Magento 2 Migration Plus PWA Development – 2 In 1: Why Not?

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It’s evident that after Magento 1 end of support announcement in June 2020, the number of Magento 1 stores has decreased significantly. Meanwhile, that of Magento 2 websites has been rising continuously. In other words, more and more merchants have implemented Magento 2 migration for their stores. There is an emerging trend of integrating Progressive Web App (PWA) into Magento websites during that time. However, most Magento PWA development solutions are for Magento 2 only.

magento 1 and magento 2 usage
Magento 1 and 2 Usage Statistics by

Therefore, many Magento 1 store owners decided to migrate their website from Magento 1 to 2 and integrate the new site with PWA technology at the same time.

With strong experience with Magento migration and Magento PWA development projects, we can confirm that merging these two processes is a lucid decision. Merchants will save a noticeable amount of time, money, and effort, thanks to that. Otherwise, if they only start integrating the PWA after finishing the migration process, some resources and results from the migration might be wasted to adapt to the new PWA storefront.

In this blog, we will explain why merchants should combine the Magento 2 migration and PWA integration process and how they will benefit from it.

But first, you have to understand the process of migrating Magento 1 to Magento 2 and transforming a Magento website to a Magento PWA separately.

What Is Magento 2 Migration And Its Process?

magento 2 migration process

Magento migration is a process of upgrading the website from the old 1.x.x version to the latest version of Magento 2.

Migration help the Magento site improves its performance. Taking advantage of modern technologies, these sites enhance the user experience by a responsive design, easier checkout process, etc. Not only the user experience enhanced but also the business owner interface. The admin dashboard in Magento 2 is more user-friendly with a modern and intuitive interface.

In fact, merchants will need to build a brand new site on Magento 2, import the data from the old site, and try to re-build similar functions on the new site. It’s worth noting that all cannot be reused from the M1 theme, extensions, to custom functions.

A standard Magento 1 to 2 migration process will include:

  • Design: Install a new M2 theme or build a custom theme for M2 (either new or similar to M1 design)
  • Extensions: Find and install new M2 extensions that have functions akin to M1 ones.
  • Custom functions: Find M2 extensions that have similar features to custom functions on the M1 website. If there is no available module, so custom function rebuilt in the M2 site will be required.
  • Data: Move data from M1 to M2 (products, customers, orders…)
  • Settings: Configure the new M2 site (store information, payment, shipping, email templates…)

To understand more about the Magento 2 migration process, you can find more in our previous blog post How To Migrate Magento 1 To Magento 2 In 30 Days?

What Is Magento PWA And Its Integration Process?

magento 2 pwa development

Have you ever seen an “Add to home-screen” pop-up when access to a website? That’s the way you installed a PWA on your phone. You don’t have to go to the app store to get it.

Then, when you open it, your installed app (PWA) works “like a native app” without the URL bar of the web browser. PWA is responsive and made to be friendly to any device, browser, and operating system.

But it will not be the best part until it can be accessed offline. This means you can still browse the app without the Internet for pre-cached pages.

Another unique point of PWA is the speed. In comparison with a normal website, the medium speed of PWA is even two to three times faster. This leads to a positive signal of decreasing the bounce rate and increasing the average session duration of the site.

A Magento PWA is simply a Magento website combining with PWA technology. Thanks to that, it will have all the fantastic features of PWA while maintaining essential e-commerce functions of the site.

To upgrade a regular Magento website to a Progressive Web App, we will need to:

  • Design: Since the PWA storefront will replace the Magento frontend, we cannot re-use the current web template or any Magento themes but look for a specialized Magento PWA theme.
  • Extensions: To make Magento extensions work with the PWA storefront, it’s not as easy as installing and configuring them on regular Magento websites. In general, it will require developing APIs to connect between the modules and the storefront. However, in some cases, APIs development is difficult and not effective, extensions will not be used, and similar functions to those will be built directly on the PWA frontend (e.g., one-step checkout, improved layered navigation…).
  • Custom functions: Similar to the extensions, the website’s custom functions can only work smoothly with the Magento frontend. To make it work on the PWA storefront, API creation is a must.
  • Payment, shipping integration: Besides default payment gateways and shipping carriers, merchants often use extensions to integrate those with the Magento website. However, they cannot do the same for Magento PWA. Again, APIs and custom work will be needed.
  • Data: After being upgraded to a Magento PWA, the Magento backend is still there, so data transfer is unnecessary.

