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What Magento 1’s EOL means to your e-commerce store

  • DATE PUBLISHED (7/9/2020)

Okay, to set the record straight before I begin — I actually like Magento as a platform. It’s incredibly robust, extremely customizable and it’s quite telling that Magento is one of the fastest-growing platforms in the e-commerce segment.

With more than 250,000 active websites running on Magento, it has been an undisputed leader among open-source e-commerce platforms, powering some of the biggest companies like Coca-Cola, Land Rover, Nestle, and Ford. But this article isn’t about that.

Early in September 2018, Magento announced that it will stop updates to Magento 1, and announced later that it will withdraw all support for Magento 1 from June 30th, 2020.

Understandably, this news has had a huge impact on online retailers and wholesalers. And there’s a reason for this.

Magento 1’s EOL increases your security risk

The announced lack of support for Magento 1 puts 100,000+ website owners at risk.

If you’re a merchant on Magento 1, you’re likely to have invested quite a lot in setting up your e-commerce platform. Their announcement doesn’t mean that your website will stop working — but there’s a very real chance that your website could be vulnerable. Soon.

The company’s decision to withdraw support places merchants at the mercy of 3rd party providers for custom and security updates, making store vulnerabilities a severe issue and increasing the threat from hackers and malicious attacks.

Since Magento is an open-source platform, there are vulnerabilities and shortcomings that can potentially be exploited and have been, time and again. Just last month, Magento stores experienced a coordinated Magecart attack, with over 2000 stores compromised — including the stores of some of the biggest artists in the world.

A majority of stores that were compromised in this attack were running on Magento 1.

In a nutshell, no support from Magento means:

  • No security patches updates

  • No platform updates for security

  • No support from the official developers community

  • Vulnerability and exposure to malicious attacks

Over time, this can potentially erode customer trust and brand loyalty acquired over many years, giving your customers a reason to gradually shift to other brands.

There’s another big problem.

Magento 1 websites will lose PCI compliance

It’s important for your e-commerce store to be PCI compliant for payment providers to support transactions, within their mandated security standards. But wait, what’s PCI?

Magento 1’s EOL automatically makes your website insecure, which means it will not be PCI compliant, which also means that payment providers will not support transactions on your site.

These two crucial changes have pushed M1 store owners to a point of no return, where they have to make decisive choices for the future of their business.

So what now?

If you’re a store owner, the first thing to do is take a step back and consider your options. Many merchants are doing overnight platform migrations and switching over to newer platforms — but it’s important to understand the pros and cons first before making the move.

It’s good to start with studying your options

Figure out your current and future business requirements to create a roadmap first.

Will your store needs the deep customization that an open-source platform like Magento offers, or can you maximize your sales with a simpler, pre-built SAAS platform like Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce?

Over the course of the ongoing pandemic, Shopify has been one of the fastest-growing SAAS platforms in the market and has captured over 31% of the e-commerce market share in the US, making it a strong contender for your replacement platform.

It’s particularly efficient because it cuts down migration time and simplifies store setup and launch, making the transition impact your business less.

If you’re a fan of the flexibility of open source platforms, you could always consider OpenCart or switch to the latest version of Magento as well. It could be argued, though, that SAAS platforms are fast catching up in terms of customizability.

There are also other platforms like Shopify Plus and Spree Commerce that you could consider.

How to migrate from Magento 1 to Shopify Plus

If you’re looking for a simpler solution — Shopify Plus is a recommended option among the SAAS e-commerce platforms out there.

Based on the size of your store, the process of migrating from Magento to Shopify Plus can be described straight forward and in most of the cases you may still need the help of development partners, but once the exercise is complete, you’ll have the freedom to manage the platform independently.

It’s important to pick an agency with a mix of Magento and Shopify expertise for seamless store migration.

Shopify delivers a cloud-based commerce solution so that business owners don’t have to worry about the long-term hosting and scalability of their store. As an entrepreneur, you can start with a Shopify plan that meets the needs of your growing business, and upgrade your functionalities overtime to meet the demand.

One more thing — Shopify Plus takes care of security and updates as well.

How to migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2

Magento has gone the extra mile to support customers on the older version of their platform to help them migrate easily to the latest version, Magento 2.

The platform now features a Magento 1 to Magento 2 migration toolkit that helps developers simplify the migration process and make it more efficient. The migration toolkit is sufficient and supports all versions of Magento, including the Enterprise version.

For a successful migration from M1 to M2, you’ll need professional help — making it essential for you to find the right development partners for this crucial exercise.

Hope this post was helpful!

What’s your preferred platform after Magento 1, and why? Let me know in the comments below.