May 4, 2023   ~ 16 min read

Magento to Shopify Migration: Pros & Cons.

Shopify homepage on mobile

Considering the complexities involved in migrating from open-source and PHP-based ecommerce platforms, it is crucial to have a flexible migration plan when moving from Magento to Shopify. With that in mind, we've put together a guide on migrating seamlessly from Magento to Shopify without losing data and compromising your SEO performance.

Table of Contents

  1. Why choose Shopify over Magento for ecommerce

  2. How to migrate from Magento to Shopify

  3. Key considerations for migrating from Magento to Shopify

  4. Pre-migration steps to prepare for Magento to Shopify migration

  5. Steps to successfully migrate from Magento to Shopify

  6. Processes involved in migrating from Magento to Shopify

  7. Post-migration steps to ensure a smooth Magento to Shopify transition

1. Why choose Shopify over Magento for ecommerce

Pricing and flexibility are the two most significant factors that could probably put Shopify ahead of Magento.

Hosting development:

Merchants who opt for Magento Open Source and Magento On-Prem must set up their hosting and bear server maintenance costs. This can significantly increase hosting expenses, mainly when traffic volume and website complexity are considered.

Additional development cost:

Magento releases new versions every quarter, and security patches are frequently released to ensure a secure environment. However, implementing these updates can be a monthly financial burden for open-source users. Moreover, there is a risk of losing version control with the updates, leading to further customization fixes and increased development costs.

Backend control:

Working with the backend of Magento, which is based on PHP, can be quite challenging, and non-technical users may struggle with customization and development.

On the other hand, Shopify is a flexible, affordable, and scalable option for building an online store. With Shopify, there is no burden of hosting, expensive security patches or upgrades, and store development. Switching to Shopify can be an excellent way to manage a growing ecommerce business.

2. How to migrate from Magento to Shopify?

Effective implementation planning is critical in determining the safe migration from Magento to Shopify before commencing the migration project. There are three essential methods to migrate from Magento to Shopify:

1. Manual migration to move to Shopify

Manual migration involves exporting and importing data between a source store and a Target store, which requires intense care and insight to avoid mistakes. It involves exporting data to CSV or Excel files from Magento's source store and importing it to the target store, Shopify. It is crucial to compare the two database structures and ensure that the CSV files you import match the CSV file format on Shopify. This process can be time-consuming and frustrating, especially when dealing with a large amount of data.

2. Automated migration with Shopify apps

The Shopify App Store offers several automated migration tools that promise faster and more seamless data migration. While these tools can speed up the process, they do not provide a complete solution. Relying solely on automated processes poses security risks and can lead to omitting crucial data. Combining automated tools with manual effort and expert guidance is essential for a successful migration.

3. Hire technical assistance

Hiring a certified Shopify agency is the best option for a successful migration. Shopify experts can develop a comprehensive implementation plan and handle technical details such as customization, integration, SEO performance, and post-migration testing and compatibility. With the support of a certified agency, merchants can confidently focus on growing their business while the migration engineer handles the technical details.

3. Key considerations for migrating from Magento to Shopify

Platform migration involves more than just transferring data. It also requires working with other variables, which is significant for making the store’s UX/UI compatible with user flexibility and improving search results and user experience.

1. 301 Redirect mapping - keeping your SEO intact

When transitioning from Magento to Shopify, ensuring customer interaction on the new site is not negatively impacted is crucial. This requires careful mapping and setting up of 301 redirects. However, this can be a complicated process, which is why it is recommended to hire a Shopify 301 Redirects Management team that is well-versed in this area to check old URLs, offsite links, and backlinks of products, catalog, and the webstore and redirect them to the relevant pages on the new site. This helps customers land on the correct page, preventing the frustration of being redirected to the 404 error page.

2. Migrate images to maintain current traffic

High-quality images are crucial in maintaining SEO rankings and driving future conversions. Whether it's product images or collection visuals, they contribute to the overall user experience. To achieve the desired results on Shopify, it's essential to ensure the alt data is matched and 301 redirects are in place.

3. Keep old content relevant

Updating old content, such as blogs, products, and social media posts, can significantly improve your website's organic search rankings. By properly maintaining the tags of your old content on Shopify, you can ensure that your website retains its high rankings.

