Magento Migration FAQs: All You Wanted to Know

With Magento 1 end of life, many business owners are wondering what to do next. Being among those who haven’t yet migrated to Magento 2 you may want to know about the risks associated with staying on Magento 1 and the benefits of migrating to Magento 2. To dispel your doubts and address your concerns, Jan Guardian, Chief Business Development Officer at Staylime, answers the most popular Magento migration questions.

Q.: What Is The Right Time To Migrate?

Considering that Magento 1 end of life happened in June 2020, the answer is obvious: you have to migrate immediately. There is a whole range of reasons for it:

  • Magento 1 has no official support anymore. There are no functional updates and, what’s more important, the system has yet-to-be-uncovered vulnerabilities as it is no longer protected against new threats with regular security patches. 
  • According to PayPal’s announcement, Magento 1 is no longer PCI DSS compliant. Thus, PayPal recommends migrating to Magento 2 as soon as possible, as there will likely be troubles with payments due to the insecurity of the system and its failure to comply with the standard. 
  • Vendors will not develop new or support existing extensions for Magento 1 as no one will use them anymore.

Read our Magento migration guide to learn more about migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2 and why you should do it now. 

Q.: What Is The Right Time to Put Your Store Into Maintenance Mode During Migration?

By putting your store into maintenance mode you make it impossible for your customers to make purchases. Given that all that matters to you at the end of the day is revenue, the best time to put your live store into maintenance mode is when the least number of transactions is observed. While your inner voice might tell you that you should do that at night, this might not necessarily be true.

For instance, one of our customers in the adultery industry has more store visitors during the day but more transactions at night due to the specifics of the business. The former read the blog during the day and arm up at night. Hence, contrary to a common belief, this business should put the store into maintenance mode during the day to avoid additional loss in sales. 

With this in mind, business owners and their migration vendors should take the nature of the business and the behavioral patterns of customers into account when deciding upon maintenance windows or, in our case, when scheduling the time slots to implement the primary or delta database migrations and the switch from the old store to the new one. 

Besides, when launching your new Magento 2 store you should reserve additional time to be able to eliminate any problems that arise during the launch. Consider that delta migration and store launch might take up to a business day or two in the worst case scenario.

Q.: Which Versions of Magento 1 Can Be Migrated to Magento 2?

The official Magento Data Migration Tool allows you to migrate up to any latest Magento 2 version, which is 2.4 as of the time of writing, from as low as Magento 1.6. 

However, despite the ability to migrate from Magento 1.6+, we strongly recommend you to update your existing store to Migration might take weeks or even months to complete depending on the complexity of the store, the number of third-party integrations, and the owner’s desire to develop a unique theme. While the new Magento 2 store is in development, the existing store is still operating. If your Magento 1 store hasn’t been updated to, it will be vulnerable to exploits and attacks inherent to older versions of the system which may eventually lead to security breaches and store inoperability. 

Q.: How Long Does It Take To Migrate a Magento store?

As a rule, migrating a simple store to Magento 2 takes anywhere between 4 and 6 hours in case it has no extensions, runs a default theme, and its version is Then the process is as easy as following these steps:

  • Rolling out Magento 2 on a new server;
  • Setting up the Data Migration Tool and performing the database migration;
  • Installing an SSL certificate and pointing the domain name to the new server.

If, however, you need to install ready-made extensions, integrate your store with third-party systems, develop custom functionality, install a ready-made theme or create a unique one from scratch, then you’d be looking at up to 5-6 months of work depending on the complexity of your store and the depth of customization you require. 

Q.: Does The Time Required For Migration Depend On The Number of Products in Your Store?

Long story short, it does not. During data migration, it is only the setup of the Data Migration Tool that requires manual labor. Data migration itself is an automated process so the amount of products in your store does not affect the migration vendor’s efforts. However, you have to keep in mind that the time required to introduce any manual changes to the content that is related to your products will be proportional to the number of items you are about to edit.

Q.: Should The Merchants Migrate to Magento 2 Themselves Or Hire An Expert?

You can migrate to Magento 2 yourself if you have experience in:

  • Programming in PHP, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript;
  • Configuring servers;
  • Working with the Data Migration Tool.

If, however, you’re lacking experience in at least one of the items above you’d be better off not taking a chance and hiring an expert Magento agency.

Q.: How to Find a Reliable Magento Agency For Magento Migration?

When searching for a reliable Magento agency for migration, I’d recommend paying special attention to the information on the vendor’s site — it should be meaningful and should not be pompous. Any content that does not explain in detail what the company does and what it can help you with should keep you off.

