An Overview of the Process of Magento Theme Migration Placeholder canvas
How Does Magento Theme Migration Work?

How Does Magento Theme Migration Work?

Published : 09th, March 2023 Edited : 05th, May 2023
  • Magento Theme Migration

Running an e-commerce store is difficult, as it requires constant up-gradation to cope with the ever-changing business market. When you run an e-commerce store, getting improved support and constant maintenance is crucial to warrant a smooth experience for your customers. 

People used to work with Magento 1 earlier, but it has become outdated. So, they need to upgrade it to Magento 2 to run their business faster than before. The primary reason for doing so is the lack of security patches and quality fixes.

There are mainly three stages for the Magento theme migration process. It involves theme customization, extension, and data migration. However, the Magento theme migration is one of the primary stages in the data migration process. If you do not migrate the theme properly, your e-commerce store will be in trouble.

Here, we will discuss why it is important to migrate to Magento 2 and its benefits. Additionally, we will share the entire Magento 2 migration process in detail using the Magento 2 data migration tool.

What Is Magento Theme Migration?

The Magento theme migration is the primary and most crucial step in the Magento 2 migration process. So, it requires experience and correct knowledge to transfer the migrated data effortlessly.

Magento 2 has developed new technologies and methodologies to deliver customers improved store and shopping experiences. 

However, the developers can take full advantage of the unique way of developing or migrating the Magento 2 theme. Make use of the automated migration tool to complete the process seamlessly.

However, it is worth noting that you cannot directly perform the Magento 2 theme migration, as Magento 1 and 2 both vary vastly on their structural level. 

Before the Magento 2 migration, you need to check whether the theme of Magento 1 is compatible with the theme of Magento 2. 

Otherwise, you can choose a pre-built ready-made Magento theme from the Magento marketplace.

Three Major Components Of the Magento Theme Migration

As mentioned before, three major components are involved in the Magento 2 migration. Below, we will mention these three to understand how beneficial they are.

  • Component 1. Data

With the help of the data migration tool of Magento 2, you can move data like products, order data, and promotions seamlessly and quickly. 

The e-commerce platform can effortlessly create a safe path to ignore dropping packages on the way. Apply the best practices to migrate the data using the data migration tool.

  • Component 2. Extensions

The extensions are pivotal in the Magento store’s new function expansion and feature provision. However, several development companies use these expansions to run mission-critical applications daily. You can also purchase or download the current version according to your choice from the marketplace.

  • Component 3. Theme Customization

Themes are one of the major and essential components of Magento 2. It also determines the store’s layout, format, and functionality to offer your customers a better experience at your store.

Customizing the theme will provide customers and users with a more personalized experience. In turn, it offers better performance as well. You can perform the customization with the help of the code migration toolkit.

Magento 2 migration

How To Prepare For the Magento Theme Migration?

The Magento 2 migration is essential and safe for making serious changes to your new store. When you migrate themes of Magento 1 to Magento 2, you must be very careful.

You must consider a few things, such as what sites you want to upgrade to the next level. This step-by-step guide will help you understand how to prepare for the Magento theme migration.

Step 1: Review the Extensions of the Current Site

The first step that you need to do is to ask yourself what extensions you wish to install. As mentioned before, extensions play a pivotal role in expanding functionality. But, you do not always need all extensions for Magento theme migration.

So, you have to identify whether you need them for your store. Also, remember to ask yourself what data from extensions you wish to upgrade for your site.

Step 2: Establish and Prepare For the Migration

The next step is to identify the software and hardware requirements of Magento 2 using topology. Then, you need to design a hardware system that matches your Magento 1 system.

After that, you have to install data migration tool and Magento 2. x along with all modules in the system. Then, adjust your customer data in the migration tool code if you don’t need to migrate data or convert the Magento customization during the migration.

Step 3: The Dry Run

Checking all the migration steps is crucial in the testing environment before you jump into the migration to the production environment. So, you must follow some steps during the migration testing process.

First, you must copy the Magento 1 store to the staging server. Then, start migrating the replicated store of Magento 1 to Magento 2. After that, run a thorough test of your new store.

