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Upgrading to Magento 2

by: Leon Blair

on: 6th February, 2018

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Why some may not have upgraded so far

When Magento 2 was officially released 17 November 2015, there were a number of stores that upgraded, thrilled at the chance to test the new functionality and see the benefits that it had over version 1.

There were however, many of us that were reluctant to, unsure of whether it was worth upgrading to the latest versions.

We’d gotten used to how our own Magento 1 stores worked and with any new system there is always the issue with bugs in the system.

Migrating was also not an easy task, with vendors running into problems trying to move their data across.

We are now one year past the initial launch, and this viewpoint is now changing.

What’s changed since then

Magento 2 has been around for over 1 year, developers have had some time to play around/test and sue the new system so they’re more familiar with how it works.

With the latest release of Magento 2.2.2, many of the issues that plagued the system before have been resolved.

From the Magento 2.2.2 the release notes highlights describes:

  • Significant new features that streamline the customer experience and provide merchants with greater insight into their online business
  • Numerous fixes and enhancements to core features, including significant improvements to the payment process
  • Ninety-six community-submitted bug fixes and multiple pull requests.

96 fixes in this patch alone, the issue of the release have all but been ironed out and it has tempted more merchants to upgrade to version 2.

Upgrading from Magento 1.9 to Magento 2.0 is helping them to stay on top of their target markets.

It’s helping them adapt and change to new customer behaviour, providing them with new technologies that are expensive to replicate, and not always possible to do the version 1 system.

Benefits of upgrading

There have been numerous changes made to improve Magento 2 over 1 (more on the differences can be found here), which will help enhance your store.

There are many ways the new system has simplified how it works, meaning there’s less need for technical assistance from your IT team.

As well as this upgrading now, helps future proof your business and give you the ability to better service changing customer needs, rather than struggling further down the line.

All of this helps add to a better shopping experience for your customers and a simpler, more customisable store for you and your team to work with.

So how do you upgrade to Magento 2?

Upgrading from Magento 1.9 to 2

How it’s done

Magento have created a data migration tool to help simplify and streamline the process of upgrading to version 2.

This is here to move across:

  1. Settings: this is the set up configuration of the admin area of the store.
  2. Data: migrates main data in the database, which includes your product, category, customer, sales data.
  3. Delta: transfers incremental data updates from the storefront and admin panel of Magento 1,

There are some elements that can not be migrated, because Magento 2 runs on a new database and code, with major changes made to the architecture and make up of the CMS, not everything can be seamlessly moved across.

You will need to manually import some elements of the website manually.

  1. Media: this will be things such as the images.
  2. Storefront design: the web design will need to be recreated to be compatible with the new CMS.
  3. Admin accounts: the accounts to access the backend area of the website.
  4. ACL’s (Access Control Lists): the access and control users have in the system.

The migration tool is not able to directly port everything, and some parts of the current system will need to be reviewed for compatibility such as:

Custom code and functionality will need to be reviewed and potentially rebuilt on the new system.

Extensions can vary, some you may be able to upgrade or repurchase, others may need an alternative.

This can be taken as an opportunity to review what is on your current website and cut the fluff of your current system, rebuild your website the way you would like it.

To help you do this, you will need to put a plan in place.

Set a plan for the upgrade

Now that we know what’s migrated from version 1 to 2, it’s time to put a plan in place.

Step 1 – Site cleanup

Take a look at your current website, what new things do you want implemented? What do you no longer need? In an ideal world, how would you like your website to work.

This can then be incorporated into the new website design and functionality.

Step 2 – Define your goals

Log into your analytics and look through the data, what are your KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators), are these what you’re still working towards?

Your KPI’s should be part of how your new website is shaped.

Step 3 – Review extensions and integrations

Take a look through the extensions your using, are they all essential or can some be dropped. If you’re unsure what some do, speak to your Magento team.

What intergrations are you using (stock management, accounting etc.), can the be connected to Magento 2 or will custom integrations be needed.

Step 4 – Review your current website

This is the time for you to correct things about your website you don’t like, could it be restructured into a more logical way?

Review your products, are there any you are no longer supplying, that can be removed, do some of the category or product descriptions need to be rewritten.

Step 5 – Train your team

Help your team who will be using the website after launch, be familiar with how it works, to make the transition more seamless.

Step 6 – Launch the new website

Once everything is ready and your new Magento 2 website has been built and tested, have your new, improved website go live into the world.

If you’re looking to upgrade from Magento 1 to Magento 2, and are not sure where to start, or need some help, drop us a message.

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