Magento 1 End of Life (Nov 2020): How You Should Respond to It?

The initial date for Magento 1 End of Life (EOL) was November 2018. However, in September 2018, Magento set the final end of life date to June 30, 2020.

Joe Ayyoub, the Director of Support Operations at Magento, made it clear that the extension of the EOL is to ease the stress on their merchants.

So by June 2020 end of life date, Magento will stop all software security patches or quality fixes to Magento 1. You won’t suddenly go out of business, but you might not like the outcome if you don’t take action.

Back in 2018, the deadline for the Magento 1 EOL must have felt like a long time, but now, the countdown is in days. Although no one will stop you from continuing with this platform, it’s in the best interest of your business to switch to Magento 2 or its alternatives.

Albeit, it’ll be a complete migration whether you choose to move to Magento 2 or leave Magento completely. You’ll have to start thinking of new templates, themes, and more. The process will take time—no wonder most users have procrastinated for this long.

Why Switch Before Magento 1 End of Life

The announcement for the Magento 1 EOL came with a suggestion to move to Magento 2. This platform seems to be an upgrade from Magento 1 with better site performance, though with some exceptions.

Magento 2 is more mobile-friendly than Magento 1 with an improved checkout experience. Albeit, it doesn’t make the upgrade any simpler. Despite being also from Magento, you still have to go through a total re-platform.

Since the architecture of Magento 1 differs from Magento 2, you can’t transfer your theme, and you’ll have to migrate some of your data manually.

If you’re unsure whether to switch from Magento 1, you might want to consider some issues you may encounter:

  • Extensions and plugins become unavailable or malfunction
  • You’ll expose your store to security risks and data compromise
  • The merchant’s site becomes unstable or degrades, and
  • Magento developers will become more comfortable with the latest version and its alternatives that are PCI DSS compliant

Let’s take a look at the implications.

Vulnerabilities

You can still sell your products if you remain in Magento 1 after the EOL. Albeit, you’ll be exposing your store and customer data to vulnerabilities and hackers that can destroy your brand’s reputation.

Hackers continuously seek this kind of opportunity, and with a DDoS attack, they’ll deplete your resources. This will make it difficult for you to respond to real request

By June 2020, the site will stop receiving security updates or patches because Magento will not search for vulnerabilities for Magento 1. Neither will they provide software support to any issue you bring to their notice.

No Software Support from Payment Providers

Not having access to upgrades and security patches exposes you to security and compliance issues. Albeit, you need to stay compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) if you use payment providers.

According to the PCI DSS requirements, merchants and processors must “develop and maintain secure systems and applications.” And this includes the installation of applicable security patches from reliable vendors.

The first section of Requirement 6 recommends the use of third-party extensions to identify security vulnerabilities. The solution should also help to grade the risk level of newly discovered vulnerabilities.

The second section states that users should install applicable security patches within a month of release to ensure protection from vulnerabilities.

Since Magento 1 will no longer receive security patches, it’ll almost be impossible for merchants to meet this requirement. So trying to remedy future consequences might be time-consuming and costly.

Most payment providers are warning their customers of the consequences of remaining in Magento 1. Some are suggesting ways to migrate, or even helping their customers migrate to Magento 2 or its alternatives. Others use disclaimers, so they’re not held responsible for your non-compliance.

Visa

Visa has warned merchants that securing their business environment is their responsibility. It ensures timely resolution of data compromise and sends a notification for accounts that are at risk. They also provide intelligence, forensic evidence, and fraud analysis to remedy and strengthen payment security.

Merchants that continue with the Magento 1 platform after the EOL increase their risk of data compromise. So, migrating reduces the risks of losing payment card data.

When data breaches occur, merchants follow the What To Do If Compromised (WTDIC) requirements to resolve them. But since the process will require them to confirm their PCI DSS and PCI PIN, they can’t go on without regular security updates.

