Magento End of Life

Magento 1 was discontinued back in June 2020, but the majority of websites using Magento are still on the Magento 1.x platform.

A Dead End road sign in front of a dirt road. This symbolizes the end of life for Magento 1, which took place on June 30th, 2020.
End of the road for Magento 1.

Adobe’s Magento is one of the most popular and widely used platforms in the eCommerce industry. There are nearly 200,000 live websites across the globe that are powered by Magento at the present. However, with the discontinuation of Magento 1.x on June 30th, 2020, the majority of live Magento websites are still using the old 1.x software. Only 91,459 of those sites have moved on to the current Magento 2.x. If you happen to be among the remaining 106,000+ users in 2021 who are yet to migrate off of Magento 1.x, now may be the time to consider doing so.

Advantages (and Disadvantages) of Magento 1

Magento has amassed quite the dedicated user base since their inception in March 2008. Magento was one of the first major open source eCommerce platforms. Open source, like the name suggests, opens up the software for a fully-customizable experience through code modification. These modifications can include custom coding and layouts, expanded functionality, and improved SEO capabilities versus that of closed source solutions. Web designers and online merchants alike embraced the limitless possibilities of Magento’s open source software. Magento’s open source platform also has zero monthly subscription cost or licensing fees. That’s excellent news for the value-minded business owner or inexperienced upstart (although, no subscription fees/licensing fees doesn’t account for additional costs such as hosting).

Magento 1 soldiered on through 9 different updates; the latest being Magento 1.9. Flexibility and full customization was–and still is–a major draw for the Magento platform though the software was already beginning to show its age well before the last major revision in May 2014 (Magento 1.9). Magento 1.x’s slower load times and performance meant that website bounce rates were higher than what’s universally considered to be tolerable by online shoppers. Magento’s load times had averaged over 2 seconds and while 2 seconds doesn’t sound like a whole lot, it’s enough to cause visitors to leave and shop somewhere else. Slow load times also have a negative impact on SEO rankings, which is something no store owner wants to happen if they wish to remain visible among the millions of other competitors on the Internet. The first incarnation of Magento also appeared back in a time when mobile viewing wasn’t the norm like it is today. Websites using Magento 1.x aren’t as mobile-friendly as sites using modern, up-to-date platforms (including Magento 2.x). That’s not to say that they can’t be made mobile-friendly; it’s just that mobile viewing wasn’t as big a priority as it is today. Many Magento 1.x coders and developers have figured out workarounds to improve mobile performance, but they can only do so much. Lastly, there’s the backend itself. Magento 1’s backend interface reveals its true age far more than its contemporaries (also including Magento 2.x). Navigation is unintuitive, the popular dashboard feature which is prerequisite on most modern solutions is notably absent, and its core functions are not laid out in a logical sense. The interface might’ve been cutting edge back in 2008, but it is most definitely not the optimized solution for today’s power user.

If I Stay, What’s the Worst That Can Happen?

Despite the newer and more robust Magento 2.x platform being available since 2015, the majority of Magento users are still on Magento 1.x. Two of the most common and understandable reasons for staying on Magento 1 can be budget and familiarity with the product. Users that have spent significant time on Magento 1 might not be comfortable with having to learn a brand new system all over again and they’re probably not willing to spend money to migrate their websites over to a different platform. And yes, migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2 is migrating over to a different platform (more on that later). The alternative, of course, would be to stay on the old Magento 1.x platform. Needless to say, the easiest choice isn’t always the best choice.

Magento 1 was formally discontinued by Adobe on June 30th, 2020. As of the date of this writing, it has only been a little over a full year since Magento’s end-of-life and still, there are over 100,000 of its users still on the Internet. Now, let’s get one thing clear: just because Magento 1 reached end-of-life, that doesn’t mean that any website still on the platform will vanish off the web like the Fairy Godmother’s magic on Cinderella at the stroke of Midnight. Obviously, those websites are still live and fully-functional. But for how long?

The four worst things that can happen by staying on Magento 1.x are absence of tech support, absence of security updates, PCI non-compliance, and cessation of functionality from any and all apps/integrations from third-party developers. Each is individually devastating and when combined, are catastrophic for a web-based business. If allowed to happen, your Magento 1.x website might as well have vanished into nothingness overnight.

End of Technical Support

Times and technology change. As Adobe’s programmers and tech support teams shift focus away from Magento 1 and onto Magento 2, it will become increasingly difficult–and in due time, virtually impossible–to find a solution should something go awry with your Magento 1 website. Unlike those enthusiasts of retro video games, old computers, and vintage appliances, there isn’t exactly a big, bustling community full of users dedicated to dead eCommerce software. Even a website that has never had a major hiccup in all of its years of service will eventually fall victim to obsolescence and total incompatibility with modern systems. No tech support means no maintenance, which ultimately leads to irreparable damage.

