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The Rookie’s Guide to Upgrading From Magento 1.x Versions to Magento 2

The long awaited and much talked about Magento 2 version was released at the end of 2015. Of course, any serious online merchant running a site on the Magento 1.x version platform recognizes the significance of migrating to a new upgraded version.

So, if you too are planning on moving from Magento 1 to the new Magento 2 version, continue reading this post to get a more detailed view of the migration.

Let’s Get Started With the Basics

Remember that four different components are needed for Magento 2 migration, namely: data, extensions, themes, and customizations.

 Let’s have a brief overview of all these components:

  1. Data: The very first thing you need to take care of during the migration process is moving your data to the new Magento install. Thankfully, a new tool named “Magento 2 Data Migration Tool” has been developed to make migrating the data a hassle free job. This tool helps port critical data, including the products, order data, store configurations, etc. to Magento 2 in a highly efficient way.
  2. Extensions: Magento extensions are critical components that provide new features or help extend the functionality. So, once you’ve migrated your data, the next step requires installing Magento 2 extensions available on Magento Connect. However, the Magento development community is still working on updating the extensions.
  3. Custom Code: The custom code used in your current Magento 1 store is compatible with the new Magento version. So, you can either choose to rewrite or migrate the code. This can be achieved with the help of “Code Migration Toolkit”.
  4. Themes and Customization: Magento 2 introduces many different (and new) approaches as well as technologies to render merchants the ability to deliver enhanced shopping experience via their store. Developers can take advantage of Magento 2 new ways to modify and make changes to the themes and for customization purpose.

In the next section, we’ll be talking about each of the four components in detail. But you must first take a good look at a few crucial recommendations.

A Few Important Recommendations

  • Review your website and analyze what you want to keep or remove in the newly installed site on Magento 2. Moreover, you must also check whether your current site theme, code, and extensions are compatible with the new version release or not.
  • Identify and write down the changes or modifications that you think can be emulated in the Magento Community Edition (CE) that also exists in the Enterprise Edition (EE) version.
  • Migrate data from the clone of your Magento 1 database instance.
  • Eliminate outdated and redundant data from the database of your existing Magento 1 install. For instance, get rid of logs, recently viewed or compared products, etc.
  • To boost performance of your new Magento 2 install, you just need to set the option “<direct_document_copy>1</direct_document_copy>” in your config.xml.

Step-by-Step Guide on Migrating Magento 1 to Magento 2

Let’s take a look at how to upgrade from Magento 1 to Magento 2. Follow the steps below.

Step 1: Theme Migration

Remember that, you cannot directly migrate your Magento 1 theme to Magento 2. However, to accomplish such an objective you’ll have to consider performing any one of the following things:

  • You can hire a frontend designer or developer to create a unique and new theme for Magento 2. Also, here you must consider making the theme responsive.
  • Secondly, you can install a Magento 2 theme from the Magento Marketplace.

Step 2: Migrate Extensions

Once you’ve migrated your theme or created a new one for Magento 2 installation, next you should migrate the extensions installed on your existing site to the new version. However, make sure to move only the relevant extensions to Magento 2. Also, keep in mind that at times Magento 1 extensions might not work with Magento 2. Simply put, you might experience compatibility issues when trying to integrate some extensions of Magento 1 version to the new version release.

Step 3: Code Migration

A new tool named “Code Migration Toolkit” has been developed to simplify the process of migrating the code from 1.x to 2.0. This tool, basically, helps provide scripts that convert custom Magento 1.x modules to version 2 in an automated manner. Most importantly, the toolkit auto-converts critical things like module directory structure, config XML files, layout XML files and PHP code in a format that Magento 2 recognizes.

Code Migration

Bear in mind, the Code Migration Toolkit also requires you to carry out some operations manually for the migration process. For instance, you’ll have to run the migration scripts in a specified order. You can learn more the tool by visiting the Code Migration Toolkit page.

Step 4: Migrating the Data

Lastly, you just need to migrate the data from your Magento 1 store to a new store running on Magento 2. This is the most important yet easy to perform the step unlike the above discussed steps, since you can move your Magento 1.x store database to Magento 2 store quickly. In fact, you can perform this step in a seamless way using the Data Migration Tool. Below are listed the steps that you need to follow for migrating data of your Magento 1 store to the store running on the new Magento version.

  • You’ll have to provide the Data Migration Tool with a network access for connecting to the databases of Magento 1 and Magento 2 versions.

Migrating the Data

  • End performing any activity in the admin panel of your Magento 1.x store. However, you can continue the activities associated with order management which includes creating an invoice, shipping, etc.

NOTE: Remember the activities that you have stopped performing should not be resumed until you make your Magento 2 store live.

  • Halt all of your Magento 1.x store cron jobs.
  • Next, make use of the Data Migration Tool for migrating all the settings of your site and the system configuration like tax settings, shipping and so on.
  • You can also consider moving your media files from Magento 1.x store to Magento 2.0. For this, you’ll need to first copy the media files manually from the “<magento1-root>/media” folder to “<magento2-root>/pub/media”.
  • And at last, utilize the migration tool for migrating your data stored within the Magento 1 database to the database of new Magento 2 store. One more important thing, install the extensions that have data that you would like to move into your new store. But, if the directory structure of the extensions is different compared to the Magento 2 database, utilize the mapping files made available along with the Data Migration Tool.
  • Don’t forget to test your Magento 2.0 store to ensure that it works according to your needs.

Wrapping Up

This post explains all the steps that are required for migrating Magento 1.x store to Magento 2 store. But unfortunately, the steps you need to follow during migration to Magento new version release aren’t perfect except for data migration. For instance, better support is still needed for themes and customization. Moreover, be ready to perform plenty of manual work when migrating your Magento 1 store to Magento 2. However, in case you are still facing difficulty in completing the migration, make sure to hire a Magento professional for the job.

About Author

Claudia is a certified Magento developer working at Magentax. She also enjoys writing tutorials and articles guiding users to hire Magento developer and perform Magento development themselves.