4. Review integrations on the source store

When setting up a new store, it's important to note that the third-party integrations you may have used in the past may not be compatible with your new platform. Take the time to review the available apps in the Shopify App Store and determine which ones are necessary for automating and streamlining your processes.

4. Pre-migration steps to prepare for Magento to Shopify migration

Before migrating to Shopify, it is essential to familiarize yourself with several crucial factors that can make this intimidating process much smoother.

Use a free trial to get familiar with Shopify.

Understanding how Shopify's backend operates is crucial in preparing for migration processes. Shopify's free trial is a great option to familiarize yourself with its features and modules and boost your confidence in executing the necessary procedures.

What Magento features do you want to implement in your new store?

When setting up a new store on Magento, carefully analyzing which features will best accommodate your business needs is essential. For instance, if you require more than three product options, you can explore third-party apps for Production Options available on the Shopify App Store that meet your specific requirements. Reviewing your technology stack, customization needs, and support options with Praella Shopify experts is vital to ensure a seamless and successful transition to your new platform.


Recent Migration Example

Our team has completed numerous Magento to Shopify migration projects, and our most recent work for Waxing Poetic, an online handcrafted jewelry store based in California, was no exception. Waxing Poetic promotes sustainable fashion by utilizing materials such as silver and brass. Their extensive collection of stamped and curved jewelry pieces has garnered a loyal following of customers from California and Malaysia.

Their collection includes a variety of pendants, charms, and bracelets, as well as custom jewelry pieces. However, their online store ran on Magento 1, which could no longer provide optimal website performance. As a result, they decided to migrate to Shopify.

Our team worked diligently to ensure a seamless transition, and we are pleased to report that the migration brought the expected results for our client. Waxing Poetic can now offer its customers a faster and more efficient online shopping experience, which is essential in today's competitive ecommerce landscape. We are proud to have played a role in helping Waxing Poetic achieve its goals and look forward to continuing to provide exceptional service to our clients.

They wanted to achieve the following:

  • Better user experience with product options

  • Improved site performance

  • Reduced maintenance costs

Our team successfully facilitated the seamless migration of all their products from Magento to Shopify. We overcame challenges by,

  • Offering improved functionalities with Product Options to appropriately display each attribute- color, size, price, and model.

  • Configuring their theme with the Shopify standards.

  • Integrating necessary apps.

Waxing Poetic has significantly improved its site performance thanks to the scalability and high performance of the Shopify platform, coupled with the expert migration support provided by HulkApps. This has enabled them to handle significant traffic influx during peak season sales, ensuring a seamless shopping experience for their customers.

But that's not all. Through visually mesmerizing product displays, Waxing Poetic has successfully reimagined its brand story, connecting with its audiences on a deeper level. This has helped them to stand out in a crowded market and establish themselves as a leader in their industry.

  • 27.26% Increase in Site Sessions

  • 2.32% Website Bounce Rate

  • 31.59% Increase in Transactions

  • 3.14% Increase in Ecommerce Conversion Rate

  • 38.21% Increase in Revenue

  • 5.29% Increase in Avg. Order Value

Want to have complete Magento to Shopify migration support? Or Need comprehensive theme customization and integration services?

Get in Touch

5. Steps to successfully migrate from Magento to Shopify

It's time to tackle the most crucial migration steps from Magento to Shopify. Each stage is critical and can be nerve-wracking. However, the process can be easy and painless with technical migration support. Let's take a closer look at how the process should begin.

Step 1. Get your Magento store ready

There are three critical steps to getting your Magento store ready:

1. Create a backup of the Magento store

In data management, it's always better to stay on the side of caution. Taking a backup of your legacy store is a crucial step in ensuring that your data is retrievable and reusable in the event of accidental loss or corruption. It's important to note that you should always take the latest version of your data to ensure you have the most up-to-date information. Magento provides a simple and efficient way to back up your data through its backend. There are three methods available to you:

  • System Backup allows you to take a complete backup of your data.

  • Database and Media Backup works for specific databases and media folders.

  • Database Backup allows backup for databases only.

2. Magento data analysis

Perform a comprehensive inventory audit on Magento. Review the Product Name, Product Details, Customer Name, Passwords, and other vital information, to determine which data is necessary and which can be excluded. This process will enable you to identify discrepancies and ensure your inventory records are accurate and up-to-date.

