18 February 2020

M1 end of life, what are my options?

Hello there and welcome to another blog
by Hussey Coding

This week we are going to be talking migration, what is it? Why do you need to do it?
What does it mean in practice? And what kind of options are out there?

If you are using Magento you should have by now at least heard about migration, but just in case you haven't here's the basics.
In June of this year (2020) Magento will be terminating all official support for M1, this means that if you are running your store or site using Magento v1 then you will no longer have OFFICIAL support from Magento after this date.
For many of you this may not be an issue, you may have already migrated to Magento v2 or maybe you are in the process of doing it now however there are still a lot of people and businesses that have not made the move yet and worryingly don't seem to be that bothered about the deadline.
In this blog we will investigate migration and ask ...

As we have said, Magento will withdraw all official support for M1 stores in June this year, so the first, obvious question is what does that mean for stores and sites still operating on M1 after this date? Will they disappear or stop working altogether? The simple answer is no, you could easily sail past the deadline and have no idea that anything had changed at all. So what's all the fuss about right? Do you need to migrate and why?
Below are the 4 options we believe every M1 user has at the moment ...

1. Stay with M1
2. Stay with M1 and try to find ongoing independent support
3. Migrate to M2
4. Move to another eCommerce provider

Option 1 - Stay with M1
This is by far your simplest and cheapest option ... in the short term, in the long run it could end up costing you far more than you expected.
The reality is that there are far more cons to this option than there are pros, and just to be 100% clear, we have already listed ALL of the pros ... it's easy and cheaper ... for now!
What are the cons? I'm glad you asked.
With support ending in June it means that firstly you won't have any support, which I know sounds like a really obvious thing to say but it's bigger than not being able to call the Magento helpline or customer service for M1 help, it means NO support in any way, shape or form!

No security patches, no improvements, no innovative solutions to your problems and no new M1 extensions for you to add on if you need them, this also means that there will be no security patches or updates for your extensions either and all of these things leave your store or site extremely vulnerable to cyber crime as the basecode of M1 gets older and older.
I promise you that as time goes on cyber criminals will take full advantage of M1 stores that have not migrated and this is why we say that in the long run staying with M1 and not migrating will cost you far more than you ever imagined.

Option 2 - Stay with M1 and try to find ongoing independent support.
If you are determined to stay with M1 then this is your best option, in the same way that cyber criminals will try to take advantage of M1 stores there will be independent developers and development teams out there that will continue to support M1 users and will be able to keep you going for a while.
There are 2 problems I see with this, the first is that eventually M1 development will become a niche market, a specialised area which will inevitably push up the cost of hiring developers making your store cost you more for what you have always had. It won't be as easy for developers to just go get the latest security patch and install it, now they will need to review your security, locate weaknesses and custom build solutions for your site or store, and that's just security, there are things like extensions, custom themes, bugs, functionality, updates, and a whole host of other things to be taken into consideration that will take up more time than they used to, costing you more for less.
The other problem is that the longer time goes on the more developers will move onto working exclusively with M2 so there is no guarantee that your favourite M1 developer will always be there for you and the time may come when due to circumstances outside of your control you end up being in option 1.

Option 3 - Migrate to M2
Why should you migrate? Here are just a few reasons why migrating to M2 is undoubtedly your best option! M2 is better than M1, if you liked M1 then you will love M2, to begin with it has improved performance, reportedly running 20% faster than M1 sites which is a huge deal, this not only makes the customers retail journey more enjoyable but in turn will increase sales which will in turn improve your rankings when it comes to SEO!

Not enough for you? ok, well the admin interface is now smother and more user friendly than ever, with better responsiveness and touch screen enablement you can easily access and edit your store from you mobile device while on the train, plain or the beach.

Speaking of being user friendly, it's not just for you, the checkout for M2 has been vastly improved as well. If you are using M1's default checkout then you will know that it has a 6 step process, M2 has cut this down to an incredible 2 step process! This again increases speed and the customers experience, your returning customers will also have the option of using the instant purchase feature, giving them an even faster checkout experience.