PayPal

PayPal states that even if they handle part of your PCI DSS compliance, you’ll still have to install security patches within a month of its release. Albeit, that won’t be easy if you exceed the EOL. Plus, PayPal isn’t going to take responsibility for meeting your PCI DSS compliance.

PayPal has also provided information for merchants who use its services (which include PayPal and Braintree) on ways to migrate. Plus, the payment provider is working with some System Integrator Partners to help customers migrate to Magento 2. It also suggests a list of other e-commerce solution partners to consider.

Adyen

As for Adyen, merchants who remain on the Magento 1 platform after EOL have until December 31, 2020. After that, they won’t receive further support as PCI compliance will be assessed based on the new integration and environment. And from June 2020, users will fill a “Complete Prioritised approach Tool (PAT)” DocuSign requests for Magento 1 EOL.

Merchant will have to implement File Integrity Monitoring (FIM), a detector that alerts the system of unauthorized modifications. Plus, they must document and maintain internal tests to show that the detector is working.

Loss of Critical Extensions

Another implication of the EOL is that Magento won’t provide software support for all the versions of Magento 1. So, when all your current extensions become obsolete, it’ll become challenging to find developer support that can help with updates. And if you find any, updating your site will be time-consuming and expensive.

As a competitive retailer, you want to stay up-to-date with

  • Optimized web designs
  • New features
  • Improved usability

These features give your customers good shopping experiences and grow your business. However, the quality fixes and security patched presently available for certain versions of Magento 1 cover only the core platform. They don’t affect the extensions, enhancements, and bespoke modifications.

Compliance Issues

Beyond losing your payment provider, are the problems you can get into by not being PCI compliant. If you lose customers’ data, you’ll incur fines that you’ll have to keep paying till your store is PCI compliant. However, that doesn’t guarantee that all your customers will trust you when they find out about the data breach.

Magento releases regular security patches; about one every two months. Sometimes, a single patch fixed about 25 security issues.

If you get a developer that can help you with a patch, you’ll still have to live with the fear of the next attack. If you finally decide to make the switch, you’ll have to wait even when you can't use extensions that make your store work.

Features and Quality

With the EOL so close, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Magento isn’t adding new features or improving the quality of Magento 1. Likewise, some developers who contribute third party themes and extensions will stop focusing on Magento 1. So, you’ll be left with the option of auditing, maintaining, and fixing the ones you have.

Being unable to improve the features and quality of your online store will negatively affect,

  • User experience across devices and channels
  • Checkout speed
  • Core features
  • Delivery slots

In other words, your store becomes out-dated.

Things to Do While You Switch From Magento 1

You’re probably not in the position to migrate your store from Magento 1 for several reasons. But you can use this time as an opportunity to improve your store.

Identifying your business needs helps you know what you’re not getting from Magento 1. So that when replatforming you’d plan with all your needs in mind and know if you’ll need additional time to get things right.

System Audit

Even if you’re switching only because of the EOL, take it as an opportunity to assess your store. Take time to find out what’s working and what needs improvement.

You might have to interact with your team to get a clear picture of things. Those interactions will help you decide on how to improve your Magento 1 experience and what platform would be an improvement.

You want to assess:

  • Your data
  • Extensions
  • Website designs
  • Customizations

Reviewing your store gives you an idea of a better way to redesign in the next platform. You’ll know the functionality or features that should remain in your store and what’s not relevant.

Since most of the features in Magento 1 won’t work in Magento 2, you might also want to look out for compatible platforms with similar functionalities.

Decide What Platform Is Best for You

When choosing a new platform, set your priorities right. You can use a checklist to help you decide if the platform is right for your business. The most important thing is that the platform is the best fit for your business.

You want a platform that’s stable for the long term and is easy to set up. Your chosen platform can be a SaaS solution, an open-source platform, or a plugin.

Some reliable platforms include

  1. Shopify
  2. BigCommerce
  3. WooCommerce
  4. Magento 2
  5. Salesforce Commerce Cloud
  6. OpenCart

And a host of other e-commerce solutions.

