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I'm totally new to Magento, having used systems like Expression Engine, Craft CMS and Shopify in the past. My client is currently on Magento CE 1.7 and we are working on a redesign for the site, including switching themes.

My question is this: I now have a local dev copy of the site running on my machine but am not sure the best order to proceed. Should I update the current site to the latest version of CE and then push it to staging (a subdomain on the production server) to test and then if all good, push to production. THEN, when this is done, start working on the redesign locally. This way, when it comes to merging the latest data from the production database with the dev database, they are on the same version.

Or, should I just upgrade and redesign my local site and leave production sitting pretty on 1.7, and then get the customer and order data from the production database when I'm ready to launch the new site? Still pushing to staging for testing first, obviously! This would be easier, I just don't know enough about Magento to know how much is changed around customers and their orders in the database when it is upgraded. I have googled around and haven't found a definitive answer to this yet.

I've seen some stubs about exporting customers and orders (the only two things I'd need from the production DB) from Magento either through the admin or just pulling tables in the DB. It's just not clear whether it is dependent on the two databases running the same version of Magento.

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You need to upgrade the Magento to latest 1.9.X first and then move to development environment.

And then proceed with new development.

  • This is pretty much what we ended up doing, albeit separately. I upgraded the local copy and got to work with development and then the guy who is in charge of the production server updated the production copy independently. He's currently in the process of merging the new site I built with the data from production. – Jim Aug 29 '16 at 16:32
  • Yep we had a project, had to upgrade from Magento 1.2 to Magento 1.9. If we didn't follow the procedure we may end up with issues after issues :) – ForgeOnline Aug 29 '16 at 21:49
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I'm pretty sure you can import data regardless of Magento versions.

Easiest way to test is set up a brand new 1.9 install on your local machine and then try to import. Not only will you know for sure, but if it fails you can investigate why.

I would suggest that any issues would be independent of Magento however, and more liekly due to incompatibility of any extensions that are already installed on the old site...

I'd definitely do my work in a staging/dev environment. Magento is awesome and powerful but it doesn't take much to bring it all crashing down. Especially if you're new to Magento...

  • It was easier taking a copy of production and putting it in a local environment and then upgrading rather than importing the data into a fresh install. Or at least, that's the way we did it and it worked fine. Luckily, most of the extensions in use had upgrades for 1.9 or weren't affected by changes between the versions. – Jim Aug 29 '16 at 16:34

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