How To Migrate From Magento 1 To Magento 2 With Cart2Cart

Ever since they released Magento 2 in 2015, there has been a lot of hullabaloo over the issue of Magento Migration from 1 to 2.

While some of the Magento 1 ecommerce merchants began upgrading to Magento 2 almost immediately, many chose otherwise. Instead of willingly joining the Magento 2 bandwagon, they’ve been holding on to their dear Magento 1 online stores for close to five years now.

Why, you ask?

Well, the truth is, there are many possible reasons why an online store owner would not be quick to migrate Magento 1 to Magento 2.

For starters, it sounds like a pretty cumbersome process. Setting up and customizing a fully functional online store on Magento 1 is hard enough already. So, why would a growing ecommerce site be willing to subject itself through yet another potentially complicated setup process?

And then there’s the issue of cost. Magento 1 is a free ecommerce platform all right, and so is Magento 2. But, let’s face it- a typical Magento migration from 1 to 2 is bound to cost your business some money. Not just directly, but also in the form of the possible losses incurred due to service outage as you upgrade Magento 1 to Magento 2.

The biggest reason, however, is this- many business owners have been arguing that Magento 1 and Magento 2 are basically different versions of the same thing. Hence, they believe that migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2 is pretty much like shifting to an adjacent seat in a movie theatre- just a physical change without any substantial difference in the overall experience.

Ok, fair enough. Although that has been proven over and over again to be wildly inaccurate, there’s no denying it has worked in Magento 1’s favor for almost half a decade now.

Not anymore though, because as it turns out, Magento 1 is finally retiring. So, like it or not, you have no choice but to move your store from the platform.

And that’s precisely why we’ve compiled this ultimate Magento 1 to Magento 2 migration guide. It highlights the three main Magento migration options, as well as the fundamental benefits you should expect when you upgrade Magento 1 to Magento 2. Most importantly, however, it explains how you can easily upgrade from Magento 1 to Magento 2 using the Cart2Cart auto-migration tool.

But, before we delve into all that, let’s go back to the whole Magento 1 retirement issue. What is it all about?

End of Life For Magento 1 in June 2020

There’s no denying that Magento 1 has had a good run for over a decade now. But, as they say, all good things must come to an end.

And Magento 1’s end began when the same company released the Magento 2 ecommerce platform in 2015. That alone set the ball rolling, and we figured that it was only a matter of time before we had to permanently retire Magento 1.

Well, it didn’t take long as the company ultimately dropped the bombshell towards the end of 2018. The big reveal was, Magento will officially cease supporting the Magento 1 platform on June 1st, 2020.

Yes, you read that right. Magento 1 has only a couple of weeks left before they finally pull the plug.

But, don’t get me wrong. Magento 1 won’t be wiped off the face of the earth. Rather, Magento will cease maintaining it. That means you won’t be receiving any additional extensions, modules, fixes or security patches from the company.

In short, therefore, Magento 1 will be as good as dead. Without any security updates, this ecommerce platform will be left open and vulnerable to a wide range of cyber attacks. It’ll be like a mineral-rich country without a defense army.

Now, with the D-day fast approaching, staying on Magento 1 is not an option anymore. You have to migrate, whether you like it or not.

However, where and how you choose to migrate depends on your preferences plus business needs. And speaking of which, you currently have two possible routes for saving your online store before the hammer falls.

Option one, to begin with, entails moving your online store completely from the whole Magento ecosystem. Yes, and that means avoiding even Magento 2 plus its accompanying editions.

This approach has seen quite a number of online businesses move their stores to third-party ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, PrestaShop, etc. Each of them has a fair share of benefits and drawbacks over Magento.

Well, if you’d like to give any of these a try, you can check out our Magento to WooCommerce Migration guide, or maybe the recent Magento to Shopify Migration article, for relevant insights as well as detailed tutorials. They explain how you can automatically transfer all your store data from Magento without any downtime.

However, this is not for everyone. There’s a group of online businesses with special needs that can only be catered to by Magento. I’m talking about ecommerce sites that value extensive code-based customization capabilities, SEO-friendly URLs, powerful store management tools, full platform control, plus much more.

If this sounds like you, then you might want to look into the alternative route. And as you’ve probably guessed already, it entails moving all your store components and data from Magento 1 to Magento 2. In other words, you can call it an upgrade from Magento 1 to Magento 2.

But, what exactly do you stand to gain if you migrate Magento 1 to Magento 2? Are there any specific reasons for moving besides Magento 1’s End of Life?

Reasons To Upgrade Magento 1 To Magento 2

As we’ve said over and over again, Magento 1 is awesome. And yes, it shares numerous features with Magento 2.

