Magento 1 End of Life: Where Next?

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Luke Wakefield
05 August 2019

Having announced the demise of Magento 1 late last year, many retailers are still reeling from the news that their trusted e-commerce platform won’t be supported in the long-term. With over 250,000 retailers relying on Magento 1, these users will need to find a secure and feature-rich alternative to migrate to.

The official end of life date for Magento 1 is June 2020, but the vast majority of retailers will need to begin their Magento migration far earlier than this. Whilst support for Magento Commerce, once known as Enterprise Edition, and Magento Open Source, previously known as Community Edition, will continue until mid-2020, support for PHP 5.6 has already ended. Existing retailers can obtain a security patch and make the switch to PHP 7.2, for which support will be available until November 2020, but with the Magento end of life date looming, planning your Magento migration may be more advantageous than upgrading to a newer PHP version.

Magento Migration Before EOL 2020

PHP support aside, some retailers have decided to put the Magento end of life to the back of their minds. Unsure where to go next, reluctant to move away from a familiar platform and hesitant about switching to an alternative provider, many users are continuing with Magento 1 in the hope a reprieve will come.

However, Magento have made it clear that their Commerce and Open Source platforms will reach end of life in 2020, and it’s highly unlikely this decision will change. Whilst users could hold out until the last minute and make use of the support available until June next year, this may cause a myriad of problems.

Maintaining Site Security

Although Magento are offering support to existing Commerce and Open Source users until mid-2020, a considerable number of retailers rely on bespoke code and third-party extensions. When added to the platform, it’s these extensions and codes which offer retailers increased functions, themes and designs.

Whilst the use of third party extensions and plugins can be a security threat in itself, these add-ons won’t be covered by the EOL support Magento are offering until June 2020. In fact, any additional developments merchants use with the Magento platform must be updated by the retailer to reflect the switch to the newer PHP language. As merchants will have responsibility for ensuring their extensions and codes are functioning and secure despite the change, there is the scope for security threats and increased downtime.

Even when EOL isn’t a consideration, third-party additions can give hackers the opportunity to access websites. By providing a crack in the site’s security framework, it is third-party add-ons or developments which provide a gateway to unwanted users, and can lead to data loss, site malfunctions and sabotage.

Due to this, retailers will need to think carefully about whether they can afford to stick with Magento 1 until the bitter end. If third-party extensions and code have been obtained from an outsourced provider, support may no longer be available due to the upcoming Magento EOL, and developers certainly won’t be creating any new third-party extensions for the platform.

As a result, security for Magento 1 users is more of an issue than ever before. With would-be hackers easily able to identify Magento-based websites, it won’t be surprising if Magento merchants face an increased number of security threats between now and June 2020, and this could be disastrous for users.

Staying Online Between Now And Magento EOL

Although the Magento 1 platform is coming to an end, this doesn’t mean that existing Magento retailers will cease to trade. They will, of course, want to maintain a fully-functioning website at all times. For those who choose to migrate away from Magento to an alternative provider early, staying online and retaining functionality throughout this transition period poses no problem. It is users who choose to remain with Magento 1 as the clock ticks that could face functionality issues.

Despite providing support to Commerce and Open Source retailers, merchants will need to upgrade to PHP 7.2 if they want to keep using the Magento 1 platform until June 2020. Furthermore, the level of support offered to Magento 1 users between now and June 2020 will be fairly limited.

Although users of Magento Commerce versions 1.13 and 1.14 will have access to full support, retailers who are using earlier versions of Commerce will only be able to access minor support. For Open Source users, the news is even worse. All versions of Open Source will only offer minor support, meaning no Open Source users will have access to full support between now and June next year.

As quality fixes will only be available to retailers who are using the Magento Commerce platform in either version 1.13 or 1.14, users will need to switch to these versions in order to access a full level of support. Of course, with a forced migration taking place in just 12 months, investing time, money and resources updating an EOL platform isn’t cost-effective.

Furthermore, Magento 1 retailers may struggle to obtain support for their third-party extensions and codes. Developers may be unwilling to invest much time in providing upgrades and support, which could reduce functionality even further.

Depending on the extensions and third-party codes you rely on, you could lose a considerable amount of site functionality if you’re unable to update or upgrade them between now and the official Magento 1 end of life date.

Whilst Magento may have committed to providing support to Magento 1 retailers until June 2020, this doesn’t necessarily mean that staying with the Commerce or Open Source platform until then is a viable option for merchants. With an inevitable migration due to take place, potential security threats and the likelihood of lost functionality and increased downtime between now and the official EOL, finding Magento 1 alternatives now may be a more cost-effective option for retailers and merchants.

What Are The Magento 1 Alternatives?

