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Magento store development tips: Things to avoid

Magento. One of the world’s leading digital commerce platforms. Used by 13% of the industry, Magento store development provides a flexible framework for maximum control. From the singular dashboard, custom themes and store designs, all the way through the inventory management, the best of the best stops here.

However, using Magento is only half of the equation. The platform you use is irrelevant if it’s not properly utilised for customers and increasing overall brand value. As the site owner or developer, it’s your responsibility to avoid common mistakes during the Magento store development process. If not designed properly, you run the risk of affecting conversion rates and failing to deliver a premium digital shopping experience for your customers.

Below are six common mistakes that you could unknowingly make when building a website:

Magento Store Development: What to Avoid

magento store development

1. Using default settings

Understandably it’s tempting. If it fits the bill, why bother tweaking something that doesn’t need a tweak? However using these settings will damage your search engine rankings and thus your click-through-rate. Avoiding the following areas will minimise this risk:

Default homepage:

Have you ever come across a successful Ecommerce store with ‘Home’ as the title of the homepage? Maybe back in the old days, but Google’s updated algorithm now requires a primary keyword followed by the secondary keyword for the home page title.

Solution: Use the name of your brand as your landing page title.

Default descriptions:

One of the fastest way to kill your customer’s experience and search engine rank. Physical store fronts allow products to be personally examined. Digital stores shoppers only rely on photos and information to be convinced that they should make a purchase. The dodgier the description, the less likely a transaction will occur. In addition, you should also avoid using the original manufacturer’s description. Google can easily identify duplicates and decrease the search engine rank of your store.

Solution: write a fresh and SEO-friendly content for every product.

Default Magento XML sitemap:

Sitemaps help you increase the ranking of your store on Google, Yahoo and Bing. However most store owners forget to add sitemaps during the Magento web development process, or refresh the setting whilst putting the site on live.

Solution: Create or upload a new site map or use premium Magento Sitemap extensions.

2. Poor theme choice

Magento store development websites offers an extensive theme choice for your online store front. However during the Magento web development process, the following errors need to be avoided:

  • Basing their decision on personal choice rather than customer suitability
  • Choosing heavy themes that slows down responsiveness of the site after adding new products or extensions.

Solution: Choose simple and user-friendly themes that offers unlimited customization option and doesn’t reduce loading speed (20 microseconds).

3.  Layered navigation issues

In this type of navigation, different categories are organised on one page. However due to the design of this, users can face overlapped categories, obscured images and slow loading speed. These obstacles can be enough to immediately leave the site and thus decrease your sales.

Solution: Make use of Ajax navigation for easy product filtering and don’t allow search engine crawlers to crawl via your pages.

4. Shared resources and server

Technically Magento powered stores can be shared with other stores and websites on the server, which is something that must be avoided if you don’t want to taint your online reputation. It reduces the website loading speed and makes the website vulnerable to hackers, exposing your customer’s sensitive information and affecting your Magento store sales.

Solution: Configure your store to another server of your choice. MySQL and PHP5 are highly recommended.

5. Unresponsive Site

The number of people using mobile now outnumbers those on desktops and this gap is only set to increase over the next few years. A responsive website automatically adjusts itself according to screen size without compromising content and accessibility. This is a powerful and necessary feature to have if you don’t want to see your sales drop to oceans bottom. Users are quick to exit sites that haven’t been optimised for mobile-friendly access – and given the mobile usage rate, that’s too many customers you’re potentially losing.

Solution: Ensure your website is responsive and scalable to maximize user-friendliness.

6. Underestimating SEO

Many people believe that the era of SEO is just about over and it’s not a bad assumption to make. Many online retailers turning to celebrity endorsements or social media influencers to make themselves known to the public and in some ways, it’s more effective than how your website ranks on search engines. However it’s a poor move if it’s the only brand marketing tactic you rely on. If your chosen public figure does not have the right audience mix, you’ll find it’s ineffective and a waste of money. Instead, focus on who you want to attract and incorporate keyword research in different hot spots of your website. Product titles, descriptions and even blog posts will unlock the door to skyrocketing sales.

Solution: Create various SEO-friendly blog posts and utilise social media sharing for maximum audience reach.

As you can see, it is not essential to develop your Magento store from scratch to improve sales. A few minor modifications can significantly boost your sales and audience reach to surprising numbers. However as effective as these tips are, it’s only the start. It’s important to still be updated in the latest audience trends and continuously update your website strategies to improve your online shopping experience and online reach.

Acidgreen is an award winning Magento Australia company with over 15 years of  e-commerce experience. Our certified magento developers and designers are highly qualified to deliver Magento store development results that generate the highest amount of conversions and provide the best ROI. For more information on our Magento ecommerce stores and commerce expertise and how to get started with Acidgreen’s magento design  and development services, contact us today. 

