How to Migrate Your Magento 1 Store to Magento 2 on a Tight Budget


Magento is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms, used by over 250,000 online stores. Many merchants built their sites years ago using Magento 1, but have not yet made the jump to the newest version, Magento 2. Upgrading provides better speed, more features, and improved security. However, migrations are complex and the costs can be daunting, especially for small businesses on tight budgets.

The good news is you don’t have to break the bank to upgrade to Magento 2. With careful planning and discipline, merchants can migrate successfully even with limited resources. This article will provide tips to assess your current site, prioritize must-have features, leverage Magento’s tools, and launch on a budget. With some strategic compromises, you can migrate affordably while still meeting your core business needs. Read on to learn how.

Assess Your Current Magento 1 Store

Before migrating, take stock of your current Magento 1 site. Make a list of any custom themes, extensions, and special functionality that has been added over the years. Knowing what customizations you have will help accurately gauge the complexity of migrating them to Magento 2.

Also audit the performance of your store and identify any issues, like slow load times or checkout problems. Getting performance benchmarks will allow you to determine if Magento 2 improves speed and overall customer experience. Fix any nagging issues now to start fresh with the migration.

Don’t forget to back up your Magento 1 store, including both the files and the database. Keep backups as you test the migration process to allow rolling back if needed. Backups also provide a fail-safe in case anything happens to the originals.

  • Catalog all custom themes and extensions currently used
  • Document site performance stats and pain points
  • Backup store files and database
  • List must-have custom functions
  • Estimate overall migration complexity

Plan Your Migration Strategy

Carefully planning your approach before undertaking a Magento migration can streamline the process and reduce headaches down the road. Think through timing, priorities, resources, and contingencies to keep the project on track.

  • Consider a staged migration, moving non-customer-facing areas like the admin first. This allows testing without disrupting the live site.
  • Make a list of must-have features versus nice-to-haves. Focus energy on smoothly migrating core functionalities and delay secondary ones if needed.
  • Use the Magento data migration tool but also validate data on your own. The tool can save time but still verify completeness.
  • Leverage all the resources Magento provides like documentation, forums, and training. The community can provide guidance to avoid pitfalls.
  • Have a rollback plan in case anything goes wrong after launch. Problems can sneak through so be ready to quickly revert to the old site.

Reduce Migration Costs

Migrating to Magento 2 does not have to drain your company’s bank account if you make smart compromises. There are several ways to cut costs on the project without sacrificing your core needs.

First, consider using a budget-friendly migration service or having your in-house developers handle the implementation. Full-service agencies often charge a premium, so a freelancer or contractor can provide savings.

Stick to the default Magento 2 theme as much as possible, only customizing what is essential for your brand. Replicating your exact customized Magento 1 theme in version 2 can escalate costs quickly. Focus on must-have elements like logo, fonts, and colors.

Be selective about which extensions you migrate initially. Move essential ones like payment gateways first, then evaluate others for necessity. For example, move a niche marketing extension later to save the immediate expense.

Delay implementing non-critical features until after launch. For instance, custom reporting functionality may not be needed immediately. Wait until after go-live to add this to save on current migration costs.

With some strategic compromises, you can migrate your Magento 1 store to version 2 while staying within your budget constraints. The key is prioritizing must-have features over nice-to-haves.

Also read: 5 Ways Technology Has Transformed Manufacturing

Test Extensively

Once the initial migration is complete, comprehensive testing is crucial before launching your Magento 2 site. Set aside adequate time for quality assurance to catch any issues that may have been missed.

Test all aspects thoroughly – data migration, site functionality, extensions, design elements, security, and more. Verify migrated customer data as well as catalog content, prices, inventory levels, etc. Check out every part of the site to ensure correct performance. Don’t forget to test on mobile in addition to desktop. Utilize Magento’s built-in tools like the Readiness Check which scans for potential problems.

Establish a regression testing plan for ongoing checks whenever upgrades or changes are made down the road. Testing discipline now will save major headaches in the future.

  • Validate migrated customer and product data completeness
  • Confirm full functionality of all site pages and flows
  • Check extension compatibility and integration
  • Review design elements like images, fonts, and colors
  • Run security, performance, and integrity tests
  • Leverage Magento’s readiness check tool

Launch and Iterate

After thorough testing, it’s time to finally launch your Magento 2 site! Have a rollback plan ready so you can quickly restore the old site if significant issues emerge. Problems can still sneak through so prepare for this possibility ahead of time.

Once live, gather feedback from users about their experience with the new site. Monitor site performance closely using analytics. Look for areas that may still need improvement. Prioritize post-launch updates and optimizations based on user input. Also use this feedback to inform your timeline for implementing nice-to-have features that were deferred earlier. Take an iterative approach to fine-tuning the site while also planning future enhancements. Stay agile and keep user needs front and center.


Migrating from Magento 1 to 2 can seem daunting, especially with limited resources. However, with strategic planning and discipline, you can succeed while on a tight budget. Assess your current site, prioritize must-have features, utilize Magento’s tools, and test extensively. Make compromises like putting off secondary capabilities. Focus on transitioning key functionalities smoothly first. Then gather user feedback to iteratively enhance the site over time. With creativity and commitment to running lean, small businesses can upgrade to Magento 2 in a cost-effective way. The result will be well worth it – a faster, more powerful, secure platform ready for future growth.

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