Magento 2 Migration Checklist: Tips for Smooth Magento Migration

Magento 2 Migration Checklist: Tips for Smooth Magento Migration

Magento 1 has reached its end of life (EOL) on June 30th, 2020.

To get the official security patches & releases, you have to migrate your store to the latest version of Magento 2.

The Magento 2 migration process is critical. You have to plan and test the migration to avoid extensive downtime or other issues.

We cover the Magento 2 migration checklist for a seamless migration.

Checklist for Magento 2 Migration

1. Create a Migration Plan

Create a Migration Plan - Magento 2 Migration Checklist

You have to create a project roadmap before starting the migration. It includes the stakeholders, project managers, and developers.

Review your site and specify the migration requirements.

A migration plan will include:

  • Budget for the migration
  • Project specifications
  • Deadlines and a project timeline
  • Magento 2 migration services or expertise

Review the Magento migration components:

  • Site data

It includes product volume checks and categories, customer data, and orders. Check your site content like articles and other pages.

  • Extensions

Check the existing Magento 1 plugins. You can list the incompatible plugins that have to be replaced for Magento 2.

  • Themes and layouts

Analyze your site themes and layouts before migration. Look for new themes that will be compatible with Magento 2.

  • Code customizing

There may be custom codes that are added to your Magento 1 site.

Review the site’s custom code with your Magento developer. Use the PHP Developer Guide to customize extensions for Magento 2.

  • Project details

It would help describe how developers should work on the new site in detail. It includes site pages, new buttons, tabs, and blocks.

  • Impact of SEO

Migrating data to Magento 2 can affect search engine rankings.

Identify the essential landing pages and keywords for your site. Use Magento SEO best practices to optimize site data for post-migration.

2. Create a Backup

Create Magento Backup - Magento 2 Migration Checklist

Backups ensure that Magento 1 data is not lost during migration.

Magento lets you back up different parts of the system. It includes a file system, database, and media files.

  • Database backup files are compressed in .gz format
  • System backup, database, and media backups use the .tgz format
  • Backups are stored in the var/backups directory

You can use the backup data to test the migration steps for Magento 2.

It is advised to use the backup rule of three:

  • Make three copies of your Magento 1.x data
  • Save the data in 2 different formats
  • Keep one backup copy off-site

3. Set up a Separate Environment for Development

Magento Development - Magento 2 migration checklist

It is advised to create a separate environment for migration and development. That way, you can run your existing store without downtime.

Install and set up Magento 2 and configure the version control system (Git).

You have to get the following tech stack:

  • Linux OS such as Ubuntu or Debian
  • Apache 2.4 or Nginx 1.8
  • PHP 7.4
  • MySQL 8.0 -MariaDB 10.4 for Magento Commerce Cloud
  • Elasticsearch 7.6.x
  • PHP Composer

You can start the development work in the new environment.

4. Review Extensions and Custom Code

Magento Extensions - Magento 2 migration checklist

A lot of Magento 1 extensions may not be compatible with Magento 2.

You can find alternatives to the extensions on the Magento Marketplace. Some of the essential plugins include:

  • Custom ERPs and CRMs
  • Shipping solutions
  • Payment systems integration
  • One-click checkouts

You can also customize the extensions for Magento 2.

5. Custom Functionality for Magento 2

Magento 2 Custom Functionality - Magento 2 migration checklist

The existing Magento 1 store may be using some custom code. You can use a data migration tool to move the required code to Magento 2.

A highly customized site may take longer to migrate. It is easier to build new customizations for your Magento 2 store.

Check if the custom code is redundant to migrate from Magento 1.

6. Data Migration Tool

Magento Data Migration Tool - Magento 2 migration checklist

Magento has an official Data Migration Tool. It automates the transfer of data from Magento 1 to Magento 2.

The Magento data migration tool operates in three modes:

  • Settings: Helps migrates configuration settings
  • Data: Bulk migrates primary data in the database
  • Delta transfers incremental data updates, added to Magento 1 storefront and Admin Panel.

The four essential steps of the data migration tool include:

  1. Installing the migration tool -You will require developer authentication keys. Retrieve them from your profile on Magento Marketplace.
    The data migration tool has to match the same Magento version. For example -for Magento version 2.2.0, use the Data Migration Tool version 2.2.0.

    You can learn how to Install the Data Migration Tool here.

  2. Configuring the data migration tool - You then configure the settings and scripts of your store. You can set the destination points for data transfer.

  3. Settings migration -It helps transfer system settings like payment, tax, shipping settings, and so on.

  4. Data migration -Transfer product lists and categories. It also moves order data and customer info.

7. Frontend Design

Frontend Design - Magento 2 migration checklist

Magento does not offer a standard tool to migrate themes and layouts. The frontend themes of Magento 1 may be incompatible with M2.

To move the M1 design manually, you must copy all HTML and CSS media.

We recommend updating the theme to access the new Magento 2 features.

You can purchase Magento 2 themes from Magento Marketplace. It also allows you to create a custom theme from scratch.

8. Testing and Synchronize Database

Testing Magento Database - Magento 2 migration checklist

Test your site to ensure everything runs smoothly after migration. You can use a test environment to check the following components:

  • Perform all custom actions on the store
  • Test the checkout and payment process
  • Review complex orders and shipping methods
  • Use the discounts, cross-sells, and other features
  • Check the extensions and new custom code
  • Internal linking and canonical URLs.
  • Review site design and SEO

Synchronize the database so no orders are left behind in migration.

9. Review the Site

Review Magento Site - Magento 2 migration checklist

Please review the site thoroughly before it goes live. You can put your Magento 1 store in maintenance mode.

Check the caching of the site and monitor the performance. You can start with Magento 2 cron jobs for the new site.

Troubleshoot the bugs you find during the review. After you test the site thoroughly, the website is ready for launch.

10. Magento 2 Go Live

Live Magento 2 - Magento 2 migration checklist

The last stage on the migration checklist is site launch. Your team will smoothly move the site to a live environment if everything looks good.

Check out the Magento Go Live Checklist to ensure your site is ready for launch.


Migrating to Magento 2 offers many security and performance improvements to merchants.

A highly customized store requires more expertise and planning.

Use the Magento migration checklist to get a clear outline of the process.

Learn more about the Magento platform on the MGT Commerce blog.

Nikita S.
Nikita S.
Lead Technical Writer

As a lead technical writer, Nikita S. is experienced in crafting well-researched articles that simplify complex information and promote technical communication. She has expertise in cloud computing and holds a specialization in SEO and digital marketing.

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