Last September Magento officially announced the end of life date for Magento 1, so with less than 12 months to go are you ready?
After being released more than a decade ago, support for Magento 1 will come to an end in June 2020 when it reaches its ‘End of Life’ (EOL). Magento have committed to M1 merchants through to next June and will continue to provide security patches ensuring sites stay secure and compliant. While there might seem like there's still plenty of time there's a lot for merchants to think about in the next year before EOL.
What happens next June?
While Magento 1 websites won’t just stop working, there will not be any more security patches or updates released come EOL. Basically the platform and merchants using it will no longer be supported and without security patches merchants will be vulnerable to attackers who can exploit the outdated platform.
It’s worth noting that while all Magento 1 stores will essentially be unsecure after EOL, many live stores are unsecure right now because of missing security patches. These patches are released to correct vulnerabilities in the system and it is recommended merchants upgrade to the latest version of Magento and install any security-related patches as soon as they become available.
What are your options?
Most merchants will take the natural step of moving to Magento 2, the latest version of Magento, however there are also other ecommerce platforms out there like WooCommerce and Shopify.
Magento 2, which was released in 2015, is the latest incarnation of the leading ecommerce platform. Thanks to its modern tech stack, it’s much faster than its predecessor, more secure, can handle more products and is packed with great features to give merchants the edge when selling online. For merchants moving from M1 to M2 they will find the admin is still familiar but is now much easier to use thanks to the modern user interface. Upgrading to Magento 2 isn’t the quick and easy choice, it’s not just a case of hitting an ‘update’ button as M2 is essentially a new platform, however Magento does provide some great tools for migrating data, like products and orders.
Built on top of the popular content management system WordPress, WooCommerce is another great option when it comes to ecommerce and is a great fit for SMEs who deal with less products/orders and don’t need all the powerful features of Magento. The biggest benefit of WooCommerce is that its a plugin for WordPress, so you get all the great content management features WordPress provides. The admin for WooCommerce is easy to use and understand making it straightforward to add a new product or check on an order. Like Magento Open Source, WooCommerce allows developers to extend and customise the functionality in order to better suit merchant’s requirements.
Shopify is another popular platform, especially for small businesses and start-ups, as the upfront costs can be a lot lower than Magento or WooCommerce allowing businesses to set up an online store quickly and easily. This is because Shopify is a pay monthly subscription platform, rather than a self hosted one like most WordPress and Magento sites, so merchants don’t need to worry about hosting or security patches. Generally the turnaround time for designing and developing a custom Shopify theme is much less than for WooCommerce or Magento, however Shopify isn’t open source so customisation can be limited.
What should I do next?
First, don’t panic, there's no rush, however with there being no new features, or even quality fixes, released for Magento 1 Open Source from now on; so it really is time to start planning for the future. Planning, designing, building and launching a new ecommerce store usually takes between 2 to 8 months, in our experience, depending on the platform and other factors, so it’s important this process starts well before June 2020.