Step 4: Begin With the Process of Migration

You first need to check whether the data migration tool has complete network access for connecting Magento 1 to Magento 2. Then, you must open all corresponding ports of the firewall.

After that, you must stop your activities in the Admin panel of Magento 1, except the order management. It is recommended to stop the cron jobs of Magento 1. Then, you need to migrate settings and the website using the data migration tool version.

Next, you must copy the media files manually from Magento 1 to Magento 2. Consider using a data migration tool to copy the data in bulk from Magento 1 to Magento 2. If some extensions contain data you wish to migrate, you must install the extensions you adapted for Magento 2.

But, if the extensions have different structures in the database of Magento 2, then you need to use the mapping files you got with the data migration tool.

Step 5: Make Necessary Data Changes

Often, you wish to have different sales rules, catalog structures, and CMS pages in the Magento store after the data migration. Hence, exercising caution is essential when manually working through the data changes. By doing so, you can minimize the chances of errors in incremental updates of the migration step.

Step 6: Update the Incremental Data

After the data migration, you have to capture all the data updates incrementally that you have already added to the store of Magento 1. Then, transfer all the current updates to Magento 2 store with the help of the delta migration.

After that, you need to begin with the incremental data migration. However, you can press the Ctrl + C to stop transferring the data updates. Also, test the Magento 2 site to identify issues as quickly as possible. If you find any issues, solve them and restart the process of incremental data migration.

Step 7: Now Go Alive

We have come to the final step where Magento 2 site is updated with Magento 1. Now, put the Magento 1 system in the mode of maintenance. 

Then, press the Ctrl + C in the data migration tool to stop incremental updates.

After that, begin the cron jobs of Magento 2. Make sure to verify the Magento 2 site for the last time. Then, change the load balancer, DNS, etc., to point to the new hardware. Now, the Magento 2 is ready to use. Now, you and your customers can resume the activities.

Magento Theme Migration: How To Choose Between Multiple Options?

How you proceed with the theme migration largely depends on multiple factors. Generally, it depends on your requirements. So, you first need to identify what you need for your store to start the Magento theme migration. You need to consider the following factors to find your favorite theme for your store.

  • Use A Similar Theme Template

If your customers are comfortable and happy with the existing theme, you might not wish to change the Magento 1 theme. In this case, you can use the same theme already in your Magento 1. You just need to ensure the theme is compatible with the Magento 2 version.

Generally, the merchants do not wish to change the customer experience by replacing the existing theme. You can do it, too, by replicating the Magento 1 theme to ensure your customers will get the same shopping experience as before.

The developers cannot transfer the Magento 1 theme to the Magento 2, so they require time to complete the entire process. However, it may take some money and time, but it will offer your customers the same experience as the Magento 1 theme. However, you can opt for this option to maintain the same consistency level.

  • Focus On Budget

You do not have to select the default Magento theme if you have a budget constraint. The good news is that multiple responsive and free Magento 2 themes are available on the market. So, you can select the theme according to your preferences.

However, you need to keep one thing in mind, most of the free Magento 2 themes have a simple layout and provide the users with limited functionality that you can use for site design. It is so because the more complicated feature your Magento 2 theme will have, the more you need to pay for building the theme.

However, selecting the correct theme according to your choice and requirements take some time. You also need to devote a significant amount of time to testing those themes to check whether they run effortlessly and offer hassle-free performance.

  • Customize the Magento Theme 

It is possible to change the look of your store by implementing a new, unique Magento 2 theme. 

However, you must work with the developers to convert your theme ideas into reality. When you develop a theme for your store from scratch, you have to include all functionalities that your store requires. Hence, you have to note down your ideas to customize your store’s theme.

When you have the visual description, it will be easy to know how your store will look with a specific theme in the future. But, keep in mind that customized themes require more budget, as you need to hire both back-end and front-end developers. So, there will be a delay in launching the Magento theme.

You can also take inspiration from online for replicating the same theme for your e-commerce store. It is a great option because the developers will take less time to make a clone theme with the same features and look as another website.

