What you should know about migrating from Magento to PrestaShop
This article is a guide to understand the stakes and succeed in migrating from Magento to PrestaShop, rather than a guide to know whether or not you should move to PrestaShop. A migration is more complicated than a website creation, you must see it as re-creating a website and consider you'll need to migrate your data from the old online store.
Understanding what a migration from Magento to PrestaShop is
The objective is to change the tool for a more adapted one while avoiding technical problems of migrations like defective features, missing or erroneous data or SEO issues.
When merchants and agencies are asked why they migrate from Magento to PrestaShop, the reasons are often the same:
- Cost: rationalization of maintenance and hosting costs
- The ecosystem: The community and the various integrations allow merchants to look ahead and easily upgrade their store.
- Scalability: The use of Symfony and a light yet robust structure allow a good scalability.
- The back office interface: although this is a rather subjective factor, many merchants appreciate the simplicity of PrestaShop.
The challenge is to find a solution for your store that is best suited to your needs, your means and your growth objectives. Once you have found this new CMS, you will have to migrate. A migration is a site creation with an import of your old data. We advise you to establish detailed specifications in order not to forget any data and features. A good migration is only possible if you know where you start and where you end up.
The 6 pitfalls to avoid
It is a strong element of your site because it represents your ability to attract your customers. However, it can be weakened during a migration, because PrestaShop and Magento URLs do not have the same structure. To avoid losing your SEO’s strength, there are 2 solutions:
- Make a development in PrestaShop to create urls with the same structure as those of Magento. The advantage is that it really minimizes the impact on SEO. The disadvantage is that it is a specific development that is quite important and it will have an impact for the version upgrades. In addition, it may slow down your site. For these reasons, it is not the most used solution.
- Make a redirection plan, the objective is to make permanent redirections (301) to new products. There are different types of redirection:
- Permanent redirection (301) : this redirection allows to tell the search engine that the page in question has changed url. Example : www.mystore.com/myitem becomes www.monsite.com/mon-super-article so the url my-article will be more indexed by search engines and my-super-article will recover the SEO of the old page.
- Temporary redirection (302) : this redirection allows to make a redirection which is not definitive. It is generally used during maintenance. Example : http://www.mystore.com/my-cool-item becomes temporarily http://www.monsite.com/maintenance. The url my-super-article keeps its SEO reference just temporarily and it is redirected to maintenance. During a redirection plan after a migration, you should not use this type of redirection.
The redirection plan is preferred because, although it can be time-consuming to set up, it is the least expensive and easiest to maintain.
It is common to see a merchant wanting to rebuild all the features. In most cases, there are developments that are no longer useful, either because they no longer meet the need, or because they are duplicated with another ... The migration is really the time to do this cleaning, especially since it will allow you to:
- Reduce development costs: the less development you have to do, the less development time you have to spend, the less the migration will cost you.
- Reduce acceptance testing time: the more features you have to test, the more time you need to test. This will cost you more with the agency and will also require more time.
- Simplified interface: you will be able to gain in efficiency thanks to a simple, streamlined and optimized interface
- Reduce migration time: If you are thinking of avoiding this step because of lack of time, you should know that the time you don't invest now in a specification and in sorting out the features will be spent later.
Example: You have a product export for a supplier with whom you have stopped working. It will take at best 3 days to redo this export, plus one day of quality control/acceptance testing. You will spend 4 days for nothing when one day would be enough to know that this feature is not useful.
It is therefore essential to re-establish the specifications for the new site, you will avoid many problems and unnecessary costs.
The migration of orders is very important because it allows you to continue your activity without interruption. Nevertheless, we notice 2 problems related to orders during a migration:
- Orders that have specific fields: if you have specific developments on orders, you have 2 possibilities:
- Abandon this modification and start over with a clean version. This implies that the development is not necessary for your business.
- Add this modification and redo the development. This is a solution that will be more expensive than the first one.
- Very old orders: sometimes it is not useful to take back the whole order history because it represents a large volume of data. It is therefore sometimes a good option to clean up and keep the history of the last 3-4 years. You will improve your back office performance. The other years will still be present in your ERP or accounting system.
Wrong version of the CMS
When migrating, it is very important to take the latest version of the CMS. Otherwise you will not have the latest updates. You will lose in performance, security and features. It is a pity to migrate from an obsolete site to a site that will be obsolete in 1 year or as soon as it is released.
The choice of the agency (technical expertise of the agency)
Not all agencies that create PrestaShop websites are PrestaShop partners. Indeed, PrestaShop is an open Source CMS and anyone is free to download and modify it as they wish. Nevertheless, for migrations it is suggested that the agency or the freelancer knows PrestaShop very well, but also Magento in order to support you in your migration project. An agency recommends an old version of PrestaShop (such as version 1.6), for instance, is better to avoid. As seen above, it is very important to migrate your store to the latest versions.
This article has been created with the help of Soledis, New Quest and Evolutive Group who we thank for their collaboration.