Staylime has migrated Green Aqua’s ecommerce store to Magento 2 and perfomed seamless Magento ERP integration, providing continuous functionality and performance improvements as part of ongoing support.
Green Aqua is one of the largest Hungarian stores that offers aquascaping tools and accessories for individuals and corporate clients.
From aquarium systems and equipment to sophisticated decor and aquatic plants, the company provides a selection of over 7,000 high-quality products from industry-leading manufacturers and wholesalers to help customers design perfect underwater gardens at their homes and offices.
The history of our partnership with Green Aqua takes roots back to 2017, when the company’s CEO, Victor Lantos, approached us for the upgrade of his Magento‑based store to version 1.9 — the latest one to that date. Along with the platform upgrade, Staylime also provided a range of extra Magento support services.
Satisfied with the work done, Victor continued to maintain active communication with our team. When the time to perform the migration to Magento 2 came, Green Aqua had no doubt who to rely on.
The project’s major goals were to:
Ensure a smooth transition of the existing store to Magento 2
Integrate the new installation with Symbol ERP
Maintain high search engine rankings throughout the entire process
Enjoy ongoing support upon release
We understood that the stakes were high. Excited with the upcoming activities and challenges, our team set the ball rolling.
We started off with migration, strictly following the standard approach and Magento’s best practices to seamlessly transfer Green Aqua’s website to the new installation. Using the official Data Migration Tool, we first moved the existing store’s database to Magento 2 and then proceeded to install the required extensions.
Our team paid particular attention to ensuring that the solution provides all the necessary functional capabilities to both admins and end-users, so a range of proven third-party extensions were installed:
To ensure better navigation and shopping experience through advanced AI-based search
To facilitate the collection and management of authentic user-generated content on the website
To support multiple payment methods within a single installation
To introduce rewards-based loyalty programs for customers
To provide a set of SEO templates, rich snippets, and other convenient tools to improve online visibility and search engine rankings of the store
Upon installation, we ran a number of compatibility tests to make sure all the extensions interoperate without a hitch and function properly. The final step was to migrate existing extensions’ data to the newly launched version of Magento.
This could be just another common migration project we had delivered many times. But it was not. There was one particular aspect that made the project stand out. Designed to handle resource planning, ERP Symbol is a local solution with documentation in Hungarian.
The client shared some specifics regarding the API, however, being generic and high-level,
the information provided was not as helpful as we hoped it would be — hence, the existing Magento integration was the only starting point we had.
Having thoroughly studied the current Magento ERP integration, we conducted a number of requirements gathering sessions with the client to clearly define the set of critical features for the MVP. Based on that, we built a custom ERP connector to be able to reproduce Magento ERP integration on the new store.
The ERP connector enabled Green Aqua to cover major aspects of the order management workflow, automating the gathering, processing and secure storing of such customer and order data as orders, taxes, customers, items, shippings, discounts, and payments.
Preserving the existing Magento SEO metrics was one of the major tasks for our team to tackle during this project. We conducted a set of pre-live SEO and performance audits and checks to ensure the website successfully maintained its high positions in search engines after the migration.
Understanding the critical impact of site performance and speed on SEO rankings, we also went the extra mile and installed Varnish Cache. A proven website accelerator tool, it acts as an intermediate between a user and a server and provides cached responses to standard requests extremely quickly, eliminating the need to turn to the database and shortening page load times.
Not only did it optimize the overall performance of Green Aqua’s website, but also provided a solid foundation for further SEO improvement.
As soon as we conducted the final tests, we were all ready for the system to go live. However, the customer was set up on running an additional testing round and configuring Ultimo, a ready-made Magento theme, themselves — so we handed the solution over to Green Aqua’s team in October 2018, waiting for the release.
In April 2019 the customer got back to us requesting to launch the website as soon as possible. However, by that time the first version of 3-D Secure employed by the store was announced obsolete, whereas the merchants had to either migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2 or to upgrade the payment gateway to be able to continue using the service.
As an option, we could have upgraded the old Magento 1-based store to enable 3-D secure support. However, since the Magento 2 version of the website was finalized, the customer decided to release it and we got down to work.
One of the main objectives to address first was to upgrade Magento 2.2.4 to the relevant version — that was 2.3.2.
A dated version of CentOS on the customer’s server put a strain on this conventional task, as it didn’t support the required libraries and lacked flexibility. It took a while till we convinced the hosting provider to completely update the operating system rather than to introduce ineffective workarounds.
As we were preparing the system for deployment, we faced a bunch of minor, yet unexpected challenges.
As the project was put on hold for such a long period of time, the customer had a chance to introduce significant changes to his Magento 1 store, having reshaped the product catalog.
To make sure the new version featured all the alterations, we had to migrate Magento database once again prior to going live.
Upon the release, some issues with the Magento ERP integration were also revealed. These were related to the incomplete testing procedure arranged by the customer: their team failed to add a standalone staging environment for the ERP to test everything properly.
Besides, it turned out that the payment gateway required some touch-ups as well. By default, Magento processed payments in the base currency set on the website level. With Green Aqua having two store views and one base currency, we had to customize the basic version of the BigFish Payment Gateway to enable faultless payments in the customer’s currency.
We managed to fix all the issues and release the platform in two days, without affecting the store and, most importantly, business performance to any extent whatsoever.
Even though the project release was delayed due to internal issues on the customer’s side, the website finally went live in September, 2019. Gracefully overcoming all the technical challenges arising throughout the process, our team managed to not only perform a fault-free Magento migration, but also to perform seamless Magento ERP integration and preserve SEO rankings — a critical aspect for an ecommerce business in transition.
As the first phase of the project is successfully completed, we continue collaborating with Green Aqua on solution enhancement and support. Apart from the actual ongoing maintenance service, our team is now actively working out the future roadmap together with the company’s founders. Extending the ERP connector to include a broader range of relevant functionality is on the table, and we are about to commence the next development phase.
Besides, we plan to carry out an in-depth SEO audit and make corresponding improvements based on its results afterwards to increase SEO performance even further.
Staylime facilitates an enjoyable process through collaboration and a smooth system of project management. Their team is communicative, talented, and professional.
The customer is genuinely delighted with the outcomes of our collaboration so far, and we’re excited to further implement all the features planned, and to bring in sophisticated ideas to help Green Aqua meet and exceed their strategic objectives.