Magento tutorial – Migrating to Magento 2.0

Finally, the long awaited Magento 2.0 was launched in November last year with new exciting features. Since its launch, Magento 1.x store owners have been planning to move their stores to Magento 2.0. They have been exploring different options to smoothly upgrade their stores to Magento 2.0. At the same time, most Magento store owners are in a fix as they find it difficult to decide about what is the right time to Migrate to Magento 2.0, how difficult or painful the move would be and whether or not it is worth it.

When to Migrate to Magento 2.0?
The right time to migrate to Magento 2 really depends upon your store and its current condition. If your current store is functioning smoothly with no issues and not running a very outdated version, there should be no rush for migration. But you should definitely start exploring Magento 2.0 as you have to migrate in the long run to enjoy the new enhanced features of Magento 2.

However, if your store is having performance issues or using a very old Magento 1 version, it is the right time to migrate to Magento 2.0.

Is the Move painful or smooth?
Let’s face it. You are not going to get a smooth migration. At the same time, it’s not too painful either. Yes, there are migration tools that can help you with data migration, but theme and customizations migration are not directly transferrable. Hence, extra investment would be needed for complete migration.

This extra investment should be considered as a positive thing as it will give you new ideas to improve your store. Moreover, you can refresh your store by getting rid of unnecessary logs and legacy code.

Is it worth it?
Change is always better. Magento 2 is out with all its new and attractive features, so if you are planning to be a market leader in your niche, you should prepare yourself for migration right now.

Steps in Magento Migration:
We need to migrate four components when migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2. Data, Themes, Extensions and Customizations.

Theme Migration:
Magento 1 theme is not directly transferrable to Magento 2. However, you can do any of the following.

  • Ask a frontend developer or designer to create a brand new theme for your Magento 2 store. This is a good chance for you to make sure the new theme is responsive and follow best practices.
  • You can install any of the available theme from Magento Marketplace.

Extension Migration:
Next, extensions installed on your current site should be migrated to Magento 2 store. The problem here is that most Magento 1 extensions are not compatible with Magento 2. Extension providers often offer separate versions of their products for Magento 1 and Magento 2. They are available for purchase or freely downloadable from the Magento Marketplace.  Install only relevant extensions.

Customizations Migration:
The code migration is relatively easier as it is compatible with Magento 2 in most cases. Moreover, there is a tool available named Code Migration Toolkit that can help with the code migration process. However, due to platform differences, the output may require additional work to make sure it is successfully installed on the new store.

The Code Migration Toolkit helps by providing scripts that automatically convert custom Magento 1.x modules to version 2.

Data Migration:
The last and most important step is to migrate your data from Magento 1 to Magento 2 store. You can use a tool called Data Migration Tool to perform this. Below are the steps to follow to migrate your data from Magento 1 to the new store running Magento 2.

  • Provide the Data Migration Tool with a network access to connect to Magento 1 and Magento 2 databases. Open ports in your firewall.
  • Put all activity in the Magento 1.x Admin Panel on hold (except for order management activities such as creating invoice, shipping etc.).
  • Do the same for all Magento 1.x cron jobs.
  • Make use of the migration tool to migrate settings and websites.
  • Copy your Magento 1.x media files to Magento 2.0. (You have to copy them manually from <magento1-root>/media to <magento2-root>/pub/media)
  • Migrate your data from Magento 1 to Magento 2 database using Data Migration Tool.
  • Use the magento indexer:reindex</code> command to reindex all indexers.
  • Test your Magento 2.0 site to ensure it works.

It is recommended to hire a professional Magento developer for Magento migration. The steps listed above are not perfect and you may require plenty of manual work for successful migration especially in theme and customization migration which can potentially lead you to problems if you are not a Magento expert.

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