Magento 1 End of Life: Why You Should Migrate from 1 to 2 Now

Amanda Mulquiney-Birbeck
Amanda Mulquiney-BirbeckDigital Marketing Manager
04 Feb 2020


Magento Commerce has helped many businesses of all shapes and sizes grow and prosper. However, in less than five months, Magento 1 (M1) reaches its end of life. Adobe has extended the support window numerous times from its original November 2018 deadline, but they won’t be budging again. The date is now set in stone for June 2020. The key risk for online retailers who are still on Magento 1 Commerce after June 2020 is that Magento will no longer release security patches going forward for websites still running on the old version of Magento M1.

It’s estimated that 12% of all eCommerce sites running on Magento have transactions reaching $200 billion in 2020. Yet most of these websites are still on M1! Sticking with an out-of-date and unsupported platform past the June 2020 deadline simply isn’t an acceptable long-term business strategy.

Keep reading to find out why you need to migrate now, along with the key risks of staying still. It’s not too late, but only just.

In a rush?

Delaying the inevitable

Effectively, Migrating to Magento 2 is a re-platforming project, rather than an upgrade, as the out-of-the-box differences are vast. At first glance, an M2 project may seem daunting and expensive compared with the status quo. However, on M1 you may have years (or even decades) of customisations, bug fixes and general tampering to try to maintain optimum performance. What's more, by sticking to M1, you are tied into a partnership with third parties where their extension may not be supported going forward. For many online retailers, the most significant perceived cost throughout an M1 to 2 migration is the cost of re-building bespoke functionality and customisations. If you’re on open-source or – M1 – it’s going to take time to play catch up. With M2 Enterprise Commerce, most M1 modifications are standard in M2, and you can take advantage of the full suite of functionality out of the box. This includes, mobile-responsiveness, B2B functionality and Magento’s page builder with advanced visual merchandising.  

The pain of staying still is worse than the pain of change

Whilst Magento have continued their policy, ensuring compatibility with industry-leading third-party partner software - Developers of 3rd Party Extensions for Magento Open Source are not obliged to maintain their modules when updates to Magento are released, nor are they expected to ensure that their extension works with other 3rd party code. Businesses who choose to stick with M1 will soon find themselves cut off. This opens the potential for vulnerabilities and incompatibilities which can cause serious problems in the long term. It also means you might be left high and dry if you’re using an Extension which becomes unsupported and you need to update Magento to the latest release. There will come a point where you can’t delay the inevitable any longer. Bugs will become insurmountable, downtime frequent and security – too large a risk to ignore. A breach could result in prolonged downtime, an outcome that will affect your reputation, performance and profitability. It’s not a matter of if, but when.

Before making your decision, there are 3 key factors we think you should consider:

  1. Total cost of customisation

Would it be more cost effective to implement Magento M2 where many of these customisations come as standard?

  1. What would downtime cost your business?

What’s the financial impact of your site going down? Is it worth taking the risk and leaving shoppers to turn to your competitors?

  1. How much is it worth to your business to stay ahead of the competition?

If you opt to migrate to Magento M2 you’ll benefit from the full Magento suite and product roadmap enabling your team to build a one-of-a-kind shopping experience. As new functionality becomes available you’ll be able to develop and grow at no additional cost. Creating the same functionality in M1 could cost tens of thousands of pounds and take months to implement.

Key Magento 2 Benefits

Migrating to Magento Commerce 2 can help merchants on Magento Commerce 1 offer a richer, more differentiated customer experience, increase mobile conversions, and scale faster with modern cloud infrastructure. In fact, migrating to Magento Commerce 2 is a great way to prepare for the future.

The are several trends on the eCommerce horizon in 2020 which online retailers need to prepare for. Many of these require complexity and connectivity which Magento 1 simply isn’t geared up for. These innovations might not seem front of mind for your business today, you may even believe these trends won’t “take-off”, but remember many businesses felt the same about the rise of mCommerce not so long ago.


Headless Commerce and Progressive Web Apps

Today’s users want more immersive and engaging experiences driven by front-end UX via their mobile devices - offering app-like, on-the-go experiences across any device.

You may have heard that Progressive Web Apps are a key trend in 2020 and beyond. But what exactly is a PWA?

A progressive web app (PWA) is a website that looks and feels like a native mobile app but run in the browser.

By decoupling the front-end from the back-end – separate development teams can offer custom front-end experiences whilst building back-end functionality separately. In a nutshell, this is the concept behind ‘headless commerce’.

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are the future of mobile commerce allowing online retailers to create complex and rich buying experiences without impacting on performance. Traditionally, as with Magento M1, eCommerce store development is heavily tied to theme components at code level which define the look and feel of the site.

Magento PWA Studio in Magento 2 allows developers to create custom front-end experience without impacting on back-end functionality and data. Therefore implementing a progressive web app (PWA) or using a headless commerce approach to eCommerce development, provides online retailers with the flexibility to adapt and change platform without losing the look and feel of their existing website.

The site’s storefront is detached and easily transferred onto a new ecommerce solution or back-end, making it easier to adapt the site as the business grows. As PWA’s are accessible via a browser, it’s also easier to create a consistent customer experience across all devices sharing content through sites, other native apps and social media.

The Magento PWA Studio also provides a suite of developer tools for fast prototyping, debugging and feedback. Developers can build and manage all channels via one code base without needing to amend the backend code – lowering the total cost of ownership and increasing speed to market.

PWA’s can improve your eCommerce shopping experience with additional benefits such as push notifications alerts, login via social accounts, offline shopping where visitors can browse products and purchase with poor or no internet connection at all.

