Last year it was announced that Magento 1 will reach ‘end of life’ in June 2020. Although websites running on Magento 1.x will still continue to function and be accessible after this date, they will no longer be officially supported by Magento.
If your ecommerce site is currently running on Magento 1, you might be wondering exactly how this will affect you and what action you need to take. So, without further ado, here’s the lowdown on everything you need to know…
What does ‘End of Life’ actually mean?
Put simply, websites using Magento 1.x will no longer receive any new security patches, updates or enhancements. In addition, there will be no more official support provided by Magento.
Although ‘end of life’ for Magento 1 was originally pencilled in for November 2018, the date was pushed back to June 2020 in order to give merchants more time to prepare and re-platform to a newer version of the software. While the withdrawal of support doesn’t mean your ecommerce site will automatically stop functioning after this date, it does have some important consequences for your business.
Perhaps the biggest issue with staying on Magento 1 is the withdrawal of security patches, which means your site will no longer be protected from security vulnerabilities that are discovered after June 2020. With the constantly changing nature of online security, it doesn’t take long for an out-of-date website to become a gateway for hackers and other malicious threats.
As well as leaving your site vulnerable to attacks, an unprotected site also puts your customers’ data at risk of being stolen, leaving you in breach of current data protection laws.
Reduced performance and stability
Another key issue of staying on Magento 1 after ‘end of life’ is that modules will become unsupported and out-of-date, which can drastically affect the performance and stability of your website. In addition, outdated modules may leave your site vulnerable to security threats that have been discovered since the module was last developed.
Lack of support
Once official support has been withdrawn, you will be pretty much on your own when it comes to keeping your website updated and secure. With an increased liability, many agencies will also no longer be able to host or maintain your site once ‘end of life’ has been reached.
Should I upgrade to Magento 2?
Considering all of the above, we would highly recommend that all users migrate to Magento 2. Aside from keeping your website stable and secure over the longer term, upgrading to Magento 2 allows you to take advantage of the many benefits of the newer platform.
Thanks to full-page caching, faster server response times and minified code, Magento 2 is said to offer speed improvements of up to 20% when compared with Magento 1. This is great news for the user experience and can help to boost conversions.
Improved checkout process
Magento 2 includes a shorter checkout process, which makes it easier for users to complete their purchase and helps reduce basket abandonment rates. In addition, the software makes it easy to integrate recommendations, upsells and cross-sells in the selling process.
Better user interface
Although the Magento admin panel has always provided powerful functionality, improvements in Magento 2 have made it easier than ever to manage your site, including the ability to fully customise the dashboard to suit the way you work.
A number of new features bring greater functionality to your website, including a powerful page builder for creating landing pages, improved search functions and enhanced SEO options. For B2B marketing, Magento 2 also offers a password-protected gateway, the ability to upload SKUs for quotations and simple re-ordering functionality.
With more than 60% of ecommerce transactions now being made on mobile devices, it’s never been more important to ensure your website is optimised for smartphones and tablets. Magento 2 delivers out-of-the-box responsive design to ensure a great mobile shopping experience.
Migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2
Far from being a simple upgrade to the old software, Magento 2 is essentially a completely new platform built from the ground up. For this reason, it’s not possible to simply “upgrade” to Magento 2 in the same way you might have done when installing previous updates. Depending on the complexity of your website, it can take several months to successfully migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2.
With June 2020 fast approaching, the time to act is now.
As Certified Magento experts with more than 10 years’ experience of the platform, we can help you to make the switch smoothly and efficiently. Get in touch to find out more.