Enterprise Monkey Logo
telephone icon
Magento 1 to Magento 2 migration

Migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2: Everything You Need to Know

Picture of Aamir Qutub
Aamir Qutub

Table of Contents

Share this article

Magento 1 officially reached end-of-life (EOL) in June 2020, marking the complete end of the software’s online, technical, and community support. According to the data, around 42,000 live websites still depend on their online visibility on the Magento 1. x versions.

Since Magento 1 has officially been declared dead, websites using the older version are vulnerable to high-security risks. Therefore, migrating to Magento 2 has become imperative.

Magento is a popular choice for eCommerce businesses. And, by shifting to the newer Magento 2. x version, online merchants and businesses can ensure security, performance, and access to advanced features for their websites.

Magento 2 is a robust software and feature-rich eCommerce platform that has gained significant popularity among businesses of all sizes.

Some Powerful Features of Magento 2!

  • Performance: Built with modern technologies, deliver faster page load times and a smooth user experience.
  • Customisation: Allows extensive customisation through themes and extensions tailored to unique brand requirements.
  • Security: Prioritises security with regular updates and robust features to protect online stores from potential threats.

Launched as an evolution of its predecessor, Magento 1, Magento 2 offers a wide range of enhancements and improvements that cater to the growing needs of modern eCommerce. Migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2 is crucial; however, the process may be daunting for some users.

Therefore, this blog will equip you with the knowledge and steps to navigate the migration process smoothly, ensuring a successful transition to the latest and most robust version of the Magento platform.

Selecting Migration Approach

Migration from one version to another is a complex task. It requires careful planning and selecting the best approach. There are three main methods that you can use for this purpose. These are:

  • Automate the process
  • Hire an agency
  • Manual approach

The first option is to use tools and technologies that streamline the process of transferring data, applications, or entire systems from one platform to another by utilising an automated migration service.

These tools, provided by Magento, help automate the migration process by transferring data such as products, customers, orders, settings, and configurations from Magento 1 to Magento 2. They include scripts and utilities to facilitate a smooth migration.

The point to remember here is that the automatic migration tools will not work properly for the website with complex data mining needs and advanced customisation requirements. You will ultimately have to practise manual methods to observe the errorless migration process.

Some automatic Magento migration tools that can assist in migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2:

  • LitExtension
  • Cart2Cart
  • UberTheme
  • Magento Upgrade Service
  • Next-Cart

Therefore, if you have a complex e-store design and want a hassle-free approach, there’s nothing better than hiring a professional agency.

Magento development agencies have specialised knowledge and extensive experience working with Magento platforms. They understand the intricacies of the migration process and can effectively navigate potential challenges.

However, if you have coding experience and some technical know-how, you can definitely go with the third approach. In this approach, there are a few steps that you need to follow carefully, and you can seamlessly shift your store from Magento 1 to Magento 2.
[Also read: The Ultimate Guide to Magento Web Development]

Hence, if you have decided to go with the third option, continue reading this blog and understand every step that is required for the transition purpose.

Prerequisites of the Migration Process

Before proceeding with the migration process, it is important to do some pre-work. Below is the checklist of prerequisites for the migration purpose to ensure a smooth and seamless course of action:

Checklist Before Starting with the Migration Process

  • Analyse the Magento 2 Cost – Before proceeding with the migration process, it is suggested that you contact a professional Magento development company and get an estimate of the Magento development and migration costs. This will help you define a budget and make the most of your investment.
  • Backup Your Magento 1 Store – Before beginning the migration process, ensure you have a complete backup of your Magento 1 store, including files and databases. This backup is crucial in case of any unforeseen issues during the migration.
  • Understand Magento 2 Requirements – Familiarise yourself with Magento 2’s system requirements, including server compatibility, PHP version, database requirements, and other prerequisites outlined in the official Magento 2 documentation.
  • Create a Clone – You can create a duplicate copy of your Magento 1 store and work on it without touching the original site. This will minimise breakouts or unanticipated risks associated with directly working on the live store.
    Upgrade Magento 1 to the Latest Version – Ensure your Magento 1 store is updated to the latest version available. This step is crucial as it includes bug fixes, security patches, and compatibility improvements that can facilitate a smoother migration process.

Steps to Migrate: Magento 1 to Magento 2

Once you have checked all the boxes on the above checklist, it’s time to proceed with the actual migration process.
The migration process is further divided into two phases: the Preparation Phase and the Actual Migration. Let’s move step by step to achieve the desired outcome.

Steps to Migrate: Magento 1 to Magento 2

Preparation Phase

Step 1: Planning and Analysis

The first step involves meticulously assessing your existing store setup and preparing for the transition. The key steps within this phase are:

  • Inventory Analysis: Create a detailed list of all data elements you want to migrate, including products, customers, orders, reviews, and other relevant information.
  • Extension Audit: Carefully review all extensions installed in your Magento 1 store. Identify compatible alternatives available for Magento 2 or plan to rebuild custom functionality if needed.
  • Theme Compatibility: Evaluate the compatibility of your current Magento 1 theme with Magento 2. You might need to build a new theme for Magento 2 or consider reusing design elements from your existing theme to maintain brand consistency.
  • Technical Expertise: Assess your technical capabilities or the expertise of your team. While extensive tools exist to automate parts of the migration, some technical knowledge is often required. Consider seeking professional assistance if needed to ensure a smooth transition.

