As the saying goes, nothing lasts forever, and this couldn’t be more accurate in the technology world. Earlier this year, Magento announced the upcoming “end of life” for Magento 1, and more recently the Adobe company announced the end of support for Magento Commerce 2.2.x. Support for Magento Open Source 2.2.x ended in September of 2019. Magento, built on a PHP framework, aligned the timing with the PHP 7.1 end of support.
PHP end of support is due to end November 30, 2019, with Magento 2.2.x ending December 31, 2019. Based on an email received earlier this year, Magento suggests upgrading your ecommerce store to the latest version to take advantage of the latest features and avoid security risks.
What to expect from Magento 2.3:
- Progressive web apps that give the ability to mimic a native app user experience
- Two-factor authentication for the admin panel
- Multi-source inventory (MSI) to manage multiple stock locations using real-time data
Your Top Questions (and Our Answers) About the End of Magento 2.2 Support
Why is Magento ending support for 2.2?
Magento released version 1.9 of the commerce platform in 2012 and continues to provide support for the outdated system (until the Magento 1 end of life in June 2020). For Magento Commerce 2, the Adobe company wants to avoid years of security patches and bug fixes for outdated systems.
“Magento wants to encourage everyone to keep up with the latest releases,” said Russell Albin, Technical Architect at Blue Acorn iCi and 4-time Magento 2 certified developer. By ending support, Magento all but requires merchants to upgrade their ecommerce store to ensure their site remains safe and compliant.
What are the risks if I don’t upgrade my Magento store?
On the Magento side, 2.2.x will no longer have security patches and all of the updates that come with 2.3. In other words, these merchants will be vulnerable to hackers. From 2.2 to 2.3, Magento made several fixes to prevent arbitrary code executions (the ability for someone to execute commands on a website that they don’t have access to), including:
- Access to a merchant’s Magento admin panel login if they had the right URL
- Cross-site scripting (attackers can inject code into a web page to perform a specific task)
On the PHP side, merchants that choose not to upgrade will be missing out on the performance benefits of PHP 7.2. PHP 7.2 runs 10 to 13% faster than 7.1, 20% faster than 7.0, and 250% faster than 5.6.
Are there any reasons why I should stay on an older Magento version?
“We’ve heard the argument that if you have a ton of customizations on your current Magento store, it would be cost-prohibitive to upgrade. However, your cost in fines [due to lack of compliance] will outweigh the cost of the upgrade in the long-run,” said Albin.
What’s the investment of a Magento upgrade?
The typical Magento upgrade takes two to eight weeks, depending on the number of customizations and unique integrations on your current Magento store. The time frame includes upgrading the platform, testing, and fixing bugs before launching. Waiting to upgrade after several versions are released could also affect the length of the project.
At Blue Acorn iCi, we suggest clients stay up to date with the latest versions of Magento. Albin added, “It’s up to Blue Acorn iCi to ensure our clients’ Magento stores remain secure and compliant. As part of our job, we forecast upgrades and work them into the roadmap.”
If you’re currently on Magento 1 and want to know more about what to expect from a Magento 2 upgrade, download Blue Acorn iCi’s Ultimate Magento 1 to Magento 2 Checklist here.
What next steps should I take to upgrade my Magento store?
Upgrading your Magento store is the perfect opportunity to audit your current instance, determine what’s relevant, and remove technical debt. Areas to audit:
- Admin users and server access
- Authentication rules (ACLs)
- Policies for permissions
- Integrations and modules
Keep in mind that upgrading doesn’t mean rebuilding your site from scratch. It’s a chance to analyze your current store, find out what’s working or not working, and make upgrades to optimize the customer experience. “Magento bakes in so many improvements in every release. When you don’t upgrade, you can’t take advantage of new features like page builder,” said Albin.
If you’d like to discuss upgrading your Magento store to the latest version, reach out to the Blue Acorn iCi team here.