Step 2. Prepare your Shopify store

To ensure your Shopify store is optimized for success, it's crucial to configure all the necessary settings. This includes everything from storefront design to app integrations. As your target store, it's essential to have everything in place and ready to go.

1. Create a Shopify account.

Once you've had a chance to explore Shopify's storefront functionality through its free trial, it's time to select a plan that suits your business needs. Several options include Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify. Additionally, there are plans for Shopify Plus and Shopify Lite that may be worth considering.

To ensure your new store is set up for success, it's important to take care of key details like your About Us page and policies.

Another critical step is correctly implementing URL redirects and protocols like HTTP and HTTPS. This ensures your website is secure and visitors can easily find the content they want.

2. Choose a theme

Shopify’s default theme, Dawn, is accessible to all users. However, if you prefer a more personalized look, you can select from a range of paid themes. These themes can be customized to meet the OS 2.0 standards after migration. This will help you maintain compatibility and ensure your online store runs smoothly.

3. Get app integrations

Exploring additional applications may be necessary to enhance your online store's functionality. Browsing through Shopify's app store, you can quickly discover comparable applications to those you have previously utilized on Magento.

Step 3. What data to migrate from Magento to Shopify?

This stage involves determining the specific data that needs to be migrated from Magento to Shopify. To simplify this process, you can enlist the services of a Technical Shopify migration partner who can expertly map out the data for you. It is important to note that certain data pieces are critical and must be migrated from Magento to Shopify.

These include:

  • Products

    • Name, SKU, Status

    • Variants

    • Meta title, meta descriptions

    • Prices

    • Product images, etc.

  • Customer details

    • First name, last name, email, newsletter

    • Shipping address, billing address

  • Historical orders

    • Order date, order status

    • Quantity, discounts, total price, shipping price

    • Customer address

  • Product reviews

  • Store credits

  • Pages (About Us, Contact, Blogs)

Step 4. Get an import app

If you're looking to transfer your data from Magento to Shopify, a few options are available. One such option is to import apps from the Shopify App Store, such as Cart2Cart and LitExtension. However, if you're looking for a more comprehensive solution, you may want to consider hiring a Shopify agency to handle the migration work for you. Our team of migration experts is well-equipped to handle any type of migration, whether a small or complex project.

Step 5. Export data from Magento

Export data from Magento in CSV or XML file. Go to the Magento admin, and go to the path the following way:

  1. System > Data Transfer > Export

  2. Select your Entity Type from the Export Settings.

  3. Entity Types are Products, Customers' Main Files, or Customer Addresses. Remember, to export each entity, and you need to repeat each process.

  4. For manual Magento to Shopify migration, choose CSV files.

  5. Choose an XML file if you use the ‘Import Store’ app.

  6. If you want to migrate to Shopify Plus, use the ‘Transporter’ app.

Step 6. Migrate your store data to Shopify

At this point, you should have already prepared your data for importing into Shopify. To ensure a successful import, follow the steps outlined below. These guidelines will help you complete the process accurately and efficiently.

  1. From the Shopify admin, click ‘Apps’ > Importer Store

  2. Select Magento from the drop-down menu

  3. Look for ‘Upload Files.’ Export files by clicking ‘Add File.’

  4. Choose Magento File you have already exported

  5. Click ‘Continue import’ and import

You can complete these steps manually or hire a Shopify development agency to assist you. Regardless of your choice, following these guidelines will help ensure a successful import and a smooth transition to the Shopify platform.

Step 7. Review imported data

We highly recommend reviewing your imported data on Shopify to ensure a smooth migration experience and avoid any potential errors which might complicate your migration process.

Data that needs minor changes:

If the imported data requires minor modifications, it is recommended to edit it manually. To do so, you can simply navigate to the "View Items" section on the import summary and make the necessary adjustments.

Product variants did not import:

If you missed any production variations, such as size, weight, or color, review the product specifications thoroughly and make necessary adjustments to the data.

Products without dimensions:

You can simply add product dimensions in Shopify using the product description field. However, it is important to note that additional errors may require manual review and correction of the data.

Step 8. Customize your store

Once you have chosen your preferred theme, it's time to customize your store. To ensure that your store is set up and all customized correctly, it is highly recommended that you seek assistance from a Shopify development team. An expert team can guide you through the customization process and help you set up your store. Once the migration is complete, follow the steps below to ensure your store remains operational and running smoothly.