Native app-like features can lead to increased engagement and greater conversions, without the drawbacks of traditional apps (that need installing) or the drawbacks of the slow data-load typical with traditional ecommerce web builds. Whilst you can in theory decouple your CMS on a Magento M1 site, the time and effort needed to carry this out may be better spent investing in a new platform that’s future-proofed.


Voice Commerce

According to IMRG, voice technology is set to become a core purchasing tool. “In August 2018, it was reported by The Information that only 2% of Alexa owners have ever used the voice-controlled devices for shopping. With more than 50 million Alexa-enabled devices have been sold to date. In thousands of households, Alexa devices are resting on counters and coffee tables, playing morning playlists and reporting the weather. It’s not a case of tumbleweeds: ecommerce-enabled voice technology is ready and waiting to be used in kitchens and lounges across the globe. It’s just not being used.” TechCrunch recently predicted that voice shopping will grow to a whopping $40 billion-plus in 2022, up from $2 billion today across the U.S. and the U.K. (OC&C Strategy Consultants, March 2018). It’s clear that online retailers that don’t prepare for the rise in Voice Commerce could miss out on huge revenue making opportunities.

Creating a Business Case for a Magento 2 Migration

June 2020 is fast approaching, to help you create a business case Adobe has commissioned Stax, a global strategy consultancy, to evaluate the value of a Magento 2 migration. The study from a significant sample of varying size and paths to Magento 2 (from those that chose to upgrade to Magento Commerce 1 and those that discarded a competitor’s solution). The study revealed the costs, KPI’s and other benefits associated with an upgrade alongside insights into the decision-making process.  

“Benefits of migrating to Magento Commerce 2 include the ability to drive revenue growth, increase average order value, improve website conversion rates, and increase site traffic,” said Gregg Silver, Engagement Manager at Stax. “The key findings show there are clear benefits to migrating to Magento Commerce 2.” Some highlights include:

  • Cost savings of 62% when deploying new content, such as landing pages, new product launches, etc. Here’s how: Magento’s intuitive user experience design makes it easier for marketers and merchandisers to create and manage content, freeing technical resources to focus on higher-value needs and allowing for more tailored content. This will be augmented with PageBuilder functionality in version 2.3.
  • Customers also achieve greater efficiency through Magento Commerce 2’s extension marketplace versus building out comparable functionality on their prior platform, respondents saved an average of 91% when purchasing and implementing an average Magento Commerce 2 extension. For example, on a competitive solution, it would cost $11,000 to replicate the functionality of a Magento Commerce 2 extension that only cost $1,000. There are also built-in “premier” extensions that significantly cut down the time and money spent to implement key capabilities such as marketing automation, shipping & logistics, payment and fraud protection, and more.
  • Out-of-the-box Scalability and Performance: Magento 2 sites will run on average 20% faster than Magento 1 sites. Highly performant sites have been proven to increase sales and improve search engine rankings. Research shows that Magento Commerce scales out-of-the-box to support fast growing online businesses. It tends to have a fast page load, an average of <1.5 seconds and achieves higher search rankings than the open-source edition. Whilst you can employ caching extensions to improve the performance of Magento Open Source, the results aren’t as impressive. If your online business is already processing a large volume of orders – it goes without saying that performance matters.
  • Streamlined Checkout Process: Magento 1 has a hefty six (6) steps, while Magento 2 offers a simple 2 step checkout process and the Instant Purchase feature. With Instant Purchase merchants can now offer returning customers a faster checkout experience by using previously stored payment credentials and shipping information to skip checkout steps altogether, taking them to a confirmation purchase page.  Sites with easier check-out processes (like instant purchase) have historically seen increased sales.
  • Mobile Friendly – Responsive Design and PWA Studio: As mentioned earlier in this article, more customers than ever before are shopping on smartphones, it is imperative to have a mobile responsive site. Magento 1 sites did not deliver optimum performance on mobile devices, but Magento 2 makes mobile commerce a priority. With the release of Progressive Web Application (PWA) Studio in Magento 2.3, customers can take their mobile performance even further.
  • Scalable architecture with a breath of new features and functionality. Customers reported they benefitted from Magento Commerce 2’s easy-to-use content development functionality, multi-site capabilities, native B2B functionality, and comprehensive security standards. This value will continue to grow as Magento continues to integrate its product into the larger Adobe Suit of Cloud products.

Our future - and the future success of our customers – requires mastering the end-to-end customer experience, from discovery all the way through post-purchase. It’s what Adobe calls customer experience management (CXM). CXM will separate the winners from the losers in 2020 and beyond.

There’s a lot to be excited about with Magento 2 with a whole host of new features and functionality, most noticeably - improved scalability, performance, B2B functionality and mobile optimisation. If you want to ensure that you stay ahead of the competition with a secure, stable and supported Magento Ecommerce website after June 2020, then re-platforming is a must!

If you’re planning on migrating to Magento 2 and would like a quote to re-platform then contact us, we’d love to hear about your requirements. 

Read next:



About Maginus

For retailers – big and small – for whom success depends on growing online, we provide what it takes to sell better online. We do this by delivering class-leading Ecommerce websites that drive online growth and sales fulfilment solutions that facilitate next day delivery and customer service excellence.

We are independent and technology-agnostic but with close partnerships to several leading technology companies so we can always recommend the most appropriate platform for our customers' needs.

With a 20-year heritage in technology implementations, we take pride in helping our customers achieve long term benefits from the solutions we provide. We can do this, because we've done it before, for people just like you.