Last updated - April 27, 2023
Magento is a popular e-commerce platform that offers a range of features and functionalities to online businesses. However, as with any technology, Magento requires periodic updates and upgrades to ensure that it remains secure, reliable, and up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices. Upgrading your Magento store can offer a range of benefits, such as improved performance, enhanced functionality, and better security.
Understanding the Importance of Upgrading Your Magento Store
An outdated version of Magento can leave your store vulnerable to security threats, slow down its performance, and limit your ability to take advantage of new features and functionalities. In addition, running an outdated version of Magento can also result in compatibility issues with third-party extensions, integrations, and themes.
According to a survey conducted by MageReport, 56% of Magento stores use version 2.x, while 44% still use version 1.x.
Therefore, it is essential to keep your Magento store up-to-date with the latest version and security patches. This can help to ensure that your store remains secure, stable, and compatible with the latest technologies and best practices.
According to a survey by Forrester Consulting, 58% of companies using Magento plan to upgrade to the latest version.
In the next sections, we will discuss some of the common mistakes that businesses make when upgrading their Magento store and how to avoid them.
Ignoring Necessary System Requirements
A common mistake when upgrading a Magento store is to ignore the necessary system requirements. The new version of Magento may require different versions of PHP, MySQL, or other software. If your server does not meet the minimum requirements, you may encounter errors during the upgrade process or experience issues after the upgrade.
Before upgrading, it is important to check the system requirements for the new version of Magento and ensure that your server meets them. You can check the system requirements in the Magento documentation or by consulting with your hosting provider.
If your server does not meet the system requirements, you may need to upgrade your server or switch to a hosting provider that meets the requirements. Ignoring the necessary system requirements can lead to performance issues, security vulnerabilities, and other problems that can negatively impact your online store.
Failing to Create a Backup Before Upgrading
One of the most common mistakes that businesses make when upgrading their Magento store is failing to create a backup of their current site before starting the upgrade process. This can be a costly mistake, as any errors or issues that arise during the upgrade could result in lost data or even a complete site crash.
To avoid this mistake, it is essential to create a complete backup of your current Magento store before beginning the upgrade process. This backup should include all of your website files, databases, and other important data. You should also ensure that you have a plan in place for restoring your website in the event that something goes wrong during the upgrade.
Creating a backup of your website can be done manually or using a backup plugin. Many hosting providers also offer automatic backups, which can be scheduled to occur at regular intervals. Regardless of the method you choose, it is important to ensure that your backup is stored in a secure location, preferably on a separate server or offsite storage device. This will help to protect your data in the event of a disaster or other unexpected event.
Not Checking Compatibility with Current Extensions and Themes
When upgrading your Magento store, it is crucial to ensure that all of your current extensions and themes are compatible with the new version. Failing to check this compatibility can lead to significant issues, including site crashes, broken functionality, and other errors.
Before upgrading, it is essential to verify that all of your current extensions and themes have compatible versions for the new Magento version. Some extensions and themes may not be updated by their developers or may have compatibility issues, which means you may need to replace them with alternatives.
To avoid this mistake, make sure to review the Magento marketplace or your extension and theme developer’s website to check for compatibility with the new version. Also, it’s a good idea to test your website in a staging environment before upgrading your live site to ensure that all the extensions and themes are compatible with the new version.
By checking compatibility beforehand, you can avoid significant issues and ensure that your website runs smoothly after upgrading to the new Magento version.
Skipping Minor Upgrades
Skipping minor upgrades is a common mistake that many businesses make when upgrading their Magento store. It may seem like a minor issue, but skipping minor upgrades can have a significant impact on your store’s performance and functionality.
Minor upgrades, also known as patch upgrades, are released to address bugs, security vulnerabilities, and other issues that have been identified since the last major release. These upgrades are crucial for keeping your store secure, stable, and up-to-date.
Skipping minor upgrades can cause compatibility issues, performance problems, and even security vulnerabilities in your store. This can result in a poor user experience, lost revenue, and damage to your brand reputation.
To avoid this mistake, make sure to install all minor upgrades as soon as they become available. It’s also important to check the compatibility of your extensions and themes with the new version before upgrading.
By keeping your store up-to-date with all minor upgrades, you can ensure that your store runs smoothly, remains secure, and provides the best possible experience for your customers.
Not Allocating Enough Time for the Upgrade
When upgrading your Magento store, it’s essential to allocate enough time for the process. Upgrading is not a quick and simple task, and it can take longer than expected if you don’t plan accordingly. Failing to allocate enough time for the upgrade can result in rushed work, which can lead to errors and issues with your website.