Build Your Store and Migrate

If you won’t be moving your store before the EOL, consider using a third-party service to keep your site running in the interim.

You have to handle the design and integrations, then migrate your data from Magento. Back up your data and images to CSV files and take out time to test.

Things to Look Out For in The New Platform

Before you switch to another platform, consider what you enjoy in Magento 1 so that you’ll look out for those features in your next platform. Then make a list of things you wish you had as well. This will give you an idea of the platform that’s the best match for your business.

Since you had the flexibility of designing your site to your taste with Magento, you’ll want a platform that’s also flexible. Albeit, with Magento 1, you had to depend on developers most times. So you want a platform that gives you more control over your e-commerce website.

Find a platform that gives you customizable templates that reduce your building effort. Check the platform’s reviews to know what users are saying, especially about support. Most e-commerce platforms offer free, easy to install plugins.

Albeit, you want a CMS solution that can integrate with your current systems easily. Especially critical systems like inventory management and order management systems. This will save you cost and time.

Many platforms offer pre-installed payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe, Venmo, etc. Check out all the charges involved before choosing because, in some cases, users incur hidden charges.

What are the best options

With the Magento 1 EOL drawing close, many platforms are helping users of Magento Commerce 1 and Open Source (formally enterprise edition and community edition, respectively) make the switch easy. Some offer free migration, while others try to speed up the process. Don’t be swayed by this; your primary focus should be on what your business needs.

Here are a few options to give you an example of what to expect.

Shopify

Shopify is a SaaS platform for online stores that powers SMBs, especially for e-commerce. As of June 2019, over a million businesses and 2.1 million active users in about 175 countries were using Shopify. It helps retailers with customer engagement, marketing, payment management, and shipping.

The platform offers easy-to-use, mobile-friendly, attractive designs. Plus, it integrates with countless apps to give your e-commerce store additional features. This platform provides a decent uptime and PCI compliance for its users.

Shopify offers a business name generator that helps your brand look professional. It enables you to find products to sell and provides themes for your store. You can register your domain name and see stock photos without leaving Shopify.

The platform gets you up and running in no time with a drag-and-drop store builder, where you have more than 70 themes to choose from. It allows you to accept credit cards instantly and access over 100 payment gateways.

Its themes are responsive across devices, and the platform offers a mobile app that lets you monitor fulfillment, order, analytics, and so on.

Shopify syncs all your inventory with all your sales channels. It offers seamless checkouts and allows you to convert your e-commerce website or blog into an online store with your buy button. The platform will enable you to reach countless shoppers and boost sales through Amazon, eBay, Instagram, and Facebook.

Shopify Pricing

shopify pricing

Shopify offers a free trial for 14 days, and you don’t have to supply your credit card details. You get to later choose from three price plans; Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify.

At $29 per month, “Basic Shopify” offers you all the basic tools you need for starting a new business. The “Shopify” plan gives you more tools to grow the business at $79 per month. You can use the “Advanced Shopify” plan to scale your business, and it costs $299 per month.

BigCommerce

bigcommerce homepage

BigCommerce is also a SaaS platform that offers an e-commerce solution with reliable uptime and beautiful templates. If you’ve been using Magento, you’ll find this platform easy to use. It’s feature-rich and accommodates all business sizes.

The platform allows you to customize your store and handle payments and shipping. It integrates well with Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, Google Shopping, Square, and eBay. Plus, it offers customer support round the clock.

Albeit, if your business model requires a multi-store functionality, you won’t get that with BigCommerce. You’ll have to rely on a third party if you want to go ahead with the platform.

BigCommerce Pricing

bigcommerce pricing

BigCommerce offers a 15 day free trial to give you an idea of what you’ll be paying for. At the end of your trial, you can select from any of the price plans and enjoy three months for free. Albeit this offer is limited.

However, if you want to handle a personal store, you can go for the Standard plan. It costs $29.95 per month, whether you’re paying monthly or annually.

