Jul 15, 2011

Migrating from Magento Enterprise to Free Community Version of Magento.

In the last few days, it seems we’ve had a lot of phone calls from people wanting to downgrade from Magento’s Enterprise or Professional version to the free, community version.

Migrating from Magento Enterprise to Free Community Version of Magento

Migrating from Magento Enterprise to Free Community Version of Magento

While the Enterprise or Professional version of Magento’s eCommerce system gives you PCI compliance out-of-the-box, as well as a rewards / points system, there are other (sometimes less costly) ways to accomplish this. If you’re looking for a way to downgrade from Magento’s $12,000 per year Enterprise version to the free Community version of Magento, there are several steps that must be taken:

  • For best results, you’ll want to create a new base version of Magento, using the latest community code base.
  • You’ll want to install your existing design, as well as any Magento plugins or Magento extensions.  Usually this is easy to do.
  • You’ll need to migrate over your existing products (sometimes difficult if you have a lot of complex products with configurable variables and pricing).  Most of the time, though, it’s a lot more difficult than just moving tables back and forth.  There aren’t easy ways to do this, although there are a few free tools that can help speed it up.
  • You’ll also need to migrate over your existing orders and customers, so that you’ll be able to show order history and continuity.
  • If you’re moving to a new server, you’ll need to migrate over the SSL (https) security certificate, too.
  • You’ll need to remove the Magento Professional or Magento Enterprise code base from your system.
  • You’ll likely need to set up the site using a test URL / test domain.  You may want to use an Access Control Layer (ACL), to restrict access to the site.
  • You’ll probably want to put an robot.txt file in place, too, to make sure that search engines don’t index your test site.  This has happened, especially when you use an email client like Gmail to communicate and share links.  Google thinks it’s “discovered” a new site in these cases, and customers are frustrated when they try to visit it.  Or place an order, especially if you’re not going to fulfill it.
  • Make sure you move over all of the existing images and any existing pages.  You’ll want to make sure that you have 301 redirects in place so that you don’t lose search engine optimization positioning on any of the pages that have been indexed already by search engines (or if you have direct links to pages on the site).
  • Test, test and test again.  Try to test on as many platforms (Mac, PC, Linux, iPad, etc) as possible, in as many browsers as possible.
  • Before you make the migration happen, make sure you change your DNS records TTL (time to live) so that the DNS A records are not cached for more than 30 minutes.  This will make the transition more seamless.
  • Email is also an issue — if you’re moving over to a new server, make sure you can receive email at both the new and old servers.  If you’re just using the same server as before, this is less of an issue.
  • Once you push the new site live, you either should keep the existing site live for a few days (in which case make sure you check orders on the older site).  If you don’t want to do this, I recommend taking all of your files on the older site, and copying them into a /backup/ directory, so that if someone tries to access the old site (i.e. it’s cached), then it won’t appear for them.
  • Make sure you pause your Cost Per Click (CPC) advertising campaigns during the transition, and don’t turn it on until it’s well tested and DNS caching isn’t an issue.  Same thing goes for email campaigns, too.  Pause until everything is working and moved over.  There’s nothing worse than driving a lot of traffic to a Magento Commerce site, only to realize that you’ve wasted advertising money and people’s attention on a site that isn’t functioning 100%.

Summary for Migrating from Magento Enterprise to Free Community Version: You can save a lot of money by downgrading from Magento Enterprise ($12,000 per year) or Magento Professional ($4,000 per year) by moving to the community version.  But there are many steps (detailed above) that can help prevent your site from shutting down. Need help moving or migrating from Magento Professional or Magento Enterprise to Magento’s free community version?  We can help!  Call Customer Paradigm’s team of Magento Developers – 303.473.4400 or visit here: http://www.CustomerParadigm.com/Magento



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