Some other new and/or improved features include but are not exclusive to B2B functionality, mobile friendly accessibility to customers and the PWA studio for next level site building. All of these things have all come about and are available to M2 users due to the all new codebase.
Since the incarnation of M1 coding has come a long way, it was built on tried and tested coding principles, the problem now is that those coding principles have moved on, they have changed or have been replaced with better principles and M1 just can't keep up with them.

However, M2's greatest advantage also becomes it's greatest weakness, because M2 is built on a whole new set of coding principles, migration is not easy! This is not some quick and easy upgrade, we're talking a complete overhaul of everything, built from the ground up and that will cost you a large upfront investment, it will also push any ongoing costs up as well compared to your M1 store. There are also a number of things to consider before migration and we will take a closer look at some of them in our next blog, "Migrating to M2 - Headache or Opportunity?"

Option 4 - Move to another eCommerce provider
As we noted in our blog "Why choose Magento?" there are many other options out there to help fulfil your eCommerce needs and at the end of the day it will all come down to personal preference, like me you will probably have seen hundreds of articles and posts about Magento vs Shopify or Woocommerce or whoever and the reality is that this is a valid option for anyone faced with the migration issue, there are other eCommerce options out there that are admittedly cheaper and easier to use than Magento ... but ... I think it is unfair for people to make the comparison between Magento and the other eCommerce platforms as no one else can do what Magento can, other platforms can offer you simplicity, low initial costs and they can do some of what Magento is capable of but you would lose the flexibility, customisation and scaleability that only Magento can offer you.
Such is the enormity of the Magento platform that it is able to grow with you as your business grows, you won't need to find extra space or upgrade your subscription, it will all be available to you out of the box and you can use as much or as little of it as you need at any given time.

It is no secret that our belief is that migrating to an M2 store is the best of all the options and we hope that we have communicated that clearly. If you have any questions, thoughts or comments then please write to us below or join us on our various social media profiles and join in the fun.
If you are looking for a developer to help you migrate to M2 then look no further than developerconnection.co.uk, the Magento project marketplace, head there now to find your next developer and be a part of something great!

Thank you as always for your support and until next time, stay safe and have a great day.

Want to contact Hussey Coding? here's how
Mail us at info@husseycoding.co.uk
Visit us at www.husseycoding.co.uk
Sign up to developer connection at www.developerconnection.co.uk

You can also join all the fun on our various social media profiles
Facebook - facebook.com/husseycoding
Twitter - twitter.com/husseycoding
LinkedIn - linkedin.com/company/hussey-coding

9 February 2020

Which Magento edition do I pick?

Hi everybody and welcome back to the Hussey Coding blog.

Not to long ago we posed a blog all about why you should choose Magento for all of your eCommerce needs and mentioned that we would be writing a whole other blog specifically looking into the different types of Magento that are on offer to you, this is that blog.

In this blog we will be looking at the 3 different types of Magento available to you
- Community Edition (M1) Open source (M2)
- Enterprise Edition (M1) Commerce (M2)
- Commerce Cloud (M2 only)

This is the free version of Magento that’s 100% free that you can host on your own server, for free, did I mention it is free? Well, if I didn’t then listen up, Community and Open source editions are both FREE!
Why is this such a huge deal? Well, unless you are developing your site yourself then you are going to need a developer or development team to do it for you, a team like Hussey Coding for example, and unfortunately development teams aren't free so the fact that Magento Community / Open source is, is a huge financial relief for anyone new to the online retail environment.

But don’t be put off by the fact that it’s free, thinking that it’s just there to force you to upgrade to Enterprise / Commerce later, because it’s not!
You and your business can easily thrive using this version of Magento for years. If you have aspirations to rival companies like Amazon then you are really going to want to upgrade at some point, otherwise you can easily keep using Community / Open source for years!
But before we go any further I just want to make sure there is no misunderstanding here, there will be a cost involved if you are hiring a team or individual to set up your store but access to community / open source and all that it offers comes FREE.

What makes it so amazing is that it’s fully customizable from the get go, giving you the freedom you need to create the store that’s right for you, it’s incredible versatility means that as your business grows Magento is able to grow and expand with you at the same pace as your business.