But, make no mistake about it. These two are not completely alike. Although they are built on pretty much the same framework, Magento 1 and Magento 2 are distinctively different, with the latter proving to be vastly superior to the former in many ways.

More specifically, Magento 2 offers:

A Friendlier Admin Interface

Admit it. Even after you’ve figured out how Magento 1’s tools work, its interface can still be confusing. It takes a lot of technical skills to configure its tools and customize your website. Plus, Magento 1 doesn’t exactly have the prettiest or the most elegant interface on the market.

Now, compare that with the new admin panel on the latest editions of Magento 2. Magento seemingly designed its second generation interface to give less technical platforms like Shopify a good run for their money.

While it retains the traditional customization privileges, the panel manages to give even non-technical users a seamless and friendly experience. It’s much neater, and it comes with understandable functions, plus a much more straightforward navigation framework.

Better Flexibility and Performance

Magento 2 goes beyond appearance to provide even better scalability and performance capabilities. All your online store’s web pages are expected to load faster and respond better than on Magento 1.

You’re wondering how?

Well, to boost web performance, Magento 2 leverages a range of supplementary technologies and tools. Your site’s caching process, for instance, is enhanced thanks to Magento 2’s HTTP accelerator tool, plus the accompanying Varnish Cache.

Then in the event you experience increased traffic, Magento 2 should be able to manage its resource scaling and handling much better than Magento 1.

Improved Security

While the End of Life slated for June is set to be the ultimate blow to Magento 1’s security, it won’t be the first time the platform has lost out to Magento 2’s superior security features.

Magento 2 has always prioritized data security, and it continues to provide more features and tools for preventing system infiltration, mitigating possible attacks, as well as recovering from possible data loss.

Now, as far as prevention is concerned, Magento 2 employs what is known as SHA-255 hashing algorithms to secure its system passwords. And if you ever need to reinforce that, the accompanying 2-factor authentication extension should come in handy.

Another thing you’ll notice about Magento 2 is that it offers a rather unique Admin account URL. This makes it considerably harder for potential attackers and malicious bots to correctly guess the address to your main login area.

In addition to that, Magento 2 also covers the vulnerabilities arising from system development, thanks to an optimal development environment that rides on tools like the Magento DevBox Beta. Combined, all these supplementary resources minimize the possible vulnerabilities by making the development process easier and much faster.

A Smoother And Seamless Checkout System

Magento 2 helps you sell faster through a smooth and seamless checkout system.

Your shoppers, for instance, are saved the trouble of always filling out registration forms during checkout. Rather, Magento 2 recognizes web visitors as their guests, allowing them to sail through the checkout process without interruptions.

Another notable benefit of using Magento 2’s checkout tools is increased flexibility. Since the platform comes with a much wider range of integrations for third-party apps, you should be able to embed more payment options to your checkout page.

And while you’re at it, you’ll also notice that it’s possible to quickly develop your own custom payment modules. You just need to integrate your Magento 2 system with any merchant checkout solution an d voila!

Now, when you combine these benefits with Magento 2’s superior customer experience attributes like increased performance, you’ll have yourself an ecommerce platform that’s capable of boosting your overall conversion rates, as well as minimize the corresponding cart abandonment rates.

Ways To Migrate Magento 1 To Magento 2

When it comes to the actual migration process, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Magento would be generous enough to provide a simple app that can migrate Magento 1 to Magento 2 in one click.

But, sadly, it turns out that’s not the case. You won’t find any specialized migration tool from Magento. And neither will you get a one-click tool from third-party sources. After searching far and wide, we’re yet to hear of anything capable of transferring all your data between the two platforms in a single click.

Don’t let that discourage you though, as there are several alternative tools you could leverage without any technical experience. And to explore this option, let’s look into the three primary approaches you could take to upgrade Magento 1 to Magento 2.

Manual Magento 1 To Magento 2 Migration

This is the traditional method of transferring data between two website platforms. In essence, it’s a very technical process of painstakingly importing data from the source platform, and subsequently pasting it to the target platform.

But, don’t get me wrong. It’s not as simple as it might sound. Manual Magento 1 to Magento 2 migration involves a lot of coding and complex web development tweaks.

Hence, only technically skilled programmers have what it takes to proceed with this option. And that’s not all. You should also have an in-depth knowledge of each platform’s core structure, as well as the accompanying source code.

A word of caution though. Since this manual migration procedure is highly intricate, the chances of making a catastrophic error are quite high.

