Our Magento expert at Liquify has been handling Magento to Shopify migration for 4 years. Our typical client is a multimillion-dollar brand that needs more stability in software and hosting.
Magento was once a popular platform for creating an eCommerce store. However, we have seen businesses struggle to adapt to their limitations and grow out of it. It is a complex platform that requires a lot more support than it offers. Also, manual updates can be costly. This could impact your sales and make it less attractive to businesses. A team is essential to self-hosting successful eCommerce shops. Magento is not a good choice if you don’t have a team of developers.
Regardless of the reason you moved to Shopify, it is important that you handle your Shopify to Magento migration properly.
One business nearly went bust due to a badly managed migration that saw their organic traffic plummet. Although we were able to help them resolve the SEO problems they had, it was an expensive and stressful six months. You need to take several steps to ensure that your Shopify migration is properly managed. Ideally, this should be done with the assistance of an experienced team of Shopify Plus experts.
For those who aren’t able to afford it or prefer to manage their own business, Shopify migration experts have provided a detailed explanation of the process and the steps to follow when you move from Magento to Shopify.
Magento to Shopify Migration Checklist
Depending on how big your store is, you can expect to take around 3 months to migrate and another month to monitor SEO positioning.
- Learn about the risks associated with a migration
- Create a development store
- Transfer your products and collections
- Dealing with Categories/Collections
- Use 301 redirects to ensure that all products and categories are correctly redirected.
- Move your pages
- Use 301 redirects to ensure that pages are correctly redirected.
- Migrate your blog content
- Use 301 redirects to ensure that all blog posts are correctly redirected.
- Spot testing with Google Search Console
- Full URL testing from XML sitemap and Search Console
- Give your store a unique look
- Migration of your customers is possible (at the end).
- Go live and make sure your old site is accessible on a subdomain
- Monitoring a migration
1. Learn about the risks associated with a migration
Migrations between platforms have inherent risks. The main risk is losing your Google SEO rank. Google search traffic can be a major asset to a site that has established customers. Typically, 30% to 70% of these customers come from Google organic (unpaid) searches.
If you don’t properly migrate Magento to Shopify and lose ranking, you risk losing sales. Unpaid search results have a higher ROI (return on investment) than any other marketing efforts. It doesn’t cost anything to win the sale.
Instead, redirect traffic to your new website. This will make the transition seamless and minimize any impact on your SEO ranking.
It is important to follow the steps in our Magento to Shopify Migration Checklist. However, if you have any questions, we recommend that you contact us so we can assist you with your migration.
Noting: Bad migrations can be costly. Sometimes the damage is irreparable. This is why it’s important to pay attention and do it correctly.
The key points to SEO:
Your content should be as similar as possible to that on Magento on the Shopify website.
- Redirect all using a 301 redirect
- Everything should be tested
- Double-check that everything has been redirected
- Double-check to ensure that everything has been redirected
2. Make a development store, install the required apps
First, create a development shop before you start the migration. We recommend you sign-up for a 14-day Shopify trial.
After you’ve finished setting up everything and created your development store, you’ll need to install the Excelify application. This will assist you in the migration from Magento to Shopify.
3. Migrate your products and collections/categories
Next, we’ll use Excelify to export our products from Magento and import them into Shopify.
This is a quick guide to how to move products from Magento to Shopify.
Log in to Magento to export products using the standard Magento CSV export option. This option is located in the admin panel under System – Import/Export – Export.
Rename the file so that it contains the words “Magento” and “Products.” For example Magento_products_20201201_12345.csv
The Excel app will allow you to upload the file. The file name should make it easy to recognize.
Enter your Magento store’s main domain name; for example, https://mystorename.com. This will initiate the migration of images from Magento to Shopify.
Optional: Select Dry Run from Options in Excelify to verify that everything is working properly. Make any necessary adjustments if necessary. Click the Import button to finish.
Check the Import Results file that was generated and download it. The file will contain 3 sheets, namely Products, Smart Collections, and Redirects.
Once you’ve checked the file and made it ready for import, upload it to Excel.
Shopify Smart Collections should contain all your Magento products.
Note that not all categories will automatically be transferred and not all products in Magento will be created exactly the same way. The complexity of your products will play a major role in this. You may need to hire a Shopify Developer. It is a good idea to test your import with a small number of products first. Also, make sure to keep backups of all exported products.
4. With 301 redirects, ensure that all products are correctly redirected
Excel will automatically add redirects to all products. All old URLs will now be redirected to the new URLs. These should be spot tested to make sure they are correct and that the old URLs map to the new.
Tip: Pay attention to URLs with special symbols. They can sometimes not copy correctly.
When you move products from Magento to Shopify, all URLs must change. Shopify’s URL structure is not the same as Magento’s. This can seen when you compare Shopify and Magento. All URLs that are older must redirects to the Shopify new URL structure.
5. Dealing with categories/collections and migration
Excel can also create Shopify collections based on Magento categories. This will assist you greatly with the migration. However, the app cannot do the following:
Shopify allows you to redirect category URLs from Magento to a new collection URL.
Migrate category text/images /Meta title/meta descriptions.
This will require you to manually do it and take care. If there are many categories that need updating, you can either copy and paste the content or manually add redirects to Shopify’s admin page.