Out of the box you will have access to a whole host of customizable options like site management, marketing tools, product and catalogue management, checkout, payment and shipping management, customer and order management systems, custom themes and much, much more.
This is all made much simpler when also utilising the Magento Market place (https://marketplace.magento.com/) giving you access to extensions of all sorts like themes, customer support, marketing and site optimization.

Now this can still all seem massively overwhelming but don’t worry you are not alone in this! Not only will you have your development team behind you and access to the Marketplace but you will also become part of the Magento Community (https://community.magento.com/).
Magento boasts in having the largest, interactive and best community of developers, shop owners and implementation partners in the world, take a moment to let that sink in, THE WORLD!
They are all there to help each other and you to build, develop and enhance the Magento eCommerce experience and you are welcome to read, suggest, ask, contribute and just generally interact as much or as little as you would like.

Magento Community / Open Source is the perfect place to begin your eCommerce adventure. As always, I would like to point out that official support for M1 is ending in June 2020, so if you are looking to build a new store from scratch then go with M2 as this will save you later down the line.
If you currently own an M1 store then our recommendation to you would be to at least look into transferring to an M2 store sooner rather than later. Your development team will be able to handle all of this for you but if you don’t have one or need some extra help then look no further than developerconnection.co.uk, the new Magento project marketplace designed to help you find the perfect developer or development team for any and all of your Magento needs.

So if community / Open source is such a good deal that allows you to thrive for years what is the point of the Enterprise / Commerce edition?
Basically it takes everything from community / open source and makes it better, faster, stronger and adds some new abilities to your already impressive arsenal.

It is designed for larger, fast growing businesses that need premium service support in their day to day running. Unlike Community / Open source, you are going to need to buy this edition so below is a chart that we found helpful by the GRAYBOX blog, click on this link to read their article on Magento pricing (https://www.grayboxpdx.com/blog/post/how-much-does-magento-2-cost)

Magento 2 Cost Comparison Table

We will go into Enterprise cloud in more detail later on but basically what this chart is telling you is that the more your company makes in sales the higher band you will be on and the more you will need to pay out, do bare in mind that this is not a one off cost either, this is an annual cost.
It's also important to remember that these are not definite figures, there is some wiggle room here based on your business and some other factors.

So how do you find out how much it will cost you? Before you fully commit to Enterprise / Commerce or Cloud editions, there will be a number of conversations that you will have with Magento talking over various things that will include but not be exclusive to, your annual licence fee and once everyone is happy to go ahead you'll be given the keys to the kingdom.

But is it worth it? What does Enterprise / Commerce offer that Community / Open source doesn't? First off you will have access to Magento's technical team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you with what ever you need help with, they are fast in responding and effective in resolving all types of issues, which is what everyone wants. The other benefits of going premium are listed below and are exclusive to Enterprise / Commerce edition.

 - Advanced Promotion Management
 - Customer Segmentation & Personalization
 - Content Staging
 - Automated Product Relations
 - Visual Merchandiser
 - Database Sharding
 - Page Hierarchy and History
 - Loyalty Program
 - Gift Cards
 - Store Credit
 - Advanced Reporting
 - Bluefoot CMS Editor / Page Builder
 - Blackfire
 - Return Management
 - Admin Logger
 - Private Sales

This list was taken from a post by MAGEBIT, who goes into a little more detail as to what these extra features do, to read that article please follow this link (https://medium.com/magebit/magento-2-open-source-vs-commerce-af18da2e72e3)

Commerce cloud is everything that regular commerce is with a few extras, and rightly so since you are paying quite a bit more again for the cloud access.
However it is important to note that Commerce Cloud is exclusive to M2 stores and M1 owners will not have access to this, making it another great reason to make the M2 move.

The biggest feature to look at with this Magento 2 exclusive is that Magento will be hosting your site as part of the package on their own servers.
If you need an all in one cloud solution that is tailor made for your Magento store with all the best security, simple deployment and some updates automatically being installed, then this is the route for you. As a nice little incentive, new Commerce cloud clients are able to pay in monthly instalments to help spread the cost of the hefty price tag that comes with this edition.

