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Upgrading Magento: The 5 Costs Involved

We’ve talked about thecost of Magento before, but if you’re interested in upgrading your Magento site, you’re probably well aware of the popular platform’s price tag.

Instead, you’re curious about what it costs toupgrade Magento to its latest version.

And, if you’re like a lot of business owners who contact ourMagento development agency, you might be especially curious to find out how much it costs to upgrade Magento.

The 5 Biggest Reasons Behind the Price of Upgrading Magento

While upgrading Magento does typically come with a significant investment, the outcome should be more than worth it.

At IWD, we’ve actually pioneered a specific approach to Magento upgrades that ensures our clients get the exact site they want (the Magento update + any extras they need) without breaking the bank.

I’ll go over the five biggest costs that usually add to a Magento update’s price tag now, but read until the end because I’ll also go through the approach we take that recently  saved a client an unheard of $82,492!!!

But for the moment, let’s look at these major costs.

Cost #1 Auditing the Current Magento Site

The first step to upgrading a Magento website is auditing its current structure to ensure it has the necessary system requirements for the upcoming work. Otherwise, you could spend a lot of time and money upgrading your Magento site to the newest version only to discover that the agency has wasted your investment.

If you’re curious, here is the list of system requirements that must be met before a site can support a Magento upgrade.

But a common example of one of these requirements is when a PHP upgrade is needed to proceed.

However, once that PHP upgrade occurs, the site then needs to be retested. Otherwise, there’s a good chance frontend functionality will break (which, as you can probably guess, is a bad thing).

Similarly, Magento upgrades shouldn’t be undertaken unless the agency first conducts an audit of all third-party extensions the site currently depends on.

After conducting one of these audits, we usually find that many of these extensions are no longer needed, so they’re simply slowing the site down unnecessarily. Removing them is an easy way to improve performance ASAP.

Of course, we always explain to clients why we think an extension is unneeded before carrying out its removal.

For most companies, this is a no-brainer. If you’re interested in upgrading your site to the newest version of Magento to provide guests with the best possible user experience, getting rid of excess weight on your load time is a no-brainer.

Cost #2 Conducting All Procedural and Required System Upgrades

For the same reason, we also want to check to make sure that allnecessary extensions have been upgraded to their latest version. These upgrades are often required to successfully update Magento. Even if they’re not, most clients will ask us to carry out these extension updates anyway, so we can retest the site to make sure they’re working properly.

Cost #3 Testing the New Magento Website

Once your Magento update has been carried out “in development”, it can be moved on to “staging.” Doing this allows us to conduct dry runs and handle quality assurance and UAT (User Acceptance Testing).

Among other things, we will:

  • Fully test the upgraded Magento website and prepare a list of defects
  • Prepare a list of said defects
  • Create a budget for addressing them
  • Prioritize and coordinate the resolution of these defects with our client
  • Produce a prospectus for resolving any lingering defects for client approval

This is a unique approach that we’ve come up with at IWD. If you recall earlier, I mentioned how we were able to save a client tens of thousands of dollars this way. In the next section, I’ll go into detail about why this novel procedure is so much more cost-effective than the way other Magento agencies tend to do it.

Cost #4 Taking the Site Live

Alright, so all of the preliminary work has been done. Your Magento site has been successfully updated in staging.

Now, it’s time for that all-important step: going live.

After the entire project is scoped out, your agency should coordinate with you to set a “go live” date for the upgrade. 

During this step, your system will be put into maintenance mode at the date and time you both agreed upon in order to launch the new, updated site.

Your system will then be restored back from maintenance mode and your site – with its new Magento update – will be live for customers to visit.

Depending on the work involved, this last step may also entail project cleanup and post-upgrade hyper care, but any additional costs will be included in the scope that was initially outlined.  

Cost #5 Managing Every Step of the Process

Finally, one of the most important costs you’ll need to cover when you upgrade to the newest version of Magento is the price of project management.

As you’ve now seen, these upgrades can quickly become very complicated. They can involve numerous steps and moving parts for completely different processes.

Project managers who are experienced with these kinds of upgrades are essential to achieving the desired result.

Not only will they keep the entire process on track, but they’ll also make sure you’re informed about the team’s progress the entire time (e.g., if they find extensions they recommend removing).

If these kinds of additional initiatives are discovered during the upgrade and are approved by the client, it’s the project manager who will be responsible for allocating the resources necessary for tackling them in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Recent Case Study: How We Saved a Client $52,000+ on Their Magento Migration

As I touched on at the beginning, we recently migrated a client to Magento and saved them $52,000 in the process.

Being a famous household name in an extremely competitive industry, our client needed something very specific from their Magento upgrade. Their industry isn’t especially friendly to sites that can’t keep up with customer demands, so the client wanted to stay one step ahead with some impressive functionality, too.

While we won’t go into details about the specifics of this unique upgrade, we can give you the following breakdown of the estimated and actual costs:

  • Original Estimate: $137,227
  • Estimate with the New Strategy: $72,495
  • Final Time Spent: $54,735 (we delivered under budget!!)

Again, we didn’t save our client this money by cutting corners. This well-known household name wouldn’t have accepted anything short of what they required to continue dominating their market.

This wasn’t the discount version of a “real” Magento upgrade.

It’s a cost-effective (emphasis on “effective”) way to update websites to the latest version of Magento without adding unnecessary time to the scope of work or money to the budget.

Speak with a Magento Developer Today About Your Upcoming Upgrade

Is it time to update your company’s Magento site?

Have you put it off for too long or are you just trying to stay ahead of the competition?

Whatever the reason, hiring an experienced Magento agency that understands the process backwards and forwards is essential to a successful upgrade (it’ll also make you feel a lot better about the entire process). If you've already switched to the platform, we can conduct a Magento code audit for your site, too.

At IWD, we pride ourselves on having that level of knowledge when it comes to Magento. If you’d like to speak with one of our experienced developers about how this knowledge can be applied to your successful upgrade, contact us today.


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