GUEST BLOGGER INTRO
As announced last month, we are partnering up with JetRails, a USA based hosting provider that shares our values and best practices in terms of support and focus on Magento merchants.
Because you trust us with your checkout, you understand how important performance and security are for your online store. As such, we asked Robert Rand, the Director of Partnerships & Alliances at JetRails, to draw on his decade of experience to help us list 7 top things that can make or break your Magento 2 website. He knows a thing or two having helped organizations of all types and sizes to grow and succeed via digital commerce. Robert is an Adobe Certified Expert in Magento, a frequent author and thought contributor in the eCommerce industry and the host of The JetRails Podcast where we had the privilege of recently being invited (Season 1/ Episode 50).
Magento 2 is the gold standard when it comes to robust, flexible, and scalable eCommerce platforms. There is no platform that’s more feature-rich, malleable, and better supported on the market. However, with great functionality comes great responsibility. With Magento, you’re very much in control of your own destiny, and as any homeowners or car owner will attest to, some maintenance and fine-tuning will inevitably be required.
There are a few key issues that, when left unaddressed, are known to cause a direct or indirect loss of site performance. Sometimes these are more immediate and will leave your site sluggish or ineffective from day 1. In other cases, these will be issues that, due to a lack of proactive management, will sneak up on you. Some of the most common areas that deserve your attention are:
2020 has served as a reminder for many in the eCommerce industry that Magento sites need to be ready for traffic spikes. This means that when shoppers converge on your website at the same time, it may slow down or ultimately fail to load. Keep in mind that simply having autoscaling Magento hosting is not enough. Bottlenecks are often caused by individual Magento extensions, integrations, and scripts.
If you haven’t run a Magento load test lately, you don’t really know how much traffic your website can successfully service. A load test sends virtual traffic to your website, simulating a high traffic event, and allowing you to identify any resource or coding issues.
eCommerce shoppers demand fast shopping experiences. Your Magento 2 site requires a mix of caching and other optimizations in order to load quickly in web browsers. Not sure how your site stacks up? Run a Magento speed test to see where you stand! At the end of the day, your web developers and web host should be working closely together to address loading speed challenges.
Nothing will destroy your brand and credibility with your shoppers like a security incident. Whether malware infections hurt your site performance or force you to take down your website to patch a more extensive security breach, a lack of proactive Magento security will catch up with you. It’s a question of when, not if. Good hosting will include necessary solutions like firewalling, intrusion detection, and malware scanning
Rest assured, hackers scan the internet for eCommerce sites like yours, looking for known security holes that they can exploit. If you haven’t had a Magento security audit to see where you stand, and if your web host isn’t working with you to upkeep your Magento hosting environment, you’re inviting trouble.
Your site should be optimized around the metrics that are important to you. This includes conversion rate optimization – the process of adjusting your website to generate more sales from the website visitors that navigate your website. This is extremely similar to how brick-and-mortar retail operates, but instead of putting impulse buys up-front at a physical checkout counter, you’re leveraging technology like OneStepCheckout to help shoppers finish their purchase before they get distracted and abandon their cart.
5. Flexibility and extensibility
The power of Magento is in its flexibility. That’s why it’s always best to work with supporting technology that doesn’t stifle innovation. For instance, OneStepCheckout works hard to make sure that their Magento extension is compatible with as many other extensions that you might benefit from as possible. Similarly, JetRails will tailor and configure your hosting environment to support the particular needs of your custom Magento site. There are few things worse than architecting a unique site, just to have a single vendor cause compatibility issues.
Does your Magento store experience intermittent downtime? Do shoppers see errors when trying to load your site or when taking a particular action within your store? If you don’t know the answer, you’re already several steps behind.
Your host should be monitoring your uptime for you, proactively keeping an eye out for any server errors. Similarly, your web developers should be checking your Magento logs for errors on a regular basis, making sure that as they make adjustments to your site, new errors don’t inadvertently crop up. You never want to wait until a frustrated shopper reaches out – because inevitably, that means that many more shoppers have already been impacted and simply abandoned your site.
7. Support & Maintenance
Proper Magento maintenance, management, and support require the right web development and web hosting experts. Your developers should be installing patches and software updates, truncating database tables, and otherwise maintaining your Magento installation. Meanwhile, your host should be keeping server software and other hosting layers up-to-date and ensuring that CDNs, backups, and other hosting resources are running like clockwork.
Most importantly, these experts need to be working together and working with you. Your host should be available to you 24/7 by phone and ticket and should have a network operations center (NOC) monitoring your site and its hosting round-the-clock. When you do have an issue, it should be addressed quickly and effectively. You should not be settling for a team’s “best-effort” when that effort doesn’t match your mission-critical needs. You know that downtime and errors are emergencies to your business, and you should work with vendors that are built to service businesses with high expectations, like yours.
” The success of your Magento stores shouldn’t be left to chance. Just like you would with a car, it’s important to use the right parts, keep up with scheduled maintenance, and address any unexpected issues that may crop up quickly and effectively. It’s also crucial to work with the right experts to make sure that your site is in capable hands.” Robert Rand
A great website requires you to assemble a strong team to support you. Need help with your Magento hosting? The team at JetRails is here to help!