So, you have to take extra precautions to avoid compromising your online store. And this means that in the end, migrating all the store data from Magento 1 to Magento 2 could take you days. Probably even more if you consider the extra hours you might need to counter-check your stuff, and subsequently correct any error or omission.

Assisted Magento 1 To Magento 2 Migration

This is, undeniably, the costliest of the three Magento 1 to Magento 2 migration options. And there’s a good reason why.

You see, assisted ecommerce store migration is all about hiring professionals to do the work on your behalf. And yes, in most cases, the professionals end up using the traditional manual method.

They typically spend a lot of time moving your data elements from one platform to another while coding and reprogramming everything accordingly. Hence, you can think of it as the go-to option for store owners who prefer manual migration but happen not to possess the required technical skills.

The biggest problem, however, is that hiring a team of experts can be pretty costly. Plus, there’s always the risk of making potentially detrimental errors during data transfer.

Automated Magento 1 To Magento 2 Migration

And last but not least is automated migration, which happens to be my personal favorite because of the many benefits it offers.

Instead of manually moving your data, you get to automatically migrate Magento 1 to Magento 2 using a specialized migration tool. It handles the bulk of the work on your behalf while minimizing human input and optimizing accuracy.

Therefore, in a way, this is the closest you can get to a one-click migration tool. An app like Cart2Cart only requires a couple of simple non-technical tweaks, which should take you a few minutes before the system proceeds with your Magento migration from 1 to 2.

And speaking of which, the cost of leveraging the Cart2Cart Magento 1 to Magento 2 data migration extension is substantially lower than hiring a professional web development agency. Plus, it takes a much shorter time to migrate an entire online store from Magento 1 to Magento 2.

Therefore, all things considered, automated migration is the best method you could use to jump into the Magento 2 bandwagon before the month of June 2020. And having tried out a wide range of tools, I’d particularly recommend Cart2Cart above anything else.

Wondering why?

Why Use The Cart2Cart Magento 1 To Magento 2 Data Migration Extension?

Cart2Cart is not just a tool for handling Magento migrations. It’s a globally renowned solution that continues to facilitate automated migrations across a wide range of shopping cart platforms.

More specifically, it seeks to simplify the whole ecommerce migration process by minimizing manual configurations, and allowing shop owners to move all their store entities without any technical coding skills. In fact, it even provides an intuitive migration wizard to guide you through the entire process.

That said, Cart2Cart principally supports Magento upgrades through a specialized Magento 1 to Magento 2 data migration extension, which is available on the official Magento Extension Marketplace.

And you know what? It won’t cost you even a dime to acquire the tool and install it on your Magento ecommerce platform. But, it doesn’t stop there. You can further create an account and proceed to customize your migration options for free.

What’s more, the Cart2Cart Magento 1 to Magento 2 data migration extension is generous enough to perform a free demo transfer of your data between the two platforms. It essentially proceeds to migrate some of your online store entities from the source platform to the subsequent target platform, as a way of demonstrating its data transfer prowess ahead of the actual full migration process.

Now, if the demo store convinces you to get on with your Magento 1 to Magento 2 migration, another notable thing you’ll notice here is that Cart2Cart has a very flexible pricing schedule. What you end up paying right before the full migration depends on the precise number of entities you intend to transfer.

Then once you pay for the service and start your full migration, Cart2Cart will immediately swing into action. Then the subsequent data transfer process should only take a couple of hours, during which your online store will remain online without any service interruptions.

Yes, that’s right, Cart2Cart allows you to migrate Magento1 to Magento 2 without any downtime. And if you like, you can even continue processing transactions as your site data is copied and transferred in the background.

In the end, you should be able to move all the critical ecommerce site entities, including CMS pages, all the supplementary stores, reviews, coupons, orders, customers, manufacturers, categories, products, etc. All the essential stuff can be mirrored from your Magento 1 store to the target Magento 2 store.

And with that said, let’s now find out how you can use Cart2Cart to migrate Magento 1 to Magento 2:

How To Conduct Magento Migration From 1 To 2 With Cart2Cart

Step 1: Deploy The Default Magento 2 Ecommerce Platform

The first step is, of course, rolling out the default Magento 2 ecommerce platform on a compatible web server. You can check our ultimate Magento hosting guide for tips on finding a perfect web host for your Magento 2 online store.

Now, once you’ve purchased a good Magento hosting package, you can go ahead and set up a basic Magento 2 store. This should be simple since most of the prominent Magento hosts provide a one-click installer for Magento 2.

Then when it comes to creating a site, you might want to minimize your customizations as much as possible. The Cart2Cart Magento 1 to Magento 2 data migration extension works best with the default Magento template minus the extras.

