When Magento 1 End of Life was announced a couple of years ago, it kickstarted a widespread replatforming movement that’s still ongoing for many. With the recent announcement that Magento will end its support for the 1.x software this June – including all security patches and updates – it’s crucial that online retailers still operating on 1.x are on track for wrapping up the final stages of the migration process.
Replatforming isn’t an easy undertaking; there are plenty of points to consider and a number of risks to be mitigated – only by taking a methodical approach can ecommerce businesses remain secure and fully operational throughout. The main stumbling block will be continuing to deliver the stability, performance and flawless user experience (UX) your customers will expect from your site – despite the size and scale of back-end manoeuvres you’ll be implementing.
The final furlong
Chances are, with just a few months to go before support for Magento 1 ends, you’re already heading into the final straight of your replatforming programme. With your choice of platform (Magento 2 or Shopify, maybe) made and resources allocated, you’ve undoubtedly already evaluated the security, integrations, marketing and design elements that are essential to making sure the new platform meets all your needs.
So, how can you ensure that the migration itself not only goes without a hitch but also offers new opportunities for engaging more closely with your customers via a smooth-as-silk UX?
In our experience, the two factors that stand out as the ones most likely to derail the replatforming process – or at least to make it less impactful that it could be – are (1) failing to prioritise the UX and (2) viewing migration as an IT-only project. Only by putting customers front and centre of the migration and engaging teams across your organisation (as well as third-party providers) can you achieve optimal outcomes.
Testing, testing, testing
Ideally, you’ll have factored the testing process into your plans from the inception of your replatforming project. If you test early and test often, during staging and when you go live, you’ll know definitively that your new site is ready to face the rigours of real-world demand without trusting to luck. It’s worth monitoring performance on the legacy platform and again when you’ve migrated so you can accurately measure the impact of migration on performance.
It’s crucial not to consider testing as an optional extra – a wish-list item that you can indulge in if your budget will stretch that far. The replatforming project ought to deliver immediate business benefits, but don’t expect a sympathetic reception if customers who turn up expecting business-as-usual are frustrated by avoidable glitches. And, while analytics tools come in handy, they’re no substitute for the insights that accompany real-time web monitoring.
How thinkTribe can help maintain platform performance
- Testing site performance both pre and post migration enables thinkTribe to ensure the new platform can operate at capacity without adversely impacting the UX
- Tribe’s load-testing and performance-monitoring services employ real-life customer journeys to effectively simulate the customer perspective
- Regular testing will identify problems early in the development cycle, enabling your tech team to resolve issues ahead of platform migration
- Tribe’s in-house experts will provide proactive support with your migration at every stage of the process
- thinkTribe delivers fully managed, cloud-based testing and 24/7 monitoring designed to optimise web performance and enhance the UX
Replatforming success starts with thinkTribe
We’ve seen the way replatforming can transform online businesses – but we’ve also seen how technical glitches can sabotage the migration process, damaging the UX in the process. A comprehensive programme of testing will enable you to plan and execute the timely launch of a new platform that will delight customers and boost your brand.
You can read more about how to avoid platform migration mistakes and browse our platform migration checklist at the thinkTribe website. We’ve also compiled an ebook – based on our experience of working with some of the UK’s biggest brands over the last 15 years or so – containing lots of advice on how to reduce risk and sustain the UX during replatforming projects.