Magento, creators of the popular e-commerce software, announced that they are shutting down Magento Go on February 1st, 2015. They will instead focus solely on their Magento Enterprise Edition and Magento Community Edition (free version).
Due to the popularity of the Magento Go edition, there is bound to be much upheaval when Magento Go is finally retired, so now is the time to think about your options. For those who are not familiar with Magento, it is one of the most dominant and highly regarded e-commerce platforms, and you can view an infographic here which gives you a little more detail. Suffice to say, the power of its customizability and optimization makes it one of the most popular platforms for larger scale e-commerce sites.
Magento Go was a low-cost version of the Magento platform, and those who wish to continue using Magento in a similar fashion might want to look at the alternative free Magento Community Edition rather than move to a different e-commerce platform such as Prestashop or Opencart. This will enable you to hit the ground running as you will already be familiar with the software as well as much of the same functionality you have come to rely on such as E-bay integration.
The Open Source Magento Community Edition has some significant benefits over the Magento Go Edition, including access to Magento Connect, a marketplace where you can get access to thousands of free and premium extensions that allow you to expand the functionality and look of your store.
How do you change over to Magento Community Edition?
Because Magento Community Edition is open source, it starts with you signing up with a hosting provider. Due to the nature of how e-commerce sites (especially Magento), they can be resource intensive on non-optimized servers. As such, shared hosting may not be suitable.
This leaves you a choice between specialist managed Magento hosting or a non-optimized hosting solution such as a VPS. Both solutions can be somewhat pricey. Fortunately, there is another solution. A company such as SiteGround takes the middle ground and has special infrastructure configured for on their Cloud Hosting with the basic plans very reasonably priced. Not only that, they have lots of experience with Magento sites, and when you sign up will install Magento Community Edition for free giving you complete unfettered access.
Also, SiteGround has made available their very powerful Nginx based Caching called “SuperCacher” for the Magento Platform. This will significantly speed up your website, and we all know that can mean increased conversions!
Once you have Magento setup, you will then need to import your data from Magento Go, to the new installation of Magento Community Edition. While this will copy all the relevant data, it will not necessarily copy across all the visual aspects of your site depending on what customizations you have previously made, so you should be prepared for this.
You can read more about SiteGround Magento Hosting here.