Nicolas Breedlove is an entrepreneur and our long-term client and partner who sells equipment for playgrounds and various outdoor amenities via two online stores. One of them - www.aaastateofplay.com - became the subject of migration to Magento 2 and a lot of experiments (as it was then revealed).
OUR GOAL AND HOW IT ALL STARTED
Our development adventures started in 2016, when the Magento 2.1 version was released. Nicolas, being a progressive store owner, decided to move his store from Magento 1 to Magento 2. And we started working on the project in March, 2016. That was our first Magento migration experience, and the most memorable one.
The new system of Magento 2 was quite complicated, some simple tasks automatically became harder and took a lot longer than expected. A lot of work had to be done manually.
Are you interested to know what issues we have faced? Then read further.
- A compilation system appeared as a tricky issue, because of the different database structures.
- There were no helpful ready-made tools to proceed the migration of the database at the time, we have done a lot of things manually.
- Issues with link generators and SEO.
- After we migrated the website from Magento 1 to Magento 2 it appeared that Magento 2 had absolutely different theme files / templates from the previous version. Which is more, the Magento 1 theme was a custom-made one.
- Most plugin developers were not ready for the new Magento, their products had a lot of critical bugs at the early stages. And their numbers were few. E.g., the plugin interaction with Magento has changed, and we had to customize plugins significantly.
Due to the lack of plugins and their poor quality, we had to develop custom functionality. Such as:
- scripts for transferring static CMS blocks and pages,
- a unique “quote request” check-out that was adapted to the new version,
- and many other minor features.
- Regular updates of Magento versions required to fix new unexpected bugs in Magento, because every new version differed significantly from the previous one. E.g., we have found a bug that prevented us from adding products, editing attributes and SEO-friendly URLs.
- An Advanced Options Plugin for Magento 2 was unable to migrate options and dependencies of these options. And we had to wait until the plugins' developers adapted the plugin for the new Magento.
- The checkout and product options loaded us with work constantly, as the commercial plugins were not finished and required fixes with every new Magento update.
- Magento needs to have a good server with special settings, and we had to change it for the Magento 2 website.
Of course, problem solving was not the only thing we made during this migration. We have also made a responsive design for the website, added new features and pages, and revamped the website style.
Yes, we have made mistakes and admit it. The most important mistake was that we didn’t wait for a couple of years to migrate the website to a more stable version. Until 2018 Magento 2 was a “raw material”. The same had to be made with plugins - it would be better to wait until developers fix bugs by themselves. But we had to advance. We made our job, and we are happy to have finished this tough migration despite all the challenges.
The large eCommerce online store is up and running on Magento 2, which is safer and more up to date. The website performs better, has more catalog page views per hour, its database is improved, the checkout process is optimized and simplified, the admin panel is easier to use, payment gateways are more secure, data storage is safer, and mobile friendliness is on a high level.
Konstantin Davydov, Sergey Pischanetskiy, Dmitry Arbuzov, Sergey Borodich - front-end HTML / CSS / JS responsive coding, theme development
Alexey Kasimtsev - hosting, security issues
Anatoly Grigoryan, Olga Korzhavina - Project Management
Yury Davydov - legal support
You can meet us at our site.