End of Security Updates

Every day, every 11 seconds, there’s a website being attacked. Hacking accounts for over 50% of all data breaches and Americans lose $15 billion annually due to cyberattack. End-of-life for Magento 1 also means the end of available critical security patches and updates which safeguard your website from malicious attack and an insecure website is like a welcome mat for hackers and cyber criminals. Internet users and online shoppers are far more knowledgeable and savvy when it comes to privacy these days and have learned to avoid sites that could put their personal data at risk. Yours could be among the very sites they avoid if you choose to remain on unprotected software. Worst case scenario would be if a hacker does land a successful attack. What do you do then? Apparently, neither Yahoo nor Volusion had prepared for the worst.

PCI Non-Compliance and Fallout From Payment Gateways

PCI compliance is an absolute must for every website and online company that does transactional business over the Internet. Just as tech support and security update resources continue to dwindle in the wake of Magento 1’s discontinuation, it will also become increasingly difficult (and eventually, impossible) to remain PCI compliant with your payment gateway provider(s).

So what happens when a website is not PCI compliant?

  • Monthly penalties/possible termination of service
    • Credit card companies can penalize the store owner anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000 per month until PCI compliance is instated. Alternatively, your provider may also choose to terminate your service due to PCI non-compliance.
  • Significantly damaged reputation and loss of income
    • Customers lose trust in your company and brand. As customers take their business elsewhere, expect your earnings to drop accordingly.
  • Legal recourse
    • Yahoo has the dubious honor of being hit with the three largest recorded data breaches in history, with each one beating their previous record. Their latest breach cost $117 million in settlements. If your website’s data was allowed to fall into the possession of criminals, those who were affected can and will most likely seek legal action against you and your company. If it could happen to a world-famous brand like Yahoo, it can definitely happen to you.

Apps/Integrations Stop Functioning

One of the early perks of using Magento 1 was its ability to incorporate third-party apps and custom integrations. However, this characteristic also spread to other eCommerce platforms and some of them, like BigCommerce and Shopify, ultimately grew big enough to overtake Magento 1’s spot in the industry. If your Magento 1 website uses custom apps and integrations, they may cease to function one day as the tech that was used to create these modifications becomes incompatible with modern systems. Depending on what function your app/integration serves, the negative side effect could range from mild inconvenience to a complete and total loss of all functionality.

What Are My Options?

Overhead shot of a busy highway with multiple lanes, entries, and exits. With Magento 1 being discontinued, it makes sense to migrate over to Magento 2, but doing so isn't as easy as one would imagine.
You can always migrate your website over to Magento 2.x, but it’s not that simple.

With Magento 1 having gone the way of the dinosaur, the only solution available if you wish to remain in business online is to migrate your website off of Magento 1. The most logical next step would appear to be migrating over to Magento 2.x. But, as previously stated, migrating over from Magento 1 to Magento 2 is, for all intents and purposes, migrating to a different platform. It isn’t the simple and straightforward procedure that one would imagine just because the brand name happens to be the same. Magento 2 is a totally different and unique system compared to Magento 1. Magento 2 has its own specific coding and framework; migrating over from Magento 1 to Magento 2 can’t be done with a simple click of a button or basic transfer of files. Everything would need to be rebuilt from the ground up, as in the case of any platform migration, regardless of provider. It’s certainly not impossible to rebuild a former Magento 1 website into a brand new Magento 2 website, but there are better options out there.

Migrating From Magento

Since the only solution to Magento 1’s end-of-life is a complete website migration, it wouldn’t hurt to consider some alternatives to Magento. At Diztinct, we offer website migration services to either BigCommerce or Shopify, the two largest eCommerce providers in the industry today.

Why BigCommerce or Shopify?

  • Easy to use
  • Wide list of standard features
  • Secure: Level 1 PCI DSS compliant
  • Fully-customizable
  • Mobile-friendly
  • Optimized for SEO
  • Integration with industry-leading business systems and apps
  • 24/7 support
  • Automatic updates
  • Multi-tier pricing plans
  • Available for desktop and mobile
  • Designed for businesses of all sizes
  • Unrestricted growth and earnings potential

Web Migration with Diztinct

Decorative graphic of various tech-related graphs  and the word 'Transfer' layered over a faint photo of hands working on a laptop. Diztinct is a certified design partner for both BigCommerce and Shopify and can migrate your website to either platform.
Diztinct has 15+ years in the eCommerce industry.

At Diztinct, we are eCommerce experts with over 15 years of experience in custom website design, development, and engineering as well as website migration services. We have the technical know-how and expertise to protect your website’s critical internal information, SEO standings, and keyword rankings. Plus, we’re proud to have the distinct honor of being official design partners with both BigCommerce and Shopify. When you hire Diztinct to handle your website migration project, you have the support of an officially certified expert in whichever platform you choose. We address every aspect of the website migration process:

  • Basic data transfer
  • Product and inventory management
  • Page titles and metadata migration
  • SEO data retention and optimization
  • Link preservation
  • Category page migration
  • Policy and other informational page transfer
  • Redirects

We have the tools, the talent, and the support of both BigCommerce and Shopify to ensure that all of your website’s important data remains protected and your current SEO rankings are maintained, if not improved, during the process.

Are you ready to give your website and your business the Diztinct advantage over the competition? If so, let’s talk. Get in touch with us today and get ready to make your website work for you.

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