Magento 1.x End of Life – What Are My Options?

Magento 1 is coming to end of life very soon, so you may be wondering if it’s too late to do something about it? In this article, we’ll talk you through your options with some key examples from our clients.

Kevin Taylor

If you are reading this, you are probably asking yourself if you have left things too late? It was over 10 years ago that Magento announced Magento 2 was coming down the wire. It is three years since they announced that from the end of June 2020, they would no longer offer support for Magento 1 – regardless of what version. At that time, we published this, a look at how urgent it really was back then and whether or not it was time to make the leap.

Now things have got a little bit more scary and the clock is ticking, throw the whole Covid-19 pandemic into the mix and all of a sudden there’s a sniff of panic in the air.

Many people will tell you that Magento 2 is the natural choice and most logical step but that’s certainly not the case. Magento is resource heavy, complex, and requires ongoing investment to get the most out of the platform, after all it is hugely powerful and powers some of the world’s best-known E-Commerce stores. However, hosted platforms like Shopify are now giving Magento a run for their money and at the same time Magento (now Adobe) seem to be targeting those bigger businesses with even deeper pockets.

So, what has everybody else done?

Well believe it or not, there are still 1000’s of retailers seemingly still running a version of Magento 1. There’s big, there’s small and everything in between but it’s not necessarily an indication that they are not doing anything as this recent example shows:

Bulldog Skincare
A successful Magento Migration 1.9 > 2.3

Bulldog Skincare homepage

Launched only a few weeks ago by the Gravytrain team, Bulldog’s new Magento 2 website has been in the pipeline for months. Quietly behind the scenes, both Bulldog & Gravytrain have been working away to bring together a best in class E-Commerce website for the future whilst winning awards along the way.

However, migrating to Magento 2 is not for everybody and requires significant investment if you are going to get it right. Knocking out a Magento store in the next 30 days isn’t going to work and cutting corners on a Magento 2 build or migration will cost you in the long run. Absolutely nobody wants to have to do things twice, that would be nuts. Imagine how streetwear brand LesGirlsLesBoys must have felt doing exactly that in only two years!?

Magento 1.9 > Magento 2 > Shopify (OUCH!)

LesBoysLesGirls Homepage

What’s the saying ‘Buy cheap, buy twice’?

What about other companies we know? In addition to Bulldog Skincare, we have been working with tons of retailers over the last three years who have all been faced with the same decision as you. Let’s take a quick look at three of them.

Penelope Chilvers
Magento 1.9 > Magento 2

Penelope Chilvers homepage

An early mover to Magento 2, luxury shoe brand Penelope Chilvers took the leap early but things didn’t really go to plan. Back then, agencies were inexperienced in Magento 2 and still building their knowledge and expertise. Essentially these early days meant teething problems and often significant challenges (let’s not talk about Magento Commerce Cloud!). We were hired 12 months ago to sort their out of control ticket backlog and get them on an even keel.

Protein Empire
Magento 1.9 > Shopify

Protein Empire Homepage

A relatively small business, the investment required to run Magento 2 was way too much, kind of like using a sledge hammer to crack a nut. What they needed was a rapid deployment, hassle free E-Commerce and a system that took care of itself – perfect for Shopify.

Magento 1.9 > Shopify

Velo Vixen Homepage

The UK’s leading female orientated cycling brand had been on Magento 1 for several years and the logical choice appeared to be Magento 2. However, after scoping out requirements and weighing up the overall cost of ownership, Shopify was the clear winner. The old website was clunky and didn’t look the part. Now they have a beautiful Shopify website with zero hassle and more revenue – what more could you ask for?!

These sound like an advert for Shopify right? Not at all and Shopify isn’t necessarily the right option either. There are plenty of other platforms available; BigCommerce, WooCommerce and Prestashop among others but with time running out none of them will be ready by 30th June.

So, what about staying on Magento 1, is that an option?

You may be thinking about sticking with Magento 1 for the foreseeable future, maybe until we are through the other side of this pandemic and asking yourself is it really is a sensible option? It is certainly an option for now but comes with some risk.

  • It’s important to remember that if PHP is no longer maintained, there is a potential security risk for sure and the longer you stay on Magento 1 the greater the risk.
  • As well as Magento not supporting their software, it’s highly likely that suppliers of extensions and payment providers won’t either, this adds a whole extra layer around vulnerabilities that you need to consider.

So what does that really mean for me?

Well, from June there will be no updates, fixes or patches so ultimately you are more at risk.

Right now, you need to be planning, it might not be a good time but burying your head in the sand and doing nothing could hurt down the line.

The penalties for data breaches can be severe – several years ago we managed to rescue a reasonably well-known shirt brand (then on Magento 1.x, now on Shopify) from a £50k fine with the ICO.

Like I said earlier though, don’t panic and talk to your e-commerce agency about what they can do now. Here’s our Top 3 tips for what to do right now.

  1. Make sure you are on the very latest version of Magento 1 – that’s v1.9.4.5 if you are on Open Source. Worth checking PHP is up to date too.
  2. Make sure all third-party modules are as up to date as possible and do this before the end of the month.
  3. Start working on that plan – even if that plan is to get it done by the end of the year, middle of next or whatever but leaving your business on Magento 1.9 in the long term really isn’t an option.

For help and assistance in these difficult times, we are offering limited free support to businesses on Magento 1.x who are struggling to decide what to do. It’s on a first come, first served basis and only for the month of June 2020.

Additional news from Visa: ‘Urgent Action Required’ Notice from Visa, sites at risk of non PCI compliance from 30th June.

Email or call 020 8941 2364 for an initial chat.