Migrating your eCommerce site can seem like a daunting task. Yet, following the end of life of Magento 1 in 2020, migration has become a necessary undertaking for many online retailers. And, for those yet to move over to Magento 2, the clock is ticking. With Magento 1 no longer supported, every day poses risks to your business as no further security patches or updates will be released.
But Magento 2 holds appeal for a wider audience than simply Magento 1 users. For those hosting their websites on other eCommerce platforms such as Shopify or WooCommerce, Magento 2 presents an intriguing, feature-rich alternative.
So, where do you start with migrating to a Magento 2 server?
Like most things in life, timing is key. Whatever platform you’re migrating from, factoring in some basic considerations should be your first step. Even the smoothest of migrations takes a little time, so it’s important to consider what other business initiatives are underway, and if any of these might pose a conflict of interests.
Most eCommerce businesses have seasonal peaks and troughs. It’s a good idea to plan your migration to coincide with quieter periods so it doesn’t draw focus from day-to-day site maintenance or large campaigns. Once you’ve decided to migrate it can be tempting to want to get your hands on those new Magento features sooner rather than later, but patience is a virtue, and a well-timed migration is far more likely to be successful.
With a start date in mind, take time in the run-up to migration to carry out a detailed site review. Migrating to a new eCommerce server presents an ideal opportunity to plot future growth. Perhaps it’s time to make some site upgrades? Lay the foundation for your future vision and consider upgrading your server as part of your Magento migration.
Due to the pandemic, it’s the golden age of eCommerce. It’s important not to be left behind. Start from scratch and focus not on what your site currently does, but what you want it to do in the future. Align your migration with innovating for the future of eCommerce and provision for a server that can stand up to new services, functionalities and your desired growth trajectory.
It might seem obvious, but thorough planning is essential to any migration. Moving your site to a Magento 2 server will have touchpoints throughout your business, so it’s essential not only to get buy in from varied stakeholders, but also to ensure that all relevant teams are kept updated throughout the process.
Create an end-to-end plan that encompasses every element of migration and implementation and don’t forget to schedule in internal training at the end. Sketching out a detailed plan and assigning timelines can help to keep your project on track.
Make sure you document all the various data streams that need to be migrated and map out the new site structure early on. The more thoroughly you plan now, the smoother the migration will go.
Before you start migrating any data across, it’s vital that you make sure your live site and databases are securely backed up. If anything fails to go to plan, this is your safety net, ensuring business continuity and a seamless experience for your customers.
If you’re upgrading your site from a simpler platform such as Shopify, bear in mind that Magento is designed with a more complex interface. This may mean that you need to consider upskilling your existing dev team, hiring a new specialist or sourcing a consultant. The upside of course, is that Magento provides greater customisation options so the result will be a better, more impressive site.
When all the planning and preparation is done, it’s time to think about implementing the migration. Typically, you’ll build your Magento 2 store ahead of migration, allowing for extensive testing before any data is migrated across. Creating a testing environment helps to iron out any potential problems so that there’s minimal downtime when the real migration happens.
Safeguarding SEO authority and data security will be built into your plans, but migration can be a complicated process – you’ll want to make sure your site and server is in safe hands. While it’s possible to carry out the migration yourself using Magento’s tools, unless you have experienced developers in-house, it may prove worthwhile to consider a web development partner such as Verve.
Verve, who recently achieved their B Corp Certification by joining a growing group of purpose-led, ethical, carbon-neutral companies, can carry out an audit of your site, advise on SEO and design best practice, and can help with every stage of your Magento 2 migration. Years of experience supporting successful eCommerce businesses informs every decision, resulting in a holistic digital approach that helps online retailers thrive in today’s digital marketplaces.
Partnering with UKFast, Verve provides specialist Magento 2 server hosting for seamless migration services.
Find out more about UKFast’s dedicated server hosting services.