It’s crucial to take into consideration the size of your website, the complexity of your customization, and the number of extensions you have installed. All these factors can impact the duration of the upgrade process. You should also consider any other events or marketing campaigns that might affect your website traffic and sales.
To ensure that you have enough time for the upgrade, it’s essential to create a detailed plan and schedule. This plan should include all the steps of the upgrade process, as well as any potential issues that might arise. It’s also a good idea to test the upgrade in a staging environment before deploying it to your live website.
Failing to allocate enough time for the upgrade can result in rushed work, errors, and issues with your website. It’s crucial to plan and schedule the upgrade carefully and to take into consideration the size and complexity of your website, as well as any other events that might affect your website traffic and sales.
Overlooking Post-Upgrade Testing
One common mistake that merchants make when upgrading their Magento store is not conducting thorough post-upgrade testing. This step is crucial because it helps ensure that your website is functioning correctly and that all features are working as intended.
After completing the upgrade, you should perform a series of tests to verify that everything is working correctly. This includes testing all of your website’s features, such as the checkout process, product pages, and search functionality. You should also test the website’s performance and make sure that it is loading quickly and without any errors.
If you skip post-upgrade testing, you run the risk of your website not working as intended, which can result in lost sales and a negative customer experience. It is important to take the time to thoroughly test your website after an upgrade to ensure that everything is working correctly and to address any issues that arise.
To avoid this mistake, make sure to set aside enough time for post-upgrade testing and have a plan in place for addressing any issues that are identified during testing. It is also helpful to have a team in place who can assist with testing and troubleshooting. By prioritizing post-upgrade testing, you can ensure that your website is functioning correctly and provide a positive experience for your customers.
Not Consulting with Experts When Needed
Upgrading a Magento store can be a complex process that requires technical expertise and knowledge of the Magento platform. One common mistake that merchants make when upgrading their Magento store is not consulting with experts when needed.
Consulting with experts, such as certified Magento developers or experienced Magento partners, can help ensure a successful upgrade process. These experts have the knowledge and experience to identify potential issues and provide solutions to avoid or resolve them.
By not consulting with experts, merchants risk encountering unexpected issues during the upgrade process, which can result in downtime, data loss, or other technical issues. These issues can be costly and time-consuming to resolve, impacting the business’s operations and bottom line.
Experts can also provide guidance on best practices for upgrading, such as selecting the appropriate upgrade method, identifying and resolving any compatibility issues with existing extensions and themes, and testing the upgraded site thoroughly before going live.
Consulting with experts when upgrading your Magento store can help ensure a smooth and successful process, minimize downtime and issues, and ensure that the upgraded store meets your business’s needs and objectives.
Forgetting to Update Customizations
When upgrading your Magento store, it’s crucial to ensure that your customizations are compatible with the new version. Failing to do so can result in losing your customizations and the need to start all over again.
If you have customized your Magento store, you should consider hiring a developer to help you upgrade your store. They can review your customizations and ensure that they are compatible with the new version of Magento.
Additionally, you may need to update any extensions or modules that you have installed to ensure compatibility with the new version of Magento. Some extensions may not be compatible with the new version of Magento, so you will need to look for an updated version or find a replacement.
Overlooking the need to update your customizations, you risk having your store malfunction or not function at all, losing data, or even experiencing security vulnerabilities. So, make sure to test your customizations and extensions before upgrading your Magento store.
Underestimating the Importance of User Training
When upgrading your Magento store, it’s essential to provide user training to ensure a smooth transition to the new version. Many store owners underestimate the importance of user training, assuming that their staff will figure it out on their own. However, this can lead to confusion and mistakes, which can result in decreased productivity and even lost revenue.
Training should cover not only the technical aspects of the new version but also any changes in workflows or processes. For example, if the upgrade includes a new order processing system, your staff needs to understand how it works and how it differs from the old system.
By providing proper user training, you can help your staff feel comfortable and confident with the new version of Magento, leading to better productivity, fewer mistakes, and happier customers. Additionally, proper training can help you maximize the benefits of the upgrade and ensure that you’re getting the most out of your investment.
Training can be done in a variety of ways, such as on-site training, online training, or video tutorials. Consider the best approach for your business and your staff’s learning style. Also, provide ongoing support and resources to ensure that your staff can continue to improve and adapt to the new version of Magento.
Upgrading your Magento store can be a complex process, but avoiding these common mistakes can help you minimize downtime, ensure a successful upgrade, and maximize the benefits of the new version. Remember to always create a backup, check compatibility with extensions and themes, follow necessary system requirements, allocate enough time for the upgrade, perform post-upgrade testing, consult with experts when needed, update customizations, and provide user training. By doing so, you can have a smooth and seamless upgrade that enhances your store’s performance, security, and functionality.