Thank you for your time today, as always we really appreciate your support, jump on down to the comments below to let us know what your thoughts are, do you have an M1 or M2 store? have you or are you in the process of migrating your store to M2? What advice would you give to those thinking about it?
Don't forget that you can find developers to not only migrate your store but for all of your Magento project needs over at Developer Connection.
Until next time, stay safe and have a great day.

Want to contact Hussey Coding? here's how
Mail us at info@husseycoding.co.uk
Visit us at www.husseycoding.co.uk
Sign up to developer connection at www.developerconnection.co.uk

You can also join all the fun on our various social media profiles
Facebook - facebook.com/husseycoding
Twitter - twitter.com/husseycoding
LinkedIn - linkedin.com/company/hussey-coding

14 January 2020

Why choose Magento?

Hi everyone and welcome back to the one and only
Hussey coding blog!

In the big wide world of e-commerce there are several options for store owners to chose from when building their online store. You have Shopify, Woocommerce, bigcommerce and Magento, among a host of others, trying to convince you to use their product so that you can sell yours.

There is an ocean of stats, reviews, blogs, vlogs and user experiences out there that all try to answer your big question of “how do I find the store builder that’s right for me?”
This blog seeks to help you answer that very question, if you have been reading our blogs or know anything about us here at Hussey Coding then you will know that we are a development company that specialises in working with Magento. We here believe wholeheartedly that it is the best and most versatile store builder on the market. Home to companies like Coca-Cola, Ford, Nike and over 300,000 other companies of varying sizes Magento is proving every day that it can play and compete with the big boys.

In today's blog we are going to be looking at the pros and cons of M1 and M2 and asking why there are 2 versions as we ask today's big question ...

Some quick housekeeping before we begin, though we at Hussey Coding are Magento specialists we are in no way sponsored by or work for Adobe, Magento or any of their divisions, all of the findings and oppinions expressed in this article, both for and against Magento are strictly my personal observations and opinions.
Ok, with that down, let's get into...

Magento is easily one of the most popular open source e-commerce platforms on the market.
The first thing you need to understand about Magento is that it is multi functional and I mean massively multi functional.
Using some coding wizardry you can make Magento do pretty much anything you want it to do as there are little to no limits within it’s framework.
Because of this you can customise your store to meet all of your needs, you don’t even have to have a traditional store if you don’t want to, say you just want an index site where you can show off all your lovely products or services but not sell anything directly, not a problem, Magento can do that for you. Would you like to integrate third party services? No problem, Magento can do that too!

Magento is great for any size business, from large to small, whether you are starting your e-commerce adventure or have been trading online for a number of years Magento is great as you are able to start with the product that best fits you and as your business grows, Magento will grow with you.
Do you already have a store somewhere else but want to switch to Magento? That’s not an issue, Magento makes it easy to migrate existing stores from other e-commerce sites and if your worried that once you migrate your store you won’t be able to use Magento then they have thought of that too, head on over to u.magento.com to get training, support and even get your Magento certification or stick around with Hussey Coding as we have a series of Magento 101 blogs coming soon to help you get to grips with your new store.

When either migrating to Magento or starting out you will eventually want Magento to do something for you that doesn’t come as standard, however this is not a problem, just head over to marketplace.magento.com where you can find extensions, themes
and customer support.
Not sure the extension you are looking at is the best fit for your store? Just ask one of the biggest communities for help, the Magento community is massive! It’s full of store owners, partners, developers who are all ready, willing and able to help you expand the functionality of your store.
But if you are looking for something really unique then head to Developerconnection.co.uk, where you can find skilled developers who can develop new extensions for you depending on your stores needs.

All new content in the marketplace has to pass a code standards test to be sure that it’s up to scratch but even if a bad line of code does happen to get through or there is an extension that people don’t particularly like then the community will let you know about it. The Magento community brings with it a vast wealth of knowledge and experience and it has even been known for some community code to make it into the code base of Magento it's self. Almost every new release has a multitude of community bug fixes, meaning that not only does the community take Magento seriously but also that Magento takes the community seriously too. A great example of this is MSI (Multi Source Inventory), this is the first major functionality released as part of Magento which was developed entirely by the community, to learn more about MSI just follow this link https://docs.magento.com/m2/ce/user_guide/catalog/inventory-management.html

Now I can’t speak for other developers but if you were to contact us here at info@husseycoding for an out of the box store, with minimal customisation, we estimate that it would take somewhere between 3-4 weeks to get you set up, obviously the more you want done the longer it will take, however we would recommend you build a basic store first, which would help to get the money coming in and customise as you go along. As Magento sports a packed roster of unique features due to constant development this will give you an incredible amount of creative control over the workings and design of your store.