Step 2: Technical Setup

Next is the technical setup that involves establishing a dedicated Magento 2 environment on a separate staging server. This ensures you can install and configure the new platform without disrupting your live Magento 1 store. The key steps within this phase are:

  • Installing Magento 2: You’ll need to install a fresh Magento 2 instance on the staging server using Composer or a downloadable ZIP archive.
  • Server Requirements: Verify that your server meets the minimum system requirements for Magento 2, including specific PHP, MySQL, and web server software versions.
    Data Migration Tool: Download and install the official Magento Data Migration Tool on both your Magento 1 and Magento 2 stores.

Once you have completed the necessary preparations, we’ll move to the actual migration process. In this phase, you must follow several steps to ensure the successful migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2.

Migration Phase

Step 1: Data Migration

The first step in the migration phase is the data migration process. Data migration involves transferring essential data from one storage system or computing environment to another. It includes products, customers, orders, settings, and configuration transfers from the old platform to the new one. The steps included in this process are as follows:

  • Data Assessment: The first step is to assess and analyse the data structure and content in your Magento 1 store. This includes identifying databases, tables, relationships, and dependencies that need migration.
  • Data Mapping: Once the data assessment is complete, the next step is data mapping, where you map data fields and attributes from Magento 1 to corresponding fields in Magento 2.
  • Data Extraction: After mapping, data extraction begins, where data is extracted from the Magento 1 database based on the mapped fields and criteria.
  • Data Transformation: If necessary, the data might need to be converted to a format compatible with the target system. This may involve data cleansing, schema changes, or data mapping.
  • Data Loading: The migration scripts or tools transform data and load it into the target system, ensuring accuracy and completeness.
  • Data Validation and Verification: After loading, the data is thoroughly tested for various checks and validated to ensure it has been transferred correctly and functions as intended in the new system.

Step 2: Extension and Theme Migration

Extension and theme customisation are crucial steps in the Magento 1 to Magento 2 migration process, primarily if your store relies heavily on custom functionality or has a unique theme design.

Steps Extension Migration Theme Migration
1 Inventory and Analysis: Create a complete list of all extensions installed in your Magento 1 store, including their functionalities and dependencies. Compatibility Assessment: Evaluate the compatibility of your Magento 1 theme with Magento 2.
2 Compatibility Check: For each extension, research the availability of compatible alternatives for Magento 2. Theme Reuse: If possible, consider reusing design elements from your Magento 1 theme to maintain brand consistency.
3 Manual Migration: If compatible alternatives exist, follow the provided migration instructions or utilise migration tools offered by the extension developers. New Theme Development: If your existing theme isn’t compatible or doesn’t meet your needs, develop a new theme specifically for Magento 2.
4 Custom Functionality Rebuild: For extensions without direct Magento 2 equivalents, you’ll need to rebuild the desired functionality from scratch using Magento 2’s development tools and APIs. Additional Customisation: Even with a compatible theme, you might need to customise it further to accommodate specific functionalities or design elements present in your Magento 1 theme.

Step 3: Testing and Quality Assurance

Testing and quality assurance (QA) in the migration process involves a systematic approach to ensuring the functionality, performance, and integrity of the new e-commerce platform. Once you are done with the migration process, run the new software through various testing, such as:

  • Functional testing to validate core functionalities like product listings and checkout processes.
  • Performance testing to assess speed and responsiveness under different loads.
  • Compatibility testing to ensure compatibility across devices and browsers.
  • Integration testing to verify third-party integrations.
  • Regression testing to ensure existing functionalities are preserved.
  • Security testing to identify vulnerabilities.
  • User acceptance testing (UAT) involving stakeholders to validate user experience.
  • Load testing to simulate real-world traffic.
  • Documentation of test cases and results.

Thorough testing and QA help identify and resolve issues early, ensuring a seamless transition, optimal performance, and a high-quality user experience in Magento 2.

Step 4: Go Live

The final stage has arrived. It is time to present your audience with the newer version of your website. Once you are fully satisfied with the test results and the quality assurance check’s positive outcomes, it is time to start preparing for going live in the online marketplace.

The go-live phase marks the final stage before your new eCommerce store becomes fully operational and you are officially switching over from the Magento 1 platform.

