Magento carves out a unique place within the e-commerce ecosystem, having been built primarily on open source technology. Known for offering a flexible cart system, Magento has been a favorite of enterprise-level brands selling online due to the level of control it provides over both the look and functionality of online stores.
A quick search of BuiltWith shows that over 230,000 online stores are currently running on Magento and a full 18% of the Alexa indexed top 1 million websites (websites with the most traffic around the world) are using it. These are some truly staggering numbers for a platform that has recently announced the end of support for its flagship build.
Initially released in 2007, Magento has had an interesting history. eBay acquired it in 2011 before the company was again taken private in 2015. Then in May 2018, Adobe acquired Magento, which led to the speculation of a sizable investment into the platform. While this investment never materialized, Adobe did announce the end-of-life for Magento 1 as of June 2020. End-of-life quite merely means that there will be no further updates or support for Magento 1, and any businesses still operating on the platform run the risk of downtime and security flaws moving forward.
While Adobe announced its new Adobe Commerce Cloud, which offers a cloud-hosted fully managed version of Magento that integrates with the full suite of Adobe tools, this represents a divergence from the open-source nature of the platform that initially drew in merchants. Given these adjustments to the platform, this is an ideal time for businesses using Magento to look at a new platform such as Shopify.
What is the Significance of the Magento 1 End-of-Life Announcement?
1. It introduces risk to your store
All businesses will continue to be able to operate as usual on Magento 1 post-end-of-life on June 2020. However, there will no longer be security updates, which will leave your website and customer data vulnerable to hackers. This can result in high fines, reputation damage, and in extreme situations, the end of the business.
2. It could mean the end of your ability to accept payments
While it may seem like a foregone conclusion that you can accept payments through your website regardless of Magento 1 going end-of-life, that is not the case. Several large payment providers such as Adyen and Stripe have already announced they will be unable to support businesses on Magento 1 after June 2020.
The simple reason for this is that following Magento going end-of-life, your website will no longer be able to maintain PCI compliance, and payment providers are unable to support the risk of an insecure site. Mostly, no payment provider wants to find itself in contravention of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards due to the risk of the non-compliance fines that they can receive.
3. The removal of essential extensions
Following June 2020, Magento 1 will no longer be updating, and as a result, many of the extensions to other systems that your business currently uses will become obsolete and cease to function.
4. Standard updates will start to take a lot longer
With Magento 1 no longer being supported, it will become increasingly difficult to find developers to help with routine updates. If you’re lucky enough to find a developer who will still work on Magento 1, those updates will likely become significantly more costly and time-consuming. Simply put, this is because it’s a much larger ask for a developer to create a security patch from scratch over simply implementing one provided by Magento.
Magento versus Shopify
Understanding the hosting
Magento offers two primary platforms. There is the free to download option of Magento open source, which allows anyone to download and use the software at no cost. Being free, however, has its drawbacks. The business is responsible for all hosting and development costs, which carry a steep learning curve and can be quite expensive. Furthermore, there are no live support channels.
Magento’s other option is known as Magento Enterprise, which carries a pricing model that is based on traffic and sales volume. The most significant benefit to Magento Enterprise is that it also includes support and while Magento’s free offering can only be hosted on-premises, Magento enterprise allows for either on-premises hosting or platform as a service hosting which is not to be confused with the software as a service offering of Shopify.
For a quick breakdown of the difference, a good way to look at it is that platform as a service offers hardware and software tools over the Internet where software as a service provides third-party software over the Internet. To further break it down, in a platform as a service model, your business would be responsible for managing applications and data while the provider manages everything else. In a software as a service model, the provider hosts everything.
Understanding the pricing
The initial cost to set up and the ongoing costs of operating a Magento website depend entirely on your business and its complexity. To fully understand Magento’s pricing with regards to your business, Magento will need to provide you with an individualized quote as the total cost will depend on your store’s average order value and expected annual online sales. As a rule of thumb, pricing starts at around $22,000 per year but can reach as high as $125,000 annually.
It’s important to note that those licensing costs are not where the price of Magento ends. When budgeting, you will also need to include the cost of the infrastructure, development, ongoing support, and a staff member or team to manage the website.
With a platform such as Shopify, infrastructure, and platform support costs (when the platform breaks) are covered within your monthly fee, which ranges from $29-$299 or $2000 if you’re looking at Shopify Plus. This leaves only the initial development cost and the ongoing management, design and process support costs unaccounted.
While it’s entirely possible that an on-premise solution such as Magento may be the right fit for your business, it’s essential to understand the total cost of ownership when making that decision.
Understanding performance and security
Beyond cost, the two most important factors when selecting your e-commerce platform will be the performance of the website and the level of protection that it offers both you as a business owner and your customers. Downtime and data breaches can both be exceptionally costly and have a lasting negative impact on your brand’s reputation.
Consistent delivery of performance and security is one of the primary driving forces behind an increasing number of businesses selecting a software as a service solution such as Shopify as their e-commerce platform. A 2018 IDG cloud computing study predicted that 95% of all organizations would be reliant on a software as a service model for the bulk of their applications by the end of 2020.
When you choose an on-premise solution such as Magento, it puts the onus on your IT team to deliver the following:
- PCI compliance
- Updates and patches
A software as a service solution such as Shopify places the burden on the platform and ensures that all updates and PCI compliance are taken care of for you. Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about downtime while these updates are taking place; Shopify provides a no versioning solution.
Shopify provides an unmatched e-commerce service delivery solution for modern businesses. Regardless of the size of the business, Shopify has a solution that ensures unparalleled uptime and buyer confidence to keep sales flowing. With constant advancements and new services being delivered monthly, Shopify is a partner that allows your business to consistently be at the forefront of online shopping.
How to migrate from Magento
While at first, it might seem impossible to migrate from Magento to Shopify, the team at Shop Style Design can make the process seamless. It’s always hard to leave one platform for another, especially once you take stock of the hours, the thousands of dollars and the sheer amount of energy that went into molding Magento into the platform you built your business on. That doesn’t mean it’s the wrong decision. For many businesses, the switch to Shopify represents substantial savings and a shorter path to realizing a return on investment.
When you’re planning a migration from one platform to another, it’s crucial to take stock of all of the data that will need to transition from one to the other. Conducting a website audit is an excellent way to understand what currently exists in your website and needs to move to the new one and what can be left behind. While several tools will help you to migrate from Magento to Shopify such as cart2cart, working with an expert such as Shop Style Design can ensure a fast migration without jeopardizing your content or your new site design.
If you’re not sure which platform is best for your business, schedule a call with the team at Shop Style Design today.