Thinking of WooCommerce as the potential new platform for your eCommerce biz?
You’re along the right path.
WooCommerce and WordPress offer the foundation for a very flexible and scalable eCommerce system; no wonder WooCommerce powers nearly 30% of all online stores!
It is the most popular plugin on the internet, used by 22% of the top 1 million eCommerce websites.
That’s social proof for you!
So, now that you’ve decided to migrate to WooCommerce, let’s see how you actually go about doing it!
How to Migrate to WooCommerce – the 3 Paths of Destiny
There are three ways in which you can migrate your site to WooCommerce.
- Migrating all your data manually
- Using a migration tool
- Hiring an expert WooCommerce developer to migrate your website for you
Each of these methods has its own advantages and disadvantages, which we shall see presently. However, I’ll say this upfront, I personally prefer migrating with a developer, so that the risk of data loss during WooCommerce migration is minimized.
1. Migrating all your data manually
When we say manual migration, we mean that you literally export all your data – including products, orders, users, their payment information, etc. from your existing site and import it on your WooCommerce setup.
WooCommerce has a default product CSV importer that makes it quite easy for importing your products, provided all data has been mapped correctly.
The process is pretty straightforward on paper.
- Export all your data from the platform you are leaving. Create separate CSV files for Products, Orders, and Users.
- Go to WooCommerce > Products.
- Select Import. This is the native WooCommerce Product Importer.
- Choose the file you want to import and click Continue.
- Make sure that all your data is mapped correctly, as per the WooCommerce format. This part is the most tricky. WooCommerce tries to automatically map the fields from the CSV file to WooCommerce’s native ones, but you might need to make a few changes in the Column Mapping if required.
- Run the importer and complete the process.
- Now, similarly, migrate the Orders and Users.
Now, while this sounds quite simple, the process of column mapping can be quite difficult, if you don’t know what you are doing. Even DIY WordPress experts who have years of experience in the field sometimes end up overlooking a field in this process, which messes up the entire migration. I would not recommend manual migration to novice WooCommerce users and caution even professionals to tread carefully.
2. Using a Migration Tool
There are several migration tools that you can use to successfully migrate all your data to WooCommerce. Some of the most popular ones include:
The way these tools work, they have a default migration protocol that transfers your users, products, and orders from your old website to your new one. The main advantage here is that your existing store keeps running during this migration and there is no site downtime, i.e. you can continue to receive new orders even as you are importing the old ones from your store.
The process is quite similar to migrating your products manually;
- Link the Carts on your old store to the Carts on your new store.
- Install the additional Connection Bridge on WordPress, manually or automatically and connect your cart
- Select all the data you want to migrate to the new site and map it to the appropriate WooCommerce fields
- Launch the migration and wait for it to complete successfully
The disadvantage here is that these tools are usually a one-fits-all kind of a solution, with no consideration for the unique requirements of your website. Most WooCommerce migration plugins have a standard migration process, billed by the number of orders or products you might have. While this is a feasible solution for smaller stores, it can get expensive really quickly with larger e-stores with thousands of products and product variations.
Which brings us to the third method…
3. Hiring a WooCommerce Expert for your WooCommerce Migration
Migrating manually or even using a migration tool for your move to WooCommerce is somewhat of a risk, as you never know what might go wrong, nor can you count on anyone to help you out if it does. Hence, the easiest and safest option, by far, is migrating with the help of a WooCommerce Expert.
There are several advantages of migrating with a WooExpert:
- Your website is in safe hands
- You have experts to rely on, for advice and efficiency
- All of these are trusted experts who know WooComemrce inside out
- They can help you migrate your store in the least possible time, with zero trouble
Having said that, migrating with an expert can be the most expensive of the three methods of migration. But the knowledge and reliability are worth it. Besides, if you calculate the time and effort you might waste in trying to migrate yourself, messing it up, and then approaching an expert, going directly with expert help seems like a better alternative, right?!
That covers the three ways of migrating to WooCommerce. Now let us see some of the important steps you need to take during WooCommerce migration.
Basics of Migrating to WooCommerce (from an External Platform)
Most of the WooCommerce migration requests we see are from either Shopify or Magento. It’s quite understandable, as these are the two next most-popular eCommerce platforms after WooCommerce.
Migrating from Shopify to WooCommerce is relatively easier, as the two eCommerce platforms have many parallel characteristics.
Hence, in this scenario, using a migration tool like Cart2Cart works well enough, provided you map all your fields perfectly while exporting your data from your Shopify store and importing it on your WooCommerce store.
Migrating from Magento to WooCommerce can be trickier. Magento caters to small, medium, as well as enterprise-level eCommerce systems, offering powerful functionality that makes it a robust platform.
However, post the launch of Magento 2.0 and the subsequent stopping of support for Magento 1 as early as June 2020, WooCommerce has emerged as a strong option as the go-to migration platform. Similar to Shopify, migrating from Magento to WooCommerce can be managed manually, with a migration tool, or with help from a WooCommerce expert.
