So the saying goes, all good things come to an end. However, in the case of Magento, the good things have got better but not without a little sting in the tail. Magento 1, which is now in use with over 200,000 stores will stop being supported by Magento at the end of June 2020 with the express purpose of moving users over to the new powerhouse, Magento 2.
Magento 1.9 was initially released in 2014. That this is an open-source product and is still receiving security updates 6 years after the initial release is remarkable, particularly given the huge investment that has also been put into developing Magento 2 over the same time-frame. We should also credit Magento for sticking by the commitment they made in May 2017 to give 18 months’ notice for finishing their product support of Magento 1.
There are a huge number of merchants that are still doing very well on their current Magento 1 platforms. For these sites that have been built over the last few years, it’s good to know that there is still time to maximise the value of their site whilst preparing for the move over to Magento 2. We would certainly recommend using this time to formulate a business plan and put in place a schedule for the migration to Magento 2 before the support runs out in June 2020.
With the all new Magento 2.3 now available, there’s never been a better time to migrate. The new version is a big upgrade over Magento 1 in quite a number of ways. You can see some of the benefits by viewing the presentation from this year’s Magento Imagine conference.
Another important factor when migrating that merchants should consider is upgrading to a later version of PHP. The latest supported version that Magento 1 can work with is PHP 5.6 but unfortunately, security support runs out for this on 31st December 2018. For this reason, merchants need to upgrade to a later version of PHP.
Quite a few are already running on PHP 7.0 through a development from Inchoo. However, the security support also ends for this soon, but Inchoo is working with Magento for an official patch to make it possible to have PHP7.2 with Magento Open Source 1 before the end of 2018.
Please note, however, even when this patch for PHP 7.2 support is released, this only gives you compatibility to the core platform. Any extension or custom code will need to be reviewed manually and any incompatibilities with PHP 7.2 resolved.
Obviously, the size of this task depends on the size of your store and the number of incompatibilities within the store. The whole site will need testing a number of times, as well as needing to make infrastructure changes, so a reasonable amount of time and budget should be put aside for this very important task. Given the short-deadlines, we would recommend getting started on this as soon as the patch from Magento is released.
While Magento has announced extended security support for older versions of Magento 1 (1.5-1.8), it’s not clear that the PHP 7.2 compatibility patches will be available for them. This may be another reason to upgrade to at least 1.9 to benefit from these updates.
In view of this, unsurprisingly many merchants will be thinking of changing to Magento 2.
Whilst Magento’s announcement makes it clear that you don’t need to do this immediately, remember that starting out on a major re-platforming project takes a lot of time, and consumes a large amount of resource, as business needs are identified. In essence, now is definitely a good time to start thinking about migrating, and the team at Serene Media are more than ready to help you get started along the exciting journey to Magento 2.
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Contact Serene Media to discuss your Magento project: 01234 324539 – [email protected]