Magento Go Shutting Down – Where to Go Next?

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Back in July 2014, Magento (owned by eBay) announced that it would be shutting down its Software-As-A-Service (SaaS) ecommerce platform known as Magento Go. Merchants on Magento Go have until February 1st, 2015 to move their stores to another application. Magento will be focusing on their standalone products – Magento Community Edition (CE), a free open source software application, and Magento Enterprise Edition (EE), a commercial application geared for large merchants.

This sudden closing of Magento Go came as quite a shock to many ecommerce merchants…

The question many Go store owners have is – which company / application should I choose for my online store?

Don’t make the same mistake twice

Other SaaS ecommerce providers like Big Commerce have announced they can help Go merchants migrate to their platform. It may sound like a good idea at first, but realize that it’s exactly this type of company that decided to shut down thousands of stores.

Merchants on Go cannot simply pick up their store and move it to another provider. SaaS companies like this run proprietary software that can only be used on their system. If they close up shop or change direction, their clients are left stranded with no easy migration path, and no ability to continue using the store software they rely upon.

Using a third-party SaaS provider is risky due to the lack of control you have as a store owner. There are also many other risks to using an ecommerce SaaS solution.

Own your code!

Instead, look to solutions where you are in complete control over your store’s software. Make sure you own the code that runs your store. This way, if the web host / service you’re using is not to your liking, or decides to shut down, you can simply take your store and move it to another provider with no downtime, and no re-work needed.

Having been a web host that focuses on ecommerce for over 18 years, we’ve seen SaaS companies come and go. We’ve seen the horror stories of online merchants that were stuck or essentially put out of business by companies that held them hostage, or changed focus suddenly.

The best way to combat this effect is to make sure the ecommerce software solution you choose is something *YOU* control.

Which ecommerce solution to choose?

Magento CE

Just because Magento chose to close down Go does not mean they are out of the running as an option for migration. Magento has created an open source, freely available solution known as Magento Community Edition (CE). Magento CE will look and feel like Go in many respects. It is a full featured solution that you can run on almost any web hosting platform. We have helped a number of Magento Go merchants migrate over to Magento CE hosted with us. The process isn’t 100% seamless, but products, categories, and images can be exported and imported into CE.

If you choose Magento Community Edition as your next platform, you will be in complete control of your destiny. The software will run on any server that supports MySQL and PHP, so you are not limited to just one company. Of course there are certain hosts (like us) that specialize in Magento, that can help you migrate, make sure your store runs fast, and help you get the most out of your ecommerce store.

Magento CE has a very strong community of developers, designers, and lots of add-ons and extensions. If you can think of a feature for ecommerce, the odds are good it has already been developed.

ShopSite

Another option for a migration solution from Go is ShopSite. ShopSite is a standalone ecommerce software package that can run on most web hosts as well. Its strengths are it is blazing fast, very easy to use and set up, and is one of the more reliable and feature-packed solutions out there today.

With ShopSite, you can import your products, upload your images, and convert categories to what ShopSite calls “pages” for an easy migration from Go. We’ve helped a few Go merchants take this route to keep their stores running far into the future.

ShopSite can run on any server that supports cgi scripts (compiled C programs). As with Magento, there are hosts that specialize in ShopSite hosting (we’re one of them). With us, we have developed many add-ons for ShopSite, and know the software quite well. This allows us to help our ShopSite clients when they have questions, or run into a problem.

Whichever solution you choose, make sure it’s an option where you won’t find yourself in the same situation as Magento Go. Avoiding a SaaS service like Go can help you have more control over your store, and give you the freedom to upgrade and grow on your own terms.

Not sure what to choose? Get in touch with us, and we can help you decide.

 

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