Magento 1 Changed Everything
Magento co-founder Roy Rubin said something amazing on a hike a couple of years ago. When asked if he imagined Magento would one day be the worldwide phenomenon that it became, he responded “absolutely” without missing a beat. According to Roy, Magento was created to disrupt commerce by empowering merchants and their developers to build and distribute solutions for any market, any vertical, any customer.
Mission accomplished. Magento 1 started in 2007, was released in 2008, transformed through acquisitions at eBay and then private equity, and ultimately put into maintenance almost five years ago. In those years, the platform went from a disruptive concept to hundreds of thousands of stores, $150B+/year merchandise volume and a $5B+/year ecosystem. Hundreds of thousands of lives have been changed thanks to Magento. Careers have spawned, businesses have grown and, today, the locus of control sits where it belongs: with merchants rather than with the platforms. Magento changed the rules, but now the rules are changing again.
Magento 1 Is Approaching End of Life: You Must Act!
How we as a society do commerce continues to grow and evolve, but for Magento 1, the road ends on June 30. There are still tens of thousands of merchants running Magento 1, and most of them will still be running Magento 1 even after its official support is terminated.
Remaining M1 merchants must take action right now. Each and every merchant still running on Magento 1 should be actively planning and pursuing migration to a modern vendor-supported platform, or at the very least mitigating risk. Simply put, the risk and opportunity cost of maintaining an M1 instance will continue to grow over time as the tech stack continues to move on, extension vendors terminate support for M1 and the world of commerce — especially consumer expectations — moves on.
Magento 2 Resources Are Available
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a subset of merchants who were going to be on M1 after EOL. Though it is not an ideal situation for them, it is fascinating to see how the Magento ecosystem is working to support these merchants. Developers, hosting providers and third-party services are all working to provide M1 merchants some options in the short term. In conversations with each of these companies, they all agree that their intent is to help M1 merchants in the short term without prolonging the M1 timeline further than necessary.
Many former M1 merchants have made the jump to Magento 2 Open Source or Magento Commerce/Magento Commerce Cloud, and the whole of the Magento ecosystem — including Adobe, agencies, extension vendors, and independent developers — have tools and programs to help make this happen.
Not Everyone Should Move to Magento 2
Merchants and others in the commerce ecosystem must find their way to the best platform for their businesses, and M2 has a different overall fit relative to merchant size than M1. Many M1 merchants were self-installed, with the store owner customizing and maintaining the instance. For these small office/home office stores, M2 may not be the best choice right now. The good news is that merchants have more options today than ever before, whether on-prem, PaaS or SaaS. While SaaS platforms may be a good next home to a subset of M1 merchants, the benefits of SaaS are derived from a measure of feature inflexibility. Most Magento merchants require platform flexibility to differentiate and deliver what the market requires.
“I Am a Magento 1 Merchant. What Should I Do?”
Suffice it to say that there are developers and service providers who are actively supporting Magento 1 users after the end-of-life. There is no one-size-fits-all solution here — each merchant has to consider their current (and future!) needs, the current features and roadmap of the platforms, and the extension and customization ecosystems around those platforms, all weighed against cash flow and the opportunity cost of staying on M1 up to and past the June 30 end-of-life. Commerce Co-op, the content arm of Magento Association, is hosting M1 EOL content, and we encourage you to sign up and participate.