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Make sure you know this before migrating from Opencart to Magento

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Dipak Patil
March 05, 2015

OpenCart and Magento both are ecommerce platforms giving a huge opportunity for creating a profitable web shop. However, web business owners often change their own platforms to Magento. Let’s see why?

Opencart vs Magento:

OpenCart is a unique open source shopping cart system which secures unlimited store management opportunities enabling you to run your eCommerce store cost-effectively. It has simple order management as well as built-in multiple payment gateways.

Whereas Magento is a very powerful and fast growing shopping cart which offers a great flexibility through its modular architecture, and is completely scalable and also has a wide range of control options. Its intuitive administration interface contains powerful marketing and content management tools giving online merchants the power to create websites which are tailored to their unique business requirements, putting no constraints on business processes and flow.

Both eCommerce platforms have their own advantages over the other, let’s have a look:

Advantages of OpenCart

  • 1. OpenCart is lightweight, easy to download and install.
  • 2. It is completely an open source which supports an unlimited number of products and categories including product reviews and ratings functionality.
  • 3. It is easy to administer. The control panel is clear and convenient, so no special technical skills are required.
  • 4. It’s quite suitable for small and middle sized businesses.

Advantages of Magento

  • 1. Magento is very powerful and intuitive shopping cart when it comes to presenting the product.
  • 2. It provides numerous reports and analyzed data and processes like sales, including customer shopping history.
  • 3. It’s possible to integrate Magento into Google Analytics account, and use all its options to analyze the customer behaviour on your website and optimized it for better search results.
  • 4. Magento allows to use lots of marketing promo tools like organize price promotions, use coupon codes etc.
  • 5. It is highly suitable for larger stores, where OpenCart unfortunately fails.
  • So, these are the major reasons of OpenCart to Magento migration, and before you start the migration do the following things:
    1. Make a backup.
    2. Secure access info.
    3. Install Magento.

SEO Checklist while moving from Opencart to Magento

There is no one size fits all SEO strategy while moving from Opencart to Magento. None of the eCommerce business owners should move ahead with the migration without reviewing the site structure, current performance, and long term goals. One can not put the SEO at risk while replatforming.

Search engines regularly go through the sites, page index and record bounce rates, traffic, performance and every factor behind the ranking.

One must follow the SEO checklist while migrating.

1. Update with SEO friendly theme and structure:

While migrating ensure that the theme you choose is SEO friendly and has maximum one h1 tag in the webpage. H2, h3, h4 are available for subheadings. If some pages of the website are accessible with more than one URL, notify the search engines using the canonical tags.

The optimized title and the meta description tags should also be migrated.

2. 301 URL redirects:

Consider 301 redirects to retain organic traffic. While dealing with the simple URL(example: example.com/magento-2) and complex-pattern based URL(example: example.com/magento-shopping?page=2), do not worry about all variations of sources URL, they will be handled automatically with redirection and canonicals URLS.

3. Custom 404 page:

Make the best use of 404 error page to boost your SEO. You can include branded design and website navigation to retain the customer.

4. Juice from 404 links:

Any important 404 URL that has backlinks should be acknowledged using Google Search console.

5. Minimize On page changes:

Do not change the content and the design dramatically while changing the platform. This change is constantly being noticed by the search engines which may end up with a dip in the organic traffic and reindexing.

6. Avoid Duplicating the Content:

Since SEO revolves around the content, concentrate on creating content that attracts and converts buyer. One should use canonical URLs to direct the search engines to the original content.

7. Check that XML site is configured correctly:

One should avoid including dynamic and low-quality pages in the XML sitemap. Try to exclude any other unwanted pages from the sitemap.

Seize the opportunity of migrating from Opencart to Magento to improve the SEO.

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