How to Successfully Upgrade to Magento 2 in 2024

E-commerce | 26-01-2024 | Krutarth Shah

upgrade to magento 2

With Magento 2 having been released nearly a decade ago in 2015, a sizable number of ecommerce merchants find themselves still operating on the now-outdated Magento 1 platform in 2024. However, transitioning to the most current Magento iteration offers retailers a wealth of valuable benefits that warrant strong consideration. Making the upgrade to Magento 2 this year can serve to modernize your site, enhance performance, facilitate improved customer experiences, and future-proof your business' ecommerce operations.

While bringing an existing Magento 1 store up to Magento 2 specifications does require proper planning, allocation of resources, and concerted effort, the process can be smoothly executed with the right preparation and approach, resulting in major gains. In this article, we will outline the critical steps and best practices for a successful Magento upgrade in 2024, including essential preparation, rigorous testing, data migration, replatforming, and more. Following this guidance can empower your business to upgrade efficiently and rapidly begin leveraging the capabilities of Magento 2.

What is Magento 2?

Magento 2 is the latest major release of the popular open-source ecommerce platform Magento. It offers online retailers a flexible, customizable solution for building and managing online stores.

Magento 2 was built from the ground up to be cloud-compatible and mobile-ready right out of the box. It has an improved architecture compared to the older Magento 1 platform. This makes it faster, more secure, and easier to scale.

Some key improvements include better speed optimization, enhanced security features, simplified page and content management, and slick mobile commerce functionality. It also supports progressive web apps and headless commerce for flexibility.

For merchants, Magento 2 streamlines managing products, customizing storefronts, optimizing marketing campaigns, facilitating orders & shipping, and integrating with other business systems. It's a robust ecommerce platform trusted by over 250,000 sites worldwide.

Why Upgrade To Magento 2?

Magento 2 offers many new features and improvements that make it worth upgrading from Magento 1. Magento 2 has a completely redesigned architecture that makes it more flexible, scalable, and secure. The codebase has been rebuilt from the ground up using newer technologies like PHP7, Composer, and Varnish which improves performance.

Upgrading also ensures continued support and future updates. Magento 1 reached end-of-life in June 2020 so no further security patches or feature updates will be released. Magento 2 will continue to be enhanced and supported for years to come. Staying up-to-date is crucial for protecting your business and customers.

The upgraded admin panel interface in Magento 2 is also much more user-friendly and intuitive. Additional tools like full page caching, indexing management, and a CLI command-line tool will help streamline operations. For these reasons, now is a good time to start planning your upgrade to unlock the full potential of the platform. Magento 2 brings major advances that can benefit any ecommerce business.

Preparation For The Upgrade Process

Upgrading to Magento 2 is a big project that requires planning and preparation. You'll want to make sure your store and team are ready before starting the upgrade.

First, budget time and resources for the upgrade. It can take several weeks or even months depending on your store's size and customizations. Inform your team about the upgrade plans and timeline. You may need to temporarily adjust operations during the transition.

  1. Review System Requirements - Magento 2 has higher system requirements for PHP, MySQL, extensions, and more. Thoroughly check your current server setup and hosting environment to ensure it meets the latest requirements for Magento 2. Update or upgrade any outdated software components.
  2. Clean Up Your Current Site - Take time to optimize and declutter your current Magento 1 site before upgrading. Delete unused product data, content, and media files. Compress images, fix broken links, and correct any data inconsistencies or errors. This cleanup makes the upgrade process smoother.
  3. Test Upgrade on Staging Site - Carry out a trial upgrade on a staging or development copy of your Magento 1 site first. Run tests to catch any issues before upgrading your live production site. Fix any errors or problems on the staging site before moving forward.
  4. Update Extensions & Themes - Inventory all third-party extensions and custom themes used on your site. Check if they are fully compatible with Magento 2 or need updating. Replace any outdated extensions or themes with new Magento 2 versions to avoid functionality issues after upgrading.
  5. Plan Rollback Options - Have a tested backup and rollback plan ready in case the Magento 2 upgrade causes major problems with your site. This allows you to quickly restore your live site back to Magento 1 until issues can be fixed. Reduces downtime and disruption.

Also read: A Deep Dive Into the Process of Keyword Research and Its Importance in SEO

Theme and Extension Analysis

Magento 2 has a different architecture and code base than Magento 1. This means your current theme and extensions may not work properly after upgrading. You’ll need to thoroughly analyze them for compatibility.

Before upgrading, make a list of all active extensions and custom themes on your site. Check each one to see if there is an updated Magento 2 version available from the provider. For custom themes, you may need to modify the code yourself to make it compatible.

If no Magento 2 version exists for an extension, you’ll have to find a suitable replacement. Look on marketplaces like Magento Marketplace for alternatives with similar features. For vital extensions with no alternative, you may have to hold off on upgrading if they cannot be made compatible.

  1. Carefully audit which extensions and themes you need to update, replace, or customize for Magento 2 compatibility based on developer recommendations. Create a spreadsheet to track extension status.
  2. For critical extensions with no Magento 2 version, you may have to delay upgrading or find a workaround to keep key functionality. See if you can find replacement extensions that offer similar features.
  3. Check extension provider websites and contact them directly regarding availability of upgraded versions for Magento 2. Sign up for notifications for when compatible versions are released.
  4. Set a timeline for updating extensions and themes to have them ready before starting the Magento upgrade process. Allow sufficient time for troubleshooting any issues.
  5. Develop a contingency plan for any vital extensions that remain incompatible near the Magento 2 upgrade date. This may require postponing.

