Magento 1 to Magento 2 Migration

Published by Ashleigh Dunn on

Magento 2 is the redeveloped eCommerce platform by Magento, with a new database structure and architecture. Migrating from Magento 1 to Magento 2 can feel a bit daunting.

Magento 1 is currently said to be supported until June 2020 after this no new patches or security updates will be released, meaning that now is the perfect time to start planning a move on from Magento 1 to Magento 2 or an alternative platform. The key to any migration is planning and a move from Magrento 1 to Magento 2 is no different.

Planning Your Migration

When planning a migration there are three main elements to consider.


As the Magento 1 and Magento 2 database structures are different, you will need to use a tool to migrate the data across or this can be done manually (however this will be time consuming). Luckily there is a Magento recommended migration tool which takes care of this. Before using the tool it is important to take a backup of the database onto a development or staging site. Once you have set up a fresh install of the latest Magento release you are ready to migrate your data. The data migration tool takes care of migrating settings along with orders, customers, cms blocks and pages. It even has a handy delta mode to allow you to migrate incremental data once you have ran the full migration to allow you to keep orders and customers synched across each platform prior to go live.


Unfortunately due to the different structure used for Magento 2 migrating a theme isn’t possible, but a Magento developer should have no problem re-creating your theme on Magento 2. Alternatively you could take the opportunity to have your theme redesigned and go for a new look to match the updated platform, again your web developer would be able to advise on this. If neither of these is suitable there are a wide variety of premade themes you can purchase and install.


Again, there is no direct migration for modules between Magento 1 and Magento 2, so when planning a migration you will need to review all modules installed and find a Magneto 2 alternative, this is also a perfect time to decide if all of the modules on your Magento 1 site are used and useful, as we often find that customers don’t always use all of the modules.

Common Issues

We have found a number of common issues within Magento that can easily be resolved, some of the most common ones are detailed below, If you would like some advice on how we could help with any issues you are having please get in touch.


As Magento restructured the way in which it caches static files and CSS you will often find that changes which have been made are not appearing on the front end of your website. This can be resolved by either regenerating the static files or flushing the static files and CSS cache within Magento. You may also find that price changes which have been made are correct on the product view but not on the product list, again this is the way Magento caches these to improve speed and can be resolved by flushing the cache.

Admin panel is broken

This will usually be caused because the static files for the admin have not been generated correctly, to fix this you need to redeploy the static content.


The indexing in magento is great but can occasionally get caught up. This is common and can be resolved by running bin/magento indexer:reset before trying to reindex again. You might also find that indexing is timing out, you can resolve this by assigning a memory limit to the reindexing process. If you are finding that it is continuously happening after you keep increasing the limit you will need to investigate further as there may be corrupt data in the database causing this.

Unable to assign product images

The data migration tool is incredibly efficient at migrating data however occasionally the data doesn’t quite match up with the new database structure, leading to some interesting issues. We have found that during the migration of product images a corruption on a subset of products can stop the user assigning images. In our case this was caused by the gallery data being assigned in a different way removing the historical NULL gallery attribute in the catalog_product_entity_varchar table will resolve the issue.


Magento 2 removed the URL index which can cause quite the headache when you are trying to maintain the same URL structure from Magento 1. After using the data migration tool you will find that your old SEO friendly URLs aren’t being used for products. Don’t panic there is a handy module which can be used to regenerate these. The tool is also useful to use after importing product using Magmi as this bypass the functions magento uses to generate SEO friendly URLS when manually creating products.

Duplicate URLS

Keeping with the URL theme we have a number of clients that run multi-store Magento 2 websites and have the same category names across both which isn’t a problem on Magento 1. However, after the data migration, we had found clients are unable to update these categories to assign products due to a duplicate URL existing. Unfortunately as Magento 2 doesn’t take into account the store domain when checking for duplicates the only option is to amend one of the URLs to be unique, don’t forget to then add rewrite rules so Google knows the category has updated URL.

Sitemaps for a multistore

When generating sitemaps in Magento 2 we have found that instead of the Magento 1 structure of

It generates:

This means the first site’s sitemap will be replaced with the second one and the sitemap will not be accessible without a rewrite rule, as it needs to be inside the pub folder to be accessible. To resolve this you need to use the following paths for your sitemaps.

Then we just need to add a Magento rewrite to redirect /sitemap.xml to our new sitemap path.


It’s important that Magento 2 migration projects are well planned and properly tested. You may well be considering a redesign or new functionality to add while upgrading to Magento 2. Here at RAW Technologies, we have delivered a variety of migration projects.

Our experience of helping many SMEs through this migration, including on-site consultation, dev site access & testing, and effective project planning has resulted in highly successful results.

If you’re currently running Magento 1 give us a call on 0191 607 0750 to discuss your options.


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