Transferring Data to Magento – Is it Worth It?
The trends are surging once again in favor of Magento after its successful launch of Magento 2.0. Being an open source platform, Magento is a highly versatile shopping cart that delivers uncompromised performance in terms of speed, UX, personalization, and SEO. All these factors combined, Magento 2 becomes one of the top choices for merchants who are tired of their old shopping carts and decided to move on to a better platform.
With its new Community and Enterprise editions, Magento offers a wide range of features based on the type and size of the business. Community Edition is free, hence suitable for startups and small businessesThe Enterprise Edition, on the other hand, offers advanced features with more comprehensive functionalities than the Community Edition and is suitable for large-scale businesses ready to take their operations up a notch.
So if you are looking towards migrating to Magento, you better consider which edition will suffice the needs and requirements of your store.
What is Migration?
Migration is a process that involves moving a website from its existing platform to the other while making sure its data gets safely transferred into the new one. Data, design elements, and available functionality are the three things that are kept as priorities when migrating a store to a new platform. Transferring them can vary from platform to platform or even from one version to the other.
Why Merchants wish to migrate
For Magento, only the data can be transferred effectively since Magento does not support web design and plugin migration. Which is often times a good thing for businesses seeking to build their store from the ground up without any imperfections or glitches that once plagued their website. Migration gives an ideal opportunity to renovate and redesign your website according to the latest trends and your preferences.
However, these are not the only reasons merchants want to migrate. Magento users, specifically, enjoy certain benefits that outweigh other platforms, such as the following:
1. Load Time
Magento is fast—and being fast on the internet means you win the race. It optimizes its page elements to minimize any unnecessary loading that can cause inconvenience for the merchant and the customer. With a shorter load time, more traffic will be drawn to the store which will then help increase conversion rates. It also has AJAX-based navigation so users don’t have to wait for the entire page to load when applying search filters.
2. Admin Panel
Among the best things we have experienced while using Magento as a shopping cart is it's admin panel. It is absolutely easy to use and does not require any technical knowledge. You can make changes anytime without getting lost in the backend. With the launch of Magento 2, the back-office has improved tenfolds with elegant designing, streamlined structure, and simple and easy navigation.
3. User Experience
If you are migrating data to Magento then you won’t have to pay extra for the built-in features that come with it. From layered navigation, easier checkout, faster loading, enhanced search and top tier aesthetics, Magento gives the perfect user experience to visitors whether they buy from your store or not. What we concurred as we migrated to magneto is that when it comes to user experience, Magento comes second to none.
4. Full-page Caching
Another prime reason why we prefer migrating to Magento and not to any other platform is full-page caching. Although full-page caching is already present in the Magento 1 enterprise version, the new release of Magento 2 has added it in the Community Edition as well. With full-page caching, your website key pages get faster rendering which directly affects the conversion rates of your store.
5. Mobile Friendly
If your existing website is not mobile-friendly, then there is little to no chance that your website will get any healthy engagements this year. In a research conducted by KPCB, it's found that in 12 active hours of a day, an internet user tends to spend 2.8 hours on mobile device screens.
These trends are increasing day by day, and if your store is not mobile compatible, then it won’t sit well with your store revenues. Magento 2 is not only Mobile compatible but provides lag-free browsing experience and scalability on all screen sizes. There are also tools to make your Magento Web Store mobile-friendly
6. Multiple Stores and Customer Segmentation Options
Magento also supports multiple stores so you don’t have to create separate stores to sell your products to different regions or customer types. If you Migrate your data to Magento, then you can create and operate multiple storefronts from a single backend and user segmentation options to sell your products to customer types.
Last but not the least, Magento has an excellent professional support to look after your needs. For Community edition, there are tons of forums to get free council and advice, but for Enterprise edition Magento provides dedicated developers to help merchants with their queries and any unexpected issues in the website with lightening fast response.
Data Involved in Migration
Data migration is carried out in a systematic process. Data includes all the product content such as categories, attributes, pictures, description and other graphical content. Store data is comprised of user accounts, configuration details, and all stored email addresses, etc. This also includes customer information such as billing addresses, passwords, delivery addresses, and other sensitive information. Other forms of data are based on orders, transaction data, currencies, brands, blogs content, and the URLs.
What other Options are Available for Transferring Data
Aside from hiring a dedicated developer or a company to undertake the migration task of your store, there are three other methods as well that you might consider.
- Manually Migrating Data: Data can be manually moved to the new platform. Although it requires a lot of your time, it allows you to overlook the process and make sure the transfer is successful. Since the data varies from store to store, this method is suitable for small businesses but hiring a Magento website development company could also be an option.
- Using the CSV format: Moving data through CSV format is not as time-consuming as it is demanding of attention and focus. It requires accurate formatting to prevent any loss of data. For Magento 1, a tool called Dataflow is available. It uses prepared profiles to import and export data which can later be modified. You can also create advanced profiles in XML for customized data exchange. Magento 2 also has export and import tools but for this, the user must be aware of the database structure. The user must log in the admin panel and open "Data Transfer from System". Once you are familiar with the structure, you can easily move bigger pieces of data.
- With Tools and Application: Tools and Applications are all over the internet. Over time, they have become popular and transitioned to the primary means of migrating data for startup businesses since they help save money and time compared to paid services. According to our assessment, Cart2Cart is one reliable tool that's always up for this task. It’s a fast and hassle free solution to free data migration to Magento without sweating about data loss.
But no matter which method you go for, there are certain issues that you must take into consideration once the migration has been completed. For instance, partial, or even full loss of data, overly prolonged migration duration, the presence of bugs in the functionality , and loss of performance in terms of SEO.
Is it Possible to Transfer Design Elements?
If your old design is too expensive or has a sentimental value you cannot let go of, then you can transfer it to your new Magento store but not without the help of a dedicated Magento developer since special knowledge and expertise about the platform is required. This is quite expensive and time-consuming, and could almost be equal to developing a new theme for your store.
Even though the release of Magento 2 has given platform-to-platform migration a new appeal, you must have solid reasons why you
want need migration. In this article, we have given sufficient information about Magento migration, how it is done, what factors to consider while doing it, and the alternative methods that can be used. Your job is to put these all into scale and form a concrete decision that can finally save the future of your e-commerce store.
Simon Walker is an eCommerce professional having more than 7 years’ experience. He currently works for FMEextensions — a Magento website development company, where he has developed several Magento extensions & themes. He is also consulting businesses to help increase their online exposure and reach. You can reach him on Twitter and Facebook.