End of the Line for Magento 1.9 - What You Need to Know | Kariba Insights

End of The Line For Magento 1.9: What You Need To Know

There has never been a better time for online retailers, but success often depends on owning a website that exceeds customers’ expectations. As Magento 1.9 reaches the end of its life this summer, site owners need to act fast to decide which platform is fit to carry their business into the future.

Wave Goodbye To Magento 1

In a bid to move customers to it’s Commerce 2 platform, Magento has announced that it will no longer support Commerce 1 (formerly known as Enterprise Edition) and Open Source 1 (formerly known as Community Edition)  after June this year. If your website uses one of these platforms, although it will not automatically shut down, it will likely be less secure and may not comply with regulations set by leading payment gateway providers such as PayPal and SagePay.

You can check which version of Magento your website is running by logging into the admin area and scrolling to the bottom of the page. The version will be shown in the centre of the page footer.

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If you are on version 1.9 or lower, after June 2020 your site will be open to security breaches and hacks such as:

  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks – one of the most common cyber attacks. This is when a site is bombarded with traffic from multiple systems, which floods the bandwidth and makes the site and its systems unusable.
  • Spam User Registrations – these clutter your customer database, often attempt to exploit vulnerabilities on your site and will reduce your website’s overall performance.
  • Brute force attacks – this method aims to access personal information like usernames and passwords through the use of automated software. These are usually the result of weak passwords or poor network administration and could see your site irreversibly damaged.

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In addition, if you have any third-party extensions or custom code installed, as many merchants do, Magento will not support these implementations. This means that if anything stops working as it should, it is up to you – or your developer –  to put it right. Any technical issues will take longer to resolve and you will have to rely on community forums to get the help you need. There are a couple of organisations: OpenMage and Mage1 who have promised to support Magento 1 after June 2020. But while this buys extra time for online retailers, it should not be seen as a long term solution. Until you make the move, it will become more and more difficult for you to remain competitive and keep up with changing consumer needs.

 

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Can I Simply Upgrade To Magento 2?

Magento 2 does offer some benefits over Magento 1: it is better suited to an omnichannel selling environment and provides merchants with better visibility into their online business. It also promises to be far faster than the original platform, which is important if you’re looking to maximise the number of transactions per hour on your site. However, the transition is far from a straightforward version upgrade or migration. Magento 2 should be considered a brand new platform, with its own framework, and you will need to ensure any developer you choose to work with is familiar with the process. It is important to bear in mind that none of your Magento code will transition, although data and product data may migrate across. Essentially, you’ll be building a new website, even if the basic structure, functions and custom elements remain the same. You may therefore want to take the opportunity to look at other eCommerce platforms that may be a better fit for your online business.

Exploring Alternative eCommerce Platforms

As Magento 2 requires a dedicated site rebuild, now is the perfect time to look at what features are working well for you, and which need improving going forward. There are a number of alternative platforms on the market, including WooCommerce, Shopify and BigCommerce, all of which have their own pros and cons depending on your needs and what features are important to your customers.

According to Builtwith.com, 26% of the top 1 million eCommerce sites use WooCommerce, and this is the platform Kariba uses to build eCommerce sites. Both Magento and WooCommerce offer a range of features and are popular with online retailers. One of the big selling points of WooCommerce is that it’s a standalone plugin, not a subscription-based service, and integrates seamlessly with WordPress. It promises many of the same features as Magento but can appear more user-friendly to website novices.

eCommerce Usage Distribution in the Top 1 Million Sites

ecommerce brand distribution

Like Magento, WooCommerce offers an unlimited number of products and integration with multiple payment gateways. However, if you are looking for functionality on top of the base platform, be sure to research which extensions you will need before committing to either platform. There are thousands of additional extensions available to customise the platform to suit your business needs, but some are costly, and you will need to consider carefully what functions you need before you commit to buy.

Planning For The Future

Ultimately, the demise of Magento 1 presents an opportunity for merchants to look afresh at their sales and marketing strategy. Your website is an integral part of your business and new platform decisions should not be taken lightly, but it also needs to work in harmony with your current resources and capabilities as well as helping you to achieve your overall business objectives.

At Kariba, we pride ourselves on helping clients to achieve their goals, offering honest, transparent advice to help you make the right decision for your business. If your website is approaching the end of its life and you’re not sure what to do next, feel free to give us a call on 01423 593020 or email hello@kariba.co.uk.

HELP, I’M ON MAGENTO 1.9

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