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.

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