Basics of Migrating to WooCommerce (From WooCommerce to WooCommerce)
When you’re migrating an existing WooCommerce website, there are a few different scenarios in practice.
A – You’re migrating your complete site
B – You’re migrating just your products and variations to a different store.
In the first scenario, it is often a case of the domain change, while in the other, it is about setting up a new shop with similar products. In either case, migration is pretty straightforward as compared to migrating from an external platform.
- All you need to do is navigate to Tools > Export and then select what you want to migrate to your new website.
- You can choose to migrate all your content, or simply your products, variations, orders, or even refunds, coupons, and associated media.
- When you click download, an XML file will be generated and stored on your computer, which you can then import on your new site.
- Alternatively, you can use the Product CSV Import Suite to migrate your data using CSV files or even import data for fresh products in CSV format.
- If you are not sure of being able to manage these processes on your own, you can opt for a plugin like WP DB Migrate, which essentially migrates all your databases from your source site to your destination site.
WooCommerce Migration Checklist:
As you start the actual migration process, here are a few handy tips to ensure that you have everything in place to ensure a smooth transition. And, should anything go wrong, have backup measures ready to keep your site running till you get the problems fixed.
Take a full backup of your existing website before migration
This is a recommended step for any migration, as having a backup of your website is always helpful in case anything goes amiss during the migration process.
Migrate your products and content in different languages
If you have a multilingual store, make sure that you migrate all the translated content to your new site as well, to avoid working on it all over again.
Create 301 Redirects to preserve SEO rankings
When you migrate to a new store, all your old SEO rankings and traffic are going to see a sharp dip, which is something you can’t afford. You have built a strong reputation over the years so don’t let it go waste. Instead of deleting the old site completely, you can set up 301 redirects from your old pages to your new ones, so your organic standing is maintained.
Import all media and supplier information
Along with your products and variations, make sure you also export all product-related media and your Sellers’ information and import it on your new store.
Export products as well as product variants
A lot of times, people export products but fail to export product variations, which means you have to create them all over again on the new store. So, while you are exporting your data, make sure to select products as well as product variants as XML files.
Preserve order IDs after migration
Keeping the product IDs consistent after exporting your data ensures that you are able to track each product and variant successfully, and hence make sure that all products are properly migrated. Neglecting to do this can create mass confusion and make product tracking a real nightmare!
Migrate your users’ passwords to ensure a seamless transition
If you are migrating your users along with your products, make sure that you export their user data as well, especially account details and passwords. Don’t make your users go through the trouble of setting up new accounts or creating new passwords all over again!
Migrating to WooCommerce from an external platform like Shopify or Magento or Opencart is easy enough if you know precisely what you are doing.
However, if you are not very familiar with code scripting or are not confident enough to migrate on your own, it is always better to get professional help, from certified WooExperts.
Not only is it faster and easier, but it also takes the burden of migration off your shoulders and you can peacefully focus on getting the rest of your website in place.
What is your experience with WooCommerce migration? Any tips you would like to share with us? Drop a comment to let us know!
1. Which is better, Shopify or WooCommerce?
If you are looking for a scalable eCommerce platform that also has a ton of features and functionalities, WooCommerce is the best choice. If ease of use is your primary concern, then you can go for Shopify, though WooCommerce has a very small learning curve and you get used to the interface quickly enough, even if you don’t know how to code.
2. Which is better, WooCommerce or Magento?
Magento is designed from an enterprise-scale perspective and has a very steep learning curve. WooCommerce, on the other hand, is much more user-friendly and has excellent features for your typical eCommerce needs. In addition, the community support for WooCommerce is tremendous and you can find solutions to all your queries almost instantly.
3. Should I move from WooCommerce to Shopify?
Unless there is some major trouble that you are facing on your WooCommerce store, we recommend against moving from WooCommerce to Shopify. The reason is, WooCommerce, as an eCommerce platform, offers much more scalability, functionality, and freedom of expansion than Shopify. We suggest talking to a certified WooCommerce expert and discussing your problem before you decide to migrate away from WooCommerce.
4. Is WooCommerce good for SEO?
WooCommerce is extremely SEO-friendly and works well with out-of-the-box SEO plugins for WordPress. In addition, you can refer to this WooCommerce SEO optimization guide to improve your site rankings.
5. What’s the difference between Shopify and WordPress?
Shopify is an independent eCommerce platform that offers hosted eCommerce solutions. WordPress is an open-source CMS that can be used for a variety of applications, including setting up an eCommerce store (you will need an eCommerce plugin like WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads for this).
6. Which is better, WooCommerce or OpenCart?
Opencart is one of the most user-friendly platforms designed for eCommerce, as it is built to target new users and business owners who don’t want to or can’t code. It is good enough for small and medium-sized stores, but when it comes to scalability, SEO, and integrating advanced features into your e-store, WooCommerce has no competition. Based on the vast open source ecosystem of WordPress, WooCommerce offers more flexibility, more customization options, and better support!