The Plus plan offers marketing tools that will help you grow your business with high conversion. It costs $79,95 per month, but you can save $8 if you choose to pay yearly.

If you’re trying to scale your business, the Pro plan offers additional features like product filtering, Google customer reviews, and custom SSL. It costs $299.95 per month. A yearly payment will save you almost $30.

These price plans are almost similar to Shopify’s pricing except for the additional Enterprise plan. If your organization is big, you can contact BigCommerce’s sales team for custom pricing and more features.

BigCommerce provides a catalog transfer app that allows you to transfer catalog data from your Magento store to BigCommerce.

bigcommerce catalog transfer Magento

You can also download the Ecommerce re-platforming guidebook.

bigcommerce replatforming ebook

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is an open-source e-commerce platform that lets you build affordable, fully functional online stores. With about $135 per year, you also get hosting and domain name. It’s feature-rich, flexible, and offers helpful tools for growing your business.

The platform’s extension library gives your store more functionalities. The design makes it easy for small businesses to build their store with minimal or no help from developers.

WooCommerce is fully customizable and allows you to choose between free and paid themes from WordPress or third-party developers. You can also manipulate your store’s font style and color. It offers a drag-and-drop editor that allows you to decide how simple or elaborate you want your store to look.

It’s easier to migrate from Magento 1 to WooCommerce that to Magento 2. You can get a WooCommerce store up and running in hours. It offers you the option of migrating manually, using an extension, or employing an expert.

It’s free and straightforward to migrate your data manually. Once you export your Magento data as CSV files, you can import them through your WordPress dashboard. You may have to tweak a little to get the final error-free data, but the process is easy.

You can make it easier with extensions like Cart2Cart or hand it over to a WooCommerce hand-selected expert.

WooCommerce Pricing

You can install WooCommerce Payments for free (without monthly or setup fees). It uses a pay-as-you-go payment style for US-issued cards alone. Charges start from 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction.

WooCommerce allows you to view payments, monitor payments to your bank account, and manage disputes in one place. It provides a secure way to accept credit card payments, and customers don’t have to leave your store to make payments.

Magento 2

If this new to you, then you might wonder why you can’t just install Magento 2 to exchange Magento 1. Both versions of Magento are different, and switching to Magento 2 is not far from replatforming. Their core codebases and databases are different, and you can’t use your Magento 1 extensions and themes in Magento 2.

Magento 2 helps users enjoy high-performance websites. Some of their features include:

  • Intuitive drag and drop web designs
  • Site updates
  • Scheduler
  • promotional campaigns
  • Compatibility across devices, and more.

This platform has all the customizations and extensions integrated into its core functionality. So, you can build a great e-commerce site with easy-to-understand checkout options and excellent shipping choices.

Magento 2 has a more intuitive dashboard than Magento 1. Plus, it provides seamless integrations with sales and advertising channels like Google and Amazon.

You can get your success manager to contact you by submitting a form with your information.

The Migration process

Bear in mind that the migration process takes longer than just a few clicks. Based on a Magento 2 migration checklist, you might need about three months to complete the whole process.

You have to draw up a plan, which can take up to three weeks. You’ll then use about two days to prepare a test environment. Implementing custom development and extensions can take up another three weeks.

You’ll need about three weeks to migrate data and create designs for Magento 2. For additional synchronization of your database, you’ll need two days, and approximately one week to launch your prepared Magento 2 store.

You might end up using a longer or shorter time, depending on the complexity of your business. Perform a store audit to check performance, code weakness, and your store’s security.

Wrap Up

Choosing a platform that has a long life-span will help you not to think of this process again. Replatforming takes time, so you don’t have to rush the process. It might help to extend your Magento 1.x plan with Safe Harbor or other alternatives while searching for your ideal platform.

To avoid compliance issues, don’t take chances. At times, site migration that you might expect to end in hours might take weeks or longer to complete. If you didn’t take action when the announcement went out, don’t panic. Use the information here to decide what business needs you’d prioritize.