1. Domain Integration

Congratulations on completing your store! Now, it's time to integrate your domain with your current store. If you already have a domain name, you can easily connect it to your Shopify store. However, you can purchase a reputable domain name provider to change your name.

So If you’re purchasing from Shopify,

  • Make the purchase.

  • Enable auto-renewal to prevent accidental expirations.

  • Set your Shopify domain as your primary domain so people can find it through search and social media.

  • Set up email forwarding and send yourself some test emails to ensure you never miss a customer’s query.

If you’re purchasing through a third-party provider,

  • Make the purchase

  • Follow Shopify’s instructions for custom domains

  • Claim your Shopify domain

  • Follow steps 3 and 4 from above (buying from Shopify)

If you already own a domain name,

  • Click to connect to an existing domain name

  • Select your provider

  • Verify connection

2. Set up shipping

In the world of ecommerce, shipping is a crucial aspect of the process that cannot be overlooked. Establishing accurate shipping rates and methods is imperative to avoid overcharging or requesting additional funds when shipping the product.

A great thing about Shopify is that you can disable the shipping feature if you sell digital products or services. This will ensure your customers are not confused or misled by unnecessary shipping options.

Here’s how to properly set up your shipping:

  • Pick the shipping strategy that works best for your business

  • Decide whether you’ll ship items yourself or use a third party through fulfillment services

  • Add your shipping address for accurate shipping rates based on your location

  • Create shipping zones — and shipping rates per zone — so that you can ship worldwide

  • If you’re using carrier-calculated shipping rates, configure your shipment dimensions

3. Tax setup

Tax is crucial to any store, especially in today's legal landscape. It is important to note that sales taxes can vary depending on your location and the products you sell. Therefore, keeping accurate records of your taxes and staying up-to-date with the rules and regulations surrounding sales taxes is essential.

4. Set up a Payment provider.

Setting up a payment provider is essential to receive payments from your customers. Shopify offers a plethora of payment options to choose from, making it easier for you to receive payments from your customers.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Choose a payment provider from Shopify or a supported third-party

  • Enable Shopify Payments or a third-party payment provider

  • Decide how you want to capture and authorize payments

5. Test a transaction

Now that you are all set and done do some testing and check what details are going in and coming out so you can always deal with your customers better! Shopify provides a test transaction gateway as well.

You may try the following:

  • Completing a successful and failed transaction

  • Refunding and canceling an order

  • Fulfilling or partially fulfilling an order

  • Achieving a successful order

6. Processes involved in migrating from Magento to Shopify

  • Configure Basic Administrative Settings

  • Take Backup of Magento Store

  • Install the App To Import Data Into Shopify

  • Import Magento Store Data to Shopify

  • Audit Imported Data

  • Organize products

  • Redesign Your Website With Shopify Themes

  • Set Up Domain (Buy/Add)

  • Set Up Shipping Apps

  • Configure Taxes

  • Set Up a Payment Provider & Payment Processing Apps

  • Set-Up & Test Checkout Process

  • Set Up Informational Pages like Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms & Conditions)

  • Configure Third Party Sites, API, and Services Integration

  • Test SEO Settings: Domain, URL, and Metadata

  • Implement Social Media Content and Integration

  • Set Up Data and Reporting Business Rules

7. Post-migration steps to ensure a smooth Magento to Shopify transition

Once your Magento to Shopify migration processes have been completed, testing your store’s functionality is crucial to ensure that your store is fully operational.

Make sure to:

  • Test issues on the new store

  • URL redirects or navigation links function properly

  • Check your storefront end

Invite customers to reactive accounts

Send newsletters to your customers asking them to share their experience with your new store. In addition, make sure you send them an invitation link to reactivate their accounts and continue shopping with you. This will ensure that they are aware of the new store and can easily access it without any hassle.


So, with all the steps and tasks mentioned, we made sure to clear each point so that you have no issues with the most user-friendly and helpful platform. Still, if you get stuck, feel free to contact us.

It's important to note that no migration is free of challenges and may require external guidance. Fortunately, our Shopify migration service is designed to make data transferring across various shopping carts as seamless and trouble-free as possible. Our team is dedicated to providing the support you need to ensure a successful migration.

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