Otherwise, customizing your store beyond this point would be pointless, as the target store will ultimately reflect your source store’s attributes after migration. Additionally, any extra modifications you introduce could trigger errors, and maybe change the intended outlook of the target store.

Step 2: Install The Cart2Cart Magento 1 to Magento 2 Data Migration Extension

cart2cart m2 upgrade

There’s only one exception to the customization rule. Yes, that’s right, you can go ahead and add the Cart2Cart Magento 1 to Magento 2 data migration extension to your store.

Now, for the sake of clarity, this should be installed directly onto your Magento 2 target platform. Just go to the Magento Marketplace and search for the Cart2Cart M2 Upgrade. Then once you’ve installed the extension for free, you can launch it when you’re ready to proceed with the migration.

Step 3: Create a Cart2Cart Account

sign up for cart2cart

To start the migration procedure, you have to first register an account with Cart2Cart through the extension or Cart2Cart’s main site.

Whichever you choose, you’ll find a couple of registration options. You could either sign up the traditional way by submitting your personal details, or simply log into the system using your Facebook or Google account credentials.

Step 4: Enter Your Magento 1 Source Cart Details and Set Up Its Connection Bridge

magento 1 to magento 2 migration with cart2cart

When you access your account and launch Cart2Cart’s Magento upgrade wizard, it’ll display the source and target cart setup window, on which you’re required to enter each store’s details, and then configure their respective connection bridges.

That said, the source cart section comes first. So, you can go ahead and specify your source details by choosing “Magento” as the source cart, and then typing in your source store’s URL on the subsequent field.

After that, you should set up a connection bridge on your source cart, which will ultimately act as the principal link for transferring data between the two platforms.

To create it, scroll past the Source Store URL field and click the “Download Bridge” button. This will send the bridge directly to your local storage in the form of a .zip file.

You should then unzip it, and paste its contents directly to your Magento 1 store’s root folder using an FTP client.

That’s it. You now have yourself a connection bridge on your source cart. And if you like, you can even test it by clicking on the “Check Connection” button.

Step 5: Enter Your Magento 2 Target Cart Details and Create Its Connection Bridge

After typing in your Magento 1 source cart details and setting up its connection bridge, Cart2Cart will prompt you to do the same for your Magento 2 target store.

So, proceed to the Target Cart Setup area, choose Magento from the list of Target Cart options, and then enter your Magento 2 site’s URL on the Target Store URL field.

Once you’re done, you can go ahead and download the target cart’s connection bridge file, unzip its contents onto your local storage, and then paste everything to the root folder of your Magento 2 store using an FTP panel.

At this point, you can confirm if the target cart connection is valid by simply clicking on the Check Connection button.

Step 6: Choose The Store Entities You’d Like To Transfer

With the source and target carts’ connection bridges up and running, the next step entails defining the specific attributes you intend to migrate from your Magento 1 store to Magento 2.

Thankfully, Cart2Cart keeps everything simple here by displaying a checkbox next to every single entity. You should be able to migrate stuff like:

  • CMS Pages: Content heading, status, meta keywords, meta description, description, URLs, created date, and titles.
  • Reviews: Created date, status, rate, user name, description, summary, product, title, and type.
  • Coupons: Name, description, status, coupon code, coupon date, customer groups, uses per coupon, uses per customer, type discount, and discount amount.
  • Shipping: Shipping address ( company, address 1, address 2, country, state, city, zip code, telephone, fax, and transactions.
  • Orders: Customer name, email, billing address (company, address 1, address 2, country, state, city, zip code, telephone, fax ), invoice, credit memo, shipment, order ID, order date, tax price, total price, order comments, order status, order products (name, SKU, option), product price, quantity, subtotal price, and discount price.
  • Customers: Customer ID, first name, last name, email, customer group, newsletter, gender, date of birth, passwords, created date, billing address (company, address 1, address 2, country, state, city, zip code, telephone, fax), and shipping address (company, address 1, address 2, country, state, city, zip code, telephone, fax).
  • Taxes: Tax class (name), tax rates (country, state, percent), and tax rules (tax class, tax rate).
  • Manufacturers: Name and image.
  • Product Categories: Image, thumbnail image, URL, name, description, status, meta title, meta description, and meta keywords.
  • Products: Quantity, stock availability, manage stock, backorder, base image, thumbnail image, additional images, variants (SKU, weight, attributes, quantity, images, price, special price, special price from-to date, name, tier price, group price, MSRP), downloadable products (price, files, max downloads), grouped products (associated products), bundle products, attributes (name, values) , custom options (drop-down, radio buttons, checkbox, multiple select, date, text field, text area, time, date and time, file), related products, product tags, up-sells, cross-sells, weight, URL, meta title, meta keywords, meta description, price, special price, special price from-to date, group price, tier price, MSRP, product name, SKU, short description, full description, status, manufacturer, country of manufacturer, tax class, and sort order in category.

