Magento 1 End of Life? Confirmed... Sort of.

In June 2017, we published an article outlining the reasons why we believed Magento 1 end of life wouldn’t be happening anytime soon. Now we’re back, reviewing the topic again to see how our opinions and recommendations have changed in the last 2 years.

To recap, we wrote our original article in response to concerns about Magento 1’s longevity following the statements made at the launch of Magento 2 in November 2015:

“Magento 1 will continue to be supported for 3 years following the release of Magento 2”
The general consensus then was that Magento 1 would sunset in November 2018 and security updates would stop. Magento store owners were left questioning what this meant for their business and whether migrating to Magento 2 as soon as possible was the only way to avoid any problems. 

At the time, we were able to demonstrate that Magento 1 was a robust platform which had received few security updates in its lifetime. Even when updates were released, a large number of vulnerabilities were found and fixed by the wider Magento community rather than internal Magento staff.  So, our advice reflected that - even if Magento 1 did reach end of life it wouldn’t mean that your store would suddenly become unviable overnight. Magento 1 would remain a stable, reliable and secure platform for the foreseeable future. 

What's Changed?

Fast forward to the present day, it’s September 2019 and, currently, Magento 1 is still here, still being supported and still providing a stable, reliable and secure platform for eCommerce. But what about moving forward? A lot can change over two years, so is the story still the same for Magento?

Date confirmed for Magento 1 End of Life 

Perhaps the biggest change is that we now have a confirmed end of life date for Magento 1 - June 2020

 Magento made the announcement on their official blog in September 2018:

Magento 1 End of Life Blog snippet

So, unlike with the speculation about November 2018, this time we have a clear timescale for when official Magento 1 support will end. 9 months and counting.

Updates to Magento 2

Magento 2 has also changed since we last wrote about this topic. Whilst Magento 1 still hasn’t received any major feature releases since mid-2014, Magento 2 has seen regular releases since its 2015 launch. This means that when comparing Magento 1 to Magento 2, Magento 2 has more to offer than it did two years ago. 

Magento News and Release Timeline

 Magento has provided a full list of release notes, the latest of which was Magento 2.3.2 in June 2019. The release included over 200 functional enhancements.

 Here are some examples of the latest features and improvements: 

  • PWA Studio: Provides tools for building and deploying Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). PWAs offer the benefits of a traditional app - lightning fast speeds and offline mode - without the need for your customers to actually download an app. The stats for PWAs are impressive - Lancôme saw a 51% increase in mobile sessions and a 17% increase in conversions!
  • Merchant Tools: Features have been added to simplify store management e.g. mass editing of products, data export and a drop-and-drag page builder.
  • Simplified Checkout: Enhancements have been made to streamline customers’ checkout process and reduce cart abandonment e.g. persisting information between guest and logged in accounts, supporting more payment methods and enhanced company accounts for B2B eCommerce.
Advances in Magento 2 for customer experience, user-friendliness and performance are apparent.

Migrate to Magento 2 vs. Stick with Magento 1 

 Does this news mean you need to drop all of your other plans and spend the next 9 months migrating your store from M1 to M2 at all costs? No. But it does mean that you should start seriously thinking about Magento 2 and planning a migration over a timescale that suits your business.

 Magento 2 is an excellent eCommerce platform. As we’ve touched on above, it offers features which Magento 1 simply doesn’t. So, for the long-term, migrating to Magento 2 is the best option to ensure that your store offers the best customer experience and maintains a competitive edge. That’s why we will be working hard over the next year to produce resources to support merchants and agencies in making the move. If you’re planning Magento 2 migrations before June 2020, get in touch - our team are happy to offer advice and support or discuss partnering with you on the project. 

However, we also acknowledge that migrating to Magento 2 is not a small project. It requires rebuilding your current store which has already had time and money invested into it. We strongly believe that your reason for migrating should be to take advantage of everything M2 offers. Not because you feel forced by a looming date in the diary. That’s why we also plan to continue working with other partners to support Magento 1 bug-bounty programs, to avoid rushed, forced migration disasters. 

 So, if you simply aren’t prepared to migrate before June 2020 then our advice is… don’t. Eventually, upgrading from M1 to M2 will be a necessity in order to keep running the latest version of PHP and to remain PCI compliant. But that won’t be the case by June 2020. Rushing through a poorly planned migration, without consulting experts, is far more likely to cause you problems than sticking with Magento 1 for the time being. 

 To paraphrase ourselves, 

If you’re running a Magento 1 store past June 2020 - It will not implode. It will not stop functioning. It will not suddenly become insecure overnight. 

Supporting All Magento Stores

June 2020 will mark the end of life for official Magento 1 support, but not the end of life for Magento 1 as a platform. Sonassi is committed to using our 10+ years Magento expertise to support merchants and agencies working with both M1 and M2. So, whether you’re looking for advice on keeping on top of security whilst continuing to run Magento 1, or need help planning funding and scheduling for Magento 2 migrations, we will work with you to find the best solution. Just contact us to discuss your options.