Don’t Prolong the Horror of Your Magento 1 End of Life

Four years ago, next month Magento announced the demise of Magento 1.0. Many retailers took what was said to heart and made plans to either upgrade to Magento 2.0 or another platform. Some opted to put it off for reasons only they can explain. But whatever the reason, it’s time to act.

This four-part blog series dwells on the gruesome horrors that await retailers who fail to make plans. Since it’s October, we’ve tapped into the horror movie cannon to extract some lessons to drive home our message: June 2020 is coming, run to the safety of a supported ecommerce platform.

We’ll start with the movie Saw. Fans of the horror franchise will remember a central trope of the films: you can put off pain, but you can’t escape it. And, your attempts to avoid it will result in unimaginable horrors — along with profound regret for not doing what you knew you had to do all along.

Saw opens with Adam, (Leigh Whannell) and Dr. Lawrence Gorden, (Cary Elwas) waking up chained and locked in a bathroom, a dead body between them. Adam is told to escape; Lawrence is told to murder Adam by 6:00 or his family will be murdered, and he’ll be left to die. They find some hacksaws in the toilet, but quickly realize that they’re meant for limbs, not the chains that bind them to the room. That’s when they’re hit with the gruesome choice before them: hack off their own limbs or die.

There’s an obvious parallel here to online retailers who are still running their businesses on Magento 1. Magento 2.0 was released on November 17, 2015, and Magento told retailers using Magento Commerce 1 (formerly known as Enterprise Edition) and Magento Open Source 1 (formerly known as Community Edition) that they had three years to migrate. Moreover, as of November 2018, retailers could expect no new features or functionality developments, just absolutely necessary security patches. In other words, Magento 1’s end of life was set for November, 2018. We were all warned.

And yet the platform didn’t die when originally promised. Last September Magento offered Magento 1 retailers another reprieve when it extending the cutoff date (pun intended) until June 2020. That led many retailers to hang on to their Magento 1 ecommerce stores, effectively covering their eyes and plugging up their ears to the abject terror of migrating to a new platform.

Three years is ample time to migrate. Many retailers have put off the inevitable, just as Dr. Gordon does in Saw, until they have no choice but to act. You might be hoping for some other outcome — perhaps another extension by Magento? — but it isn’t coming. You need to face that pain.

Yeah, I said it. I equated migrating off of Magento 1 to cutting off one’s own limbs. Of course, Magento provides tools to migrate your catalog and customer base to Magento 2, but all of those plug-ins’ retailers rely on to run their businesses? These are like the five digits Dr. Gordon can’t imagine living without.

We know that once Dr. Gordon lobs off his foot he’ll need to get a prosthesis so he can carry on with his life, just as you know you’ll need to find a prosthetic solution for those plug-ins that won’t work in Magento 2 (or Shopify, if that’s the route you’ll take). That’ll be painful, it will take some getting used to. It will take some trial and error to find the perfect fit. But there’s no getting around your fate.

Here’s the thing: You’ve been warned. Magento’s constant reminders are like the voice of Jigsaw telling Dr. Gordon in the bathroom that his fate is in his own hands; he can escape the horror at any time rather than prolong through procrastination. In the last scene he finally takes the saw to his ankle. It’s a terrible price, but the reward is the safety of his family.

At Something Digital, we totally feel your pain, but it’s yours and you need to face it. The consequences of staying on Magento 1 after its end of life will be gruesome for you and a real horror show for your customers. You need to migrate in order to save your business.

Stay tuned for parts 2-4 in the coming weeks and if you have questions about your Magento 1 migration let us know.

Written by: Phillip Jackson, Ecommerce Evangelist