Well, you can choose to import all of them by clicking on the Select All checkbox. Otherwise, you could pick the specific entities you intend to transfer, and leave the rest of the checkboxes blank.

Step 7: Customize Your Data Migration

It turns out Cart2Cart is a pretty flexible tool that allows you to dynamically customize your data migration process down to the last detail. You’ll find all these settings in the Additional Options section, which usually follows entity selection.

Now, to personalize your Magento migration from 1 to 2, simply select your preferences from the list of options.

You can, for instance, choose to have the system transfer invoices, credit memos and shipments to your Magento 2 target store. Or maybe you might want to move even your images from product descriptions, categories descriptions and blog posts description.

Cart2Cart further gives you the option of preserving your customer IDs on the target store, importing categories and products SEO URLs, setting up product variants based on the combinations of options, transferring even your customers' passwords, creating 301 redirects on your target store after migration, maintaining the original order IDs on the target store, skipping product thumbnail images migration, as well as clearing your current data on the target store before the data migration process.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

But, here’s the kicker. While some of these options are offered free of charge, most of them come at an additional cost. Maintaining your original customer IDs on the new Magento 2 store, for instance, will cost you an extra $49. Then importing categories and products SEO URLs will have you paying a supplementary fee of $59.

Hence, you might want to prioritize the most important stuff if you’re on a budget.

Step 8: Perform a Free Demo Migration

Ok, I know the demo migration might feel like an unnecessary step, especially considering Cart2Cart has already proven itself from the many positive reviews it continues to attract from past users.

Fair enough. But, although I share the same sentiment about Cart2Cart, I certainly wouldn’t want to skip the free demo migration. It provides much-needed insights into how your target store might eventually turn out.

From the demo target store, you get to assess how various entities have been mapped, the frontend interface, the backend functionalities, plus some of the stuff you might possibly need to configure after the migration.

That said, the data transfer process here should take about 30 minutes. And in the end, Cart2Cart will only import a few of your selected entities.

Step 9: Start The Full Magento 1 to Magento 2 Migration

magento 1 to magento 2 full migration

If your demo migration turned out fine, you can go ahead and start the full migration process.

It’s worth noting, however, that Cart2Cart will bill you for everything before proceeding with the full migration. You’ll be required to pay for the data transfer as well as the accompanying additional migration options.

Well, in case you’re wondering, Cart2Cart has very reasonable migration pricing rates, which are usually calculated based on the number of entities you intend to transfer.

In the meantime though, you could run your figures through Cart2Cart’s estimator tool to get an idea of what you might end up paying.

Now, back to the migration procedure. You should be able to proceed with the full migration as soon as you settle the bill.

Cart2Cart will then conduct the whole process in the background while, at the same time, maintaining your source Magento 1 store in good shape. Therefore, you can bet you won’t be experiencing any downtime.

But, in the unlikely event a problem develops, you can easily get in touch with Cart2Cart’s tech support team at any time of the day or night. They are available 24/7.

Well, if that’s not the case and everything is proceeding fine, Cart2Cart won’t be needing your input for the next few hours. All the data is transferred automatically from Magento 1 and subsequently mapped onto Magento 2.

Meanwhile, you can track the progress from your Cart2Cart account. Or, on the other hand, you can close the window and wait for updates while handling your business on the source store.

Whatever you choose, Cart2Cart will eventually notify you via email when it’s done with the Magento migration from 1 to 2.

Over To You

Well, that’s all it takes to migrate Magento 1 to Magento 2.

And as a final measure, you should countercheck everything on your Magento 2 target store. So, review its attributes, layout, and functionalities down to the very last detail. Plus, you could also try to run a couple of shopping and transaction tests for additional confirmation.

Now, if everything is in order, don’t hesitate to grab yourself a bottle of champagne and raise a toast to your new accomplishment. You’ve evaded Magento 1’s End of Life problems and joined the Magento 2 bandwagon without touching a line of code.

Davis Porter

Davis Porter is a B2B and B2C ecommerce pundit who’s particularly obsessed with digital selling platforms, online marketing, hosting solutions, web design, cloud tech, plus customer relationship management software. When he’s not testing out various applications, you’ll probably find him building a website, or cheering Arsenal F.C. on.