 

 

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Protecting your Magento Ecommerce website: A basic guide

The era of online shopping has been at a steady growth, with more and more people preferring the convenience of shopping from the comforts of their own room or when they’re on the go. However it’s popularity also means an increase in finances – a field day for hackers looking for their next potential victim. Their latest method of attack is malvertising legitimate websites which people assume to be safe and secure. This is achieved through extra lines of malicious HTML code added by hackers to redirect payment from the company or sending credit card details to noxious third parties. As the owner of a Magento Ecommerce Website, it is imperative that you take the necessary steps to ensure that your website is not susceptible to malicious hacking, not only for your customer’s protection, but for yours as well. Here are a few tips to help you out:

Magento site

Create a Unique Admin Path

Having a predictable admin access path such as yoursite.com/store/admin can make your Magento Website easily accessible to malicious parties. Instead, use a series of impossible-to-guess letters and numbers such as yoursite.com/store/Hg84Xt

 

Use an external third party payment option on your Magento Ecommerce website

Rather than letting customers enter their payment details directly onto your magento websites, outsource this step to trusted and highly secure services such as PayPal or Google Wallet. Even if hackers manage to compromise your site, they wouldn’t be able to steal your customers’ credit card details.

 

Never use your Magento Admin password for anything else

Your Magento password should only solely be used for that one specific account. A common method utilised by hackers to gain access to your commonly used password and use it to break into your Magento site. Ensure this doesn’t happen to you and come up with a unique passcode to bump up your level of security.

 

Avoid saving your password on your computer

It’s a common habit to let your computer save your login details for convenience’s sake, but doing so may be helping the hackers out there more than yourself. As an added defensive security measure, never allow your browser or password manager save your passwords for two different reasons. First, some of these password storage services are cloud based to allow easy accessibility from any computer you’re logged into; however this also means your sensitive data is being stored and waiting to be found. Secondly, you run the risk of allowing anyone access to confidential information in the chance your laptop or computer be stolen and hacked.

 

Use Two-Factor Authentication

Two-step login requirements guarantee that only trusted and selected devices and users can access your Magento backend. In other words, not only would you need to know the unique login details, but also require a randomly generated security code to be sent to your mobile or smartphone app. This makes it incredibly difficult for hackers to login to your Magento backend as it increases the amount of information they would need. So not only would they need to know your unique login page and secure username and password, but they would also require to have your smartphone in their possession.

 

 

Use a private and secure email address

Sophisticated hackers use social media to work out who’s in charge of the eCommerce site they’re interested in gaining control over. LinkedIn is a popular weapon for this method by searching up “eCommerce” and the company name. A number of people list their email address used for their workspace, which is then hacked into – often at times security measures aren’t a priority for email accounts, which only works in favour for the hackers themselves. Once successful, they can simply ask for a password reset and change both login details, gaining total control over your Magento Ecommerce website. To prevent this from happening, use a unique email account that is never to be shared outside the company used strictly for your admin username login.

 

Update your passwords before and after working with third party developers.

Outsourcing work to outside magento developers to help improve your Magento store is sometimes necessary. As a preventative measure to stop hackers from their end accessing sensitive information, make sure to change your admin and password before and after working together.

 

Disable Directory Indexing

By preventing malicious hosts from viewing all the files in a folder on your website, it prevents them from knowing what files exist in certain folders, making it increasingly difficult to find the weak hot spots in your Magento Ecommerce website. In order to utilise this security step, all you need to do is add “Options – Indexes” to your .htaccess file and hitting the return key.

 

Only use trusted and official Magento Extensions

It only takes one dodgy and vulnerable extension to provide a gateway to having complete access and control over your Magento Commerce site for any hacker. Thus, it’s highly recommended that you only use well tested extensions that have a proven legitimacy behind it. Also make it a habit to update your existing extensions when new versions are released, as usually these updates fix any security breaches.

 

Invest in a VPS or dedicated hosting

When you’re just starting your Magento store, it’s almost a force of habit to look for the cheapest shared hosting as a way to save finances. However even the most secure Magento store can be compromised by malevolent attacks on the other sites from your shared server. A good web hosting company would provide a web application firewall to interject MYSQL injection. Web application firewalls such as NAXSI inspect incoming HTTP traffic and scan them against malicious pattern rules and block them, thus preventing them from reaching the application running behind the web server. For quality security and maximum control over server resources, Virtual Private Services (VPS), Dedicated Server hosting or Cloud Hosting for your Magento Ecommerce website is most recommendable.

Acidgreen is an award winning digital agency and the leaders in developing the best Magento site stores in Australia, including giving you the best advice for online security. For more information on how to get started with acidgreen, contact us today.