If you are a Magento GO customer, you probably already know that Magento Go will be shutting down on Feb. 1st, 2015. Many inquiries have come in asking about the different options that are available. Questions like: “Should we switch to Magento Community Edition?” Let’s review the options that are available.
“Should we continue using Magento?”
Magento Community Edition is open source software used to power your online store and can be downloaded for free. Developers can modify the core code and add features and functionality by installing extensions from the Magento Connect marketplace. The customization and optimizations are almost without limits.
For users already familiar with Magento Go, the transition to Magento Community will be easier than changing platforms altogether. With Magento CE, you will continue to enjoy the benefits of direct integration with eBay, which can potentially be a bit challenging on other platforms.
FREE EXTENSIONS & THEMES
Another reason that you will want to consider Magento Community is because you have access to Magento Connect – where you have free and premium extensions and themes at your fingertips.
HOW DO I SWITCH TO MAGENTO CE?
You will have to start out by choosing a new hosting provider and will be faced with making an important decision that will affect the entire future of your Magento Store. “Do I go with a cheapest hosting plan with no Magento optimization and minimal support, or do I go with a very costly managed plan with all the bells & whistles? The answer to this question is: neither.
THE CHEAPER PLANS
Spend your money wisely. The cheaper plans out there will have you wishing you never made the change to Magento CE. You will experience slow page load times, unreliable support, and you will most likely have to wait for answers to advanced Magento technical questions that may arise. Based on our research, any plan under $19 / month will have you pulling your hair out. I’ll get into the details within the next few paragraphs.
THE EXPENSIVE PLANS
Some hosting providers will claim that they are Magento experts and will charge you an arm and a leg for hosting. While doing your research, I’m sure you’ve run into companies that charge hundreds of dollars per month for “BASIC” Magento hosting. Make sure to read the “fine print” because you may also encounter advertisements for dedicated servers; when in fact they are shared. Depending on your site’s size and traffic pattern, you may not need the most expensive package.
WHAT YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW
You’ve probably researched enough of this online by now, so I’ll spare you from the long paragraphs of research and get to the facts in bullet points. You’re welcome.
1. Make sure your hosting Magento on SSD.
2. Get real 24/7/365 support. Do this by asking for a free trial account and test them.
3. Ask your host to migrate Magento GO to CE for you and ask them how long it will take. (This should be a dead give-away)
4. If your host is charging you for bandwidth or SKU count, run the other direction.
5. Find out if the host will provide you with a Dedicated Magento Specialist.
6. Will your plan be scalable? (What will happen once your store hits the big leagues?)
(Or what should you do during your “off-season”)
7. Does your hosting plan come with an SSL certificate? If not, you will pay more.
8. Contracts? Why do these companies want your money upfront? Some of them will even charge you your 1st month payment and once they have your credit card on file, they will send you a confusing email and charge you for the whole year the following month)
9. Are daily back ups included?
10. Is your host PCI compliant?
THE CHANGE OVER
After you have decided on the hosting provider, you will have to install Magento CE on your server. The next step will be to export your Magento GO files and import them to your new Magento CE installation. One thing to be aware of: Depending on how customized your Magento GO shop is, you may not be able to migrate the exact look and feel of the site. You will, however, have the ability to customize your Magento shop after the migration to CE almost without any limits.
eBoundHost has made the transition 100% pain free. We will take care of the migration for any Magento GO customer at no additional cost. Visit our Magento GO Migration Center to take advantage of our peace-of-mind special which includes 6 months of free hosting, optimizations and a whole list of give-aways to make your transition feel like it never happened.