During this phase, several critical tasks are executed to ensure a smooth transition and minimal disruption to business operations. It entails:

  • Final Data Synchronisation: Before going live, ensure that all data, including products, customers, orders, and configurations, is synchronised between Magento 1 and Magento 2. This ensures that all data is recovered during the transition.
  • Downtime Planning: Schedule a downtime window for the live migration process. Magento 1 operations are halted during this period, and the final data migration and synchronisation occur.
  • DNS Switch: Update your domain name system (DNS) settings to point your website domain to the new Magento 2 store. This effectively directs your website visitors to the migrated platform.
  • Final Testing: Before switching over completely, conduct one final round of testing on the live Magento 2 store to ensure everything functions as intended and no critical issues remain.
  • Monitor and Support: After going live, closely monitor your Magento 2 store for potential issues or unexpected behaviour. Have a support plan to address any problems during the initial transition period.

Once you have reached so far, it is time to address your website users.
Notify your customers and inform them about the migration and any changes in store operations or design. Guide them thoroughly on accessing the new Magento 2 store. Communicate any temporary inconveniences, such as downtime or changes in service availability.

Pro Tips:

  • Phased Approach: Consider migrating a smaller section of your store first to test the process and identify any potential issues.
  • Incremental Data Updates: The Data Migration Tool allows incremental updates to migrate newly added data after the initial migration.

Best Practices: Magento 1 to Magento 2 Migration Process

Migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2 is a detailed task that requires expertise and some coding knowledge.
However, following these best practices can streamline the Magento 1 to Magento 2 migration process, minimise disruptions, and ensure a successful transition to the new eCommerce platform.

  • Plan Thoroughly

    Start by creating a detailed migration plan that includes timelines, tasks, responsibilities, and milestones. Thorough planning helps identify potential challenges and mitigate risks during the migration process.

  • Choose a Reliable Hosting Provider

    Select a reliable hosting with an optimised infrastructure for Magento 2. Ensure the hosting environment meets Magento 2 system requirements for optimal performance and scalability.

  • Optimise Performance

    Optimise Magento 2 performance by configuring caching, indexing, and server settings. Implement best practices for code, database, and asset optimisation to improve page load times and responsiveness.

  • Implement SEO Best Practices

    Maintain SEO rankings and organic traffic by implementing SEO best practices during migration. Set up 301 redirects and update meta tags, canonical URLs, sitemaps, and structured data to ensure search engine visibility and crawlability.

  • Train and Educate Users

    Provide your team with training and educational resources on using Magento 2 effectively. Familiarise users with new features, functionalities, and workflows to maximise productivity and adoption of the new platform.

Additional Tips:

  • Backup and Disaster Recovery: Ensure regular backups of Magento 1 and Magento 2 data before, during, and after migration. Implement a disaster recovery plan to mitigate risks and recover from potential data loss or system failures.
  • Seek professional help: If your store has extensive customisations or complex requirements, consider working with experienced Magento developers. Their expertise and knowledge can streamline the entire process and address potential challenges more effectively.

Why Do You Need an Upgrade?

For the continued success of your online store, upgrading from Magento to Magento 2 is a crucial exercise. With Magento 1. x reaching its EOL, security patches and official support have ceased, implying the necessity of migration.

In brief, if you are still running your store on Magento 1, below are the key reasons that foothold the upgrade:

  • First, Magento 1 will no longer receive security patches, updates, or official support from Magento. This puts your online store at risk of security vulnerabilities and compliance issues.
  • Second, Magento 2 offers significant performance improvements, including faster page load times, improved scalability, and a streamlined checkout process, all of which contribute to higher conversions and a better user experience.
  • Third, Magento 2 incorporates modern technologies and features such as responsive design, advanced search capabilities, and a user-friendly admin panel, enabling you to stay competitive in the rapidly evolving e-commerce landscape.

Additionally, Magento 2 is a technically advanced version that offers several benefits to its users.

benefits of magento 2

Overall, upgrading to Magento 2 ensures your online business’s long-term viability, security, and success.

Magento development services


The migration process from Magento 1 to Magento 2 is critical, but with careful planning, thorough execution, and adherence to best practices, you can achieve a smooth and successful transition.

By following the outlined steps and utilising available tools, you can ensure minimal disruption to your store operations, maintain data integrity, and leverage the benefits and functionalities of the Magento 2 platform.

However, considering professional help can be beneficial in many ways for a complicated eCommerce store. Partnering with qualified Magento development experts can streamline the process significantly.

Their expertise in the platform, combined with a proven migration methodology, ensures minimal disruption to your store operations, data integrity, and SEO ranking.

Picture of Aamir Qutub
Aamir Qutub
CEO of Enterprise Monkey
Aamir Qutub is the founder and CEO of Enterprise Monkey, has a sincere passion for innovation and startups. With an experience of around a decade, he is a proud co-founder of 4 technology startups, focusing on real-world problems and their solutions. He also loves to cook and spend time with his onlyborn.
Picture of Aamir Qutub
Aamir Qutub
Aamir Qutub is the founder and CEO of Enterprise Monkey, has a sincere passion for innovation and startups. With an experience of around a decade, he is a proud co-founder of 4 technology startups, focusing on real-world problems and their solutions. He also loves to cook and spend time with his onlyborn.

Related Articles