Excel will create the category and display the products, but that’s all. The content and redirects must still be manually managed.
Redirect categories are the most important pages in SEO.
6. Use 301 redirects to ensure that all products and categories are correctly redirected.
After you have completed all the steps previously, we recommend that you perform a spot-test on your product URLs and category URLs. You must ensure that they work and that users directs to the right place on your new site.
Top Tip We find that spot testing with a second person is much more effective. On pages of high value, we usually spot-test using Google Search Console.
7. Move your pages
Excel is not supported for this step. Thus, the pages must create in Shopify, and the content from Magento copy over. Copy the content from Shopify to create pages. All pages must redirects using 301 redirects.
For example, if the page on Magento was on www.mystorename.com/contact you will need to add a redirect to www.mystorename.com/pages/contact, which is the new URL on Shopify.
Note: Customers may also use redirects if you don’t add them.
7. Use 301 redirects to ensure that pages are correctly redirected.
Always do a spot check after every step to make sure all pages copied and moved redirect to Shopify’s new pages/paths . Although it sounds tedious, it will help you identify any issues before you move on.
Drop us a message if you have any questions about how to redirect pages. We can offer a professional Magento to Shopify migration service. Although we don’t charge a lot, our team is highly skilled in this area. We have assisted multiple websites in migrations, including 10 sites worth over $10 million and one listed company. We are experts in what we do.
8. Migrate your blog content
The Excel app can also use to import blog content from Magento. If your blog host on WordPress, this will also work. This process works in the same way as when you imported products from Magento to Shopify.
First, export your blog content to Magento. Then format it manually into CSV format for Excel.
Note: Larger websites should be aware of the Excel cell character limit at 32,000 characters. This may mean that a blog post cannot fit within the limits and an error will occur. If you are having trouble understanding their documentation, you can find a solution as well as detailed instructions here.
After you have completed the import/export process, you will need manually to handle redirects.
Blog posts should map to the new URLs under Shopify’s URL structure.
Tip: Pay particular attention to older blogs that have a lot of content. Old blog content can often have a significant SEO value, so make sure you redirect everything carefully.
9. Use 301 redirects to ensure that all blog posts redirect.
Spot-test your blog posts to make sure they redirect to Shopify’s new path. If you find any errors, make sure to re-spot test the redirects.
10. Spot testing with Google Search Console
After you’re satisfied with your work and are confident that everything is functioning, you can run a spot check from Google Search Console to ensure everything works.
This is how you do it:
Choose the top 10 pages for traffic
Copy and paste the URLs to the end of Shopify.
You want to see the user “redirected” to the appropriate content on Shopify. If they are not redirect to the matching content on Shopify, you may have done something wrong. You need to return to determine what the problem is.
We can assist you in moving from Magento to Shopify if you are having trouble figuring out why.
11. Full URL testing from XML sitemap and Search Console
Input the URLs in a Google Sheet
Enter your password to the Shopify store
You will need to create a new column with my Shopify URL for Shopify URLs (you’ll need a concatenate function).
Once you have created a Google Sheet with all URLs mapped on the Shopify domain you can run a script that will test the page status code. You can check the status codes with multiple scripts. We also offer a custom one.
A script will display status codes for pages at the temporary Shopify URL when it runs. If all is well, the status codes should read “code 200”.
If you do not get the code 200, you may have missed content or redirects. This step will often require a Shopify developer.
12. Set up admin to create a store look and feel
The look and feel of your store are the next things you need to focus on. You should also ensure that everything works as it should on the back-end and front-end, in terms of functionality and user experience.
A majority of people hire Shopify developers/designers for this stage. An experienced Shopify expert can help you with the next steps, speeding up and making it easier. This checklist would take many hours to complete and will depend on the specific store. Each store is unique and requires different considerations during development.
13. Transfer your customers and orders at the end
You should now be almost ready to launch your Shopify store. You should have all of your content migrated and the backend setup.
It is an optional step but can help make your life easier, especially if there are many recurring customers.
Excel offers excellent instructions and tips if you decide to proceed with user and order migrating.
You can also use the cart2cart Magento-Shopify migration service, but Excelify is what we recommend.
Notify customers that customer passwords won’t migrate. They will need to create new passwords. This should not done before the live launch.
14. Go live and make sure your Magento site is accessible on a subdomain
You will need to make sure that your old administrator is still accessible from a subdomain once you are ready to go live.
You can keep the old website online for administrative purposes, and to resolve any issues that may arise around orders placed during the migration.
You should change your DNS to point at Shopify on the day of the transfer. You would normally first change your DNS to make the new site live, then you’d want to make the old store available on another subdomain.
This approach will minimize downtime. Make sure you check with your host beforehand to ensure that they are available for the changeover to Shopify. Customers will have the option to see either the old or new site for a time. You may change the file on your host to allow access to the old site admin.
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15. Monitoring a migration
Once you’ve completed your migration, your Shopify website is now live, you can do the following:
Make sure everything runs smoothly.
Set your old domain to a subdomain.
Submit sitemaps again to Google.
Google Positions Monitoring for up to 6 Weeks
Google Analytics should use to check URLs 404 for any potential redirects. All 404 URLs should redirect towards relevant content.