4 Minute Read

Software upgrades are usually exciting and that’s true of the latest from Magento. While this open-source eCommerce platform has always released timely software updates, starting with Magento Commerce 2.3 and subsequent releases, the Magento Software Lifecycle Policy has been updated. With this new policy, support for Magento 2.3 and lower will officially end on April 28, 2022. They will only support version 2.4.x, starting from that date.

Even though Magento 2.4 isn’t exactly new (it was released in July 2020), many stores are still using older versions of Magento. So, if your website is still running any version of Magento lower than 2.4.x, here’s everything you need to know about the discontinued support and what it means for your website. 

Ending support for a version of software sounds scary. And it is, especially for something like an eCommerce platform that people use to purchase products online. Here’s what end of software support for a Magento release means to you, without the technical jargon:

1. No More Updates

Magento will no longer be providing any updates for the obsolete version of its platform. The discontinued updates include all kinds of quality, security, and PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance changes. This means that users on unsupported versions won’t get any new features, and the overall security of your website and customer data could be at risk. 

2. Limited Magento Marketplace Extensions 

Extensions on the Magento Marketplace that are only compatible with the unsupported version of Magento will be removed. As time goes by, this list will only get longer. This means that it’s only a matter of time before you’ll be unable to use many of the Magento extensions that you need to run your store. Continuing to use the old version of Magento will block access to any new feature available. Limiting your ability to take advantage of crucial eCommerce solutions.

3. No More Support Tickets

The Magento team will no longer work on support tickets for unsupported versions of the Magento platform. This means less technical support when you need it most. And with the lack of updates, you will need it. 

4. Dev Docs Will Be Removed

When there’s an issue with a piece of software, developers look to the documentation to better understand what might be causing the problem. When support ends for the obsolete versions of Magento, this documentation will be removed from the website. This will become an issue when you need a developer to troubleshoot issues or implement new features on your website. 

How Can I Avoid End-of-Support Issues? 

End-of-support issues are a real concern for websites that are still running Magento 2.3.x or lower. For an established eCommerce store, the problems that you can run into with an unsupported Magento version should not be taken lightly. However, just like with anything else, you can ensure that things will play out in your favor by having a plan for upgrading Magento. 

While some third-party vendors will still provide the security support you need to run an eCommerce store on Magento 2.3.x or lower, upgrading is something that you’ll need to do eventually. Delaying the upgrade process is simply delaying the inevitable. And, the longer you wait, the riskier and more expensive running your Magento 2 store will become. 

So, what is the “plan” exactly if your website isn’t running Magento 2.4.x yet? It’s quite simple. You should work with a Magento Solution Partner to help you to develop an upgrade plan and make a smooth transition to the latest Magento version.

Why Should I Work With a Magento Solution Partner for My Magento Upgrade?

Working with a Magento Solution Partner has the same benefits as working with any other certified professional. You get the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you’re working with people who know what they're doing. You also eliminate the risk that comes from working with unlicensed professionals and/or a team of developers “learning on your dime”.

Just like you wouldn’t hire a hobbyist contractor to build your physical store, you shouldn’t hire Magento hobbyists to work on your eCommerce store. While the Magento store won’t collapse with the season’s first snow, many things can go horribly wrong. And that will cost you a lot of time and money, and could do irreversible damage to your brand reputation. Aside from that, an established eCommerce agency can help you do something crucial for long-term success. They can develop and execute a maintenance plan for your website which should include an ongoing Magento upgrade service. 

Website Maintenance for Magento.

Here are some of the things you should expect a good maintenance plan to cover:

Regular Security Patches-this will keep your website’s security up-to-date to ensure that you don’t have any vulnerabilities that could make your website susceptible to attacks.

Testing Browser Compatibility-keeping your website compatible with new browser releases requires regular testing and updates. This will help you provide your customers with the best possible experience, improve your overall conversion rates, and keep you in good standing with Google. 

SEO Performance Monitoring-a good eCommerce agency that offers a full service will always check your organic search rankings and overall performance to ensure that you don’t lose any of your valuable organic traffic. 

Backing Up Your Website-often, people only remember backups when something goes wrong. When you work with an eCommerce agency, they’ll regularly back up your website. These updates will become invaluable if something unexpected happens.

TL;DR

The days of running an eCommerce website with Magento 2.3.x or lower have come to an end. Working with an unsupported piece of software is costly and risky, especially for established eCommerce retailers. The time to upgrade Magento to the new version is now.

The longer you wait before you upgrade, the more challenges you’ll face. When you work with a certified Magento eCommerce agency that understands the platform and a certified Magento developer who knows what they’re doing, you can ensure a smooth transition to the latest version of Magento.