With a quarter of a million Magento 1 users now scrambling to find an alternative, it’s not surprising that many are starting to panic. When you become familiar with a platform, it can be difficult to tear yourself away, particularly if you don’t have an in-house IT team to handle the switch. However, Magento 1 retailers will need to choose a reliable alternative in order to begin their Magento migration journey, and there are some key things to consider.

Improving Performance and Features

Instead of mourning the demise of Magento 1, retailers can focus on the increased features and improved performance which is now available to them. By switching to a Magento 1 alternative, merchants have the opportunity to re-assess their needs and identify the features they’ve been missing out on.

In addition to this, the Magento migration process may be the perfect time to evaluate your existing site structure and design. If you’re switching to a newer, flexible platform, redesigning your website may herald a new era for your business, so why not start with a fresh, new look?

For Magento 1 retailers who want to switch to a feature-rich, easy-to-use, secure platform, Siteglide is the answer. As well as providing users with complete control over their online presence, Siteglide provides simplicity where it’s needed most.

When using Siteglide, you won’t need an in-house IT specialist or a costly outsourced agency to make your site updates and modifications. Our easy-to-use CMS means you can edit, update, modify and delete content without any technical experience at all. You’ll never have to modify code in order to make changes to your website, as our bespoke content management system gives you a straightforward way to modify your content directly.

For merchants and retailers, being able to update and modify your site instantaneously can save a considerable amount of time and money. Rather than waiting for an IT partner to make the changes you’ve requested, you can make them in seconds. Similarly, you won’t need to fund specialist IT help, because you’ll be able to retain control and make modifications as and when they’re needed. Particularly beneficial for SMEs who may not have the in-house IT resources to consistently amend their code, Magento 1 users may even find that migrating from their fading platform will reduce their outgoings quite considerably.

Creating A More Secure Retail Environment

All businesses are required to adopt certain online security protocols, and this is particularly important for merchants. If you’re facilitating payments from clients or customers, they’ll want to be confident that they can make transactions securely. In fact, online merchants can lose a significant number of sales if they fail to implement effective security measures or if they fail to make their customers aware of them.

Unfortunately, Magento 1 users are likely to be increasingly vulnerable as the EOL date gets nearer. With increased security threats likely to occur, choosing a Magento 1 alternative now could offer increased security for your business and your customers.

When a website is hacked or security is compromised in some way, it can be disastrous for the business. In fact, many companies are simply unable to recover from a high-profile security incident. If your confidential business information or the personal or financial data of your customers is stolen or leaked, it could have serious financial, commercial and reputational consequences, which could make it difficult for your business to operate in the long-term.

For merchants who want to have confidence in their online security, migrating from Magento 1 well-before the EOL date may be the only option. Of course, selecting a Magento 1 alternative which offers enhanced online security is vital. However, there are many platforms which have already suffered numerous, high-profile security threats, so how do you pick a reliable and secure platform to switch to?

At Siteglide, we take security seriously and we know you do too. In order to minimise the risk of security issues, we don’t rely on potentially dangerous plugins to keep your site functional. Security assessments and investigations have shown that these plugins and added developments are easy ways for hackers to gain access to your site and your content, so we’ve created a robust platform which doesn’t feature them at all.

Furthermore, Siteglide is built on Amazon Web Services (AWS), so you can rely on us to keep your site online at all times. With an average monthly uptime of 99.9%, AWS ensures your site is running on secure, reliable and fast servers. This means you won’t have to worry about unexpected downtime, loss of functionality and missed sales when you use the Siteglide platform to build your retail empire.

Digital Marketing And SEO With Siteglide

Although Magento 1 delivered a platform for retailers and online merchants, it also offered a select number of marketing and SEO services too. Fortunately, retailers who are migrating from Magento 1 can look forward to enhanced digital marketing and SEO too.

Siteglide’s dedicated digital marketing suite ensures you can manage every campaign from within the platform, and make sure it’s GDPR compliant too. From design, launch, execution and analysis, Siteglide has a range of tools to support your marketing activities. Using our in-built customer relationship management system, it’s easy to segment customer lists in order to deliver targeted campaigns, whilst our innovative capture forms will gather consumer data and automatically add it to the relevant lists for marketing purposes.

The Siteglide Campaign Builder offers a step-by-step process to link landing pages, mailing lists and forms, so you can automate your marketing campaigns and manage their flow seamlessly. In addition to this, an easy-to-use Drag & Drop Editor ensures you can add, modify and delete campaign content quickly and easily, without the need for any technical expertise.

In addition to this, Siteglide delivers a variety of options when it comes to search engine optimisation. In-built optimisation tools mean you can leave Siteglide in charge of your SEO, and we’ll make sure your content is fully optimised before its published, or you can choose to retain control of your SEO activity yourself.

With a variety of options, Siteglide ensures retailers have a flexible, functional and secure platform upon which their business can flourish. To find out more about Magento 1 migration and the benefits of using Siteglide, why not get in touch with our UK-based team today?

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