If you’re an eCommerce services provider, agency or retailer, you’ve most likely heard of Magento, one of the world’s leading digital commerce platforms. Perhaps you’re considering building a Magento store for the first time, or you’ve been working on the platform for years. So you know that with multiple solutions for merchants and brands of every size, Magento provides a flexible framework from which to control everything from the products you offer to custom themes and store design, through to inventory management.
Additionally, as Magento is open source and has an incredibly active, highly professional community, what Magento itself doesn’t directly supply can often be found amongst hundreds of external extensions in their marketplace, Magento Connect. This of course makes the lives of merchants and agencies alike much easier, and is what has led to Magento being the choice behind over 1 in 4 of all eCommerce stores.
However, with all of these fantastic advantages, building a Magento store can have a steep learning curve. And now with the release of Magento 2 that is even more true, as only the most cutting-edge tech is used. Furthermore, in today’s competitive market, you can’t afford to have fundamental development mistakes in your store, so I thought I’d share a few of the top mistakes I’ve seen businesses make in an effort to help you avoid them. And if you do, you’ll already be ahead of the pack!
6 Things to Avoid When Building a Magento Store
Don’t Just Choose Your Favorite Theme
There is a vast collection of Magento themes out there, and besides an option that’s compatible with your business goals, it’s extremely important to keep page load time in mind, and avoid any heavy themes that may decrease response time. In most cases a simple theme with many customizable options will be best. So, when you’re making your selection aim for a theme that can handle a large number of products without reducing page speed by more than 20 microseconds.
Don’t Overlook Responsiveness
Did you know that over 25% of all US retail sales will happen on mobile by 2018? And that in April 2015, the world saw Mobilegeddon, where Google began boosting the search results of mobile friendly sites and dropping those that aren’t? Today, having a mobile responsive site with a smoother customer experience is an absolute must for any online store. Make sure your Magento store is responsive, for all screen sizes and mobile devices, so that you don’t lose out on a large part of your potential business.
Don’t Forget about User Experience
When building a Magento store, keep in mind that browsing should be as easy and natural as possible for shoppers. They should be able to click through to category pages from the home page, complete a search, make a purchase and navigate to anywhere on the site without wondering where they should go next. You should also make sure to provide them with plenty of high quality images, and ensure that there are no technical issues with the site that may distract shoppers from their one purpose, shopping! Finally, remember how important customer service is to them. Consider adding chat to your Magento store, the preferred contact method for over 60% of millennials, to make it easier for shoppers to ask and get answers to questions, leading to more sales.
Don’t Share Resources Whenever Possible
Although shared server hosting is often the more economical approach it may cause serious problems for your store’s performance, particularly during peak business times and seasons such as the holidays.
Don’t think that SEO is Dead
Although SEO has changed a lot in the past few years, with Google aiming for high quality content, Magento still provides many SEO settings that should be implemented in your store. Make sure customize each page’s description rather than using a default description and if your store is in multiple languages do not server multiple languages from the same URL. And at all costs, make sure your customers never see a 404 error! Finally, don’t flood your store with too many pages, and make sure to take down products that are no longer available. A big tip we recently shared with store owners is actually how cutting content can positively impact their SEO.
Don’t Miss Out on Extensions
Magento external modules can provide you with the answer to your store’s specific needs, so there is no reason to begin developing every time you need a new functionality in your store. And not only will they save you time, many extensions are built to help you boost your revenues, whether they support shipping products, to payments or order management.
Now it’s your turn to put these recommendations to the test the next time you’re building a Magento store. With Magento you get a highly scalable, flexible platform to build and manage your eCommerce store, but remember that building it the right way is as crucial as deciding which platform you’d like to build on. So good luck, and if you have your own Do’s and Don’ts for developing a Magento store, make sure to tell us all about them in the comments!