So for those that don’t know, the Magento Go Platform is being shut down February, 2015. This puts a ton of store owners in a dilemma as many have spent the time, effort and money to not only build their websites on Magento Go, but to build their backlinks and organic store rankings to particular pages on their websites. While it seems like 6 months is a long notice in reality, for someone running a store full time (or even part time), the idea they have to now move platforms and in a short period of time, is not a good one.
I am actually very surprised that eBay actually decided to do this as it is a huge inconvenience to move a shopping cart. They could have just done what Yahoo did, keep the stores going but not add any more features or functionality. The biggest worry I have, as PayPal and eBay concentrate on the enterprise customer, they may start freezing out the smaller shops which is why I am still hesitant to use Magento CE.
If you are a Magento Go store owner, here is what you need to do.
Backup and Download your Magento Go Store Details
First thing to do, is take a back up of your store. You will need to download:
- Product Listings
By keeping these in CSV format, we can eventually upload most of the data back into the cart of choice. And in fact if you move to another hosted solution it will even pull in your pictures making your transition that much easier. Most allow you to upload your customers into your new cart. The only issue you might have is order history as not all carts allow those to be uploaded.
Choosing your Shopping Cart to replace Magento Go
You have more options then ever to move your new store over. It is possible to move over to a standard Magento CE store but it is a lot more work since you will have to get hosting, SSL cert, and make all the updates to the cart for now on, everything Magento Go used to do for you. That being said, it is the most robust solution out there, but not the only one.
Figure out your needs
The first thing I tell people is to figure out what they need in their cart. The simplest list I give goes like this:
- Do you want self hosted or SAAS?
- How technical are you?
- How many products?
- How many SKU’s?
- How many options or option sets?
- How many categories and/or subcategories of products do you have?
- Do you need the ability to do subscription type business.
- Do you need to sell wholesale and retail? How much wholesale functionality do you need?
- Particular payment provider you need?
- US based or worldwide shipping?
- Need full time shipping quotes?
- Need MAP functionality (Minimum Advertised Price)?
- What about coupons and discount codes?
- Are you dropshipping? Need multi-warehouse functionality?
- How much of a third party eco-system do you want?
- Are you using a Mac or PC (yes, sometimes it makes a difference).
- Do you need high res photos or will standard res photos work just fine?
Once you answer those questions, you can then compare all the carts and see if they fit those requirements.
If you decide you want to do self hosted, I suggest taking a look at OpenCart or Prestashop. The both are very robust applications, with a large developer community and not as resource intensive as Magento meaning you can run it on cheaper hosting compared to Magento. The companies I suggest you take a look at for hosting for your ecommerce store are:
I use Veerotech and they are fantastic. Better quality servers then many others. I would not suggest using Bluehost or Hostgator which you will hear from a lot of people. Both are popular with marketers since they pay a lot of money for referrals. Get a company that spends money on servers, not marketing.
Most people I know don’t want to deal with the hassle of servers, updates and all the tech things. They want to run their businesses, not learn technology. There are some great hosted applications out there. Based on what you answered to the needs questions, you compare whether those carts have the functionality you need.
My four favorite carts to replace Magento Go are:
They all do things differently and if you want to watch my walk through videos, feel free to take a look. The pricing has changed on BigCommerce but still a good look at its capabilities.
I know someone is gonna mention woocommerce. I love wordpress, in fact this site is using wordpress, but I don’t like wordpress for ecommerce. I think it is weak compared to all the options above and then add in the security issues with wordpress and I would not suggest it as a replacement to Magento Go.
Need Help Deciding on a Shopping Cart?
If you need help deciding on a shopping cart, I offer a service where I will look at your requirements and suggest the best cart for you. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org with your requirements (based on my questions above) and I will get back to you with a suggestion.
Edit: BigCommerce is transitioning those accounts for free. Just found this out.