 1 is possible with the right support, but users who take this route must remember that the Magento 1 platform will no longer receive any direct support after June 2020. Most website owners will not know how to approach the challenge of using an out-of-support application safely going forward, and this option will likely compel many users to seek out MSPs that offer managed ecommerce security services.
Using applications that no longer have direct developer support is often a risky choice, as outdated software and applications become targets for malware and other security risks. However, Forix has developed a specialized security package designed specifically for Magento 1 users who cannot afford an upgrade to Magento 2 or migration to another platform. Some users may simply wish to remain on the Magento 1 platform due to the reliable performance it has offered over the years. While remaining on a functionally outdated ecommerce platform might be cause for concern without the right protections in place, working with an experienced MSP like Forix can offer a reliable solution for remaining on Magento 1 safely.