Once you’ve shortlisted a few candidates, have a deeper look at their portfolio and pay particular attention to migration case studies and respective customer testimonials. The more migrations they’ve done, the more experienced they are when it comes to unforeseen troubles that oftentimes occur in complex migration scenarios.

Now that you’ve shrunk your list even more, send the finalists a request where you describe your requirements in detail, or just tell them you’re in need of help in migrating to Magento 2 and wait for their answer. The agency that will give you a prompt detailed reply with adequate questions about your migration scenario should win your heart. They should provide you with the information on terms, cost, and scope of work, and what’s more important, they should have a sound Magento migration plan tailored to your case.

Having received proposals from the candidates, you can choose the one that appeals to you most.

Q.: Which Version Of Magento 2 Should The Store be Migrated to?

When migrating your store, you have to perform a clean installation of Magento 2. Technically, there’s a possibility to install any 2.x version, be it 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, or 2.4. However, it is common sense to install the latest stable version, as it will have the most recent out-of-the-box functionality and the latest security patches. I would recommend  installing 2.x.1+ versions and avoiding 2.x.0 versions as they tend to have defects related to the new functionality introduced in the respective minor version of Magento. As of the time of writing, the next suitable version is going to be 2.4.1 and should be released in mid-October 2020.

Q.: Does Magento Migration Affect The Performance Of The Existing Store?

The first thing to keep in mind is that you’ll have to put your store into the maintenance mode twice: during the primary and delta migrations. At that time, your store will be down for some time. As a rule, the downtime should not exceed 2 hours whenever a store is put into maintenance mode for migration-related purposes.

Besides, there is one case where the migration can affect the performance of the existing store — that is when the new and the existing stores are put on the same server. This is a very poor practice that can lead to bad consequences:

  • If you develop a Magento 2 store on the same server where your current store is, and something goes wrong during development, chances are high the latter will go down for a while or forever.
  • When Magento 1 and Magento 2 stores share the server, they also share the server’s computing power. Hence, the two will have fewer available resources and will have decreased performance.
  • Server with Magento 1 can contain a lot of existing artifacts that will affect the performance of Magento 2. Besides, given that Magento 1 is no longer supported and patched, there might be exploits that attackers will use to hack into your server and, hence, your new store. 

Thus, you’d be better off installing Magento 2 on a fresh server for better performance and security. 

Q.: How Can We Migrate Extension Data to Magento 2?

There are two ways to migrate your existing extension data to Magento 2:

  • Some extension vendors allow exporting data of some of their Magento 1 extensions and import it to their Magento 2 counterparts, as is the case with Mageworx’s Advanced Product Options extension.
  • Most extensions, however, don’t have this functionality. If that’s the case, then you have to migrate data either manually or by hiring experienced Magento developers to develop a unique script that will migrate the data of the extension in question from Magento 1 to Magento 2.

Q.: What Benefits Will Merchants Get After Migrating Their Stores?

The benefits of migrating to Magento 2 are numerous. Magento 2 has been significantly reengineered with an eye to optimize the platform and provide broader functionality compared to Magento 1. Here are a few improvements:

  • Better performance, achieved by adding PHP 7 and Varnish cache support. As a result, the merchants enjoy 2x faster page load times and higher conversion rates.
  • Enhanced security through two-factor authentication, improved attack prevention tools, and regular releases of security patches.
  • Better customer experience thanks to a user-friendly checkout process, marketing automation features, and a mobile-friendly interface.
  • Improved SEO features, including in-built schema markup, improved XML sitemap, and rich snippets support, to allow Magento 2 sites rank higher.
  • Simplified business management due to a more user-friendly admin interface and advanced reporting capabilities.

To sum it up, migrating to Magento 2 provides merchants with a range of benefits and great opportunities to make their ecommerce business prosper.


Q.: Do Vendors Provide Post-Migration Support?

They all should, albeit not all of them do. The migration vendor should be available immediately after the launch to fix any critical problems that might become apparent when the new store is live. Ultimately, they should fix the following problems at no cost:

  • Defects in any custom functionality that they developed themselves;
  • Any other defects caused by the vendor’s actions and not inherent to third-party extensions, themes, integrations, or Magento itself.

You should bear in mind that oftentimes unpredictable issues arise during migration, and they have nothing to do with the migration vendor. You and the vendor should agree upon a suitable maintenance and support package to help you out both during the development phase and after the launch.

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