In an official statement, Magento have confirmed the date for the Magento 1 end of life as June 2020. With this announcement, and over ten years worth of Magento 1 as a platform behind them, clients who are still using Magento 1 as their platform now need to make a decision on how to move forward when the date rolls around in two years time.
There are three key decision paths a client can take when considering the end of life date:
- Migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2
- Stay on the Magento 1 platform with community support
- Migrate to another platform
Magento 1 to Magento 2
The most popular option will be the migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2. Magento 2 is now a solid and robust platform that is used by a large number of enterprise merchants worldwide including Costa Coffee, End Clothing and Graze.
There has never been a better time to consider migrating to Magento 2. With the platform now three years old many developers and agencies are well experienced in the platform.
Magento and Adobe are pouring all of their resources into Magento 2 which is moving the platform forward at a lightning pace. Migrating to Magento 2 will put you at the forefront of technology with a huge feature list at your disposal and a robust platform to help you maximise your online business potential for a number of years to come.
Click here to read about the latest features available in Magento 2.3 which will be released in November.
Magento 1 Community Support
This is certainly the most risky option when it comes to the end of life of Magento 1 but we know that some merchants have been discussing this path. Magento, at it’s core, is built on the community which is one of the strongest groups supporting any digital platforms.
Those within the community, such as OneStepCheckout, have already announced their support for Magento 1 until at least the end of life date.
The consensus, within the community, is that Magento 1 will still be supported by a number of core developers who will work on keeping Magento 1 secure and will release patches to support this. It’s important to note that no further feature updates will be made to Magento 1 and the community will be purely focused on keeping Magento 1 secure.
It's also worth noting that Magento 1 is built on PHP 5.6. The latest PHP release is 7.2 which means 5.6 is certainly an older version of the coding platform which will be deprecated in December 2018. If you plan to continue using Magento 1 you must consider upgrading to the latest release of Magento 1.9 if you are not currently using this.
This is the most risky option as although there are developers who have discussed being part of this team, the end of life date is still two years away, and anything can change within that time. The platform will not be officially supported by Magento, the majority of those who contributed to Magento 1 will be focusing on Magento 2 and support for third party modules on Magento 1 will slowly but surely disappear. This is certainly not an option that most should consider as the way forward.
There a number of other platforms that can be considered such as Shopify and Bigcommerce, and the popularity of a SASS (Software as a Service) platforms is growing. The end of life date now gives you, as a merchant, time to consider the Magento 2 platform and understand if it is right for your business. Our advice would be to consider your business needs and match them up against the platforms you are considering.
For example, if you are a merchant who are selling internationally with at least one multi-store in a different currency, then it makes sense to stay with Magento as they are the leading platform in this feature set. If you have been using Magento 1 but have not been using all of the features it has available, and you have simple requirements for your online business, then it would be worth looking at other platforms.
You should also consider what the business requirements will be in the future as your business expands. Another example to consider is that many businesses have a B2B department and this is often seperate to the B2C side of the operation. Magento 2 is regarded as the most well rounded and feature rich in facilitating online B2B sales, and if this is part of your five year plan you should take this into consideration. Your chosen platform should support all areas of the business that you want to promote for the foreseeable future.
If you are currently using Magento 1 and need help considering where the future should take you, why not give us a call or drop us an email to get advice from an agency with over three years of Magento 2 experience and a number of happy clients using the platform. Give us a call on 0845 520 2400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.