If you are a Magento GO customer you have probably already heard of the upcoming shutdown of the service. We have had quite a few existing and prospective customers ask about the options they have if they are to continue using Magento by switching to Magento Community Edition, so we decided it would be a good idea to put it down in writing so that more people can consider the various opportunities.
Why continue using Magento?
Magento has emerged as the dominant platform for those interested in e-commerce. The opportunities it provides in terms of customization and optimization are nearly unlimited and it allows you to quickly build an effective and scalable business operation.
With the discontinuing of the hosted solution Magento GO, those using it will find it easier to continue working on Magento Community Edition, the open-source and free edition of the software, than to move to a new platform which has different interfaces and features in the least. Since you are already familiar with running a Magento-based shop, you'll be able to focus on rebuilding your store rather than learning how to use a completely new piece of software. Additionally, with Magento CE you will continue to enjoy direct integration with eBay, which is sometimes cumbersome on other shopping platforms and requires additional setup.
Moreover, there is another serious benefit of switching from Magento GO to the open-source version of the core software. With the Community Edition you get access to Magento Connect - a marketplace where thousands of free and premium extensions and themes are offered.
How to switch over to Magento CE?
Moving to Magento CE starts by choosing a new hosting provider and platform. All in all, the choice you face is between going with a fully-managed (yet restrained) pricey solution and a cheap unreliable hosting plan with no Magento customization and/or expertise. At SiteGround we have opted for the middle ground with the aim of providing a really powerful, yet completely affordable service. Our server infrastructure, combined with the special setup and additional Magento caching software (also known as the SuperCacher), allows Magento to run reliably even on our shared hosting plans.
After you have decided on the hosting provider, you have to get a fresh install of the software on your new hosting platform. Don’t worry – SiteGround will install Magento Community Edition for free and give you a completely unrestricted access, including FTP, database access, and a range of other useful goodies like email. That settled, you will then have the opportunity to export the important store data from the MagentGo platform and import it in the new Magento CE installation with your new host. You should be aware though, that the extent to which you will be able to migrate the exact look and feel of the shop, very much depends on the customizations you made and there are some cases in which full migration is not possible, no matter how much money you are ready to pay.
Ready to move? Check out our Magento Hosting page to explore all features and get started! We are available 24/7 to answer your questions and navigate you through the migration process.