Magento Website Development
Magento 1 is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms in the world and after the release of Magento 2 I have been contacted by a large number of businesses that either wish to migrate to the new version or they have experienced a number of problems after doing so.
The root cause of most of the issues relates to how different Magento 2 is compared to Magento 1. There is normally the assumption that if an agency has been able to create excellent Magento 1 websites, they should also be able to do the same on Magento 2. Unfortunately, this is not the case as there are huge fundamental differences in each of the platforms.
Magento 2 is still a relatively new platform which means there are several agencies selling the solution who quite frankly lack the knowledge and experience to successfully launch a Magento 2 website.
A Few Common Magento 2 Problems
Below are just a few of the common issues that I have come across in relation to Magento 2.
Off-the-shelf plugins were normally very good on Magento 1 but when it comes to Magento 2 they are definitely less reliable. This is normally compounded if a large number volume of modules are installed as many of them don’t integrate together well.
Ensure the agency you are working with is transparent about their use of off-the-shelf plugins during the planning stage of your development process. Compile a list of each plugin that will be used and test them as early as possible to prevent any surprises.
Migrating data from one platform to another can often be difficult especially if you have years of legacy data.
Magento 2 has a data migration tool that supposedly makes it easy to transfer the data from Magento 1 but unfortunately, the process isn’t as straightforward as it would appear. Also, even if the data appears to have been successfully migrated, if there are any issues with how the data has been migrated, technical problems could arise weeks or months after the migration has taken place.
Consideration should be taken relating to whether or not a full data migration is required and whether a less problematic solution would be to simply archive the data. If, for example, the decision was made to simply migrate products and content but not customer data, the process is far more likely to go smoothly.
Some agencies have also built their own data migration tool that works better than the solution provided by Magento. Asking your development partner for a full data migration plan and a note of the risks involved during the planning stage of your development project is advised.
Magento 2 is quite a resource-heavy platform and speed issues can arise due to development issues, hosting environments and problems relating to caching. I have seen instances that these have not been detected until after the website has been launched.
It is absolutely essential that tests are carried out before the actual launch of the website. Your development agency should also attempt to test your site on a hosting environment that is as close to your live environment as possible. Contact me if you require help choosing the correct hosting solution for your Magento 2 website as inadequate hosting is often the cause of many of the speed issues related to Magento 2.
During testing, it is also extremely important to test cached and uncached pages.
Search Engine Rankings
Most CMSs have ‘out the box’ SEO related issues and Magento 2 is no different. I’ve worked with a number of clients that approached me after experiencing a severe drop in search engine rankings after the launch of a new website.
The issues being experienced from an SEO perspective when launching a Magento 2 website is completely avoidable if the correct preventative measures are put in place before the launch of a new site. This is something that I can help with directly but sometimes due to capacity issues, I am unfortunately unable to help every business that approaches me for SEO consultancy. However, I have a network of extremely capable SEO professionals that I can refer you to depending on your requirements.
How can I help?
Myself and my business partner, who was previously the E-commerce Director for a large fitness retailer, has helped businesses of various sizes deliver both Magento 1 and Magento 2 websites.
As a result of the variety of businesses we have worked with, we are well-placed to help you prevent many of the pitfalls related to developing a Magento website. We are able to advise you on the best Magento 2 agency to use for your size of the project.
A few years after writing this article, I helped launch a business called Deft Digital that helps businesses create and promote eCommerce websites.