(This is a guest post from our friends over at JetRails, a fully-managed white-glove eCommerce hosting service.)
Most merchants still using Magento 1 have been delaying replatforming to a newer and better eCommerce platform like Magento 2 in order to keep their total cost of ownership for their website down. It certainly makes sense to get the most out of your investment in any software platform. However, that logic only applies as long as it’s safe to use and doesn’t become a “money pit.”
So when will Magento 1 become a money pit for eCommerce merchants? Here are a few dates to keep in mind:
Magento End of Life Dates to Know
December 31st, 2018: This is the date that PHP 5.6 goes End of Life. After this date, there won’t be any more security updates for this critical server software that most servers hosting Magento 1 website are utilizing. You can certainly upgrade to a newer version of PHP, but you can anticipate significant development time to make sure that your Magento site, extensions, and custom coding are compatible. The good news is that you can expect to see a performance boost out of newer versions of PHP, leading to better website loading times, and hopefully conversion rates.
If you stay on an old version of PHP, your hosting account will inevitably have known security holes that hackers can exploit. While that’s not ideal for any website, it’s especially problematic for eCommerce website owners.
June 2020: This is the official date that Magento will stop publishing Community and Enterprise 1.x security patches. This should be seen as a red line for merchants. It’s highly recommended to have a plan to upgrade beyond Magento 1.x before this time. Once June 2020 comes and goes, any M1 security vulnerabilities that are discovered are not expected to be addressed by the Magento team. This means that Magento 1 sites will become sitting ducks.
November 30th, 2020: While it’s not advisable to stay on Magento 1 past June 2020 for security reasons, if you’re the gambling type and take that risk, you’re going to have to contend with CentOS 6 going end of life too. A large percentage of Magento 1 hosting accounts use the CentOS 6.x operating system – a popular version of Linux. Staying on an unsupported operating system is never advisable, however, like upgrading PHP versions, it’s important to go through a proper User Acceptance Testing (UAT) process to make sure that your site and its features and functionalities work as intended in the new environment.
Like PHP, if you stay on an old operating system that isn’t receiving security patches, you’re making it easier and easier for hackers to gain access to your hosting account and your Magento site.
Aside from specific dates, Magento partners and developers are no longer nearly as focused on Magento 1, as it’s considered a slowly dying platform. They’re creating new extensions for Magento 2. In some cases, if their Magento 1 extensions stop being compatible with the remaining Magento 1 patches that come out, they may or may not be patching their extensions to be compatible. At this point, any money that they put into Magento 1 may be a long-term loss for them.
Then, there’s the opportunity cost. Magento 2, when built and hosted well, is faster and more efficient, leading to better conversion rates and growth. There are new features in M2 that don’t exist in M1, and extensions and SaaS solutions that only exist for M2. Your business is already losing a competitive edge in M1.
If you’re planning to stick it out on M1 for a while longer, consider a free Magento 1 hosting audit from the JetRails team to identify weaknesses that you will want to address. We can also provide advice on how to get additional performance out of Magento 2 when you do make the switch.
Need help planning your move to Magento 2? Both JetRails and nChannel have networks of expert agencies and would be happy to pair you up with a team that best fits your needs and goals. Just drop us a line.
About the Author
Robert Rand, Director of Partnerships & Alliances at JetRails, Magento 1 & 2 Certified Solution Specialist
Robert has over a decade of experience in helping merchants benefit from sound E-commerce and Digital Marketing strategies. He’s highly experienced at harnessing the power of E-commerce technologies and solutions to help businesses of all types and sizes grow and succeed and has earned numerous distinctions and accolades from his work with merchants and partner organizations. Robert is the head of partnerships for JetRails, a fully-managed white-glove eCommerce hosting service.