Data Migration

Migrating your existing data to Magento 2 is a crucial step during the upgrade process. You don't want to lose all the product information, customer accounts, sales transactions and other data that makes your business run.

Take time to thoroughly understand the official Magento data migration tool. Run the tool on a test copy of your site first to transfer information to a staging Magento 2 platform. Verify it correctly migrates your products, customers, orders and custom data tables.

If needed, use additional data migration utilities to assist with transferring custom data not handled by the default tool. Test repeatedly until all information is ported over accurately. Don't attempt migrating production data until successful on staging sites. With careful planning and testing, you can ensure no business intelligence gets lost during the upgrade.

  1. Use the official Magento data migration tool to transfer vital store information like products, customers, orders and more to the Magento 2 platform. Map data fields correctly to ensure proper transfer of information.
  2. For custom data tables not migrated by default, utilize additional data migration utilities to ensure complete transfer of this data to Magento 2.
  3. Test and retest the data migration process on staging sites to confirm everything transfers over accurately before touching production data. Verify numbers match and sample data is correct.
  4. Document each step of your successful data migration plan to follow when executing for real on the live store. This ensures you can repeat the process seamlessly.

Testing and Replatforming

Thoroughly testing the upgraded Magento 2 site is essential before launching it live. You want to identify any issues to fix while still on a staging site, not after going live.

Conduct functionality tests across the entire site, check for bugs, errors or performance problems. Go through the real-world customer experience from product searches to checkout. Verify successful data migration by spot checking products, customers and orders. Extensive testing now prevents headaches later.

  1. Perform comprehensive user acceptance testing on the staged site to confirm all pages, product catalogs, search flows, checkout processes and third-party integrations function properly in Magento 2. Check all links, forms, images, and key site interactions.
  2. Load test the Magento 2 site with expected traffic levels using performance testing tools to uncover any speed, capacity or scaling issues under pressure. Tune server settings, cache configurations, and optimize code as needed to address performance problems.
  3. Beta test the live upgraded production site with a small group of trusted customers at first before rolling out the upgrade widely. Get real-world feedback from them on site functionality, speed, and the shopping experience to catch final issues.
  4. Closely monitor the site performance, traffic, sales, and error logs in the first few weeks after the full Magento 2 launch. Watch for any spikes in errors or issues missed during earlier testing stages. Have a contingency rollback plan ready to quickly revert to Magento 1 if any major critical issues emerge.
  5. Perform comprehensive security testing on the upgraded Magento 2 site to detect any potential vulnerabilities or security gaps. Address any high risk issues to ensure site and customer data remains secure after launch.

New Magento 2 Functionality

Upgrading to Magento 2 brings a host of new features and capabilities to online merchants. Taking advantage of this new functionality can greatly enhance your ecommerce operations and customer experience.

Magento 2 introduces improvements like faster page loading, smoother checkouts, enhanced security and fraud protection, and powerful marketing and promotions tools. Getting familiar with these new capabilities ensures you fully leverage the benefits of the latest platform.

  1. Faster Page Loads - Magento 2 uses various speed optimizations like built-in caching, JavaScript bundling and minification, deferred JavaScript loading, and enhanced handling of assets for quicker page loads.
  2. Streamlined Checkout - Guest checkout, save and retrieve shopping carts, automated single-page checkout flows, and other enhancements help create smoother, more seamless checkout experiences.
  3. Enhanced Security - New security tools like CAPTCHA, address input validation against fraud databases, regular patching and malware scanning help protect Merchant sites against threats and vulnerabilities.
  4. Marketing & Promotions - Powerful tools to create targeted marketing campaigns, promotions, dynamic pricing rules, coupons and banners help Merchants drive more sales. Features like customer segmentation allow personalized email campaigns. Automated cart price rules can provide free shipping or percentage discounts. New APIs support integration with marketing automation platforms.
  5. Simplified Content Management - More intuitive and user-friendly product, category, content, and webpage management interfaces and workflows in the Magento 2 backend. Easy to update products, create new pages, manage navigation menus, modify SEO metadata, and more from the admin panel.
  6. Improved Mobile Commerce - Fully responsive design on all storefront themes and progressive web app capabilities optimize the shopping experience for mobile users. Swipe/gesture-friendly UI, fast-loading pages, and quick checkout improve engagement on phones and tablets. Push notifications help re-engage users.


Upgrading to the newest version of Magento offers online retailers many benefits. Magento 2 provides better performance, security, mobile capabilities, and a more streamlined management system. However, upgrading an e-commerce platform is also a major undertaking that requires careful planning and execution.

Following best practices like thorough testing, installing extensions and themes specially built for Magento 2, and using the right data migration tools can help ensure your upgrade is completed smoothly. While the upgrade will require time and resources, the long-term payoff of running your store on a faster, more powerful, and feature-rich Magento platform is well worth the effort. With proper planning and precautions, you can successfully upgrade your online store to Magento 2 and be positioned for continued e-commerce success.

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Krutarth Shah

This Blog is Published by Krutarth Shah