“It Follows”: Magento End of Life Horrors Part 3

This is the four-part horror series we hope will convince you to act. In part one we talked about the impossibility of escaping the pain of migrating off of Magento 1. In part two we showed the horrors that await ecommerce stores that foolishly believe they can skirt the death. This time around, we tackle the curse currently infecting the Magento 1 community. Don’t be lulled into thinking you can escape it because you can’t. It follows.

Hands down one of the most terrifying horror films I’ve seen is “It Follows,” by David Robert Mitchell. I’m not alone, numerous pundits and critics have said it scared the bejeebers out of them more than any other flick in recent history.

It’s a story about a 19-year old girl who hooks up with a handsome high school jock, but later learns the affair makes her part of a chain letter-like curse where she’s pursued by a “nebulous, shape-shifting” and utterly terrifying presence. The only way she can rid herself of it is to knowingly pass it on to a trusting and hapless person.

So how does it tie into Magento 1 EOL?

Magento 1 users have been prolonging the platform’s end of life. Magento 2 was released to the market on November 17, 2015, so for nearly four years everyone has known Magento 1 would meet its demise. But something eerie started happening when Magento extended the death of Magento 1 until June 2020: people began to say that there’s no need to get off of Magento 1 at all. Ever.

“Don’t listen to Magento or Adobe,” the evil-doers whisper. “It’s open source, there’s no legal requirement for you to migrate.” “Just because Magento will drop support doesn’t mean something bad will happen.”

This is an insidious, infectious idea. It’s rooted in the belief that one can absolve oneself of responsibility in dealing with this curse by getting others to buy into it. If more and more people agree that they can just stay on Magento 1, the thinking goes, all will be well.

Don’t fall for this thinking — it’s dangerous. We’ve seen this over and over with software, most recently with PHP 5, which experienced its end of life in October 2018. PHP is the backbone of almost every popular content management system today, including Magento. As PHP 5 is no longer supported, users who didn’t upgrade to PHP 7 faced some series risks, including being hacked, as PHP 5 was recently.

Like Magento 1 users today, PHP 5 users listened to the siren song of people telling them they could skip the hard work of migrating, that monster isn’t coming for you.

Only it is. In “It Follows,” relief from the curse is only temporary, because it is a chain, and once it reaches the end, it starts working its way back down. Future proofing against the curse isn’t an option.

There is no future proofing with Magento 1

If you infect yourself with the curse — if you listen to the people who say you can stay on Magento 1 forever — then you must realize you can’t future-proof your ecommerce store, the business you’ve spent so many waking hours nurturing and growing. The business you hope will fund your kid’s college education and your retirement.

The thing is, you can’t choose an ecommerce platform and expect it to last forever. All platforms must be maintained and upgraded when necessary. The world of ecommerce is fast paced. Customers adopt new ways of engaging with online merchants; fraudsters find new wormholes into platforms. As an ecommerce manager, you need to protect yourself as well as your customers — potentially your unsuspecting victims — from this malice.

Contact us with any questions and for your Magento 1 migration!

Written by: Phillip Jackson, Ecommerce Evangelist