Why Shouldn’t We Carry Out Magento Migration And PWA Integration One By One?

magento 1 to 2 migration

As you can see, there are some similar parts that we need to take care of in both processes. However, the ways to do these on each procedure are different and even conflict.

For example, in terms of design, when migrating to Magento 2, you will have to buy or create a new theme for Magento 2. Nonetheless, that M2 theme will become useless when upgrading to PWA since a Magento PWA theme will alter it. As a result, you will waste your money buying the theme and hiring developers to implement it.

Additionally, some extensions are not compatible with the Magento PWA, and the best solution is to not using any module but developing the same functions on the PWA source code. Therefore, your investment becomes worthless if you have already bought certain plugins that cannot be used.

For custom functions or other integrations and settings, more similar problems can arise.

For all the above reasons, we highly recommend you do the migration and the PWA development simultaneously. In the next part, we will help you imagine the process when “2 becomes 1”.

How Would It Be If Magento 2 Migration Is Merged Into PWA Development Process?

magento progressive web app


You will need to build a new theme for your Magento 2 PWA. It’s not a regular Magento 2 theme but a PWA theme for Magento 2.

There are two options for you to choose from. First, you can select a ready-made Magento 2 PWA theme and install it in your new store. Theme customization is also possible if you want. Second, you can ask your developers to build a PWA storefront with a custom/ unique design from the ground up.

The decision will be made based on your preference and budget. As you might know, any custom solution always goes at a higher cost.

Actually, most merchants prefer ready-to-use approaches to minimize the cost and associated implementation time.

If you wonder how a Magento PWA theme looks and feels and how it is different from normal templates, you can look at TigrenPWA themes and demos.

magento pwa theme


Actually, the data migration belongs to the Magento migration process only since PWA integration does not affect the data on the Magento backend.

In this step, you should review your database first to select which will be moved to the new site. Old and unnecessary data should be discarded before the transfer so that the process can be faster and lower data loss risk.

Extensions & Custom functions

To “migrate” the Magento extensions and custom features to the new site, you should go through the following steps:

Firstly, it’s necessary to scrutinize your current site which modules are actually pivotal for your store and which are not. Then, let’s send the list of the extensions/ custom functions you want to keep to your developers to discuss its solutions.

For the extensions that can be integrated with the PWA storefront just by developing APIs, you will need to buy similar ones for Magento 2.

For the extensions that are hard to connect with the PWA storefront, you don’t need to purchase those on Magento 2 version but discussing with the developers about extensions’ functional details to re-build them on the Magento PWA.


The payment gateways and shipping carriers integration can require either extensions and API development or just APIs. You should tell your developers which third-party system you want to have on the site, and they will suggest the best solutions.

In terms of the language, currency,… you can easily configure it on Magento 2 backend. However, if you want to have multi-language, multi-currency, multi-store…, you might check whether your selected Magento PWA theme supports them or not.

Final Words

A merged process is definitely a more effective solution instead of doing the migration and PWA integration separately. It prevents the business owner from wasting development time, buying unnecessary stuff.

The only problem with this approach is that you might find it hard to find a suitable web development company to take on your project. There might be a lot of Magento companies that provide Magento migration services, but just a few of them specialize in PWA development.

In other words, your ideal partner must be excellent in both Magento migration and Magento PWA integration.

Tigren is one of the few firms that are qualified to become your partner! We have delivered a wide range of high-quality Magento services since 2012. And we started offering Magento 2 migration in 2015 and Progressive Web App solutions in 2017. That’s why we can thoroughly understand both the Magento migration and the PWA integration process to how to combine them for the sake of your business.

If you want to start your “2 in 1” project, why not contact us now?

April LeeMagento 2 Migration Plus PWA Development – 2 In 1: Why Not?

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