2017-10

How to migrate to Magento 2 with ease

by Sam Elliott
 | 
06 November 2017
How to migrate to Magento 2 with ease
Follow our comprehensive step-by-step guide to a seamless transition to Magento 2 for online retailers.

Congratulations. You’ve made the wise decision to migrate your eCommerce site to Magento 2. If you’ve been keeping up with us either via the eBook or our previous blog posts, you’ll know that while Magento 2 is similar to its predecessor, Magento 1, it’s a completely different platform with new coding structures and database architecture.

Your migration requires careful planning in order to minimise the disruption to your business.

Remember, migration doesn’t have to be a complex process. Netstarter is here to help minimise risk and make your migration as smooth as possible. Here’s how.


Start right now

You’ve already completed the first step, thinking about migration early. The migration itself can take three to six months on average, and up to 12 months if your site is complicated or if you anticipate major changes. And that’s OK. This is an opportunity to review your marketing strategy and set your business up for success for the next several years.

Magento recommends a six-step migration, outlined below. 

Step 1: Review extensions on your current site

Extensions in particular need to be reviewed as Magento 1 extensions cannot migrate to the new platform. Identifying all third-party extensions and custom modules will help you understand which extensions are still available and where you may need further custom coding. It will give you a list of third parties you need to contact so they are aware of any testing or other requirements in the future.

Step 2: Plan capacity

Here is where you get into the details of the advanced functionality you want for your Magento 2 store. In fact, you could think of it as reviewing everything on your site. Investigate the data you have by leveraging your customer reviews and site analytics.

By taking stock of what you have, you’ll be able to better plan what you need going forward. Has your business changed since your initial launch? Or are you anticipating new features? Get rid of things you don’t need, such as logs or extraneous products, and identify areas that require new functions or upgrades.

Netstarter recommends focusing on five key migration considerations:

  • Notify third parties: As mentioned above, make sure third party contributors are aware that you will be migrating.

  • Categories and products: Do you want to move them as is, or do they need to be restructured?

  • Designs and themes: What experience do you want your customers to have? Now is a good opportunity to refresh the store look with a new responsive framework.

  • Customers and orders: This is easiest to migrate without customisation. Cull or archive old customers and their order histories.

  • Search engine optimisation: It is critical to migrate SEO properly to ensure your traffic doesn’t disappear the day you go live.


Looking good. Now back up everything, including files, folders and the database.

Netstarter's Guide to Magento 2

Step 3: Build and test Magento

Netstarter can take it from here. Essentially, migration can either be done manually or with a Magento migration tool over four components: data, theme, extensions and custom code. If you’re worried about what modules to use, Netstarter will take care of it for you. Rather than focusing on Modules, as not all will be available in Magento 2, focus on the business and user experience needs. Once we have this, Netstarter will help you find the right modules and customerisations you need to deliver on these requirements. 

The testing phase weeds out any decayed links and irrelevant content, and reviews metadata elements such as page titles and image labels.

Now is also a good time to identify where the shopping experience can be streamlined, or if there are any gaps in content. If you’re also signed on for our Netstarter Stack of pre-built Magento 2 modules, the SEO module automatically facilitates the recommended configurations upon installation.

At the same time, set up training sessions to upskill your team. Anyone in the business who needs knowledge of the Magento 2 systems will need to be fully updated before the site goes live. Scheduling a time for these members to familiarise themselves with the technology is essential to creating a smooth transition.

Step 4: Start your migration

Here is where you flip the switch and stop all activity on the Magento 1 Admin panel. Order management functions can continue, but (see the next step) you’ll need to integrate any ongoing orders before setting the Magento 2 site live. Then test, test and test again.

Step 5: Update incremental data

All of that ongoing data can now be migrated to the new site, including new orders and changes to customer profiles.

Step 6: Go live

Actually, breathe a big sigh of relief. Then go live. Magento anticipates a few minutes of downtime as it reindexes and changes DNS settings.

The journey continues as you monitor and fix and bugs. Incrementally review your data post-launch to get a feel for trends and abnormalities.

Lastly, don’t forget to celebrate!

Netstarter’s key stages to migration:

  • 1. Get third parties on board

  • 2. Investigate categories and products

  • 3. Re-evaluate designs and theme

  • 4. Review Customer and order data

  • 5. Maintain SEO

Migrating to a new CMS is no easy task. It takes planning and patience to get right. For more information on how Netstarter can help, email contact@netstarter.com or call 1300 725 628.

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About the author
Sam Elliott
eCommerce Consultant, Netstarter

For the last 10 years Sam's experience has been layered in leading partnerships with preeminent Retailers and B2B players across both the UK and Australia. The keystone to his value lies in balancing the translation of a brand's identity and vision with industry best practice and technical know-how, to drive ROI enabling ecommerce investment.

More articles by Sam Elliott