After our previous migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2, things were chugging along smoothly. But after some time, NMWA began to encounter some compatibility issues with particular Magento extensions and the theme they were using.
After an in-depth discussion, we determined that if we were going to put a lot of work into re-theming the site, it would be worthwhile to move over to Shopify Plus.
Shopify Plus would allow the team at NMWA the ability to do things behind the scenes on the site that would have required development help on Magento 2.
We also wanted to provide them an opportunity to better communicate their brand through storytelling and imagery with a re-theme.
In migrating from Magento 2 to Shopify Plus there were a ton of moving parts, both for this project specifically, and in general, that we needed to consider.
We had a few goals for this re-platform project:
- Provide a comprehensive data migration plan to ensure data integrity with no unintentional loss of customer information, page, blog or other content. Every facet of data migration was planned in advance. We wanted to make this process as pain-free as possible for NMWA.
- Increase the stability of the website platform so as to require less maintenance going forward.
- Re-theme the site in a way that aligns with branding and design goals, as well as provide more opportunities for content marketing on the site.
- Determine the must-have features that needed to port over from the Magento 2 site to Shopify Plus, and create fewer app dependencies.
The Migration Plan
Challenge: Product data, as well as Customers, Order history and content dating back to 2013 needed to be migrated seamlessly to Shopify Plus
Solution: Create custom routines to migrate product data, including images, customers, order history, blog and other content
One of the trickiest parts of any replatforming project is porting data from one platform to the other. Typically the order histories on one platform are not a match to the other, as was the case in this project.
We have done multiple replatforming and rescue projects in the past to help store owners move customer and order data, so we knew what to keep in mind for this particular migration.
NMWA has order history going back to 2013, so it was crucial that all of this rich data moved over to Shopify Plus. It may sound simple, but there are many exceptions to consider such as orders that are tied to customers or products that don’t exist in the system any longer.
Product data needed to be exported from Magento 2, with all its legacy product attributes, mapped to the new Shopify values, and imported into Shopify. The migration also needed to be completed without negative impact to the production Magento system, which was still live during development of the new site.
We wrote custom routines for handling the export, mapping and re-import of blog content. There were more than 600 blog posts with images spanning 2 platforms and multiple formatting standards that needed to be moved to Shopify Plus. Magento-specific “shortcodes” and blocks had to be translated prior to export to ensure proper import. Manually moving this type of content could take months of work if the right migration plan isn’t in place.
Increase the Stability of the Platform
Challenge: Store owners had to rely on Command C for infrastructure management, routine maintenance and for making changes to the site on Magento 2
Solution: Leverage Shopify Plus’s infrastructure and cms tools to make it feasible for store administrators to make changes on their own
Another major goal of this project was to increase the stability and independence of the platform. One of the common pain points with Magento is that it often requires routine maintenance of infrastructure and software. This means a small team may need to hire an outside firm (such as Command C) or bring someone on internally.
With Shopify Plus and the intentionality of our build, this need for ongoing maintenance was minimized. Instead time and resources are redirected at developing interesting features and/or site content.
Shopify Plus’s platform also made it easier for NMWA’s team to make changes as site administrators, something that was more complex on Magento 2.