Advantages You Receive After the Magento Theme Migration

Some merchants still don’t think it is necessary to migrate Magento 1 to Magento 2. They often argue that they will customize the Magento theme with their stores. But, it is still recommended to migrate Magento 1 to Magento 2 for the following reasons.

  • Improved Security

You can fulfill all the requirements of web development with the help of this Magento 2 theme. It is possible because the main primary aim of this theme is to secure the details of the users. Additionally, it offers a safe checkout process as well.

  • High Scalability

As the Magento 2 theme offers better performance and security, it is highly scalable. It is straightforward to cache all the requests because the Magento 2 theme uses the Varnish cache. It is a significant HTTP accelerator technology.

  • Enhanced Performance

You cannot deny that Magento 2 has developed better functionalities than Magento 1. So, it is natural that Magento 2 will offer improved performance to run your e-commerce store.

  • Mobile-Friendliness

Nowadays, it is crucial to have a mobile-friendly website to attract more customers. Magento 1 cannot offer great performance on mobile devices. So, it is crucial to migrating it to Magento 2 as it uses PWA to deliver optimum smartphone performance.

  • Advanced Processing

You need to concentrate on reporting as it helps to make your business successful. In Magento admin, advanced reporting features offer valuable reports through a web interface. Moreover, it will offer actionable insights into products, customers, and orders to help you handle your store seamlessly.

Magento theme migration

How To Optimize the Magento Theme Options For Functional Improvement?

The Magento 2 is a feature-rich and powerful e-commerce platform you need to run your store better. It offers great website loading times but often becomes sluggish due to over-customization. However, we will share some effective tips to help you optimize the Magento 2 theme for better performance.

  • Minify the HTML Solution

A great way to speed up the Magento 2 theme is to make the smaller page size. You can do it by minifying the HTML solution. The Magento 2 theme supports website page minification. However, you can visit the store to turn the minify HTML on.

  • Avoid Loop-based Magento Model Loading

It is recommended not to load the Models of Magento in a loop as it drastically lowers the website’s speed. As the model load of the Magento 2 is very expensive, it generally takes a lot of time to load. Hence, you must check the theme files and custom code that consists of a model loop structure.

  • Merge CSS/JS And Minify

You will find a built-in feature in Magento 2 to minify JS and CSS. So, consider minifying the JS and CSS as it makes the website page weightless.

  • Avoid JS Bundling

The JS bundling is a unique feature that mainly groups the JS files to reduce the number of HTTP requests your web browser has to make for loading a page. It is good for the HTTP 1 version, but not for the HTTP version. So, you must avoid it to optimize the load time.

  • Image Optimization

You must keep your images as small as possible to speed up the load time. We know that it is crucial to keep the catalog pictures, but you can still do image optimization. The main three ways to do so are using multiple online tools, CDN, and the GooglePageSpeed module.

  • Keep A Smaller Number of Third-party Extensions

The third-party extensions can significantly impact the performance. Poor coding quality is one of the primary reasons for keeping a smaller number of third-party extensions. Also, consider disabling the installed plugins to measure the website page loading time.

  • Avoid Using CSS/JS Frameworks

When developing Magento 2 theme, it is best to ignore external front-end libraries. The third-party frameworks will make your website slow. Hence, it is better not to include third-party CSS to have a speedy site.

When Is the Right Time to Migrate The Magento Theme?

As Magento has already ended the support for Magento 1, it is time to migrate the theme and data to Magento 2. You can configure a data migration tool for data migration. It is crucial to migrating it as the updated versions will not be available in Magento 1.

Also, you will not get official support from Magento. So, try to migrate to Magento 2 as soon as possible to get advanced features and functionalities.

Also, read more about PSD to Drupal and Magento Conversion


Migrating Magento 1 to Magento 2 has become crucial to optimize your e-commerce store and website. If you are experienced and well-skilled, then you can perform the Magento theme migration. Otherwise, hire experienced and skilled developers to ensure safe migration and integration process.

If you are looking to migrate your theme, WeDoWebApps can help. We are a Magento migration company with a strong team and highly experienced developers who have successfully migrated 100’s Magento stores and theme. Partner with us today.