We’ve said that Magento is all singing and all dancing, which is great, but your the one who’s in control which means that you are going to need a good knowledge of how the backend of the store works. This is going to take time to learn as it can be quite daunting with the amount of configurations that you have available to you.
Also If you are new to Magento then you may need someone to come and do all of the foundational work for you. It can be quite complex to learn so if you are going it alone or migrating your store, make sure you take the time to learn everything you need to. Of course this is a conditional con as the more you learn, understand and use the backend of your store the easier this will be for you.

If you find that you need more functionality than Magento offers out of the box you might be able to find an extension to help you out, otherwise you are going to want to get a developer involved and that’s where things can get expensive depending on your individual needs, even with the free open source version of Magento you may come to a time where you want an extension or two and some, not all, will charge. However, this again is a conditional con as the more money you make and invest into store development the more you’ll be able to cover the cost.

Our last con is again subject to circumstance as it only applies to Magento1 users. With the release of M2, all official support for M1 will end this June. You will still be able to get some support form independent developers but the majority of people, including us, will encourage you to move to M2 due to the simple fact that it’s better.

Now moving from M1 to M2 is no easy task, in fact from a coding perspective it would require you to build your store from scratch, and that, depending on your income, can be pricey to do but I cannot stress to you enough how important it is migrate to M2 if you haven't done so already. Yes it might be expensive to do and you can continue to run your store on M1 after the end of life however you will end up paying more to run your M1 store in the long run as it will become a more and more specialised area as less and less developers will be dedicating time to it, there will be no security patches or updates leaving your store and business incredibly vulnerable to cybercrime as technology moves on and any competitors you have who are using M2 will have the edge on you from all the updated and new features available to them as part of their M2 package.

So if Magento is one of the most popular e-commerce store builders and has this amazing community of shop owners and developers helping and creating content why create another version?

Since it’s release back in 2008 a lot has changed in the coding world. Magento is built on PHP and the principles of PHP have also changed since M1’s creation, the other problem with time is that things become outdated and this is happening to the base code of M1.
Magento 2 is a complete rebuild of M1, it’s bigger, faster, stronger if you will. Using newer principles and a better code base M2 can do all that M1 did only better. As someone who has a
bit of experience with both M1 and M2 stores, I have personally found M2’s store to be far more user friendly.

So what’s new with M2?
Fist off, if you are familiar with M1 then you will notice that the names have changed.
Community Edition in M1 has become Open source in M2, Enterprise edition has become Commerce and now exclusively to M2 you have commerce cloud as well. We’ll be looking more in depth at what they all do and features they bring in our next blog.

M2 offers a highly improved, easy to use administration interface, easier product creation, improved caching
(making it faster), newly supported payment gateways such as PayPal and WorldPay, a business to business module, new file structure with easier customization, a better code base and a vastly improved search function just to name a few.

In conclusion, Magento is a highly flexible, customizable store builder with an array of extensions and support from both Magento and the Magento community available. Can it be costly? Yes it can but it is our belief here at Hussey Coding that you will be paying for a high quality product that will enable you to further your stores functionality and profitability.
If you need to find a developer to help you with migration, store building or extension integration then look no further than Developerconnection.co.uk the new Magento project marketplace, find the right developer or project for you today!

Thanks for joining us today for this edition of the Hussey C
oding blog, as always our contact details are just below so hop on over and join the conversation but until then, stay safe and have a great day.

Want to contact Hussey Coding? here's how
Mail us at info@husseycoding.co.uk
Visit us at www.husseycoding.co.uk
Sign up to developer connection at www.developerconnection.co.uk

You can also join all the fun on our various social media profiles
Facebook - facebook.com/husseycoding
Twitter - twitter.com/husseycoding
LinkedIn - linkedin.com/company/hussey-coding