Just like having a brick & mortar store, you would have invested plenty of resources in designing the space so your customers feel comfortable there. Nobody wants their customers waiting in long lines and then abandoning checkout with frustration because of a problem that can be solved. It's a lot easier to find a problem within a physical store. A digital online channel is not so apparent. Luckily, Magento site audit reveals all important issues hurting your business.
As an online customer yourself, you probably visited slow, unreliable and suboptimal stores. As a store owner you know they result in poor conversions and overall bad customer experience. Moreover, most customers doing online shopping won't have a problem to go elsewhere to purchase a product, if your site isn't up to their standard someone else's is.
As a customer, you've probably done it yourself.
Running a dependable site is not a myth. Here's why some store owners believe there's no better way:
- Trusting a cheap developer
- Having a subpar Magento theme installed
- Inappropriate hosting environment and bad setup
Magento Site audit contains 5 areas which we explore in detail to provide insight about issues. Actual actionable advice is then compiled into a easily understandable report.
1. Magento theme build quality
We get it - you want to save money and shorten time-to-market for your brand new store. You purchase a theme, install it and enjoy beautiful interface that works exactly as shown in demo. Then your customers come in, sales happen but the feedback about responsiveness, confusion during checkout wake you up. You realise that something needs to be done in order to make these problems go away.
More often than not, themes available for purchase from various marketplaces are of terrible build quality. Yes, they are made to be sold, not to fit your specific business needs. They seem fine at the beginning, yet as soon as more leads come in and your conversion rate is dropping, change is needed. "Premium" themes are usually even slower-performing, as themes are bundled with a few self-made modules to provide the same features you've seen in the demo. If your theme has "200+" features - that is probably a bad thing.
Don't get me wrong, there are good themes you can purchase. To know which ones these are, it's best to consult with your development partner to review the theme and suggest potential alternatives.
"Bought this theme, have a look and let me know what needs to be fixed."
Magento audit saves you time and money when you need it the most.
The best alternative to cheap purchased themes we recommend is using Magento default responsive themes and applying your branding to it. That way, you still save money, but end up with a high-performant theme that's built well and can be easily modified. Not to mention great UX you get out of the box. Don't get me started :)
Main issues we see with themes in general are:
- No scalability - your store works okay, but as soon as it hits 100, 200, or even 1000 simultaneous users, the issues are starting to show up. Some customers don't see correct prices, others are trying to buy an out of stock product because it looks available. The site in general is starting to slow down.
- Difficult extensibility - you like the theme, but merely want to change a few things and re-arrange a few boxes, and hire a developer to do so. Even if it seems like an easy thing, if the theme isn't written with extensibility in mind, your developer will have a hard time completing this task.
- Overall bad build quality - cheap themes are often crafted in short time or by people with suboptimal experience.
2. Magento modules build quality
By implementing latest technologies, Magento made it’s system highly customisable, providing ability for developers to extend, add or remove parts of Magento to fit your business needs. That, however, also comes at a price of potential performance hit with each enabled module that customises the system in some way.
First thing we usually check is if the module is built following Magento standards and best practices. From our experience, more than half of all extensions aren't developed properly and cause serious issues with your store*. Each extension should be reviewed throughly and fixed, removed or replaced, depending on your current business needs.
[Update] *One of the reasons all of the existing extensions are being reviewed adhering to a new audit process.
3. Database health
Wether is's due to bad server configuration during initial Magento installation, third party extension modifications or manual deletion of database records, your store database can easily get corrupt.
These issues can usually be identified by failed foreign key constraint, missing attribute or missing table error messages in your system log file.
Fixing these issues restore your database to a fully working state. Rinse and repeat.
4. Security issues
Magento regularly releases patches for reported security issues - you should patch as soon as some patch becomes available.
In this area, we're checking if your store is fully patched, if the Magento application itself is securely set up and check for most common security issues.
5. Unsolicited core changes
Magento is flexible - which is probably one of the reasons you chose the platform in the first place. To keep it working the way it's intended, while fixing issues or adding new extensions, all code must be placed outside core code, and placed as separate modules. One of the costliest offenders, yet Magento site audit reveals them quickly.
"A quick way" some developers use is modifying core files directly. This not only affects the time required to patch or upgrade your site to a newer version - core modifications change Magento application core behaviour and more often than not, cause unforeseen issues that are hard to troubleshoot debug.
Almost all stores we've had the chance to audit were underperforming in (almost) all of the areas above . This isn't due to the platform itself - it comes fast by default. Badly written themes and modules, security issues - all of these affect your site performance and behaviour.
With site audit you're getting:
- Current state site overview in 5 core areas
- Actionable suggestions to make your site perform better
- A step by step action plan segmented by issue priority
You have the choice of reaping the benefits of having the world's top eCommerce platform and satisfying your customers in the process, by providing an online experience they won't forget. Take it.